Begin Again #5 – After Five Years

Morning, writers! Here is your latest challenge writing prompt. It comes from a true story I read about a few months back.


A young woman with two children suddenly hears from her ex-husband after five years of silence. Not only does he now want custody, he also wants to control the extra curricular and religious activities of the children. 


I attended a Women’s Fiction Panel at the American Christian Writers Conference in Nashville this year and one of the questions that came up for the panelists was, “Where are the holes in the market in terms of social issues?”

This story prompt could very well fill one of those holes.

Begin …
  1. Create a scene in the woman’s kitchen where she receives the initial contact from her case worker. This could be a phone call, or a letter. Who is the first person the woman calls after she receives the news?
  2. Switch the genders of the custodial and non-custodial parents. (Father has the kids. Mother has bailed, but is coming back)
  3. We generally tend to side with the mother in such cases, but what if the mother who has custody in the story is the true antagonist? Write a scene that begins where the father discovers his ex-wife is using the children for ______, and ends with the phone call to his attorney to begin custody proceedings.
  4. Write a scene from the case worker’s point of view using either scenario number one or two from this list. The case worker knows something the custodial parent doesn’t know. What is it? (Just to add to the tension here, case workers are supposed to be neutral, following state guidelines and procedures.)
  5. Now, to further challenge you, take a day off if you are able and go to family court in your city. Just observe. Take some notes but not names! Pray and ask the Lord to tenderize your heart for the folks who go through court proceedings about family matters. I’ve been there. It’s tough. What scriptural encouragement comes to your mind as you sit and observe? Write it. Those verses might just be Words of Life to a parent dying on the inside.

Happy writing, friends!

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