Free Character Writing Prompts #10:
Ghosts, Ghouls and Spirits
Take a spooky look at these 10 character writing prompts on the subject of ghosts, ghouls and spirits. One of the most enjoyable characters to write is a character that doesn't exist on the physical plane and may not even be real (depending on who you ask). The huge boost in the paranormal market as of late has led to many werewolves, witches and vampires but has been a bit short on your standard disembodied spirit. Ghosts and related other worldly creatures are fun to write because you are able to impose your own rules on the reality of your story. If ghosts exist, what else is true about your world? These often translucent creatures can also be the embodiment of any of the other character types in this book, because if they used to be alive, they may have been connected to any of the other 990 prompts in the upcoming book.
Free Character Writing Prompts #10: Ghosts, Ghouls and Spirits
1. He passed away when he was just a young boy and he had a lot left to learn in the world. He has taken that curiosity into the spirit world as he haunts the house he grew up in. He continues to take on the form of a blond haired, blue eyed boy of 10-years-old, but he only appears to those who believe in ghosts. When a new family moved into the house, he hid from them for a few days before talking with the girl that was his age. While she first assumed he was an imaginary friend, she understood he was a ghost when he asked her to help him figure out how he died. He could only remember that more before the rest was a blur. The two of them struck out on a mission together. What are some of the limitations of this boy when he is in the form of a ghost?
2. When he died, he was given a choice. Go to heaven and lead an afterlife of luxury and relaxation or stay on earth to fight evil and protect humanity. He loved people and wanted to do a service, so he chose the latter. Little did he know that his choice would be so difficult. In life, he was a public defender and he thought he saw the differences between good and evil. As a ghost warrior, he learned that many of the bad people in the world are affected by an evil spirit. Fighting these spirits was tiring and after a few days, he nearly reneged on the decision. Instead, he carried over his attitude from life and kept on fighting, never giving up. What are some of his evil spirit encounters like and what will be his toughest challenge?
3. An unfortunate slip on her long wedding gown, sent her tumbling down a cliff to her death. The only person who can see her now is her almost husband. While she has been tempted to keep him from marrying someone else, she was pretty possessive of him when she was living, she has decided to drop in occasionally to check in on him. She pines over what her life could have been with the love of her life. During a chat with her husband, he suggested that she find a love of her "afterlife" while she waits for him to pass on. She likes the idea and embarks on a quest to find a similarly jilted ghost to spend her time with. What are some of the dating skills she used in life that she can use here in the afterlife to meet a good, honest ghost?
4. In a magical spell gone horribly wrong, an evil sorceress transported herself into a dimension of ghouls and spirits walking around on earth. She has vowed to get her minions to turn her back into flesh and blood and she has vowed to do anything in her power to make it happen. While unable to communicate with her former employees directly, she is able to move some objects around on the physical plane. When she finally gets her employees attention with a message that she is still around, they make the effort to ignore her. She realized that even though she was evil in life, it didn't mean she had to treat her employees badly. She resolved to be a better boss by doing as many nice things for her former employees as possible to give them a better life. She hoped that by working hard enough on reforming herself, she would convince them to return her to corporeal form. How successful is she and if she does return to human form, would she continue her attempts at kindness?
5. In a cave, deep within the earth, a ghoul has lived trapped by the rocks from a mine collapse over 200 years ago. On a historical expedition, the ghoul has been released by a team of local archaeologists. In most situations, such a release might lead to the ghoul haunting the team, but since the ghoul was really pissed off about being trapped, he decided to act more like a genie to the team. He gave each of them three wishes and did what he could to make them happen. He enjoyed thanking the team with these acts of wishful thinking and he looked for a new place to live. What kind of afterlife did the ghoul lead while being trapped and how did it change after his release?
6. During a freak accident with a demolition company, your boss perished in front of the entire company. Most of you even attended his funeral, which is why it was very strange when he still came into work on Monday. Even though he floated a few inches off the ground and when he tried to drink coffee it went right through him, he sat down at his desk and continued to do his responsibilities. The company tried to fire him, but it was quickly rebuked by human resources, which said he could sue over wrongful termination due to discrimination. Sure, being a ghost is different from being a different race or gender, but there was no legal precedent for the matter. The boss continued to work, though the workplace was never the same after that. What is a day in the life like for this very devoted spirit?
7. In her life, she was a bit of a pushover, but when she kicked the bucket she decided she would start kicking some ass. She noticed that most of the ghosts she had encountered were sad loners, forced to wander the earth by some great power. She knew that it was time to make an impact in the world. She endeavored to unify the ghosts and to stage non-violent protests until the ghosts were given better conditions. Since ghosts could occasionally take up space and cause objects to move, even if they couldn't be seen, she had the group of ghosts stand in the middle of busy areas like New York Times Square. This forced humans to bump into them and run screaming. Eventually, her complaints were heard by the spirit leader. She felt more validated now than she ever had in her life. What other causes will she fight for in her afterlife?
8. She was assaulted and killed when she accidentally wandered onto the turf of a nasty gang. Her spirit continued to live on in the area, however, and she vowed to take down the lives of every single gang member who was involved. She wasn't much of a fighter in life, so she snuck into some kickboxing classes and practiced unseen to the side. When she felt ready, she waited for the gang to start attacking someone else and she made her move. She quickly beat up most of the gang members and tied them upside down by their shoes to a power line. In the morning, the police came and hauled all of them in for assault. Now that she had avenged her death, she wasn't quite sure what to do. What will she do with her time and will she ever cross over to a higher plane of existence?
9. When he earned a job in the paranormal strike force, he thought that his afterlife would be set. All he had to do was occasionally scare people away from certain properties to keep the fear of ghosts alive. The problem was, as it was during his lifetime as well, he was too darn nice. While humans weren't able to see ghosts, they could hear them just fine. All he had to do was to scream and shake chains and whatnot, but he would frequently end up having conversations with the humans at the property. Before he knew it, they had struck up friendships instead of keeping them away. He loved people when he was on earth and he felt that scaring them would hurt the humans in some way, even if he was constantly told the contrary. His managers gave him one last chance to frighten the humans away or he would be sent to a much less appealing job. Why does he have such a problem scaring people and how does he do in his last effort to keep his position?
10. During her life, she was extremely concerned with her appearance. She was shocked to find that after dying, she would be forced to take on the form of a giant, purple slime ball. This was a travesty to someone who subscribed to all the fashion magazines to be caught up on the latest fashions far before the general public knew about them. On multiple occasions, she even went to Europe to see first hand how the latest styles were being worn. As a giant, purple blob, she couldn't even put on clothes, they simply got too slimy. She simply had to float around, naked and purple. She took out her frustrations on all humans who passed by her haunting post. How will this fashionista learn to live with her new conditions and what will she do to pass the time in her afterlife?
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Written by Bryan Cohen
Bryan Cohen is the author of more than 30 books, many of which focus on creative writing and blasting through that pesky writer's block. His books have sold more than 20,000 copies. You can find him on Google+ and Facebook.
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