Creative Prompt: Stowaway


Welcome to Wordsmith Studio’s Weekly Prompt!

Every Thursday we’ll post a new topic for your creative pleasure.  When you get a good flash story, memory, poem, or photo (or three, or five) post them to your blog, website, Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. Then come back here and post a link to your contribution(s) in the comments.

This Week’s Theme is: STOWAWAY

A stowaway is someone who hides aboard a plane or a boat in order to obtain free transportation. There are romantic stories about stowaways riding the rails to the west to seek their fortune and terrifying stories of human trafficking of stowaways on cargo ships and in tractor trailers. In Water for Elephants, railroad stowaways are brutally tossed from the speeding train.

Being a stowaway is a dangerous occupation. Stowaways, and their descriptions, can provide depth to our stories and make a character’s experience unique, rich, and telling.

Get Creative!

Caught on a return trip from Maine


Stowaways can also be those hidden characters, traits, or histories that we pack away in our stories. They can be the unintentional motivations revealed only when a character is forced out into the light. They can be the baggage our characters have to unload before completing his transformation. Or they could be the minor character who takes over the story without warning.

Write about stowaways: the hidden secrets, passions, desires, or baggage that your characters try to ignore. Write about how they are revealed and what’s really at stake when they come to light.

Be light with it and remember the time you unpacked somewhere and realized you’d mistakenly brought something useless like a TV remote control. Or be serious about it and describe the imaginary friend your character used to get her through that first day of seventh grade.

Be sure to leave a comment with a link to your Stowaway story, poem, or blog post. We hop this way!

Got Ideas?

Do you have suggestions for future “Creative Prompt” posts? Leave us a comment, or email us here.  We ♥LOVE♥ feedback!

Be sure to check back next week for more fun and new inspiration.


Happy Creating!

Wordsmith Studio

2 comments for “Creative Prompt: Stowaway

  1. elissa field
    November 20, 2014 at 7:50 pm

    Great one, Kasie. I’ll be thinking about this one. In the story I’m working on, there’s a stray dog who introduces herself twice, running into scenes — but I’ve always wondered if she has a larger role. I’m pretty sure she’d sneak into the trunk when my main characters head off on a road trip… I love the idea of embracing the surprises that show up when we write.

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