Welcome to Writing Prompt Pit Stop! How could I let this time of year go by and not have a prompt directed at all of the festivities of Halloween? As a kid, Halloween was one of my favorite holidays…I even remember my first Halloween costume which was a cat, of course, but it was a one piece deal with the mask sewn onto a “robe” that covered my entire five-year-old body down to my ankles. The mask portion must have been at least a foot and a half across in length and width (or at least it seemed like it!). Now, I’m wishing I had a photo of it. I haven’t thought of that costume in years, but in my mind’s eye I can see it as plain as day – smell the inside of that mask. Don’t Halloween masks have their own smell?
I went “trick or treating” for years…up until about high school. And, in high school I did participate in a few pranks…but what I remember most is a car load of friends going out to the “haunted” cemetery near our hometown and “seeing” all of the ghosts and goblins “appear” on the headstones. Or were those just headlights? I can still hear the screams and the laughter…the pushing and the shoving of each other as we ran back to the safety of our cars.
As a young mother, I enjoyed making an interesting costume for my baby daughter when she was just seven months old – she was Raggedy Ann to my then year and a half old nephew’s Raggedy Andy. I still treasure the polaroid picture…that proves the orange yarn for their “hair,” and the rosy cheeks.
I’m not near the fan of Halloween at my age now as I was at one time…although in recent years I have been coaxed into costumes once more, and I guess I don’t hate it…it’s just not my favorite holiday like it used to be. Nevertheless, the holiday does lend itself to a lot of memories…just as the few that I’ve mentioned here, as well as all types of fun stories that can be spun with ghosts, zombies, witches, and, well, the list goes on and on. So without further spooky ado, here’s your eighteenth prompt (Yes, I messed the count up last week – like I said, I’m a writer, not a mathematician! LOL! This truly is the eighteenth W.P.P.S.):
“Spooky Writing: A Trick or Treat?”
1) I don’t believe there’s a “trick” to writing…except to keep at it…but if there is a trick…it’s finding time to sit down, relax, and put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard. With that said, here’s some ideas that might make writing about Halloween a “treat”: In your daybook write for 10 minutes about your favorite Halloween costume, your worst Halloween, your scariest Halloween, the pranks that you and your friends pulled on Halloween, or the neighbor you never wanted to go to their door on Halloween. In addition, you can probably think of other events/friends/parties etc. that would lend themselves as prompts to write about various Halloweens through your childhood and adolescent years. Obviously, you can get a lot of traction just from this one set of prompts, but there’s always more!
2) Write about what it was like to drag your kid sister/brother along on Halloween, if you’re a parent – what are your favorite memories of taking your child/children trick or treating? Are you someone that hates Halloween? Why? What’s a tradition that your family always did for Halloween? Can you believe at one time there weren’t all of these Halloween lights and decorations that rival Christmas? If you’re a certain age, say over 40…what was different about Halloween when you were a child? If you’re under 40 – what do you imagine Halloween was like back in the 80s, the 70s, the 60s?
3) If you’re into fiction – what are your favorite Halloween “characters” that you can write about? Zombies? Gremlins? Witches? Ghosts? Headless Horsemen? Can you come up with a special brand of ghoul…maybe a funny one instead of a scary one? Think about conflict…go against the grain! This could be a fun exercise to see where you could place your “frightening” character(s)!
4) Once you have written to one of the prompts…or all of them…see which one strikes your fancy and then expand on it until you exhaust your idea. Tailor it to your own type of writing, be it a poem, a short story, a play, or a piece of creative nonfiction. Once you have something you like, go back through and proofread, cut, add, and as always: revise, revise, revise!!!
As with all writing, this “Trick or Treat” writing should be fun! And I remind you that if you ever want to share any successes or attempts that you get from these prompts, don’t hesitate to let me know. You can contact me here.
Look for another prompt next Wednesday! Until then, keep writing!