Free writing: some new prompts

Shadow – London, in lockdown – late March 2020

Good morning, on a sunny Saturday in London.

Here are some more free writing prompts as optional mind distraction. Nothing needs to be perfect or polished – it’s about letting the mind flow without constant stopping to tidy things up.

This week’s suggestions, which again come courtesy of the generous Saraswathi Sukumar, should take your mind along brand new paths. I hope they might inspire you to have a go.

The first, the warm up for five minutes:


The second, and we were allowed to think about this for a minute or two before we began, was a twenty minute topic:

to think of a setting (it can be anywhere – a train, a beach, an office, someone’s house, a forest, etc) and write a description of this setting. It must include 1) something you see; 2) something you smell; 3) the feel of something you touch; 4) something you hear; and 5) something you taste. (We were asked to write this as though we were setting the stage for a character to come on.)

The third, was given twenty minutes, and took us back to the imagined setting but added a double twist:

put a character into this setting, then imagine that it is haunted. This is how Saraswathi put it: “Your character encounters a ghost in this setting (be creative with this, it doesn’t have to be a real ghost – your character could be drunk, drugged, dreaming, ill, exhausted, etc etc.) Who is the ghost they see? Do they have a conversation with the ghost? Are there changes to the setting now that the ghost is present? Write the scene.”

Then we had a final five minutes of writing and the prompt was:


Hope you have fun with these.


To end here are some more free writing doodles – this time from Denmark.


I thought I knew what hunger meant: The craving for a chocolate biscuit after school or the gentle rumble of my stomach reminding me that supper was soon. Then came the sombre faces at the family meal announcing no more job and total lack of income. No more venturing into the farm store. We were left with our vegetable patch and our possession was precarious. Then came the drought. As everything slowly shrivelled up, we scratched and searched for something to eat. As our parents slowly disappeared sinking into depression, we hungered for food and love.


My shadow is silent but a faithful friend: Always there, never complaining not even during long periods of boredom. When hit unexpectedly by another shadow, it quietly reassembles itself and emerges with ego intact, and no sign of fury at having been obliviated. My constant companion on many an adventure sometimes teases me by flitting from side to side or hiding beneath my feet. It changes shape at will but rarely mocks me by mirroring my body exactly. My shadow is mine.


Thanks again to Saraswathi Sukumar for the inspiration, and to everyone who’s looking in. Would love to see anything you’d like to share.

Happy reading, happy writing and all the best wherever you are.


Copyright Georgie Knaggs & The Phraser 2020

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