The Dark Stories of L.M. Montgomery

amongshadowsAmong the Shadows: Tales from the darker side of L.M. Montgomery (the writer of Anne of Green Gables).

What makes a story creepy? There are obvious things like ghosts, graves, death, etc. But, what could you write without obvious creepy things?

I still think the real horror isn’t the stuff made into a typically horror movie or book but the day-to-day stuff we all but take for granted. The real horror is losing your place in the world. Losing your credit card – that flash or flush you feel when you realize you didn’t just misplace it in the house.

Horror is simple and strong at it’s best. Being chased by bloody corpses, ghosts or assorted made up monsters does not compare to the horror of getting audited for unpaid taxes, not being able to find your child in a department store, or … what?

Think of a situation which would be very dark, creepy and horrifying for you and write about it.

The Horror of Being Possessed

5. You have been possessed by the devil! How do you deal with this and how do you make every effort to keep your soul possible? Feel free to go in a different direction from other possession movies.

via Free Creative Writing Prompts #66: Horror.

I don’t watch horror so I don’t know about the typical possession in a horror movie. I’d write about the feeling of seeing yourself and not being yourself. Have you ever looked down at your own hand and felt it was not your hand? Some one else had taken it over. It’s a creepy feeling. You can become fixated on your hand and convince yourself it really isn’t your hand. Of course it is. Once you break your concentration on it everything goes back to normal. That’s how I would write about possession, sort of a self possession.

51 Short and Simple Writing Prompts

  1. Describe the smell of popcorn.The allure and memories associated with it.
  2. Write a short history for a penny found in the shopping mall parking lot.
  3. You name your pet goldfish, Ichabod. What’s the story behind that?
  4. Dragons are real. Three of them just appeared in your living room looking for…
  5. Explore the world of cracked pavement. What stories are there in the wrinkles of tar we drive over?
  6. Watch for little things lost along the road next time you’re walking somewhere. How did they get there?
  7. Write a cheerleading cheer for a high school sports team. (Use a real school or make one up).
  8. You pick up a dime from the sidewalk. How does that change your day?
  9. Write a note you would post around the neighbourhood for a missing pet snake.
  10. Explain why garlic really isn’t a way to keep the vampires away.
  11. Write a grocery list from a dog’s point of view.
  12. If you had a robot housekeeper what would you have them do first?
  13. How would you write an ad to sell laundry soap?
  14. Out of all the non-eventful, ordinary days, which would you pick as your favourite and why?
  15. Use your real initials and choose a new name for yourself.
  16. Your parking meter has run out, what story do you think up to avoid getting a ticket?
  17. Write a memorial service speech for a bug you squished.
  18. You decide to start a community newsletter. What do you call it?
  19. They say there are rocks in your head, what kind are they?
  20. What’s the idol outfit for a Barbie doll?
  21. What was the last small thing you did for the environment/ green living?
  22. Think of all the different ways a book can end up soaked in water?
  23. Write about something really unusual spilled on your kitchen floor.
  24. You win a free day to travel in a horse and carriage, what do you do with it?
  25. A space alien visits you and asks for breakfast, what do you give them?
  26. You get the worst service ever in a restaurant. What do you do about it?
  27. You wake up, outside wearing a shower curtain and mismatched slippers. What happened?
  28. Invent a new flavour of tea, something just barely drinkable.
  29. You dream and are able to speak to insects. What do you talk about with them?
  30. How do you get their permission to throw mud pies at people to win a game show?
  31. Talk about chicken to a classroom of school kids.
  32. It’s a case of mistaken identity but how do you handle someone insisting you’re someone else?
  33. What’s the weirdest thing you would eat on toast?
  34. Think of a new way to reuse (repurpose) CDs/ DVDs instead of throwing them out.
  35. Without looking in your closet, what are three items you could do without to declutter?
  36. On a cooking show you have to create a designer sandwich. What do you make?
  37. Come up with a creative use for a long chain of paperclips linked together.
  38. Write a letter to a bird.
  39. In one word, sum up the feeling of walking in the rain.
  40. Write a speech for a puppet.
  41. Hold an argument with an inanimate object.
  42. You forget to put on your pants… but it’s not the nightmare you expected.
  43. Holding 500 helium balloon you discover you actually can rise into the air. What happens next?
  44. Write a review for a book you didn’t like. Find something uplifting for the author’s feedback.
  45. What’s the worst typo you can imagine?
  46. Write a “Day One” journal about living under the sea.
  47. Create a riddle then see if anyone can figure out the answer.
  48. Create a great female character for a video game. A real player, not a bystander with big boobs.
  49. Write the life of a pair of bedroom slippers.
  50. Think of a really creative way to gift wrap something, but stick to natural/ green living ways (no paper or plastic).
  51. What is your favourite colour and why is it your favourite?

 

Off to a Good Start

A fairly standard writing prompt is to complete a sentence with your own idea. Such as:

“I wonder how…”
“The car turned around and…”
“I found…”
“The scariest animal is…”
“The book opened to the page with…”
“She read the tea leaves and…”

You can go on creating more and more of those. So do it! Completing the sentences is one thing, it’s just as creative to come up with the writing prompt as it is to answer them. Work on a list of ten and then see if you can come up with another ten. Pick your best and use it as a writing prompt yourself. How would you answer your own sentence?