Writing Prompt: Speed writing

I have exactly 6 minutes to write before I have to get to something else. so, I’m just going to keep typing away in the hopes that something interesting comes out. Try this, start writing non-stop for five minutes without editing or thinking. Just write, as I’m doing now. There is nothing that has to amkes sense. Type about the events of the day in a narrative form or try to remember a bit of dialogue or something funny you heard on the bus on the way to work. Or, you can turning on the TV and listen to s scene from a film or TV show as you write? What do you hear? I for one am listening o Robin Hood on Sky TV. IT’s the one by Ridley Scot, not that tool Kevin Costner. There was something basically wrong with that version and although this one was better, it still doesn’t quite cut it. I get the impression that Scott was trying to make another Gladiator. Failed, but still entertaining. The cat is looking at me and no doubt wondering when she is going to get fed and cuddles. Ok – 1 minute to go. I’m not sure what more to say, but that is the point of this exercise, to just write and see if there is anything flloating around there. If nothing else, I can see how quickly I can type in that amount of time. I hae something cooking in the kitchen. Potatoes with bacon and cream, my mother used to make that for lunch sometimes I might come back and write about some of her culinary adventures. Time’s up = no editing, good night.

Writing Prompt: Rhyme

This prompt is going to be a bit silly, but can be a good way to get the creativity going.

Pick a set or words and try to find as many rhyming words as possible. Once you’ve got your list, create a scene in which all of the words are featured.

For instance:

Hen, Pen, Den, Wren, and so forth.

I’m off to write a story about a Wren that makes friends with a hen, they run away to a den and write their farewell note with a pen… ūüėČ

Writing Prompt: Film Legend

Film has been a major part of my life for as long as I can remember. From an early age, my mother taught me to appreciate actors, directors, screenwriters and all of the people behind the scenes that spend their careers entertaining the masses. As a tribute to the late, great Elizabeth Taylor, arguably one of the greatest actresses of all time, I want this prompt to be about films or actors that have made an impression.

One of the first epic films my mother ever made me watch was “Giant”. This film was more than the chronicle of a family across three generations, it was a social commentary tacking issues such as racism, class division and the American dream. The stand out character, “Lesley” was played by Elizabeth Taylor, who spends the span of the film trying to enhance the lives of the people around her and enlighten her racist husband, “Jordon” (plated by the late Rock Hudson). This was also James Dean’s third and final film.

What made an impression was not just the film’s message, scale, settings, cinematography and story, it was the fine acting throughout. These element are what make this one of my all-time favoutire films.

So, think back, has a film or a particular performance ever made a big impression?

RIP Elizabeth Taylor – I’ll be watching all your films this week.

Writing Prompt: Magical Creatures

When I was a kid, I loved stories about magical creatures. Stories of dragons, hippogriffs, centaurs and unicorns fascinated me. ¬†One of my favourite stories was “The Last Unicorn”. ¬†Write about a magical creature. What if you came across one in the woods? Have fun, let your imagination go wild.

Writing Prompt: D is for Drag

This is a great word. You can use it a load of ways. To drag, it’s a drag, to take a drag…

Write a piece that incorporates this word or theme. I’m going to write about dragging a body from the back of car into the woods and about how the corpse got into the boot of the car in the first place…


Writing Prompt: When I grow up…

It’s funny that there are few of us who actually turn out to be what we wanted to be when we were kids. When you were little, did anyone ever ask you what you wanted to be when you grew up? I’ll bet someone did, teachers, siblings, parents, relatives. you look up at their expectant faces, struggling for a replay that they will approve of, like doctor, lawyer, astronaut, stock broker, os some other “worthwhile” ambition. If you say princess, clown, actor or ballerina, you were probably greeted with at best, ¬†“that’s nice.” or at worst, a condescending smile accompanied with a slight shake of the head that seems to say, “they’ll grow out of it.”

I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to be a writer. I even went to university to get a degree in creative writing, only to graduate with the harsh realisation that there are few career advisors that support you in writing beyond the advice that teaching, waiting tables or secretarial work are all anyone will be willing to pay you for with such a discipline under your belt. Of course, it was easy for me to sell out and get a real job, abandoning my writing ambitions in favour of getting a steady pay cheque while I worked out if there was a “respectable” trade out there for me. Now, before you get on me and remind me that writers are valuable, take it easy. I’ll be the first to recognise that good writers are in demand. It’s just that no one tells you that when you’re 22 years old, in student loan debt to your eyeballs and trying to convince your parents that writing is something worthwhile. In fact, if you look around, we’re all desperate for fresh new “content”, whether it’s for blogs, news articles, adverts, entertainment, commentary, reviews, etc…Everywhere we look, people are desperate for people who can string two coherent sentences together, the question is, how does one distinguish between good and poor quality? Have we become less discerning as technology enables us to access more and more information anytime and anywhere, have we become so spoilt that we are willing to sacrifice quality for immediate information?

Anyway, I digress. This was meant to be about the disconnect between what we wanted to do growing up and what we actually do. Can many of us say that we are where we thought we’d be when we were kids? I certainly am not, but I’m happy to say, that I am writing. Even my prompts are a way of reminding me of what it is I have loved all my life, the ability to communicate through the written word. So, all is not lost.

So, try this, think back to what you wanted to be when you were a kid, Are you doing it? If not, what key events or circumstances made you take a different path? If you’re not doing what you love, is there something you can do so to change that? If you’d rather, write a story about a kid that decides what it is they want to be when they grow up. Maybe a trip to the circus makes them what to be an acrobat or an animal trainer.

(by the way, some people still look at me like I’m a dreamer/space alien when I say I’m a writer, I’m a lot of other things when it comes to profession, but trust me, I’m a writer)

Writing Prompt: The Parade

Happy St. Patrick’s Day. For today’s writing prompt, try writing about something festive. How about writing a story about five friends that get separated during a St. Patrick’s Day parade. What adventure does each of them have in trying to find each other?

Writing Prompt: The Balloon

When I was little, one of my favourite treats when going to an amusement park with my parent s was to get a balloon. It made it hard to go on rides and of course. Mom or Dad would have to mind it for me while I enjoyed the carousel. Once I got it home, having kept it low in the car to avoid obstructing Dad’s rear view, I tied it to the end of my bed so that I could watch it sway in the breeze at night. I always went for blue, not the pink or red you’d expect a girl to gravitate towards. It was always a bit sad when the helium eventually leaked out and the balloon lost its ability to float around my room. Sometimes my brother and I would go out into the garden and release our balloons before they could die that way.

Try writing a story about a balloon. Have fun.

Writing Prompt: C is for Crash

For a short word, it brings out all sorts of images. A crash can be several things. A crash diet, extreme, fast, urgent, determined, sometime desperate. A alcohol, drug or sugar crash – to be high one minute and to reach the earth, violently with a thud. Destructive and often painful, whether it’s your mood or the sudden, evasive throbbing of the head. Car crash, train, mid-air, to crash and burn. I don’t think a pleasant connotation for crash exists. But, let’s try, shall we? Write a scene where two or more people crash, whether it’s shopping trollies at Tesco or a three way crash on the M25. Can something good come from something negative? That’s just a suggestion, but if you’d rather, simple try to write about the theme.

Writing Prompt: B is for Banishment

When I was young, at the age when every action and word of your peers has the weight and importance more damaging than the shifting of continents, I had a friend who passed me over. For the two years prior to my banishment, we had been inseparable. Although we were in different classes throughout the day, at lunch and after school, we found ways to be together, hanging out at the pizza parlour banned to students during the day, but inviting and welcoming with outstretched arms when the bell rang at three.

It was not a sudden disagreement. It was a slow and sinister turning of the back when one fine Spring day, a childhood friend that has moved away, returned to my friend’s life. So, rather than treat the return as a opporunity¬†to become a happy trio, they chose to become a reunited duo and I , I became superfluous. It started with whispers and giggles behind my back, but close enough for me to see. Then, slowly, the signs that I was not wanted became less subtle. I remember the day when all became clear.

I wandered into the school parking lot, heading towards my friend’s car, when I saw the two girls get in and close the door. Panic would have set in when we met each other’s eyes and the cruel recognition of what was happening hit me like so much ice water. The hint of cruelty around the curve of her mouth was unmistakable. I was being dismissed and her eyes watch me with curious glee to see what I would do, as though I was a captured fly with a set of fingers caressing the wing it is about to pull. What would the response be?

Suddenly, a honking horn came to my rescue. A group of fellow classmates were heading out and someone shouted, “Eliza, are you coming with us?!” I turned on my heel and my defeat turned into a victory as I scrambled into the back of the yellow pickup truck with the others, a merry party destined for pizza. As I settled in, I looked toward the far end of the parking lot as the Datsun sped away and with it, my two-year friendship. We didn’t speak again for the next three years, but as much as I tried to grant forgiveness and managed to say, “It’s ok” when she asked me to all those years later, the memory of the behaviour is still with me. It reminds me never to exclude.

So, have you ever felt like you’ve been banished, from a friendship, a conversation, a room, a city, a social circle, job or anything?

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