In Shakespeare's play "A Winter's Tale" there is a character that comes out at the beginning of one of the acts that drastically changes the nature of the story. That character is Time. Time speeds the action ahead and brings us forward to the magical action of Shakespeare's later "romance" plays. It's a beautiful device and it's the only time this happens in any of Shakespeare's plays, making it extra special. If only we could do something like that in real life. It's hypothetical questions like these that led to the creation of these free creative writing prompts about time. It is a concept that we have very little control over, and yet, we are completely obsessed with it. Something to consider as you write the following prompts.
Free Creative Writing Prompts: Time
1. You have been given a time machine and can travel to any point in the history of the Earth. Where will you travel and why? What is your first week like in this new time period?
2. Theories of time and space go (as far as my understanding at least :)) that if you travel at the speed of light, you will not age while the rest of the world goes on at normal time. Imagine that you have gone on a journey and come back to Earth to find that ten years have passed. All of your friends, family, and favorite restaurants have aged ten years. How does this change the way you live your life?
3. If you could fast forward ahead or rewind backwards to any point in your life, what would it be and why? Be very detailed about how you deal with this second chance or sneak peak.
4. What would you do if you had control over space and time (like Hiro Nakamura in the television show "Heroes")? Would you use it to help people or just to get everything that you want? Talk about your first full day with this power and how it changes things.
5. Spend a week making a list of how much time you spend on given activities. Using this, create a story of you crafting your ideal week in which you spend every waking moment doing something productive or exciting. You can skip work, try something new, and spend time with the ones you love. Just be very specific. Then think to yourself, "Is there anyway I can actually do this in my real life?"
6. Create a story with a character that is obsessed with time. His house is full of clocks and his arms are covered in watches. Describe his daily routines to make sure that he is hyper aware of every second that passes.
7. As of the writing of this post, daylight savings is on its way (Fall back!). What is the best way for you to possibly spend one extra hour in your week? Craft a tale in which you (or a character) use that hour to the best of your ability.
8. They say timing is everything. How would your life change if you had perfect timing? You'd always say and do things at exactly the perfect time without fail. How will things improve for you? Be specific.
9. You have been given an unlimited grant by a fancy millionaire to do what it is you do best for 40 hours a week. What do you do with this newfound freedom? How does it change your life?
10. The world begins to move for you in slow-motion. You have the ability to notice things right as they are happening (catching objects that are falling, moving out of the way of danger, etc). How does this change things for you? Where did this ability come from? Craft an origin story and a day in the life.
All this talk of creating ideal days and states of time for yourself, has made me think a lot about if I'm getting the most possible out of my life. While we can't control time we can control ourselves. Use these free creative writing prompts to get a better handle on your time and to get some great writing out of your system. Perhaps this writing can actually save you time later when you need an interesting character or science fiction plotline. Happy writing!
Bonus Prompt - You have been granted a new position as a sort of Time FBI agent (similarly to many movies). You have to chase villains who are trying to mess with the natural timeline for financial and social gain. Talk about at least one of your missions (if not many of them).
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.