Looking for all Articles by Nyla Ahmad?
Scotland's Stories writing prompt: Answering the call
A story writing prompt inspired by our Scotland's Stories: Adventure campaign.
We are asking the people of Scotland to share their real-life stories as part of our annual story writing campaign Scotland's Stories. Our 2023 theme is 'adventure'. Whether you love writing or haven't tried your hand at story writing since you left school, we hope you can use this prompt to help create a submission for Scotland's Stories.
You can also access this prompt in Gaelic.
Sometimes a moment comes when you need to step up to the plate and take on your next big adventure. Whether it is moving somewhere new, standing up for a cause worth defending or beginning a new career, there's no doubt these moments are life changing and life making. For this year's Scotland's Stories project we are asking the people of Scotland to tell us their true life tales of answering the call.
Often we can be inspired to make a change by people we look up to. Seeing someone else take up the mantel or take a leap of faith can help us forge our own paths and move on to our next chapter.
Draw 3 columns on a sheet of paper. In the first column, write the names of five people you admire. In the next column, write down the attributes that you respect and would like to emulate in those people. In the final column, consider times in your life where you have acted or wish you acted in a way that aligns with these values.
Making a choice
Think of a time when you were faced with a sliding doors moment. One where you had a clear decision tomake. Consider your feelings at the time. Were you excited? Nervous? Scared? What thoughts were going through your head? Select a few of these words and write a mind map for each. Consider the images, thoughts and feelings that these words conjure. See if you can expand on any of these mind maps to write a paragraph about your physical or mental state during one of these times.
Fighting for what's right
Think of a time when you felt motivated into action because it was the right thing to do, or consider a worthy cause that you feel passionate about. Why this issue is important to you? Is it a personal cause, or a global one? Free write your thoughts and try to hone in on your motivations. Think about what you would do or give up for something you believe in.
Think of a pivotal moment in your life, one that changed everything for you. You may have known at the time or it may only be looking back that you realise this was your genesis moment for the new you. Write about this moment as your origin story for who you became. What motivated you? What were you reacting to? How did it change you?
9 panel grid
Draw a 9-panel grid on a sheet of A4 paper by drawing 3 lines horizontally and 3 lines vertically across the sheet, creating panels of equal size. Consider your narrative and make notes about what will happen in each panel. Write down any dialogue or narration that will feature. Once you have a rough script, draw your story into the panels.
Think of a person who has been important in shaping your identity. It could be because they inspire you, or because they set a clear example. Write about their role in your life, who they are and why they are important to you. You could also consider their physicality and draw them, creating a (loving) caricature which you could annotate or write a caption to go alongside. How did they influence you to answer the call?
Share your story
If you've used one of our prompts to kickstart your creativity, we'd love to read what you've written! You have up to 1000 words to share your story, but you don't need to use them all. Make sure you submit your piece to Scotland's Stories by Friday 2 June to see it published on our website (and maybe even in this year's Book Week Scotland book!)
Submit your story