Writing Prompt Story Starter: Flowers

Shutterstock / slavkoart © story starter

I have chosen flowers as this week’s story starter. Quite a simple concept, but hopefully an interesting one, too.

Flowers conjure up colours and good times. They can also be given in sympathy and as get-well tokens. I remember once seeing the title “Where have all the flowers gone?”, and it made me think of endless possibilities.

Perhaps, what was once beautiful is no more. But that doesn’t mean to say the meaning has to be melancholy. As with the seasons, winter will eventually turn to spring.

To me, flowers convey optimism. And though flowers won’t last for ever, the lasting impression they make can last a lifetime.

Flowers – the perfect gift

For example, flowers are often sent as a romantic gesture. Flowers are also sent as a token of forgiveness. The great thing about flowers, or any gift for that matter, is you can write it from either the recipient’s or sender’s viewpoint. That in itself might pave the way for contrasting characters’ opinions and feelings.

What I like about the enclosed basket of roses is they look like they were specially, and no doubt carefully, hand-picked. So why are they haphazardly hanging out of the basket?

It makes a more eye-catching image, that’s for sure. But what about for storytelling purposes? Here’s what springs to my mind.

Collected for a wedding, the roses could reflect a minimalist bride, whether the story set in the past or present. If the roses were thrown haphazardly to the side, could this be due to petulance, anger or jealously?

I like the idea of the basket of roses as an artist’s prop – the artist looking for the perfect prop for his sitter.

But again, the somewhat discarded look appeals to me. Does it say something to you and your next “Friend” story?

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”.