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2021: Celebrating The Writers' Greenhouse
10 YEAR anniversary!

Saturday, 11 May 2019

Weekly writing prompt: thriller fairytale

Thriller Fairytale

Your writing prompt for the weekend is to write a THRILLER FAIRYTALE. This prompt is to play with writing in a different genre (thriller) and as some readymade content to go with that, grab a fairy tale: we have a plentiful stock of them and they belong to everyone. You can make it a creepy pyschological thriller or an action Dan-Brown style thriller, whichever amuses you more / is less like the way you usually write. (If you write lots of thriller stuff already, try the approach least like your usual style) Pick a fairytale you know well – fairytales lend themselves quite well to thrillers, as they have plenty of Looming Peril. You might find it fun to pick one you mostly know from Disney, to get more of a feel of subverting it.

If you're doing this as a ten-minute exercise, don't worry about getting to the end of the story; just start at the beginning, or whatever seems like the most exciting scene to write, and see how far you get. Have fun!

This is the 1st of 12 weekly writing prompts in the run-up to the Summer of Writing workshops in Oxford this August: 5 one-day creative writing workshops for adults, for any level from beginners to experienced writers. There's be a new prompt each week, so you can subscribe to the blog here:

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You can also follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram to get reminders. Each of the prompts loosely connects with one of the Summer of Writing workshops: this one links with Page Turners, as the thriller genre has a lot to teach us about keeping a story gripping! The full list of Summer of Writing workshops is...

  • Saturday 3 August: Page-Turners: how to keep the reader reading – whether you’re writing literary fiction or a pot-boiler thriller
  • Saturday 10 August: Writing In Scenes: explore how to balance the different ingredients of a scene and ways of approaching the “big scenes” in your story
  • Saturday 17 August: Characters Unlike You: explore a range of ways to write characters unlike yourself and vary a story's cast, while you develop new characters
  • Saturday 24 August: Hone Your Style: explore what makes quality prose, from angela carter’s richness to margaret atwood’s restraint, and hone your own style
  • Saturday 31 August: Publishing: how to submit your writing for publication: find where to send it, sort your layout, and write synopses and cover letters
Read more details about the Summer of Writing workshops and book your places here. NB: Workshops are limited to 12 places and fill up quickly, so do book in advance if you can.

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