Does the idea of using a writing prompt fill you with horror? 'As if I don’t have enough to do,' we hear you say. The intention of this little series of writing prompts by Caroline Deacon is to help you with your existing writing projects. Please feel free to cherry pick, use what is helpful and discard the rest.

There are several ways you could use these prompts. Some people might find them useful as warm ups; others might use them as tools to unstick themselves. I’m not going to be prescriptive - use them how you will, and if you post your writing on the SCWBI Facebook page and tag me, I’ll try to comment.


Setting - three exercises

Choose an uninviting setting, one which is a bit different for you: a junkyard, an empty carpark, a deserted supermarket. Write a description of this place and include three elements: the largest thing in that place, something tiny, and something odd which shouldn’t be there. Now take the character you are working with right now and dump them in there. Write, in their voice, some inner monologue about this place they find themselves in unexpectedly.


Wherever you are right now, describe in note form what you’re experiencing through each of your senses. Add in your emotions. Now take yourself out of the equation and instead imagine the setting through your character’s eyes. What would fascinate them? What would annoy them?


Below is a list of real place names in the British Isles. Choose one you don’t know and imagine what sort of place it is. What might happen there?
Illustration by Josie Deacon


Caroline Deacon worked for many years as a creative writing tutor. She is agented by Lindsay Fraser of Fraser Ross Associates, Edinburgh. Find her on Twitter and at www.carolinedeacon.com Her monthly newsletter offers free writing prompts and feedback to subscribers.

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