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Writing exercise: What changes the future?

Creative writing exercises based on the theme Future

Last updated: 06 April 2020

Every day we cast ourselves into the future, imagining what’s next in our lives. For many of us, the future represents opportunity and gives us hope that we can make positive change for our loved ones, our communities or ourselves. 

Warm up exercise: word bank

At the top of your piece of paper or document, write the words past, present and future in three columns.

Spend a few minutes adding whatever words come to mind under each column. This will provide you with useful words and ideas for writing your story.

Could you move some words into other columns? Why might some words fit more naturally in one column than the other? Could you draw lines across the columns and make new phrases? Could you write a poem which uses any of these phrases or words? 

Brainstorm: Future objects

“We did not come here to fear the future. We came here to shape it.” Barack Obama

Make a list of objects that have changed our world. Try categorising these from old to new (the wheel to mobile phones), by size (microchips to satellites) and by usefulness (from antibiotics to a parking app). What do they all have in common? Where do they differ? 

What are some great inventions that haven’t made it into the future? Why not? Do they have anything in common?

Start writing

Now it's time to harness inspiration from the thoughts, words and images you’ve created and start writing! Here are some prompts to get your story started. 

Send us your story

As part of our annual writing project - Your Stories - we’re asking people all over Scotland to submit true stories inspired by this year’s theme, Future, including stories of a future they imagine for themselves.

Even if you’ve never written before, we'd love to hear from you. Your story can be in written, audio or video form. You could write a story, poem, play, letter, or even a comic strip! We'd love to receive stories in Scots and Gaelic too.

Every entry will appear on our website and a selection will be published in a free book for Book Week Scotland(this will open in a new window), our national celebration of books and reading.

Share your story

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