Matches 4 – Travel

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In honour of being in Toronto for the week, today’s series of writing prompts all come from travel. Mostly from things that have happened to me during travel, but also a few horror stories from others I’ve heard about their own trips, and, of course, a dash of the paranormal on top here and there.

If this is your first visit to my prompts (or ‘matches’) it’s in honour of a book called The Writer’s Book of Matches. It has 1,001 little prompts that are designed to give you something to work with. I often flip through it when I’m in the mood to just write without a specific focus. The book has three kinds of prompts: A single line of dialog; a scenario or situation; and assignment prompts where the book lists a series of three characters all reacting to a particular moment/event, and since I first got it, I’ve been noting my own prompts to myself the same way.

If you ever find success or just fiddle around with any of these ‘matches,’ please do let me know!


  • Due to a last-minute cancellation at the train station, travellers are shuttled by bus and given different connections. A man affected shrugs this off as no big deal, until he wakes up on the wrong bus heading somewhere he promised himself he’d never visit again.
  • “I really wish I’d read that emergency exit information card.”
  • A flyer makes it half-way to her destination due to fog and a missed connecting flight, and has to spend an overnight in a packed airport hotel. When she steps into her room, which the check-in desk said was the last available, there’s already someone there in the shower.
  • Waiting in line at airport security, a man realizes that the passport in his hand isn’t his own. It looks like him, but the name and information isn’t his.
  • After a long trip made even longer by delayed flights, a missed connection, and an unplanned overnight stay in an airport hotel, a couple arrives, finally, in Hawai’i. They meet up with the owner of the lovely little home they’ll be renting, albeit a day late.  Write about the following three characters: The owner of the home, who is painfully reminded of their own late partner when looking at the couple; One of the married couple, who has been trying valiantly to keep both their spirits up throughout every problem the trip has had, but is at the end of their patience; the ghost of the home-owner’s late spouse, who realizes that one of the couple seems to be unconsciously aware of its presence, and might be the first real chance the ghost has to speak with their spouse since they passed.

See you next week, and by all means, drop any prompts of your own in the comments!

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