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.

Writing prompt – ancestors

AncestorsImagine finding these photographs abandoned on a cafe table.

What preoccupied the individuals at the time the pictures were taken? What message might they have wanted to share? What clue could they hold to your protagonist’s past?

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 – white van

Arnos Vale Cemetery graves cr Judy DarleySometimes a random glimpse contains all the ingredients you need to set a story in motion.

What could this white van be doing here in an old Victorian cemetery? What does it contain? What will it soon be filled with?

Think retribution (divine or otherwise), smuggling, theft, off-beat children’s parties, vampires, or whatever your twisted mind can conjure.Go as dark, or as funny, as you like.

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 – library

Extinction Rebellion Bristol_bookstall_15July2019_Photo by Judy DarleyWhat can you tell about a person from their bookshelves? I snapped this photo of a mobile bookstall at the Extinction Rebellion takeover in Bristol this week, and think the titles on show offer a full backstory for a character.

Who and what might serve as their antagonists? What fired up their interest or obsession in the first place?

Use this as your starting point and see where you end up.

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 – overturned

Slipper limpet baby. Photo by Judy DarleyIn a local woodland, I happened across a flash of magenta pink. Intrigued, I reached out, turned it over and discovered a curious work of art – a figure tucked up as though in bed, inside a slipper limpet.

How could you explain this delightful oddity? Alternatively, could you focus on the theme of ‘overturned’?

Use either of these as the basis of a story.

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.

Slipper limpet. Photo Judy Darley

Writing prompt – clouds

Storm cloud over Bristol by Judy DarleySometimes a summer storm can creep in like a wall that hangs in the sky and threatens to fall. The contrast is so vivid – a perfect metaphor for a country’s political state or a family in crisis.

What do these forbidding clouds bring to mind? How could you use them in a story?

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 – foster

Brandon Hill, Bristol, child in tree by Judy DarleyThe word foster is a slightly curious one, meaning as it does to harbour everything from suspicions to emotions to children.

Imagine a family that takes in a child. Are the motives of the adults genuine or suspect? Are there offspring resident who will colour the experiences of the foster-child?

What led to the child being fostered?

What can you introduce that will catch your readers by surprise and challenge their expectations?

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 – traffic

Traveller caravan by Judy DarleyA bus I was aboard got delayed by this assortment of ponies and contraptions, and what could I do but admire the procession?

I particularly enjoyed watching the man to the left of the photo pause in his domestic chores to gawp at the scene. What do you think might happen next?

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.