Made in America

Writing Prompt: Halloween Night

Halloween, like every major holiday, garners a lot of differing opinions. There are some people who spend October watching horror movies, picking out five different costume options, and complaining that they’ve already started putting Christmas decorations in stores. There are others who simply drink their pumpkin spice lattes, go to the pumpkin patch, and pass out Halloween candy- leaving the spooky side of Halloween to the wayside. There are others still who virtually ignore the holiday, turning off their lights when the trick-or-treaters come out to play and refusing to wear a costume even on the rare occasion that they do attend a Halloween party.

Dorrance Writing Prompt Halloween 1

Halloween night can be a fun setting to explore your characters, get to know them in new ways, and even throw them outside of their comfort zone. For example, perhaps your character is the type that likes the dark and scary side of the holiday, always ready with fake blood capsules and fangs to play pranks on friends. Imagine this person is asked to attend their nephew’s Halloween party this year. Will they be able to tone down the spookiness and give their nephew a fun party? Or will they scare a bunch of children with their costume and bloody Mary spooky stories?

How a character feels about the holiday can also show off different aspects of their personality. If they obsessively love the holiday, why is that? Are they a macabre person, fascinated by the haunted nature of the holiday? Or do they have a particularly fond memory from their childhood associated with Halloween celebrations?

It also allows you to play around with more specific aspects of character, which allows them to feel more fleshed out and real. What is your character’s favorite scary movie? Favorite Halloween tradition? Favorite Halloween candy or snack? Favorite Halloween decoration in their house? What kind of costume (if any) do they like to wear?

Dorrance Writing Prompt Halloween 2

Writing Prompt: Write a scene or short story about how your character spends their Halloween night. Use the day and setting to reveal aspects of your character by showing how they act surrounding the holiday, how they like to spend it, and why. Let this Halloween celebration push them a bit out of their comfort zone and show the reader why that is and how your character handles it.

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