Writing Prompt Story Starter: Lock And Key

Shutterstock © story starter

This week’s Story Starter has been “prompted” by a situation which has arisen lately, in my house — and it involves keys.

Locks can be funny things, especially when the weather’s unpredictable.

Here in Dundee it’s been mild and rainy over New Year, and then very cold and frosty.

Both my front and back door locks have decided they don’t like this change in the weather. And are playing up!

I’m either pulling on the patio door for dear life to get it to open a slight sliver, or nearly being lifted into the air, when it’s easy to move!

So I wondered if this might “unlock” a story idea for you, this week.

Weather-reliant, not compliant

Your story could relate to a situation which is dependent on the weather. Farming. Laundry. Yachting.

Rain stopping play. Ships becalmed. Wind turbines.

Weather stations.


Another situation I’m all too familiar with: misplacing my keys!

Finding keys. Perhaps an old one? Car keys. Not sure which key is which.

Forgetting your key. Or being a key-holder.

Holding the key — to a secret, or to exam success, perhaps.

Key ingredients. Something that’s essential, pivotal, critical.

The keys to a new house?

Musical keys, major, and minor. Piano keys.

The key of the door. Turning 21?

Key West, and Key Largo.

Press any key.

Typewriter keys. Keyboards.

Unlocking the key — to a puzzle, maybe?


Being locked in — or out! Locksmiths. Under lock and key.

Locks, on river and canal waterways.

Hope you have fun writing this week. Why not try jotting down some key ideas on a mind map, then see if anything develops from there?

Good luck!

Looking for another Story Starter? You can find plenty here.

Lucy Crichton

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 155 years of 'Friend' fiction!