A Writing Prompt to Share

   Posted by: Michael Bernier   in Writing

I’ve found that a lot of writers like to use “prompts” to help them develop ideas for new stories. My writer’s group does this too, usually in the form of posting a word or phrase and everyone tries to write something that incorporates the prompt, either literally or in an implied way. It’s usually a lot of fun, and we take turns reviewing and critiquing each other’s work, which in turn helps us all become a little better as writers.

Every once in a while, I’ll come across something else that strikes me as a good prompt to use in writing. It might be a sentence, a photograph, something I see while driving down a road, and so on. A few days ago, a very dear friend posted an animated GIF image on her Facebook page, and when I saw it the idea of what to write immediately popped into my head. A few minutes later, I had posted my thoughts in a comment below the picture. It’s not so much a story as it is a description of the scene, which is just as important because it sets the tone and the mood for the story.

Here’s what I wrote. Read it first, then have a look at the image. How well did I do in setting up the scene in your mind? What would you expect to see next? I’m definitely keeping this piece of writing in my collection. Who knows? You might see it again someday…

“New Year’s Eve 1898, Springfield Illinois. A narrow road, its ruts from carriages passing earlier in the day filling with the light flakes of new-fallen snow. Overhanging trees, their leaves long lost for the winter, painted in the icy whiteness of the season. The gaslight’s glow brings the stillness to life, inviting her to walk down the lonely path…”

(Link to image: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/09/6e/97/096e973023df1543114b0c3107b32109.gif) I do not own or claim any rights to this image; it is reproduced here for illustrative purposes only.


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This entry was posted on Saturday, January 2nd, 2016 at 10:48 pm and is filed under Writing. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

2 comments so far


If this were continued/expanded into a story, I would read it.

January 2nd, 2016 at 11:14 pm
Deneen Ansley

I LOVE this! I think you SHOULD make this into a story. I love the scene, and your description really made me feel it even more than the picture did. Of course, if I were writing this story, one would here the creaking of a stuck Tardis break, and a blue police box would appear.

Thank you so much for getting our Shared Words Writing 2016 off to a great start!

January 5th, 2016 at 7:17 pm

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