Boxing Clever

boxessThere is something intriguing about boxes, isn’t there? I love them, tin boxes, cardboard, wooden, even plastic ones, they all appear in my personal creative container collection (which is vast).

So here is today’s creative writing prompt, a line in a story:

“If only they’d checked what was inside the box.”

This can be a mystery for you to solve. Think about what may be contained in that box, why and where. Who put it there? How long has it been there? Who knows about it? Is it hiding a secret? Perhaps there is something significant kept in a box on a shelf, something which no-one knows about – yet it has been there for days/weeks/months/years (delete as appropriate), hiding in plain sight. The truth only comes to light when something happens…

Try writing a story for the Allingham Festival Flash Fiction Competition. Details here. Write a maximum of 700 words and enter online by September 28th, with a chance to win €300.

I like colourful boxes to give my workspace some semblance of order, although that’s a lost cause really. I don’t always label them, so can spend too long opening and closing boxes looking for something that ends up being in a drawer all along.

That said, recently I’ve been choosing photographs and personal mementos to confine to a box, one I don’t have to look in again for a while, although I’ll be sure to recognise it on a top shelf. That’s why I chose the title for this piece, ‘Boxing Clever’.

And if you are still reading, here’s the reveal of what’s in one of the boxes in the picture. box insidesThis is a collection of prompts I often bring to our writing group meetings. We’ll take out three or four items at random and see where they take us. And guess what? Each of us will come up with something different, despite starting with the same prompts.

Remember, someone may copy your good idea, but they can never write it the way you would.

This is the 60th creative writing prompt I have posted since the end of March 2020. Every Wednesday afternoon at 5pm (Dublin time) I post a new prompt and suggest a way in which you can use it. I usually offer suggestions for short stories, flash fiction, poetry, memoir or creative non-fiction.

I began this as a Lockdown project  for my creative writing group members, creating 42 daily writing prompts and exercises, knowing 42 is the answer to Life, the Universe and Everything (as the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams explains in full). It began here. When the 42 days were up, I decided to go weekly instead. I’m still going, and I will continue until I’ve had enough (or someone insists I stop).