Tuesday 23 January 2024

Writing prompt: Grandfather’s chest

Your grandfather has died recently. You clear out his house and find an old chest full of photos, letters and memorabilia.  What do you find that surprises you? What’s the explanation? Tell his story. Feel free to use another relation if you prefer. 

There is an opportunity here for some fascinating research: 

·         Look at the era your grandfather lived in.

·         Which big events happened? 

·         Think about the family life he may have had – which mementos of that do you find?

·          Is this an excuse to visit museums, look for old post cards and letters, and visit old houses?

Think about the form you will write in:

·         Will your character find the box and tell the story from there?

·         Will you dive straight into a diary or a series of letters?

·         Will you just tell the story, using a first or close third person point of view?

Idea for your writing group:

Prepare cards with lists of about half a dozen items that might have been found in a grandfather’s chest. Each person has to write a story based on the information on their card.


Food for thought

Objects of their time often tell us much more than when people try too hard to rationalise. So, think in terms of a bus ticket, a cinema programme or the adverts that surround an old newspaper clipping.  Also, consider why the grandfather or other relative kept those particular items.    


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