Free writing: some new prompts for the long weekend

St Paul’s, the evening before Easter Sunday, 2020


Easter Sunday drawing closer so I thought I’d start this with some thanks.

First, of course, thanks to the NHS for its unimaginable, constant effort, and to those in public office who are trying to steer us through to the other side. Thank you!

Next, and I know this short list will miss off thousands, I’d like to go more personal and to thank all those who’ve helped us keep our lives together here in London.

There are the supermarket staff who serve and stack and somehow stay calm. A few things are still hard to come by, but everyone in shop uniform is always heroically patient. Same goes for those who work in the pharmacies. Thank you!

Thanks also to the post offices that are still open – the two packages I posted have arrived – and to the volunteers who help those in our family who are too far away for us to reach.

Lastly a big thanks to the sweepers and rubbish collectors who keep the streets clean, and those who mind the parks and gardens. London where we are looks fantastic, and all the green is much appreciated. Thanks to you, and to the many, many more – farmers, friends, family and faraway geniuses – who keep us together, fed, functioning, and hopeful that there is a happy future around the corner.


In the meanwhile here are some new free writing prompts. These again are from the generous Saraswathi Sukumar, just a few suggestions that I hope will inspire you to set off to new places for an hour or so.

These prompts work the same way as the others. It’s hoped that each suggestion will get you thinking and writing for a set period of time without the need to fuss and perfect. There is a prompt for five minutes to start and the same to end with, and then two twenty minute sections in the middle.

Here they are:

1) Hide and seek (write for five minutes)

2) Think of a piece of information that you want your reader to know. It doesn’t necessarily have to be an important or big piece of information, but it’s something you’d like your readers to know. It can be something as small as someone’s name or a date, or it can be something much bigger like someone’s pregnant and/or had an affair. Pick a character. Your character develops the power of invisibility. They use this power to eavesdrop on conversations. One of the conversations they overhear contains this piece of information. Who are the characters that reveal this information? What are your eavesdroppers thoughts and actions when this information is revealed? Is it a significant piece of information that warrants a big reaction? Or is it small? Something that your character may not react to at all. Write the scene. (write for twenty minutes)

3) Imagine a character. Your character finds a box. Inside the box are the following items:

    • a doll
    • a red hat with a white feather
    • a radio
    • a broomstick
    • a newspaper
    • a broken bottle
    • a letter
    • a dagger

Your character rummages through the box. One of the items reveals the information from prompt 2. Be creative, the object may literally have the information written on it, or it may lead to a memory that reveals the information, or it may have something hidden inside it etc, etc. Write the scene. (we were given 22 minutes for this)

4) Mirror (the final prompt for five minutes)


Hope you have some fun with those, and a special thanks to Saraswathi Sukumar for always making us think!

All the best and wishing everyone as happy an Easter break as possible


Copyright Georgie Knaggs & The Phraser 2020

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