You will be working with combustible material here so handle with extreme caution. Whether the exercise even works for you entirely depends on the richness (or perhaps weirdness) of your inner life, so if you’re not willing to explore something new, or you struggle when it comes to open-mindedness, move on to the next exercise!

  • Think of a sexual fantasy you have been living with for some time. It could be something you have detailed in your head, or just thoughts and feelings that have vaguely entered your subconscious. It might be a fantasy directed at another person; perhaps someone you don’t know very well.

The fantasy doesn’t have to be explicit – it certainly doesn’t really have to be sexual – but there has to be a level of tension, a genuine sense of the unstated.

Having said that, it might be a situation you want to try, but only in the privacy of your own head. Spend five minutes jotting down notes. Enjoy yourself. When you have formulated your fantasy think of a few names; invented almost at random. It is very important you don’t use your own name.

Having done this write the scene. Use any form you like: prose, poetry, playscript – it might be hard to render it in haiku! Work hard on the sensual detail – the idea is for this secret fantasy to come to life on the page. Take a risk, cheat on your partner.

When you are at last happy that your hidden desires have been fulfilled you must destroy the manuscript. The disposal method is up to you – a ceremonial burning, the shredder, but make sure there is no trace of it alive. Or leave it in a café and hang the consequences.

This is very good general practice – good writing does not have to be permanent. As with many Prompt Arts exercises the process is often more important than the result. Ideas, techniques, graft and craft – these are all things that are all at work when you are actually writing, not waiting to write.

So, just have fun in the moment.