Writing Prompt Story Starter: Standing Out

story starter

This week’s Story Starter is inspired by the approach of harvest time — or the “hairst”, as it’s called in my part of Scotland.

Plenty food for thought, there, as regards story ideas. Harvesting, and farming over the years.

Contemporary farming, with lots of high-tech machinery, and smaller “gangs” of workers to help.

Farming in the old days, before we had the benefits of technology. Horse-driven machinery, and before that, horses and workers.

People travelling from farm to farm. Itinerant workers. Lots of characters!

Farming life. Following the seasons, year in, year out.

Holidays spent picking fruit, or potatoes.

I lived in a rural town when I was young. Lots of the local children there spent the summer picking berries.

We had two weeks off in October, and these holidays were originally based around the potato harvest.

Standing out from the crowd

This image is taken from a summer walk before the harvest in Fife, just across the water from Dundee.

I liked the idea of the one little red flower standing out on its own. It put me in mind of the little girl in the red coat in “Schindler’s List”.  Could it also help your writing this week?

Being brave. Being a one-off. Unique.

Not being afraid to stand out from the crowd. Standing up and being counted, even when that’s difficult. Standing up for what’s right.

The harvest festival. Traditionally we celebrate this on the Sunday nearest the harvest moon, which usually falls in September.

The seasons, changing from on to the other.

It’s definitely turning here in Scotland — the overnight forecast this weekend suggests temperatures being as low as 2 or 3 degrees in some countryside areas!

We’re always interested in ideas for serials.

Can you find scope for a serial set on a family farm, or in the countryside? Now, or in the past. Or a dual-period story?

Over to you!

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Fiction Editor Lucy is always on the look-out for the very best short stories, poems and pocket novels. As well as sourcing enjoyable content, she enjoys working with our established contributors, encouraging new talent, and celebrating 150 years of 'Friend' fiction!