Write a ‘Return Journey’ – Choose Your Own Adventure story
When Dylan Thomas returned to Swansea after the Second World War, he spent time walking around trying to rediscover the places of his youth after the town had changed irreversibly following the Three Nights’ Blitz in February 1941. He wrote about this experience in his radio broadcast, ‘Return Journey’.
Let’s write our own ‘Return Journey’, but in our version you decide what happens next! Where will you go? What will you see? Who will you meet? The order and outcome of the adventure is entirely up to you!
This story can take place anywhere. It could be a real place, or an invented one. We’ve given you some writing prompts for each section. Begin at Location 1 with your arrival, and then you choose where you head next…
Don’t forget to share your finished stores with us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or tagging us @DTCSwansea on Twitter or at facebook.com/DylanThomasCentre
Location 1 – Arrival
You arrive in the Seaside Town. You haven’t been there for years.
- What’s the town called?
- How did you get here?
- What time of year is it?
- When was the last time you were here?
Where do you go next? Do you walk through town (go to Location 3) or do you go to the park? (Location 9)
Location 2: Hotel
You make your way to the hotel, a little weary from all of your travelling.
- What sort of building is it? Is it old or modern?
- Are the staff friendly?
- Have you stayed here before? If so, how has it changed?
Having left your bags at the hotel, you decide to go for another walk. Do you head back through town towards the bookshop (Location 5) or do you go to the seafront? (Location 7)
Location 3: Town Centre
You find yourself walking through the town centre.
- What’s the weather like?
- What shops are there?
- Have the streets and layout changed very much?
- What are the people like?
As you’re walking, you begin to feel a little peckish. Do you go to the sweetshop (Location 8) or the café (Location 4)?
Location 4: Café
You step into the café and find yourself a table
- Is the café busy?
- How is it decorated?
- What do you order from the menu?
- Are there any strange customers?
Now you’ve eaten, where would you like to go? For a walk along the seafront? (Location 7) or stay in town and go to the hotel (Location 2)
Location 5: Bookshop
The bell jingles as you enter the bookshop.
- Is it an old or new bookshop?
- What section do you go to first?
- Do you buy anything?
- Does it stock any childhood favourites?
The memory of childhood books inspires you. Do you go through town to the sweet shop (Location 8) or the park (Location 9)?
Location 6: School
You find yourself standing outside the school.
- Is it an old fashioned school or is it a modern building?
- Did you ever go here when you were younger?
- What was your favourite subject?
- What was your least favourite subject?
- Did you ever get into trouble?
You walk away from the school. Do you go home (Location 10)? Or do you go to the hotel (Location 2)?
Location 7: Seafront
You arrive at the seafront and take in your surroundings
- What can you see?
- What can you smell?
- What memories do you have of coming here?
- Do you buy an ice cream or a souvenir?
- Do you write a postcard?
After your invigorating time by the sea, are you ready to go home? (Location 10) or walk back through town? (Location 3)?
Location 8: Sweetshop
You enter the sweet shop. Jars of sweets line the shelves and counters.
Describe what sweets you see.
- Which sweets do you buy?
- Are they the same sweets you bought last time you were here?
- Are there many other customers?
- Are there any sweets there you hate?
- Do you eat them there and then or save them for later?
Fuelled by sweets, do you make your way to the school (Location 6) or do you decide it’s time to go home (Location 10)?
Location 9: Park
After a brief walk, you find yourself at the local park.
- Is there a playground?
- Are there wooded walks?
- Do you see any wildlife?
- Are there many people about?
- Is there a Park Keeper?
On the far side of the park, you can just make out the shape of the local school. Do you go there? (Location 6) or do you go to the seafront? (Location 7)
Location 10: Home
After a quick stop at the hotel to collect your bags, you decide to head for home.
- How are you getting home and how long will it take?
- Do you have any souvenirs with you?
- What was your fondest memory of your visit?
- Had the town changed much from the last time you were there?
- Will you be coming back?
This post is also available in: Welsh