We’re into Week 6! Time may not have flown exactly (I feel like this has gone on for ever), but I hope these prompts are helping it pass as enjoyably as possible. Talking of time, your responses to week 5’s time travel prompts were excellent. I particularly loved Evie’s book travelling interpretation of the prompt, Zoe’s use of a song to inspire her Pompeii time travel story, Katie’s elemental time travel story and Inaya’s piano time machine.
The days are getting longer, the birds are singing and spring is in the air … so I thought that this week would be the perfect time to set you a ghost story prompt. A lot of people assume that ghosts only come out in October, but I think spooky stories can be enjoyed all year round. And the thought of a ghost who can appear at noon in summer might be even more frightening than one who’s scared away by the light …
Your ghost story can be funny, surprising, gory, mysterious, romantic, terrifying … anything you like. You can write about any time of year, of course, and your story can be contemporary (set now), historical or futuristic. Your ghost can help your main character, try to kill them, try to tell them something … or of course your ghost could be your main character too! There just has to be a ghost somewhere in your story.
The rules, as a reminder:
- It can be as long or as short as you like, and take you as much or as little time as you want.
- It can be any genre (type) of story you want. If you have an idea for something that I haven’t mentioned (writing a poem! Being inspired by a song you love! Writing non-fiction!), don’t wait for my permission – just go for it! This is your creativity working!
- You are not allowed to worry about grammar or spelling.
- You are not allowed to worry if it isn’t perfect, or criticise yourself as you’re writing.
- You are encouraged to make a plan before you begin, to make it easier for you to get to the end of the story. This can be two words or a whole page! But if you don’t want to do this, you don’t have to.
- Get to the end of the story without stopping to go back and fix bits you don’t like. Once you’ve finished, read it through again. If you still don’t like those bits, you can edit them now!
- If you want (and only if you want!) you’re allowed to post the first 500 words of your story in the comments below. I have to moderate the comments so it may take a while for them to show up – please be patient. I don’t want to see you apologising for your story or minimising what you’ve done when you post – writing a story is a triumph and you should be proud!
- Please do not use your full name when you comment – first names are fine, or you can make up a username that you like! Also remember to stay safe online and not get into private discussions with anyone you don’t know in real life without telling an adult first.
- If you like someone else’s story, you are allowed to comment to say so! If you’d like to give them ideas that might make their story even stronger, that’s OK, but please be kind and remember how deeply we all care about our writing. A good format for feedback might be something like: ‘I loved ****! Have you thought of ****? I think it might make your story even better!’ I will delete any comment if I feel it’s critical without being constructive.
- I can’t promise to give feedback on any individual stories – I’m not marking them!
- This isn’t a competition, and there will be no winners and no prizes, though I may choose a story or two to highlight in future posts.
Good luck, detectives – I hope you have a suitably spooky week! I’ll be back next Monday with another prompt … and next week I’ll also be making a very exciting announcement: the cover and title of MMU9 will finally be revealed! I can’t wait!