Writing prompt – tithe

Tithe Barn at Bradford on Avon by Judy DarleyThis impressive Tithe Barn is situated in Bradford on Avon. The beautiful structure dates back to the 1330s, and has had a number of uses attributed to it, though the name suggests this may have been where people were expected to bring the wares that made up their taxes – basically ten per cent of every crop or animal yield paid to the local church establishment.

I love that this photo catches two modern-day visitors treading in the ancient space, almost as though they are the ghosts in this scenario. What produce might they be expected to submit ten per cent of to this building’s holy masters?

What aspects of history, religion, society and community could you explore with this as your starting point?

If you write or create something prompted by this, please send an email to judydarley(at)iCloud.com to let me know. With your permission, I’ll publish it on SkyLightRain.com.

 

 

Writing prompt – trail

Snail trail_Photo by Judy DarleyThis week’s prompt follows on from last week’s snail adventure. I frequently see snail trails like this one, where the snail has apparently looped-the-loop. They always stir my curiosity. Why would a ponderous, slow-paced mollusc backtrack like this? What purpose could this have, other than the snail wanting to check it isn’t being followed and hasn’t dropped something en-route?

Could something more whimsical or satirical be going on?

If you write or create something prompted by this, please send an email to judydarley(at)iCloud.com to let me know. With your permission, I’ll publish it on SkyLightRain.com.

Writing prompt – glut

Snail and blackberryImagine finding yourself within reach, as this tiny snail has, of a feast of mouthwatering proportions which just happens to comprise your very favourite food.

How would you restrain yourself? Or wouldn’t you? At what point in your munching might your pause to consider this bounty origins?

What might the implications of such gluttony be?

If you write or create something prompted by this, please send an email to judydarley(at)iCloud.com to let me know. With your permission, I’ll publish it on SkyLightRain.com.

Writing prompt – scrap

A scrap of paper on a thirsty public lawn caught my eye. It turned out to be a page torn from a book by Terry Pratchett.

But who would have torn it out and left it to flutter helplessly? What could their purpose have been? Is the page itself significant, or only the act?

Make that the inspiration for wonderfully weird work of fiction.

If you write or create something prompted by this, please send an email to judydarley(at)iCloud.com to let me know. With your permission, I’ll publish it on SkyLightRain.com.

 

Writing prompt – nature

Tree roots by Judy DarleyHowever much we try to force nature to fit into our urban structures, it’s clear that nature has its own plan. These tree roots quietly dislodging bricks in a Chicago city park are a great example of this.

Use this as a starting point for a tale. What happens when humans stop fighting back – how does nature reassert its dominance? Alternatively, consider your own roots. Where, for your family, did the nature vs humans battle begin?

If you write or create something prompted by this, please send an email to judydarley(at)iCloud.com to let me know. With your permission, I’ll publish it on SkyLightRain.com.

Writing prompt – sunset

Bristol Docks sunset by Judy Darley

Sunset and sunrise can be pivotal moments in a work of fiction, marking the end or start of an adventure.

Why not place your story’s start at the end of the day, just as the sky transforms with fuchsia clouds? Choose your location with care – this would be a very different experience inside a home compared to on the harbour’s edge, for instance.

Who or what might emerge as the light ebbs away?

If you write or create something prompted by this, please send an email to judydarley(at)iCloud.com to let me know. With your permission, I’ll publish it on SkyLightRain.com.

Writing prompt – seeds

Sunflower by Judy Darley

This sunflower has lost a few seeds in a shape that almost forms a heart. Could some lovelorn youth have committed this deed to leave a message for the focus of their desire, or might it be that a peckish blackbird accidentally left a code for some hopeful soul to misread?

What misunderstandings and scandal could ensue?

If you write or create something prompted by this, please send an email to judydarley(at)iCloud.com to let me know. With your permission, I’ll publish it on SkyLightRain.com.

Writing prompt – ablaze

Man on Fire by Tim Shaw. Photo by Judy Darley
This remarkable sculpture is Man on Fire by Tim Shaw and is on display at the Royal West of England Academy in Bristol until 1st September 2019.

Larger than life, the person is frozen in the act of careering through the gallery, trailing smoke and ash. The notes describe it as “a moment trapped between life and death.” To me it resembles a figure in the midst of an extraordinary metamorphosis.

How would you interpret this scene and give it narrative?

If you write or create something prompted by this, please send an email to judydarley(at)iCloud.com to let me know. With your permission, I’ll publish it on SkyLightRain.com.

Fire: Flashes to Ashes in British Art 1692-2019 is on at the Royal West of England Academy until 1st Sept 2019.

Writing prompt – screen

Teen birthday_phone screen by Judy DarleyI find it fascinating to consider how our addiction to devices could be influencing our  interpretation of the world.

For the generation who are currently teenagers, these devices are an intrinsic means of understanding and experiencing the world. It seems that nothing is real unless witnessed and captured through a phone screen.

But what will happen if one day the super servers simply click off?

If you write or create something prompted by this, please send an email to judydarley(at)iCloud.com to let me know. With your permission, I’ll publish it on SkyLightRain.com.

Writing prompt – shoe

Shoe in cememtery by Judy DarleyI’ve been playing with fairytales and fables recently, remastering them with a twist that may make them more appealing to modern audiences such as this one published by Enchanted Conversation.

When I spied this mislaid shoe on a forest path, my first thought was ‘Cinderella!’

Use this as the prompt for a modern take on the Cinderella story. What kind of Cinders might have lost this battered sneaker, and in what circumstances? What sort of happy ending could they be stumbling towards?

And if I were to tell you that this path happens to be in a woodland cemetery, how might that influence your tale?

If you write or create something prompted by this, please send an email to judydarley(at)iCloud.com to let me know. With your permission, I’ll publish it on SkyLightRain.com.