Throughout the past few months, my desire to write has been virtually non-existent. As I’m a firm believer that writing is something to be enjoyed, I did not want to force it and instead tried to let it out in any way I can, whether it just be a daily diary entry or a note of gratitude to read on a rainy day.
Thankfully, I recently rediscovered an old book of mine that I had bought in the sale section of Barnes and Nobel. It’s a creative writing journal that gives you story prompts and a list of words to include, all with only a single page to write a story. Reading some of my old entries reignited some long-forgotten ideas of mine and I finally was able to start putting them down on paper.
By now, I’ve probably written about fifteen or so stories in there and I’ve learned to love the concept of this journal as a whole. I’m going to show you some examples of the stories I’ve written with the help of this journal, but first I want to explain how valuable I think this writing tool could be.
In giving you the prompt for the story of the story and the keywords you must include, you’re held to a specific writing structure. Yet since you only have one page to write the whole story, you have to do it fast. Sometimes to get from the beginning to the end of the story in such a small amount of time, the story has to get pretty extreme. A lot of times, we try to be elaborate in our writing in order to paint a picture in the reader’s mind. But here we get a chance to be as ridiculous and outlandish as you can be with this story. In fact, it’s pretty much necessary to get the whole story out in time.
The keywords they give you can be unrelated and weird, and that is also helpful. It forces you to get weird and creative with it. I’ve also noticed that, as I’m ticking off each keywords and see which ones I have to use next, the story is constantly changing in my mind. Some of my most interesting storylines began in the pages of this journal.
Most importantly for me, a single entry doesn’t take up too much time. When I’m struck with the desire to write, it might only last about five minutes. But since I’m trying to get back into my old routine, I really want to capitalize on it. The prompts throw me right into the story and takes away the whole process of having to carefully plan out a story. So basically, if you’re looking for a fun writing challenge, I definitely recommend this guided journal by Piccadilly 🙂
Here Are A Few Stories From My Journal…
Prompt: A Haunted House
Keywords: Silver, Relativity, Watercolor, Copper Beech, affect, politician, arsenal, cufflink.
Nestled firmly between a shallow creak and a 300-foot wall of trees, sunk into the bottom of the valley, stood a wooden house of peculiar design. The structure could be more accurately described as three identical houses, sinking from the roof of the highest house into a bulbous and water-stained ground floor. Relatively speaking, it was not as haunted as one would expect, given its outward appearance.
Dozens of Copper Beech trees stood tall against the wooded hills above, an image so perfectly serene; a watercolor masterpiece. The owner of the house was a well-known mystery novelist and her politician lover. Despite their wealth, there was an overwhelming lack of decor in the home, an affect that only creates an even greater air of mystery.
The windows were perpetually frosted over, filling the home with mute gray light. The dark wood floors had paled over the years, so that nearly ever step you take on that floor squeaks ever so slightly, and every inch of the house (the rugs, sofas, doorknobs, sinks) always carried a thin layer of dust. The owners kept only one item of value in the house, an arsenal of silver crosses and platform cufflinks. But of all the things of interest in the house, was an elaborate shine tucked in a dark corner of the basement. Crimson candles burned, dripping bloody wax all the way down to the floor. And in the center of it all, was the 2,400 pound, rotting carcass of a bull.
Prompt: The Year Is 2563…
Keywords: Space Station, Knuckle, Interview, Horse, Twenty-Seven, Lipstick, Transformation, Studio, Distribution, Assert.
The year is 2563. Zela was sitting in her studio apartment on Cinanon X-P2. Cinanon was the primary space station for the Galactic Confederation, housing up to 12,000 people and home to a really great Indian restaurant. In exactly 14 minutes and 32 seconds, Zela would be leaving for Zelmatron, the most recently-discovered planet in the galaxy. She was trying to remember where she last saw her lipstick, which was a rich, ruby red, but also doubled as a laser-blade.
She absolutely could not leave without it, but she still needed to take into account the 5-minute walk to the transformation shower, which would give her gills and webbed hands and feet so that she could survive underwater. This was vital, as most of her exploring would be focused on their water sources.
This is a prestigious mission, with only twenty-seven cadets in the entire program. Zela thought back to her evaluation. The interview was easy; they just asked her about her experience and what made her want to go to Zelmatron in the first place. The horse racing was the hard part. Luckily, one of Zela’s friends had warned her that they’d be paying special attention to the placement of her knuckles on the reign, since it supposedly correlates with the training process.
[This is where I ran out of space.]
Prompt: Old Friends Meet Over Coffee
Keywords: Algonquin, Amazement, Elm, Tobacco, Hiss, Digress, Echo, Immense, Quiet, Opaque.
Sitting in the cafe, within earshot of the Pacific Ocean, two old friends met again for the first time in five years. Although the world around them was filled with the echo of the waves and the hiss of the busy streets below, the distance between them was filled with nothing but silence. Their initial conversation was slow and uncomfortable, but soon, their discussion of mutual friends digressed to the life they once shared.
To the man’s amazement, the woman openly expressed her immense sorrow from the lack of his presence in her life. He wasn’t quite sure how to tell her that he felt the same way.
When the old man next to them lit up his cigarette, the smell of tobacco brought up memories for the pair of them, but the most important of it was left unsaid. Neither spoke of the time they almost kissed below the elm tree at Stonecreek Park or shared a bottle of wine at the opaque greenhouse off First Street.
Their relationship had always left a lot unsaid, but without ever saying so, both the man and the woman fell in love all over again at the cafe on the Pacific Ocean.
Prompt: Time Travel
Keywords: Hurricane, Email, Launder, Pastry, Garlic, Staff, Germs, Gallery, Brace, Share.
I stepped into a tall glass tube and quickly a hurricane began to whip my clothes and tangle my hair. A bright blue light shoots down the tube and suddenly my body is being compressed and twisted, the air ripped from my lungs as they shrunk to the size of a grain of rice, and I brace myself for the landing that slams me to the ground.
This is the first time that I’ll be traveling alone. There will be no one to share this mission with me or have my back when things…if things go south. The whole staff at Cimeón Laboratories got a panic email yesterday, detailing how some IDIOT forgot to go through the sanitization chamber and brought along a germ back to 1302 with them.
Four of the highest-ranking time travelers in our company (Zera, Euron, Lia, and myself) had a briefing in the main gallery and tried to strategize what we’d need to do to reverse the effects. Our Crisis Simulator showed that the simple germ caused a deadly virus that killed off an entire island population off the Ivory Coast. The chain reaction was disastrous. I was chosen for the task.
Forget my freshly laundered jumpsuit. They were completely changing my appearance to blend into 12th-century Ghana. Forget my daily garlic and halloumi pastry at Coffee Shock. I will not be allowed to return until I’ve completely prevented the disaster. The most dangerous part is that I’ll have to bring a Mobile Crisis Analyzer (ie, the M.C.A.) to see if I’ve done my job. I cannot misplace or break it, or I will not be able to return. There’s a lot of pressure on me.
Okay, that’s all I’m going to put up, because I don’t want this to get too long. I hope this gave you a good idea of how outlandish and absurd you can get with these exercises. I hope that if you do choose to purchase the book, that you enjoy it!