Made in America

Writing Prompt: Vacation

Think back to your most memorable vacation. What can make a vacation ‘memorable’ could be a variety of different things. Perhaps it’s the first trip you made on your own or with friends, without your family there to decide what you do and what you see. You got a sweet taste of freedom and got the chance to both create your ideal vacation and also learn more about yourself along the way.

Dorrance Publishing Writing Prompt Vacation 1

A memorable vacation could also mean taking a trip with people who are special to you- which could be your family, close friends, a significant other, etc. Perhaps this was your most memorable vacation because you got to become closer to the people you love most. You could also be the adventurous type, which would make your most memorable vacation likely when you were finally able to check a significant city or country off of your bucket list. This trip then becomes significant to you because you not only fulfilled a personal goal, but also because you got to learn about a new city or culture, see sights, have adventures, and figure out what lives up to and what exceeds your expectations.

Finally, there are those trips that are disastrously memorable. Maybe someone got your flight dates wrong or the hotel “four-star” hotel you stayed in made you question the whole star rating system. Perhaps the restaurant you were so excited to try gave you food poisoning and the weather was dreary almost every day. On one hand, trips like that can be hard to get through. But, for some reason, people are often able to look back on those experiences with a good sense of humor and bond over the shared experience- even if it was a terrible one.

There are lots of different ways one could categorize the most ‘memorable’ vacation of their lives. But how would your protagonist categorize it?

Dorrance Publishing Writing Prompt Vacation 2

In this writing prompt, we’re tasking you to write a short story taking the protagonist of your book on their most memorable vacation. This vacation could take place at any point in their lives, from childhood to adulthood. And, as we’ve pointed out, there are many ways to define what could be memorable. So think- what would your protagonist consider the most memorable or significant vacation of their lives and why? What did they learn over this period? What did they gain? What did they lose? What memories were made and why are they either cherished or stuck in the protagonist’s psyche?

Don’t be afraid to take them out of their comfort zone, that’s when some of the best character writing can happen. And make the experience visceral, we should have the sights, smells, tastes, touches, and sounds in every scene. After all, if it’s their most unforgettable trip, they would remember it in great detail.

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