Writing Adventures: Story searching out and about

Our reporter Gill James has been keeping herself busy with creative writing exercises during lockdown and as we ease ourselves into life after lockdown she wants you to continue, enjoy and join in with our series, Writing Adventures!

Now that we’re gradually coming out of lockdown you may be getting out and about a little more. Here’s a nifty way of using that to help you create a story. This works particularly well if you go for a walk on your own.

The big secret to this is not to look for a story as you go, but just to keep your eyes open – and maybe also your nose and ears.

Just make a mental note of anything interesting you see. You might even take a few snaps with your phone or jot a few notes into it.

Here are a few details of my experiences of this sort of walk…

Winchester Cathedral

Our lecturers told us to spend an hour or so walking around Winchester cathedral without talking to anyone.

We couldn’t figure out why they were asking us to do this but sure enough, I began to notice some interesting things:

  • The figures in the nativity scene were strangely elongated
  • There are some very old tiles on the floor and you are asked to tread carefully over them but people were just walking about as normal
  • St Swithin is buried inside the cathedral and therefore he put a curse on us as he wanted to be buried outside (we all know that if it rains on his day it will rain for the next forty days)
  • … and a few more details

All of this seemed so very odd that I ended up writing a story about an alien who landed in Winchester and found humans very strange.

One day I saw a toddler’s slide abandoned in the middle of the road near Radcliffe library. I’ve never written a story to go with this. You may if you wish.

Another time, in a little car park also in Radcliffe, I came across a lot of letters strewn across the ground. It looked mainly like junk mail, but there were also one of two more important-looking things. What happened? Had someone been clearing out their rubbish? Had the postie accidentally dropped them? Was there a more sinister explanation?

There are so many stories that a walk in the fresh air can suggest.

Once you’re back home

Make a brew and sit down with a notebook or your phone. What appeals to you the most? Which of all the things you have seen suggests the best story?

Once you’ve finished your beverage, have a go at writing your story, or you might prefer to write some more haiku or short poems.


Would you like to share your story with us? We would love to see your work, so send us an email to [email protected] and we’ll publish them on our news site.

Enjoyed reading this – and would like to read more? We’re a team of volunteer reporters who are on a mission to change the record on growing older in Greater Manchester. We are not-for-profit – and we rely on your vital support to avoid those annoying pop-up ads and to keep on sharing stories that challenge ageist stereotypes and celebrate the ways we’re all growing older. Please support us from as little as £3 by buying us a Ko-fi. – it would mean the world to us! Thank you.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Advertise Here at Talking about my generation