Writing prompt – sacred places
The Mausoleum of Mohammed V in Rabat, Morocco is obviously a sacred place in that country, going by the number of people visiting the site during our tour. If it isn’t a sacred place, it is certainly a very special place to many Moroccans.
We all have our special places; some of them are quite sacred to us. One special place for me is the small hill in the Flinders Ranges in outback South Australia. The panoramic view of the Wilpena Pound mountains in the moonlight was a perfect place to propose to my girlfriend. More than 40 years later she is still my wife.
This mausoleum was a sombre place. The stunning beauty of the building added to the strong sense of place and occasion.
- What sacred, or special places do you have in your life; write about them, describing why they are special.
- Write accounts of special places you have visited.
- Write a story set around a place which is special or sacred to someone else – perhaps a place special to many people.
- Write a poem about a place which is very special to many people in your country.
Writing prompt – what’s their story?
During our visit to the capital of Morocco we stopped briefly at the Mausoleum of Mohammed V in Rabat. This was one of many beautiful buildings we saw during our tour.
Just before we went inside, I took several photos of some Moroccan women talking. They were attired in what I assume was the standard of dress in that area.
- What is their story?
- Why have they come to visit the mausoleum?
- What did Mohammed V mean to them?
- Why is the little boy fascinated by me taking a photo of them?
- Write a poem from the point of view of the curious little boy.
- Write a short story from your point of view with a focus on the death of someone you admire, triggered by visiting this memorial.
- Let your imagination fly in any direction as a result of seeing these photos.
Writing prompt: the secluded garden
While on a tour of the Kasbah des Oudaias, Rabat, Morocco we went through this delightful secluded garden, walled in on all sides by the walls of an ancient fortress.
Imagine being there two, four or even six hundred years ago.
Writing prompt: transport your mind back a few centuries or so. Imagine what life was like in a different era, a different culture and in an exotic location like Morocco. Give your imagination full rein to think of exciting scenarios in this exotic location. Imagine colourful characters living in this era, and the possibility of marauding hordes trying to take over the city, only to be thwarted by the strong walls of defence.
Or perhaps a romantic and secret assignation between lovers in this garden in the light of the moon.
Writing prompt: what happened?
While wandering through the streets of Rabat in Morocco we happened upon this lovely looking cafe.
Not a single customer despite the establishment being open at the time, and with a wonderful view over the river estuary and the Atlantic Ocean.
I wonder what happened?
Writing prompt: let your imagination run wild with the possibilities. What happened to all of the customers? Is there any significance in all of the furniture being painted blue?
Musician, Rabat, Morocco
On our visit to Rabat, the capital city of Morocco, we were exploring the Kasbah des Oudaias with its twisting lanes and narrow streets when we came across this musician. He was singing while playing his three-stringed lute – I think it’s called a guinbri or santir and is common and popular throughout western Africa.
- Who is this man?
- Why is he singing in public?
- What is his background story?
When I am faced with writing a short story based on an image or photograph or something I’ve seen, I start with the person’s name. I don’t know the name of the man in the photo, so I will have to make one up. I try to be authentic to the setting. I ask a few questions, like those above. Other questions like “what is he doing – and why?” often start a stream of ideas.
I let the story take over, directing my thoughts and just getting down the words as they come.
If the character takes over the narrative and demands to have her story told, that’s exciting. Just go with the flow. Get the words down quickly; editing and rewriting come later.