Search Results for 'writing prompts'

Writing Hint #13 Use These Writing Prompts

The Writer’s Digest is one magazine I used extensively in my earlier days to learn about writing. In recent years I haven’t subscribed to the magazine because they are too expensive here in Australia. I still use their web site extensively.

On one page on their web site they have a long list of writing prompts. Click on the link below to read these writing ideas.


  • 101 Best Web Sites for Writers – an absolute goldmine of information, hints, ideas, help and inspiration. This is the 2006 list so it’s reasonably up to date. Lists for the previous five years are also available. While this is a great list with heaps of resources, don’t spend all your time surfing these sites; remember your core business is writing, not reading.
  • Remember to read every day.
  • Remember to write every day.
  • Remember to take time for yourself every day.

Writing prompt: the Old House

Ruin near Rankins Springs, NSW

On my trip to Sydney earlier this year, I took a somewhat circuitous route to get there. I wanted to spend some time in the Lake Cargelligo area to do some birding. You can read about that trip on my other site Trevor’s Birding. I have fond memories of a visit to this area some years ago. The route I took went through the large towns of Mildura and Hay. Just before reaching Lake Cargelligo I went through the small village of Rankins Springs. This is a lovely area and is a mecca for birders like me.

An old house

Just north of Rankins Springs, I stopped in a roadside rest area near the edge of Jimberoo National Park. I didn’t have time to fully explore the area, so instead, I walked a short distance along a dirt track. After a few minutes, the open forest took me to a spot overlooking some farming land. In the middle of the nearest paddock was the ruin of a house, shown in the photos above and below.

A peaceful scene

This peaceful scene set my writer’s mind whirring. Here are some thoughts I had which you might like to use as writing prompts.

Writing prompts:

  1. Write a fictional account of the discovery of this area and how one farmer had the vision to build this house.
  2. Write a short story about the building of this house and the difficulties of constructing it.
  3. Write a story from the point of view of the old house. What did it see and hear during its early days? How does it feel about being left to decay? Who was its favourite occupant? Why was it abandoned?
  4. Choose a fictional character who once lived in the old house. Tell their story as it relates to the house.
  5. Relate the story of a tragic event that once occurred in or near the house. Was it a sudden death? A murder? perhaps death by drowning in a nearby creek? A violent robbery?
  6. Imagine that the house was built for a newly married young couple and their wedding was held in the house or in the hills nearby. Write a story about their joys or heartaches that followed.
  7. Imagine that you grew up in this house in the 1800s. Write a story about the delights or hardships of living in this isolated house.

Ruin near Rankins Springs, NSW

Conditions of use:

  • Feel free to use any of the story starters listed above.
  • Change anything to suit your needs.
  • Give it your best shot.
  • Edit your work carefully before sending it off to a publisher or posting it on your blog.
  • Let me know in the comments section how it went.
  • If you publish your story on your web site or on your blog let me know so I can make a link to it for others to read.

Good writing.


Writing prompt – peaceful places

Peaceful garden in the grounds of the fistula hospital in Addis Ababa

In the bustle and hustle of modern day life, peaceful settings to do our writing is sometimes an elusive thing. Over the centuries many writers have sought refuge in gardens, both private and public. I certainly find that the peaceful environment can be conducive to writing in the generation of new ideas, the consolidation and development of existing ideas or even as places to actually write new material.

In today’s photo I’ve shown a very peaceful garden in the grounds of the Fistula Hospital in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. My wife and I were fortunate enough to be able to have a tour of the hospital when we were in Ethiopia a few years ago. You can read about our experience on my travel site here.

The women who come to this hospital have suffered terribly because of this horrible condition. A simple operation usually solves the problem and their lives are transformed. The peaceful hospital facilities, including the wonderfully kept gardens, are a vital part of their rehabilitation and healing. It was amazingly serene in these gardens considering the noise, smell and turmoil of life outside of the hospital grounds.

Writing prompts:

  1. Write about a garden you know well, and explain how it impacts your writing.
  2. Visit a favourite garden, take pencil and notepaper and record your feelings, or even write a poem about what you see.
  3. Visit a well-kept garden – private or public – and take a camera to record what you see. Use some of the photos to inspire your writing.

Good writing.

Peaceful garden in the grounds of the fistula hospital in Addis Ababa

Writing prompt: you call that a bridge?


Is that a bridge?

You call that a bridge?

No way.

That was my first reaction when I saw this structure over a river while on a holiday a few years ago. I was hiking through some interesting country with a small group when our leader took us to this location. He told us that this was where we had to cross the river.

We all hesitated at first, but our leader was adamant. We had to cross here or face a three-hour trek back to our starting point. It was either cross here or go back.  Our bus was waiting on the other side of the river, a short 50-metre walk. The only stipulation was that we had to cross the bridge one by one. He couldn’t guarantee that it would hold up more than one person at a time.


My wife, daughter and I were enjoying this adventurous holiday. That was part of the reason why we were there, faced with this little challenge. Thankfully, the bridge looked far worse than it actually turned out to be. All in our party crossed safely and we were soon on our way on the bus, heading for the next adventure.

Writing prompts

Use the information I have already given to kick-start your own writing. If this has not prompted some ideas already, use – or adapt – one of the writing prompts I have listed below.

  1. Relate the most adventurous thing you have ever attempted – successfully or otherwise.
  2. Write about the most dangerous activity you have ever undertaken.
  3. Has anyone else ever put you in a dangerous or potentially disastrous situation? Write about what happened.
  4. Use the photo as inspiration for a poem.
  5. Use my photo as a starting point for a flash fiction story (under 500 words – or whatever limit you place on your piece of writing).
  6. Imagine that you had been in the hiking party with me. Write about how I fell off the bridge and how you came to the rescue – or the bridge collapsed when you were crossing.
  7. Write a page or two leading up to this point where you have to cross a bridge. As you approach, someone blows up the bridge. Write a story featuring the events which follow.
  8. Imagine you are a poor farmer living in the place featured in the photo. Write about your life and struggles and how this bridge is critical to your survival.
  9. There is a path leading from the river crossing. Write about where you think that this path is heading, and what you will find there.

I haven’t stated where the photo was taken. I don’t want to restrict your thinking by telling you. If you really, really must know, use the “Contact” form at the top of the page to send me an email, and I will reply privately.

Conditions of use:

  • Feel free to use any of the story starters listed above.
  • Change anything to suit your needs.
  • Give it your best shot.
  • Edit your work carefully before sending it off to a publisher or posting it on your blog.
  • Let me know in the comments section how it went.
  • If you publish your story on your web site or on your blog let me know so I can make a link to it for others to read.
  • Now get writing.

Good writing.


Happy 10th Birthday to Trevor’s Writing


Goodness, me.

Is it really ten years today since I started this site about writing, reading and books?

Today is the tenth anniversary of Trevor’s Writing. Originally, I started blogging because family members wanted to keep up with what we were doing. This very quickly changed as I saw the potential of such a site very early.

Around the same time I started two other sites, Trevor’s Birding and Trevor’s Travels. I bit off a little too much, but over the intervening years, I have written over a thousand articles on these sites as well. More recently I have maintained and written many articles on our church site here.

I decided that I would use this site as a platform to share my writing, share my ideas about writing, sharing insights from the books I was reading and bringing to my writing my extensive experiences as a primary school teacher. I had retired only a few months earlier. In retirement, I planned to write as close to full-time as I could manage. It had been a dream of mine throughout my life. Now I had the time.

Over the last ten years I have included the following on this site:

  • Poetry, including many haiku
  • Short stories – mainly flash fiction up to about 500 words
  • Reviews of books and films
  • Writing ideas and hints
  • Short story starters to help my readers who are writers
  • Writing prompts to start the ideas rolling for writers
  • Reflections on the writer’s life
  • Personal reflections on attempting and achieving my Master of Arts Creative Writing degree
  • Outlining the process of writing my novel which was the main component of my MA degree. I actually quoted portions of this site in my thesis paper.

How to access articles on this site

Readers of this site can access the articles in a variety of ways:

  • Use the search facility at the top of each page
  • Use the cloud of topics in the sidebar
  • Click on the Archives button at the top of the page and scan through all the articles (now over 1000 of them)
  • Click on one of the items under Contents on the sidebar
  • I also post quite a bit on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter – click on the buttons near the top of each page to follow me.

The Future

What am I planning on this site in the months and years to come? Basically, more of the same. I am also planning to publish a range of eBooks. Stay tuned.

Good writing.