Writing Prompt Story Starter: Hollywood Movies

Shutterstock / Lukas Gojda ©

For this week’s story starter we’re going to Hollywood!

The world of cinema can open up a wealth of opportunities for creating a story. You can have a contemporary feel, but also a period story can have a cinema as a setting too.

How many first dates have been at a cinema? That’s a chance to decide if you want your story to be romantic or something else? Was the date a disaster? Did your characters bump into someone they weren’t expecting to see? How did the popcorn taste?

In the background

We can also have stories set behind the scenes at a picture house? There are usherettes (if you’re going for a period feel) and the job of the projectionist is hugely important. Plush velvet seats, double features and gasp, people smoking if your story is set in he past!

A cinema is the ideal setting to describe as well. Whether your story is set in the 1940s or 2022, the darkness, the people, the feel of the seats can all conjure up a place in a time period.

Hollywood Glamour!

Perhaps you fancy your cinema story to be about the people in the film? A story written round a film set or an audition offers up a number of potential genres. Leading man or leading lady? Grumpy director or novice costume designer?

There are cinemas all over the world. Perhaps you could think about a story centred around a drive-in movie theatre in 1950s America. They always looked so much fun in films! As always, the thing to remember are the characters. You can set the most vivid and interesting of scenes or locations, but if your characters are one dimensional, the story will fall flat. Give them a back story, however brief, and describe them physically.

You can spark your imagination by reading more of our writing prompts!


Tracey Steel

Having worked on a number of magazines over the years, Tracey has found her perfect place on The Friend as she’s obsessed with reading and never goes anywhere without a book! She reads all the PF stories with a mug of tea close by and usually a bit of strong cheese too!