Writing Prompt: Nighttime

Shutterstock / Denis Belitsky © nighttime

This week’s writing prompt is nighttime. Setting your story at night can add a completely different atmosphere to your story. 


Sunsets are often seen as being romantic. Perhaps your story takes place as the sun is going down. 

They can also be symbols of an ending, whether negative or positive. The end of a perfect day, the end of an era, the end of a relationship. 

It could be a way for you to add a time limit on your story. Is your character trying to get home before night sets in? 

The night sky 

What if your story is set in an observatory, or a planetarium? 

Does your character have a top of the line telescope so they can gaze up at the stars in perfect resolution? 

Are they a photographer who specialises in magical shots of the milky way? 

Travellers in the night 

Why is your character up and about after midnight? Are they having trouble sleeping? Why? 

Do they work a night shift? Is their romantic interest on a day shift? 

Are they travelling to the airport to take an early morning flight? Where are they going, and why? Who are they travelling with? 

Are they at a party? What are they celebrating? 

Are they outside specifically to see nocturnal animals? Which animal are they hoping to spot more than any other?

Is there a chance they could spot the aurora borealis?

The five senses 

If your story is set outside, then what can your character hear? With limited vision, your character will be more in tune with sounds and smells at night than they are in the day time. 

What don’t they hear? Busy roads should be quiet, for example.  

If it’s a summer night, is it much cooler than it had been in the day time? Or is it balmy and humid? 

Where is your character? Nighttime in the country is very different from nighttime in the city.

Mystery and intrigue 

Nighttime adds more mystery and intrigue to a cosy crime story.  

Who is skulking about in the shadows? 

It also adds more atmosphere to a historical story, or an adventure. Is your character travelling from city to city along dark roads? Are there bandits or wolves in the woods? 

Just make sure not to make it too scary if you’re writing it for The People’s Friend!

Feeling inspired? Try another writing prompt.

Abigail Phillips

Abbie is the newest member of the fiction team at the "Friend." She loves how varied the role is - every day is different and there is always a new story to read. She is keen to work closely with established writers and discover new writers, too.