Writing Prompt – Not a Mere Walking Stick

You buy what you think is a simple walking stick at a yard sale. You do not realize that it is Gandalf’s staff.

  • How did such an item come to be at a yard sale (or in an antique shop if you prefer)?
  • Describe it in a way that is consistent with its description in The Lord of the Rings but not so obvious that it is an immediate dead give away to the reader. Give yourself time to discover its true identity.
  • Give it a low price tag at the yard sale as if the seller considers it insignificant.
  • Why then does it catch your eye? Maybe at first you just think it looks neat, and you buy it on a whim. Maybe there is something more that you do not quite understand, but you feel an urge to buy it.
  • How do you discover its identity?
  • Which staff is it? The staff of Gandalf the Grey or Gandalf the White? Maybe Gandalf the Grey’s staff remained in Moria until someone retrieved it. If it is the staff of Gandalf the White, then why did he not take it with him to Valinor?
  • What powers does it exhibit? You are human, not a Maiar like Gandalf, and so will the staff be less powerful for you?
  • How does its power affect you?
  • This story could be the beginning of a much longer story of someone discovering that the history of Middle-Earth is the true history of our world long before the history that we know. This opens numerous possibilities.

You are free to use this prompt in your own writing. If you print it or post it online, however, please credit this post.

About henrywm

I am interested in Christian theology and church history. I also enjoy science fiction, fantasy, and stories which wrestle with deep questions.
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