Writing Prompts

Blog Tour: Come a Little Closer Writing Challenge

comeclosercoverCome a Little Closer is the new DCI Tom Douglas novel from the fabulous Rachel Abbott and was released by Black Dot Publishing Ltd on 13 February 2018. Today, as part of her blog tour, I have been invited to take part in a writing challenge. 

They will be coming soon. They come every night.

Snow is falling softly as a young woman takes her last breath.

Fifteen miles away, two women sit silently in a dark kitchen. They don’t speak, because there is nothing left to be said.

Another woman boards a plane to escape the man who is trying to steal her life. But she will have to return, sooner or later.

These strangers have one thing in common. They each made one bad choice – and now they have no choices left. Soon they won’t be strangers, they’ll be family…

When DCI Tom Douglas is called to the cold, lonely scene of a suspicious death, he is baffled. Who is she? Where did she come from? How did she get there? How many more must die?

Who is controlling them, and how can they be stopped?

 

Rachel provided the following writing prompt. The challenge was to finish the story. There were also four things we had to include. 

comecloserGemma had been afraid of the dark for as long as she could remember. As a child, she had blamed the cold, ancient house they had lived in – its endless corridors had too many closed doors for people to hide behind, too many secrets concealed in the shadows. But now there was no excuse. Her flat was modern, open, with huge windows.

It made no difference, though. Each night of the long winter months as she stood outside the block, she imagined all the doors she would have to pass before she reached her own, wondering if the lights in the hallway would be working, or whether they would flicker and go out, leaving her blind in the inky black void. Alone with her fear.

Perhaps she had always known that this day would come. She took a deep breath and stepped into the silent entrance, her heels tapping out a warning that she was coming on the polished concrete floor of the long corridor.

Odd snippets of TV shows and murmurs of conversation bled through as she walked down the dimly lit hallway past the identical black doors belonging to her neighbours. Gemma felt a tinge of envy toward the people inside who were getting the chance to live the mundane. Amy in number twenty-three will be putting her baby to bed. Mr Kennedy in number thirty will be sitting down in front of the news about now, a glass of sweet sherry clasped in his hand.

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Novel Kicks Fiction Friday: Groundhog Day

Novel Kicks Fiction FridayFiction Friday is our weekly writing prompt.

The aim is to write for a minimum of five minutes and then keep going for as long as you can. Once you’ve finished, don’t edit, just post in the comments box below.

As today is 2nd February and is Groundhog Day, today’s prompt is inspired by that.

Your character doesn’t have a very good day. He breaks up with his wife, looses his job and his pet runs away. When he wakes up on what he thinks is the following morning, he finds that there are things which are familiar to him. This is when he starts to re-live the same day but not all the people he interacts with are the same.

What happens on the first and second repeated day?

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Novel Kicks Writing Room: What about Bob?

Nove Kicks Writing RoomIt’s story time today.

Your character is called Bob. He likes routine. He likes order and he doesn’t like the unexpected. Bob is the kind of guy who counts his steps on the way to the bus stop and then to his office. He leaves work and counts. He has dinner at the same time every day.
Everything in his life is structured and organised down to the last detail.

One day, he is diverted due to a road closure. He then gets lost. He has not been in this part of town before.

What happens to Bob? You could even put him in a scenario where he walks into a different time or teleports to another place.

Minimum of five hundred words. Have fun with this.

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Novel Kicks Fiction Friday: Everything Comes With A Price

Novel Kicks Fiction FridayFiction Friday is our weekly writing prompt.

The aim is to write for a minimum of five minutes and then keep going for as long as you can. Once you’ve finished, don’t edit, just post in the comments box below.

Today’s prompt is about getting what you want but at what cost?

You wake up to find that you are the smartest person in the world. The knowledge you now have will allow you to get everything that you want. Fame, money, power. However, nothing is free. When someone gets luck, someone isn’t so lucky. Write from both perspectives with the two characters meeting up at the end.

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Novel Kicks Writing Room: Photo Inspiration

Nove Kicks Writing RoomImages can conjure up a lot of inspiration. 

Google all of the following words – forest, desert, highlands and ocean.

Pick one of the images that appears; the one that stands out the most. Write a story around it. What has it inspired? What has it made you think about?

Don’t edit, just imagine yourself within the picture.

Feel free to put two of the images together if you like.

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Novel Kicks Writing Room: Character Lists

IMG_0447This week, I want to look once again at creating characters.

I have featured a few ways of getting to know your character and today, I wanted to explore that further.

Using the prompts below, make lists as though you were your character. Do it for as many of your current characters as you like.

1. Pet Hates
2. What things worry you?
3. Your idea of a perfect day?
4. What are your wishes?
5. What are some of your favourite books?
6. What’s your favourite word?
7. What would you grab from a burning house?
8. What things would you do if you won the lottery?
9. What were your childhood dreams?
10. What things are you most afraid of?

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Novel Kicks Fiction Friday: Resolutions

Novel Kicks Fiction FridayFiction Friday is our weekly writing prompt.

The aim is to write for a minimum of five minutes and then keep going for as long as you can. Once you’ve finished, don’t edit, just post in the comments box below.

Today’s prompt is about resolutions. 

Your character starts the new year with no relationship and no job. They decide to make a list of new year resolutions and one by one, tick them off the list throughout the year.

Pick one of the resolutions and put your character in the situation where they are trying to complete it. Do they? What happens and what conflict arises?

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Novel Kicks Fiction Friday: Misdirected Festive Post

Novel Kicks Fiction FridayFiction Friday is our weekly writing prompt.

The aim is to write for a minimum of five minutes and then keep going for as long as you can. Once you’ve finished, don’t edit, just post in the comments box below.

Today’s prompt has a Christmas theme.

You wake up one morning to a mountain of post. Some of the post that was meant for Father Christmas at the North Pole has somehow been misdirected to your house. Your mission is to return the post to its rightful recipient. The trouble is, you don’t have a clue where to begin.

Continue the story.

 

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Novel Kicks Writing Room: Having Faith Whilst Writing

Novel Kicks Writing Room ChristmasPart of the battle when writing is having faith in yourself. 

The internal editor can be a very harsh critic. I know I am my own worst enemy when it comes to my own writing.

Whilst doing National Novel Writing Month this year, I struggled enormously to keep that pest of a nagging voice at bay long enough to get some words typed.

The advice many writers have given when doing interviews for this blog is to have faith and to not get too obsessed with making the first draft perfect.

One exercise I have found to be helpful when I’ve had trouble telling the editor in my head to kindly shut the hell up, is to open a new word document or find a blank piece of paper and just write.

However, the twist is that I close my eyes. It’s quite a fun thing to do.

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Novel Kicks Fiction Friday: An Empty Road

Novel Kicks Fiction FridayFiction Friday is our weekly writing prompt.

The aim is to write for a minimum of five minutes and then keep going for as long as you can. Once you’ve finished, don’t edit, just post in the comments box below.

Today’s prompt….

The scene is a truck. It’s nighttime and apart from the truck, the road is deserted.

Your character can be of your own choosing. There is a gun and a rusty nail on the passenger seat.

The date is 8th December 1985….

Continue the story.

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Novel Kicks Writing Room: Structure and The Eight Point Arc

Novel Kicks Writing RoomThe structure of your novel is one of the most important things in novel writing.

It’s something I have been really trying to focus on whilst trying to write my first book.

The following is what is called the ‘eight point arc.’ I came across it in ‘Writing a Novel and Getting it Published’ by Nigel Watts. I’ve found this structure suggestion incredibly helpful and I feel it’s worth going though the following list and applying your current work in progress.

Stasis – this is the ‘every day’ in which your story is set. For example, Kat in District Twelve at the beginning of the Hunger Games or Harry Potter in Privet Drive. What is this in your book?

Trigger – this is the thing that happens that kick starts events for your character. This may be something that is beyond the control of your character.

The Quest – this could be something bad for the main character like breaking up with a spouse, loosing a job or a loved one or it could be winning the lottery.

Surprise – this is the obstacles to overcome; the conflicts and the hard choices. It could also include pleasant events but predictable should try to be avoided.

Critical Choice – This is where the character has to make a choice and we see what they are made of. These choices are often hard to make and overcome.

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Novel Kicks Fiction Friday: Over A Cliff

Novel Kicks Fiction FridayFiction Friday is our weekly writing prompt.

The aim is to write for a minimum of five minutes and then keep going for as long as you can. Once you’ve finished, don’t edit, just post in the comments box below.

Today’s prompt…

Your character finds himself/herself at the top of a cliff.

Below, there is a waterfall that is both beautiful and very noisy.

Your character is trying to hear what a friend (who is standing nearby) is saying but nothing can be heard over the crashing of the water.

Your character is holding something valuable. It is not yet known what the object is or how your character ended up on the edge.

Continue the story.

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Novel Kicks Writing Room: A Fifteen Step Plan

Novel Kicks Writing RoomThis time next week, many of us will be getting ready for National Novel Writing Month. It’s a big month in the world of writing and I for one can’t wait to get started.

At this point, we are all thinking about what we’re going to write. If you are planning on taking part, I have found that having a chapter plan really helps keep me going especially during week two and three where momentum can falter.

Whether you’re a pantster or not, in my experience in previous years, some sort of plan is a must.

Using the idea you’re using for NaNoWriMo (or any idea you have if you’re not planning on NaNo in November,) write a plan.

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Novel Kicks Writing Room: More Free Writing

Novel Kicks Writing RoomFree writing can produce many ideas for fictional stories. If you’re familiar with the concept of morning pages then you will know that this is a valuable source of inspiration.

The writing exercise for the writing group this week is to try and free write over the next seven days for a minimum of five minutes a day or three pages of A4.

I’ve included a one word prompt list below if you wish to use them. Let yourself write without judgement or editing.

When you develop something in your free writing that interests you, just make a note of it.

Most important of all…. have fun.

Prompts:

Day one: Treasure

Day two: Orange

Day three: Mighty

Day four: Injury

Day five: Travel

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Novel Kicks Fiction Friday: Around The World

Novel Kicks Fiction FridayFiction Friday is our weekly writing prompt.

The aim is to write for a minimum of five minutes and then keep going for as long as you can. Once you’ve finished, don’t edit, just post in the comments box below.

Today’s prompt… Around the World.

Your character has some sort of life changing event (a break up, a near death experience. It’s up to you.) They decide to make a list of all the things they’ve wanted to do but never had the courage to.

The list includes places they’ve wanted to visit and experiences they’ve always wanted to take part in. Their journey will take them around the world. The experiences could include sky diving, joining a theatre group. Anything.

In order to pick what is done next, they pick six things out of a hat and use a die to choose what comes next. The only rule is that a deadline has been set.

Where will the adventure take them? Use this to write one place and experience they take part in.

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Novel Kicks is a blog for story tellers and book lovers.

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