Writing Prompt: Ghost

Written by Emily Harstone | October 24, 2013

In preparation for Halloween the prompt this week is to write a ghost story.

We don’t want traditional ghost stories here. We don’t want you to retell the ghost story that your cousin told you around the campfire in ninth grade.

Your ghost story must include five of the following ten words: Marriage, lake, cellphone, bookstore, manicure, stiletto, champagne, disco, clarinet, or chocolate.

The more of these words you use the more funny, strange, and challenging the assignment comes. Some of the best writing occurs when we stop writing about what we are normally preoccupied with and start writing about words and ideas that would not normally occur to us.

There is one more element to this writing prompt, you are not permitted to use any of the following five words in your story: pale, white, sheet, spirit, and fluttering.

By avoiding these words, we avoid some of the cliché language and imagery that has developed around ghosts.  We are forced to breathe some fresh air into this haunted genre.

Just write whatever your heart desires while following the aforementioned rules. Your version of a ghost story can be silly, scary, twisted, absurd, whimsical, or anything you want it to be.  Have fun with the language, play with the genre, and create something new.