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  • Writer's pictureElise

Writing Prompts to Get You Started #35

Welcome to the place that is dedicated to getting you writing (again?). Maybe you have absolutely no idea where to start but have always wanted to try being a writer. Maybe you want to write the great American novel or you thought you'd write a poem about hidden life of a grain of sand. Maybe you just need a little inspiration to get you started or you find yourself just a little stuck. Maybe you find yourself trying to break out of your comfort zone or mix things up at work. Whatever your reason for landing here, practicing a little creativity can impact your life in ways you didn't expect.

But let's be honest. Creativity is a muscle and it needs exercise to work properly. That's where this series comes in. With any luck, this series will get your creative juices flowing and get you thinking in ways you hadn't before. Throughout the summer, we posted a couple of prompts every week. We cut back a little during the school year but will attempt to post at least one prompt a month. If you are interested in more, not only are there prompt sites online, we also have a prompt booklet you can get from us and enough creative people on staff to maybe come up with an idea you can run with if you come in and ask.


The following prompt plays on two levels: 1) What a title says about a story and 2) depending on your first answer, what a locked door speaks to you, as a writer. What can you say about it?

A title can say a lot about a piece. It can set an atmosphere, provide hinted insight into a situation or character, refer to a comment within, or be seemingly completely non sequitur but talk to something else. It generally tries not to give away too much of what is going on in the story and often are placed to deliberately mislead readers. Title can be an effective tool to tease the reader into a specific line of thought.

No matter the case, the title provides a story's first impression, much like a person's clothing and body language provide others' first impressions of themselves. How do you want your title to lead your readers?

When it comes to locked doors, many people think of locked room mysteries, crimes that seem impossible until you see all the facts. But it doesn't have to. A locked door has a few functions, especially in how it is locked. It can be a source of security, protection, keeping others out or something/one in. It can be an abandoned area, a sign of the unseen or hidden, a moment of privacy in a chaotic or crowded world. It could even be as simple as the door to a car you accidentally locked your keys in.

The locking of the door could be the putting away of the past or the holding off of the future. It could be the challenge of a hurdle yet to cross. There are any number of interpretations. It might have nothing to do with a door. It's up to you.

Here's your prompt: Write a story entitled "The Locked Door."

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