I thought some writing prompts for the spookiest time of year would be appropriate. Even if one doesn’t celebrate Halloween, one is surrounded by the decorations and the excitement of children who want to trick-or-treat and get as much candy as possible. Have fun with the prompts.
1) This morning I had to make an early run to the store to pick up some onions. As I drove down the road, I noticed that there were absolutely no other cars to be seen. Ahead of me there was a rather creepy wall of fog. So, imagine your character has to make an early morning run into town for one reason or another. The roads are mysteriously deserted. This makes her uneasy. Then, to make matters worse, she drives into heavy fog, fog so heavy that you can hardly see through it. Her driving slows to a mere crawl.
Now what happens? Has the town been invaded by monsters and/or aliens? Is there a deranged serial killer on the loose who has wiped out everyone? What if the rapture has taken place, and your character has been left behind? Or is there a simpler explanation for no one being around, such as a huge birthday party your character knew nothing of, or perhaps there was an important town meeting?
2) Halloween is the time of year that seems to make most people think of ghosts, goblins, things that go bump in the night, and other creepy, scary things. For your story, it has been fall for about a month and a half. The trees look forlorn and barren, there are no flowers blooming, and everything looks dismal. Throw in a few black cats and a deserted house in the woods, and you have the perfect setting for a creepy story.
Little Emily is wandering down a path through the dismal woods searching for her lost puppy. She sees her pet go inside the deserted house and goes in after him. What creepy things does she find inside? How does she deal with what is in there? Most importantly, does she manage to save her puppy and get him home safely?
3) Shelly has had a very long day teaching her kindergarten class. Nap time was especially rough. One of the little children just did not want to lay down and go to sleep. Listening to this child cry was about more than Shelly could stand. By the time she manages to leave work and go home, the sky is dark, and storm clouds are gathering.
Rain begins to gently patter on her windshield and gradually turns into a torrential downpour, a downpour so hard that she can hardly see where she is heading. She is crawling down the road, so as not to run into anything, when she sees a small child walking down the road in the rain. Isn’t that Teresa, a little girl in her kindergarten class? The one who causes most of the trouble? What is she doing out in this storm all by herself? For that matter, what is she doing out on this normally busy road walking alone?
Shelly pulls over beside Teresa to see if she can help her. Take it from there.
4) What about a Halloween story that isn’t creepy? Write about a family who celebrates Halloween in a different way. Write about the discrimination and misunderstanding they encounter, as well as why they choose not to celebrate this holiday in the traditional way.
Jessica’s family doesn’t celebrate Halloween, instead they simply celebrate the autumn season by having a party with a cookout in the beautiful fall weather. They roast marshmallows, go on hayrides, visit with friends, and pick apples to make pies, apple dumplings, and jams. The other children at Jessica’s school make fun of her for choosing not to participate in their Halloween activities.
It is the week of Halloween. Spend a day at school with Jessica. Kids can be so cruel; are there any of the students that don't make fun of her? Are there any that don't give her a hard time for not celebrating this holiday?
5) The setting for the next prompt is a boarding school where the ghost of a former teacher roams the halls. His ghost is friendly and likes to play games with the students now there. On one cold autumn evening, a malevolent ghost with no particular home passes by the school and decides to make it his home. He moves in and begins wreaking havoc with the resident ghost, the teachers, and the students. What happens?
6) A scientist working for the government has made an astounding discovery – a new health food created, approved, and marketed by the government has been found to cause major health problems, including death. Sometimes, the effects don’t show up for years. The government will not allow her to share what she has found. On the contrary, they state that her studies were sabotaged and her findings false. She is accused of sabotaging her own studies and relieved from her job. Terror grips her heart when she realizes that it is the plan of the government to have this new ‘health food’ a part of every food that is sold. What are the long term plans of this government? How does this scientist go about trying to stop this? Are her efforts a success?