Writing Prompt Story Starter: Doors

Shutterstock / Solarisys © Collage of different doors

This week’s story starter is a little different in that it’s a montage of doors. In my eyes, doors make excellent visual prompts. Like in the attached image, doors appear in different colours, materials and designs. But it’s what lies behind them intrigues me most.

Does the colour of a door reflect the resident’s personality? For example, positive colours such as orange, pink, red and yellow. Alternatively, the door might reflect “serious” colours such as black or grey. These colours can also represent different meanings depending on cultural variances.

It’s ways of looking at something as simple as a door as a story starter.

What about a house door that’s always closed? Maybe the house is waiting for new owners, or the owner is a bit of a recluse, preferring solitude to social interaction. Does that make the house any less inviting?

Maybe all that’s required is for a person to knock on the aforementioned door and for a mysterious counterpart to answer. Then a story unfolds.

Home is where the heart is

Does a weather-beaten door look any less inviting? The door might exude personality, then – its cracked and peeling paint inviting a closer look. Then there’s an iron door. After all, a man’s home is his castle. Does such a door exude grandeur or simple pragmatism?

I remember my parents and grandparents saying they grew up in an age when the doors to their houses were always open. By that I mean, the doors were rarely locked during the day.

More than likely unrealistic in this day and age, but the idea of an open door can symbolise a friendly greeting and warm beverage inside.

What happens if it’s a locked door and a person needs to get (lawfully) inside? This could lead to some inventive, humorous storytelling.

I watched the film “Turner And Hooch” the other night, and it featured that exact scenario. Tom Hanks couldn’t get into his own house as the dog Hooch had locked him out. Clever animals are dogs.

So, next time you pass an interesting door, ask yourself, “What lies beyond the threshold . . . ?”

Check out more story starters on our website for writing inspiration.

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 tip to new writers is “write from your imagination”.