Prompt for a Nature Scene

Is this a picture you’d like to dive into and bring to life for readers? I would, which is why I chose it as a prompt for a nature scene. Using the technique I described last week, how would you write a scene in this natural setting, although you haven’t been here?

Here’s what I imagine:

  • Light from the full moon gilding everything with silver, making it appear distinct but weird
  • Although on the sea, no wind, which is unusual
  • Rough sand and/or rocks
  • The smell of salt, dampness
  • Taste salt?
  • Without wind, high humidity?

Now here’s my description.

Sand scraped my barefoot as I scurried over the boulders that let to the shore. The full moon allowed me to see far in any direction, but I couldn’t trust the silver light. Its magical glow let me to spot objects but not really see them.

I turned in a complete circle. I was alone. Not a breath of wind stirred the fronds of the palm tree. Humidity settled on me like a second skin. 

Turning again, I gasped, the thick air nearly choking me.

A figure was walking toward me, too far away for me to see more than a silver-edged silhouette.

Had he really come?

For more prompts for a nature scene, click here.

Please write your inspiration in the comments.

Close Your Eyes to Nature

If you want a nature scene to come to life for your readers, you may have to close your eyes to nature so you can tune into your other senses. I used this idea as a prompt two years ago and thought it’d be valuable to repost. If you can, visit the natural location where you want to set your scene. Then close your eyes. What do your other four senses tell you?

I sat in the woods behind our house one morning. Below are my impressions.

  • Insects droning, maybe cicadas
  • Murmur and swoosh of traffic
  • Wet feet from dewy grass
  • Bird call like a squeaky toy
  • Drop of water on my hair
  • Touch of falling leaves
  • Rough, warty bark
  • Scent of dampness
  • Almost without me thinking, feet sensing contour of ground and adapting.
  • Variety of bird calls and chirps

Now I can incorporate these senses into a scene, depending on what kind of mood I want to create.


If my feet got any wetter, I’d sprout webbing between my toes. Water dropped onto my hair from the low branches and dampness overwhelmed any other scent. Could you drown on dry land? It seemed possible this morning.


The cicadas hummed in their hidden homes as I strolled in the green shade of the morning woods. Bird calls bounced among the trees. The murmur of traffic wasn’t even a distraction, blending with the cicadas so well that it faded from notice.


Leaves crunched under my feet, and I froze. Had anyone heard me? The cicadas droned, uninterrupted. A drop of water plopped onto the top of my head. My hand groped for support and found it on the warty bark of a slender tree. Catching my breath in my throat, I took another step, my tennis shoes soaked from the drenched ground cover of dead tree debris.

For more posts on writing about nature, click here.

Sit in some natural spot and close your eyes to nature. What do you discover?

Prompt for Fall Haiku

Since my theme is nature this month, I have to have a haiku prompt, and since it’s September, what could be better than a prompt for fall haiku? I wrote the poem below a few years ago. Fall may still be my favorite season, but my taste seems to be changing. Spring and summer have been garnering more of my affection lately. But fall still brings the best weather to the Buckeye State.

Crisp–the word for fall.

Ripe apples, dry leaves, sharp winds

That hint of winter.

JPC Allen

Please leave your fall haiku in the comment below.

For more nature posts, click here.

Write from an Animal’s Viewpoint

My theme this month is nature, so my first prompt is to challenge you to write from an animal’s viewpoint. One of my favorite novels Watership Down is about the epic struggle of a group of rabbits in England as they establish a new warren. It’s fascinating to read how author Richard Adams imagined the rabbits’ views of humans. For example, one of the rabbits says he avoided a straight line of woods because straight things are often made by people. I’d never thought of that before, but it’s true.

From what animal’s viewpoint would you write? I’d love to read your inspiration!

For more nature prompts, click here.

God Produced the Pineapples

I wanted to finish this month’s focus on Christian fiction by providing a prompt to write a poem in the style of the Psalms. But God produced the pineapples on Tuesday and that made me change my mind. I’ll explain.

After weeks and months of battling depression and anxiety within and circumstances without, I was drowning by Tuesday afternoon. You couldn’t tell by looking at me. As a mom, I shove on a brave face and still function, even if it’s at a low capacity.

I was in the process of chauffeuring kids, and when you live in the country, this can take hours. As I drove, I realized I needed fruit for supper and would have to stop at the store. I don’t like grocery shopping, and one more stop seemed so exhausting.

So I went home, hoping I’d find the pineapples I’d needed, actually praying for a can of pineapples. And I found them on the last pantry shelf I checked. Because of that, I got to take a fifteen minute break before heading out agin.

I was just so grateful to God. Maybe for more reason than I understand, God knew I needed pineapples on Tuesday afternoon. That act of kindness did wonders for my mental state. I grew hopeful.

Too often, I think of God as the One who split the Red Sea, rained manna, and raised the dead as if He’s only the god of dramatic rescues. But He’s also the god who cares enough about each of us personally to produce pineapples when He knows we need it. The god of the universe cares about our individual needs. That fact is awesome.

So my prompt today is: when has God produced the pineapples for you? I’d love to read your stories.

To read my posts about Christian fiction this month, click here.

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