Open Age Creative Writing Blog



Bicycle Stories…


Do you have a bicycle story?

Either about yourself or your experience of bicycles?

Ideas, thoughts, stories about bicycles, fiction or non-fiction…

Did you learn to ride a bicycle as a child? As an adult?

Or never?

Let the wheels of your imagination guide you and write a short story, a long story, a poem, or a rant even:

about bicycles…

Please share it with us if you do!

Light – A Writing Activity


The days are getting longer, very gradually. This exercise gets you thinking about light, and the many forms in which it appears.

  • Think about daylight first. Each morning, thank goodness without fail, the sunlight gradually greets us. Think about its qualities. Maybe there’s a particularly memorable dawn you once saw, and a story around it which you want to tell. Think about the sheer power of the light from the sun – it can even be dangerous – if we’re driving and momentarily blinded, or when it causes skin cancer, or if we use a magnifying glass to focus its rays. Maybe there’s a fictional story to create in which a character is momentarily blinded by the sun and risks his / her life, or someone else’s.
  • When the natural light lessens then artificial lights come on – street lamps, house lights, headlights. And twilight is an in-between time when perceptions change, a time symbolic of near-endings, dwindlings, and change generally. Maybe something particular happens for you or your character at this time.
  • And how about when it’s night…. There’s the cold light of the moon, reflecting the light from the sun. There’s the monthly full moon, with all its associations of wildness (literally lunacy) or romance. There are stars, each shining with a different quality of light – some twinkle rose-pink, some glimmer white – and often planes pass overhead slowly with tail and wing lights blinking. Shooting stars, or satellites, sometimes delight us. Maybe you once stayed out at night lying on the ground watching the stars and the night sky. Maybe you were an expert on the constellations as an avid science student. At night, the lit windows of trains hurry down the tracks, the windows of houses offer a small yellow square in the dark. Maybe you see something through one of these windows, maybe even something secret, something you shouldn’t have seen.
  • Maybe you have a favourite lamp, or there’s a lampshade you inherited, and it has a story to tell.
  • Maybe the light from your mobile phone stops you sleeping at night and you’re exhausted, and you want to sing about it.
  • Maybe you want to create an exciting story about something that happened in the dark – in a forest when someone’s torch stopped working, in an ancient imaginary cave when the fire went out, in a cellar at the bottom of a house.
  • Maybe you’ll choose to imagine what it’s like to go blind and lose light – or, conversely, to gain too much of it – to enter the long, sleepless Scandinavian summer waiting for a restful night-time that won’t arrive?

Real or fictional, write a story in which light is important.

[this exercise is derived from Jo Bell’s marvellous blog of writing exercises called “52”, one for every week of the year

Look out for a soon-to-be-launched book of writing activities by Jo Bell, based on her blog]

Writing Exercise – “Food”

Colorful Fruit Food Square Background

Food delights the senses – tempts the taste buds, conjures aromas, seduces us with colours and textures. Here’s an activity which really allows you to explore your senses through writing, by focusing on the theme of food from a number of possible angles.

(1) Write about a particular meal you once had that was memorable. Talk about the occasion, the setting, the conversation, as well as the food itself. Maybe it was memorable for good reasons, maybe for the wrong reasons.

(2) Write about a favourite food, and what it means to you, as well as describing the food itself. Maybe you can come up with an unusual simile to conjure up what eating this food is like.

(3) Write about a time you gave food away to someone who needed it more. Or perhaps more dangerously, write about a time when you failed to do so and walked away guilty.

(4) Maybe you once used to get food cravings for a particular type of food (I nearly typed pearticular there). Write about the experience.

(5) If starfuit make you think about that visit to Africa, write a story where you eat a starfruit and are taken back there in your mind.

(6) Write a commentary on politics about food banks, world famine, food wastage, recycling. Get angry if you want to.

(7) If there was a strange food or a particular recipe which you used to rely on when recovering from illness, write about that.

(8) Maybe you once tried a really unusual, exotic or strange food. Tell us about it.

Adapted from Jo Bell’s marvellous poetry blog “52” –

PD James 10 Tips for Writing Novels


PD James the great crime novelist has passed away at the age of 94.

Here she shares 10 Tips for Writing Novels for all you aspiring writers great words of wisdom from one of the greatest crime writers.

I am lucky to have written as many books as I have. It has been a joy.

PD James


Nanorwimo – Do you have a novel in you?


November is National Novel Writing Month! Do you have a novel in you? Why not join this fun national challenge and put pen to paper?

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing. On November 1, participants begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 PM on November 30.

Valuing enthusiasm, determination, and a deadline, NaNoWriMo is for anyone who has ever thought fleetingly about writing a novel.

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