Writing Prompt Story Starter: Laundry Day

How’s this for a laundry line? Remember my trip to Amsterdam a few weeks ago? It’s already been the source of several Story Starter writing prompt images. Now here’s another one.

We spotted this as we crossed one of the canals and approached a more modern corner block. And as usual, it tickled my interest.

I like the creative use of the balcony rail. Not that it is a balcony, actually. To me that’s somewhere that protrudes from the building and where you could sit out. This is really just a guard rail so that, come summer – or laundry day! – the resident can open those floor-to-ceiling windows wide and not fall out. That’s a nice thought for a grey November week, isn’t it: long summer evenings and the joy of a whispering breeze.

But anyway, back to more practical thoughts and the laundry itself. All those white shirts – or blouses? Blouses, I reckon, don’t you? They suggest a waitress, or a very particular type of office employee. A uniform.  Working a six-day week, since there’s six on each side. Two weeks? Or two people? Flatmates who waitress together? Three waitresses working a four-day week? After all, there are also three bath towels…. Maybe hotel staff. You know how hotels always have just white towels.

Set your story abroad

If this was the story, I’d keep that non-UK setting since it adds a different aspect.

Have the towels been filched? Opportunistically requisitioned? Bestowed by the laundry manager who has a soft spot for the girls – or one of them?

But what else does it all make you think of? Being organised. Or being constrained and working with it. Perhaps being creative.

Squeezing a quart into a pint pot.

Perhaps the blouses remind you of school shirts…

White. Purity. Or simply colourless.

I’ll hand over to you now to see what bright ideas you come up with.

PS Look – I’ve got my comments back! Yay!

For more Writing Prompt Story Starters, look under the Fiction tab on our home page.  And have you ever wondered what happens when your story gets here?  Lucy explains. 


Shirley Blair

Fiction Ed Shirley’s been with the “Friend” since 2007 and calls it her dream job because she gets to read fiction all day every day. Hobbies? Well, that would be reading! She also enjoys writing fiction when she has time, long walks, travel, and watching Scandi thrillers on TV.