This month’s writing prompts are inspired by the loss of my 16-year-old cat, Fergus, as well as a couple of competitions with an animal theme and the fact that our furry friends often offer comfort during dark times.
1. Warm Up: Five Words
Include the following words in a scene: fur, forest, future, freedom, family.
2. Animal Friends
3. A Family History of Animals
What animals did you have growing up? And what about previous generations? Did your parents or grandparents tell you stories of their beloved pets? Do you have any photos that might offer clues as to your ancestors’ connections to animals?
Brainstorm or tell some of these stories, even if you are only able to uncover fragments.
Choose an image and use it to inspire a new story, or incorporate a new aspect of a setting into an existing story.
5. Animal Perspectives
There are numerous books in which the main character is an animal, and we see the events of the story through that creature’s perspective.
For example, The Donkey Who Carried the Wounded by Jackie French tells the story of Gallipoli through the eyes of Simpson’s donkey, and The Dog with Seven Names by Dianne Wolfer explores life in Western Australia’s Pilbara region during the Second War through the eyes of a small dog after her owner has to leave the area.
Select a well-known historical moment and tell the story through the eyes of an animal who may have witnessed it.
6. Caring for Animals
If you could have any animal for a pet, what would it be?
Research what it would take to care for such an animal and create a ‘how to’ manual for future carers.
7. Animal Haven
Visit an animal shelter. If you’re not able to visit in person, take a look at the website for an animal shelter near you as well as the organisation’s social media pages (which often has photos and stories of animals being cared for).
Write a story based on your visit or about one of the animals you see there. You could write a story about one of the animals being rescued, real or imagined. If you already have a rescue pet (i.e. an animal rescued from a shelter rather than bought through a breeder or pet shop), you may like to write about them instead.
Over to You
Which creative writing prompt appeals to you most?
Get out your writing materials and start creating!