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.

Writing prompt – pools

Pendine Sands, brittle star. Photo by Judy DarleyAs a child, I thought there was little that could match the magic of a beach brimming with rock pools. Each one cradled a world that promised countless living treasures.

Why not give your character, whether they’re an adult or child, a chance to investigate their local shoreline and discover something unexpected? Could they encounter a chatty brittle star, for instance, or something far more sinister?

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 – flash

Footprint. Photo by Judy DarleyJune is a joyful month for all things flash fiction-related, with National Flash Fiction Day UK happening on Saturday 15th June, with events happening nationwide and the Flash Flood journal publishing flashes throughout the day. My story Clatter will appear on the journal at around 11.10 a.m. BST.

Flash Fiction Festival is celebrating the mastery of the shortest literary prose form, from Friday 28th until Sunday 30th June.

Over in New Zealand, Micro Madness has begun, publishing a 100-word tale every day between now and 22nd June, which is Flash Fiction Day in New Zealand. My shortlisted tale Aftermath went live on 4th June.

Happily, each of these mini word-hits also serves as a fantastic creative prompt, firing up synapses with possibilities. Why not drop by to see what journey the published stories can set you off 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 – deja vu

Kaunas, Lithuania, River2. By Judy DarleyThere’s something delicious about a fictional character riddled with uncertainty. Deja vu can be a great trick for introducing a bit of second-guessing that could lead in a multitude of directions.

Take the view above, for example. The moment your protagonist sees it, they know they’ve been here before. But when, and why? Or have they seen a photo of it, or even a painting? It’s a seemingly tranquil scene, so why has it unsettled them so thoroughly?

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.