20 Dystopian Writing Prompts To Inspire Your Next Novel

A writer can never have too much inspiration. The next instalment in my writing prompt series is Dystopian. If you’d like to check out my other posts in this series, I’ll leave the links below;

20 Winter Writing Prompts For An Inspiring December

30 Fantasy Writing Prompts for a Creative November

3 Word Creative Writing Prompts (For The Horror Writer In You)

Keep writing and stay inspired!


1. A plague hits your walled-in town, but instead of people dying, they just disappear into a poof of smoke.

2. All men are gone from the world, how do women conceive in this new world?

3. Don’t go outside after dark or you won’t even be around to regret it.

4. A siren sounds off every evening and every morning, why?

5. The government is stealing babies and you were one of them 14 years ago.

6. Everyone has to enlist in the army when they turn 16. This year it’s time for you to begin your training.

7. A meteor strike 100 years ago sent the remaining humans underground. Today is the day you emerge..

8. A deadly cat and mouse game takes place in a walled off city.

9. After a nuclear bomb destroyed the world, a new society was created where teens have developed strange powers.

10. Parents have the choice to kill you or send you to be imprisoned. Your parents chose to hide you underground..

11. The government is killing people to save money on the healthcare service.

12. Every human is born with a certain animal tattooed on their skin, why?

13. When they reach the age of 10, every child is sent to the lab to be tested on. When they emerge 6 years later they are not the same as they once were..

14. The world freezes over and humans disappear into bunkers. Write what happens when they emerge.

15. Every child must learn about how their community was formed – except everything that is taught is lies.

16. A competition is held every 5 years to weed out the weak. This year – the rules have changed and the participants are now teenagers.

17. You discover your entire life has been a lie..

18. Global warming destroyed the world as we know it, what is it like 200 years later..

19. The government drove everyone mad and many people died. What community was born after the fallout?

20. An underground community has strict rules. What happens if you break those rules?


Let me know if you use any of these, I’d love to read what you create 🙂

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What It’s Really Like Waiting For An Accessible Home

  • In the UK alone there are an estimated 13 million disabled people.
  • 1.8 million of people with a disability have unmet housing needs.

(https://www.papworthtrust.org.uk/about-us/publications/papworth-trust-disability-facts-and-figures-2018.pdf)

When I first saw these statistics I was shocked. I thought, (and hoped) my situation was a one off, that I’d just slipped through the net. I was wrong, and it doesn’t seem legal never mind morally right. The unsafe conditions, worsening physical and mental health, fire risk and no independence all were so detrimental not just to me but also my carer.

Anyone living with a disability isn’t struggling on purpose, and sometimes it gets to a point where you need help, and that includes an accessible home. I wasn’t asking for the world – all I was asking for was a chance to have a better quality of life, a home that met my needs so I could be more independent.

Something needs to change, something needs to be done to lower the amount of people suffering in unsuitable accommodation just because there is just not enough room. In today’s post I want to discuss what it’s really like waiting for an accessible home..


Living somewhere that doesn’t suit your needs can be terrifying. All the potential dangers, everything that could go wrong, race through your head on a daily basis. Will me and/or my carer fall down the stairs? What if there’s a fire in the middle of the night? Worry, worry, worry about every little thing until it practically drove me crazy. Suffering from an anxiety disorder means I am constantly bothered by worry, however, living in such terrible conditions made it so much worse.


I forgot what dignity felt like, I forgot what it felt like to do basic tasks for myself. Contrary to what some people believe staying in bed all day every day is not fun. Trust me. Not being able to go to the toilet by myself without help was embarrassing, having professionals have to meet with me in my bedroom was embarrassing, having guests round and have to socialise from my bed was embarrassing. Some days I’d rather the floor have opened and eaten me alive than face the day.


If you’re ever lucky enough to actually find an accessible place then waiting for a call that could come at any time, having provisional offers only for them to fall through, or bidding on properties and hoping you’d be successful, was exhausting and took a massive toll on my mental health. When you’re living in an awful situation, especially when the outcome is completely out of your control, you hold onto every shred of hope, every possible positive outcome, in the hopes that the next one might just be right.


My brain was a constant whirl of passing thoughts, of how I wouldn’t need a new house if I wasn’t disabled. It became so easy to bury myself in self hatred, in feeling like everything was my fault because although I couldn’t magically ‘poof’ my illness away, it was my malfunctioning body that got us into this mess in the first place.


I know in my personal experience I became extremely angry towards anyone who was remotely involved in my housing crisis. I would become jealous and bitter (especially after work hours and at weekends when we probably wouldn’t hear about a new house). I was disgusted they probably got to go home to their house, which 9/10 met their every need and was a safe environment. It wasn’t a nice thing to feel, at all. It turned the dial up on the self hatred that I was thinking these horrible things.


It’s difficult enough having a chronic illness that impacts every single aspect of your life. But for that to then be made worse by an inaccessible home can sometimes feel so overwhelming and upsetting it’s hard to bear. It’s like everyone is going on with their lives – working, having fun, having kids – and your stuck staring at four walls and feeling trapped in your own home.


Have you ever had any experience of living in an inaccessible home?

How To Avoid Stigmatising Mental Health In Your Novel

Hi guys and welcome back to my blog. In today’s post I’m going to be talking about how to avoid stigmatising mental health in your novel. Unfortunately, there is a lot of stigma attached to mental illness (and in my opinion made worse by social media) and people seem to be determined to see mental illness in a certain way. Every single person suffering from an illness is completely different, and everyone’s experiences are individual. The portrayal of mental illnesses in popular fiction (books, TV, film etc), if done incorrectly, can make the stigma worse and is damaging to those of us who suffer. Below, I’m going to share some tips to help you portray mental illness in the best way you can..


Although not everyone will feel comfortable sharing their experiences, as long as you are respectful and remain non judgemental some sufferers will be perfectly happy to give you some insight. Talking to actual sufferers of mental illness can be enlightening and give you valuable first hand accounts on what it’s like to live with a condition. This information can enable you to to craft a realistic portrayal of a character suffering from a mental illness.

Side note – remember never use information that enables anyone to be identified. Remove all identifying features, change their histories and/or life experiences so your character is a new person. Lots of writers use bits and pieces from all different kinds of people to create characters, because basing a character too similar to someone in real life can open you up to problems.


Use proper, respected sites to gather your information about the mental illness you are including in your novel. Remember that there are many different symptoms related to mental illnesses and you don’t always have to just use the typical, well known ones in your novel.

Some greats sites include Mind | Childline | Rethink | Beat.


Don’t scrimp on research, and make it a priority to check and double check before the final manuscript is released. Also, take your time when you are developing characters to make sure that every aspect is weaved into the story. Make sure you have accounted for things like possible causes, a detailed history and how it affects their everyday life.


It can be easy to observe mental illness in films/books/tv shows and automatically assume the portrayal is correct or that’s the only way someone with a mental illness presents. Sadly, many fictional portrayals (especially films) can be highly stigmatised and often show sufferers to be dangerous. Also, don’t use information from tabloid newspapers. These articles can be harmful for stigma and often contain incorrect information.


This irritates me because recovery is not something that happens overnight and it’s unlikely to happen without treatment of some sort. These things take time and hard work. Acting like miraculous recovery is the norm may make people believe that that’s how it happens in real life, or that all you have to do is think positive and boom, you’re cured.


Have you written a fiction book including mental illness? Do you have any tips for writers on this topic?

26 Years, 26 Books – My Ultimate Favourite Reads

Hey guys and welcome back to my blog. I turned 26 on the 22nd January, and in honour of this I decided I wanted to share 26 of my ultimate favourite books! This was harder than I anticipated! I wanted to include some of my childhood favourites as well as some from my teenage and adult life. All these books have impacted me in some way and made me who I am today. Grab yourself a cup of your favourite drink and get comfy, because this is going to be a long one..

(All book titles go to Goodreads)


1. Harry Potter Series.

There are never enough words for me to explain what Harry Potter means to me. It’s more than just a favourite book, it’s a world that will stay with me forever, and I mean it when I say I wouldn’t be who I am without it.

You can read my review of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone here.

You can read my book review of Harry Potter and the Chamber Of Secrets here.


2. The Faraway Tree Series by Enid Blyton.

All of Enid Blyton’s books have a special place in my heart, but one series that has stuck with me is The Faraway Tree series. I mean what little girl wouldn’t want to climb up a tree and meet so many unique people.


3. The Story Of Tracy Beaker by Jacqueline Wilson.

I was obsessed with Tracy Beaker when I was young (and I still watch the spin off today!). I had the books, watched the tv series, was obsessed with the film and I even had the magazine. I haven’t read many of Jacqueline Wilson other books, but I’ve been reading them as an adult and think they are fabulous.


4. Wasted by Marya Hornbacher.

This was a book I first read when I was entrenched in my eating disorder. Marya Hornbacher’s writing is beautiful, raw and emotional. I really appreciate how brutally honest she is and how she shows what really goes on when someone is suffering from an eating disorder.


5. The Surgeon by Tess Gerritsen.

One of my favourite authors of all time – Tess Gerritsen’s writing just blows me away. I was obsessed with this book and I love every single book in the Rizzoli and Isles series – not one book has disappointed me and I look forward to the next book she releases.


6. Northern Lights by Philip Pullman.

This series will always hold a special place in my heart. I didn’t read the books until I was an adult, but after watching the film I knew I had to. I went through a period in my life when I couldn’t sleep until I had the film on in the background, and when I read the books I fell in love even more. The characters, the settings, the plot, I love everything.


7. Harriet The Spy by Louise Fitzhugh.

This is another book I didn’t read until later in life. However, one of my fondest memories of my childhood was watching the VHS on the tv in my Nana’s back living room. I related to Harriet because, like her, all I wanted to do was be a writer.


8. The Chronicles Of Narnia by C.S Lewis.

Who wouldn’t love this book as a child? A secret world inside a wardrobe, a snow covered land and quirky characters. There were so many times I wished I could escape to Narnia, and the book let me do just that.


9. Tomorrow When The War Began by John Marsden.

I discovered this series after my best friend set me a reading challenge – one of the prompts was ‘a book published in the year you were born’. I’m so happy I found this gem and I feel like it’s an underrated series. The entire series is fantastic and I’m looking forward to rereading it!


10. Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff.

I don’t read too much sci-fi, but the structure of this book caught my eye. I’m so glad I gave it a chance because I loved it. I was really surprised at how real the characters felt and how well the emotions were portrayed because of the structure, but it was like I was right there in the story.


11. Cinder by Marissa Meyer.

I love retellings and this one is my favourite and also the most unique I’ve ever read. Unfortunately, I haven’t finished the series yet but hopefully it will be worth the wait.


12. Radio Silence by Alice Oseman.

This was the first book I read by thus author and boy had I been missing out. Alice Oseman has a way with words and her characters are just out of this world.


13. Caraval by Stephanie Garber.

I have only good things to say about this book. I was late to the party but at least I didn’t have to wait for the second book, aha! I’m so excited for the final book in the series to be released in May, I need to know how it will all end!

You can read my review of Caraval here.

You can read my review of Legendary (the second book in the Caraval series) here.


14. The Princess Saves Herself In This One by Amanda Lovelace.

I love poetry, it’s one of my favourite things to write and I love reading other people’s work. This book was a surprise – but I related to so many of the poems and I loved it.


15. We Are Okay by Nina LaCour.

This resonated with me on a whole new level. I didn’t feel like there was much of a plot but it didn’t need one. The character were stunning, the relationships, the emotion was all so beautiful.

You can read my review of We Are Okay here.


16. The Worst Witch by Jill Murphy.

I am fascinated with anything to do with witches and I always have been. This book is so fun and really enhanced my love for witchy things.


17. The Quiet You Carry by Nikki Barthelmess.

A very recent read but it has become a firm favourite. I received an ARC from Netgalley and immediately began reading. By the end of the book I was moved, emotional and so invested in this story.


18. Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton.

This was one of those unexpected books that I wasn’t sure I would like but ended up loving. The setting is stunning, the characters well developed and relatable and the plot was so action packed I would nearly forget to take a breath.


19. The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken.

I recently reread this book and loved it just as much as the first time. I have a special place in my heart for dystopian books and this one topped the charts for me.


20. The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult.

Jodi Picoult is a master writer and has a knack for creating characters you find hard to hate. I haven’t read all of her books yet, but this one is my favourite so far.


21. Legend by Marie Lu.

Although I didn’t particularly like the other books in this series, it didn’t ruin Legend for me. It was a shame I didn’t like them, however I’ll pretend it’s a standalone to make me feel better.


22. Madness by Marya Hornbacher.

Another book by the talented Marya Hornbacher, except this one deals with her Bipolar disorder. Again, like Wasted, I appreciated her raw emotion and her honest portrayal of her disorder with nothing left out.


23. Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson.

This was another book I read whilst entrenched in my eating disorder, except this one is fiction, not a memoir. I loved the storyline and instead of the typical plot we normally see in eating disorder stories, it was unique and a different take. The writing is also stunning, and I’m a big fan of beautiful prose.


24. Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne.

Another series of books that I feel is underrated. This was a action packed story that took me a wild adventure full of twists and turns.


25. The Sweep Series by Cate Tiernan.

Another lot of witchy books and another series I discovered during a reading challenge. I haven’t completed the Series yet (it’s a long one!) but the first few books blew my mind and I rushed through them like my life depended on it.


26. The Famous Five by Enid Blyton.

Lastly we have the Famous Five series by Enid Blyton. I can’t tell you how much I love these books. When I was a child I used to be desperate to get back to my book so I could go on more adventures with the five. Nothing much has changed now!


Well, congratulations if you’ve made it this far and I hope you’ve enjoyed this post. What are some of your ultimate favourite books?

6 Helpful iPhone Apps For Managing Your Mental Health

Hey everyone and welcome back to my blog. Today, I’m going to be sharing 6 apps that are great for managing your mental health. I have personally tried out all of the following apps and I have seen the potential they have in making it easier to manage your illness. I hope these apps are useful and you find something new to help you along…

(All app titles link to the App Store).


Think Ups.

Price – Free.

This is a lovely little app I discovered by accident. It contains 6 mini activities – happy taps, habit maker, mindset, positivity, breather and illuminator. All of them are based around positive thinking, good habits and mindfulness. My favourite game is positivity, which is a word search game. You are given words revolved around positivity and you have to find them in the grid.


Three Good Things.

Price – Free.

What I love about this app is how simple it is. Everyday you receive a notification to input 3 good things that happened to you that day. It’s a great way to try and pick out the positives of the day, even if it’s been a particularly tough day.


Cove.

Price – Free.

This is one of most unique apps I’ve ever come across. Cove allows you to express how you’re feeling through music. You pick an emotion and it then allows you to add a base, melody and percussion to create a song. It’s great if you’re struggling to express how you’re feeling or you can’t find words to describe it. This app is also working with NHS (you can read more about this here).


Stigma.

Price – Free with a pro option.

Stigma is an app that allows you to track your mood and add journal entries. It also has a pen pal option – where you can connect with other people in similar situations to yourself. I haven’t tried out the pen pal aspect but I can imagine how helpful that could be to someone’s support system. One of my favourite aspects of the mood tracker is you can add a visual representation of how you’re feeling, which you can track over a certain period of time (daily, weekly, monthly).


Quit That.

Price – free.

I’ve added some examples to show you how it works

This is a very simple app that allows you to track habits you want to quit. It isn’t necessarily a mental health app, however, it’s great if there are bad habits, possibly related to your illness, you’d like to stop doing. It also allows you to input if the habit costs anything per day, and it will then show you how much you’ve saved since you’ve quit, which I think is a great motivator.


Clementine.

Price – free.

This is an app that uses hypnotherapy to help you deal with the struggles you may be facing. It includes several audios to listen to in the categories sleep, confidence and de-stress. It also allows you to add mantras (or choose the surprise me option) and the app will send you reminders throughout the day to remind you of them, which is think is a lovely touch.


What apps do you find helpful in managing your mental health?

7 Valuable Lessons I Learnt In 2018

Hey guys and welcome back to my blog. 2018 was a tough year for me and I learnt many lessons. Sometimes it’s hard to remember the good things when you are going through a tough time, and I think it’s so important to try and take something away from stressful or tough times. In today’s post I’ll be sharing 7 of the most valuable lessons I learnt in 2018..


In amongst the bad – something amazing happened to me in 2018. If you’ve read my blog for a while you will have read me go on and on about my new accessible home (you can read about my first accessible Christmas in my new home here). I’ll never forget the day we got the phone call that we were being offered this property and the day we actually moved in. It reminded me that yes life isn’t fair at times and bad things do happen, but if you keep persevering, keep fighting, good things can and will happen.


Yes, it may take you longer to get to where other people are but that doesn’t mean you’ll never get there. Many people my age have jobs and spouses and kids and I’m just not there yet. It doesn’t mean it’ll never happen, I’ve just taken the longer route around. But you know what? That’s okay, and it just means it’ll make it all the more worth it when you get there.


You can’t just sit around and wait for something to happen. I am the master procrastinator and sometimes it can be easy to believe that’s things will just fall into your lap when you least expect it, but life doesn’t work like that. I want to write my book? I have to put the work in. I want to grow my blog? I have to put myself out there. Work hard and if you do the results will come.


It helps me get places, it means I don’t have to stay in bed, it means I can go out and do things I want to do. No matter how frustrated I get when places aren’t accessible, or when I crash into everything, or I hurt my shoulder transferring into it, it’s given me a life outside of my bed and that’s an amazing thing.


Don’t let anyone push you around. There are people that will take advantage of you if you let them, including those who are supposed to be providing a service that helps you live and improve your life. If someone is mistreating you, you have to stand up and say ‘hey I am a person, treat me like one’. No one has the right to belittle you and treat you like you mean nothing. I am lucky that I have an amazing best friend who stands up for me when I can’t stand up for myself. That’s a precious gift I’ll never take for granted.


Writing a book is hard work, committing yourself to learning everything about the craft of writing is hard, committing to improving and growing as a writer is hard. But the thought of never publishing a book, of never achieving my goals and dreams I have for my writing is worse, terrifying even. And every time I don’t want to write or I don’t feel inspired or motivated I remember that prospect and it keeps me going.


And you shouldn’t feel guilty about it. It doesn’t make you weak or selfish, and it’s okay to not have the energy to deal with those toxic people. You shouldn’t have to continue associating yourself with those people if it’s affecting your mental health. This is your life – nobody else’s.


What lessons did you learn in 2018?

What’s In My Writer Toolkit? (And Tips On Creating Your Own!)

Hi guys and welcome back to my blog. In today’s post I’m going to be sharing what’s in my writer toolkit and how you can go about making your own. There are many definitions as to what a writer toolkit is but to me it’s anything I need nearby or anything I find helpful when I’m writing. I keep the majority of my items in the above Harry Potter bag one of my close friends got me for Christmas (you can check out her blog here!) Without further ado, here is my writer toolkit..


Novel bible.

This is probably the most important item in my toolkit. If you don’t know what a novel bible is it’s basically a collection of all aspects of your novel – character information, locations, scenes, research etc. It’s so when you’re writing you have all the information at hand. Although there are computer programs that are great for this, I find there’s nothing like good old pen and paper. It also saves having 10 tabs open and getting easily distracted from writing. At the moment I’m currently in the process of trying different things to discover which works best for me as a writer, but for now I am just using an A4 notebook.


Bullet journal.

At the present time I just have one bullet journal for all of my needs – including my personal planning as well as my writing life. I’m in the process of deciding on whether or not I want a separate one just for writing, but for now my one bullet journal always needs to be nearby so I know where I’m up to and what I need to do next.

If you’d like to see inside of my bullet journal you can see my 2019 Bullet Journal post here. 


Scene cards.

It took me a long time to discover the advantages of using index cards for my scenes, but it’s honestly the best way I’ve found to organise my outline. In my toolkit I keep my current novel’s scene cards as well as some spare ones in case I need to add anything in as I go.


Emotion thesaurus.

I’ve had my eye on this book for a while after seeing it recommended in a YouTube video. I struggle a lot with ‘show don’t tell’ especially when it comes to emotions. This book is helping me so much with finding different ways of describing emotions whilst also improving my writing. This should be a staple in all writer’s toolkits!


The Witch’s Journal and The Green Witch.

I am fascinated by anything to do with Witchcraft and the Pagan religion so it’s only natural it creeps into my novels. I was pleased to receive these books for Christmas from my best friend, and I put them straight into my toolkit. They are an amazing reference for writing my current and future novels.


1000 Words To Expand Your Vocabulary.

This was another book I received for Christmas from Channie! As a writer I am fascinated by words and this is a great book for learning new words!


iPad keyboard.

Lastly, I have my iPad keyboard. It’s nothing fancy, just a bog standard Bluetooth keyboard. I do the majority of my writing on my iPad because I find writing on a computer hurts my eyes and because it’s heavy I can’t use it for long periods of time. However, there’s nothing like typing on a keyboard so this was an essential purchase for me.


  • What are some essentials you can’t write without? Maybe it’s things you absolutely must have before you can even start writing. Notebooks, laptop/tablet, pens, novel bibles, scene cards are some ideas.
  • Are there any reference books that you find useful when your writing, or that relate to your current work in progress? For example – my witch’s journal. However, this could also mean dictionaries or thesaurus, or vocabulary books.
  • Are there any books on the craft of writing you like to dip in and out of while writing?
  • Do you like to keep a planner for your writing? Somewhere you write down your goals, deadlines, ideas? Whether that’s a bullet journal, Filofax, page a day diary etc.
  • Anything you use/get inspiration from – favourite books, pictures, music, quotes.


Do you have a writer toolkit? If so, what’s in yours?