Object Challenge

This week, instead of a prompt, I’m going to set you a bit of a challenge! I have to be honest, I’ve pinched this idea from Peter Sansom’s excellent book ‘Writing Poems’ (available from Amazon and other bookshops (if they’re open…)), in which he has a whole chapter on ‘Workshops and Writing Games’. For this one he suggests writing in the voice of an object and gives various suggestions, including writing as:

A vacuum cleaner in shop window
A wardrobe in a hotel bedroom
A spoon in a bedsitter
A motorbike in pieces on a kitchen floor
A safety match in a box in a cardigan pocket

There are several more, but you get the gist, and of course you can think of your own examples.

Although I’ve filched these ideas from a book about writing poetry, I’m pretty sure you could use them as a starting point for a piece of fiction too. As always, use your imagination, let the pen fly across the page (or fingers across the keyboard), and just start writing. Can’t wait to see your work!

Prompt of the week

Ah, the blame game…. we’ve all done it. It’s so easy to point the finger, either at oneself, or others, when things go wrong, and to be honest, I don’t know which is worse. Goodness knows there is plenty of blame, rightly or wrongly, being bandied about in the news now! So this week’s prompt is, of course:

BLAME

How about writing a story or poem based on when you’ve got it wrong? It happens to the best of us, we lay blame at someone’s door, then find out the situation was more complex than we thought, or worse still, it was our own doing after all. Go on, brace yourself to cover a difficult topic, it’s often where the best writing lies. We look forward to reading your pieces.

Prompt for the week ‘end’

See what I did there…Week ‘end’… weekend…. well, you get the gist! Yep you can talk about the weekend if you like, or any other sort of end you can think of (rear end…!) but keep it clean please! Of course, this was prompted (gosh I’m on form today) by the tiny little light at the end of the lockdown tunnel, but we know of course, that everything, good or bad, must come to an end someday. Sometimes the end is a relief, as in the end of conflict, but often endings are sad times, so I’m sure this is a word ripe for storytelling/poetry or any other form of creative writing you care to embrace. I look forward to reading your work. Take care.

‘A BIG SURPRISE FOR MARCUS’ by Pete Brammer

After many months of ‘Lock down’ during the Coronavirus pandemic, things were beginning to return to some form of normality, in the sleepy village of Ashburton. A newly married couple looked so happy, as they emerged from the quaint St. Katherine’s Church, on a warm Saturday afternoon in July, with almost every resident coming out to witness the happy event.
Confetti fluttered down on them, as the photographer struggled to direct friends and relatives into their positions.

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Prompt for the week

We can’t get away from them these days, so this week’s prompt is:

MASK

Now, apart from the obvious current use to keep infection at bay, there seems to be a vast array of masks as well as reasons to wear them. There is, of course, masked balls (never been to one, have you?), those fancy Venetian masks, gas masks, the masks bank robbers wear, or disguises, masks of famous people… well, I could go on, but I’m sure you’ll be able to think of other examples for yourselves. Don’t forget, you can write in any format: fiction; poetry; creative non-fiction; or even a script (haven’t seen any of those for a while.. give it a go!). Have fun with it! We look forward to reading your work.

Prompt for this week

I hope you are all still keeping well, and coping ok with the continuing lockdown. Many of us now are dreaming of returning to some semblance of normality, wondering what the new world will look like post lockdown.

So this week we are giving a nod to that concept and we’re asking you to write something using the prompt:

AFTER

Of course, it doesn’t have to relate to the current situation at all, it could be about after you’ve eaten (or drunk) too much; after a losing (or winning) game; after the party; or with VE day remembrance in mind… after the war. As usual, these are just some suggestions to get you going… let your imagination loose and write in any form you like: poetry; fiction; creative non-fiction; prose poetry….. well, you get the gist… any old way that gets your pen or your fingers on the keyboard moving. Have fun.

Picture Prompt

Ah Ha! Another picture prompt for you. Now, what do you make of this one? Is he a robot seeking knowledge…? Well, that was my first thought, but then.. perhaps he’s a toy lost in a library; perhaps we all feel like robots sometimes and he’s a reflection of a current mood; perhaps your batteries are running low, particularly at this time of turmoil; maybe the book is relevant… is it your favourite book (why do you love this book?); a gardening book; a book about learning to fly; a cookery book; an encyclopedia? Why is it so dark? What happens next? Deadly serious or rib-ticklingly funny?

One of the first things I learnt when trying out picture prompts is to look for the five ‘W’s:

Who – Who is the picture about?
What – What happened?
Where – Where did the event occur?
When – When did the event occur?
Why – Why did it happen?
(some also add an ‘H’ – How did it happen?)

It’s a useful place to start whether you are writing prose or poetry, fiction or non-fiction. Remember, this is just a prompt… the picture doesn’t have to feature at all, it’s just to get you on the runway.

Go on…let go of the strings of your imagination and let your pen (or keyboard!) fly!

‘I, you and he’ by Limi Jones

Everyone had been stir-crazy sitting at home, waiting for the weather to change, and the first sight of the sun had gone out to the park with picnics and ball games. Dogs ran around, babies crawling across the grass with doting grandparents taking pictures, children on bikes with ice creams and toddlers splashing in the water, the squealing of children, and the chatter of people filled the park. The hard, warm wood of the bench underneath me melted away the cramps and the muscle tension around the back of my thighs and hips. I closed my eyes and lifted my head to the sky and bathed in the fresh spring heat, and the breeze brushed against my face and hands. The sounds of the park flooded my ears, and I breathed in the smell of coffee, hotdogs, and doughnuts. I smiled. It’s been a year since I had left that awful, middle of nowhere town, the abusive husband; the backhanded

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‘Highway Robbery’ by Michael Keeble

From the Casebook of Police Constable John Thoresby

Report of PC John Thoresby 16th April 1846 Gringley on the Hill

I was making my rounds of the village on foot at 10 o’clock this morning and was in discussion with Jabez Wilkinson at the Mill when we heard a commotion coming from the centre of the village.  Mr Wilkinson and I hurried towards the source of the noise and, coming around the corner at Cross Hill were met with the sight of a coach outside the White Hart being held up by two men on foot.  The men were aiming pistols at the driver.  I cried out that I was an officer of the law and ran towards the men.  They both aimed their weapons at Mr Wilkinson and I and discharged them.  Fortunately for both of us, only one of the pistols fired, the other suffering a flash in the pan.  Their aim was not good, and neither of us was hurt. 

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Picture Prompt

Hi there! Hope you’re spending this extra, enforced, free time on your writing projects. Since I haven’t received any stories or poems to post just lately, I thought I’d give you a nudge with a picture prompt this time.

What does it suggest to you? Where is she, who/what is she running from? She seems to have had time to pick up an umbrella but not put on her shoes – what’s that about? I’m sure there are lots of scenarios that you can create. Have a think, have a write (short story/flash fiction/poem, whatever you like!), then send them to me to share. I look forward to reading them.

Keep safe x