#FlashPIC 37 Departures Board #writingprompt #amwriting

Imagine the following then start to write. You are eight years old. You are trying to find your way home to your parents. Reading is not one of your strong points. You look at this Departures Board and wonder which train to take. This is a writing prompt from the Writers’ BLOCKbuster series. Try this picture to kickstart a short story or a series of flash fiction exercises about narrative.


[photo: Sandra Danby]

Put yourself in the mind of an eight-year old. Alone at a large noisy railway station. You becomes he or she. He has run away from the place he had been taken to live. He wants to be with his parents.

Take each of the above sentences one at a time and write your way into the scenario. This may take five paragraphs or five pages, the length doesn’t matter. Give your character a name. Decide where he has come from, and what happened there. Where is his home? What matters to him in his life? What is his favourite meal? Has he been on a train before? How does the station make him feel?

Now write each individual part of the story in linear order: why he left his parents and his home; what happened at the temporary home to make him run away; his journey home; his arrival at home; the consequences.

Now jumble up that order. Make any necessary amendments to increase the tension in the story and to intrigue the reader. Is he being threatened? Is someone chasing him now? Is he on a mercy mission? How can he find help? Who can he trust?

Put all these notes aside. And start writing from the beginning again. By ‘beginning’ I mean your ‘beginning’: wherever you think your story should start. Alternatively, take each element of your story and turn it into a standalone flash fiction piece.
© ‘Writers’ BLOCKbusters’ by Sandra Danby

Want more inspiration? Try these other FlashPICs:-
Plastic bag
Coffee shop

What are ‘Writers’ BLOCKbusters’?
I want to help you put words on the page. Those words won’t necessarily be the first line of your novel, or indeed anything to do with your novel, but they will be words to fill that intimidating blank space. And it couldn’t be quicker. Writers’ BLOCKbusters is a collection of three ebooks of writing prompts. Why are they different? Precisely because they are short, easy to use, and flexible. Designed for writers of fiction, any genre, novels, short stories, flash fiction, they are suitable for all genre of fiction precisely because each exercise is based on a subject unrelated to whatever you are struggling with. I am not looking over your shoulder.
writing prompts

Ebooks coming in 2019 at Amazon…
Writers’ BLOCKbusters: #500 FirstParas
Writers’ BLOCKbusters: #500 FlashPics
Writers’ BLOCKbusters: #500 WordStorms

Can’t wait? Feeling uninspired today? Don’t know what to write about? Try Writers’ BLOCKbusters now at Fiverr 10 prompts for $5 = less than the price of your daily coffee and brownie.

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
You are eight years old, lost & trying to find your way home to your parents. Now start writing #writingtip https://wp.me/p5gEM4-3fN via @SandraDanby