Quality Writing Prompts
UK Creative Writing Prompts By Antony R James
 

Welcome to my website.

The aim of the Creative Writing Beginnings series is to spark the imagination and leave the reader at a point where they can carry on once a few ideas start surfacing. Everyone has times when they look at a blank screen or a piece of paper and cannot think of anything to write, yet one still has the desire to write. The books are ideal for beginners and more experienced writers as sometimes one just needs a break from one’s own thoughts and ideas when having an off day or lacking inspiration.

My long-term goal is to provide a comprehensive creative writing resource with both my blog and my books.  I will soon be writing art instruction books too, as I am an artist as well as a writer.


Copyright free writing prompts by Antony R James.



Preview from Creative Writing Beginnings Story Prompts Book 1:

The last time Helen had visited the lodge was over thirty years ago. It still looked the same, perhaps a little run down but essentially the same building. The sun was starting to set, so she pulled her bags out of the car and took one last look at the fishing lake and jetty before going inside. Of course, even now, the lodge didn't have mains electric or water, so once inside she lit some candles and brought in bottled water from the car. The gas cooker was working, so she set about making a cup of tea. She thought, if only Terry was still with her, it would have been just like old times...........

Creative Writing Beginnings Story Prompts Book 1


Preview from Creative Writing Beginnings Story Prompts Book 2:

Christina Wentworth looked at her watch, it was almost 4’O clock. She was meeting a mystery man on a blind date arranged by her local dating agency. This was the first blind date she had been on using this company, normally she would have some background information regarding her date and she would know what they were going to look like by their profile photo. Sometimes their photos would have been taken twenty years ago and they looked nothing like they did then, but on the whole, she found most of the dates matched their photos. This time she was feeling very excited, she had no idea what her date was going to look like and this added a new dimension to her regular dating. Over the past year, she had not had too much luck when it came to dating men and she shuddered at the thought of some of the dates she’d been on. Now was the time to draw a line under the previous encounters and start afresh; this was going to be her year, a time to grab a man and a life for herself.

Creative Writing Beginnings Story Prompts Book 2


Preview from Creative Writing Beginnings Story Prompts Book 3:


Introduction.

 A collection of 250 copyright free creative writing prompts

that can be used to kick-start the creative process.

 Ideal for self-study or with writing groups (ages 16+).

 Please note this book includes 73 new prompts.

 For group use, permission is granted for the reproduction

of up to 40 copies of this material either as pages

for handouts or copies of the book in its entirety.

 Antony R James.



Table of contents.

Creative Writing Prompts 1-6................................................................................Page 6

Creative Writing Prompts 7-11..............................................................................Page 7

Creative Writing Prompts 12-15............................................................................Page 8

Creative Writing Prompts 16-20............................................................................Page 9

Creative Writing Prompts 21-25............................................................................Page 10

Creative Writing Prompts 26-30............................................................................Page 11

Creative Writing Prompts 31-34............................................................................Page 12

Creative Writing Prompts 35-37............................................................................Page 13

Creative Writing Prompts 38-40............................................................................Page 14

Creative Writing Prompts 41-45............................................................................Page 15

Creative Writing Prompts 46-51............................................................................Page 16

Creative Writing Prompts 52-56............................................................................Page 17

Creative Writing Prompts 57-61............................................................................Page 18

Creative Writing Prompts 62-66............................................................................Page 19

Creative Writing Prompts 67-72............................................................................Page 20

Creative Writing Prompts 73-76............................................................................Page 21

Creative Writing Prompts 77-79............................................................................Page 22

Creative Writing Prompts 80-84............................................................................Page 23

Creative Writing Prompts 85-86............................................................................Page 24

Creative Writing Prompts 87-91............................................................................Page 25

Creative Writing Prompts 92-97............................................................................Page 26

Creative Writing Prompts 98-101..........................................................................Page 27

Creative Writing Prompts 102-106........................................................................Page 28

Creative Writing Prompts 107-108........................................................................Page 29

Creative Writing Prompts 109-112........................................................................Page 30

Creative Writing Prompts 113-116........................................................................Page 31

Creative Writing Prompts 117-118........................................................................Page 32

Creative Writing Prompts 119-121........................................................................Page 33

Creative Writing Prompts 122-125........................................................................Page 34

Creative Writing Prompts 126-130........................................................................Page 35

Creative Writing Prompts 131-135........................................................................Page 36

Creative Writing Prompts 136-138........................................................................Page 37

Creative Writing Prompts 139-141........................................................................Page 38

Creative Writing Prompts 142-144........................................................................Page 39

Creative Writing Prompts 145-148........................................................................Page 40

Creative Writing Prompt 149.................................................................................Page 41

Creative Writing Prompt 150.................................................................................Page 42

Creative Writing Prompt 151.................................................................................Page 43

Creative Writing Prompt 151.................................................................................Page 44

Creative Writing Prompt 151.................................................................................Page 45

Creative Writing Prompt 152.................................................................................Page 46

Creative Writing Prompt 152.................................................................................Page 47

Creative Writing Prompt 153.................................................................................Page 48

  Creative Writing Prompt 154................................................................................Page 49

Creative Writing Prompts 155-157.......................................................................Page 50

Creative Writing Prompts 158-159.......................................................................Page 51

Creative Writing Prompts 160-161.......................................................................Page 52

Creative Writing Prompts 162-165.......................................................................Page 53

Creative Writing Prompts 166-169.......................................................................Page 54

Creative Writing Prompts 170-173.......................................................................Page 55

Creative Writing Prompts 174-176.......................................................................Page 56

Creative Writing Prompt 177................................................................................Page 57

End of blog prompts.

 

All new material.

Creative Writing Prompts 1-5...............................................................................Page 58

Creative Writing Prompts 6-11.............................................................................Page 59

Creative Writing Prompts 12-16...........................................................................Page 60

Creative Writing Prompts 17-18...........................................................................Page 61

Creative Writing Prompts 19-22...........................................................................Page 62

Creative Writing Prompts 23-28...........................................................................Page 63

Creative Writing Prompts 29-34...........................................................................Page 64

Creative Writing Prompts 35-39...........................................................................Page 65

Creative Writing Prompts 40-43...........................................................................Page 66

Creative Writing Prompts 44-49...........................................................................Page 67

Creative Writing Prompts 50-53...........................................................................Page 68

Creative Writing Prompts 54-58...........................................................................Page 69

Creative Writing Prompts 59-61...........................................................................Page 70

Flash fiction exercises.

Creative Writing Prompts 62-67...........................................................................Page 71

Creative Writing Prompts 68-72...........................................................................Page 72

Creative Writing Prompt 73..................................................................................Page 73


Prompt 1: On a visit to a quaint village you and your husband are invited to a traditional Roma wedding.

Prompt 2: Your 70th Birthday is approaching. You are feeling tired and left behind by the modern world. How can you regain your spark and vitality?

Prompt 3: An ancient village is uncovered at a peat works. Wooden walkways and perfectly preserved homes on stilts together with boats are found. The area was once wetlands where the inhabitants travelled and fished in small boats. Larger vessels were also found which were presumed to be for travelling longer distances. Imagine you are a young boy or girl living within this small community on the water. The fish are becoming scarce and it will soon be time to move on to find a new area to live. Will it still be wetlands or will your leader decide to settle on dry land?

Prompt 4: He stood in the middle of the wilderness, his arms stretched outright summoning energy from the natural forces around him. Soon he would be ready to face going to the Jobcentre.

Prompt 5: Due to poor timekeeping you lose your job. You are finding it really difficult getting work without a reference from your last employer. Do you take up the offer of cash in hand work from a man you met in your local pub?

Prompt 6: At a music festival you meet a handsome younger man. You enjoy a wonderful weekend together and you would really like to see him again. He only lives a few miles down the road from you. There's only one problem, you are a police officer and your new male friend tells you he has committed crimes in the past and he takes recreational drugs.

Prompt 7: A movie producer wants to include you in his latest film. You have never acted in your life and are worried he has ulterior motives.

Prompt 8: An occult group open your eyes to the truth about our existence on Earth.

Prompt 9: You move to a new area but are suffering from loneliness. It is hard to find people you can trust as the area is blighted by anti-social behaviour.

Prompt 10: You are a test pilot and asked to fly an advanced aircraft that is located on a secret base on the moors in the north of England. When you arrive you realise that this is something a bit special and no ordinary aeroplane.

Prompt 11: Twenty-one years have passed since you last saw your dad. He's been working away in other countries overseeing the laying of fibre optic cables over long distances. Now he is semi-retired he is heading home to catch up with you.

Prompt 12: For many years scientists had agreed that the existence of great cigar-shaped objects visiting our solar system could be explained away as rare types of meteorites. However, as time went on, leading scientists began to suspect that they may well be artificial in nature and they thought about the possibility that they might, in fact, be large probes gathering data on our solar system.

A four-year construction program resulted in a finished, manned explorer ship being launched to meet up with one of these objects.

June 1st 2029 saw the explorer ship Viking 20 draw closer to the chosen object attempting to slingshot around Jupiter. With a limited window of opportunity, Captain Gina Rose set an intercept course and pressed the confirm key. The explorer lurched forward pinning the eight crew members firmly in their seats. Two days later they came aside the object. Although initially, it did, in fact, look like an elongated meteorite, on closer inspection, the crew could see that it had a hatch.

Prompt 13: After years of singing for yourself and your family you decide to go busking in your local town centre.

Prompt 14: Suffering for years with depression you finally decide you can't go on any more. You write a note to your sister and are about to think of a way to end it all when a bright light fills the room. You adjust your eyes and stare in astonishment at the sight before you.

Prompt 15: A remote cottage in the woods proves to be the ideal family Christmas getaway until it starts to snow.

Prompt 16: Taking a wrong turn on the way to your holiday destination leads to a massive row between you and your husband. Is the holiday ruined or can you salvage it?

Prompt 17: To fit in with the lads on your new estate you are asked to take an initiation test before you can join their gang.

Prompt 18: Since you gave up driving due to ill health you’ve been struggling to get around. A woman you recently met offers to drive you to appointments and take you shopping. After inviting her into your house for a drink and to use the toilet a few times you’ve noticed a few things are missing. You may have just mislaid them, but you are starting to have doubts about your new friend.

Prompt 19: Lately he’d been noticing strange cloud formations over the sea. They were perfectly square or rectangle clouds, just sitting there in an otherwise cloudless blue sky. He was sure nature didn’t make such clouds; he’d been at sea over thirty-five years and he’d never seen anything like this before. It had only started happening in the last few months, he thought it was probably a government experiment to control the weather. He tuned in his radio for a weather report and poured himself another coffee. Young Jake was the only crew member still on board, he was tinkering with the engine. The captain had dropped the rest of the crew off on the mainland to catch up on rest. It looked like it was going to be a nasty night but the weather warning had come from nowhere. He could predict a storm two days in advance, this was the first time his sixth sense had let him down. He picked up his coffee and ran his fingers through his grey beard. He thought to himself old age must be creeping up on him.

Prompt 20: A road trip across India leads a group of businessmen to throw off their suits and adopt a Hippy lifestyle.

Prompt 21: Write an account of the fire which destroyed much of the Palace of Westminster in central London, including the Houses of Lords and Commons in October 1834. J.M.W. Turner painted the dramatic scene as it was happening to leave a pictorial record of the event. Research the event on the internet to find out how it happened.

Prompt 22: Space Boot Camp 3000 was considered the safest training centre/summer camp for children of all ages. There had never been an incident in the one hundred and fifty years it had been in operation. Founder Malcolm Dexter the third was to be present during the celebrations at the end of summer junior sky race, held on the third moon of Titan Major. This year, however, things started to go wrong early on in the season, leading to a major catastrophe at the end of the summer celebrations.

Prompt 23: A short hot air balloon ride went horribly wrong leaving you and your partner dangling from a tree. It's only now, years later, that you can look back and laugh about it. Tell the story to a friend in a pub.

Prompt 24: Your husband has donated a family heirloom to your local church for their summer bazaar. How can you get it back?

Prompt 25: A minor scuffle turns into a street brawl outside your local pub. You are caught up in it and are shown in the local news coverage on TV. How can you show your face at work on Monday morning with two black eyes and a bite mark on your cheek?

Prompt 26: Your husband always takes the bait when waiting at traffic lights next to boy racers. Finally, he's made a complete idiot of himself by ending up floating down the local river in the family car. Think of the many put-downs his mates can come up with when they next see him at the pub!

Prompt 27: An Easter egg hunt nearly ends in disaster when your little one hands you a live grenade!

Prompt 28: A wine tasting afternoon with your old school friend ends up with you both extremely drunk and in the local police station.

Prompt 29: Your dream of piloting a paddle steamer down an American river finally comes true when you win a television phone-in competition.

Prompt 30: The small village of Renfield had suddenly become the centre of world attention after practically the whole village witnessed an RAF jet chasing a UFO overhead at the village bring and buy sale on Saturday afternoon. The Vicar was interviewed at length on live daytime television and the national newspapers descended on the village soon afterwards. Within the week Renfield was truly on the map.

   You are a UFO investigator and your job is to determine the truth behind this UFO encounter. Using your tried and tested methods extract factual witness statements from the villagers and wheedle out any embellishments that have arisen due to the media hype surrounding this episode.

Prompt 31: You are not normally envious, but when you see a friend of yours has grabbed herself a younger man, you set out to land a catch of your own with hilarious consequences.

Prompt 32: You are not quite ready to be written off at work. You embark on a mission to bag a new job that's been advertised on the internal noticeboard. The only problem is, you're up against a herd of applicants fresh from the local university and your most hated enemy Jess Taylor who belittles you at every opportunity, is on the interview panel!

Prompt 33: ……….The boat’s compass began to spin wildly and the electronic equipment started switching on and off. Suddenly the lights and equipment turned off completely and they were left in darkness. There was no sound at all, not even the sea lapping against the boat. Then all of a sudden a foghorn sounded in the distance. The three of them jumped then laughed. Shortly they began to hear a knocking sound coming from below the boat, it was getting louder by the second. Now they started to get really scared.

Prompt 34: A blind man mysteriously gets his sight back. He visits his optician and doctor who both tell him it will only be temporary. He has a month to see as much as he can before he will lose his sight once again.

Prompt 35: A street beggar sees you coming towards him. He gets up and gives you the money he has collected that day. He says you need it more than he does. You are puzzled, you have a good job and a family, in fact, you consider yourself to be well off, it should be you giving money to him, not the other way round.

Prompt 36: In a conversation at a pub with your friends you are asked what era you would like to go back to. You choose the 1980s. The next morning your radio alarm clock comes on and starts blasting out electronic music from the 1980s. Your newspaper pops through the letterbox and you grab it on the way to the kitchen. You look at the headlines and check the date of the paper. You think that your friends must be winding you up as you've been delivered a paper from the 1980s.

Prompt 37: ……….Elfenmere was wounded in the leg, his attacker, a knight in heavy armour hunted him down mercilessly. Dragging his leg over the rough terrain the small elf reached down into a ditch to take a sword from a long dead man lying in the shallow water. As the knight stepped closer, Elfenmere thrust the sword upwards between two plates of armour and into the stomach of the knight. The knight paused a moment then sank onto his knees with the sword still embedded. Elfenmere pushed the knight over then withdrew the sword and placed it back into the hand of the dead man in the ditch. The blood from the sword mixed with the stagnant water and the dead man raised up his sword to salute Elfenmere.

Prompt 38: Long ago in ancient Britain, a young boy did as he was commanded by his cruel family. One day while cowering in some bushes a tall stranger came upon him. The stranger took the boy who was named Raven into his care and taught him everything he knew of the old ways. Soon the boy grew up to be a strong handsome young man. His friend and saviour Draylock grew old and weakened as the years fell away. Finally, the time came when Draylock passed into the next realm and Raven took his place as the greatest warlock in the whole of ancient Britain. Soon word of his great feats and skills reached the ruling king of the north who summoned Raven to his side. Now begins the story of Raven and his secret love for the king’s daughter Isabel.

Prompt 39: The winter wind blew the fine snow up against the small cottage in the woods. Two hungry children looking for sanctuary saw smoke coming from the cottage and headed towards it. A hungry wolf spotted the children and headed their way. The boy and girl dressed in rags ran as fast as they could in the snow and reached the door to the cottage before the wolf. The door opened and they both fell inside.

Prompt 40: The winter fair came to town bringing strangers from all corners of the county. This year it was to be held on the lake which was frozen solid just like in the winter of 1740. Colourful tents were erected and boats were converted into sleighs to give the children rides on the ice. Fires were set above the ice in iron cradles to warm the crowds. No one noticed the presence of the man dressed in the colourful costume who slipped in and out of the entertainer's tents collecting anything he could sell. He entered the tent of the fortune teller. It was empty so he took his time looking around. He opened all the draws in an old chest and rummaged until his hand landed upon a mystery object that he couldn’t identify. He put it into his shoulder bag and disappeared out into the crowd.

   The fortune teller arrived back and saw his tent had been entered. He went straight to the chest and frantically looked for the object he knew mustn’t fall into the wrong hands.

Prompt 41: Thomas Edbert Maroon emptied his pipe on the heel of his boot. He was feeling lucky today. The resident beast in Lake Yarrow had eluded him for too long. He was finally going to catch the famous pike and prove his sceptical, mocking friends wrong. Well, that was the plan.

Prompt 42: The harvest was in and the local hands all sat around a large fire with their flagons of cider. It wasn’t long before the older lads started picking on Jess who was a bit slow to learn. Millie the ale house serving girl held Jess against herself in mock protection. A fight started and a pitchfork was thrust into Jess and he died later that night.

   The next morning a lone sheriff rode into the village to find out what had happened the night before.

Prompt 43: A majestic barge slowly sailed the narrow waterway. Onboard lay a Prince in fine clothing. His servant stood at the foot of his master’s golden bed.

Prompt 44: Your boss wants to send you on a training course that’s the other side of the country. However, there is a bit of a problem. You’ve been secretly hiding your fear of travelling anywhere further than the outskirts of your own town.

Prompt 45: Your husband is acting suspiciously. You look at his phone to find he has been contacting a woman you went to school with. What could he be up to?

Prompt 46: Your family go missing whilst on holiday in an unfamiliar town. You contact the police when they fail to arrive back at your holiday park the next morning.

Prompt 47: You’ve won a makeover in a competition held by your local newspaper. When you arrive at the newly opened beauty salon you come face to face with the school bully who made your life hell.

Prompt 48: You are a member of the press and are invited to try out an anti-gravitation suit. This new invention will revolutionize personal travel, allowing the wearer to break free of gravity and fly like a superhero. Write a report on your experience.

Prompt 49: Riding the rapids in her canoe relaxed her, despite the danger. She was free of all cares and in her element.

Prompt 50: A school play fills your little one with fear. How can you work through the issues your child is facing?

Prompt 51: Your small company receives a boost when you are asked to attend a well respected outdoor event.

Prompt 52: Your child is having nightmares every night. You think this is just a normal process of growing up but you soon discover there is more to the nightmares than you first thought.

Prompt 53: Memories of Lynnchester House are surfacing more and more. You have tried to bury them deep but now you must face your demons.

Prompt 54: Twenty-four years have passed since you last visited Craige-mere. Memories of good times spent with family and friends begin to flood back. Since your accident, you have kept yourself to yourself but you are warming to the idea of meeting up with those who knew you before you were so badly disfigured.

Prompt 55: At a prestigious book signing you are confronted with your stalker who ruins the evening for you.

Prompt 56: Moped gangs have made life hell in your town. Since the police started clamping down on them in the city they have headed to the outskirts to find easier pickings. You have had enough of being a prisoner in your own home. You get together an unlikely band of old aged pensioner vigilantes to tackle this problem once and for all.

Prompt 57: The body of Marianne Hardy the eighteenth-century explorer was found last week. You are a descendant of hers and you set about finding out as much as you can about her life.

Prompt 58: Denver Close is in the news again for all the wrong reasons. You are the head housing officer for the local area and you take in a deep breath as you look in your in-tray. As you thought, you have to visit the Yosser-Jones family to discuss their latest outbreak of anti-social behaviour.

Prompt 59: You have managed to let yourself get double-booked for two pre-Christmas meals on the same day. Luckily one is in the afternoon and one is in the evening. You are feeling a bit bloated by the time you arrive at your work’s pre-Christmas meal in the evening and everyone is saying how peaky you look!

Prompt 60: Builders working on the renovation of a listed building make a horrific discovery.

Prompt 61: September the twenty-fifth is the day you and your boyfriend have set for your wedding but increasingly you are starting to have doubts it will go ahead because of your boyfriend’s strange behaviour.

Prompt 62: A quaint village has a traditional sweet shop where you can buy any sweets from the last hundred years. When you stop there for a break your coach-full of seniors disappear inside quick as lightning.

Prompt 63: A tea dance with a 1940’s theme proves a hit in your small coastal village.

Prompt 64: You’ve been a member of a slimming group for over two years but haven’t lost any weight. You see an advert online promising dramatic weight loss with a new product to the market. You’ve tried all the other products that have been advertised over the years, so you send off for this new wonder product. After a few days of taking the weight loss product, you notice some very strange side effects!

Prompt 65: The government set about building state-run factories to provide our country with the goods we needed to become self-sufficient. Wasteland was transformed into sites for food production. It was almost as if we were on a war footing. Unemployment was almost eradicated as every man, woman and teenager were called upon to return to the workplace. Soon we became the envy of the world as great minds from our universities started to invent new materials and methods. It wasn't long before we were leading the world in innovation and discovery. Then it started. A plot to undermine our great nation. It started with a few acts of sabotage that soon escalated into a full onslaught on our infrastructure.

Prompt 66: You are organising a charity jumble sale. Out of the corner of your eye, you spot one of the volunteers pocketing items of jewellery meant for the sale later that day. Should you confront them or just let it go?

Prompt 67: Write about a wounded pony who was featured on your local news.

Prompt 68: On the morning you cannot flush your toilet without it flooding your bathroom, you find out a neighbour has lost his pet boa constrictor.

Prompt 69: After numerous attempts to contact your uncle by phone proved fruitless, you decide to contact social services and accompany them to visit him in person.

Prompt 70: After a rival sabotaged a ride belonging to your fairground, you are now facing trial for negligence.

Prompt 71: After thirty years of silence a woman speaks about the events that happened on a remote island. As a small girl, she was parted from her family for two weeks and only after a nationwide search was called off, was she eventually found on the mainland two hundred miles away in a confused state.

Prompt 72: You are a sixteen-year-old girl and four months pregnant. It is 1969. Your father finds out and wants you to leave the family home. Your mother tries to talk him around and says she will bring the baby up as hers. Your father won't change his mind. The young lad who is the father of your baby wants nothing to do with you or the baby when it's born. You set off on a journey that leads you to a commune in a wood where you are welcomed with open arms.

Prompt 73: Is skulduggery afoot at your local village fair? Everyone is impressed by the oversized vegetables on show at the “Best Of The West” competition but has there been an attempt to chemically enhance one of the entries? A large wheelbarrow is rolled in with the biggest pumpkin you and the other entrants have ever seen.

Prompt 74: After moving into the house you bought at auction you eventually get around to checking the loft space. You find it full of junk except for one item that catches your eye. A Pre-Raphaelite style painting was hiding amongst the clutter. You take it to your local auction valuation day for appraisal.

Prompt 75: You are teamed up with an armed response officer who recently returned to work after accidentally shooting himself in the foot.

Prompt 76: A definite nip in the air had Carlos zipping his hoodie right up to his chin. He’d travelled on public transport all through the summer but was not looking forward to waiting about on cold mornings. Still, he had quite a few more weeks to go before the full British weather unleashed itself upon him. He fumbled for some change when he saw the bus coming, paid for a return to Tarlington and sat in his usual seat upstairs at the back.

   Downstairs he could hear an argument between the driver and someone trying to get on the bus. It seemed a man was trying to bring a flat-packed wardrobe on board. Carlos could hear the driver telling the man that it was a matter of health and safety. The item was too large and he should have asked for it to have been delivered to his home. Carlos looked out of the window. The man dropped the wardrobe and rushed onto the bus. Very loud shouting could be heard and then the passengers downstairs started shouting and screaming. Carlos was the only passenger upstairs so he slowly made his way downstairs to see what was going on.

Prompt 77: <Character name> sat huddled in front of a wood burning stove in the corner of the room. His phone had lain on the small table next to him all week, there had been no messages and no texts. It was as if he had been completely forgotten by the department. He was classed as tainted, damaged goods, he’d be lucky to get a job doing school crossing patrol. The hearing was coming up in a week’s time, so he’d just have to sit it out and bide his time. No one was going to contact him before then. Later that evening when <Character name> was preparing a meal the phone buzzed. He nearly dropped the pan he was holding. He looked over and saw it was the Captain. The text message read {URGENT, need you back at work tonight!}.

Prompt 78: Playing the piano soothed her nerves. It was going to be a long night waiting for the security guard to fall asleep. He usually started dozing around three in the morning so she still had a couple of hours to go. She got up from the piano stool and looked through the telescope that she had trained on the hotel across the street. The guard was chatting to Marie Santiago the well-known opera singer famous for her string of husbands. <Character name> was sure the security guard wasn’t in with a chance, even if he thought he was. Ms Santiago, as she liked to be referred to, as she was between husbands, waved goodbye to the guard and silkily entered the rotating door and out onto the street.     

   The guard got an adult magazine out of a desk drawer and started pouring over the pictures and articles. <Character name> shuddered, later on, she’d have to help Ricardo lift his sweaty body into the van after the switch. Their man could almost pass as the guard’s twin brother. The gang were banking on the hotel’s clients being so self-centred that they would hardly notice if you switched the security guard with a chimp.

Prompt 79: March 13th 2035: The Mars12 space station has strayed out of its orbit. Twelve scientists and four crew members are aboard the space station and nothing has been heard from them in over a month. Two weeks ago both of the Mars rovers suddenly stopped working with a loss of feed.

   A rescue mission has hurriedly been put together and redundant spacecraft have been transported to NASA control for safety checks and modification. The obvious choice for a team leader is <Character name> but he hasn’t been into space for over ten years and has said to anyone who has asked, that there was no way he was ever going to go back up there.

   Brief: You are being sent to persuade <Character name> to head the rescue mission. Find out why he is reluctant to return to Mars orbit.

Prompt 80: A letter arrives to inform you that you are to be evicted from your social housing. You can't understand why. Your rent is all up to date, you haven't had any warnings about anti-social behaviour. The letter doesn't explain the reason why you are being evicted. You phone the provider of your social housing only to be given some very shocking news.

Prompt 81: Far from home with no money, Lilly could think of no other option but to accept the offer of a warm bed and food from the stranger she’d only just met that morning. He had said to her he would leave her to think about his offer and he would come back later to find out her decision. She looked anxiously at him coming towards her; she had no idea what his motives were but she’d have to take a chance, she was cold and hungry.

Prompt 82: A meeting with his accountant hadn’t gone as smoothly as it should have. The accountant struggled to tally the books. Fifty-thousand pounds was missing and couldn’t be accounted for. Matt thought it through, picturing each member of his small team. He trusted all of them but he knew one of them must have stolen the money. He knew this was far too serious to turn a blind eye and make up the difference himself, he had no other option but to call the police.

Prompt 83: Halloween has been and gone but you keep seeing a man walking around town wearing a monster mask. The mask seems to be stuck to his face. Are you seeing things?

Prompt 84: Piggleham was holding its fourth annual cheese push later that afternoon with over fifty entrants, mainly men. Denise Yen was up for the challenge and had been in training all spring. It had never been won by a woman but she was determined to be the first!

Prompt 85: Revisiting Alex Farrington.

Link to the original idea (Story 1).

https://creativeblockbuster.blogspot.com/2016/03/story-ideas-2nd-batch.html

Two days had passed before anyone arrived back to attend to Alex. His mouth was bone dry and he was badly dehydrated. Although he couldn’t see his captors, he could tell they were well-built men; they were easily able to carry him from room to room. His blindfold was still in place when the leader of the gang entered the room.

   “Mr Farrington, you still have not answered my question. Where is Lucy Everett?”

   Alex could smell the expensive aftershave wafting off the man as he moved closer.

   “This must be tiring for you Alex. How about you tell me what I want to know and we’ll all have a nice cold refreshing drink?”

   Alex said nothing.

   “You leave me no choice. Move him to the back room.”

   Alex was hauled up and dragged for some distance along what must have been a passageway. He was well aware that he would soon need to drink but he wasn’t going to give them what they wanted. He would have to come up with a plan to overpower them, even though he’d never felt as weak as he did at that moment.

Prompt 86: Alex Farrington searched the classified section in the newspaper for the agreed code words. They weren’t there this week and hadn’t been in the paper last week either. Alex knew Armstrong was in trouble, he always left a coded message each week without fail. Alex sent a message to his commander at The Hub and awaited orders to be sent back. In the meantime, he grabbed his things and left his hotel room. The pokey room was starting to get to him. He needed to see some greenery and sky.

   In a small park just yards away from his hotel he bumped into an old school friend who he hadn’t seen for years. Abbey Fletcher had been the school beauty with a brain and Alex was shocked to see she was still as stunning now.


Creative Writing Beginnings Story Prompts Book 3



Preview from Creative Writing Beginnings: Tiny Book of Spy Prompts


Introduction 

Creative Writing Beginnings - Ideas for starting short stories.

 

This book exists to encourage people to enjoy creative writing. 

When faced with a blank page and you can't think what to write it is helpful to

turn to writing prompts as a source of inspiration.

 It is aimed at ages 16+ and the content is copyright free and

available for individual or group work.

Antony R James

August 2019

 

Disclaimer: The written prompts are works of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are used fictitiously.

Any resemblance to actual persons, events and created locations is entirely coincidental.



Preface


The prompts in this book appear within the posts of my creative writing blog and within my Creative Writing Beginnings series of story prompts books 1-3. When I need to refer back to a particular spy prompt within either the blog itself or by using my books, I find it difficult to search for the prompt I am looking for. I decided to gather all the spy prompts together in one book for my own use and realised that it would also be a useful resource for anyone mainly interested in this set of prompts.

I intend to compile other similar books based on Action, Sci-fi, Detective, Romance and more.


Prompt 1

He was halfway down the street when he realised he'd left his phone on the bus. He had been distracted by the captivating woman a few seats away who was talking to her friends. “Damn”, he cursed to himself, “that phone can't fall into the wrong hands!”

   He checked he had everything else with him, found some pound coins and looked for a café. He slumped into a seat and rested his face in his hands. “Pull yourself together man”, he thought. Brushing back his hair he looked into one of the mirror tiles on the café wall. Thirty-five years old and grey hairs showing already. He opened his passport and compared himself to his photo, “God I've aged!”

   Sipping his coffee he began to relax and looked out of the window. A young mother was struggling with her little girl who was having a tantrum outside the café. The girl was stamping her feet and tugging her Mother to go back towards the small toy shop a few doors down. Suddenly a car mounted the pavement and was heading straight for the girl.

   Spilling his coffee over the table as he leapt to his feet Alex Farrington lurched out of the café and onto the pavement, he swept the girl into his arms and rolled into a ball protecting the girl's head with his hands. The car narrowly missed them as they rolled forwards away from the danger. Alex unfurled himself, the young girl was still in his arms quietly sobbing. “Mummy, Mummy. Where's my Mummy?” She whimpered.

    “I'm here dear,” her mother said rushing forwards. “Are you alright, does it hurt anywhere?”

    “I'm OK Mummy, that man pushed me over!”

    “He saved your life darling, a car nearly crushed you.”

    Alex brushed himself off and nodded to the Mother.

    “Thank you so much for saving my little girl!” she shouted over the noise of the traffic and sirens.

The Police car and Ambulance both pulled up together............…

oOo

Prompt 2

Captain Volgier turned the small ship into port. Tanner sipped his drink, he was in no hurry. Later that morning he was due to meet up with his opposite in the town square. It would be good to catch up with Xavier, he hadn't seen him for over five years. They went back a long way, they'd trained together in London after the cold war, but things weren't quite so cordial now, so he'd have to be careful what he said to his friend, he didn't want to put him in danger.

    “Tanner, get your lazy ass off my ship,” Volgier joked.

    “I'm enjoying your hospitality too much my friend.”

    “Whatever, you English dog.”

    “Have you got my things?”

    “Yes, don't worry, your equipment's in my cabin. The boys have checked it over, everything's working, all ready for the mission.”

    Tanner finished his drink. “Call me in an hour I'm going for a shower.”

    “What am I, your maidservant?”

    “You love it when you've got English royalty aboard.”

    “Yeah, you – the Queen. Ha, got you there!”

    “One hour, my friend, no longer.”

    “English.....”

Tanner walked down the gangplank dressed in a fine English suit, carrying an attaché case. He looked a little out of place amongst the locals who were mostly wearing long winter coats and fur hats. However, no one paid him much attention, they were hunched over, going about their own business. It didn't pay to ask questions or pry into anyone's business; if you did, you might well be talking to the wrong person and end up floating in the sea. Arriving at the square five minutes early, Tanner ordered a coffee and sat at a table for two. Not long after, Xavier turned up. Tanner noticed his friend was looking nervous; his forehead shone with beads of sweat. Xavier sat down uncomfortably in the chair opposite and made strange movements with his eyes. Tanner scanned the area for threats, slowly looking at each building in turn, in case a sniper was positioned ready to fire at them. Suddenly Xavier pulled open his coat to reveal a jacket crammed with explosives. Tanner pushed the table forwards and crouched behind it. A loud explosion echoed around the square then everything fell silent.

Tanner woke to see a nurse over him. She changed his drip and smiled at him. When she spoke he could barely hear her, so he tried to read her lips. “....hearing will improve!”

    “Ah Tanner, you're back with the living,” said Minott

    “Sir....”

    “Don't exhaust yourself, Tanner, I'm afraid Xavier didn't make it. We think he was forced to wear that jacket, looks like you've made some enemies in these parts.”

    “Did anyone else die in the explosion?”

    “No, old boy, just Xavier. We've managed to keep it out of the papers. We don't want to bring attention to ourselves. We're going to fly you home to recuperate, then we'll look into who did this.”

    “What about the mission?”

    “Mission's on hold till you've rested old boy. You'll need to get your strength back before your ready to go on assignment again. We could send one of the other operatives, but you're up to speed on this, no point briefing anyone else, it would take months. You should be back on your feet in a few weeks time, even if you have to start off in the office.”

Exercise: Finish the story. Once Sean Tanner has recuperated from his injuries, he starts back at work in the offices at HQ command. He now has two missions; 1) To find out who killed his friend Xavier, and 2) To complete the original mission which led him to the town square cafe, where he nearly lost his own life. What could the mission entail? What could have been in Tanner’s attaché case?

oOo

Prompt 3

After a mission, Sean and a lady friend are sunning themselves on a motorboat. They are lying on loungers sipping drinks in their swimming costumes. After a relaxing afternoon in the sun, Sean goes down to the cabin to prepare dinner. All of a sudden he hears his companion scream. He rushes up to see a seaplane circling around the motorboat. Tanner goes over to his companion and sees she has been grazed by a bullet. She is in shock and struggling to breathe. The seaplane circles again and Tanner notices the door is open and a woman is standing there with something in her hand. She shows Tanner she is holding a grenade and pulls the pin. She waits until her pilot manoeuvres the seaplane directly overhead and tosses the grenade onto the deck. The grenade rolls down the steps leading to the cabin and explodes, blasting the boat apart. Tanner is in the water frantically looking for his companion. He spots her face down in the water and hauls her onto a large piece of debris.

oOo

Prompt 4

Revisiting Alex Farrington.

Two days had passed before anyone arrived back to attend to Alex. His mouth was bone dry and he was badly dehydrated. Although he couldn’t see his captors, he could tell they were well-built men; they were easily able to carry him from room to room. His blindfold was still in place when the leader of the gang entered the room.

    “Mr Farrington, you still have not answered my question. Where is Lucy Everett?”

    Alex could smell the expensive aftershave wafting off the man as he moved closer.

    “This must be tiring for you Alex. How about you tell me what I want to know and we’ll all have a nice cold refreshing drink?”

    Alex said nothing.

    “You leave me no choice. Move him to the back room.”

    Alex was hauled up and dragged for some distance along what must have been a passageway. He was well aware that he would soon need to drink but he wasn’t going to give them what they wanted. He would have to come up with a plan to overpower them, even though he’d never felt as weak as he did at that moment.

oOo

Prompt 5

Alex Farrington searched the classified section in the newspaper for the agreed code words. They weren’t there this week and hadn’t been in the paper last week either. Alex knew Armstrong was in trouble, he always left a coded message each week without fail. Alex sent a message to his commander at The Hub and awaited orders to be sent back. In the meantime, he grabbed his things and left his hotel room. The pokey room was starting to get to him. He needed to see some greenery and sky.

    In a small park just yards away from his hotel he bumped into an old school friend who he hadn’t seen for years. Abbey Fletcher had been the school beauty with a brain and Alex was shocked to see she was still as stunning now.

oOo

Prompt 6

With a small bag filled with diamonds in the boot, Alex Farrington was feeling somewhat apprehensive driving towards the checkpoint ahead. He pulled up near the barrier and wound down his window. From a small makeshift office, a muscular man in uniform leant out of the window to talk to Alex.

    “State your business!”

    “Sightseeing.”

    “You joke with me, eh?”

    “No, I’m quite serious, you have some beautiful scenery. I’m a film director looking for locations. It’ll prove to be very lucrative for your village if I can find some suitable backdrops.”

    The official thought for a few seconds then waved Alex through once he’d seen his passport.

oOo

Prompt 7

The airship silently cruised above the clouds. Tanner sipped his orange juice and looked over to the British delegates. The thin one was Arthur Reegan the ex-tycoon who once owned the biggest chain of casinos in Europe until he sold them all for a pittance to a wealthy unknown buyer. The other was Maxwell Dunce who lived up to his surname. He had managed to lose most of his fortune buying racehorses that failed miserably and ended up being sold as pets for rich kids. Tanner wasn’t here to judge them, he was here to look after them. The summit in China was one of the most important events in the last 100 years: It would tie all the countries attending into a deal on climate protection for the next 50 years. Things had taken a serious turn for the worst in the last 2 years what with the flooding of Venice and the disappearance of some coastal towns in England. This mission was crucial to the safeguarding of stable weather systems that so far had mostly saved us from an end of time scenario.

    “Hello Tanner, how are things with you nowadays?”

    Tanner slapped his friend and fellow spook on the back. “I can’t complain Rod. How’s life treating you at Berdbeck?”

    “They’re working us hard, but the money’s better. You know the saying; work hard and play hard, that about sums up our team. We’re living the dream.”

    “Well, looks like the move was right for you buddy. Are you looking after the Spanish delegates?”

    “They’ve got their own guys in charge, I’m just here as a consultant. I’ve done a few jobs for them in the past and they trust me.”

    An alarm sounded overhead, it wasn’t very loud but crew members started running in all directions. It seemed they were manning pre-planned positions which worried Tanner and Rod. They sought out the delegates they were with and tried to find out what was going on. It didn’t take long before they knew as they could hear a jet buzzing the airship.

    “I thought this was a stupid idea, travelling in a ‘balloon’. We’re a sitting duck!” said Tanner to Rod who now had his Spanish delegates and their minders with him.

The small jet was clearly visible out of the windows as it repeatedly circled the airship. Tanner was taking no chances and suggested they look for a means of escape.

    “Apparently they’ve got gliders held in the lower section of the airship,” said Rod pointing the way.

    Tanner looked out of the window. “How many gliders?”

    “Two I think.”

    “Do you mean those?”

    “Yep.”

    The small jet came into view and launched a missile at one of the gliders. It hit and the aircraft broke up in a fireball.

    Tanner didn’t wait to watch the other glider being destroyed. “These guys mean business. Let’s find some chutes!”……….

Notes: Tanner and the others find emergency parachutes and escape the airship before it is hit by a missile. Look at a world map and find a suitably remote spot for the group to touchdown. Now they need to find a settlement with food, warm clothing and shelter!

oOo

Prompt 8

When Sean Tanner found out ‘Agent X’ was a woman it hadn’t lessened his determination to track her down and carry out his mission. However, now, with her in his sight he was unable or unwilling to pull the trigger. He tracked her through the rifle scope as she put on her skis and got on a ski lift. It shouldn’t matter to him how beautiful a target is; he should be able to pull the trigger and eliminate them. For some reason, this time, he couldn’t do it. He packed his rifle away and slipped into the nearby wood for cover. His snowmobile was parked on a ledge overlooking the pristine western slope. No-one dared ski down this side of the mountain because of the risk of an avalanche. Tanner started the snowmobile and launched himself over the ledge and onto the mountain slope. He knew the way ahead would be free of skiers so he was able to negotiate the trees with ease without fear of setting off a few mini avalanches along the way.

    In his hotel room, Sean powered up his laptop and started looking for anything online about Serina Kovisko. He now had his own mission brief; to find out why she had been targeted for elimination.

oOo

Prompt 9

The sleeper train to Scotland was proving to be more eventful than Tanner had expected. A woman a few bunks down had woken everyone with a piercing scream in the early hours. Apparently, a drunk man mistook her bunk for his and he tried to clamber on top of her. Sean still had a few hours left to rest before his meeting with Major Burnsted of the newly formed Civil Protection Party. Tanner’s brief was to get close to the leader of the group and find out what he was planning. It could merely be that the group members were no more than a collection of misfits who met once a week to play at being bully-boy soldiers. On the other hand, Tanner had come across enough jumped up leaders over the years who turned out to be extremely dangerous both in thought and action. These types should never be underestimated.

oOo

Prompt 10

The small plane lay in shallow water just off the coral reef. When Tanner arrived he could see no-one was on board; the plane had suffered severe damage to one side and he was able to take a good look from his jet-ski. Sean had already checked for people and belongings in the water on his approach but he was at a loss; there should have been things in the water around the plane. He began to suspect that the passengers and other items may have been removed by locals who were loyal to Dwight Hershaw the owner of the island. Tanner didn’t know if anyone had survived the crash but if they had, he needed to find them quickly; he had to recover the stolen hard drive before it was sold to the highest bidder. Hopefully, Dwight hadn’t got his hands on the drive; he would be more than capable of using the data to construct a weaponised satellite.

oOo

Prompt 11

Sean Tanner was briefed about a team of private entrepreneurs who came into possession of a hoard of NASA photos of the moon that had not been airbrushed. A scientist passed away two years previously and his daughter found the photos in a metal tin. Since then the photographs had been studied by leading European scientists who declared that the moon had been occupied in the past and was most likely currently occupied by non-terrestrials.

    The photos had clearly shown towers, bridges, domes, abandoned bases, mining equipment and activity that was current at the time in the late 1960s and early ’70s. A team had been put together after a year-long race between leading private organisations all over Europe. Tanner had been requested to join the team to revisit the moon using a new type of re-useable spaceplane that was fitted with a prototype nuclear propulsion system.

oOo

Prompt 12

Tanner's phone rang. He was dreading answering it, but he knew he had to. Minott was seriously ill in hospital with pneumonia and not expected to last the night. Antibiotics had not worked and apart from draining fluid away from his lungs, there was nothing else the doctors could do for him except make him comfortable in his final hours.

    Sean answered. “OK, I'll be right over”. He switched his phone off and got into his sports car. The engine purred then roared as he put his foot down. Ten minutes later he was at the hospital and saw Minott's secretary waiting for him outside the front entrance.

    “Amanda, take my jacket, you look frozen,” Tanner said, wrapping it around her.

    “Thanks. I'm glad you're here,” she said, her eyes filled with tears.

    She had stayed overnight by Minott's bedside holding his hand until it was obvious that she needed to call his closest colleagues. They would have the chance to say their goodbyes to their boss for the last time. Tanner guided her into Minott's room and they joined the other agents and workers who counted Steve Minott as both an employer and a dear friend.

    Sean Tanner was not often moved to tears, but leaving the hospital he wiped the last of them away. It had felt like someone had plunged a dagger into his throat; every time he swallowed it hurt. Devastated, he got into his car and drove.

    He seemed to have travelled nearly a hundred miles before he became aware of his surroundings. He could make out the familiar farm buildings and the quaint church in the twilight. Subconsciously he had driven himself to 'Dark Stream' the safe-house he used when he needed to remove himself from the fray. He supposed now he was here, he just as well set up a temporary headquarters of his own. He needed some time to himself. He couldn't face talking at the moment. It would be like clawing at an open wound; Minott's death had hit him hard, harder than he thought it would. He didn't want anyone seeing him in this lessened state. He was vulnerable and weak. Open to attack from anybody who was intent on revenge, and Tanner had a long list of people who would fit the bill.

    Sean set up his laptop on the desk and connected it to the internet and printer. A message flashed up straight away. He opened it and quickly read it. Minott’s replacement had been found and was already sitting in his office. Sarah Serking was calling for a meeting to be held on Monday morning. All operatives were to attend for new assignments and training.

    He was expected. But he wasn’t going. How could he face dealing with new management when Minott’s funeral hadn’t been arranged. The poor man was barely cold.

    Tanner picked up the phone and started writing a text.


End of preview from Creative Writing Beginnings: Tiny Book of Spy Prompts

Creative Writing Beginnings: Tiny Book of Spy Prompts


Antony R James - Writer & Artist

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