Writing prompt – sky

Sky by Judy Darley_colourThis is the first in a trio of writing prompts instigated by my new short story collection, Sky Light Rain.

Part one of the collection is Sky, touching on what binds us together while simultaneously giving us the courage, or the push, to overcome our fears.

Think of a situation that demands a difficult decision from your protagonist. How do they respond? What conflicts and resolutions could this lead to?

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 – memory

Elephant remembering by Judy DarleyAn elephant never forgets. Bring bananas or juicy cucumbers and you’ll have a friend for life. One false act, and you’ll never be forgiven.

Use memory and the possibility of misremembering as the core of a story. What deed could be misattributed through the uncertainty of recollection? What implications could this have?

I photographed this beautiful grandma at the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary Pattaya, in Thailand. Highly recommended!

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 – elemental

Elemental by Judy Darley

My short story collection Sky Light Rain is out in just over a week, and I’m really excited. So I thought that this week I would offer some insights into the inspirations behind the 36 works of fiction it contains.

My publisher has described the collection as ‘elemental,’ which I really like. The tales touch on nature, and human nature, and all the fragmented darkness and lightness that coalesce to form the people we become. It’s about the actions we take to try to make our lives better, and how, at times, these actions can make things worse. How good intentions can be twisted, misunderstood or cast adrift, so that we flounder as we struggle to remember what we’d hoped to achieve or attain.

My starting point for each was a questions: ‘What if…?’

So for this week’s writing prompt I invite you to think about the things that niggle at you, that really pique your curiosity, and then dig deeper by asking yourself why, and what might happen if…?

My book launch is also a wider literary night featuring three additional exceptionally talented writers, Grace Palmer, Paul Deaton and Kevlin Henney, and amazing musician Hidden Tide, who will all share their work. The launch is at 7pm on 2nd November 2019 in Waterstones Bristol. Get your free tickets here.

Sky Light Rain is available to pre-order here.

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 – backdrop

Wonder by Judy DarleyWhile travelling in Thailand, I became increasingly intrigued by the large number of tourists only interested in snapping selfies or seeing their surroundings through the screen of smart devices. Rather than breathing in the moment, they seem intent on how they will look on social media, with that particular backdrop.

In this case, a young girl would rather flick through her phone than take notice of the natural wonder of the Haew Suwat waterfall.

Use this as a starting point for a story. What might happen if one day this girl actually looks up from her phone? What might have changed while her attention was elsewhere?

Alternatively, consider what it could take to remind her that the world can be more than a backdrop to her Instagram photos.

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 – 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.