As if you haven't already figured it out from my writings and references to the past: I was a nerd in high school :). Trust me when I say that this is not a bad thing. I've found that it actually left me with a greater ability to see things in context and to be a more conscious person. That, of course, is not everybody's experience. Some people were popular jocks who found great success during their schooling and others were outcasts that got out of their hometown as soon as they could. Either way, there are some great memories to draw from and some varied experiences that can lead to interesting characters and plot lines for your next written work. Even if you went to an online university, you can use those experiences for this exercise. Use these free creative writing prompts about school to exorcise your demons, or just to exercise your pencil.
1. Take a time from your life (or imagine a time) that you were bullied at school. Who was the bully and how did he or she affect you? Imagine a sit down chat with the bully in which the person could not bully you and had to share his or her feelings. What do you think you would learn?
2. What was your shining school achievement? The moment that you felt the most intelligent or the most gifted? Talk about that day, what led up to it, and how it changed your life.
3. Talk about the teacher that you liked the most in school. What made you enjoy the class that he or she taught and why was this person so memorable to the present day?
4. Talk about the teacher that you disliked the most in school. What was wrong with this person? If you had a chance to sit down with this teacher, what would you tell this person about how to change his or her teaching style (and perhaps attitude)?
5. Describe your first school crush or your first school significant other. What was it like? How did you feel walking around the school and possibly having people talk about you? Feel free to talk about the entire relationship.
6. Where were you on the school popularity scale in middle or high school (or college)? How do you think your placement on this scale came about and how did it effect your experience? Did it change the way that you are today?
7. What was your favorite after-school activity? If you were a sports player, talk about that, a band member, talk about that, a chess club member...close the door, and then talk about that ;). Describe how this activity made you feel and why it was important to you at the time.
8. Talk about a time (or make up a time) in which you were called in to the principal or dean's office. What happened? Why were you there and what was the end result?
9. Who were your best friends in Elementary school? Middle school? High school? College? Talk about what you guys and gals used to do together and why you are no longer close or why you are still close to this very day. What was your most memorable school friend moment?
10. Talk about a time that you cheated or thought about cheating on a test. If you are more moral than the rest of us ;) (4th grade geography test was the only time, I swear :)) than talk about one of your friends or peers who cheated and what the end result was.
This article definitely brought me back to memory lane a bit. It helped me to remember people I hadn't thought about in probably the last five years or so (it would've been more if not for Facebook's News Feed ;)). Use these remembered people as characters or as devices to make your next story work. These free creative writing prompts can also be written in the space below to help you to share your work with the Build Creative Writing Ideas community. You can also just write them in your notebook during detention :). Enjoy!
Bonus Prompt - You have been sent back in time (to kindergarten) and you have the ability to change your entire schooling experience. How do you change the next sixteen years of your life or so to make your life better. Does it work or do you lose some of the flavor along the way?
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.