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Writing Wednesday: Death in the Family

Welcome to another fun filled and cheerful Writing Wednesday! I’ve pulled together some weird and wonderful ideas and topics from around the internet to help give everyone a mid-week writing boost. Whilst these ideas might not work for everyone I hope they might provide a little bit of inspiration and encouragement to practice your skills. I’ve also included some creative exercises I’ve picked throughout my creative writing studies.

So, without further a-do the topic for this week is:

A Death in the Family

As writers, we need to hone the capacity to draw on the worst of our experience and make our stories as believable as possible. I learnt this tip at University and it makes for a very uncomfortable Creative Writing Workshop. If thinking too deeply about death is going to be upsetting, please pass on this exercise with my love, I appreciate that it’s not good for everyone. If you’re as morbid as me, this is what you do! Take five minutes to think of the person you truly love most. It might be your Mum and Dad, your Brother or Sister. Maybe it’s your Husband, Wife or Partner. Hold that picture in your mind. You don’t have to tell anyone who you love most if it’s going to cause an awkward dinner.

Now imagine how you would feel if they died suddenly and unexpectedly.

Yep. That’s apparently where I am in life today! In all realness though, imagine if something terrible happened to them, how would you feel, how would you cope? Would you want to scream from the roof or embrace your inner Miss Haversham (I reference her all the time, I’m not sure what that says.) Write down in the first person how you think you would move through the world after such an event. Would you be out for revenge, on a mission to find out what happened or would you be ready to give up. Write with the intention of expressing how you might truly feel. Once you’ve got a page, place it carefully into a deep drawer where no one will find it for between 6 months and 9 years.

When the terrible moment of loss comes for a character in your story, you’ll be ready. You can also play around with how it happens, hit by a bus, zombie virus, just do you.

How do you feel about this exercise, is it too macabre?

What’s your favourite writing exercise?


7 thoughts on “Writing Wednesday: Death in the Family

  1. Good exercise. At first I was going to complain that I thought we should go ahead and draw on experiences we’ve actually had. But that would be too limited-this way is better – we can imagine ALL the different ways we could react or , if we want to be a sociopath ( is there a choice?), not react . Thanx!


    1. I think it’s good practice to write about things that are uncomfortable, death, first dates, spiders, etc 😂. The sage advice is always to write what you know, which definitely works out better, but there are always going to be times when our experience falls short. I feel like writing as a sociopath weekly would be a good exercise! It’d start as a bit of practice and then we’d gradually start channelling the character in real life and it would take over our lives! There’s a novel in there somewhere 😉 Thanks for reading!


  2. So a fictional death 🙂 I have written posts and at least one poem about real deaths in the family. I found it cathartically healing. But probably not fodder for a macabre story or three! This weekend’s paper here suggested an exercise in which you write your own eulogy. Interesting thought.


    1. I think it helps to write it out, there’s a lot of research that supports writing and journaling as a way of making sense of the world. That’s an interesting thought too, it’s good to consider how you think of yourself vs how your seen by others too!

      Liked by 1 person

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