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Scotland's Stories writing prompt: The best is yet to come

A story writing prompt inspired by our Scotland's Stories: Hope campaign.

Language: English

Last updated: 25 March 2024

You can also access this prompt in Gaelic.

Scottish Book Trust is asking people all over Scotland to submit their true, personal stories on this year’s theme of Hope. 

Use this writing prompt to get your creative juices flowing. You can submit your piece here for the chance to be featured in a free book, produced by Scottish Book Trust, that will be distributed around the country during Book Week Scotland 2024. 

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 7 June to see it published on our website (and maybe even in this year’s Book Week Scotland book!).

The best is yet to come

Are you working towards something big? Whether it’s finding your ultimate job, moving somewhere you’ve always dreamed of living or something more personal, our hopes and dreams matter because they keep us engaged in the story of our own lives. Even in tough times, the faith we place in ourselves can bring us closer to the future we envisage.

There is nothing like a dream to create the future.

- Victor Hugo

Warm-up: Daydreaming the Future

Often, the starting point for a plan or an ambition is an idle daydream – staring out of the window and imagining ‘what if’. Taking the time to capture what you imagine in those moments can be a springboard to the story you want to tell yourself.

With a large sheet of blank paper and a pencil, close your eyes or stare out of a window and allow yourself to imagine your future.

Write down or draw the following as you daydream:


Kid hopes

Think about what you used to answer as a kid when someone asked what you wanted to be when you grew up. Remember how you felt – what felt exciting about your answer? How did you feel? What did you think you would be like in the future? Make a note of the things you had forgotten or you want to hold onto from your childhood ambitions.

Extension – If you want to, you could write out a conversation that kid you might have with adult you about your hopes for your future.

Scripting the future

Think of your progress to your future goal as a film in which you are the protagonist. Make some notes against each of the steps below to build script structure for the movie of the pursuit of your dream.

This script structure is based on Dan Harmon’s Story Circle.

You – You now, in your familiar life

Hope – The dream you need to reach

Go – What is the first thing that needs to happen to make your dream a reality?

Share – Who do you talk to about your hope – who can help you along the way?

Find – You make your hope a reality

Take – How is it different to what you expected?

Return – What will everyday life be like once you have achieved your hope?

Change – How do you think you will change in the process?

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.

Look at the three panels that run diagonally from top left to bottom right. In the top left make notes about where you are now in your life, in the middle panel make notes about where you will be halfway on your journey to realising your hope for the future and in the bottom left make notes about where you want to end up.

Now use the remaining six panels to fill in the gaps of the story you imagine for yourself. Refer back to the details, images and ideas from all of the exercises you have done so far. Write down any dialogue or narration you would like to feature in each panel.

Once you have a rough script, draw the story of your hope for the future into the panels.