Random Objects in Sale

This morning was the second regular Young Writers Group at the Sale Library.

At my face to face sessions, I like to play with writing prompts that are unexpected. This morning, I collected a number of random objects and put them in my ‘Mystery Box’.

Items included:

  • Mini mug
  • Stuffed wombat
  • Bow hairclip from the 1990s
  • Christmas cracker
  • Flower brooch
  • Knight toy
  • Teaspoon
  • Small tennis ball
  • Toy fire engine
  • Drum on a keyring
  • Skeleton arm pen
  • Odd sock
  • Bath toy
  • Sunglasses

The beauty of this sort of prompt is that I can include any random objects I find around the house. I do have a collection of goodies I keep especially for Writers Group, like the Christmas Cracker. I had enough items for each booked in participant to have two items, however, as some didn’t show up, each participant was able to choose three items.

I gave the participants the instructions to write a story inspired by the random objects they had picked out of the box.

As well as playing with the objects, the kids had a lot of fun creating stories and using the objects in ways I didn’t see coming.

Introducing Wally the Worst a wombat who wanted to be ‘naughty’ like the quokka’s as the humans seemed to like them better and reward them with food!

Wally is trying to be cool wearing sunglasses…

The pen was swapped for drums, so this may give you an idea to where the story went, but you are likely to be wrong!

Introducing Sir Bob who would explore on his flower named Horse! Sir Bob went up a volcano and met a skeleton (this is where the pen ended up). They had some fantastic adventures together.

Before writing, the kids had fun playing with the objects, and this is part of the creative process. If the knight hadn’t been placed into the flower, then the flower named Horse may not have eventuated.

They fun in a random object prompt is that you can use any objects you like and let the participants explore. If you want to, you can add an additional guideline, such as a seasonal story, or leave it open. You can also encourage participants to find different ways to use the objects than what may be obvious. Participants are also free to write in any style or genre they choose.

Every time I do this prompt, it’s a little different depending on the size of the group as sometimes they will have the same objects, today each participant had different objects. Awesome stories were written and I can’t wait to see what they all come up with next time.

For details of my workshops, or to book me to come to your local library, click here.

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About Melissa

Melissa Gijsbers started writing when she was in High School during the 1990s, even winning some awards for a short story and a script. For many years, life got in the way of creative writing, however she did start blogging around 2006.

She currently lives in Melbourne, Australia with her two sons and a pet blue tongue lizard.

Melissa Gijsbers, Author, Speaker & Booklover
Melissa Gijsbers - Author, Speaker & Booklover
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