Here is a writing prompt from me. If you decide to go ahead and use it, I would love to see what you come up with:
Your Grandparents have died and you are going through their house, sorting out their personal belongings. What item do you find hidden that means a lot to you? It may be an item of clothing, book, ornament etc. Write a little story or poem about this item.
Here is mine:
Book of Passed
My fingertips trace the outline of the old, leather-bound cover, leaving dusty smears. The pages are yellowed with age, though the cellophane wrapped photos are still looking crisp. Faces of family that are all long forgotten, their memories remaining in this one precious book. Captures of irreplaceable moments and people I will never meet, yet they are somehow all a part of me. The old woman sat unsmiling at the fireplace mirrors my oval face and the young boy, laughing and playing golf has handed me down his thin lips.
Over Christmas I had two portfolios of writing to complete along with two essays for university. Now, I don’t mind writing a story here and there but I ended up having to write about seven stories and six poems. Over a short space of time that is a lot of writing. Needless to say, I really struggled. I ended up handing in this as one of my poems:
Creatively drained – I’ve written and written and written and now my head is sore and empty. The blank page before me is craving doodles and words, but I have none left to give. Past pieces of paper have stolen them all away like burglars of ideas. Oh Facebook, calling out to me, I so wish to play your games, why are you trying to distract me? But the assignment’s due are glaring down at me like I’m a prisoner left with only one choice and that one choice is: to write.
And the lecturer hated it!
I have an essay and two portfolios to hand in next week and due to this my brain is completely empty. I have never had to come up with so many concepts to write about before. For one of my portfolios I am focusing on prose poems which are quite simply a cross between poetry and stories and are meant to evoke feelings rather than characterisation. I was sat here for hours completely stuck on what to write, so guess what I did? I wrote a prose poem about writers block!
No matter what your state of mind is, remember that there is always something to write about!
So I found these great poem starters on a site called Creative Writing Now which are ideas you can write poems about and some of them I can’t wait to try out such as the one about being underwater. Here they are:
- A particular color
- Being underwater
- A person whose life you’re curious about
- Your mother’s perfume
- Falling asleep or waking up
- Growing older
- The feeling of getting lost in a book
- How to know if you’re in love
- A bad dream
- A ghost
- Your city, town, or neighborhood
- An important life choice you’ve made
- Spring, summer, fall, or winter
- Something most people see as ugly but which you see as beautiful
- Becoming a parent
- An event that changed you
- A place you visited — how you imagined it beforehand, and what it was actually like
- The ocean
- The speed of light
- A voodoo doll
- Reflections on a window
- A newspaper headline
- Your greatest fear
- Your grandmother’s hands
- A particular toy you had as a child
- Being invisible
- A time you felt homesick
- Having an affair, or discovering your partner is having one
- A favorite food and a specific memory of eating it
- An imaginary city
- Driving with the radio on
- Life in an aquarium
- Walking with your eyes closed
- What a computer might daydream about
- Time travel
- Brothers or sisters
- Your job, or a job you’ve had
- Leaving home
- A zoo
- A historical event from the perspective of someone who saw it firsthand (You will have to do some research for this).
- Holding your breath
- Intimacy and privacy
- A time you were tempted to do something you feel is wrong
- Physical attraction to someone
- A superstition you have
- Someone you admire
Just seen this and it is a really handy checklist to have!
So I guess as anyone would realise a massive part of taking a writing based university course is a heck of a lot of reading. Sat in bed this morning with a story I have to read up on my laptop and my mum comes into my room shouting about how I’m lazy and disgusting and spend all day lounging around. Shouting about how I’m just sat watching TV shows… Well I’m definitely reading a book and not listening to an audio book so there is no sound at all and I definitely watch TV shows with the volume ON.
I told her, no, I’m reading for university and next I get a massive rant about how she bets I have the perfect life just sat on my ass all day, yet since I’ve been born I have never once seen a book in her hand and she always tells me she doesn’t enjoy reading, so how she thinks it’s the ‘perfect life’ I have no idea.
I tell her maybe she should try it sometime if she thinks sitting down and reading set books for hours on end is any kind of fun at all. Thought that would shut her up but instead she tells me that I should quit university and get a ‘real job’ and stop complaining. Well, I wasn’t complaining until she came into my room and made it perfectly clear she had a problem!
I have now stopped doing any form of reading and tidied my whole room. I bet she still won’t be happy though. Next she will have a go at me for not focusing on my university course!
Now I am learning how to write Prose Poetry, I really enjoy it but seems I still don’t have the complete knack for it. Here is a ‘Prose Poem’ I wrote below:
The wrong day
Pumpkins, sweets, ghosts and ghouls. The door opened to a knock and within a blink she is past me and gone- her silver fur merging between the witches and skeletons that wait at the door with faces of makeup and buckets for treats. Hearing a bang, I look up to the sky and see the flash and shimmer of coloured blasts in the sky. Another bang and then another… purple, green, pink and blue. Bang! Bang! Bang! Do people know that they have the wrong day? Running down the street in a black corpse dress, calling out her name ‘Bluey, Bluey where are you?’ tripping down lanes, kneeling to peep in bushes calling out ‘Bluey.’ And I imagine her hiding and trembling nearby.
Turns out that it isn’t a Prose Poem at all because it wasn’t focused on a singular idea! Do not be put off if you write something similar – you now have the framework for something else. I will now be turning this into Flash Fiction!
So I am in the process of editing MY FIRST EVER BOOK! It is a supernatural thriller aimed at young adult readers. There are vampires werewolves and…. well lets not spoil the rest!
I thought I would spoil you all with the beginning of my story:
‘I sit on the balcony, staring into the night sky, watching the stars flicker and shine. My legs dangle off the side through the cold, metal bars and a cool breeze whistles through my ears. It reminds me of all of the midnight walks me and Dahlia used to have when we were in our early teenage years. We would stop off in the middle of the woods and dance around, with the wind blowing through our thin, white dresses. Fireflies would glide around us, lighting up the dark shadows cast down from the tall trees, which were closely huddled together like a pack of wolves, under the big, circular moon.’
Prompts have always inspired me and helped me with my short stories, there are so many online and also books with them in. Have you ever thought of looking for specific genre prompts though? Here are some examples below that I have found on the internet and think sound very helpful.
Dystopian -The end of the world happened with the mass destruction of the power plants and a virus that runs rampant throughout the entire population.
Horror – Your driving on a country road. It is late at night. You are far from home. You realize, as you check your mirrors, there is a man you do not know, hiding on the floor of your back seat.
Romance – Write a story about a romance that develops while both the main characters are dealing with an addition.
So as you lot following my blog love a bit of creative writing, I’m guessing that means in the majority of cases you also love a bit of reading! For about a year or two now I have been reading free books in exchange for an honest review for authors and publishing companies. Recently I started the ‘E’ series by Kate Wrath. I have read up to book 3 and am now just waiting on the release of Elergy. I have been in contact with the author herself and she told me about a competition running on her site. I decided to enter and I WON! As a prize she is going to feature me as a character in Elergy. I can’t wait to meet ‘Lozzi!’