Sleep, perchance to dream – 30 Writing Prompts – 30

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That’s it, the day is over, it is time to sleep. This is where our final writing prompt leads us. It brings us to the moment when we settle down and drift from consciousness to unconsciousness. It is time to sleep, and perhaps we shall dream.

You’ve had a long day, everything that has happened has been and now it is time to rest. Set the scene describing your final moments before you get into bed, or wherever you are going to sleep. What are the final things you do before turning off the light? How does it feel as you ‘lay me down to sleep’? Do you have a comfortable bed, futon, sleeping bag? Are you indoors or out? What are the sounds you can hear? Are the stars shining overhead or do the street lamps glow beyond your windows?

As you begin to drift off, what thoughts are going through your mind? Are you happy with the events of the day? Are there things you’ll need to address tomorrow? Were there missed opportunities? Are you glad it is over so you can begin again tomorrow? Do you offer up a little prayer? A prayer of thanks? Or an angry one?

As you fall asleep, do you begin to dream? As you drift into the night and your mind dreams, are there thoughts that take on new meaning, new understanding, new desires? What happens when you are asleep? Feel free to write your dream, this is all about writing what you want, and however much you want. Fantasy writers don’t need to change anything to this prompt, everyone sleeps, or at least tries. Unless, of course, you are writing about a new form of sentient life, perhaps, if you are, they are watching someone sleep?

Put pen to paper or finger to keyboard and write. Draw on your memories, the emotions, the sensations that you have and write. There is no minimum or maximum word count, just write and see where your creativity leads you.

That’s it for this series of writing prompts. I hope you have found them helpful and I hope you have begun to enjoy a long term writing habit. I’ll have plenty more resources and ideas for realising your creative potential. In the meantime, enjoy this writing prompt and then…. you could always start over again – 30 Writing Prompts.

Shutdown – 30 Writing Prompts – 29

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The day is coming to an end, and that’s where our writing prompt takes us. Everything that has been done during the day has been done, there is nothing else you can do. Some things will need to be left for tomorrow, and they can all wait. This is all about the process of shutting down.

As you prepare for bed and, hopefully, a good night’s rest, what do you do? Are there things to clean up, dishes, clothes, toys? What equipment needs to be shutdown and turned off? Do you leave the computer and phone on? Why? Are there pets that need that final moment of care, or walk, or bit of food? Do you need to check on the children?

What things do you do for yourself as you prepare for sleep? Is there time for a shower, a wash, or just the very basics? Do you aim to go straight to sleep or will there be a late night book read, TV watch or Facebook browse? Is there a moment of spiritual, or meditative, reflection? Depending on how, and what, you are writing, is there a partner to whom you need to say something, an apology, an encouragement?

If you are a fantasy writer on a quest, how do you secure your campsite for the night? What do you need to do to ensure you get rest through the dark hours? On a spaceship, the shutdown sequence may be more complicated, or it may be simpler if there are automatic systems, or you have an advanced computer, but there will be a process.

It may surprise you how much you do in order to do nothing, apart from sleep. This prompt is for you to explore that process, to think through the little things that seem innocuous, but which play an important and regular part in our lives.

Put pen to paper or finger to keyboard and write. Draw on your memories, the emotions, the sensations that you have and write. There is no minimum or maximum word count, just write and see where your creativity leads you. We’ll have another creative writing prompt to inspire and develop the writing habit tomorrow.

The Blackout – 30 Writing Prompts – 28

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You are relaxed at home, the day is coming to a close. You might be watching the TV or reading a book, as always the choice is yours. You might be with a partner, a friend or two, the whole family, or you might be alone. All of a sudden the lights go out and you find yourself in total darkness.

There has been a power cut, but you don’t know that yet. Today’s prompt is about how you feel and what you do when the lights go out. What is the first thing you do? How do you feel? Are you afraid of the dark? Afraid for yourself or for others, your family, children perhaps? Do you have a set routine for when this happens? Do you know where the torch or candles are? How long is it till you remember there is a flashlight on your phone? How long does the battery in your phone or torch last?

Is the power cut local, just your house or the whole street? Can you see further afield? If you are several floors up in an apartment, how far can you see? How widespread is the blackout? As it draws out do you feel less or more apprehensive about things? Do you find neighbours and discuss what is going on?

If you are on a spaceship, then a power cut is a very serious thing. What emotions run through your head in space? Are you more or less in control of your feelings as your training kicks in? If you are writing in a fantasy setting you’ll need to adapt things slightly, perhaps all the candles have gone out, or the flames from the fire and torches have been extinguished?

The lights have gone out, which means it is time to write. Explore your feelings and emotions as you come face to face with the dark.

Put pen to paper or finger to keyboard and write. Draw on your memories, the emotions, the sensations that you have and write. There is no minimum or maximum word count, just write and see where your creativity leads you. We’ll have another creative writing prompt to inspire and develop the writing habit tomorrow.

Street Drama – 30 Writing Prompts – 27

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As we write it is easy to think that all the drama happens to us. Our main characters are the ones that move the story, but things happen to others as well. This writing prompt explores things that go bump in the night, to others.

The scene is simple. You are safe and sound, in your own home or apartment. Then you hear a noise. What is it? You look out your window, or open your door and you see… ? That’s it, what do you see? The choice is yours, describe what is happening.

Something is happening on the street or in your building, concerning your neighbours or people passing by. There might have been an accident, or a dispute? Has an ambulance been called? Have the police arrived? Who is involved and how are they acting? This will give you the chance to describe characters and their actions in depth.

What is happening is down to you, as is the resolution, but the main focus is on describing the event and the people involved. If you are writing fantasy you may need to elaborate on exactly where you are. If you are sleeping out at night, as you journey, how do you see the events happening? Do you hear a noise and then peer through a bush to see what is taking place? Are you woken as you sleep in an inn? A space setting may be more difficult, but if you are on a spaceship with others, it can be easily adapted. If you are on your own, you’ll be describing something outside your ship, a meteor shower, space debris, aliens?

Drama, in our writing, doesn’t always involve us. Enjoy writing about others in today’s prompt.

Put pen to paper or finger to keyboard and write. Draw on your memories, the emotions, the sensations that you have and write. There is no minimum or maximum word count, just write and see where your creativity leads you. We’ll have another creative writing prompt to inspire and develop the writing habit tomorrow.

Time to Relax – 30 Writing Prompts – 26

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It is time to relax, to unwind and to let everything melt away, in our words at least. Today’s writing prompt is about exploring the moment when you let everything go and chill out. It is a journey into our own minds.

First set the scene, the most obvious is to run a nice hot bath. Depending on how you do this, the ritual of lighting candles, and choosing the right oils, scents and other additives, becomes part of the relaxing progress. However, it doesn’t have to be a bath, but it must be somewhere that you, your character can relax.

As you write explore the moment when your relaxation begins. Like the creativity exercise, the moment you relax can begin with just the thought of a bath, or your chosen moment. Do you feel guilty for taking time out for yourself? Are there issues that should have been dealt with? How do you let them go? Are you satisfied with the day so far and therefore feel no regrets about this moment of indulgence?

Write through this time, step by step and emotional thought by emotional thought. Do you drift off to sleep? How do you feel when you let that issue go? This prompt works easy in a fantasy setting. Just choose the situation where you can relax and then explore the process and feelings.

Don’t relax too much though imagining what you’ll write. As with all these prompts, and with being a writer in general, the first rule is to actually write. Think about the situation, the setting, the feelings, and off you go – write.

Put pen to paper or finger to keyboard and write. Draw on your memories, the emotions, the sensations that you have and write. There is no minimum or maximum word count, just write and see where your creativity leads you. We’ll have another creative writing prompt to inspire and develop the writing habit tomorrow.

Pastime – 30 Writing Prompts – 25

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This writing prompt is all about doing hobbies. It is all about describing the pastimes that we enjoy and spend our time doing.

The hobby is down to you, as is the location. It could be something as simple as reading or active as skydiving – although why you would enjoy skydiving is beyond me. As you write you should describe how you do your hobby and why. What is the process, what do you need to do and how do you do it? Describing something you do regularly is harder than you think. The steps you take become obvious the more we do them, so to write them down as a full description needs you to focus.

Why you do something is to tap into the emotions that surround your hobby. What do you get out of it? Where is the pleasure and the joy? If your hobby is creative, at what stage do you get most joy, the beginning, the middle, or the end?

Fantasy writers, is your hobby something that those beyond your world will know? Do you need to describe it with invented words? The same questions apply for why, but the how may be quite a challenge.

It is good to have a hobby, a pastime. What if that hobby is writing? You could tie yourself up in a creative writing loop as you do this prompt, as your character does this prompt, as their character does this prompt, as… (At this point you may have turned into Stephen King, but then that is no bad thing – with certain caveats.)

Put pen to paper or finger to keyboard and write. Draw on your memories, the emotions, the sensations that you have and write. There is no minimum or maximum word count, just write and see where your creativity leads you. We’ll have another creative writing prompt to inspire and develop the writing habit tomorrow.

Gogglebox – 30 Writing Prompts – 24

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What’s your relationship with the TV. Is it the demon that sucks away your time in the corner of the room? Is it a friend you snuggle up to and spend the late nights with? Do you even have a TV? Well, the TV is the centre of our writing prompt today, but there is no time to watch it, it’s time to write.

At some point in your day, most likely the evening, you find yourself in front of your TV, or a TV. The choice of program, is up to you. It could be a favourite drama, something you remember watching as a child, or the latest news broadcast. You may be browsing the channels, skipping from one to another, looking for something of interest. You can be watching with a friend, or on your own, the setting is down to you.

What is the program you are watching, or have caught yourself watching? How does it make you feel? Does it bring back memories? Does it shock you in a good way, making you want to see more? Do you remember how you felt the first time you ever watched your favourite program? (If you have one.) If it is the news, what events are you being misinformed about?

For those writing from a fantasy point of view, this could be a little more difficult. You could use a band of travelling performers, or minstrels. Instead of watching the TV you could watch them? In space, TV may have advanced, it could be full-immersion holographic entertainment. However, the prompt is still the same, we are exploring how an external stimulus makes us feel.

Put pen to paper or finger to keyboard and write. Draw on your memories, the emotions, the sensations that you have and write. There is no minimum or maximum word count, just write and see where your creativity leads you. We’ll have another creative writing prompt to inspire and develop the writing habit tomorrow.

At The Bar – 30 Writing Prompts – 23

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Today’s prompt is once again about exploring the art of conversation. However, art may be too strong a word. We’re going to delve into the conversation as it mixes with alcohol. Those times when the things we shouldn’t say are sometimes said.

The setting is up to you, but the most obvious would be to place yourself at a bar. For this prompt you’ll need another person to talk to, but, unless you really want to explore the setting, that is all you need. The conversation is down to you as well. It could be a discussion about your relationship, something that happened in the past or the latest political or sporting scandal.

Once you have your setting and discussion idea, let the conversation flow… and the alcohol! Your characters need to be on the wrong side of sober. They don’t need to be drunk, but they do need to be at the stage where their inhibitions have dropped. You’ll need to dig deep into your memories if you no longer drink. Or use your imagination if you’re not yet of that age, or have never drunk alcohol.

Try to bring out the false confidence that alcohol brings. The discussion at many a bar could solve all of the world’s problems if you listen closely. Unfortunately that false hope disappears in the new dawn, replaced by that headache and regret.

Fantasy and sci-fi writers can create their own brand of alcohol, but again explore how conversation is different when inhibitions drop. If you’re on a spaceship, what are the rules for alcohol? Have you been making your own in the science lab? Have fun, but don’t drink too much!

Put pen to paper or finger to keyboard and write. Draw on your memories, the emotions, the sensations that you have and write. There is no minimum or maximum word count, just write and see where your creativity leads you. We’ll have another creative writing prompt to inspire and develop the writing habit tomorrow.

Just One Kiss – 30 Writing Prompts – 22

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Today’s prompt is all about the intimate. It is time for your character, to have a physical moment with another. It is time for a kiss!

The setting is, as always, pretty much yours to choose. It could be at the end of an evening out, or a chance meeting. It could be following a heated argument, or the realisation that there could be something more from two friends as they quietly sit and talk.

The main focus though is your description of the first physical contact. How does your character feel as they, or the person opposite, move forward and begin the kiss? Describe the physical sensations that pass through your body, and the feelings and thoughts that run through your mind. Does the action bring back happy, or sad, memories of pervious kisses? Is this the first kiss ever? What hopes of the future does this kiss bring?

If you are using these prompts for fantasy ideas, then who is it you are kissing? Is the kiss shared with the same ‘species’? If your character is alone, perhaps in space, then the kiss will be a remembered one. What if your spacefaring character is with others on the spaceship? Will a kiss cause problems for the other crew members?

Enjoy this prompt, and enjoy your kiss. Feel free to take the kiss further if you want. One kiss may lead to another, and another, and then… well you get the idea!

Put pen to paper or finger to keyboard and write. Draw on your memories, the emotions, the sensations that you have and write. There is no minimum or maximum word count, just write and see where your creativity leads you. We’ll have another creative writing prompt to inspire and develop the writing habit tomorrow.

Play Away – 30 Writing Prompts – 21

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It’s time to play. Time to chill out and spend time playing a game with a child, or group of children. The idea behind this prompt is to think like a child. Get inside the head of young person as they play and put those thoughts on to paper, or screen.

Choose a game to play, perhaps a favourite from your own childhood. Draw on those memories as you write. What is the difference between how you remember the game and how you play it now, as an adult? Do you find it more, or less enjoyable?

Think of the child you are playing the game with? Do they stick to the rules? Do they question the rules? What is the most important part of the game for them? Do they make fun of you as you try to play? Does the game have ‘strict’ rules or is it creative? LEGO can be both: do you follow the instructions or build from imagination?

How easy do you find it to immerse yourself in the imaginative world of the child or children? Does the game bring out forgotten memories, times of innocence and happiness? Or memories of sadness?

If you are writing in a fantasy style, do you need to create a game? Can you describe the game without writing all the rules, or do you need to completely define a game? If you are stuck in space how do you play the game with a child? You could remember when you played a game or you could attempt to play it over video conference, or has 3D holographic video conferencing been invented?

Go forth and play, there should always be time for a little game here and there.

Put pen to paper or finger to keyboard and write. Draw on your memories, the emotions, the sensations that you have and write. There is no minimum or maximum word count, just write and see where your creativity leads you. We’ll have another creative writing prompt to inspire and develop the writing habit tomorrow.