SPARKS Size Matters part I


Two minute human figures and a tree on the crossbar of a windowfarme.


In the first of a new series of quick creative prompts, K. M. Lockwood scales things back . . . 


Smallness is fun to play with in stories. Think of The Borrowers by Mary Norton, Terry Pratchett’s Carpet People trilogy, or more recently, The Tindims of Rubbish Island written by Sally Gardner and illustrated by Lydia Corey. Miniature characters cope with our world - and their own quests.


Cover of The Borrowers

The Borrowers 1971 edition illustrated by Diana Stanley


Some prompts for creativity

1. Observe and imagine

Being tiny in a big world brings challenges to characters in their everyday life.

  • What would it feel like to move through carpet? 
  • How would you deal with a shut door? 
  • Where would you find shelter? 
  • Consider what human voices might sound like, or the speed we move at. 
  • Try getting down to a minute person’s point of view. 
  • Take photos perhaps, or use a magnifying glass to see fine detail.

Woman spilling milk.
 2. Add more difficulties

  • What if a cat thinks the tiny person is food? 
  • Or there’s a vacuum cleaner heading their way? 
  • How could they cope if they ended up outside? 
  • List as many possible threats as you can in, say, ten minutes.

Tiny snail crossing a pencil

3. Take it further

  • Is your character human-like – or could they be an animal? 
  • Some fantasy being, perhaps? Someone small with wings might interest a spider . . .
  • Give them a challenge – maybe something to retrieve; a warning that must get through; an injury to deal with. 
  • Then make matters worse with something from your list above - it could give you a tiny plot to write or storyboard. 

all images via author or Unsplash



K. M. Lockwood loves stories full of folklore, fantasy and fairytale influences. Happy hours are spent reading, editing and reviewing them – and writing her own in Tales from the Garret.

Twitter: @lockwoodwriter



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