Writing Tips — Prophecy

Giulietta M Spudich
2 min readJan 10, 2024

At this week’s Story Club, my online creative writing group for pre-teens and young teens, we looked at writing prophecy.

From William Shakespeare to J.R.R Tolkien, prophecy gives stories an epic feel. When the three witches tell Macbeth he will be king, they provide him with character motivation to attain the throne. J.R.R. Tolkien’s beautiful prophetic poem conveys that a sword must be reforged to bring back the lost king. This gives us the reader a reason to read on, a mystery to be solved. How will the broken blade be renewed? Who is the crownless who shall become king?

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.

  • J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

And let’s not forget the prophecy of the Witch King, who cannot be killed by the hand of man. Éowyn (a woman) and Meriadoc (a hobbit) bring about this fierce character’s end in Return of the King.

So what did our group make of writing prophecy?

We found them tricky in that a prophecy is so integral to the plot and characters, we really need to know our stories to understand how the prophecy fits.

However, they were fun to write. We found inventive ways to say things, like “tears from the sky” instead of rain, or “the shortest night” for the Summer Solstice. Prophecies prophesied that “broken bonds will be repaired” or “the starlit warrior’s girdle is returned”, and I definitely wanted to know the answers to the mysteries those prophecies set up.

Have you tried writing a prophecy?



Giulietta M Spudich

I am a children’s author and young writers' workshop leader. Give me a young/teen fantasy novel and a cup of coffee. Magic. www.elementgirls.org