Spooky Prompts for Writers
If you enjoy writing, and you also love Halloween, here are THIRTEEN writing prompts to get you in the mood for trick or treating!
You take an elevator at the mall. The elevator goes down… and keeps on going. Where are you when the doors open?
It’s a dark and rainy night. Someone hears a knock on their door. They open it – and find themself standing on the other side.
Your character receives messages from a stranger who seems to know everything about them. The messages direct him or her to a disused factory at dusk. There, a dozen other people wait. All received the same message…
You take a cruise to a deserted island where strange things happen. On your return, you check a map – there is no island…
Think of a time and place that seems incredibly un-spooky. Write about it for five minutes. Now go back, and attempt to use the setting for a piece of gothic horror, or a mystery. How can you imbue somewhere peaceful and non-threatening with the qualities of horror?
Technology can be sinister, even terrifying. Place a technological device at the centre of a story, and imagine what could go wrong. Examples: photographs appear on your phone that you did not take; a character in a video game takes on a life of her own; a hypnotic computer program controls the minds of anyone who downloads it.
Write for five minutes about something that happened to you in a nightmare. Now, create a fictional character and have this happen to them for real.
A character attempts to leave their house. Every door and window leads back to another room. Suddenly, there is no way out. Why? Write from there.
A 9-year-old reader discovers that every time she reads a story, the characters come to life. The results are funny at first – until she gets a taste for horror fiction and fantasy…
Your new neighbour turns their home into a haunted house for Halloween, but all is not as it seems. You are the hero who saves the day.
Write a list of things that do not frighten you. Now reshape your list into a poem, rant, monologue or piece of comedic writing, attempting to make each item on the list as terrifying as possible.
Visiting an ancient tomb, stone circle or other monument, your protagonist has an encounter with a person only he or she can see.
Write about Halloween costumes that refuse to come off.
That’s it! A few tips…
Choose your prompt – and level of scariness – with care. Some writers have a talent for creating spine-horror. Other writers might just give themselves nightmares.
Allow your ideas to roam where they will. Don’t impose order – explore possibilities. Later, go back and read what you’ve written. That’s when you’ll want to shape your ideas, deciding what to keep and what to discard.
Consider sharing what you write – I’d love to see it!