Writing Prompt Story Starter: Gone Fishing


Shutterstock / Andrii Osavoliuk © story starter

For this week’s story starter, I’ve chosen a fishing image. Now, I’m not particularly fond of fishing, but I remember I fished a lot as a child in the 1970s. Maybe it’s a guy thing, but my brother and I were encouraged by my dad and grandad to go fishing with them.

I’d sometimes travel to rivers on the back of my dad’s scooter, complete with fishing tackle and picnic basket – health and safety took a back seat in the Seventies.

To my knowledge, my dad and grandad didn’t seem all that enthused by the pastime, either. But beauty is often found in simple things and, the wonderful thing about our fishing days was, we spent quality time with each other. Let’s face it, when you are waiting for fish to bite, what else is there to do but chat and strengthen relationships.

This brings me on to the fishing image. I like its simplicity and apparent calm. A person fishing on a scenic river, or lake, no doubt has time to reflect.

A happy place

I like the idea of finding peace and happiness while fishing, especially relating to current mental health awareness. Of course, a fishing story can involve more than one character – a group of newbie fishers might make for an amusing read.

At times, I think single character stories can be tricky. There’s a fine balance between exploring a character’s thoughts and moving the plot forward. However, it can closely involve the reader with the character.

If your character is on a fishing trip, he, or she, will still interact with what’s around them, whether it’s people or the environment.

There still has be conflict. A solitary character still needs a story goal, and wherever there’s a goal an obstacle should be present, too.

My fishing days helped me fall in love with the coast. And also appreciate time – whether spent with family or friends, or simply time to ponder.

As the American philosopher and poet Henry David Thoreau said, “Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.”

Alan Spink

Alan is a member of the “Friend” Fiction Team. He enjoys working closely with writers and being part of the creative process which sees storytelling ideas come to fruition. A keen reader, he also writes fiction and enjoys watching football and movies in his spare time. His one aspiring tip to new writers is to “write from your imagination”.