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Your Stories writing prompt: Community legends

A creative writing prompt based on the theme of Scotland's Stories

Language: English

Last updated: 01 April 2022

Scottish Book Trust is celebrating Scotland's Year of Stories 2022(this will open in a new window) by asking the people of Scotland to share their true stories as part of our annual writing project, Your Stories. Use this writing prompt to help you get inspired and start writing.

Storytelling is inherent to Scotland's national identity. The stories we tell, and who we share them with, are a fundamental part of our lives.

From remembering the tales passed down to us from family, the singular moments that brought us to a deeper understanding of ourselves, or the places, people and communities that helped us find home, stories connect us to ourselves and the people around us.

When we think of the stories that have played a big part in our lives, chances are some big personalities sit alongside them. Within every community there are those who go that extra mile; the people that touch everyone's lives in some way. People that inspire others to live in a way that's meaningful to them or explore their passions.

Use this writing prompt to kickstart your creativity, then submit your piece to our Your Stories project for the chance to be featured in a free book distributed during Book Week Scotland.

Warm-up

really great [people] make you feel that you, too, can become great.

- Mark Twain

Draw three columns on a piece of paper. In the first column, write the names of some people that have had a big impact on you or your community over the years. In the second, list some of the qualities that make those people special (their acts of kindness, tireless work, inspirational outlook on life). In the third column, write down some of the moments when these qualities have directly impacted your own life.

Brainstorm

Time to focus on the specifics of the moments you've just been thinking about. Why were they important? Why have they stuck with you? Perhaps a local librarian's knowledge and kindness led you to find the first book you truly loved. Did your favourite teacher's positivity and belief in you inspire you to achieve something great?

Try thinking about some of the scenarios and jot down a few words, images or sentences that come to mind.

Looking back

Looking forward

Enjoying the now

Start writing

Now that you know what you'd like to focus on it's time to start writing!

Decide on the perspective you are writing from. Will you frame it from an earlier version of yourself to heighten the emotion or immediacy? Or if you'd like it to feel more reflective and intimate you could try writing a letter instead.

If the images associated with your larger than life figure are particularly vivid, why not try and capture the story through a comic strip.

Share 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, Scotland's Stories. If you've used one of our prompts looking at the different strands of this year's theme, we'd love to read what you've written! Send us your story by Friday 10 June.

Share your story