Wednesday Writing Prompts
Each of this week’s writing ideas is linked to another one, so here, for a change, are three pairs.
Roswell incident + Roswell broadcast
Seventy-five years ago next year, on 7 July 1947, there was alleged to have been a UFO (unidentified flying object) incident in Roswell, New Mexico. The following day, on 8 July 1947, reports were actually broadcast that a UFO had crash-landed in Roswell, New Mexico.
If I was a conspiracy theorist, I could go to town with either or both of these incidents.
Lots of stories have been circulated about this incident, most notably that it was a cover-up after stories of a flying saucer were apparently accidentally leaked to the press. There have even been tales of aliens being autopsied, and possibly while they were still alive.
Was the story leaked deliberately, or was it an accident? Who was responsible? Why would anyone want to cover up a story like this?
Since then, there have been several different explanations and stories, including a local ranchman claiming he had discovered some unexplained debris at around the same time, when in fact it had been discovered during June, the previous month.
If I was an investigative journalist, I think I’d write my own book and add it to the collection that’s been written ever since.
What do you think really happened on that day? Do you believe it was a weather balloon or a nuclear test monitoring balloon? If it was a nuclear test monitoring balloon, then that might explain the attempted cover-up.
If I was a political thriller writer, I think that the nuclear cover-up story is one that I’d actually go with.
Do you believe that there is life outside our planet? Do you believe the stories that these aliens crashed their ship in the middle of a desert and were captured and had to endure experiments on their bodies?
If I was a sci-fi/fantasy writer, I’d go with the crash-landed flying saucer.
Why were there so many conflicting stories? Was it a practical joke that went wrong?
Can you think of another occasion where the population was led to believe that we had been invaded by aliens?
Here are a few more ideas, some fiction, some non-fiction:
- ten top top-ten hits about aliens and/or space
- five great books about UFOs
- seven must-watch films about UFOs
- government cover-ups over the years
- a profile on the International UFO Museum and Research Center
- everything you ever wanted to know about the Roswell incident
- things to see and do in Roswell, NM
- things to see and do in New Mexico
- what if an alien spaceship landed today?
- what if there was a crash landing in 1947 and the aliens survived?
A royal engagement + A royal intruder
Seventy-five years ago next year, on 9 July 1947, Princess Elizabeth was engaged to be married to Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten. Thirty-five years later, or forty years ago next year, on 9 July 1982, Michael Fagan broke into Buckingham Palace and found his way to the queen’s bedroom.
Are these two incidents connected in any way? Is the date significant? Why did the royal couple choose this date to become engaged on? Why did Fagan choose this date to break into the palace?
Would an intruder have got anywhere close in 1947? How did he get in in 1982? What was he doing there? Was it even the first time he had broken into the palace? Was it his only criminal activity?
What must the queen have thought when she woke up to find an intruder in her bedroom? What would you think if you woke up and found a stranger in your bedroom? How would you react?
Here are some ideas:
- high profile engagements in history
- the story of the romance between Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip
- famous love stories of all time
- when royal families collide
- things to see and do at the palace
- ten top royal palaces
- the history of Buckingham Palace
- security around your home
- monarchy versus republic
- the changing of the guard and other pomp and circumstance
Telstar launch + First TV transmission via Telstar
Sixty years ago next year, on 10 July 1962, Telstar was launched. The following day, on 11 July 1962, Telstar sent its first transmission.
Only a few days later, on 22 July 1962, the Tornados recorded a song written by Joe Meek that was called Telstar. The song was released on 17 August 1964 and reached number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in December.
You could write about the satellite launch itself, or the satellite. You could write about subsequent satellites. You could write about broadcasting, and how it has come on, comparing it now to what it was like then.
Or you could research Joe Meek or the Tornados – clue, there’s a lot of material there.
Here are some more ideas:
- a potted history on all of the Telstars
- a potted history on satellites in general
- broadcasting then and now
- what current telecommunications owe to the Telstars of their time
- the things that Telstar transmitted
- a profile on any of the scientists involved with Telstar
- a potted bio on Joe Meek
- a potted bio on the Tornados
- plagiarism in music – or not
- Telstar today
Over to you…
… and don’t forget to come back and let me know if and what you did, and how it fared.