Each week I will set a kickstarter theme or idea, something to get you writing, a prompt to use as you like. Keep writing!
Week 28. Take the end words of each line in a poem you like, now use them as your line beginnings or endings. Use in any order you like. This is interesting to try with rhyming words at the end. You could try using them as internal rhyme words too.
Week 27. Mondegreen – a mishearing of a phrase that gives it new meaning. Writer Sylvia Wright said that as a girl she had misheard the lyric “…and laid him on the green” in a Scottish ballad as, “…and Lady Mondegreen. I misread The Alteration Service as the alliteration service – what would that offer? What have you misheard/read?
Week 26. Waiting – for the train, for the rain to stop, for Godot – what are you waiting for?
Week 25. Walking gets our creative brain working. Don’t sit at your desk looking at blank paper, go for a walk, notice what’s around you. Use place names to create the name of a character: Kirk Deighton, Red Hut, Pink Lane, or to suggest a story title or event: Pity Me, Wideopen.
Week 24. I tend the mobile now/like an injured bird, “Text” Carol Ann Duffy. What’s your relationship with your mobile?
Week 23. Write a poem entitled A poem in which… (I wrote A poem in which I bring back the dead) or you could write ‘A story in which…’ instead
Week 22. Pleasures – important in dark times to list simple things that make us glad to be alive. Radio 4 started this week with a look at Bertolt Brecht poem Vergnügungen, a simple list poem that begins First look from morning window… What gives you pleasure?
Week 21. Some people… see the poem by Rita Ann Higgins
Week 20. Translations from Nushu. The script, Nushu, represents the language spoken in Jiangyong Prefecture in the rolling hills of southern Hunan Province. Women, who were denied education for many centuries in China, used it to share feminine feelings, including fears about arranged marriages, husbands and, of course, mothers-in-law, under an oath of secrecy. Imagine you’ve translated a poem or letter.
Week 19. Describe an outfit you once wore to a significant event, describe it in detail, make it a metaphor for what happened i.e. you met your first love, you attended your grandfather’s funeral, you had an important interview etc.
Week 18. A Wind Phone Who would you phone and what would you say?
Week 17. Make a list of alliterative word pairs: so-and-so, pretty penny, pay and display, round robin: turn one or more into a poem or short story – have fun with it.
Week 16. Turn your fear or other emotion into an animal – what does it look like, how does it move, where does it live, what are it’s habits? Write a poem and create the mood of the emotion.
Week 15. Describe a door in detail – does it lead in or out, what’s behind it, what’s going to happen when it opens? Who goes through it?
Week 14. Using a photograph/postcard: write five sentences about what you can see in the picture. Then five sentences about what can’t be seen. Now place yourself or a character in the picture and write a scene drawing on your ten sentences. Here’s a picture to get you started
Week 13. Imagine having Alice in Wonderland Syndrome: People feel as though their bodies have been altered in size and they have visual hallucinations. Write a story or poem where a character experiences distorted time, space, and body image.
Week 12. Write an Urban Legend – a modern cautionary tale, you know the type: I heard it from a friend who heard it from an acquaintance etc. They reflect current social concerns – about the dangers of buying drugs online or big bad business or global warming. Make up an outrageous story with weird events and a sprinkling of true facts.
Week 11. Maps: A-Z, Route map, contours, climate, constellations, tourist sightseeing map, map keys. Draw a map of your life, however you like: geographical, chronological. It could be a map of the area you live in, or the route you take to work, or the main places you’ve lived in throughout your life. All the places you’ve visited in the world. The groundplan of your home. Or it could be a place, a moment in time, an experience: love, work, children etc. Use it to write a poem or a short story or begin a memoir.
Week 10. Choose a favourite object, give it a voice, its own unique view of the world, its history, family, thoughts and desires.
Week 9. Go outside, somewhere alone. Close eyes and listen – note all sounds, far and near and internal. Write in response. (Listen to my soundscapes for inspiration!)
Week 8. Describe your hand in detail – front, back, colour, texture, shape, skin scars, jewellery, compare in size to something, what it’s done, would never do, compare to a landscape
Week 7. What will cause the most pain?
Week 6. Something very small that had a profound effect
Week 5. Write a sentence: include a person, an object, an event – describe using all the senses. Who missed the event?
Week 4. Look out of the same window at three different times in a day – describe the changes
Week 3. A colour you hate – List everything in that colour. Write a poem or scene using that colour to create a mood. Can you redeem that colour?
Week 2. Write A Recipe for Disaster