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WEEKLY WRITING PROMPTS

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Polar night & northern lights, write a story about someone looking for a sign in a dark sky..

LIVE – Angst

Write a story about someone who has been tasked to keep a flame burning, surrounded by total darkness.

LIVE – Character

Write a story about someone witnessing — or trying to witness — a celestial phenomenon.

LIVE – Adventure

Write a story set in a world with a dying sun, or where light is a scarce resource.

LIVE – Science Fiction

Set your story during polar night.

LIVE – Winter

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Set your story on New Year's Day.

Write about someone trying something completely new., write a story about hope., write about a character who has reinvented themselves, but realizes it's not always easy to outrun your past., write a story in the form of a list of new year's resolutions., subscribe to our prompts newsletter.

Never miss a prompt! Get curated writing inspiration delivered to your inbox each week.

Write a story in the form of a list.

Write a story that hides something from its reader until the very end., start your story with someone uttering a very strange sentence., write a story in which a character achieves a new level of clarity about how they’re really feeling., write a story framed by a single scene: something happens, a flashback or inner monologue intervenes, and then the story ends with the rest of the original scene., write a story in which a character is stuck reliving their worst christmas ever, over and over again., start or end your story with a character finding out the love of their life is actually royalty., write about a character who visits their hometown for the holidays and reconnects with a former love interest., write a story in which a cynical character gets amnesia on christmas eve., write about a festive party gone wrong that’s saved by some holiday magic., win $250 in our short story competition 🏆.

We'll send you 5 prompts each week. Respond with your short story and you could win $250!

Contest #232 LIVE

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This week's theme: Polar Night & Northern Lights

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#231 – A New Leaf

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Creative Writing Prompts

When the idea to start a weekly newsletter with writing inspiration first came to us, we decided that we wanted to do more than provide people with topics to write about. We wanted to try and help authors form a regular writing habit and also give them a place to proudly display their work. So we started the weekly Creative Writing Prompts newsletter. Since then, Prompts has grown to a community of more than 450,000 authors, complete with its own literary magazine, Prompted .  

Here's how our contest works: every Friday, we send out a newsletter containing five creative writing prompts. Each week, the story ideas center around a different theme. Authors then have one week — until the following Friday — to submit a short story based on one of our prompts. A winner is picked each week to win $250 and is highlighted on our Reedsy Prompts page.

Interested in participating in our short story contest? Sign up here for more information! Or you can check out our full Terms of Use and our FAQ page .

Why we love creative writing prompts

If you've ever sat in front of a computer or notebook and felt the urge to start creating worlds, characters, and storylines — all the while finding yourself unable to do so — then you've met the author's age-old foe: writer's block. There's nothing more frustrating than finding the time but not the words to be creative. Enter our directory! If you're ready to kick writer's block to the curb and finally get started on your short story or novel, these unique story ideas might just be your ticket.

This list of 1800+ creative writing prompts has been created by the Reedsy team to help you develop a rock-solid writing routine. As all aspiring authors know, this is the #1 challenge — and solution! — for reaching your literary goals. Feel free to filter through different genres, which include...

Dramatic — If you want to make people laugh and cry within the same story, this might be your genre.

Funny — Whether satire or slapstick, this is an opportunity to write with your funny bone.

Romance — One of the most popular commercial genres out there. Check out these story ideas out if you love writing about love.

Fantasy — The beauty of this genre is that the possibilities are as endless as your imagination.

Dystopian – Explore the shadowy side of human nature and contemporary technology in dark speculative fiction.

Mystery — From whodunnits to cozy mysteries, it's time to bring out your inner detective.

Thriller and Suspense — There's nothing like a page-turner that elicits a gasp of surprise at the end.

High School — Encourage teens to let their imaginations run free.

Want to submit your own story ideas to help inspire fellow writers? Send them to us here.

After you find the perfect story idea

Finding inspiration is just one piece of the puzzle. Next, you need to refine your craft skills — and then display them to the world. We've worked hard to create resources that help you do just that! Check them out:

  • How to Write a Short Story That Gets Published — a free, ten-day course by Laura Mae Isaacman, a full-time editor who runs a book editing company in Brooklyn.
  • Best Literary Magazines of 2023 — a directory of 100+ reputable magazines that accept unsolicited submissions.
  • Writing Contests in 2023 — the finest contests of 2021 for fiction and non-fiction authors of short stories, poetry, essays, and more.

Beyond creative writing prompts: how to build a writing routine

While writing prompts are a great tactic to spark your creative sessions, a writer generally needs a couple more tools in their toolbelt when it comes to developing a rock-solid writing routine . To that end, here are a few more additional tips for incorporating your craft into your everyday life.

  • NNWT. Or, as book coach Kevin Johns calls it , “Non-Negotiable Writing Time.” This time should be scheduled into your routine, whether that’s once a day or once a week. Treat it as a serious commitment, and don’t schedule anything else during your NNWT unless it’s absolutely necessary.
  • Set word count goals. And make them realistic! Don’t start out with lofty goals you’re unlikely to achieve. Give some thought to how many words you think you can write a week, and start there. If you find you’re hitting your weekly or daily goals easily, keep upping the stakes as your craft time becomes more ingrained in your routine.
  • Talk to friends and family about the project you’re working on. Doing so means that those close to you are likely to check in about the status of your piece — which in turn keeps you more accountable.

Arm yourself against writer’s block. Writer’s block will inevitably come, no matter how much story ideas initially inspire you. So it’s best to be prepared with tips and tricks you can use to keep yourself on track before the block hits. You can find 20 solid tips here — including how to establish a relationship with your inner critic and apps that can help you defeat procrastination or lack of motivation.

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Sat / act prep online guides and tips, 105 creative writing prompts to try out.

General Education

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The most common advice out there for being a writer is, "if you want to write, write." While this is true (and good advice), it's not always that easy, particularly if you're not writing regularly.

Whether you're looking for help getting started on your next project, or just want to spend 20 minutes being creative, writing prompts are great ways to rev up your imagination. Read on for our list of over 100 creative writing prompts!

feature image credit: r. nial bradshaw /Flickr

10 Short Writing Prompts

If you're looking for a quick boost to get yourself going, these 10 short writing prompts will do the trick.

#1 : Write a scene starting with a regular family ritual that goes awry.

#2 : Describe exactly what you see/smell/hear/etc, right now. Include objects, people, and anything else in your immediate environment.

#3 : Suggest eight possible ways to get a ping pong ball out of a vertical pipe.

#4 : A shoe falls out of the sky. Justify why.

#5 : If your brain were a tangible, physical place, what would it be like?

#6 : Begin your writing with the phrase, "The stage was set."

#7 : You have been asked to write a history of "The Summer of [this past year]." Your publisher wants a table of contents. What events will you submit?

#8 : Write a sympathetic story from the point of view of the "bad guy." (Think fractured fairy tales like Wicked or The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs! , although the story doesn't have to be a fairy tale.)

#9 : Look at everyday objects in a new way and write about the stories one of these objects contains.

#10 : One person meets a stranger on a mode of transportation. Write the story that ensues.

body_modeoftransportation

11 Writing Prompts for Kids

Any of these prompts can be used by writers of any age, but we chose the following 11 prompts as ones that would be particularly fun for kids to write about. (Most of them I used myself as a young writer, so I can vouch for their working!)

#1 : Include something falling in your writing.

#2 : Write a short poem (or story) with the title, "We don't know when it will be fixed."

#3 : Write from the perspective of someone of a different gender than you.

#4 : Write a dumb internet quiz.

#5 : Finish this thought: "A perfect day in my imagination begins like this:"

#6 : Write a character's inner monologue (what they are thinking as they go about their day).

#7 : Think of a character. Write a paragraph each about:

  • An important childhood experience that character had.
  • The character's living situation.
  • Two hobbies or things the character likes to do.
  • The room where the character sleeps.
  • An ambition of the character.
  • Two physical characteristics of the character.
  • What happens when a second person and this character meet.
  • Two important defining personal traits of this character.

#8 : Start a story with a quote from a song.

#9 : Begin a story with, "It was the summer of ______ when ______"

#10 : Pretend everyday objects have no names. Think about what you would name them based on what they do, what you can use them for, and what they look like.

#11 : Start a story with the phrases "My grandparents are/were," "My parents are/were," or "My mother/father/parent is/was."

body_mygrandfatherwasprompt

15 Cool Writing Prompts

#1 : List five issues that you're passionate about. Write about them from the opposite point of view (or from the perspective of a character with the opposite point of view).

#2 : Walk around and write down a phrase you hear (or read). Make a story out of it.

#3 : Write using no adjectives or adverbs.

#4 : Write a character's inner dialogue between different aspects of a character's self (rather than an inner monologue).

#5 : Write a true story from your past that involves light or darkness in some way.

#6 : "Saying goodbye awakens us to the true nature of things." Write something in which someone has to say goodbye and has a realization.

#7 : Begin by writing the end of the story.

#8 : Write a recipe for an intangible thing.

#9 : Write a horror story about an ordinary situation (e.g., buying groceries, going to the bank, listening to music).

#10 : Write a story from within a bubble.

#11 : Write down 2-3 short character descriptions and then write the characters in conversation with one another.

#12 : Write a story in second person.

#13 : Write a story that keeps contradicting itself.

#14 : Write about a character with at least three big problems.

#15 : Write something that takes place on a Friday, the 13th (of any month).

body_somethingfridaythe13thprompt

15 Funny Writing Prompts

#1 : Write a story which starts with someone eating a pickle and potato sandwich.

#2 : Write a short script where the plot has to do with evil dolls trying to take over something.

#3 : Write about writers' block.

#4 : List five election issues that would be ridiculous to includes as part of your election platform (e.g. outlawing mechanical pencils and clicky pens, mandating every person over the age of 30 must own an emergency last rites kit). Choose one of the ridiculous issues and write a speech in favor of it.

#5 : Write a children's story that is insanely inappropriate but can't use graphic language, curses, or violence.

#6 : List five careers. Write about someone with one of those careers who wants to quit it.

#7 : Write down a list of murder methods. Choose one at random from the list to use in a story.

#8 : Write a romance story in which the hero must have a last name corresponding with a physical characteristic (e.g. Jacques Hairyback or Flora Dimple).

#9 : Come up with 10 different ways to:

  • order a pizza
  • congratulate someone on a job well done
  • return to the store something that's broken

#10 : Search for "random Renaissance painting" (or any other inspirational image search text you can think of) on any online internet image search engine. Picking one image, write half a page each of:

  • Statements about this image (e.g. "I meant bring me the BREAD of John the Baptist").
  • Questions about this image (e.g. "How many of those cherubs look like their necks are broken?").
  • Explanations of this image (e.g. "The painter ran out of blue paint halfway through and had to improvise for the color of the sky").
  • Commands said by people in this image or about this image (e.g. "Stop telling me to smile!" or "Bring me some gasoline!").

#11 : Write starting with a word that sounds like "chute" (e.g. "chute," "shoot," "shooed").

#12 : Write about a character named X "The [article of clothing]" Y (e.g. Julie "The Yellow Darted Skirt" Whyte) or simply referred to by their clothing (e.g. "the man in the brown suit" or "the woman in black").

#13 : Write down a paragraph each describing two wildly different settings. Write a story involving both settings.

#14 : Think of a fictional holiday based around some natural event (e.g. the Earth being at its farthest point from the sun, in memory of a volcanic eruption, that time a cloud looked like a rabbit riding a bicycle). Write about how this holiday is celebrated.

#15 : Write a "Just-So" type story about a fictional creature (e.g. "how the dragon got its firebreath" or "how the mudkip got its cheek gills").

body_justsostory

54 Other Writing Prompt Ideas

#1 : Borrow a character from some other form of media (or create your own). Write from that character's perspective.

#2 : Write for and against a non-consequential controversy (e.g., salt vs. pepper, Mac vs. PC, best kind of door).

#3 : Choose an ancestor or a person from the past to write about or to.

#4 : Write a pirate story with a twist.

#5 : Have a character talk about another character and their feelings about that other character.

#6 : Pick a season and think about an event in your life that occurred in that season. Write a creative nonfiction piece about that event and that season.

#7 : Think of something very complicated and long. Write a page about it using short sentences.

#8 : Write a story as a dream.

#9 : Describe around a food without ever directly naming it.

#10 : Write a monologue (one character, talking to the audience/reader) (*not* an inner monologue).

#11 : Begin a story with the phrase, "It only took five seconds to..."

#12 : List five strong emotions. Choosing one, write about a character experiencing that emotion, but only use the character's actions to convey how they are feeling (no outright statements).

#13 : Write a chapter of the memoir of your life.

#14 : Look through the (physical) things you're currently carrying with you or wearing. Write about the memories or emotions tied with each of them.

#15 : Go be in nature. Write drawing your story from your surroundings (both physical, social, and mental/emotional).

body_writinginnature

#16 : Write from the perspective of a bubble (or bubble-like creature).

#17 : A person is jogging along an asphalt road. Write a story.

#18 : Title your story (or poem, or play, etc) "Anti-_____". Fill in the blank and write the story.

#19 : Write something that must include an animal, a mineral, and a vegetable.

#20 : Begin your writing with the phrase, "6 weeks later..."

#21 : List 5-10 office jobs. Pick one of them and describe a person working in that job as if you were a commentator on an Olympic sporting event.

#22 : Practice your poetic imagery: overwrite a description of a character's breakfast routine.

#23 : Write about a character (or group of characters) trying to convince another character to try something they're scared of.

#24 : Keep an eye out in your environment for examples of greengrocer's apostrophes and rogue quotation marks. Pick an example and write about what the misplaced punctuation implies (e.g., we have the "best" meat or we have the best "meat" ).

#25 : Fill in the blank with the first word that comes to mind: "_______ Riot!" Write a newspaper-style article describing the events that that took place.

#26 : Write from the point of view of your most-loved possession. What does it think of you?

#27 : Think of five common sayings (e.g., "An apple a day keeps the doctor away"). Write a horror story whose plot is one of those common sayings.

#28 : Write a scene in which two characters are finally hashing out a long-standing misunderstanding or disagreement.

#29 : You start receiving text messages from an unknown number. Tell the story of what happens next.

#30 : Write one character bragging to another about the story behind their new tattoo.

#31 : Superheroes save the world...but they also leave a lot of destruction in their wake. Write about a normal person in a superhero's world.

#32 : Sometimes, family is who we are related to; sometimes, family is a group of people we gather around ourselves. Write a story about (some of) a character's found family and relatives meeting for the first time.

#33 : Write a story that begins in the middle of the plot's action ( en media res ).

#34 : Everyone says you can never have too much of a good thing. Write a story where that isn't true.

#35 : What do ghosts do when they're not creating mischief? Write about the secret lives of ghosts.

body_secretlivesofghosts

#36 : Every year, you dread the last week of April. Write a story about why.

#37 : Write a story about what it would be like to have an animal sidekick in real life.

#38 : Heists don't just have to be black-clad thieves stealing into vaults to steal rare art or money. Write about a group of people (adults or children) who commit a heist for something of seemingly little monetary value.

#39 : "Life is like a chooseable-path adventure, except you don't get to see what would have happened if you chose differently." Think of a choice you've made and write about a world where you made a different choice.

#40 : Write a story about a secret room.

#41 : You find a message in a bottle with very specific directions. Write a story about the adventure you embark upon.

#42 : "You'll always be okay as long as you know where your _______ is." Fill in the blank and write a story (either fictional or from your life) illustrating this statement.

#43 : Forcing people into prolonged proximity can change and deepen relationships. Write about characters on a road trip together.

#44 : In music, sonata form includes three main parts: exposition, development, and recapitulation. Write a short story that follows this format.

#45 : Begin writing with a character saying, "I'm afraid this simply can't wait."

#46 : Write a story with a happy ending (either happily-ever-after or happy-for-now).

#47 : Write about a character before and after a tragedy in that character's life.

#48 : Choose an object or concept you encounter in everyday life (e.g. tables, the feeling of hot or cold, oxygen) and write an infomercial about it.

#49 : "Life is a series of quests, whether important or mundane." Write about a quest you've gone on (or would like to go on, or will have to go on).

#50 : List 10 different ways to learn. Choose one (or more) and write a story where a character learns something using that one (or more) method.

#51 : You've been called to the principal's office for bad behavior. You know what you did. Explain and justify yourself.

#52 : A character discovers their sibling owns a cursed object. Write about what happens next.

#53 : Write a character description by writing a list of items that would be on a scavenger hunt about them.

#54 : The slogan for a product or service you're advertising is, "Kid-tested, _____." Fill in the blank and write the copy for a radio or podcast advertisement for your product.

body_kidtestedwritingprompt

How to Use Creative Writing Prompts

There's no wrong way to use a creative writing prompt (unless it's to harass and hurt someone)—the point of them is to get you writing and your imagination flowing.

To help you get the most out of these writing prompts, however, we've come up with the six tips below. Try them out!

#1: DON'T Limit Yourself to Prose

Unless you're writing for a particular assignment, there's no reason everything you write in response to a writing prompt has to be prose fiction . Instead of writing your response to a prompt as a story, try writing a poem, nonfiction essay, play, screenplay, or some other format entirely.

#2: DON'T Edit as You Write

The purposes of writing prompts is to get you writing, typos and weird grammar and all. Editing comes later, once you've finished writing and have some space from it to come back to what you wrote.

It's OK to fix things that will make it difficult to read what you've written (e.g., a weird autocorrect that changes the meaning of a sentence), but don't worry too much about typos or perfect grammar when you're writing; those are easy enough to fix in edits . You also can always insert asterisks or a short note as you're writing to remind yourself to go back to fix something (for instance, if as you're writing it seems like you want to move around the order of your paragraphs or insert something earlier).

#3: DO Interpret the Prompt Broadly

The point of using a writing prompt is not to write something that best exemplifies the prompt, but something that sparks your own creativity. Again, unless you're writing in response to an assignment with specific directions, feel free to interpret writing prompts as broadly or as narrowly as you want.

For instance, if your prompt is to write a story that begins with "The stage was set," you could write about anything from someone preparing to put a plan into motion to a literal theatre stage constructed out of pieces of old sets (or something else entirely).

If you're using a writing prompt, it doesn't have to be the first sentence of your story or poem, either; you can also use the prompt as a goal to work towards in your writing.

#4: DO Try Switching Up Your Writing Methods

If it's a possibility for you, see if you write differently in different media. Do you write the same kind of stories by hand as you would typing at a computer? What about if you dictate a story and then transcribe it? Or text it to a friend? Varying the method you use to write can affect the stories you're able to tell.

For example, you may find that it's easier for you to tell stories about your life to a voice recorder than to try to write out a personal essay. Or maybe you have trouble writing poetry, but can easily text yourself or a friend a poem. You might even find you like a writing method you've not tried before better than what you've been doing!

body_switchwritingmethods

#5: DO Mix and Match Prompt Ideas

If you need more inspiration, feel free to combine multiple prompts (but don't overwhelm yourself with too much to write about).

You can also try switching genres from what might be suggested in the prompt. For instance, try writing a prompt that seems funny in a serious and sad way, or finding the humor in something that otherwise seems humorless. The categories we've organized the prompts into are by no means limiters on what you're allowed to write about.

#6: DO Try to Write Regularly

The more regularly you write, the easier it will be to write (with or without writing prompts).

For some people, this means writing daily; for others, it means setting aside time to write each weekend or each month. Set yourself an achievable goal (write 2x a week, write 1000 words a month) and stick to it. You can always start small and then ramp your wordcount or frequency up.

If you do better when you have something outside yourself prompting to write, you may also want to try something like morning pages , which encourages you to write at least 750 words every day, in any format (story, diary entry, social media postings, etc).

body_planouttimetowrite

What's Next?

Thinking about attending college or grad school for creative writing? Our articles on whether or not you should major in creative writing and the best creative writing programs are there for you! Plus, if you're a high schooler, you should check out these top writing contests .

Creative writing doesn't necessarily have to be fiction. Check out these three examples of narrative writing and our tips for how to write your own narrative stories and essays .

Just as writing prompts can help give form to amorphous creative energy, using specific writing structures or devices can be great starting points for your next story. Read through our discussion of the top 20 poetic devices to know and see if you can work at least one new one into your next writing session.

Still looking for more writing ideas? Try repurposing our 100+ easy drawing ideas for characters, settings, or plot points in your writing.

Laura graduated magna cum laude from Wellesley College with a BA in Music and Psychology, and earned a Master's degree in Composition from the Longy School of Music of Bard College. She scored 99 percentile scores on the SAT and GRE and loves advising students on how to excel in high school.

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365 Creative Writing Prompts

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Here are 365 Creative Writing Prompts to help inspire you to write every single day! Use them for journaling, story starters, poetry, and more!

365 creative writing prompts

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If you want to become a better writer, the best thing you can do is practice writing every single day. Writing prompts are useful because we know sometimes it can be hard to think of what to write about!

To help you brainstorm, we put together this list of 365 creative writing prompts to give you something to write about daily.

Want to Download these prompts?  I am super excited to announce due to popular demand we now have an ad-free printable version of this list of writing prompts available for just $5. The  printable version  includes a PDF as a list AND print-ready prompt cards. {And all the design source files you could ever need to customize any way you would like!}

Here are 365 Creative Writing Prompts to Inspire:

Whether you write short stories, poems, or like to keep a journal – these will stretch your imagination and give you some ideas for topics to write about!

1. Outside the Window : What’s the weather outside your window doing right now? If that’s not inspiring, what’s the weather like somewhere you wish you could be?

2. The Unrequited love poem: How do you feel when you love someone who does not love you back?

3. The Vessel: Write about a ship or other vehicle that can take you somewhere different from where you are now.

4. Dancing: Who’s dancing and why are they tapping those toes?

5. Food: What’s for breakfast? Dinner? Lunch? Or maybe you could write a poem about that time you met a friend at a cafe.

6. Eye Contact: Write about two people seeing each other for the first time.

7. The Rocket-ship: Write about a rocket-ship on its way to the moon or a distant galaxy far, far, away.

rocket ship writing prompt

8. Dream-catcher : Write something inspired by a recent dream you had.

9. Animals: Choose an animal. Write about it!

10. Friendship: Write about being friends with someone.

11. Dragon : Envision a dragon. Do you battle him? Or is the dragon friendly? Use descriptive language.

12. Greeting : Write a story or poem that starts with the word “hello” or another greeting.

13. The Letter: Write a poem or story using words from a famous letter or inspired by a letter someone sent you.

14. The Found Poem : Read a book and circle some words on a page. Use those words to craft a poem. Alternatively, you can cut out words and phrases from magazines.

15. Eavesdropper : Create a poem, short story, or journal entry about a conversation you’ve overheard.

16. Addict: Everyone’s addicted to something in some shape or form. What are things you can’t go without?

17. Dictionary Definition : Open up a dictionary to a random word. Define what that word means to you.

dictionary success

18. Cleaning: Hey, even writers and creative artists have to do housework sometimes. Write about doing laundry, dishes, and other cleaning activities.

19. Great Minds: Write  about someone you admire and you thought to have had a beautiful mind.

20. Missed Connections: If you go to Craigslist, there is a “Missed Connections” section where you can find some interesting storylines to inspire your writing.

21. Foreclosure : Write a poem or short story about someone who has lost or is about to lose their home.

22. Smoke, Fog, and Haze: Write about not being able to see ahead of you.

23. Sugar: Write something so sweet, it makes your teeth hurt.

24. Numbers:  Write a poem or journal entry about numbers that have special meaning to you.

25. Dread: Write about doing something you don’t want to do.

26. Fear: What scares you a little? What do you feel when scared? How do you react?

27. Closed Doors: What’s behind the door? Why is it closed?

what are some creative writing prompts

28. Shadow: Imagine you are someone’s shadow for a day.

29. Good Vibes: What makes you smile? What makes you happy?

30. Shopping:  Write about your shopping wishlist and how you like to spend money.

31. The Professor: Write about a teacher that has influenced you.

32. Rewrite : Take any poem or short story you enjoy. Rewrite it in your own words.

33. Jewelry: Write about a piece of jewelry. Who does it belong to?

34. Sounds : Sit outside for about an hour. Write down the sounds you hear.

35. War and Peace: Write about a recent conflict that you dealt with in your life.

36. Frame It: Write a poem or some phrases that would make for good wall art in your home.

37. Puzzle: Write about putting together the pieces of puzzles.

38. Fire-starters: Write about building a fire.

39. Coffee & Tea: Surely you drink one or the other or know someone who does- write about it!

40. Car Keys: Write about someone getting their driver’s license for the first time.

41. What You Don’t Know: Write about a secret you’ve kept from someone else or how you feel when you know someone is keeping a secret from you.

42. Warehouse : Write about being inside an old abandoned warehouse.

warehouse writing prompt

43. The Sound of Silence: Write about staying quiet when you feel like shouting.

44. Insult: Write about being insulted. How do you feel? Why do you think the other person insulted you?

45. Mirror, Mirror: What if you mirror started talking to you? What might the mirror say?

46. Dirty: Write a poem about getting covered in mud.

47. Light Switch : Write about coming out of the dark and seeing the light.

48. The Stars : Take inspiration from a night sky. Or, write about a time when “the stars aligned” in your horoscope.

writing prompt star idea

49. Joke Poem : What did the wall say to the other wall? Meet you at the corner! Write something inspired by a favorite joke.

50. Just Say No : Write about the power you felt when you told someone no.

51: Sunrise/Sunset : The sun comes up, the sun goes down. It goes round and round. Write something inspiring about the sunrise or sunset.

52. Memory Lane : What does Memory Lane look like? How do you get there?

53. Tear-Jerker : Watch a movie that makes you cry. Write about that scene in the movie.

54. Dear Diary: Write a poem or short story about a diary entry you’ve read or imagined.

55. Holding Hands : The first time you held someone’s hand.

56. Photograph : Write a story or journal entry influenced by a photograph you see online or in a magazine.

57. Alarm Clock: Write about waking up.

58. Darkness: Write a poem or journal entry inspired by what you can’t see.

59. Refreshed: Write a poem about a time you really felt refreshed and renewed. Maybe it was a dip into a pool on a hot summer day, a drink of lemonade, or other situation that helped you relax and start again.

60. Handle With Care : Write about a very fragile or delicate object.

61. Drama: Write about a time when you got stuck in between two parties fighting with each other.

62. Slip Up: Write about making mistakes.

63. Spice: Write about flavors and tastes or a favorite spice of yours.

64. Sing a New Song: Take a popular song off the radio and rewrite it as a poem in your own words.

65. Telephone: Write about a phone call you recently received.

66. Name: Write a poem or short story using your name in some way or form.

67. Dollhouse: Write a poem or short story from the viewpoint of someone living in a doll house.

68. Random Wikipedia Article : Go to Wikipedia and click on Random Article . Write about whatever the page you get.

69. Silly Sports: Write about an extreme or silly sport. If none inspire you, make up the rules for your own game.

70. Recipe : Write about a recipe for something abstract, such as a feeling.

71. Famous Artwork: Choose a famous painting and write about it.

72. Where That Place Used to Be : Think of a place you went to when you were younger but it now no longer there or is something else. Capture your feelings about this in your writing.

73. Last Person You Talked to: Write a quick little poem or story about the last person you spoke with.

74. Caught Red-Handed: Write about being caught doing something embarrassing.

75. Interview: Write a list of questions you have for someone you would like to interview, real or fictional.

76. Missing You: Write about someone you miss dearly.

77. Geography: Pick a state or country you’ve never visited. Write about why you would or would not like to visit that place.

geography writing prompt

78. Random Song: Turn on the radio, use the shuffle feature on your music collection or your favorite streaming music service. Write something inspired by the first song you hear.

79. Hero: Write a tribute to someone you regard as a hero.

80. Ode to Strangers: Go people watching and write an ode to a stranger you see on the street.

81. Advertisement: Advertisements are everywhere, aren’t they? Write using the slogan or line from an ad.

82. Book Inspired: Think of your favorite book. Now write a poem that sums up the entire story in 10 lines.

83. Magic : Imagine you have a touch of magic, and can make impossible things happen. What would you do?

84. Fanciest Pen: Get out your favorite pen, pencils, or even colored markers and write using them!

85. A Day in the Life: Write about your daily habits and routine.

86. Your Muse: Write about your muse – what do they look like? What does your muse do to inspire you?

87. Convenience Store : Write about an experience you’ve had at a gas station or convenience store.

88. Natural Wonders of the World: Choose one of the natural wonders of the world. Write about it.

89. Status Update: Write a poem using the words from your latest status update or a friend’s status update. If you don’t use sites like Facebook or Twitter, you can often search online for some funny ones to use as inspiration.

90. Green Thumb: Write about growing something.

91. Family Heirloom: Write about an object that’s been passed through the generations in your family.

92. Bug Catcher: Write about insects.

93. Potion: Write about a magic potion. What is it made of? What does it do? What is the antidote?

94. Swinging & Sliding: Write something inspired by a playground or treehouse.

95. Adjectives: Make a list of the first 5 adjectives that pop into your head. Use these 5 words in your story, poem, or journal entry.

96. Fairy Tales: Rewrite a fairy tale. Give it a new ending or make it modern or write as a poem.

97. Whispers: Write about someone who has to whisper a secret to someone else.

98. Smile: Write a poem about the things that make you smile.

99. Seasonal: Write about your favorite season.

100.  Normal: What does normal mean to you? Is it good or bad to be normal?

101. Recycle : Take something you’ve written in the past and rewrite it into a completely different piece.

102. Wardrobe: Write about a fashion model or what’s currently in your closet or drawers.

103. Secret Message : Write something with a secret message hidden in between the words. For example, you could make an acrostic poem using the last letters of the word or use secret code words in the poem.

104. Vacation: Write about a vacation you took.

105. Heat: Write about being overheated and sweltering.

106. Spellbinding: Write a magic spell.

107. Collection : Write about collecting something, such as salt shakers, sea shells, or stamps.

108. Taking Chances: Everyone takes a risk at some point in their life. Write about a time when you took a chance and what the result was.

109. Carnival: Write a poem or story or journal entry inspired by a carnival or street fair.

110. Country Mouse: Write about someone who grew up in the country visiting the city for the first time.

111: Questions: Write about questions you have for the universe. Optional: include an answer key.

112. Rushing: Write about moving quickly and doing things fast.

113. Staircase : Use a photo of a staircase or the stairs in your home or a building you love to inspire you.

114. Neighbors: Make up a story or poem about your next door neighbor.

115. Black and Blue: Write about a time you’ve been physically hurt.

116. All Saints: Choose a saint and create a poem about his or her life.

117. Beach Inspired: What’s not to write about the beach?

118. Shoes: What kind of shoes do you wear? Where do they lead your feet?

119. The Ex: Write a poem to someone who is estranged from you.

120. My Point of View: Write in the first person point of view.

121. Stray Animal: Think of the life of a stray cat or dog and write about that.

122. Stop and Stare : Create a poem or story about something you could watch forever.

123. Your Bed: Describe where you sleep each night.

124. Fireworks : Do they inspire you or do you not like the noise and commotion? Write about it.

125. Frozen: Write about a moment in your life you wish you could freeze and preserve.

126. Alone : Do you like to be alone or do you like having company?

127. Know-it-all: Write about something you are very knowledgeable about, for example a favorite hobby or passion of yours.

128. The Promise: Write about a promise you’ve made to someone. Did you keep that promise?

129. Commotion: Write about being overstimulated by a lot of chaos.

130. Read the News Today : Construct a poem or story using a news headline for your first line.

131. Macro: Write a description of an object close-up.

132. Transportation : Write about taking your favorite (or least-favorite) form of transportation.

133. Gadgets: If you could invent a gadget, what would it do? Are there any gadgets that make your life easier?

134: Bring on the Cheese: Write a tacky love poem that is so cheesy, it belongs on top of a pizza.

135. Ladders: Write a story or poem that uses ladders as a symbol.

136. Bizarre Holiday : There is a bizarre holiday for any date! Look up a holiday for today’s date and create a poem in greeting card fashion or write a short story about the holiday to celebrate.

137. Blog-o-sphere : Visit your favorite blog or your feedreader and craft a story, journal entry, or poem based on the latest blog post you read.

138. Mailbox: Create a poem, short story, or journal entry based on a recent item of mail you’ve received.

139. Sharing : Write about sharing something with someone else.

140. Cactus: Write from the viewpoint of a cactus. What’s it like to live in the desert or have a prickly personality?

141. It’s a Sign : Have you seen any interesting road signs lately?

142. Furniture: Write about a piece of furniture in your home.

143. Failure: Write about a time you failed at something. Did you try again or give up completely?

144. Mystical Creatures: Angels or other mystical creatures – use them as inspiration.

145. Flying: Write about having wings and what you would do.

146. Clear and Transparent: Write a poem about being able to see-through something.

147. Break the Silence : Record yourself speaking, then write down what you spoke and revise into a short story or poem.

148. Beat: Listen to music with a strong rhythm or listen to drum loops. Write something that goes along with the beat you feel and hear.

149. Color Palette: Search online for color palettes and be inspired to write by one you resonate with.

150. Magazine: Randomly flip to a page in a magazine and write using the first few words you see as an opening line.

151. The Grass is Greener : Write about switching the place with someone or going to where it seems the “grass is greener”.

152. Mind & Body: Write something that would motivate others to workout and exercise.

153. Shaping Up : Write something that makes a shape on the page…ie: a circle, a heart, a square, etc.

154. Twenty-One: Write about your 21st birthday.

155. Aromatherapy: Write about scents you just absolutely love.

156. Swish, Buzz, Pop : Create a poem that uses Onomatopoeia .

157. What Time is It? Write about the time of day it is right now. What are people doing? What do you usually do at this time each day?

158. Party Animal: Have you ever gone to a party you didn’t want to leave? Or do you hate parties? Write about it!

159: Miss Manners : Use the words “please” and “thank you” in your writing.

160. Cliche: Choose a common cliche, then write something that says the same thing but without using the catch phrase.

161. Eco-friendly : Write about going green or an environmental concern you have.

162. Missing You: Write about someone you miss.

163. Set it Free: Think of a time when you had to let someone or something go to be free…did they come back?

164: Left Out : Write about a time when you’ve felt left out or you’ve noticed someone else feeling as if they didn’t belong.

165. Suitcase: Write about packing for a trip or unpacking from when you arrive home.

what are some creative writing prompts

166. Fantasy : Write about fairies, gnomes, elves, or other mythical creatures.

167. Give and Receive : Write about giving and receiving.

168. Baker’s Dozen: Imagine the scents and sights of a bakery and write.

169. Treehouse: Write about your own secret treehouse hideaway.

170.  Risk: Write about taking a gamble on something.

171. Acrostic : Choose a word and write an acrostic poem where every line starts with a letter from the word.

172. Crossword Puzzle: Open up the newspaper or find a crossword puzzle online and choose one of the clues to use as inspiration for your writing.

173. Silver Lining : Write about the good that happens in a bad situation.

174. Gloves: Write about a pair of gloves – what kind of gloves are they? Who wears them and why?

175. All that Glitters: Write about a shiny object.

176. Jealousy: Write with a theme of envy and jealousy.

Want to Download these prompts?  I am super excited to announce due to popular demand we now have an ad-free printable version of this list of writing prompts available for just $5. The  printable version  includes a PDF as a list AND print-ready prompt cards. {And all the design source files you could ever need to customize any way you would like!}

177. How Does Your Garden Grow? Write about a flower that grows in an unusual place.

178. Jury Duty : Write a short story or poem that takes place in a courtroom.

179. Gifts: Write about a gift you have given or received.

180. Running: Write about running away from someone or something.

181. Discovery: Think of something you’ve recently discovered and use it as inspiration.

182. Complain:  Write about your complaints about something.

183. Gratitude: Write a poem or journal entry that is all about things you are thankful for.

184. Chemistry: Choose an element and write a poem or story that uses that word in one of the lines.

185. Applause: Write about giving someone a standing ovation.

186. Old Endings Into New Beginnings:  Take an old poem, story, or journal entry of yours and use the last line and make it the first line of your writing today.

187. Longing: Write  about something you very much want to do.

188. I Am: Write a motivational poem or journal entry about positive traits that make you who you are.

189. Rainbow : What is at the end of a rainbow? Or, take a cue from Kermit the Frog, and ask yourself, why are there so many songs about rainbows?

end of the rainbow writing idea

190. Museum: Take some time to visit a nearby museum with your journal. Write about one of the pieces that speaks to you.

191. Cartoon: Think of your favorite cartoon or comic. Write a poem or story that takes place in that setting.

192. Copycat: Borrow a line from a famous public domain poem to craft your own.

193. From the Roof-tops:  Imagine you could stand on a rooftop and broadcast a message to everyone below – what would you say?

194. Time Travel: If there was a time period you could visit for a day, where would you go? Write about traveling back in time to that day.

195. Changing Places: Imagine living the day as someone else.

196. Neighborhood: Write about your favorite place in your neighborhood to visit and hang out at.

197. Pirates: Write about a pirate ship.

198. Interview : Write based on a recent interview you’ve read or seen on TV or heard on the radio.

199.  Hiding Spaces : Write about places you like to hide things at. What was a favorite hiding spot for you as a child playing hide-and-seek?

200. Extreme Makeover: Imagine how life might be different if you could change your hair color or clothing into something completely opposite from your current style.

201. Empathy: Write about your feelings of empathy or compassion for another person.

202. Opposites: Write a poem or story that ties in together two opposites.

203. Boredom: Write about being bored or make a list of different ways to entertain yourself.

204. Strength : Think of a time when you’ve been physically or emotionally strong and use that as inspiration.

205. Hunger: Write from the perspective of someone with no money to buy food.

206. Greed: Write about someone who always wants more – whether it be money, power, etc. etc.

207. Volcano: Write about an eruption of a volcano.

208. Video Inspiration : Go to Vimeo.com or YouTube.com and watch one of the videos featured on the homepage. Write something based on what you watch.

209. Sneeze: Write about things that make you sneeze.

210. Footsteps on the Moon:  Write about the possibility of life in outer-space.

211: Star-crossed: Write a short modern version of the story of Romeo and Juliet or think of real-life examples of lovers who are not allowed to be together to use as inspiration for your writing.

212. Font-tastic: Choose a unique font and type out a poem, story or journal entry using that font.

213. Schedule: Take a look at your calendar and use the schedule for inspiration in writing.

214. Grandparents: Write about a moment in your grandparent’s life.

215. Collage: Go through a magazine and cut out words that grab your attention. Use these words to construct a poem or as a story starter or inspiration for your journal.

216. Oh so Lonely: Write a poem about what you do when you are alone – do you feel lonely or do you enjoy your own company?

217. Waterfall: Think of a waterfall you’ve seen in person or spend some time browsing photos of waterfalls online. Write about the movement, flow, and energy.

218. First Kiss: Write about your first kiss.

219. So Ironic: Write about an ironic situation you’ve been in throughout your life.

220. Limerick: Write a limerick today.

221. Grocery Shopping: Write about an experience at the grocery store.

daily writing prompt ideas

222. Fashion : Go through a fashion magazine or browse fashion websites online and write about a style you love.

223. So Close: Write about coming close to reaching a goal.

224. Drinks on Me: Write a poem or short story that takes place at a bar.

225. Online Friends: Write an ode to someone online you’ve met and become friends with.

226. Admiration: Is there someone you admire? Write about those feelings.

227. Trash Day: Write from the perspective of a garbage collector.

228. Mailbox: Open your mailbox and write something inspired by one of the pieces of mail you received.

229. Fresh & Clean: Write about how you feel after you take a shower.

230. Energized: Write about how you feel when you’re either at a high or low energy level for the day.

231. Rhyme & No Reason: Make up a silly rhyming poem using made up words.

232. Tech Support: Use computers or a conversation with tech support you’ve had as inspiration.

233. Hotel: Write from the perspective of someone who works at a hotel or staying at a hotel.

234. Underwater: Write about sea creatures and under water life. What’s under the surface of the ocean? What adventures might be waiting?

underwater life picture

235. Breathing: Take a few minutes to do some deep breathing relaxation techniques. Once your mind is clear, just write the first few things that you think of.

236. Liar, Liar: Make up a poem or story of complete lies about yourself or someone else.

237. Obituaries: Look at the recent obituaries online or in the newspaper and imagine the life of someone and write about that person.

238. Pocket: Rummage through your pockets and write about what you keep or find in your pockets.

239. Cinquain: Write a cinquain poem, which consists of 5 lines that do not rhyme.

240. Alphabetical: Write a poem that has every letter of the alphabet in it.

241.  Comedy Club: Write something inspired by a comedian.

242. Cheater: Write about someone who is unfaithful.

243. Sestina: Give a try to writing a sestina poem.

244. Fight: Write about witnessing two people get in an argument with each other.

245. Social Network : Visit your favorite Social Networking website (ie: Facebook, Pinterest, Google, Twitter, etc.) and write a about a post you see there.

246. Peaceful: Write about something peaceful and serene.

247. In the Clouds: Go cloud watching for the day and write about what you imagine in the clouds.

248. At the Park: Take some time to sit on a park bench and write about the sights, scenes, and senses and emotions you experience.

249. Sonnet: Write a sonnet today.

250. Should, Would, And Could: Write a poem or story using the words should, would, and could.

251. How to: Write directions on how to do something.

252. Alliteration: Use alliteration in your poem or in a sentence in a story.

253. Poker Face: Write about playing a card game.

254. Timer: Set a timer for 5 minutes and just write. Don’t worry about it making sense or being perfect.

255. Dance: Write about a dancer or a time you remember dancing.

256. Write for a Cause: Write a poem or essay that raises awareness for a cause you support.

257. Magic : Write about a magician or magic trick.

258. Out of the Box: Imagine finding a box. Write about opening it and what’s inside.

259. Under the Influence: What is something has impacted you positively in your life?

260. Forgotten Toy : Write from the perspective a forgotten or lost toy.

261. Rocks and Gems: Write about a rock or gemstone meaning.

262. Remote Control: Imagine you can fast forward and rewind your life with a remote control.

263. Symbolism: Think of objects, animals, etc. that have symbolic meaning to you. Write about it.

264. Light at the End of the Tunnel: Write about a time when you saw hope when it seemed like a hopeless situation.

265. Smoke and Fire : “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.” Use this saying as inspiration to write!

266. Railroad: Write about a train and its cargo or passengers.

what are some creative writing prompts

267. Clipboard: Write about words you imagine on an office clipboard.

268. Shipwrecked: Write about being stranded somewhere – an island, a bus stop, etc.

269. Quotable: Use a popular quote from a speaker and use it as inspiration for your writing.

270. Mind   Map it Out: Create a mind map of words, phrases, and ideas that pop into your head or spend some time browsing the many mind maps online. Write a poem, story, or journal entry inspired by the mind map.

271. Patterns : Write about repeating patterns that occur in life.

272. Scrapbook : Write about finding a scrapbook and the memories it contains.

273. Cure: Write about finding a cure for an illness.

274. Email Subject Lines: Read your email today and look for subject lines that may be good starters for writing inspiration.

275. Wishful Thinking: Write about a wish you have.

276. Doodle : Spend some time today doodling for about 5-10 minutes. Write about the thoughts you had while doodling or create something inspired by your finished doodle.

277. Chalkboard: Imagine you are in a classroom. What does it say on the chalkboard?

278. Sticky: Imagine a situation that’s very sticky, maybe even covered in maple syrup, tape or glue. Write about it!

279. Flashlight : Imagine going somewhere very dark with only a flashlight to guide you.

280. A Far Away Place : Envision yourself traveling to a fictional place, what do you experience in your imaginary journey?

281. On the Farm : Write about being in a country or rural setting.

282. Promise to Yourself: Write about a promise you want to make to yourself and keep.

283. Brick Wall : Write a poem that is about a brick wall – whether literal or figurative.

284. Making a Choice: Write about a time when you had to make a difficult choice.

285.  Repeat: Write about a time when you’ve had to repeat yourself or a time when it felt like no one was listening.

286. Outcast : Write about someone who is not accepted by their peers. (for example, the Ugly Ducking)

287. Scary Monsters: Write about a scary (or not-so-scary) monster in your closet or under the bed.

288. Sacrifice: Write about something you’ve sacrificed doing to do something else or help another person.

289. Imperfection: Create a poem that highlights the beauty in being flawed.

290. Birthday Poem: Write a poem inspired by birthdays.

291. Title First : Make a list of potential poem or story titles and choose one to write from.

292. Job Interview : Write about going on a job interview.

293. Get Well : Write a poem that will help someone who is sick feel better quick!

294. Lost in the Crowd: Write about feeling lost in the crowd.

295. Apple a Day: Write about a health topic that interests you.

296. Cravings: Write about craving something.

297. Phobia: Research some common phobias, choose one, and write about it.

298. In the Moment: Write about living in the present moment.

299. Concrete : Write about walking down a sidewalk and what you see and experience.

300. Battle: Write about an epic battle, whether real, fictional or figurative.

301. This Old House : Write about an old house that is abandoned or being renovated.

302. Clutter: Is there a cluttered spot in your home? Go through some of that clutter today and write about what you find or the process of organizing.

303. Go Fly a Kite: Write about flying a kite.

304. On the TV: Flip to a random TV channel and write about the first thing that comes on – even if it is an infomercial!

305. Fruit: Write an ode to your favorite fruit.

306. Long Distance Love: Write about a couple that is separated by distance.

307. Glasses: Write about a pair of eyeglasses or someone wearing glasses.

308. Robotic : Write about a robot.

309. Cute as a Button: Write about something you think is just adorable.

310. Movie Conversation: Use a memorable conversation from a favorite movie to inspire your writing.

311. Easy-Peasy : Write  about doing something effortlessly.

312. Idiom: Choose from a list of idioms one that speaks to you and create a poem around that saying or phrase. (Ie: It is raining cats and dogs)

313. Playground: Whether it is the swings or the sandbox or the sliding boards, write about your memories of being on a playground.

314. Romance: Write about romantic things partners can do for each other.

315. Rock Star: Imagine you are a famous rock star. Write about the experience.

rock star life

316. Come to Life: Imagine ordinary objects have come to life. Write about what they do and say.

317. Airplane: Write about meeting someone on an airplane and a conversation you might have.

318. Health & Beauty: Take some time to peruse your medicine cabinet or the health and beauty aisles at a local store. Write a poem, short story, or journal entry inspired by a product label.

319. Determination: Write about not giving up.

320. Instrumental Inspiration: Listen to some instrumental music and write a poem that matches the mood, beat, and style of the music.

321. Wait Your Turn: Write about having to wait in line.

322. Personality Type : Do you know your personality type? (There are many free quizzes online) – write about what type of personality traits you have.

323. Decade: Choose a favorite decade and write about it. (IE: 1980’s or 1950’s for example)

324. I Believe: Write your personal credo of things you believe in.

325. Lost and Found: Write about a lost object.

326. Say it: Write a poem or story that uses dialogue between two people.

327. The Unsent Letter: Write about a letter that never made it to its recipient.

328. The Windows of the Soul: Write a poem about the story that is told through someone’s eyes.

329. Trial and Error: Write about something you learned the hard way.

330. Escape : Write about where you like to go to escape from it all.

331. What’s Cooking: Write something inspired a favorite food or recipe.

332. Records : Go through your file box and pull out old receipts or records…write something inspired by what you find!

333. Banking: Write about visiting the bank.

334. Sweet Talk: Write about trying to convince someone of something.

335. Serendipity: Write about something that happened by chance in a positive way.

336. Distractions: Write about how it feels when you can’t focus.

337. Corporation: Write about big business.

338. Word of the Day: Go to a dictionary website that has a word of the day and use it in a poem, story or journal entry you write.

339. Pick Me Up:  What do you do when you need a pick me up?

340. Unfinished: Write about a project you started but never completed.

341. Forgiveness: Write about a time when someone forgave you or you forgave someone.

342. Weakness: Write about your greatest weakness.

343. Starting: Write about starting a project.

344. Mechanical: Think of gears, moving parts, machines.

345. Random Act of Kindness : Write about a random act of kindness you’ve done for someone or someone has done for you, no matter how small or insignificant it may have seemed.

346. Underground: Imagine living in a home underground and use that as inspiration for writing.

347. Classic Rock: Pick a classic rock love ballad and rewrite it into a story or poem with a similar theme.

348. Night Owl : Write about staying up late at night.

349. Magnetic : Write about attraction to something or someone.

350. Teamwork: Write about working with a team towards a common goal.

351. Roller-coaster : Write about the ups and downs in life.

352. Motivational Poster: Look at some motivational posters online and write a poem or journal entry inspired by your favorite one.

353. Games: Write about the games people play – figuratively or literally.

chess game story starter

354. Turning Point: Write about a point in life where things turned for the better or worse.

355. Spellbound: Write about a witch’s spell.

356. Anniversary: Write about the anniversary of a special date.

357. Gamble:  Be inspired by a casino or lottery ticket.

358. Picnic: Write about going on a picnic.

359. Garage: Write about some random item you might find in a garage.

360. Review: Review your week, month, or year in a journal entry or poem format.

361. Detective: Write about a detective searching for clues or solving a mystery.

362. Camera: Take your camera for a walk and write based on one of the photographs you take.

363. Visiting : Write about visiting a family member or friend.

364. Trust: Write about putting trust in someone.

365. Congratulations : Did you write a poem, short story, or journal entry every day for a whole year? Write about what you’ve learned and celebrate your achievement!

We hope you enjoy these creative writing prompts! And of course, if you write anything using these prompts, we’d love to know about it! Tell us how you’ll use these everyday creative writing prompts in the comments section below!

And of course, if you’d like the printable ad-free version of these prompts to reference again and again or to use in your classroom, you can find them at our Etsy shop !

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Chelle Stein wrote her first embarrassingly bad novel at the age of 14 and hasn't stopped writing since. As the founder of ThinkWritten, she enjoys encouraging writers and creatives of all types.

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191 comments.

I have been on a reading binge since being on vacation from school. By rereading Little House, Anne of Green Gables, and Little Women among others, one wonders about writing a book. I stumbled across this while looking up unit supplements for my kiddos, and thought, hey, write a page a day and see what happens! Thank you for this collection of prompts! I’ve linked back to this page several times so others can try their hand at writing. Thank you again!

The Flicker, The Teeth, and A Warehouse in the Dark (the warehouse prompt)

I am in a large abandoned warehouse with a flickering light The only light in the whole room. It flickered leaving me in temporal darkness It flickered again and as it was dark I swore I saw something glowing It looked like glowing teeth The lights return and I see nothing Flickers on Flickers off I see the teeth closer Flickers on I see nothing Flickers off The teeth so close Flickers on An empty warehouse Flickers off The glowing teeth are inchings away bright red blood drips from their tips Flickers on Panic rises in my chest but nothing is there Turns off The mouth of bloody teeth is before my eyes I wait for the light to flicker back on I wait in complete darkness I wait And wait And wait The teeth open wide I try to scream by the darkness swallows it A hear the crunch of my bones I see my blood pore down my chest But I wait in darkness for the pain I wait And wait And wait The mouth of teeth devours my lower half I wait for pain and death I wait And wait And wait The light flickers on I see no monster Only my morphed body And blood And blood And blood And so much blood The light flickers off The monster eats my arm Flickers on I wait for pain Flickers off I watch as the creature eats my limbs Flickers on I wait for death Flickers off Slowly the teeth eat my head All I see is dark I wait for it to flicker on Where is the warehouse light? Where is the only light in the room? Where is the flicker? Where am I? Where are the bloody teeth? I wait for the light to come back And wait And wait And wait And wait And wait And wait And wait in eternal darkness

WOW. Thank you!

This is such a helpful tool! I’ve learned a lot about my self through picking a random prompt and writing the first thing that comes to mind. I’d love to see a follow up list of possible! Definitely a recomended sight!

I agree. Very helpful.

I am new at the blogging game. You have provided some wonderful ideas for blog posts. Great ideas just to get used to writing every day. Thanks

This list is really impressive and useful for those of us who are looking for good topics to blog about. Thanks!

Thank you! That somes in handy

Very nice list. Thanks for compiling and posting it. It’s not only good for bloggers, but poets, as well.

yess im using it for my new years resolution, which is to write a poem daily!

Wow, thanks so much for all these wonderful prompts! They are lots of fun and very helpful. I love how you’ve provided 365 of them–A prompt for every day of the year! 🙂

Not if it’s a leap year…

Haha. Yea. This is great though all the same.. ;-;

Lol actually there’s 364 days in a year and 365 in a leap year so……yeah

are you fucking stupid

There are actually 366 days in a leap year so… yeah

I use this for my homeschooling-I love it! Thank you so much!! This is a wonderful list. So creative! 🙂 🙂

Thanks! I’m preparing for writing every day next year and this will come in really handy. It’s just 364 writing prompts though. 164 is missing. 😉

MiMschi is wrong 164 is there i looked

I think they meant that as a joke, 164 is called left out…

Good it is useful

no its not you nonce

You Don’t Love Me, Damn You

things left unsaid

and then some

anger strangles the baby

in its crib,

flowers wilt,

rivers dry up

harsh words clatter upon the day,

echo unfortunately

till silence smothers

in its embrace

you wish you could take it back

what’s done is done

never to be undone

though things move on

part of you remains

locked in the middle of protesting

one last thing,

mouth open,

no words emerging

why must you be misunderstood?

why must everything you say

no way of straightening things out

gestures halted mid-air

an accusatory finger

shoulders locked

in sardonic shrug

dishes smash on the floor

spray of fragments

frozen mid-air

slam the door

it doesn’t open

but in spite of yourself

you turn and look

one last time…..

(Greg Cameron, Poem, Surrey, B.C., Canada)

Love these. Thank you!

This is really amazingly deep. I love it so much. You have so much talent!!

Thanks SOOO much for the prompts but I have another suggestion!

A Recipe for disaster- write a recipe for a disastrous camping trip…

that one sounds awesome.

Haha. Reminds me of the old twin’s show.. what was it.. where the two girls switch places when they meet at camp?

Pretty sure I know what you’re talking about. The Parent Trap, right? Never seen the whole movie, but it seems funny.

and also #309, everyone should have thought of a hamster “write” away XD!

May I have permission to use this list at my next Ozarks Chapter of the American Christian Writers meeting. Thank you for consideration.

Hi Leah, please send some more info here: https://thinkwritten.com/contact

i am using it for my homeschooling and i love it

i am using it for my homeschooling

where is prompt 165?

sorry I meant 164, my mistake.

well kay, there is a 164 AND 165. So your head is clearly ????????????

What I like most about these is how you can combine them and get really weird ideas. For example, empathy from the rooftops: what if you shouted something positive in public every day – or if everyone did so? It might be fun to try, and then write a diary about it. Online time travel: if people could live virtually in incredibly well=constructed versions of different time periods, what would the effects be on today’s society? Could it change our language or customs?

It would be cool if we could have goggles that showed places during a certain time period. Like Seattle 1989. And you could buy special plugins, like specific people you want to hang out with, famous or non.

That one about online time travel is crazy brilliant!!! And highly thought-provoking.

It is amazing what creative writing could do to you. Daily prompts have proven to be very inspiring and overtime writers develop their own style of writing depending on how passionate they are about it. I would love to write about all 3, online, space, and time travel. cheers! and Don’t stop writing!

I belong to a writing club. We seem to have a lot of prompts to use. I love stories having to do with rain. Would you join me. I am jim

Wow! Inspiration right here.

May I use this list for a speech at my Ozarks Chapter of the American Christian Writers?

Love the inspiration

THANK YOU. THAT IS ALL I HAVE TO SAY IS THANK YOU.

What about a leap year? You’re missing one topic.

Wonderful! I love writing and these prompts are very helpful. Thank you very much! ♥

It’s been really useful in getting me to write again! Thank you very much!

I really love the list of writing ideas you have compiled here. I will be using it and others to get myself back into writing every single day if I can be away with it. Also, I have noticed a few problems with this list. One is a repeat topic. Those are numbers 76 and 162. And you skipped a number. And have only 364 days of writing. Still through! All these ideas are absolutely amazing and awesome ideas! I commend you for putting it all together in an easy to read format too. Thank you so very much.

I think we have the list all fixed now, but thanks for catching a couple of early mistakes!

Thank you for helping me edit Lora! I don’t always have a second pair of eyes + appreciated this to fix + update the post! I always say my readers are my best editors. 🙂

these days get brighter, mine gets darker, why does it has to be me , why not life.

Mirror, Mirror: What if you mirror started talking to you?

u r awesome man

Wonderful compilation of ideas! I will send your blog along to my many Creative Writing students. I’m enjoying reading your posts.

wow!! great tips! but how long did it take you to write that? its a lot of words!! lol great stuff though..

This is so cool! I love these prompts and will definitely recommend some to my teacher!!

The promise “I made a promise with my best friend, I said i’d never break, Our personalities really did blend, But then I lied awake, The people disappearing, Her gaze was always leering. I never thought she was serious, I always took it as a joke, But it really made me curious, When she was digging around that oak, My best friend is a serial killer, And i knew the truth, My life turned into a thriller, And eating at me took away my youth, I couldn’t take it any long living with this weight, To the police I went to tell my tale, Looking at me with eyes of hate, she smiled and said, without her I would fail. Now i sit in the prison cell, Waiting for my call My friend across the room smiling, my eyes begin to swell, My neck snapping on the, from my sides my hands fall

Although my writing style is dark, that’s the way I enjoy writing, and thank you for this list, even though I didn’t do one per day, scrolling through I was able to see keywords that formed ideas in my mind

I love this <3 It's amazing :))

These are really nice I absolutely love them.

This is very helpful and I’ve been finding a way to help improve my creative writing!!! Thank you very much!

You are such a life developer, who can virtually transform a life busy with unnecessary activities humans are posted to through internet. And who can restore the appetite of people to purchase pen and paper which have considered the last commodity in the market at the expense of that great vampire ‘social media’ that left both old and young paralyzed. Thanks to the proponent of this great idea.

These are great. The Closed door one gives me a great idea for a new story! Thank you so much!

man what the fuck is this shit! i was looking for short story writing prompts and I get stuck with shit like “write about the weather outside”. Damn this shit is disappointing.

Hi John, the weather might seem boring, but there are a lot of ways you can springboard from that – maybe you write a story about a character who despises the sunshine or melts if they get rained on or they live in a underground tunnel and the house gets flooded…You can also use it as an exercise in developing more descriptive writing that shows, not tells for the scenes in your story. Writing about the weather seems “easy and boring” but seriously challenge yourself to write about it in a way that makes it interesting – it is not so easy to avoid the cliches as you might think!

I LOVE IT SO MUCH i do not know why but my kids, they will just like come on this website every time it is time to have a little bit of video games! XD

The weather outside that day was dark.

It was a perfectly reasonable sort of darkness. The kind of darkness you might get if you wake up an hour before sunrise. But it was late in the morning.

He had to make sure of that. He checked his alarm clock, his microwave oven clock, and his cell phone.

The sun was supposed to be out. But the moonlit sky was starlit and clear.

And as he looked outside again, he saw that people were out, going about their business, as if none of this really mattered at all.

What was he missing here?

(There. Now you have a short story writing prompt..)

You know what “John” i think this website is great so fuck you.

yeah you tell him john

It depends on how you view it. That one topic for instance has given me a beautiful story telling. I am currently about to round up with it and trust me the feedback has been amazing.

That is great! I’m glad it helped inspire you!

Dude kids go on here so stop swearing “John”

Maybe you need to work on improving the quality of your writing. Your use of expletives is totally uncalled for. I see nothing wrong with “writing about the weather outside”. In fact, this is a great topic and can lead to awesome discussions.

Very useful indeed. Thank u

i think this is a good prompted

I think it’s awesome, I looked for inspiration, I found inspiration, thank you

well! i fall in love with all these ideas! i loved this page! thanks for sharing these amazing ideas!

Great stuff mat Keep up the good work

I LOVE THIS SO MUCH IT IS VERY HELPFUL BUT FOR A SUGGESTION YOU COULD DO DIARY STUFF MAYBE

When I read your comment, I thought you said “DAIRY,” not “DIARY.”

So… why not both? Write something based on a dairy farmer’s diary. Or… a dairy COW’S diary. Tell their stories, their private dreams. Or hidden shame…

That’s the way to think + use this list 🙂

Great idea!

Awesome list! Thank you!

Thanks so much! I’ve always been told I’m a great writer and should publish. I haven’t done a lot of leisure writing because I’m afraid I might realize I’m NOT a good writer. My therapist wants me to write more and these prompts are perfect!

This is fun i will keep doing this no matter what every year. I can’t stop writing either. Thanks for making this, it is very fun.

This helps so much! love these ideas

Can this website give me a write on the following topic. –

Imagine that the scientists could replace the human brains with computers or invent the computers with human feelings. What do you think would happen?Would the world become a better place to live in???

I’ve been looking for prompts to work through my creative art/collage journal for 2017…and love the ones you offer here….LOVE THEM! I like that they are more than just one word and give me something to think about before I start creating each day as a warm up to what is ahead.

I hope don’t mind, but I shared them on both Instagram and my FaceBook page in hopes to get my artist/creative friends to follow along with me in creating each day. I would like to include a link to your page in a near future blog post about my creative journal.

Thank you for posting and sharing you prompts…I’m excited to get started!

I’m on number 43 and I’ve already discovered a whole bunch about myself! These prompts are amazing and I can’t wait for the next 322 of them. I’ve recommended this to several of my friends. Totally worth several notebooks chock full of prompts and a years worth of writing 🙂

Very inspiring….

Hello! Is it alright if I add some of these to a little book I’m making for my Grandmother? She hasn’t opened a computer in her life but I know these prompts would do her a world of good. I believe in the importance of asking permission to use the creative property of another person 🙂 Cheers!

Hi Maxx, of course you may share with your grandmother – the only thing we would worry about is if you were to publish them for monetary gain. Enjoy! 🙂

This is really helpful. I’m glad I saw it first. ♥

OMG!! I’ve never been in this website before!!

Thank u so much this was so helpful. Idk how u came up with all thoughts prompts. It was very helpful. Thank u again.

For the first time in a long time it finally felt like I knew was going to happen next. I was gazing into her eyes and she was gazing back. I remember it like it was just yesterday, when she was still the one for me but never forgave me. I miss the sweet sound of her laughter and now all i hear are friends. I have tried to go back and apologize to her just to see if the answer will change but even I know that it will never change because I will never be enough for her. But if she ever decides that she wants me back she can have me because a life without love is one not worth living.

gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooood

can u give me one using the prompt “normal”

Thanks for this!!!!! Will definitely help me in learning to tap into my creative writing genius 🙂

Thanks, this helped me a lot!

u have a typo!!!! 364

Thanks for pointing out, got it fixed 🙂 Sometimes my brain goes faster than the computer. 🙂

I wrote this, tell me what you think; prompt #4-dancing You see her tapping her toes, always listening to music. Although she doesn’t like the music, what she doesn’t know yet is it will be stuck in her head for the next year. She’s as graceful as a butterfly yet as strong as a fighter. Many only see a pretty face yet those close enough to the fire know the passion burning deep inside of her. At home she’s quiet, always in her room yet making loud noises through the floorboards. Her parents know what she’s up to but her little brothers don’t quite understand yet. All they know is that when she goes up there she’s listening to music and soon she will play it for the whole neighborhood to hear. They don’t know that she’s practicing, practicing for the most important day of the year. The one she’s been waiting for since she’s been a little girl. Tapping her toes at the table only stops when her parents beg her to rest. Even in her dreams she on stage, dancing like a swan. Yet deep down she’s scared of the failure that she will feel if this one day goes a bit to south. Tapping her toes to the beat of her music gives her a bit of pip in her pep when she walks down the halls. No one quite understands the stress she’s going through. Through her smile she’s worries, scared that one misstep might end it all for her. But she won’t let anyone see that she’s nervous. She’s used to getting bruises, she falls on the ground but always gets back up. Because she’s a dancer, the show must go on.

Brilliant. Loved it.

Amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I’m working on a site in Danish about writing and I would love to translate these awesome prompts into Danish and use it on the site. Would that be OK? I’ll credit with links of course!

Hi Camilla, you cannot copy + post these on your site, but feel free to link to the article – our site is compatible with Google translate 🙂

Hi Camilla, this list cannot be republished, even if translated into another language. However, if you would like to link to our website that would be great, your readers are able to translate it into any language if they use a web browser such as Google Chrome.

My goal is to write all of these prompts before 2018

This is amazing! I am writing for fun and this is a list of amazing prompts!

Ha, Ha . I see what you did , #164 was missing and now it say write about being left out .

Thanks a ton !!!

This link has been really helpful for my blog, loved the ideas.

Thanks for not publishing my email address

You are welcome! We never publish email addresses. If you’d like to learn more about how we collect and use information you may provide us with on this website, you can read more on our privacy policy page. Hope that helps! https://thinkwritten.com/privacy/

I have another suggestion, What about “The Secret Journey to the Unknown”. I reckon it’s awesome!

I was wondering if you could please send new ideas to me, much appreciated thanks.

I love all of these so much and i try to write referring to these at least once everyday thank you so much for these!

Trust, It is a beautiful thing. You give it to others, For them to protect. They can keep it forever, Or they can destroy it.

Wow what a treasure! Am glad I have found the right place to begging my writing journey.Thanks guys

Super awesome! Thanks so much for this collection of writing prompts!!

Today is the last day of the year 2017. I’m proud to say that I was able to complete this challenge. Thank you for the inspiring prompts! 🙂

That is awesome! We might just have to think of some new ones!!

how about one with sports like the NBA

I thought my life was over when I couldn’t access this for a couple weeks. These prompts are excellent. I write two page short stories on one every day. I hope you guys never take down this site but I’m printing these for insurance because it truly was devastating. I’m very emotionally attached to this list. Thank you so much for sharing.

Yes, we did have a small glitch in our hosting services for a few days! Fortunately, it was only temporary and unexpected! {Though I’m sure it did feel like 2 weeks!} Good to hear you are using the prompts!

Very nice article. Very useful one for improving writing skills

Thank you Sid! Glad it is useful for you!

Oh my god.. This is something a different, thought provoking and a yardstick to those who cultivated passion on writing, like me, beginners. Wishes for this website. I really wanted to try this 365 days of writing. Thanks in tons.

Glad you find it helpful! I hope it keeps you inspired to keep growing as a writer!

i love writing too! i am writing a book and this website inspired me too!

i have been writing lots of things and am getting A + on writing

thxs for your time with the web

i am making a epic book. it is because of this website. you really help. i will share a link of my book once i am done with it to your awesome cool really helpful website! thank you for your time

That is great to hear Christopher! Would love to see some of your work when you are ready to share! 🙂

WOOOOOOOOW BEST SITE!

I’m going to write few marvelous essays based on ideas in your impressive list. Thanks!

Just to tell some people that 165 or 164 is not missing because some people probably can’t see but just to let u know that 164 is a prompt called “Left Out”

Dang. The second idea about writing about what it feels like to love someone who doesn’t love you back, I wrote something like that BEFORE I found this website.

You can always try writing it again, maybe from the other person’s perspective this time? That is the beauty of the open-ended writing prompts – you can always interpret them in a way to push and challenge you as a writer!

Thank you for these prompts! I enjoyed looking through them and writing them! They gave me great ideas and inspired me so much.

This is my favorite website to find inspiration to write. I had run out of ideas and i had a huge writers block but this made it all go away. Here’s something i wrote:

He is a mess She is beautiful He has tears streaming down his face She glides across the room as if it were her kingdom And she’s The reigning queen He’s curled up in a ball In the corner of the room He looks at me I wonder what he thinks I can’t take my eyes off her The way she subtly smiles when she realizes Someone is looking She seems to be happy all the time But I can see through the smile It’s my first time noticing It’s not complete That was the first time I wanted to say hi But I thought Why would he look at me? The nerd with all the answers in her head All the books in her hands And Her sleeves full of hearts She looked at me From the corner of her eye She saw me looking The boy with the tear stains She saw me His tears were no longer streaming He had finally stood up Tall and handsome As he is Eyes Bluer than the blue jay that sat outside my bedroom window She had opened a book and started reading She hadn’t changed pages for a while Safe to assume She was distracted She looked up and Without knowing I was in front of her “Hi” Her brown eyes Stared in to my soul Erased the memory of why the tears Were streaming in the first place “Hi”

I love it Cynthia, thank you for sharing and glad that it inspired you to keep writing! 🙂

Thank you for so many amazing ideas! I love the sound of mirror, mirror!

Glad you found it inspiring Ar!

read the whole thing and didn’t find anything I’d enjoy writing 🙁

What kinds of things do you like to write? We have a whole collection of additional writing prompts lists here. Sometimes challenging yourself to write something you don’t like all in its own can be a good exercise for writing. Hope that helps!

These are ingenious!

I love these prompts! They’re inspiring! I’ve chosen to challenge myself by using one of these prompts every day of this 2019 year. I posted my writings for the first prompt on my Tumblr and Facebook pages with the prompt and a link back to this article- I hope that’s alright. If not, I can take it down, or I would love to discuss a way I could continue to do this. I hope more people can see and use these prompts because I have already found joy in using the first one.

Hi Elizabeth! Glad you are enjoying the prompts! You can definitely post what you write with these prompts as long as you do not copy the entire list or claim them as your own. Linking back to our website or this post will help others find the prompts so they too can use them for writing! If you have any questions feel free to contact us anytime using our contact form. Thanks!

Amazing original prompts Thank you so much!

Good list, but you’re not supposed to mistake it’s for its. Not on a website for writers, of all places!

I appreciate your comment, especially because after triple checking the article AND having a few grammar-police personality type friends do the same we could not find any typos. All of the instances of its and it’s are the correct usage.

However, one thing we did remember is that it is very easy for the person reading to accidentally misunderstand and not interpret it the way as the writer intended.

To clarify when we should use it’s vs. its:

We use it’s when we intend the meaning as the contraction. This is a shortened way of writing it is . We use its without an apostrophe when we use it as a possessive noun. Any instances you may note here are correct for their intended meaning.

Some examples:

Prompt #141 It’s a Sign : In this case we intend it to be interpreted as IT IS a Sign , where the usage is a contraction.

Prompt #7 The Rocket Ship : In this case we intend it to be interpreted as the possessive form.

I hope that helps clear up any possible confusion for you!

Thank you soooo much! That helped me a lot!

You’re welcome Keira! Glad you enjoyed our list of writing ideas!

It is so rich in bright and thought-provoking ideas. Thank you so much. Get inspired to have more, please

Thanks for this. I love to write things like this. Some of these though, weren’t as interesting as I wanted it to be, not saying that they aren’t interesting. I like the help you’ve added in, such as being led into a dark room with only a flashlight to help so it gets us started. Great job!

Thanks Maya, I’m glad you like the prompts. Sometimes the prompts that seem boring are the best ones to help you practice your skills as a writer to make them interesting topics. Some of the best writers can make the most mundane topics fun!

Nice….I don’t think I’ll ever lack something to write on … I so appreciate your ideas ..,they are great

Thank you, glad you enjoyed them!

Thank you for providing these writing prompts! They are great!

Thank You so much, these are amazing to start of with to get the creative juices flowing

Thank you very much

Sweet! Thank you so much! I plan to use some of these for some creative writing on CourageousChristianFather.com

I’m glad they inspired you Steve! I always love seeing what everyone writes with these prompts – I really enjoyed your post about the cookie ad jingle! 🙂

Thanks so much for this list. I needed something to kickstart my writing. This is exactly what I’ve been looking for! I just wrote #1. WooHoo!!

Thank you for your list. This is great!

I write feature articles for our church library’s monthly newsletter. Perusing this list has helped me come up with a couple dozen ideas to consider for future issues! Thanks much for putting this together – it is being used beyond the scope of what you intended, I think!

That’s wonderful Debbie! There are so many ways to apply these prompts to any sort of project – thank you for sharing how you are using them!

Thanks for your prompts, an idea I have for a prompt is write a story based on your favorite story for example I’m writing a fantasy book based on the game dungeons and dragons…

i guss its ok

cgv hbvkd vjvhsvhivhcickbcjh

Just needed to ask: I’d like to think these prompts are for free writing with no pauses? But, does one edit and polish the piece after that? I keep reading about writing every day…like brain dumping. But, there is never a mention of what one does with the piece after that??

This article has been written with sheer intelligence. Such 365 creative writing prompts has been written here. This article is worth marking as Good. I like how you have researched and presented these exact points so clearly.

Thank you for this list! You’ve inspired me to take up the challenge, though I haven’t written anything in years!

I have even created a blog to post my ideas, and keep myself accountable. I hope this is okay, I will credit, and provide a link back to this page on each post. https://thefishhavegotitright.blogspot.com/

I love it Ariadne, I’ll definitely come check out your site! Keep at it!

This is really Helpful thanks I love it😊

I never knew how much I had to write about. This should definitely keep me busy! Thank you so much for the list.

Hi! I saw a note saying this had been updated for 2020. I was curious if there are plans to update it for 2021. If so, when would the 2021-updated list become available?

Hi Gabrielle, I am not sure when we will next update this list, but feel free to check out some of our other writing prompts lists if you’ve exhausted this one! Writing Prompts for Kids {which is for grown-ups too!} and Poetry Writing Prompts are two great ones to check out. Hope that helps!

Loved this a lot! I would like to ask permission for using these prompts for my poetry and stories page on Instagram. Kindly let me know if I can use these and let my followers write on them too.

Hi, Piyusha, I’m just a user of the site like you, so I’m not “official”. But if you hit CTRL + F in your browser, that should open the “Find” dialog. Search on “Camilla”, and that will take you to a post and response concerning your request. Have a great and productive writing day. K. B. Tidwell

very informative thank you

I have always had problems finding something to write about. My problem is solved🥰 Thank you

I love this

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Creative Primer

25 Creative Writing Prompts to Ignite Your Creativity

Brooks Manley

Creative writing is a vast and dynamic field that offers a platform for individuals to express their ideas, emotions, and stories in an imaginative and original way. It plays a crucial role in enhancing communication skills, fostering empathy, and promoting a deep understanding of the human experience.

The Importance of Creative Writing

In the realm of literature and beyond, creative writing holds a pivotal role. It not only allows for personal expression but also fosters critical thinking, enhances vocabulary, and improves writing skills. From short stories and poetry to novels and screenplays, creative writing spans a wide array of genres and styles, offering endless opportunities for exploration and expression.

Furthermore, creative writing enables individuals to convey complex ideas and emotions that might otherwise remain unexpressed. It serves as a therapeutic medium, allowing writers to explore their feelings, thoughts, and experiences in a safe and constructive environment. It also enhances empathy as it requires writers to step into their characters’ shoes and see the world from different perspectives.

In the professional realm, creative writing skills are highly valued. They can lead to various creative writing jobs in fields like publishing, advertising, journalism, and content creation. For those interested in pursuing higher education in this field, you might want to explore whether a degree in creative writing is worth it .

How Prompts Can Ignite Creativity

While creative writing is an exciting field, it can sometimes be challenging to kickstart the creative process. This is where creative writing prompts come into play. These prompts are designed to ignite the imagination and inspire writers to create original and compelling pieces.

Creative writing prompts serve as a starting point, offering a concept, scenario, or question to explore. They help to overcome writer’s block, encourage experimentation with different styles and genres, and stimulate creative thinking. Whether you’re a seasoned writer or a beginner, creative writing prompts can be an invaluable tool to spark creativity and enhance your writing skills.

In the following sections, we will delve into the concept of creative writing prompts, explore various types, and provide a list of 50 prompts to inspire your creative writing journey. Whether you are looking to teach creative writing or seeking creative writing activities for kids , these prompts will serve as a valuable resource.

Don’t have a great blank or lined journal / notebook for writing? Check out our favorite journals for writing .

Understanding Creative Writing Prompts

When it comes to igniting creativity and fostering unique ideas, creative writing prompts play an invaluable role. They provide a starting point, a spark that can lead to a flame of inspiration for writers. In this section, we delve into the definition and various types of creative writing prompts.

What are Creative Writing Prompts?

Creative writing prompts are essentially ideas, questions, or topics that are designed to inspire and stimulate the creative writing process. They serve as a catalyst, helping to ignite the writer’s imagination and encourage them to explore new themes, concepts, or perspectives.

These prompts can take a myriad of forms. They might be a single word, a phrase, a sentence, or even an image. Regardless of the format, the goal of a creative writing prompt is to trigger thought and encourage writers to delve deeper into their creative psyche, producing unique and compelling pieces of writing. For more understanding of what creative writing entails, read our article on what is creative writing .

Types of Creative Writing Prompts

There are various types of creative writing prompts, each tailored to stimulate different forms of writing, cater to various genres, or inspire certain ideas. Here are a few types you might encounter:

  • Fiction Writing Prompts : These prompts are designed to inspire stories. They might provide a setting, a character, a conflict, or a plot point to kick-start the writer’s imagination.
  • Non-Fiction Writing Prompts : These prompts are geared towards non-fiction writing, such as essays, memoirs, or journalistic pieces. They might pose a question, present a topic, or propose a perspective for the writer to explore.
  • Poetry Writing Prompts : These prompts are tailored for writing poetry. They could suggest a theme, a form, a line, or a poetic device to be used in the poem.
  • Dialogue Writing Prompts : These prompts focus on conversations and are designed to inspire dialogue-driven pieces. They generally provide a line or a snippet of conversation to act as a starting point.
  • Story Starter Writing Prompts : These prompts serve as the opening line or the first paragraph of a story. The writer’s task is to continue the narrative from there.

Understanding the different types of creative writing prompts is essential to making the most of them. Choosing the right type of prompt can help target specific writing skills, push boundaries of creativity, and provide the necessary spark to bring your ideas to life. As we delve further into creative writing prompts , we’ll explore how to effectively use these prompts and tips to expand on them.

25 Creative Writing Prompts

Using creative writing prompts is a great way to jumpstart your creativity and get the ideas flowing. Whether you’re a seasoned writer or a beginner, these prompts can help inspire your next piece. Here, we’ve broken down 50 prompts into five categories: fiction, non-fiction, poetry, dialogue, and story starters.

Fiction Writing Prompts

Fiction allows writers to flex their imaginative muscles. The following prompts can help to stir up new ideas for a unique storyline:

  • Write a story where the main character finds an old, mysterious letter in the attic.
  • Imagine a world where animals can talk.
  • Create a tale where a character discovers they have a superpower.
  • Write about a character who wakes up in a different era.
  • Write a story set in a world where money doesn’t exist.

Non-Fiction Writing Prompts

Non-fiction writing can help you explore real-life experiences and lessons. Here are some prompts to get you started:

  • Write about a time when you faced a significant challenge and how you overcame it.
  • Describe the most influential person in your life.
  • Share a moment when you learned a valuable lesson.
  • Write about an unforgettable trip.
  • Discuss a current event that has impacted you personally.

Poetry Writing Prompts

Poetry allows for artistic expression through words. These prompts can inspire new verses:

  • Write a poem about a dream you can’t forget.
  • Create a sonnet about the changing seasons.
  • Write about an emotion without naming it directly.
  • Craft a poem inspired by a piece of art.
  • Pen a haiku about nature’s power.

Dialogue Writing Prompts

Dialogue writing can help you improve your dialogue creation skills. Try these prompts:

  • Write a conversation between two people stuck in an elevator.
  • Describe a heated argument between a character and their best friend.
  • Create a dialogue where a character reveals a deep secret.
  • Write an exchange between a detective and a suspect.
  • Craft a conversation between two people who speak different languages.

Story Starter Writing Prompts

Story starters are great for sparking an idea for a story. Here are some to try:

  • “When she opened the door, she couldn’t believe her eyes…”
  • “He’d waited his whole life for this moment, and now…”
  • “It was a town like no other, because…”
  • “She was the last person on earth, or so she thought…”
  • “The letter arrived, marked with a seal she didn’t recognize…”

These creative writing prompts are designed to challenge you and spark your creativity. Remember, the goal is not to create a perfect piece of writing but to ignite your imagination and hone your writing skills. You can always revise and refine your work later. For more on the art of writing, check out our article on what is creative writing .

Making the Most of Your Creative Writing Prompts

Now that you have a list of creative writing prompts at your disposal, it’s important to understand how to utilize them effectively. The value of a prompt lies not just in the initial idea it provides, but also in how it can be expanded and developed into a full-blown piece of writing.

How to Use Creative Writing Prompts Effectively

Using creative writing prompts effectively requires an open mind and a willingness to explore. Here are some strategies to make the most of your prompts:

  • Brainstorming: Allow yourself to brainstorm ideas after reading the prompt. Jot down whatever comes to mind without self-judgment or censorship.
  • Freedom: Give yourself the freedom to interpret the prompt in your own way. Remember, prompts are starting points, not rigid guidelines.
  • Experimentation: Experiment with different genres, perspectives, and writing styles. A prompt can be turned into a poem, a short story, or even a script for a play.
  • Consistency: Try to write regularly. Whether you choose to do this daily, weekly, or bi-weekly, consistency can help develop your writing skills.
  • Reflection: Reflect on the prompt and your writing. Consider what worked, what didn’t, and what you would like to improve in your next piece.

For a more comprehensive guide on how to dive into the world of creative writing, check out our article on what is creative writing .

Tips for Expanding on a Prompt

Expanding on a prompt involves transforming a simple idea into a fully developed narrative. Here are a few tips:

  • Character Development: Flesh out your characters. Give them backgrounds, motivations, and flaws to make them more relatable and interesting.
  • Plot Building: Develop a coherent plot. Consider the key events, conflicts, and resolutions that will drive your story forward.
  • Show, Don’t Tell: Show the reader what’s happening through vivid descriptions and actions rather than simply telling them.
  • Dialogue: Use dialogue to reveal character traits and advance the plot. Make sure it’s natural and adds value to your story.
  • Editing: Review and revise your work. Look for areas where you can improve clarity, tighten your prose, and eliminate any inconsistencies or errors.

By using these strategies, you can take full advantage of creative writing prompts and improve your writing skills. Whether you’re pursuing a career in creative writing or just looking for a new hobby, these tips can help you unlock your full creative potential. For more insights on creative writing, check out our articles on creative writing jobs and what you can do with a creative writing degree and how to teach creative writing .

Brooks Manley

Brooks Manley

what are some creative writing prompts

Creative Primer  is a resource on all things journaling, creativity, and productivity. We’ll help you produce better ideas, get more done, and live a more effective life.

My name is Brooks. I do a ton of journaling, like to think I’m a creative (jury’s out), and spend a lot of time thinking about productivity. I hope these resources and product recommendations serve you well. Reach out if you ever want to chat or let me know about a journal I need to check out!

Is a Degree in Creative Writing Worth it?

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How to Journal for Self Improvement (+ 20 Self Journaling Prompts)

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99 Creative Writing Prompts For Overcoming Writer’s Block

Kayti-Christian

I want to start writing fiction this year. It’s a goal I’ve had on my mind for a while now, but as an essayist and nonfiction writer, I’ve been getting in my head about it. I have no idea how to create stories or characters. But it’s something I want to learn.

In preparing to make this pivot, I’ve discovered that writing prompts are invaluable. They can help us think about stories and subject matter in new ways and serve as a source of inspiration. Even for writers who aren’t looking to explore a new genre, prompts can be useful when we’re in a rut or need some creative magic. Instructions and parameters can help get the words flowing.

While these writing prompts are organized by month, they are designed to be used at your leisure. Feel free to follow it weekly or jump around. You may need to take breaks throughout the year or come back in the summer when you have more time to write—that’s okay, too! Use this list however it works for you and your creative flow!

For further inspiration and encouragement, here are some tips for starting a writing practice .

1. The human spirit is strong. Write about an experience in your life that has made you more resilient .

2. Releasing resolutions can be as important as reaching them. Write an essay in which you reflect on a resolution you didn’t keep.

3. Martin Luther King Jr. said , “I am not interested in power for power’s sake, but I’m interested in power that is moral, that is right and that is good.” Write a story in which your main character uses their power for good. End it with a time jump showing the long-term ripple effects. 

4. Craft a story where your main character gets caught outside in a winter storm. How do they find their way home?

5. The darker months can sometimes feel lonely, but moments alone often shape us in powerful ways. Write a lyrical essay about your own isolation experiences and what you’ve discovered about yourself through these seasons.

6. Write a story about a group of friends who travel somewhere warm for a winter holiday.

7. Imagine a group of strangers meeting while trapped in an airport for 24 hours due to flight delays. Who are they? What types of conversations do they have? How will these new relationships evolve and shape the rest of their lives?

8. Begin a short story in which your main character accepts an important award.

9. What does it mean to say, ‘I love you?’ Write an essay that includes an anecdote about the first time you remember feeling loved.

10. Write a comedic story from the perspective of a restaurant server on Valentine’s Day.

11. Who was your childhood best friend? Write an essay using the second-person (try crafting it as a letter ) about what that friendship meant to you. 

12. Think about a favorite story or fairytale from your childhood. Rewrite it with an alternative ending.

13. Begin a short story in which your main character is at a coffee shop with their love interest on a winter day.

14. Write about a time you did something that scared you.

15. Imagine a world in which the days are getting progressively shorter. How will your characters stop this countdown and save humanity before it’s too late?

16. Create a story in which two friends meet at a Lunar New Year celebration.

17. Write a scene based on a recent encounter with a stranger. 

18. For International Women’s Day (March 8), write a first-person story that takes place at a protest during the women’s liberation movement .

19. In an essay, reflect on the women who’ve helped you become who you are today.

20. Craft a poem from the sun’s perspective in honor of the spring equinox (March 20). 

21. In spring, there is a turning. Write an essay about how seasonal changes mirror a transformation in your own life.

22. Try your hand at an allegory using natural elements to convey a larger message about humanity.

23. Your main character just came home from a trip to find their house has disappeared and been replaced with a supermarket. It’s like it was never even there. What happens next?

24. Consider the meaning of beauty and how it has shifted and evolved with time. Write an essay about this.

25. Write a poem about the power of music. Use these playlists for inspiration. 

26. Create a short story that begins with you waking up on a train destined for somewhere tropical.

27. For Earth Day 🌎 (April 22), write an essay about sustainable living . What does it mean to you? If you need help getting started, try opening the piece with an anecdote about the first time you thought about climate change and sustainability. 

28. In the circle of life, beginnings are preceded by endings. Write about an ending that has led to a new beginning in your life. 

29. Begin a story in which your main character wakes up with a superpower.

30. What was the last great novel you read? Try your hand at a book review, writing as if you’re a famous critic for a publishing house or magazine.

31. Imagine a famous chef loses their sense of taste and serves an overly salted meal to eager patrons. What happens next?

32. Write an essay about your childhood home.

33. Write a third-person story about two friends playing in the rain. Rather than focusing on creating climax, aim to capture their feelings of pure love and friendship. 

34. What is something you’ve always been scared of? Write a future-tense essay about when and how you will overcome this fear. 

35. Toni Morrison once wrote , “Definitions belong to the definers, not the defined.” Write an essay defining yourself, starting with the sentence, “To others, I may seem…but that is not who I am.”

36. Write a poem about your first pet. If you’ve never had a pet, write about your plants or something else you’ve cared for.

37. Write an essay about the day you got your driver’s license.

38. Creativity can be a tool for processing our heartaches. Craft a personal essay about the last time you felt grief—and be gentle with yourself as you get the words on the page.

39. Your main character is on a rooftop in New York City, escaping the crowd of a party. What happens next?

40. Write a summer scene that begins with dialogue. 

41. In a personal essay, describe your last vacation, but write about the trip in present tense . 

42. Write a short story from an inanimate object’s perspective, either in nature or in your home.

43. The main characters in your story have gone on a camping trip. But when they return from the woods, their city is no longer there. In fact, they can’t find any sign of civilization. Write a suspenseful thriller about what happens next. 

44. Craft a poem using the word “citrus.” 

45. A couple is sharing a picnic lunch on a beach. By the end of the story, one of them is walking away in tears. What happens? Focus on building tension and the backstory that leads to this moment.

46. Write an essay about a time you worked tirelessly for something, and it didn’t turn out as you hoped or planned.

47. Create a story in which your main character is experiencing profound joy.

48. In a personal essay, revisit a moment when you learned to take your own advice .

49. Using this list of instrumental covers , rewrite the lyrics to a hit song. 

50. Write a story in which you’re a tourist and visiting your home city for the first time.

51. Two friends take out a boat on the lake and discover the water has magic powers. Write a fantasy scene about their adventure.

52. Learn about your Enneagram number , then write a personal essay with anecdotes that exemplify your basic desire and basic fear.

53. You and your best friend are on a sailboat off the coast of Italy when suddenly the captain disappears. What happens next?

54. Write a story about an encounter with a sea creature.

55. Create a lyrical essay in which the main character is “summer heat.”

56. Write an essay through the lens of your childhood self about your first year at school. Try to be as specific as possible, including the names of friends and teachers. You can use old photos or talk to your parents for reference if needed. 

57. Write a story that begins with your main character swimming in a lake.

58. Sometime this week, spend a few minutes sitting outside or staring out your window to observe another person. Write about what you notice that can help to sketch them as a character. 

59. Make a case for one of your favorite traditions —whether it be celebrating a recognized holiday or a personal ritual. 

60. Write a short story that begins with the ending. For example, perhaps your story is about a girl who gets lost at sea and then captured by pirates—only to become a pirate herself. Begin the story with the girl as a pirate, and then show the readers how she got there. 

61. What is the happiest you’ve ever been?

62. Create a short story that starts with your main character going off to college.

63. What is the most important lesson you’ve learned this year?

64. Lidia Yuknavitch says , “There is so much to learn from the edge of things, from the cracks and cuts and fissures of the earth, of our hearts.” Write a lyrical essay about the cuts and fissures in your own heart and how they’ve led you to this very moment.

65. Write a sensory essay about nature without naming the objects you’re writing about. For example, “The towering giants boast cherry-ripe foliage at this time of year.” 

66. Craft a short story about the final day of summer (September 22). 🍂

67. Try your hand at children’s lit by creating a story for a younger audience. Have your main character learn a valuable life lesson, and use these stories for inspiration if you need help!

68. When was the last time you felt most alive?

69. Write an essay about a change you knew was coming and how you prepared for it.

70. Create a story where the main character is a caregiver for a loved one.

71. Write a poem about shadows. 

72. On Indigenous People’s Day (October 10), write a historical nonfiction essay about the native land you’re living on . For guiding questions, use the Catalyst Project’s worksheet and Resource Generation’s Land Reparations Toolkit and Indigenous Solidarity Toolkit .

73. Write a story in which a “monster” turns out to be a “hero,” or vice versa. This can be either nonfiction or fiction. 

74. You and your significant other are at home watching a scary movie when the power goes out. Create a spooky story about what happens next!

75. Create a spooky children’s story that takes place in a magical forest.

76. Write a story that begins with a girl making her own Halloween costume.

77. Write a persuasive essay about an unconventional fear. Make a case for why more people should consider this fear.

78. A group of friends escapes to a private island for an end-of-year holiday. But when they arrive, the hotel is deserted, and the boat has already left the dock. What happens next?

79. Write about the last time you felt hopeful.

80. In preparation for losing an hour of daylight this month, write a poem about all your favorite cozy things. 

81. Write a story that begins with your main character dreaming.

82. In “ Braiding Sweetgrass ,” Robin Wall Kimmerer writes, “In some Native languages the term for ‘plants’ translates to ‘those who take care of us.’” In an essay, write about how the earth cares for humanity. Begin with a personal anecdote about a time you felt nurtured by nature.

83. Write a first-person essay that revolves around food or a family recipe.

84. Practice shifting between past and present tense by writing an essay about a childhood experience that impacts who you are today.

85. Write a letter to your younger self.

86. Create a story based on a time you went on a spontaneous adventure.

87. Your main characters are at a college football game when, suddenly, the sky goes black. What happens next?

88. How do you overcome self-doubt? Write a how-to essay.

89. What are you most grateful for this year?

December 

90. Write a poem about your favorite sound.

91. Reflect on winter pastimes. What do you love most about this season? Write a short essay about it.

92. Make up your own holiday poem reminiscent of “Night Before Christmas” (or the equivalent for your celebrated traditions).

93. Your main character is a ballerina performing in The Nutcracker, but secretly, they wish to be a teacher. Write a story about this.

94. Who is someone you admire in your life? Write a tribute essay to them.

95. To get in the spirit, create a Hallmarkesque script for a cheesy holiday film.

96. Write an essay that begins with your favorite holiday memory.

97. Your main character is a flight attendant working the holiday season. Write about a strange encounter they have on the plane.

98. What is the importance of rest, and why is it such a necessary practice for our lives?

99. In your final prompt of the year, write an essay about time and forward motion. Begin by reflecting on the past, write about the importance of mindfulness and living in the present moment, and then welcome whatever comes next.

If you write a story with one of these writing prompts and you’d like to share, feel free to link or paste it in the comments below! 💛

Kayti Christian (she/her) is the Managing Editor at The Good Trade. She has a Master’s in Nonfiction Writing from the University of London and is the creator of Feelings Not Aside , a newsletter for sensitive people.

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23 creative writing prompts

By BBC Maestro Writing Last updated: 02 February 2023

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If you’re an aspiring writer, you might know that it’s sometimes difficult to think of something to write about. Whether you’re already writing a novel and are struggling to write a particular scene, or you want to write a short story but don’t know where to start, creative writing prompts are a great tool to have in your back pocket.

Here are some of our favourites to get you started.

  • What are creative writing prompts?

Creative writing prompts are anything that gets you writing and gets your creative juices flowing. It could be an invitation to write about a particular topic, a sentence to get you started, a question, or even a visual. It could draw on aspects of your real life, could get you to write about something from someone else’s point of view, or ask you to write something entirely fictional.

Why use writing prompts?

How to make the most of creative writing prompts.

Writing prompts are designed to kickstart your imagination by giving you something to write about. This saves you from staring into space while you try to come up with story ideas. You might generate writing ideas that you’ll take forward, discover a new character you want to write about, or even just write a really strong sentence that you know you need to incorporate into your next story.

They can be a great way to write about new topics. Sometimes we’re all guilty of writing about what we know but writing prompts can force you to think about subjects you’ve never broached before.

It can be hard to get started sometimes when it comes to writing, but prompts give you a specific starting point. That can make it easier to pick up the pen and start writing and often, you’ll find that once you’ve overcome that first hurdle, the ideas start to flow and you move onto different topics.

In that sense, you can think of writing prompts as a warm-up. You wouldn’t get on the football pitch and start playing a 90-minute match without warming up first, nor would you attempt a 200-metre sprint without dynamically stretching your muscles beforehand.

So creative writing prompts, then, are like your warm-up. They help you to flex your writing muscles, getting your brain stimulated, so you might want to sit down and tackle a writing prompt before working on a new poem or novel chapter.

Writing prompts can be used as part of a free writing exercise, which is when you allow yourself to write for a set period – say two minutes – without any editing. That means no worrying about form, grammar, structure or even topic. You just write and see what comes out, which can be a good way of gathering your thoughts or generating ideas. To get started with free writing, some people like to follow a prompt to help remove any writer’s blocks that might be holding them back.

A person writes

Whatever type of creative writing you do, it’s worth giving prompts a go to come up with new ideas, release your writer’s block, and get into the flow. But don’t worry about following the prompts too closely. They’re not meant to be prescriptive – rather, you should use them as inspiration for your own writing. If a prompt asks you to write about a mistake you made, but it sparks an idea for a poem or a story about travel instead, then just write whatever you want and let your imagination guide you.

Here are some other tips to get the most out of creative writing prompts:

  • Don’t overthink it – just start writing anything, it doesn’t matter if it’s not directly related to the writing prompt. The important thing is that you get something down on paper.
  • If the prompt isn’t resonating with you, you don’t need to force it. Feel free to move on to another one and see if it’s a better fit for you.
  • Don’t feel under pressure to write anything complete – you don’t need to write a full short story, poem, or novel chapter as a result of your writing prompt. It’s simply the starting point, and you’re free to abandon it halfway through or take it in a different direction.

Now, here are some fiction writing prompts for you to try next time you’re stuck for story ideas!

An open book

1.     Write your life story in five sentences, writing it in the first person. Then try writing it in the third person.

2.     Write about your favourite holiday. What did you do, where did you go, who were you with, and why was it so special?

3 .     Look through today’s newspaper until you find a story that speaks to you.

Use it as your starting point for your creative writing practice. This is a technique Malorie Blackman likes to use. In her BBC Maestro course on Writing For Young Adults, she explains “Pig-Heart Boy was inspired by a newspaper article stating that we’d have to use animal organs for transplant because there is such a shortage of human donors. I thought that was a wonderful idea for a story.”

4.     Open the dictionary and choose a word on whatever page you open. Use that as your jumping-off point and write about whatever springs to mind.

5.     Write from the perspective of an inanimate object. Choose any object, like a tree, saucepan, or backpack.

6.     Sketch out a character, and answer key questions about them like:

  • What is their name?
  • What’s their occupation?
  • What’s their background?
  • Where did they grow up?
  • What motivates them?

You can use our character bio template to help you develop your character further.

7.     Write about your biggest heartbreak. Did you learn any lessons from it? How did it affect you?

8.     Time travel exists. Write about where you’d go. Will you travel to the future or the past? What do you see, smell, eat and do? Is there anything that surprises you?

9.     Write a story that begins with a character having a strange gut feeling they can’t explain. If you love the idea of writing a thriller , this is a great one to get you into the right mindset.

10.  Write a scene inspired by your favourite film. It could be a deleted scene from the movie, or it could be a story about the main characters with events that aren’t featured in the film.

11.  Go for a walk and take a notebook. Write down what you see around you. As Alan Moore says in his BBC Maestro course on Storytelling , “if you look at any place deeply enough, I am convinced it will have a spectacular story to tell you.” So go for a walk and see if anything around you sparks a story, as “wherever you live, there is something sacred and fascinating about that ground on which you are standing. It is your duty as a writer to excavate the meaning from that ground and convey it to your readers.”

12.  You get a letter that will change your life forever. Write that letter – or write about what it will change.

13.  Write a story set in an airport. Who is there, where are they going and why?

14.  Write about a time you were treated unfairly. When writing the character of Jack Reacher, Lee Child drew on his own experiences to create a relatable character who was seeking revenge. As he says in his BBC Maestro course on Writing Popular Fiction , “I was feeling a desire for revenge. The question was, how do I fictionalise that in an interesting way? Reacher was thrown out in the same way I had been thrown out, and like me, he was learning how to live on the outside.” Taking inspiration from Reacher, write about how being rejected made you feel, and how you dealt with it. Then write about what you’d do if there were no real-world consequences.

15.  Your character’s child comes home from school with a detention slip. But your character isn’t angry. Write about what happened and why they’re not bothered that their child got into trouble at school.

16.  Visit a charity shop and pick out one item that inspires you . Write about it, thinking about what it is, where it came from, what it’s used for and who might have owned it previously.

17.  Write a story, scene or poem set during an apocalypse.

18.  Go to a café and write about the people at the table next to you. Jot down notes about their body language, their clothing, what they’re doing, and even snippets of their conversation. Be nosy, as Malorie Blackman says: “Pay attention to people’s conversations, what they say and also how they say it – accents, body language, level of gesticulation.”

19.  What’s cooking? Write a story or scene about someone cooking something. What dish are they making, who are they cooking for, and what significance does it hold? What does it smell and taste like?

20.  Costume party. Write a scene or story in which a character is wearing a costume. Why are they wearing it? What is the costume? And what happens while they’re in disguise?

21.  Write about someone fulfilling another character’s dying wish.

22.  Write something from a child’s point of view.

23.  Describe a normal object from the perspective of an alien. Take a normal, everyday object and write about it from the point of view of someone who’s seeing it for the first time and finds it very strange.

Creative writing prompts are one of the best ways to incorporate writing practice into your daily routine. Give them a go and see what you come up with! And if you want to find out more about the art of writing fiction, take a look at some of our writing courses from Lee Child , Alan Moore and Malorie Blackman .

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Writing Prompts By Genre: 250+ Creative Writing Prompts For Book Ideas

POSTED ON Apr 12, 2023

Angelica Hartgers

Written by Angelica Hartgers

Writing prompts are powerful vessels for jumpstarting your creativity, and planting the seed for your next book idea. 

Dealing with writer’s block or self-doubt as a writer ? Experiencing a creative rut? Looking to improve your writing development? Experimenting with a new genre? Stuck on finding a book idea? Looking for your author voice?

No matter which of those situations you are struggling with as a writer, you might find your answer in some creative writing prompts.

These original writing prompts can be categorized in nonfiction and fiction groups. There's a long list of genres you could write within. And here, you'll find creative writing prompt topics for nearly all of them!

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Here are the best creative writing prompts for writers to use: 

  • Business Writing Prompts
  • Self-Help Writing Prompts
  • Memoir Writing Prompts
  • Health & Fitness Writing Prompts
  • Family & Relationships Writing Prompts
  • Horror/Thriller Creative Writing Prompts
  • Romance Creative Writing Prompts
  • Mystery Creative Writing Prompts
  • Sci-Fi Creative Writing Prompts
  • Fantasy Creative Writing Prompts
  • Historical Fiction Creative Writing Prompts
  • Sentence Starters Creative Prompts

What are writing prompts? 

Writing prompts are story-starters that are used as a guided learning or creativity exercise to help writers get started with a new idea or story. 

Often used in an educational setting for students learning to practice writing specific genres, creative writing prompts are also used by advanced writers and authors who are experiencing writer’s block or are in need of inspiration. 

Writing prompts are designed to get people to think, by providing a starting place for a story premise or book idea, which can be further developed using the writer’s own imagination and creativity. 

There are many benefits to using creative writing prompts as a frequent writing exercise, both for seasoned writers and those just starting out. 

Here are some benefits to using writing prompts: 

  • Fight writer’s block. Next time you don’t know what to write about, or aren’t able to produce any writing for your current work-in-progress, try your hand at a writing prompt. 
  • Guide your inspiration. Writing prompts often help writers discover new topics by allowing them to start a story from the prompt, and finish it in their own way. Writing prompts can also inspire deviations from the story, or additional writing material, that the author can tap into. 
  • Identify new genres. Sometimes it’s beneficial to try your hand at a genre you’re not used to writing in. It can help you discover a topic you never knew you might enjoy, or it can further solidify your strength in your current genre. Either way, it’s good to get out of your comfort zone. 
  • Jumpstart a book idea. Writing prompts can incite a new story or book idea for you. If you’re having trouble figuring out what to write a book about, experiment with some writing prompts and see if anything sticks. 
  • Improve writing development. Part of improving your writing craft has to do with experimenting – especially when you’re in a writing rut. Dabbling in new genres, practicing how to show and not tell , and using writing prompts you’d never think to write about, can also help you identify opportunities to strengthen your writing, and increase your versatility as a writer. 
  • Sharpen creative skills. Creative writing prompts help you hone in on your creative skills. By starting with a story idea from a writing prompt, you’re forced to develop the story through your own imagination and creativity. 
  • Practice poetry. Sometimes, a great way to get the creative juices flowing is to write some poetry. You don't need to put it out into the world (though you might find yourself looking up how and where to publish poetry after!), but it can help you with your prose.
  • Experiment with tone. There are many different tones in writing , and it can take years to establish your own as an author. Writing prompts can help you arrive there quicker!

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How to use creative writing prompts

The process of using a writing prompt is loose, as they are designed to be used in a way that benefits you as the writer most. 

You can be as structured, or as flexible as you choose when using one of our writing prompts. That means you can start with a writing prompt, think of your own premise for the story, and get to writing your own detailed account. Or, you can use all of the details given in the writing prompt, and answer the prompt exactly as you see fit. It’s up to you!

However, if you’re not sure where to start, and need some beginner’s guidelines, there are a few tips we can provide. 

Here’s how to use creative writing prompts: 

  • Use pen and paper. If you’re struggling with writing block, I encourage you to use pen and paper to really get your creative juices flowing.
  • Choose a writing prompt. Read through some possible creative writing prompts, taking note of any that spark your imagination. Then, you can choose which one calls out to you most. Alternatively, if you’re having trouble deciding, you can choose a random writing prompt and challenge yourself to write about 
  • Pick and choose your own details. Some writing prompts include specific details to incorporate in your story. Don’t feel boxed in by your writing prompt; if you want to omit certain details or events and replace them with your own creative idea, feel free to do so. 
  • Time your writing. Once you have a prompt chosen, set a timer for 15-20 minutes and challenge yourself to not stop writing until the timer goes off. This will prevent you from overthinking the prompt, and will ensure you stay focused. 
  • Expand your own ideas. Use the writing prompt as a seed for your story, but develop it in your own creative way. The key to successfully using a creative writing prompt is to help your own brainstorming process, so it’s okay if you veer off from the writing prompt and take a different direction with your story and characters. You can even use character bio templates to expand your own ideas.

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Nonfiction writing prompts.

If you're on the hunt for the best nonfiction writing prompts to exercise your creativity and help you brainstorm some book ideas to write a nonfiction book , then start with this category.

Here, you'll find a variety of nonfiction topics, from business and self-help, to relationships, wellness, and memoir topics.

Business Writing Prompts 

  • Write about the biggest lesson you’ve learned in business. 
  • Write about how you have failed in business, and how you overcame that failure. 
  • Write about the biggest mistake you made in your industry, and what you learned about it. 
  • Write about how your industry can impact lives across the world. 
  • Write about the top authorities in your industry and what you can learn from them. 
  • Write about how you got started in your industry, and how others can learn from your process.
  • Write about industry secrets that can help other people grow their authority. 
  • Write about how businesses in your industry can maximize their profits. 
  • Write about what you’ve learned in your industry, and educate readers on how to 
  • Write about opportunities for innovation in your industry. 
  • Write about the top qualities an authority in your industry must have to succeed. 
  • Write about the top issues in your industry, and how readers can avoid them. 
  • Write about how to empower others in your industry, and why it’s important. 
  • Write about the future of your industry, and how readers can adapt to the changes. 
  • Write about the history of your industry, and how it has shaped the present and how it will shape the future. 
  • Write about a major time period in your industry’s progression, and the lessons from that time that can be learned and applied today. 
  • Write about common fears in your industry, and how others can overcome them. 
  • Write about the common stressors in your industry, and how others can manage this. 
  • Write about a time when you had to start over in your career, and the lessons you learned that can help readers.
  • Write about how to generate ideas in your industry.
  • Write about how to be a better leader in the workplace. 
  • Write about the importance of company culture, especially in our digital age. 
  • Write about the secrets to sustainability in your industry. 
  • Write about decision making in your industry, and how others can make better decisions. 
  • Write about the habits of authority figures in your industry, and what others can learn from them. 
  • Write about the failures of authority figures in your industry, and what others can learn from them. 
  • Write about the successes of authority figures in your industry, and what others can learn from them. 
  • Write about the key to productivity in your industry. 
  • Write about the key to creativity in your industry. 
  • Write about the key to working smarter in your industry. 
  • Write about how to think big, and when to think small, in your industry. 
  • Write about what you wish you knew now when you first started in your career.
  • Write about setting up a successful atmosphere to thrive in your industry. 
  • Write about something big you accomplished in your career, and share your blueprint for success. 
  • Write about developing a team, and how to successfully work with others. 

Self-Help Writing Prompts  

Want to know how to write a self-help book ? Start with these prompts:

  • Write about a time when you had to start over in your life, and what you learned from that.
  • Write about why it’s important to break the rules in life sometimes. 
  • Write about how to generate creative ideas. 
  • Write about the secrets to gaining unshakeable self-confidence. 
  • Write about the secrets to gaining lasting happiness. 
  • Write about the secrets to developing laser-focus in work and life. 
  • Write about the secrets to living a regret-free life. 
  • Write about the secrets to creating lasting love. 
  • Write about the power of forgiveness, and how others can tap into this.  
  • Write about the power of gratitude, and how to apply it to daily life. 
  • Write about critical thinking, and strategies for improving critical thinking skills. 
  • Write about how to reduce everyday stress and anxiety with practical tips. 
  • Write about effective communication, and how others can communicate more clearly. 
  • Write about your creativity process, and include strategies for how to be more creative. 
  • Write about the secrets to a successful relationship, and how anyone can be a better partner.
  • Write about how to stay disciplined, and why most people fail at self-discipline. 
  • Write about society’s hustle culture, and why working hard is good or bad. 
  • Write about your favorite country or travel destination, and what you’ve learned from the people and culture.
  • Write about the key to being a more productive person, and how it can transform others’ lives. 
  • Write about finding your passion, and how others can discover their purpose. 
  • Write about the power of positive self talk, and how others can implement it in their daily life. 
  • Write about dealing with anxiety. 
  • Write about dealing with change. 
  • Write about creating an atmosphere of peace. 
  • Write about controlling the controllables for happiness. 
  • Write about controlling the controllables for peace. 
  • Write about something a big goal you’ve accomplished, and share your blueprint for success. 
  • Write about finding inspiration, and teach others how they can find it, too. 
  • Write about how to better understand the people in your life. 
  • Write about the art of simplicity in life, and how others can benefit from it. 
  • Write about decision-making and the best practices for making big and small decisions in life. 
  • Write about the power of tapping into your imagination, and why it’s so important for people, including adults. 
  • Write about the importance of truth, and how others can be more honest with themselves and the people in their life. 
  • Write about dealing with life transitions, and strategies to improve adaptability when things change and its out of your control. 
  • Write about how to regain control in your life, and what to do when you’ve hit rock bottom. 
  • Write about finding your identity, and how people in your niche can discover themselves again. 
  • Write about the purpose of life.
  • Write about how an individual can increase their confidence.
  • Write about how the fear of rejection has been holding you back and what action you can take consistently everyday to break this fear.
  • Write about 7 daily habits that can increase your self esteem and make you feel unbreakable.

29 Memoir Prompts 

  • Write about a big goal you’ve accomplished, and share your blueprint for success. 
  • Write about a major time when you had to start over in your life, and what you learned from that. 
  • Write about the greatest lesson  you’ve learned so far in life, and how others can learn from your life. 
  • Write about one of your biggest regrets, and teach others going through the same thing how to deal with it. 
  • Write about the most difficult decision you’ve ever had to make, and what you’ve learned from that process. 
  • Write about a traumatic experience in your life, and how you have dealt with it. 
  • Write about a time you failed, and how you were able to rise up. 
  • Write about a major event in your childhood, and how that shaped you as an adult. 
  • Write about the saddest time in your life, and encourage others who are going through similar situations. 
  • Write about the happiest time in your life, and the greatest thing that moment has taught you. 
  • Write about the most influential people in your life, and how they helped shape the person you have become. 
  • Write about how you have developed self-love, and why it’s important to have a relationship with yourself first. 
  • Write about your journey towards self-discovery, and share tips with others who are lost. 
  • Write about a time you lost your way in life, and what helped you find your path again. 
  • Write about your spirituality and beliefs, and how you can share your message with others. 
  • Write about the biggest heartbreak you experienced, and what it’s taught you about love and life. 
  • Write about the time you broke someone else’s heart, and what it’s taught you about loving others. 
  • Write about a time you experienced compassion, and share how others can be more compassionate in their own life. 
  • Write about the biggest self-defining moment in your life thus far, and how you’ve developed from the experience. 
  • Write about your biggest accomplishment, and how its helped you banish self-defeating thoughts and behavior. 
  • Write about a toxic relationship you had, and how you were able to overcome it. 
  • Write about an influential travel experience in your life, and what it taught you about yourself and others. 
  • Write about the town you grew up in, and how it’s shaped your perspective on life. 
  • Write about how you were raised, and what you learned from the people that raised you. 
  • Write about a significant historical event you lived through, and what others can learn from your experience.
  • Write about your life’s journey from where you were ten years ago to how you arrived to this point today, and, the most important lesson you have learned on the way.
  • Write about five life lessons you believe everyone should practice/follow.
  • There is an experience from your past that has always held you back from thriving in life. Write about what this experience is, and if you were to overcome your trauma, how could you lead the life you've been dreaming of?
  • There is a saying: “You are the sum of the five people you spend most of your time with.” Write about the people you spend your time with and how they influence your life on a day to day basis.

29 Health & Fitness Prompts

  • Write about emotional health: what it means, why it’s important, and how. 
  • Write about a time you were very unhealthy, and how you were able to transform yourself.
  • Write about the secrets to dieting. 
  • Write about diet culture fads, and why they do or do not work. 
  • Write about the idea of health, and how people can shift their priorities to be more healthy both mentally and physically.  
  • Write about the taboo around mental health, and how we can change this mindset as a society. 
  • Write about your struggles with mental health, and help others with what you’ve learned. 
  • Write about your struggles with physical health, and help others struggling with the same thing. 
  • Write about what health and wellness means to you, and share your perspectives with others. 
  • Write about the power of superfoods, and how they can positively affect health. 
  • Write about the health practices in a different country. 
  • Write about an ancient health practice, and what we can learn from it today. 
  • Write about the medicinal properties of certain foods and plants. 
  • Write about how to break free from unhealthy habits. 
  • Write about food production practices, and how they affect the quality of what we eat.
  • Write about health in children, and how to raise health-conscious individuals. 
  • Write about raising a healthy family while balancing a busy life
  • Write about a time your health was impacted, and how the experience transformed your life
  • Write about a time someone you love experienced health issues, and how the experience changed that person’s life, as well as your own
  • Write about a time you felt unhappy with your health. What did you do to change your mindset? 
  • Write about body acceptance, and how societal expectations affects our mindset.
  • Write about the influence of culture on health, and how it affects a group of people differently.
  • Write about a harmful everyday practice, how it affects our health, and what we can do to change it.
  • Write about dealing with mental health on an everyday basis, and help others understand how to be more compassionate.
  • Write about the idea of health, and what contributing factors affect our perspectives.
  • Identify a distraction that is wasting your time and causing you to be very unproductive. Write about your plan to eliminate this distraction from your life, and the positive impact it will have.
  • Internal dialogue is powerful in developing positivity. Identify your negative internal dialogue and write out your new, positive dialogue to communicate to yourself.
  • Write out seven ways you can practice self care and why this is important to you.
  • Write about how vulnerability is keeping you scared. Then, write down an action step to overcome this fear.

40 Family & Relationships 

  • Write about how to build character in your children. 
  • Write about teaching children how to practice self-love. 
  • Write about strategies parents can use to instill healthy habits in their children.
  • Write about the secrets to balancing discipline and friendship as a parent
  • Write about the concept of soulmates, and why the idea is helpful or harmful in our society.
  • Write about how to find friends as an adult.
  • Write about the importance of having a support group.
  • Write about the dangers of toxic parenthood.
  • Write about the dangers of toxic relationships.
  • Write about the dangers of toxic friendships.
  • Write about the power of compassion in marriage.
  • Write about the importance of compromise in relationships.
  • Write about dealing with heartbreak and starting over.
  • Write about the idea of dating in the digital age.
  • Write about co-dependence and why its toxic.
  • Write about breaking up with a friend, and why it’s necessary sometimes.
  • Write about disciplining children in a positive way.
  • Write about instilling a positive mindset in the youth.
  • Write about developing your child’s uniqueness.
  • Write about the struggles in parenthood and how to stay sane.
  • Write about the beauty in parenthood and how to make it last, even when your children are being difficult. 
  • Write about sibling rivalry and how to cultivate a healthier sibling relationship.
  • Write about how to be a better parent.
  • Write about how to be a better daughter/son to an aging parent.
  • Write about how to be a better friend.
  • Write about dealing with the loss of a loved one.
  • Write about your journey to find love and what you’ve discovered along the way.
  • Write about developing healthy and nurturing relationships.
  • Write about the importance of self-confidence in finding love.
  • Write about the importance of self-esteem in developing healthy relationships.
  • Write about the importance of mindset on the search for love.
  • Write about the role self-awareness plays in being a better parent.
  • Write about the importance of communication in relationships.
  • Write about the red flags in a failing relationship, and how to save it before it’s too late.
  • Write about the idea of being single, and how to embrace it in a society that does not.
  • Write about the idea of finding the perfect partner, and how this perspective can affect our ability to find someone.
  • Write about falling in love, and how to keep the fire alive in a relationship.
  • Write about the importance of expectations in relationships.
  • Write about disagreements in friendships, and how to overcome and learn from them.
  • Write about different styles of parenting, and how to identify which type you are.

Fiction Creative Writing Prompts

Now it's time for the creative fun. Use these fiction creative writing prompts to explore new genres, practice your creative writing development using literary device examples , and get inspired to venture off into a new fiction story.

These fiction writing prompts are categorized based on genre, so you'll find topics for horror or thriller stories, romance writing prompts, historical fiction topics, Sci-Fi and fantasy prompts, and story starters.

While we provide the prompts, it's up to you to expand on your own ideas, create exciting plot twists, and fully develop your elements of setting and characters.

16 Horror/Thriller Prompts

  • Write about your last nightmare.
  • A couple is awoken at the witching hour (3 AM) by three forceful bangs at their front door. When they call aloud to see who's there, no one answers, but a demonic snarl can be heard from outside. 
  • Waking up from a slumber with eyes still closed, your character stretches their arms out, only to hit a cold body next to them. They live alone.  
  • You made a late night trip to the gas station, and it’s pouring down rain as you stand outside in the empty parking lot, holding the nozzle to pump gas. Suddenly, a hearse pulls up slowly next to your car, and when you glance over, all you can see is bright red eyes glaring at you from the driver’s seat. 
  • Your character just finished the night shift at work. As they walk through the empty parking lot towards their car, its eerily silent and they can’t help but feel like someone is watching them. The hairs on your character’s arms start to stand up, even though it’s a relatively warm night. Your character quickly jumps into their car, starts the engine, and begins to drive home. As they look up into the rearview mirror, a sinister, smiling face appears behind them.
  • Two kids venture off into the woods behind their neighborhood, scouting for a place to build their tree house. Before long, they see the streetlights of their neighborhood come on in the distance, which is a sign that it's time to head back home. As they gather their belongings to make the trek back home, they hear a twig snap behind them, and a guttural voice whisper, “You can’t leave yet – the fun’s only just begun.”  
  • Ten thousand dollars to own a 3 bedroom cabin? It was a once-in-a-lifetime deal, that you, as a new real estate investor, just couldn’t pass up. But in order to secure your purchase quickly, you had to skip the house tour. Now that the home was purchased by you, it was time to start the renovations. But first, you had to do an in-depth survey of the house to see exactly what work needed to be done. As you enter the creaky, old home, a rancid smell fills your nostrils and in the dark, dusty corner of the entryway, you notice a large, fat rat chewing boldly on a piece of bloody flesh.  
  • ‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house. There was a creature stirring, but it wasn’t a mouse…Write about a holiday visitor who isn’t jolly or nice, and who brings gifts nobody would ever dare to ask for. 
  • A young family on vacation joins an excursion to a beautiful, remote beach. As they run into the ocean to splash around, they notice something dark lurks in the water, and it doesn’t look like a creature that belongs on Earth. 
  • Choose a scary story that you were told as a child, and add your own frightening twist. 
  • After a lifetime of waiting, your character has finally found the love of their life. But things turn sinister when one night, your character discovers that their new-found love must eat raw human flesh in order to stay alive.
  • Her mind was racing, but she knew she had to conceal her fear. As she turned to face him, she noticed his eyes. They were colorless, and taunted her without saying a word.  
  • They weren’t raised to believe in ghosts, ghouls, or demons, but the darkness that began to possess their once-loving father couldn’t be explained any other way. It all happened after he brought home the newest novelty for his antique collection: an 18th century wooden cross, said to belong to a woman that was tortured and hung for committing witchcraft. 
  • Vampires, werewolves, and witches. He knew they were the stuff of fiction, or at least, he thought he knew, until tonight.
  • It’s time to put your nine-year-old to bed. As you tuck the child in, pulling the blankets over her shoulders, you can’t help but notice the fear in her eyes. Concerned, you ask her what’s going on.  “She visits me every time I fall asleep. Can’t you make her stop?” she whispered in fear. When you probe your child for more details on who this woman is, and what she looks like, your blood turns to ice. She sounds exactly like the woman from the nightmares that plagued your own childhood.
  • It was love at first sight – for her, anyway. After years of being single, and sought after by all the eligible bachelors in town, everyone was surprised when Mr. Ezra came in, seemingly out of nowhere, to swoop her off her feet. He was tall, dark, and handsome, and everything she always dreamed of finding in a man. After a brief two weeks of dating, she announced that they had wed in secret. Not only that, but she would be leaving town with him, to start a new life. Little did they know that they would never see her again. Little did she know that the man of her dreams would soon become the man of her nightmares. And he was dead set on making her wish she’d never been born. 

15 Romance Creative Prompts

  • An exchange student goes to a foreign country to live for a year abroad, with high goals to learn the language and culture. Little does she know, she’s actually there to learn a lesson on love, from none other than a foreign classmate who has a strong distaste for outsiders like her.
  • Your character is widowed, left to raise two young children on his/her own. When it’s least expected, someone from the past comes back into their life. But things aren’t all that they seem, and falling in love again is the last thing on her to-do list.  
  • A restless man going through a midlife crisis. A free-spirited woman ready to embrace graceful aging. They butt heads often, but can’t seem to leave each other alone for good. Can they survive through something that threatens to tear them apart forever? 
  • They were childhood friends that hardly left their small hometown, and now they are distant strangers that live in two opposite parts of the world. When a tragedy calls them back home, they feel like they never left each other. How do they hold on to one another when they live two very separate lives?
  • It’s the day before their second marriage anniversary. As he’s making plans to celebrate, he gets a call from his doctor with news that will change their lives forever. 
  • Years of heartbreak and relationship failures have left her disillusioned with the idea of love. But one chance meeting with someone new makes her question her ideology forever. 
  • He’s a serial dater that enjoys the chase. She’s a serious achiever with a distaste for men like him. What happens when their two worlds collide? 
  • She’s carefully designed her life’s milestones, and is dead set on sticking to her plan. When she meets the man of her dreams and marries him after two years of maintaining a long distance relationship, she’s in for an earth-shattering awakening that not even she could prepare for. 
  • She’s a successful powerhouse business owner. He’s a humble trades worker who’s never been to college (and has no desire to ever do so). What started out as a temporary fling for fun has turned into a passionate love affair. But what happens when things settle down, and their everyday lives go on? 
  • As the caretaker of their ailing parent, who has no one else in the world to rely on, your character has put their life aspirations on hold to uphold their family duty. So what happens when love comes knocking on their door unexpectedly?
  • They were childhood sweethearts that grew up together, and have been inseparable ever since. Now that they have entered the next chapter as adults, their family and friends have urged them to get married. But the night before the wedding, the couple suddenly realizes that they are no longer in love. Where do they go from here?
  • Rich man, poor girl. It’s a story as old as time, but what happens when there’s a modern twist to it?
  • A young couple is ready to welcome their first child into the world, when a violent war suddenly ravages their town. The young man is forced away to defend his country, and the pregnant young woman is left to face the harsh winter alone. How can they keep their love alive? 
  • She’s never been in love, but she’s plagued by vivid memories and dreams of a man who seems so familiar, only she’s never met him. Could she have a lover from a past life that haunts her from another dimension?
  • Think of a famous love story that’s always intrigued you. It could be from history, or from your own experience. Now imagine a new ending for it, and write your own version of the story with a twist. 

10 Mystery Prompts

  • The crystal clear blue waters. The bright green foliage. The black sand beach. This would be the last thing she saw before she died, and no one would ever know. 
  • He went missing twelve years ago. He was just a boy, then. After years of searching for him to no avail, his parents – now in their old age – have succumbed to hopelessness and heartbreak. That is, until a visitor arrives on their doorstep in the pouring rain one stormy night. The visitor looks like their son, but something is very, very different…
  • Your character goes for an evening stroll every night after dinner. She passes by each of her neighbors homes down the quiet street, until she gets to a fork in the road and turns back around. Only tonight, she goes on her usual walk, and decides to take a left at the fork instead of turning around. What she discovers is sure to wake the sleepy small town from their slumber. 
  • A high profile lawyer on the hunt for justice, he’s adamant about defending his client, accused of committing a crime no mother could ever commit. Or can she? 
  • She’s an experienced detective with years under belt, solving the city’s most horrific crimes. As she digs deep on the trail of one of the most sinister serial killers she’s ever dealt with, she begins uncovering some details that brings the case too close to home. 
  • Research your favorite unexplained mystery, then re-write the story with your own twist and turn of events. 
  • Your character is on a mission to discover the truth about his/her birth parents, two people s/he has been shielded from ever knowing any details about. On a quest to self-discovery, your character learns the truth, and it can be summed up in three words: Murder, lust, and greed. Write about your character’s journey towards discovering where they came from, and the shocking truth they learn along the way. 
  • Today is your birthday. You wake up, ready to celebrate with your family and friends, but things get weird when you discover that the year you thought it was, doesn’t seem to be right.
  • You are house sitting for your best friend, who you’ve known your entire life. One quiet evening, you rummage through the library in search of a good book. Instead, you find a chest of photos that piques your interest. The chest is full of old photographs featuring your best friend, dressed in old attire and surrounded by people from long, long ago. 
  • While driving home in the pouring rain one night, you spot a young girl, dressed in all white, on the side of the deserted highway. You pull over to give her a ride home, but she doesn’t know who she is, why she’s here, or where’s she going.

11 Sci-Fi Creative Writing Prompts

  • Earth is dissolving, and it’s up to you to get all of the remaining human children to the new “home” for humans – a newly inhabited planet that mimics Earth’s environment. The issue? The planet is twice as small as Earth, which means there is only room for half of the children in the spacecraft you’ve been given. 
  • Your character is a scientist for NASA, and is on the edge of developing a cutting-edge breakthrough technology that will allow humans to be transported to space in half the time. The only problem is, the process ages humans twice as fast…
  • The sun burns too bright, causing people to go blind the moment they catch a glimpse of the sun’s rays. This means that humans have learned to avoid the sun, living out their days in protective pods to shield them from the sun. But now, there’s a plague that’s quickly spreading amongst the population, and there seems to be only one cure: a look at the sun. 
  • You live in a futuristic world, almost 300 years from present day. Technology has taken its toll on evolution, and the only way to communicate with other humans is through a digital screen. 
  • The world as we know it is over, and you’re the leader of this new era. Decide how you want to rule society, and what type of world you will create. 
  • Your character starts the day off like any other day. She wakes up, brushes her teeth, then walks into her closet to get dressed for work. Only today, she opens her closet door to find a wide-eyed woman standing there, dripping wet as if she has been rained on. She says her planet is at war, and she has been sent to bring you back home with her, for you are the only one with the power to save her people. 
  • Research one of Earth’s unknown mysteries or conspiracy theories. Now, re-write it through the lens of someone who knows all the answers, and has a powerful reason for keeping it all a secret…
  • Virtual reality meets the real world. You live in a society where there’s a fine line between who is actually a real person, and who is not. 
  • Your character is an expert researcher that’s been chosen to lead a submarine journey to the bottom of the Mariana Trench, the deepest part of the ocean. Uninhabitable by humans, the team witnesses sea life that’s never before been seen by man. But things take a turn for the worst when they realize a massive creature has claimed a death grip on their submarine vessel. 
  • You’ve been given the task to create the perfect species, but in your effort to do so through multiple experiments, you’ve given life to an army of children who are far from perfect. 
  • You’re exiled to a new planet, and you can only take 3 people with you. Who do you take and why?

12 Fantasy Writing Prompts

  • An expert diver, your character takes a trip to a remote island to explore all the underwater sights he’s read all about in books and documentaries. When he takes a diving excursion to a cave known for its colorful color, exotic fish schools, and vivid sea foliage, he stumbles upon a secret cave door. What it leads to is a bustling seaworld that’s quite literally, straight out of a storybook.
  • A device has been invented that can solve any of mankind’s problems – big or small. The catch is, that along with a solution, comes an even bigger problem…
  • You wake up one day to discover that you have been transported to the world from your favorite book. But you quickly discover that things aren’t all that they seem…
  • You come from a long line of witches, dating back to the 12th century. But a modern day witch hunt is now in full effect, and to save your life, you must find a way to give up all of your powers. 
  • Your character suddenly finds themself in an alternate dimension, where everything is backwards. How can they make sense of this new world, to find their way back to the dimension they actually belong in? 
  • Think of your favorite superhuman. Now, imagine that they use their powers for evil. Write a story featuring the dark side of your superhuman’s character.
  • Every morning, your alarm sounds off at 6 a.m. Only this morning, instead of the usual beep beep beep to wake you, a voice comes over the alarm and announces, “Today is the day you will say goodbye to everyone.”
  • Time no longer exists, and the worlds of the past, present, and future have collided, meshing them all into one. Write a fantasy story about this new world that exists – and the pitfalls that come with not having any boundaries within time. 
  • Your character unexpectedly gives birth to a healthy baby boy. What’s strange is that your character was only pregnant for two weeks, and she didn’t even realize it. As the baby grows, she starts to notice that she has quite an extraordinary child on her hands, and she must protect him from those who know he exists.
  • A dream-like world where everything seems to go your character’s way. He’s happy, peaceful, and surrounded by those he loves. But one day, he discovers that this isn’t in fact the world that he belongs in…and those that really love him desperately need him to return.
  • You’re given the chance to build your own character taking five of the best traits from people you know. What traits do you take from whom?
  • Your memory is erased and you have to start learning from scratch. (You can still feed and clothe yourself.) What is the first thing you want to learn and why?

10 Historical Fiction Writing Prompts

  • Write about a specific folklore tale from your cultural background, but add a special twist. 
  • Imagine your modern-day character suddenly finds themself in the past. Not only that, but they are the neighbor to a famous historical figure. Write about a significant event in the historical figures life with a modern day twist. 
  • Your character is caught between love and war. A passionate crusader with a prominent position in a revolutionary war, they fall in love with someone across the enemy lines. Do they give up their fight in a cause they stand so strongly for, or say goodbye to the one person they would give up their life for?
  • Research a significant event from your favorite time period. Then, create a character who was there to witness it all – the good, the bad, and the ugly. Write a story from this character’s point of view, sharing how the event changed their lives forever. 
  • You’re given the opportunity to travel back and time to a significant moment in history. Write about where you go, what you see, and who you meet. 
  • Your character is a factory worked living in Victorian London
  • Think of a time period you would never wish to live in. Now, imagine you suddenly wake up living in that era. Write about your experience from the perspective of someone who is actually living the reality you have no wish to be part of. 
  • Write about a character that was born a slave, and is the mastermind behind a dangerous mission to lead others to freedom. 
  • Research a historical figure who is considered a real-life villain. Then, write a story from their lover, or spouse's perspective. 
  • Research the history of your favorite place (city, country, etc.), then write a story from the perspective of a character who witnessed how the place as you know it came to be. 

20 Sentence Starter Prompts

  • The unrelenting sun beat down on his forearms, and all he could think about was how cold he felt inside.
  • A sick feeling caused by strong alcohol on an empty stomach, mixed with unsettling anxiety, caused her to crouch over in discomfort. But she couldn’t stop now. 
  • The clock struck three, and it was as if the entire world turned upside down. 
  • Whoosh whoosh whoosh. The dryer violently spun the wet clothes around, and 
  • He wasn’t sure what the crying creature was, but he knew it couldn’t be human.  
  • He stared at her, staring at him. And in the blink of an eye, an insatiable fury seemed to paint the sky blood red. 
  • The spacecraft zinged through the blackened bubble, and as she looked outside the window, she couldn’t help but feel the gravity of her eternal loneliness. 
  • No one knew him more than she did, but there were things she simply could not look past. 
  • This place was home – it always had been, so why did it feel so strange? 
  • The tapping of the keyboard was all she could hear in the empty office, and the room seemed to start spinning around her. 
  • A fast heartbeat, thumping uncontrollably inside his chest, was all he could to react; after all, this was the greatest moment of his life. 
  • “This is your moment, and you can either rise to the occasion, or crumble to your shortcomings,” the speaker said over the intercom. 
  • They were the only ones who knew the truth, and try as they might, they couldn’t forget that fateful day, even when they desperately wanted to. 
  • Despite the enchantment, her intuition gnawed at her core, warning her that this was a very, very bad idea.
  • Today is the day you realize your entire life is going to change forever because…
  • As soon as the words came out of her mouth, her eyes widened in horror; how could she have let herself say such a thing? 
  • The storm raged on outside the window, and the world in all its chaos was truly coming to an end, just like they had warned. 
  • The sun looked blood orange as it lifted off the horizon, and she knew the time had come. 
  • “Your heart belongs to me,” said the stranger in a hushed, yet familiar tone. 
  • Ding dong. He ran to get the door, and when he looked through the eyehole, as was his habit before unlocking it, he couldn’t believe his eyes. 

Once you've had your fun with these writing prompts, it's time to get started with your new book idea and start writing your book, so that you can move on to self-publishing your book and sharing it with the world.

There is a world of readers waiting for your story. It's time to start writing.

Whether you used these creative writing prompts to help brainstorm what to write about, or fight writer's block, it's time to actually sit down, grab your pen or keyboard, and get to writing a captivating story.

Didn't find what you were looking for with these prompts? Don't worry – we are constantly updating this list with new writing prompts for our readers.

Which type of writing prompts would you like to see more of?

what are some creative writing prompts

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Love To Write? Check Out These 51 Creative Writing Prompts For Adults

An essential part of being a writer is daily practice —even if that practice is only a few minutes.

And even when the results are less inspired than you hoped. 

As long as you’re committed to building a writing habit and practicing your craft, you’re a writer—not just an “aspiring” one.

Sometimes, all you need is a generous supply of fun writing prompts for adults to get you started. 

We’re happy to help with that. 

What Are Some Interesting Writing Prompts? 

The best, most effective writing topics for adults are those you enjoy. They should stimulate your memory and imagination and create connections in the mind. All you need to do at that moment is to let the words flow onto the page.

Writing prompts can do this in one or more of the following ways: 

  • Remind you of a significant event in your own life; 
  • Trigger a powerful emotion about a particular event or relationship; 
  • Connect to a meaningful experience you’d like to dwell on for a bit;
  • Connect to other disjointed details in your memory; 
  • Relate to universal themes you’d like to explore. 

How You Can Use Daily Writing Prompts for Adults 

Here are a few ideas for using adult writing prompts: 

  • Start a creating writing journal using these as daily prompts ; 
  • Take one prompt and break it down into smaller installments; 
  • Start a creative writing group and share 1-3 prompts per week;
  • Play music that fits the mood of a particular prompt; 
  • Set a timer and commit to writing for at least five minutes straight. 

The best ideas for using the list of prompts below are those you’ll actually use and enjoy. 

51 Creative Writing Prompts for Adults 

Read through the following list of adult writing prompts and let your imagination respond to each one. Some will get your mind going more quickly than others. Some will have a stronger effect at different times. 

You’re welcome to keep this whole list handy or make a smaller list with your favorites. 

1. You’ve just been jolted out of a dream you’d give all your worldly possessions to return to. What was it about?

2. Someone you look up to makes an unexpected and hurtful remark about your body. What goes through your head, and how do you respond? 

3. You’re alone at night in your apartment in the city, and the doorbell starts ringing repeatedly. You look through the peephole and… 

4. You write an anonymous advice column and one day discover the unintended consequences of advice you thought was helpful. 

5. By day, you’re a responsible, if reclusive, college student. By night, you fly over your city as a dragon.  

writing prompts for adults

6. On the advice of her therapist, you write about a character from her dreams, and they show up at your door. 

7. Your significant other interrupts your work one day to say, “I need to tell you something.” What goes through your mind?

8. You don’t really want a pet, but when a friendly stray follows you home, your tender heart wins out and you let it in.

9. You meet someone with whom you feel not only safe but wanted and cherished. One day you catch them with someone else. 

10. You wake up in a different place lying next to someone else and, for some reason you feel more at home. But which life is real?

11. You’re a few short hours away from facing your worst nightmare. What is it, and how do you prepare?

12. You wake up with a headache in a coffin-size box and hear voices outside it speaking a different language. 

13. What comes to mind with the words, “What were you thinking ?”

14. For some reason, everyone is giving you strange looks and tip-toeing around you. 

15. Figures. Just when you get good at coding, the internet shuts down — everywhere. 

16. You were digging in your yard when you found it. And you fully intend to keep it secret.

17. You’re comfortable with anonymity, so it’s unsettling when, one day, everyone you meet acts as if they’ve known you all your life.

18. Your spouse thinks you’re leaving for work, but you know the truth. Maybe, one day, you’ll tell them—if you survive today. 

19. Someone slips a note underneath your apartment door. You unfold it to find a phone number and a brief, urgent message. 

20. Your spouse asks if you’re interested in trying something different with your marriage. And it’s not fantasy role-play. 

21. You wake up one day, and everyone seems shocked to see you alive. You look in the mirror and understand why. 

22. You wake up in the body of a famous historical figure you’ve been studying. How does your day go?

23. Ever since the accident, you’ve been hearing voices—not all the time but often when it’s least convenient. 

writing prompts for adults

24. You show up alone at an old friend’s funeral to pay your respects, but when you reach the coffin, the face you see is your own. 

25. You’ve always taken comfort in the presence of your own shadow, but it’s started taking on a life of its own. 

26. You have one day to do whatever you want without any consequences. What do you do?

27. You’re visited one night by the disembodied spirit of someone you know (still living). Why do they visit you?

28. You’re on the worst vacation ever. And you’re about to do something crazy to change it for the better. 

29. An evil genius hires you as his personal assistant. Your first day on the job is life-changing. 

30. Your life is the subject of a favorite TV show. Describe your character and write about an important scene of your own making. 

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31. You find a high-paying job doing something you love. But when your devoutly religious relatives ask what you do, you lie.  

32. Your parents have just revealed a family secret they hoped they’d never have to tell you. You’re about to share it with your partner.

33. You’re in couple’s therapy, and the therapist suggests something you initially consider outrageous but are then… surprisingly open to it. 

34. Write about a time when you had to hide from someone. Were you protecting yourself—or them?

35. Write about an animal you identify with and describe the traits you share with them—or wish you shared. 

36. Describe a moment when someone you were once attracted to tried to intimidate you, and you turned the tables. 

37. Write about how different your life might be if, back at a pivotal moment in your life, you’d taken a different turn. 

38. Write about a relationship that taught you an important lesson and what you would tell that person now. 

39. You inherit a house and discover a secret door leading to a surprise your deceased relative clearly knew about. 

40. You meet and become friends with someone who’s the living equivalent of a favorite character from a novel you’ve read—or written. 

41. You become famous, and your life changes overnight. Write about how it happens and what it leads to. 

42. Create a powerful antagonist character and describe them. What kind of relationship would you or your protagonist have with them?

43. “She looked at me as if seeing me for the first time. When she finally spoke, she said… “

44. You did or said something that has left your family and friends speechless with shock. What is it, and what are the consequences?

45. You have this eerie feeling someone or something is following you home. You’re right. What or who is it, and what do they want?

46. You make a birthday wish, and it comes true. Describe what happens as a result. 

47. You stand up to a bully, and the results are mixed. What happens?

48. You finally get your dream job (or gig), and then you learn something about it that changes everything. 

49. For the first time in your life, you feel free to express your thoughts and see them as worth expressing. Why?

50. You write a book that becomes a bestseller , and someone you meet tells you it’s their new favorite. Describe the book and your fan. 

51. You get a dream job, and your boss turns out to be something other than human. The problem? You’re falling hard for them. 

Now that you’ve looked through all the above writing prompts, which ones stood out for you as favorites? And which will you use today? 

There are times when writers struggle to start their writing pieces. On that note, there is plenty of writing prompts for adults and in this post, there are 51 prompts to choose from.

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Home » Blog » 140 Creative Writing Prompts For Adults

140 Creative Writing Prompts For Adults

what are some creative writing prompts

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Learning how to become a better writer includes knowing how to come up with a solid idea. With so many elements to consider when starting your novel, the plot itself may begin to slip away from you. Use these creative writing prompts for adults to get you started on the right path to a successful story and suffer from writer’s block for the last time. .

This list of writing prompts for adults can be taken and used in any way you want. Details can be changed and characters can be added or removed.

They are meant to be a fun way to get your creativity flowing and your next story developing. For even more writing ideas, check out the  writing prompt generator . Here, you will find 500+ prompts of all kinds that will give you some ideas.  Take control of that blank page and create something awesome. 

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Dramatic Writing Prompts for Adults

Nothing beats some good old-fashioned drama once in a while. You can turn these writing prompts into a dramatic love story , an exciting short story, or morph them into a different genre. How you use them is up to you.

For a novel that is specifically romance, we have created an exclusive list of exciting and genre-bending romance writing prompts .

  • A young boy discovers that he is the only adopted child among his four siblings. Feeling confused and betrayed, he runs away to find his birth parents. After two months on the road, he runs out of money and still hasn’t found them. Does he go home? Or does he continue his quest?
  • Two couples are fueding and haven’t spoken in years. It is discovered that their two children have become best friends at school, and they want a playdate. Will this increase tension between them or lead to reconciliation?
  • Identical twins are attending the same college. They switch places and take each other’s classes depending on strengths and weaknesses. They’ve gotten away with it for two years until their observant professor of a father is transferred to the school they attend.
  • Two childhood best friends stopped talking after a huge fight in high school. Five years later, they find themselves sitting next to each other on the same 16-hour international flight.
  • Write about a passionate romance that crosses religions.
  • He’s only been in office for a year. He is already being tempted by a corrupt group of criminals who want him to sabotage a series of public safety projects in exchange for funding his entire reelection campaign.
  • Your main character is being offered a promotion from the high school principal to the district director. Sadly, she knows her replacement will cut funding to all of the art programs. How does she manage the situation?
  • A high profile general learns that the opposing army will surrender if he hands himself over. Will he prioritize his own safety, or sacrifice himself for his country?
  • Write about a successful businesswoman who has built herself from the ground up. The business is suddenly threatened by the son of a rich local contractor who started a similar business out of boredom.
  • A successful lawyer knows that his client is guilty of the murder for which he has been charged. He is a good liar and could easily win the case. The case is getting constant media coverage and would guarantee him making partner at his firm.
  • Your main character has lived a sheltered, isolated life. When their delusional and overbearing father dies. They are thrown into the real world and unsure of how to cope.
  • The doorbell rings and your character answers it – finding nothing but an envelope with nothing on it. They open it and follow the instructions to attend a secret underground event. Afterward, they become a part of a huge resistance that the rest of the world knows nothing about.
  • After a family member’s funeral, you arrive home to a stranger on your doorstep claiming the person is not really dead. The funeral was open-casket.
  • It is your character’s wedding day. While the vows are being said, someone from the crowd yells “I object!”
  • A huge storm has stopped traffic. Your character is stuck in the car with someone for an unknown amount of time. The person chooses this moment to confess their undying love. The feeling is not mutual.
  • Your character finds an old, disposable camera on the ground. Feeling, they get the photos developed. What they see tells an unsettling story.
  • Two old friends are reminiscing on a prominent and life-changing event. They have very different memories from that day.
  • Your main character is a world-traveling nature photographer. She stumbles upon a small tribe of indigenous people who have found the cure for all cancer in a small local plant.
  • A young man has been homeschooled all his life and is ready to start college. An attack on his small home town has him being drafted into the army. He is away from home for the first time ever and terrified. However, he becomes a key strategist due to his unique perspective and undiscovered scientific talents.
  • A middle-aged man is tired of his career in a corporate office. He takes all his vacation and sick days at once for an excursion in the Appalachian Mountains. Everything is fine until a blizzard hits.
  • A shy and reserved web designer thinks she has found the man of her dreams online. She is actually being catfished by a competing company who wants to get information from her.
  • A man and women work for two neighboring, rival fast food companies. They always take their lunch breaks together on the bench right in the middle of the two.
  • An ongoing murder investigation takes an unexpected turn when it is discovered that a prolific group of corrupted police officers were behind the whole thing.
  • A television star is renowned and respected for his “method” acting. He only interviews or appears on TV in character. But, this is because he doesn’t have a personality outside of his three most famous characters.
  • A professional gymnast is under fire for her supposed use of performance-enhancing steroids. She leaked the story herself to draw attention away from the fact that she is the leader of a high-profile drug ring.
  • An older couple on the brink of retirement keeps their life savings in the pages of the books in their home. They are just about to start looking for a retirement home to live in when a fire destroys their house and their cash.

Tips for Writing Drama

  • Drama is usually character driven , so make use of both your round and flat characters .
  • Introduce the conflict right away and keep it prominent. A drama will thrive off conflict.
  • Don’t let the resolution come easily.
  • Don’t be afraid to kill characters and write difficult situations.
  • Always show, don’t tell.

Supernatural Writing Prompts for Adults

Supernatural stories are popular. The world is in love with vampires. Write something interesting and unique enough, you might be writing their next favorite book. Use these supernatural story starters for your basic premise. 

  • On her 16th birthday, your main character miraculously survives a deadly car crash without a scratch. Later that week, she watches as a small scratch heals and disappears right before her eyes. Where did this new power come from and what will she do with it?
  • There is an elite society of high education that wants to test a new drug. They give it to highly gifted students, and it allows them to stay awake for 48 hours and record everything they see, heard, and feel in that time. Unfortunately, some unexpected side effects set in two weeks later.
  • A middle-aged man is the only one in his famous and high-profile family without a superpower. The local police rely on his super-powered family to help them catch and fight crime. However, the powers are failing them during a specific investigation. Your protagonists “normal” perspective might just save the day.
  • Your main character suffers a terrible concussion. After recovering, they cannot control the vivid nightmares about the accident. However, they can also take images from their mind and project them into the real world. Doctors think they are crazy and keep them heavily sedated.
  • Write about a world where technology has given animals the ability to speak.

Tips for Writing Supernatural Stories

  • Setting the story in the real world will make your supernatural species more believable.
  • Create the origins of your species and supernatural characters.
  • Create the physical limitations for your species and beings.
  • Avoid the cliches of the genre.
  • Understand your reasons for using supernatural creatures. You shouldn’t be writing them in simply due to their popularity.

Thriller Writing Prompts for Adults

Thrillers can come in many forms and can be incorporated with many genres. Regardless of the details though, they are always meant to excite. Suspense and tension are crucial – it’s always more fun when you don’t know. Writing a good thriller requires a strong set of writing skills. These prompts will give you a good base. If you think you need to improve, try some writing exercises.

If your thriller can get hearts racing, you’ve done a good job.

  • The body of your main character’s best friend is dumped on their doorstep. They make it their mission to find out who is responsible, even if it means crossing some lines and breaking some laws.
  • A murderer is on the loose in your character’s hometown. For 10 weeks they have killed one person on the same day at the same time. Your main character is the next victim. They are abducted exactly three days before the planned kill time.
  • Strange things start happening around town. Your main character decides to find out for themselves what is going on. They do learn the truth, but now they aren’t allowed to leave.
  • Your character suffers from a condition that causes seemingly random blackouts for varying amounts of time. The only thing they ever remember before these episodes is a yellow car with a dent on the side. One day, that car is parked outside their house. This time, there is no blackout.
  • Your main character and their friends take an unsolicited mini-vacation to an off-limits island off the coast of their seaside town. Shortly after arrival, they discover the islands inhabitants and the reason why it was off limits.
  • Your protagonist is in intensive therapy due to extremely vivid nightmares detailing someone’s gruesome death. Many have said it’s just their twisted imagination, but this new therapist seems to think it’s much more than that.
  • You are legally allowed to kill someone one time in your life. You must fill out a series of paperwork, and your intended victim will be given notice of your plan.
  • A brilliant serial killer has been getting away with murder for decades. His only weakness is his acute inability to tell a lie. He is finally caught and tried for all murders. Write about how he still manages to walk free, with no charges laid.
  • Your character is a host at a restaurant. A couple comes in and says they have a reservation. You look it up in the system and find that the reservation was booked 40 years ago.

Tips for Writing a Thriller

  • Have a story that suits a thriller. This usually involves the protagonist falling victim to someone else and being caught in impossible situations.
  • Different points of view can add a lot of value to a thriller. It gives several perspectives and allows the reader into the heads of many characters.
  • Put action as close to the beginning as possible.
  • Don’t be afraid to make your characters miserable.

Thriller Book Writing Template

Squibler has a book writing template that was created specifically for writing a thriller:

thriller novel template

It will walk you through each section of a typical thriller. It includes the basics of a thriller structure, without stifling your creativity. The guidelines are easy to understand, but loose enough that you can insert the details of your story with ease.

Horror Writing Prompts for Adults

The horror genre has always had a cult-like following. Several fictional killers have become household names. Some horror fans will spend their whole lives chasing the adrenaline that comes with a good scare.

If you’re learning how to become a better writer in order to scare your readers, these writing prompts will get you started. A book writing template may be helpful in creating a true horror as setting the stage properly is crucial.

  • It’s Halloween night and a group of rowdy teenagers break into an infamously haunted house in their town. They soon discover it is not the ghosts they have to fear, but the madman who lives upstairs is poisoning them with hallucinogenic gas.
  • There is a disease outbreak at a school. It appears at first to be chicken pox but it is actually a virus that is causing violent outbreaks in the children who begin to terrorize the town.
  • Your main character attends a meditation retreat. It turns out to be a recruiting process for an extremist cult that convinces members to commit dangerous acts of terror. Your protagonist is the only one in the room who is immune.
  • So overcome by his nightmares, your main character attacks anyone who comes near him. He cannot distinguish between loved ones and the monsters in his head.
  • A young man has to dive 300 feet into the ocean to rescue his girlfriend caught in a broken submarine. He must cross through a genetically modified shark breeding ground.
  • An old time capsule is about to be opened and the whole town is present for the celebration. When opened, the only thing found inside is a detached human hand with a threatening note in the grasp. The note is written in your character’s handwriting but dated 50 years before they were even born.

Master horror writer Stephen King reveals some of his thought process: “So where do the ideas—the salable ideas—come from? They come from my nightmares. Not the night-time variety, as a rule, but the ones that hide just beyond the doorway that separates the conscious from the unconscious.”

Horror doesn’t always have to be fantastical and dreamy in nature. Sometimes horror exists in the real world, within people.

Tips for Writing Horror

  • Don’t be afraid to give that gruesome, bloody description.
  • Aim to create extreme emotions.
  • Make sure the readers care about your characters. This will make their horrible situations more impactful.
  • Consider what scares you the most. Keep this in mind when writing.
  • Set the stakes high.
  • Some comic relief or brief periods of peace are okay – necessary even. It can help build suspense.

Crime and Mystery Writing Prompts for Adults

Stories of crime and mystery have been told for ages. There are some classic crime dramas that will never get old. Many non-fiction books have been written on this topic as well. 

Creating a proper mystery takes time and much planning. When done correctly though, it makes for a most memorable story.

  • Your main character discovers another women’s clothes tucked in the back of her boyfriends closet. She plans an elaborate fishing trip to get him far away for a weekend so she can teach him a lesson.
  • A new serial killer is on the loose, killing one person every other day within 500 feet of a museum. There must be a connection and a reason, but how will they catch him when he keeps destroying the cameras and escaping?
  • A young officer is three years sober and committed to getting back on track. That is until he is called to the scene of a high-profile drug bust and is in charge of collecting evidence. Can he control himself around so many drugs?
  • Abandoned cars start randomly appearing throughout the city. No license plates and nothing inside. That is until one is found to contain several dismembered human limbs.
  • Your character has been receiving nasty, lifelike drawings in the mail. They ignore them at first, thinking it is some kids being silly. Until the drawings start coming to life. Since they have the drawings, they know what is going to happen next, and in what order.
  • Your main character and her husband awake one night in the early hours of the morning, both recalling a horrific dream from the night before. They soon learn the dream to be true as they discover a fresh, painful brand in between each of their shoulder blades.
  • Your character never wakes up feeling rested, no matter how long they sleep for. Medication doesn’t help. They decide to film themselves one night. The next morning they watch as they get out of bed around midnight, smirk at the camera, and wave before disappearing out the door for hours.
  • Your protagonist is a member of a small religious group. When a precious artifact goes missing, the head elder’s daughter is blamed for it. Your character knows she couldn’t be responsible because the two of them were romantically involved at the time of the theft. Such activities are strictly forbidden and the daughter would rather go down for the theft than admit to breaking that law.
  • There is a serial killer going after the children of rich and notable families in the area. Your main character is the child of one such family and is terrified every waking moment. Tired of living in fear, they decide to figure out who the killer is and stop them  
  • Your character gets a DNA test, just for fun. After getting the results and doing some more research, they discover that members of their ancestry from all over the world were once all gathered in the same place. The reason is unknown.
  • Your character receives a strange voicemail from an unknown number. The voicemail ends up changing the course of their entire life.
  • Your character is in an accident and loses the memory of the last year of their life. There are so many things that don’t make sense. They must retrace their steps to find answers.
  • The entire town has started sleepwalking, together, every night.  
  • Your character has a short but friendly encounter with a stranger in an elevator. The next day, they are all over TV as the victim of a brutal murder.
  • Your character is redecorating and takes down a painting. They notice something strange engraved on the back of the frame.
  • Your character goes to their usual coffee shop and orders “the usual.” The Barista smiles, nods, and slides something entirely different across the counter. She has never made a mistake before.
  • Your character opens a random book at the library when the cover page falls out. It says “if you are reading this, you have been chosen.”
  • When looking through some old family photos – going back generations – your character notices a cat in almost every photo. The very same colorful spotted cat with a single docked ear that is sitting on their lap.
  • When paying for their groceries, your main character mentions to the clerk that there is a mess in aisle 11. The clerk is confused and explains that there is no aisle 11.

Tips for Writing Crime and Mystery

  • This is a genre where a book writing template can come in handy. The plots are often so complex, it can be overwhelming to keep it all straight.
  • Draw inspiration from real-life crimes. This will make your story believable.
  • Also, draw your inspiration from real-life people and give them realistic motives behind their crimes. Crime and mystery are rarely set in a fantasy world, so being realistic is important.
  • Know how the mystery is solved before you start writing.
  • Include a few cliffhangers – usually at the end of a chapter.

Science Fiction Writing Prompts for Adults

Science fiction is similar to fantasy in that you can make up a lot of stuff, which is a fun way to write.

This is a versatile genre that can be molded into anything you want.

Sometimes, it is rooted in truth with elements of real scientific and technological advances. Other times, there are many assumptions made about the future of science, and lots of make-believe takes place.

  • A spaceship that can surpass the speed of light is allowing a few humans on board to escape our solar system and it’s dying sun. How does the world decide who gets to survive?
  • A shy, introverted tech guy develops a virus that can control human desires, impulses, and choices.
  • A pet store becomes overrun with kittens and sells them off at a low price. However, these cats are actually an alien hybrid that can body jump. It begins causing the owners of these cats to commit suicide within 24 hours of adoption.
  • A live TV broadcast from the White House experiences some technical difficulties. They end up broadcasting a top-secret meeting about a pending alien invasion.
  • Science has developed a brain scanning software that can read thoughts. Before they can decide what to do with it, someone has hacked the system and stolen it.
  • Your character wakes up on a spaceship with no memory.
  • The world has developed a genetic system that engineers everyone for a specific job in the community. Your character hates what they were created to do. This never happens.
  • The world has finally reached a state of all-encompassing peace thanks to a technical system that keeps things regulated. Your character is in charge of keeping the system running. When they discover exactly how the system is kept running, they consider abandoning their post and never turning back.
  • Your character accidentally traps themselves in an alternate universe that hasn’t discovered electricity or technology yet.

Tips for Writing Science Fiction

  • Make your story complex, but don’t rush it. Let your audience process information before adding more.
  • Keep the language simple and easy to understand even if the world isn’t. The majority of your readers will not be scientists or tech experts.
  • Be consistent in terms of the universe. Physical laws, social classes, etc. Know your own world.

Dystopian Writing Prompts for Adults

Dystopian stories are growing in popularity. The genres itself is growing and evolving all the time as people figure out what works and what entertains.

Dystopian is a fun genre to read and experience, but writing it can be just as enjoyable. Having fun while learning how to become a better writer is of utmost importance.

Be careful you’re not writing Dystopia just because it sells well. Make sure you have a real story to tell and that it’s one you believe in.

  • A newly married couple become pregnant with twins. Due to growing overpopulation, they are told they must make a choice when the babies are born. Only one will live. Rather than submit to this, they plan their escape across the border.
  • An amateur teen scientist accidentally discovers an impending alien attack set to destroy earth within a month. He becomes the unwilling leader of the evacuation and defense coalition.
  • A hacker discovers that the new iPhone can be remotely detonated. Many corrupt political leaders are assassinated in this way on the same day. The world breaks into chaos.
  • World War III has come and gone. Governments are a thing of the past and money is useless. Survival is the objective. Your main character also has a medical condition to keep under control.
  • A horrible outbreak of disease devastated the wildlife population 100 years ago. A scientist has recently created a virus that will strengthen the immune systems of the remaining animals. It works too well, and the animals are starting to overtake the human population.
  • After mental illness devastates a generation, scientists create an airborne substance that balances the levels of all people on the earth. Your character is one of the few who is immune.
  • Rampant wildfires are taking over the surface of the earth. Your character is part of a group who is trying to find a rumored ocean deep settlement. The settlement doesn’t really exist.
  • Nature extremists have taken over the government. Any and all activities that are harmful to the land or plants are forbidden and outlawed.
  • Natural farming is a thing of the past. All food is manufactured artificially and distributed. There is no flavor and it’s the same thing every day. Your character takes a stress-relieving trip to the mountains. Here they find the remnants of some real plants, with a few berries on them.

Tips for Writing Dystopian Fiction

  • Know what the message of the story is. What is the main character trying to achieve?
  • A dystopian society is usually one that has taken the current problems of the world and projected them into the future.
  • Dystopian realities are never good ones – make sure you have enough doom, gloom, and darkness for your readers to understand the state of the world.

Historical Writing Prompts for Adults

Historical fiction can be whimsical and charming. It can be dark and spooky. It can be funny and ridiculous. Stories of history span many genres.

Historical fiction can be a combination of educational and entertaining. It tests a writer’s research skills as well as knowledge. The better depiction you can create of your desired time period, the more effective your story will be.

Learning to research is crucial to know how to become a better writer.

  • From a first-person perspective, write about the showdown between a criminal and a lion in the Roman Colesseum.
  • Abraham Lincoln is famous for his top hat. Where did the top hat come from? Who was the president without it? Write a story about the infamous top hat and its life.
  • The Berlin wall has crashed to the ground and its love at first sight for one lucky couple – whose parents aren’t so impressed.
  • Your character is a talented composer whose direct competition is Beethoven.
  • Write about a dinner party where three famous historical figures are in attendance.
  • Your best friend has invented the very first time-travel machine.
  • Write about a well-known war, but give it a different outcome.
  • Write a happy ending for Dracula.
  • Your character’s husband of ten years has just confessed that he has traveled through time from the fourteenth century. He decided to stay because he fell in love with her.
  • Write about the thoughts of someone who is secretly watching Michelangelo paint the Sistine Chapel.
  • Your character is the only one who knows who really killed JFK. It wasn’t Oswald.
  • Your character is working under William Shakespeare as his apprentice.
  • Write about a pair of detectives who solve their cases by traveling back and forth in time.
  • Write about the experience of someone who has just learned of the Titanic’s sinking. They had a loved one on board.
  • Choose a major historical event. Write from the perspective of a witness.
  • Your character wants to travel across the land. No forms of transportation have been invented yet.
  • Write about someone who worked at one of the first printing presses during the printing revolution of the 15th century.

Tips for Writing Historical Fiction

  • Do your research! Inaccuracies or incorrect facts about the time you are writing in will break trust with your readers and decrease your credibility.
  • Choose a specific time period and location. “Early twentieth century” is too broad.
  • In addition to setting and facts, characters need to match the time period. This includes dress, behavior, and language.
  • Small details will matter.
  • Balance the historical facts with the drama and fictional elements.

Humorous Creative Writing Prompts for Adults

Another genre that is especially fun to write as well as read, is a comedy. Nothing beats throwing your head back in full laughter.

The goal here is to make people laugh as much as possible while still balancing a good story and believable characters.

  • Substitute teachers are tired of not being taken seriously. They come together and form a secret society, with plans to revolt.
  • An Elvis impersonator is so good that many start to believe Elvis has actually come back to life. Soon, he has been recruited to lead a superstitious Elvis-loving cult.
  • Three friends are out on the town for a night. Write about the most ridiculous series of events you can think of.
  • Life has gotten tough and your character is considering moving back in with their parents. Before they are able to make a decision, their parents show up at their door asking if they can move in.
  • Your character wakes up one day and everything they say rhymes. They can’t control it.
  • The climate is changing and your main character’s city gets snow for the first time in their entire life. She and her friends are recruited for clean up.
  • Your main character has never had a real job before. They are starting a job at the biggest, busiest store in town on the busiest day of the year.
  • Your character is set up on a blind date with their sworn enemy.
  • Every morning you have a package delivered that contains an item you end up needing that day.
  • Struggling with writer’s block, an author decides to sit at a local train station for information. They get some good material.
  • Your characters are holding a high-stakes rock-paper-scissors tournament.
  • Your main character gets backstage at a concert. What happens back there is much more interesting than the show.
  • Your protagonist decides to buy an old school bus and travel across the country. Being single without any close friends, they post an ad asking if anyone wants to join. The end up having their pick of travel partners.
  • Write a story about a low-profile, insignificant but long-unsolved crime is finally cracked.
  • Your character is a serial killer who kills anyone who hitchhikes along the mountain they live on. One day, they pick up a hitchhiker who kills whoever picks him up.
  • The world’s greatest detective finally meets his match: A criminal so stupid and so careless that the detective can’t ever predict what he is going to do next.

Tips for Writing Comedy

  • Test the humor on others. You might find something hilarious, but if no one else is going to laugh, it will be useless to include.
  • Observe comedy. Your ability to write it will hinge on your experience with it. Watch, read, listen, and speak comedy.
  • Have fun with it. Comedy is fun. If you’re not laughing at yourself along the way, you’ll never get through to the end.

Fantasy Writing Prompts for Adults

Fantasy is one of the most popular genres of the time. It’s growing every day because of its creative and immersive nature. People love to preoccupy themselves with something magical.

Being transported into another world for a little while – that’s what fantasy can do

  • In a world of advanced technological and magical advancements, one group keeps their practice of ancient spells a secret. One day, they are discovered and it leads to a fight. What is more powerful – old magic, or new technology?
  • A large, protected national forest is secretly home to werewolves. One summer there is an especially bad flea epidemic, and the werewolves are greatly affected. The fleas from the werewolves infect the town water supply and start turning everyone into werewolves. The only ones not affected are children under 13.
  • The world is overrun with vampires and humans are dying out. Different races and factions of vampires are beginning to go to war over the limited supply of human blood.
  • Your character finds a strange looking egg in the forest. Thinking it will make a great decoration, they take it home. What hatches from that egg surpasses their wildest imagination.
  • A city has spent centuries living in peace with the water-dwellers who reside in their lakes. Suddenly, the water dwellers declare war and no one knows why.
  • Your character has always been able to alter their appearance. They hide unattractive features. Suddenly, their powers stop working and their true appearance is revealed.
  • Your main character has a fascination with untouched societies – such as hidden tribes in the Amazon. She sets out to study them as a living. One day she accidentally allows herself to be seen by one of the members. What this person does is beyond what your character ever thought to be real.
  • The earth itself is dying and all life on the planet is dying with it.
  • Some people in the world have magic, others don’t. No one knows why. Your main character has magic, but his best friend doesn’t. The friend is exceptionally jealous and is growing more and more desperate to make the magic his.

Tips for Writing Fantasy

  • Focus on being unique
  • Don’t neglect worldbuilding . Inconsistencies will be obvious to readers. This is where a book writing software like Squibler can come in handy. It helps you stay organized and efficient.
  • Create unique names.
  • Don’t be afraid to make the journey long and the outcome unexpected.

Fantasy Novel Writing Template

Fantasy is one of the most complicated genres due to the necessity of building a brand new world. Squibler’s fantasy writing template will help you through this daunting process:

fantasy novel writing template

This template offers guidelines and suggestions for building your world as well as structuring and creating your storyline. It’s helpful but loose enough to allow your creativity to keep flowing.

Dialogue Inspired Writing Prompts

Sometimes, all it takes is a small exchange or a witty one-liner to get your brain working. Take these words and start something new. Or, insert them into an existing project and see what happens.

  • “As she stepped onto the train, I fought every urge to jump on after her.”
  • “He was expensive. Please be more considerate of my money the next time I hire an assassin to kill you.”
  • “You say that like it was a struggle.”
  • “I’m your conscience. That is literally my one job.”
  • “Well, I wish you didn’t love me. I guess no one is getting what they want today.”
  • “I guess it didn’t take.”
  • “I was bored so I blew up my house.”
  • “I taught you how to pick locks, and THAT is how you’re choosing to use the skill?”
  • “They thought I would forget everything. I remember even more than when they started.”
  • “Yes. But I don’t care.”
  • “I killed my mother. Are you really questioning what I can do to you right now?”

Write Your Next Masterpiece With These Creative Writing Prompts for Adults

Whether you have a book writing templat e all filled out or you are starting from scratch, these writing prompts will get your imagination going and make your writing time more productive.

Beat the writer’s block, get your groove back, or just be inspired.  Figure out how to love writing again. Whatever you’re looking for, hopefully, these ideas have helped form the story you need to tell.

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The Write Practice

Top 100 Short Story Ideas

by Joe Bunting | 128 comments

Do you want to write but just need a great story idea? Or perhaps you have too many ideas and can’t choose the best one? Well, good news. We’ve got you covered.

Below are one hundred short story ideas for all your favorite genres. You can use them as a book idea, as writing prompts for writing contests , for stories to publish in literary magazines , or just for fun!

Use these 100 story ideas to get your creative writing started now.

Editor’s note: This is a recurring guide, regularly updated with ideas and information.

100 Top Short Story Ideas

If you're in a hurry, here's my 10 best story ideas in brief, or scroll down for the full version.

Top 10 Story Ideas

  • Tell the story of a scar.
  • A group of children discover a dead body.
  • A young prodigy becomes orphaned.
  • A middle-aged woman discovers a ghost.
  • A woman who is deeply in love is crushed when her fiancé breaks up with her.
  • A talented young man's deepest fear is holding his life back. 
  • A poor young boy or girl comes into an unexpected fortune.
  • A shy, young woman unexpectedly bumps into her soulmate.
  • A long journey is interrupted by a disaster.
  • A young couple run into the path of a psychopath.

The Write Structure

Get The Write Structure here »

Why Creative Writing Prompts Are Helpful

Below, you'll find our best creative writing prompts and plot ideas for every genre, but first, why do we use prompts? Is it just a waste of time, or can they actually help you? Here are three reasons we  love writing prompts at The Write Practice:

1. Practice the Language!

Even for those of us who are native English speakers, we're all on a language journey to go from beginners to skilled writers. To make progress on this language journey, you have to practice, and at The Write Practice, believe it or not, we're really into practice! Creative writing prompts are easy, fun ways to practice.

Use the prompts below to practice your storytelling and use of language. The more you practice, the better of a writer you'll become.

2. When you have no ideas and are stuck.

Sometimes, you want to write, but you can't think up any ideas. You could either just sit there, staring at a blank page, or you could find a few ideas to help you get started. Even better if the list of ideas is curated from our best plot ideas over the last decade that we've been publishing lessons, writing exercises, and prompts.

Use the story ideas below to get your writing started. Then when your creativity is warmed up, you'll start to come up with your own ideas!

3. To develop your own ideas.

Maybe you do have an idea already, but you're not sure it's good. Or maybe you feel like it's just missing some small piece to make it better. By reading other ideas, and incorporating your favorites into your   story, you can fill your plot holes and generate creative ideas of your own.

Use the story ideas below to develop your own ideas.

4. They're fun!

Thousands of writers use the prompts below every month, some at home, some in classrooms, and even a few pros at their writing “office.” Why? Because writing prompts can be fun. They get your creativity started, help you come up with new ideas of your own, and often take your writing in new, unexpected directions.

Use the plot ideas to have more fun with writing!

How to Write a Story

One last thing before we get to the 100 story ideas, let’s talk about how to write a great short story . (Already know how to write a great story? No problem. Just skip down to the ideas below.)

  • First, read stories. If you’ve never read a story, you’re going to have a hard time writing one. Where do you find great stories? There are a lot of places, but check out our list of  46 Literary Magazines  we’ve curated over here .
  • Write your story in a single sitting. Write the first draft of your story in as short a time as possible, and if you’re writing a short story , try to write it in one sitting. Trust me, this works. Everyone hates being interrupted when they’re telling compelling stories. Use that to your advantage and don’t stop writing until you’ve finished telling yours.
  • Read your draft. Read your story through once, without changing anything. This will give you a sense of what work it needs going forward.
  • Write a premise. After reading your first draft, get your head around the main idea behind your story by summarizing your story in a one sentence premise. Your premise should contain four things: a character, a goal, a situation, and a special sauce. Not sure what that means or how to actually do that? Here’s a full premise writing guide .
  • Write, edit, write, and edit. Good writing is rewriting. Use your second draft to fill in the plot holes and cut out the extraneous scenes and characters you discovered when you read the first draft in step #2. Then, polish up your final draft on the next round of edits.
  • Submit! Real writers don’t keep their writing all to themselves. They share it. Submit your story to a literary magazine , an anthology series , enter it into a writing contest , or even share it with a small group of friends. And if it gets rejected, don’t feel bad. You’ll be in good company.

Want to know more? Learn more about how to write a great short story here .

Our 100 Best Short Story Ideas, Plot Ideas, and Creative Writing Prompts

Ready to get writing? Here are our 100 best short story ideas to kickstart your writing. Enjoy!

10 Best General Short Story Ideas

Our first batch of plot ideas are for any kind of story, whether a spy thriller or a memoir of your personal life story. Here are the best story ideas:

  • Tell the story of a scar, whether a physical scar or emotional one. To be a writer, said Stephen King, “The only requirement is the ability to  remember every scar .”
  • A group of children discover a dead body. Good writers don’t turn away from death, which is, after all, the  universal human experience. Instead, they look it directly into its dark face and describe what they see on the page.
  • A young prodigy becomes orphaned. Orphans are uniquely vulnerable, and as such, they have the most potential for growth.
  • A middle-aged woman discovers a ghost. What do Edgar Allen Poe, Ron Weasley, King Saul from the Bible, Odysseus, and Ebenezer Scrooge have in common? They all encountered ghosts!
  • A woman who is deeply in love is crushed when her fiancé breaks up with her. “In life every ending is just a new beginning,” says Dakota Fanning’s character in Uptown Girls.
  • A talented young man’s deepest fear is holding his life back. Your character’s biggest fear is your story’s secret weapon. Don’t run from it, write about it.
  • A poor young boy or girl comes into an unexpected fortune. Not all fortunes are good. Sometimes discovering a fortune will destroy your life.
  • A shy, young woman unexpectedly bumps into her soulmate (literally bumps into him). In film, this is called the “meet cute,” when the hero bumps into the heroine in the coffee shop or the department store or the hallway, knocking her books to the floor, and forcing them into conversation.
  • A long journey is interrupted by a disaster. Who hasn’t been longing to get to a destination only to be delayed by something unexpected? This is the plot of  Gravity ,  The Odyssey , and even  Lord of the Rings .
  • A young couple run into the path of a psychopath. Monsters, whether people who do monstrous things or scaly beasts or a monster of a natural disaster, reveal what’s really inside a person. Let your character fall into the path of a monster and see how they handle themselves.

Now that you have an idea, learn exactly what to do with it.  Check out my new book The Write Structure which helps writers take their ideas and write books readers love. Click to check out  The Write Structure  here.

More Short Story Ideas Based on Genre

Need more ideas? Here are ideas based on whichever literary genre you write. Use them as character inspiration, to start your own story, or borrow pieces to generate your own ideas. The only rule is, have fun writing!

By the way,  for more story writing tips for each these plot types, check out our full guide to the 10 types of stories here .

10 Thriller Story Ideas

A thriller is any story that “thrills” the reader—i.e., gets adrenaline pumping, the heart racing, and the emotions piqued.

Thrillers come in all shapes and forms, dipping freely into other genres. In other words, expect the unexpected!

Here are a few of my favorite thriller story ideas :

Rosa Rivera-Ortiz is an up-and-coming lawyer in a San Diego firm. Held back by her ethnicity and her gender, she works twice as hard as her colleagues, and she’s as surprised as anyone when she’s requested specifically for a high-profile case. Bron Welty, an A-list actor and action star, has been arrested for the murder of his live-in housekeeper. The cop heading the case is older, ex-military, a veteran of more than one war, and an occasional sufferer of PTSD. Rosa’s hired to defend the movie star; and it seems like an easy win until she uncovers some secrets that not only make her believe her client is guilty, but may be one of the worst serial killers in the past two decades… and he knows she found out .

It’s the Cold War. Sergei, a double-agent for the CIA working in Berlin, is about to retire when he’s given one final mission: he’s been asked to “defect” to the USSR to help find and assassinate a suspected double-agent for the Kremlin. Sergei is highly trusted, and he’s given to understand that this mission is need-to-know only between him and very few superior officers. But as he falls deeper into the folds of the Iron Curtain, he begins to suspect that his superior officer might just be the mole, and the mark Sergei’s been sent to kill is on the cusp of exposing the leak.

It is 1800. A lighthouse on a barren cliff in Canada. Two lighthouse keepers, German immigrants, are alone for the winter and effectively cut off from the rest of the world until the ice thaws. Both Wilhelm and Matthias are settled in for the long haul with warm clothes, canned goods, and matches a-plenty. Then Wilhelm starts hearing voices. His personal belongings disappear from where he’d placed them, only to reappear in strange spots—like the catwalk, or dangling beneath the spiral stair knotted in brown twine. Matthias begs innocence. Little by little, Wilhelm grows convinced that Matthias is trying to convince him (Wilhelm) to kill himself. Is the insanity real, or is this really Matthias’ doing? And if it is real, what will he do to defend himself? There are so many months until the thaw. 

thriller story ideas

20 Mystery Story Ideas

Enjoy a good whodunit? Then you’ll love these mystery story ideas .

Here are a few of my favorites:

Ever hear the phrase, “It is not who fired the shot but who paid for the bullet?” This is a philosophy Tomoe Gozen lives by. Brave and clever, Tomoe follows clues until she learns who ordered the murder: Emperor Antoku himself. But why would the emperor of Japan want to kill a lowly soldier?

Mystery writer Dan Rodriguez takes the subway every day. Every day, nothing happens. He wears earbuds and a hoodie; he’s ignored, and he ignores. Then one evening, on his way home from a stressful meeting with his publisher, Dan is startled out of his funk when a frantic Middle-Eastern man knocks him over at a dead run, then races up the stairs—pursued by several other thugs. The Middle-Eastern man is shot; and Dan discovers a mysterious package in the front pocket of his hoodie. What’s inside, and what does he need to do to survive the answer?

A headless corpse is found in a freshly-dug grave in Arkansas. The local police chief, Arley Socket, has never had to deal with more than missing gas cans and treed cats. His exploration of this weird murder digs up a mystery older than the 100-year-old town of Jericho that harkens all the way back to a European blood-feud.

story ideas

20 Romance Story Ideas

Ready to write a love story? Or perhaps you want to create a subplot with a secondary character? We've got ideas for you!

Hint: When it comes to romance, a sense of humor is always a good idea. Have fun! Here are a few of my favorite love story ideas :

She’s a cop. He’s the owner of a jewelry store. A sudden rash of break-ins brings her to his store over and over and over again, until it becomes obvious that he might be tripping the alarm on purpose—just to see her. That’s illegal—but she’s kind of falling for him, too. Write the moment she realizes she has to do something about this crazy illicit courtship.

Colorado Animal Rescue has never been more challenging than after that zoo caught on fire. Sally Cougar (no jokes on the name, or she’ll kill you) tracks down three missing tiger cubs, only to find they’ve been adopted by millionaire Bryce Champion. Thanks to an antiquated law on the books, he legally has the right to keep them. It’s going to take everything Sally has to get those tiger cubs back.

He’s a museum curator with a fetish for perfection. No one’s ever gotten close to him; how could they? They’re never as perfect as the portraits, the sculptures, the art that never changes. Then one day, an intern is hired on—a young, messy, disorganized intern, whose hair and desk are in a constant state of disarray. The curator is going half-mad with this walking embodiment of chaos; so why can’t the he stand the thought of the intern leaving at the end of their assistantship?

20 romance story ideas

20 Sci-Fi Story Ideas

From the minimum-wage-earning, ancient-artifact-hunting time traveller to the space-exploring, sentient dinosaurs, these sci-fi writing prompts will get you set loose your inner nerd.

Here are a few of my favorite sci-fi ideas :

In a future society, neural implants translate music into physical pleasure, and earphones (“jacking in”) are now the drug of choice. Write either from the perspective of a music addict, OR the Sonforce agent (sonance + enforcer) who has the job of cracking down.

It’s the year 5000. Our planet was wrecked in the great Crisis of 3500, and remaining human civilization survives only in a half dozen giant domed cities. There are two unbreakable rules: strict adherence to Life Quality (recycling doesn’t even begin to cover these laws), and a complete ban on reproduction (only the “worthy” are permitted to create new humans). Write from the perspective of a young woman who just discovered she’s been chosen to reproduce—but she has no interest in being a mother.

So yeah, ancient Egypt really was “all that” after all, and the pyramids turn out to be fully functional spaceships (the limestone was to preserve the electronics hidden inside). Write from the perspective of the tourist exploring the ancient society who accidentally turns one on.

sci-fi story ideas

20 Fantasy Story Ideas

Need a dose of sword-in-the-stone, hero and/or heroine packed coming-of-age glory?  We love fantasy stories!

Here are a few of my favorite fantasy story ideas:

Bored teenaged wizards throwing a graduation celebration.

Uncomfortable wedding preparation between a magic wielding family tree and those more on the Muggle side of things.

A fairy prince who decides to abandon his responsibilities to become a street musician.

Just try to not have fun writing (or even just reading!) these fantasy writing prompts.

fantasy story ideas

The Secret to Choosing the Best Story Idea

Stories, more than any other artistic expression, have the power to make people care. Stories have the ability to change people’s lives.

But to write a great story, a life-changing story, don’t just write about what your characters did, said, and saw. Ask yourself, “Where do I fit in to this story? What is my personal connection to this story?”

Robert Frost said this:

If you can connect your personal story to the story you’re writing, you will not only be more motivated to finish your story, you might just be able to change the lives of your readers.

Next Step: Write Your Best Story

No matter how good your idea, writing a story or a book can be a long difficult process. How do you create an outline, come up with a great plot, and then actually  finish  it?

My new book  The Write Structure  will help. You'll learn how to take your idea and structure a strong plot around it. Then you'll be guided through the exact process I've used to write dozens of short stories and over fifteen books.

You can learn more about   The Write Structure  and get your copy here.

Have a great short story idea?  We'd love to hear it. Share it in the comments !

Choose one of these ideas and write a short story in one sitting (aim for 1,000 words or less!). When you're finished, share your story in the practice box below (or our latest writing contest ) for feedback from the community. And if you share, please be sure to comment on a few stories by other writers.

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Joe Bunting

Joe Bunting is an author and the leader of The Write Practice community. He is also the author of the new book Crowdsourcing Paris , a real life adventure story set in France. It was a #1 New Release on Amazon. Follow him on Instagram (@jhbunting).

Want best-seller coaching? Book Joe here.

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Beginners Writing Prompts: 25 Ideas to Get Your Creative Juices Flowing

By: Author Paul Jenkins

Posted on August 3, 2023

Categories Writing

Writing is an art form that can be challenging to master. Beginners may find it difficult to know where to start, what to write about, or how to develop their ideas.

That’s where writing prompts come in. Writing prompts are a useful tool for beginners to help them get started with writing and develop their skills.

Understanding writing prompts is essential for beginners. Writing prompts are ideas or topics that provide inspiration for writing. They can be anything from a single word to a complete sentence or paragraph. Writing prompts can help writers overcome writer’s block, develop their writing skills, and explore different genres and styles.

There are various types of writing prompts, including prompts for different genres, character development, setting and atmosphere, and unique writing prompts. Writing prompts can also be used for daily writing and journaling, which can help writers develop a writing habit and improve their skills.

Incorporating personal elements into writing prompts can also help writers explore their own experiences and emotions through writing.

Key Takeaways

  • Writing prompts are a useful tool for beginners to help them get started with writing and develop their skills.
  • Understanding writing prompts is essential for beginners to overcome writer’s block, develop their writing skills, and explore different genres and styles.
  • Writing prompts can be used for daily writing and journaling, character development, setting and atmosphere, and unique writing prompts.

25 Beginners Writing Prompts

Here are 25 writing prompts for beginner writers:

1. Write about your ideal day. What would you do, where would you go, who would you see?

2. Describe your favorite place in the world. What makes it so special?

3. Write a letter to your future self 10 years from now. What advice would you give your future self?

4. Describe a memorable event from your childhood. Why was it meaningful to you?

5. If you could have any superpower, what would you choose and why? How would you use this power?

6. Who is someone you admire? Why do you look up to this person?

7. What is your biggest accomplishment so far? Why does it make you proud?

8. If you could take any animal from the zoo home as a pet, which would you choose and why?

9. What is your biggest goal in life right now? Why is this goal important to you?

10. What is one thing that brings you happiness every day? Describe why it brightens your day.

11. If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go and why? Describe what you would do there.

12. What is your favorite holiday? Describe your ideal celebration of this holiday.

13. Who makes you laugh the most? Describe why this person is so funny.

14. What is your favorite food? Describe what it tastes and smells like.

15. What is one thing you want to accomplish this year? Why is this goal important?

16. Describe your perfect weekend. What activities would you do and who would you spend time with?

17. What is the best gift you’ve ever given someone? Why did you choose this gift?

18. Describe your favorite memory with a grandparent or elder in your life. Why was this time meaningful?

19. Who is your role model or hero? Why do you look up to this person?

20. If you could learn to do anything, what would it be? Why does this skill appeal to you?

21. What is the kindest act you’ve ever witnessed? What did this act teach you?

22. What is one cause you care deeply about? Why is it meaningful to you?

23. Describe your perfect day off from school. What would make it an amazing day?

24. What is one thing that always makes you smile? Why does this bring you joy?

25. What is your favorite season? Describe what you love about this time of year.

Understanding Writing Prompts

Writing prompts are an essential tool for beginning writers or those seeking to improve their writing skills. Writing prompts provide direction and inspiration for creative writing, helping writers overcome writer’s block, and encouraging them to explore new topics and ideas.

A writing prompt is a sentence, paragraph, or image that provides inspiration and guidance for creative writing. It may be used as a possible topic or starting point for an original essay, report, journal entry, story, poem, etc.

Writing prompts can be general or specific, and they can be tailored to suit the needs of different writers.

Understanding writing prompts is essential for beginning writers. Decoding what a prompt is asking can sometimes be overwhelming, but the sooner you understand a prompt, the sooner you can start writing. To understand a writing prompt, you need to identify the key elements and determine what type of writing the prompt is asking for.

Here are some tips for understanding writing prompts:

  • Read the prompt carefully and identify the key elements, such as the topic, purpose, and audience.
  • Determine the type of writing the prompt is asking for, such as a narrative, expository, persuasive, or descriptive essay.
  • Consider the tone and style of the writing prompt and how it should be reflected in your writing.
  • Use brainstorming techniques to generate ideas for your writing, such as mind mapping, free writing, or listing.
  • Create an outline or plan for your writing, including an introduction, body, and conclusion.

By following these tips, beginning writers can gain a better understanding of writing prompts and use them to improve their writing skills. Writing prompts can be a valuable tool for writers of all levels, providing direction, inspiration, and encouragement for creative writing.

Types of Writing Prompts

When it comes to writing prompts, there are various types that can help beginners get started. Here are some of the most common types of writing prompts:

Story Prompts

Story prompts are great for those who want to write short stories. These prompts can be in the form of a sentence, a paragraph, or even a few words. They can be based on a specific theme or genre, or they can be completely random. Some examples of story prompts include:

  • Write a story about a person who discovers they have magical powers.
  • Write a story about a character who is stranded on a deserted island.
  • Write a story about a time traveler who goes back in time to prevent a disaster.

Photo Prompts

Photo prompts are great for those who want to write descriptive pieces. These prompts involve looking at a photo and writing a story, poem, or essay about what you see. They can be based on a specific theme or genre, or they can be completely random. Some examples of photo prompts include:

  • Write a descriptive piece about a sunset over the ocean.
  • Write a story about a character who lives in a treehouse.
  • Write a poem about a flower in a field.

Social Media Prompts

Social media prompts are great for those who want to practice writing in a more casual and conversational tone. These prompts involve writing short pieces that are meant to be shared on social media platforms like Twitter or Instagram. Some examples of social media prompts include:

  • Write a tweet about your favorite book.
  • Write an Instagram caption about your morning routine.
  • Write a Facebook post about a recent vacation.

Random Word Prompts

Random word prompts are great for those who want to challenge themselves and get creative. These prompts involve choosing a random word and writing a piece based on that word. They can be based on a specific theme or genre, or they can be completely random. Some examples of random word prompts include:

  • Write a story that includes the word “serendipity.”
  • Write a poem that includes the word “nostalgia.”
  • Write an essay that includes the word “perseverance.”

Overall, writing prompts are a great way for beginners to get started with writing. By using different types of prompts, beginners can practice writing in different styles and genres, and develop their skills over time.

Writing Prompts for Different Genres

If you’re looking for writing prompts to jumpstart your creativity, you’ve come to the right place. Here are some writing prompts for different genres to help you get started.

Fantasy Prompts

Fantasy is a genre that allows you to create your own world, characters, and rules. Here are some prompts to help you get started:

  • Write about a character who discovers they have magical powers.
  • Write about a world where humans and mythical creatures coexist.
  • Write about a quest to find a lost artifact that has the power to save the world.
  • Write about a character who must choose between good and evil.

Romance Prompts

Romance is a genre that explores the complexities of love and relationships. Here are some prompts to help you get started:

  • Write about a love triangle between three friends.
  • Write about a second chance at love between two former lovers.
  • Write about a forbidden love between two people from different worlds.
  • Write about a character who must choose between their career and their love life.

Adventure Prompts

Adventure is a genre that takes readers on a journey to new and exciting places. Here are some prompts to help you get started:

  • Write about a character who sets out to explore a mysterious island.
  • Write about a group of friends who embark on a road trip across the country.
  • Write about a character who discovers a hidden treasure map and sets out to find the treasure.
  • Write about a character who must survive in the wilderness after a plane crash.

Horror Prompts

Horror is a genre that explores the darker side of human nature. Here are some prompts to help you get started:

  • Write about a haunted house that is rumored to be cursed.
  • Write about a character who is being stalked by a serial killer.
  • Write about a group of friends who go camping in the woods and encounter a supernatural entity.
  • Write about a character who becomes possessed by a demon.

Remember, these are just prompts to help you get started. Use them as a jumping off point and let your imagination take over. Happy writing!

Using Writing Prompts to Overcome Writer’s Block

Writer’s block is a common phenomenon that can affect writers of all levels. It can be frustrating and can hinder the creative process. However, using writing prompts can be an effective way to overcome writer’s block and get the creative juices flowing.

Writing prompts are a great way to inspire and encourage creativity. They can be used to generate new ideas, explore different perspectives, and challenge yourself to think outside the box. Writing prompts can be anything from a single word to a full sentence or paragraph.

When using writing prompts, it’s important to keep an open mind and let your imagination run wild. Don’t be afraid to take risks and try new things. The goal is to inspire creativity and get the words flowing.

Here are some tips for using writing prompts to overcome writer’s block:

  • Choose a prompt that speaks to you. Look for prompts that inspire you and that you feel a connection to.
  • Set a timer. Give yourself a set amount of time to write without stopping. This can help to get your creative juices flowing and prevent you from getting stuck.
  • Don’t worry about grammar or spelling. The goal is to get your ideas down on paper. You can always go back and edit later.
  • Use the prompt as a starting point. Don’t feel like you have to stick to the prompt exactly. Use it as a jumping-off point to explore new ideas and perspectives.

In conclusion, using writing prompts can be an effective way to overcome writer’s block and inspire creativity. By choosing the right prompt, setting a timer, and letting your imagination run wild, you can break through the barriers that are holding you back and unleash your inner writer.

Incorporating Personal Elements into Writing Prompts

When it comes to writing prompts, incorporating personal elements can make the writing process more enjoyable and meaningful. By including personal experiences, interests, and goals, writers can create more engaging and authentic pieces.

One way to incorporate personal elements is to use prompts that relate to family and home. For example, a prompt could ask writers to describe a favorite family tradition or a memorable moment from their childhood home.

These prompts can evoke strong emotions and memories, making the writing process more personal and meaningful.

Another way to incorporate personal elements is to use prompts that relate to favorite movies, words, and meals. These prompts can encourage writers to explore their preferences and reflect on what makes them unique. For example, a prompt could ask writers to describe their favorite movie and explain why it resonates with them. This can help writers develop their voice and style.

Writing prompts can also encourage writers to think about their relationships and goals. Prompts that ask about best friends or bucket lists can inspire writers to reflect on their values and aspirations.

For example, a prompt could ask writers to describe their dream job and explain why it is meaningful to them. This can help writers develop a sense of purpose and direction.

Overall, incorporating personal elements into writing prompts can help writers create more engaging and authentic pieces. By using prompts that relate to family, home, favorite movies, words, meals, best friends, bucket lists, and dream jobs, writers can explore their interests and experiences in a meaningful way.

Writing Prompts for Character Development

When it comes to writing a story, character development is a crucial aspect that can make or break the entire plot. Creating compelling characters that readers can relate to and empathize with is essential to keeping them engaged from beginning to end. Here are some writing prompts to help you develop your characters.

Hero Prompts

  • Describe your hero’s personality in three words.
  • What is your hero’s greatest strength and how does it help them achieve their goals?
  • What is your hero’s biggest fear and how does it hold them back?
  • Write a scene where your hero is faced with a difficult decision that tests their morals and values.
  • How does your hero handle failure and setbacks? Write a scene where they face a major setback and how they overcome it.

Villain Prompts

  • What motivates your villain’s actions? Is it envy, power, or something else?
  • What is your villain’s biggest weakness and how does it lead to their downfall?
  • Write a scene where your villain is faced with a moral dilemma and how they choose to act.
  • What is your villain’s backstory and how did they become the way they are?
  • How does your villain justify their actions to themselves? Write a scene where they have an internal conflict about their actions.

Secondary Character Prompts

  • What is your secondary character’s role in the story?
  • How does your secondary character feel about the hero or villain?
  • Write a scene where your secondary character has to make a difficult decision that affects the hero or villain.
  • What is your secondary character’s backstory and how does it affect their actions in the story?
  • What is your secondary character’s relationship with the hero or villain? Write a scene that shows their dynamic.

Character development is an essential part of writing a story that readers will love. By using these prompts, you can create characters that are relatable, complex, and engaging. Remember to use these prompts as a starting point and let your imagination take over to create unique and memorable characters.

Writing Prompts for Setting and Atmosphere

When it comes to creative writing, setting and atmosphere can help create a vivid and engaging story. Here are some writing prompts to help you get started:

Weather Prompts

Weather can set the mood and tone for a story. Use these prompts to explore different weather conditions:

  • Write about a character who gets lost in a dense fog.
  • Describe a scene where a character is caught in a sudden rainstorm.
  • Create a story that takes place during a snowstorm.
  • Write about a character who is stranded in a desert during a sandstorm.

Location Prompts

The location of a story can be just as important as the characters themselves. Use these prompts to explore different locations:

  • Write about a character who explores an abandoned warehouse.
  • Describe a scene that takes place in a Hollywood movie studio.
  • Create a story that takes place in a small desert town.

Time of Day Prompts

The time of day can also set the mood and tone for a story. Use these prompts to explore different times of day:

  • Write about a character who goes for a midnight walk.
  • Describe a scene that takes place during a sunrise.
  • Create a story that takes place during a sunset.

Remember, these prompts are just a starting point. Use them to spark your imagination and create unique stories that are engaging and entertaining.

Unique Writing Prompts

If you’re looking for writing prompts that are a little different from the usual, here are some unique ideas to get your creative juices flowing:

  • Tea time: Write a story or poem that revolves around a cup of tea. Who is drinking it? What is their mood? What memories or emotions does it bring up for them?
  • Animal kingdom: Write a story from the point of view of an animal. It could be a pet, a wild animal, or even a mythical creature. What do they see, hear, and feel in their world?
  • Phone call: Write a scene that takes place entirely over the phone. Who is calling whom? What is the conversation about? Is it a happy or tense exchange?
  • Kindness challenge: Write about a character who sets out to do one act of kindness every day for a month. What challenges do they face? How do their actions affect those around them?
  • Mirror, mirror: Write a story that involves a magical mirror. What does it show the person who looks into it? Is it a force for good or evil?
  • Moving on: Write a story about someone who is moving to a new place. How do they feel about leaving their old life behind? What adventures await them in their new home?
  • Halloween hijinks: Write a spooky story that takes place on Halloween night. Will your characters encounter ghosts, witches, or something even more terrifying?
  • Alien invasion: Write a story about an alien invasion. How do humans react? Is there a hero who saves the day, or is it a hopeless battle?
  • Legend has it: Write a story based on a local legend or myth. Is there any truth to the tale, or is it just a fanciful story?
  • Teddy bear: Write a story about a teddy bear that comes to life. What adventures does it have with its new human friend?
  • Getaway: Write a story about a character who takes a spontaneous trip. Where do they go, and what do they discover about themselves along the way?
  • Zombie apocalypse: Write a story about a world overrun by zombies. How do the survivors band together to stay alive?
  • Friendship: Write a story about a new friendship that blossoms unexpectedly. What draws the characters together, and what challenges do they face?
  • Rewrite history: Write a story that reimagines a historical event. What if things had gone differently? How would the world be changed?
  • Sounds of nature: Write a story that incorporates the sounds of nature. What do your characters hear, and how does it affect their mood and actions?

These unique writing prompts are just the beginning. Use them as a jumping-off point to explore your own creativity and discover new stories to tell.

Daily Writing and Journaling Prompts

Daily writing prompts are a great way to develop good writing habits and improve your writing skills. They can help you get into the habit of writing regularly, which can be especially helpful for beginners. There are many different types of daily writing prompts, including prompts for journaling, creative writing, and more.

Journaling is a great way to reflect on your thoughts and feelings and can help you gain insight into your own life. Daily journaling prompts can help you get started and keep you motivated. Some popular journaling prompts include writing about your goals, your dreams, your fears, or your daily routine.

Daily writing prompts can also be used for creative writing. These prompts can help you develop your writing skills and explore new ideas. Some popular creative writing prompts include writing about a character, a setting, or a plot.

If you prefer to write in a diary or a letter format, daily writing prompts can still be helpful. You can use prompts to write about your day, your thoughts, or your feelings. You can also use prompts to write letters to yourself or to someone else.

Setting an alarm can be a helpful way to remind yourself to write every day. You can set an alarm for the same time every day, or you can set it for a different time each day to keep things interesting.

Overall, daily writing prompts can be a helpful tool for beginners who want to develop good writing habits and improve their writing skills. By using daily writing prompts, you can get into the habit of writing regularly and explore new ideas and topics.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some simple creative writing prompts.

If you’re a beginner looking for some simple creative writing prompts, you can start with some basic ideas like writing about your daily routine, describing a favorite place, or writing a letter to your future self.

What are the easiest topics to write about?

The easiest topics to write about are those that you are familiar with, such as your hobbies, interests, or experiences. You can also write about your favorite books, movies, or TV shows.

What are 5 minute writing prompts for adults?

If you’re looking for some 5 minute writing prompts for adults, you can try writing a short story about a character who finds a mysterious object, writing a letter to your younger self, or describing a memorable moment from your childhood.

What are good writing prompts?

Good writing prompts are those that inspire you to write and help you develop your writing skills. Some good writing prompts include writing about a difficult decision you had to make, describing a favorite childhood memory, or writing a story from the perspective of an animal.

What are some quick writing prompts?

If you’re short on time and need some quick writing prompts, you can try writing a haiku about a favorite season, writing a letter to your favorite fictional character, or describing a dream you had last night.

What are some daily writing prompts?

Daily writing prompts can help you develop a daily writing habit and improve your writing skills. Some daily writing prompts include writing about a recent accomplishment, describing a favorite place, or writing a story based on a picture.

  • 60+ ChatGPT Prompts for Engaging Social Media Posts

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Looking to come up with the perfect social media post? When your inspiration tank running on empty, you can always turn to ChatGPT for some creative assistance. It’s an AI-powered writing tool that makes content creation quick, easy, and fun. Whether you’re managing a brand, trying to influence, or just looking to jazz up your personal social spaces, ChatGPT (or Narrato’s AI social media post generator ) can assist you in creating engaging content in no time. Just make sure you’ve got the right ChatGPT prompts for social media posts.

In this article, we’ve compiled 60+ ChatGPT prompts for creating fresh, creative, and exciting content for all your social media platforms. So, buckle up, folks! We’re serving up some killer ideas to help you conquer the social media landscape.

ChatGPT and Social Media Marketing

60+ awesome ChatGPT prompts for social media posts

  • ChatGPT prompts for social media content ideas
  • ChatGPT prompts for promotional social posts
  • ChatGPT prompts for holiday-specific social posts
  • ChatGPT prompts for meme posts
  • ChatGPT prompts for Instagram captions
  • ChatGPT prompts for YouTube content
  • ChatGPT prompts to repurpose content into social posts

Narrato AI social media post generator

ChatGPT and social media marketing

We’re in the age of artificial intelligence, and there’s one AI model that’s causing quite a stir in this field – ChatGPT . Developed by OpenAI, it’s a powerful language model that uses machine learning to generate human-like responses to any question that a user inputs. The model was trained on extensive text databases gathered from various sources on the internet. This massive dataset comprised 570GB of data (!) which included Wikipedia articles, web texts, books, and other online content. In total, approximately 300 billion words were input into the system. So, it’s essentially an encyclopedia that can converse with you. What’s equally impressive is its ability to comprehend and produce nuanced, context-sensitive responses, which makes the AI tool extremely useful for marketers.

The power of ChatGPT in social media marketing cannot be underestimated. It can help with various social media content creation tasks like –

  • Social media content ideation
  • Caption writing
  • Social post generation
  • Hashtag suggestions
  • Meme generation
  • Social media ad copywriting
  • And many other social media marketing tasks

The only downside of using ChatGPT writer for social media posts is that you have to learn the art of formulating prompts, which can be a time-consuming exercise, especially for those who are not familiar with the nuances of working with AI models. ChatGPT might also occasionally misinterpret the intent behind a prompt, resulting in responses that don’t align with your expectations. To overcome these limitations, you need a tool that automates prompt creation. Narrato AI is that tool for you.

Narrato’s AI Content Assistant provides 100+ AI tools and templates for content creation, where users can input their requirements and generate content effortlessly. With the AI social media post generator on Narrato, you can generate social posts for your favorite platforms (LinkedIn Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook) using –

It also offers a Twitter thread generator, meme generator, and several other AI tools for social media content ideation, creation, and optimization.

Narrato AI social media post generator

Narrato AI social media post generator

The best part is that you can ensure brand consistency across all your social media content with the help of the AI brand voice generator . This AI tool learns about a brand’s unique tone and style from the sample content provided to create personalized content that will resonate better with the target audience. If you do want an AI Chat tool for additional assistance with social media content, Narrato AI offers that too.

AI Content Genie is another tool offered by Narrato that automates social media content creation. You simply provide your website URL and a few topics you’re interested in, and voilà! Consistently, week after week, it churns out ready-to-publish social media posts (+blog posts) for you, complete with emojis, images, and hashtag suggestions. It’s content creation on autopilot! This tool also provides complete assistance for publishing and scheduling content on social media.

Narrato AI Content Genie

Narrato AI Content Genie

With that, let’s move on to the ChatGPT prompts for social media posts.

These are some ChatGPT prompts for creating social content that will have your followers hooked. Whether you’re running a business account, trying to engage with your followers, or simply want to share some creative content, we’ve got something for everyone.

1. ChatGPT prompts for social media content ideas

When planning content for your social media platforms, you have to put on your thinking cap 24/7. Each post should engage your audience while providing valuable content. Doing this week after week can be exhausting. If you can’t come up with interesting ideas for social media posts, ChatGPT can become your brainstorming partner. From industry-specific themes to great suggestions for posts that will engage your audience, ChatGPT can fuel your creativity and spark ideas that you’ve never thought of before.

Here are some ChatGPT prompts for social media posts ideas that you can try –

  • Generate a list of X interesting ideas for my social media posts on [topic].
  • Give me social post ideas for a [topic]-themed page on [LinkedIn/Twitter/Facebook/Instagram].
  • What kind of content would my audience really enjoy? [Give some information about your target audience]
  • I have a [explain niche] business that sells [explain product]. How can we showcase our products on social media in a more creative way?
  • I have a [explain niche] business that specializes in [explain product or service]. What kind of content should I post on [LinkedIn/Twitter/Facebook/Instagram/YouTube] to get more followers?
  • Can we brainstorm some ideas for my next social media campaign on [explain the theme of the campaign]? I need inspiration for social posts that will target [specify target audience]
  • Think of X [industry]-related topics that our social media followers on [specify platform] would find interesting.
  • Come up with X social media post ideas for [holiday/occasion].
  • I’m looking for fresh, creative ideas for [topic]-related content on social media. Can you suggest some [type of content like photos, videos, or stories] that’ll engage my [social media platform] followers?
  • Give me X ideas for a social media poll around the theme of [specify theme].

ChatGPT prompts for social media posts ideas

Using ChatGPT prompts on Narrato AI to generate ideas for social posts

Alternative tools for social media content ideation

If you need to come up with video titles for your YouTube content, Narrato’s AI content idea generator could be a great choice. It can give you 10 variations for relevant YouTube video titles in a single go. Besides this, Narrato also has an AI social media poll questions generator for coming up with creative ideas for LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram polls.

For discovering the latest social media trends, Fanpage Karma has a fantastic tool that you can try.

2. ChatGPT prompts for promotional social posts

Creating social media content for promotions can feel repetitive. With ChatGPT on your team though, this task becomes a breeze. This handy tool can help you create compelling content that showcases your products, services, or special offers beautifully. Whether your goal is to enhance sales, raise brand awareness, or cultivate a community around your offerings, ChatGPT has your promotional needs covered.

Try these ChatGPT prompts for social media posts promoting products, services, or anything else –

  • I want to spread the word on [specify platform] about our limited-time special offer on [product/service]. Create a social post for [Facebook/Instagram/LinkedIn/Twitter], talking about the benefits of this offer, and create a sense of urgency around it.
  • Craft a fun, easy-to-read social media post that highlights the perks of using [product/service]. Make sure it really connects with [specify target audience] on [Facebook/Instagram/LinkedIn/Twitter].
  • Create a catchy announcement for [Facebook/Instagram/LinkedIn/Twitter] about our upcoming sale on [product category].
  • Compose a social media post for [Facebook/Instagram/LinkedIn/Twitter] that underscores the unique capabilities of our new product [give product info].
  • Write a [Facebook/Instagram/LinkedIn/Twitter] social media post about a customer who found success using our [product/service].
  • Can you create a series of teaser-type social media posts for [Facebook/Instagram/LinkedIn/Twitter] about an upcoming product launch of [give product info]?
  • Create a social media post inviting people to check out the product demo or join a trial session for our [product/service].
  • Write a post that connects the current season/event to a special deal.
  • Craft an announcement post for [Facebook/Instagram/LinkedIn/Twitter] showcasing an exciting new addition to our current product suite.
  • Create a post that showcases feedback on our best-sellers. Here are some customer testimonials for reference: [Add customer testimonials].
  • Create a social post exploring the top X reasons why [product/service] is essential for [target audience].
  • Write a social media post [Facebook/Instagram/LinkedIn/Twitter] clearing up common misunderstandings about our product/service.

ChatGPT prompts for social media posts promotional

Using Narrato’s AI chat for creating promotional social posts

Alternative tools for creating promotional social posts

If you want to create social posts promoting your products/services, you can simply turn your webpage content into a social post. That’s what Narrato’s AI social media post generator from webpage does for you. With this tool, you can extract important details from any webpage and transform them into customized social media posts for specific social platforms.

3. ChatGPT prompts for holiday-specific social posts

Holidays provide a wonderful chance to add a festive touch to your social media strategy and connect with your audience in a more personal way. It’s a perfect opportunity to showcase your brand’s culture and build deeper relationships with your community. If you find yourself in need of some extra help while designing content for holiday-specific social media posts, look no further than ChatGPT. Whether it’s exploring fun holiday themes, brainstorming engaging ways to reach your audience, or showcasing your service or product in a festive light, ChatGPT can help you with it all.

Here are some ChatGPT prompts you can try for creating holiday-specific social posts –

  • Can you provide some ideas for social media content on [Facebook/Instagram/LinkedIn/Twitter] that aligns with [holiday/seasonal event]?
  • Create a cheerful social media update that spreads joy for [holiday].
  • Craft a social media post talking about some must-haves for [holiday]. Include our product [product/service] as one of the must-haves.
  • Craft a story that perfectly embodies the feelings of the [holiday] season.
  • Create a social post sharing some fun facts about [holiday] that the audience might not know much about.
  • Make a social media post that shares the history of [holiday] and why it is important culturally.
  • Create a holiday-themed [Facebook/Instagram/LinkedIn/Twitter] contest for my brand [give brand details].
  • Create a social media post inviting followers to share their unique ways of celebrating [holiday]. Ask them to tag our brand [specify brand name] and use the hashtag [specify hashtag] to get a chance to be featured.
  • Craft a social media post showcasing how our brand is celebrating [holiday]. Include the exclusive discount code we’re offering. [provide brand and offer details]
  • Create a social media post showcasing various ways to make a positive difference or give back during [holiday].

ChatGPT prompts for creating holiday-specific social posts

Using Narrato’s AI chat for creating holiday-specific social posts

Alternative tools for creating holiday-specific social posts

Narrato’s AI social media holiday posts generator can help you create better holiday-specific social posts faster. All the popular holidays for different months are already there in the tool. Choose the holiday you want to create the post for, select your tone and social platform, and generate a post. It’s pretty simple. For creating custom holiday posters, try using a tool like Kittl or Appy Pie Design.

Narrato AI content assistant

4. ChatGPT prompts for meme posts

Not all your social content needs to be serious; humor has its place too. Publishing this kind of content can help you find common ground with your audience. When it comes to injecting humor into your social media strategy, memes are the way to go. Memes are a universal language on social media, bridging the gap between humor and reliability. With ChatGPT suggesting meme post ideas that incorporate the latest movies, viral moments, or TV shows, you can ensure your content stays fresh and relevant.

Try these ChatGPT prompts for social media posts on popular memes –

  • Create a relatable and humorous meme post related to [topic].
  • Can you come up with a witty social media post for [Facebook/Instagram/LinkedIn/Twitter] using a well-known meme for [topic]?
  • I’m looking for a meme post with a witty caption that connects to [current event]. Give me X ideas.
  • I would like to create a funny meme post for [Facebook/Instagram/LinkedIn/Twitter] using a famous quote [specify quote] from [popular movie/TV show]. Generate X ideas for the post.
  • Can you think of a meme post that merges [describe two different ideas you can merge]? Suggest an appropriate caption for the meme.
  • Can you please create a meme post related to the popular internet trend [describe the trend] and add an appropriate caption?
  • Can you think of a funny quote related to [topic] and create a meme post around it?

ChatGPT prompts for social media posts - meme post ideas

Using Narrato’s AI chat for meme post ideas

Narrato offers an AI meme generator to cook up some hilarious meme ideas in a snap. It generates multiple meme ideas and captions based on any theme or topic. For adding funny GIFs or images to your post, Narrato also offers images and graphics tools. Read this in-depth guide on creating viral memes using AI meme generator tools on Narrato.

For turning your meme ideas into memes, you can use online meme makers like Clideo, Kapwing, and Keikey.ai

5. ChatGPT prompts for Instagram captions

Instagram captions are the voice of your brand, adding context, emotion, and a unique character to each post. Adding a caption can boost your engagement rates, effectively raising them from about 5.38% to 6.7% and above. Given the importance of captions, it’s really worth putting some time and creativity into their creation. That’s where ChatGPT can help. Well-crafted Instagram captions often share a common goal: they capture attention, convey a message, and prompt the audience to take some form of action, whether it’s liking, commenting, or sharing. Using the right ChatGPT prompts for Instagram captions, you can create these Instagram captions in no time.

Here are some of our suggestions for ChatGPT prompts for social media posts on Instagram –

  • Come up with an engaging Instagram caption for a post about [topic].
  • Generate X Instagram caption suggestions for an Instagram photo about [Describe photo].
  • Create a funny Instagram caption for this image [describe image].
  • Write an Instagram caption on the topic [explain topic]. Start with a hook line that will catch the reader’s attention immediately.
  • Write an Instagram caption that includes an inspiring quote on [topic].
  • Write an Instagram caption with a thought-provoking question that will engage [target audience].
  • Compose an Instagram caption with a storytelling element on [topic].
  • Generate a playful Instagram caption about a behind-the-scenes look at our brand [describe brand].
  • Write an Instagram caption for this post about [topic] that creates a sense of intrigue and curiosity.
  • Write a compelling call-to-action for this Instagram caption on [topic]: [Add the Instagram caption].
  • Generate a caption that links our brand message with a recent event or trend.
  • Can you help me come up with wordplays or clever puns for an Instagram caption on [topic]? I’m looking for something witty and creative.
  • Create a compelling Instagram caption showcasing the advantages of using our [product/service]. Address specific challenges that our offering can solve and emphasize how it enhances users’ lives, making it simpler, more productive, or more enjoyable. Employ concise language to highlight the benefits.
  • Create an Instagram caption persuading [describe audience persona] to [explain the desired action]. Create a sense of exclusivity and urgency.
  • Write an Instagram caption for a challenge or contest on the theme of [explain topic and theme]

Using Narrato AI Chat for creating Instagram caption

Using Narrato AI Chat for creating Instagram caption

Alternative tools for creating Instagram captions

Narrato offers a fantastic AI Instagram generator to create compelling captions for your post. This tool lets you instantly generate Instagram, captions from notes or a URL. It also adds relevant quotes to the Instagram captions based on chosen themes. For adding compelling CTAs to your Instagram caption, you can try HIX.ai’s CTA generator.

6. ChatGPT prompts for YouTube content

To succeed on YouTube, you need to create high-quality content. The goal is to capture your viewer’s attention in the first few seconds and keep them hooked throughout, using both video and textual content. By the latter, we mean the title, script, descriptions, and any other text you add to your YouTube videos. ChatGPT can help you create better content for all the purposes. Here are some ChatGPT prompts for social media posts to get you started –

  • Help me create an X-minute YouTube video script on [topic].
  • Can you please provide me with X ideas for a YouTube video title on [topic]?
  • Help me create an interesting and captivating YouTube video description for my latest video on [topic].
  • Create a YouTube video script for [topic] using [tone of voice] and targeting [target audience].
  • Give me X ideas for an engaging video script hook for [topic]
  • Write a YouTube video description for the video script provided: [Add video script]
  • Create a compelling CTA for a YouTube video, encouraging viewers to subscribe to the channel.
  • Create a YouTube ad script that highlights a [product/service]’s special features and convinces [target audience] to buy. Create a sense of urgency with the post and offer exclusive deals.

what are some creative writing prompts

Using Narrato AI Chat for creating YouTube video description

Alternative tools for creating YouTube content

For YouTube video content too, Narrato’s AI writer provides many useful tools. There is an AI video script generator and an AI video description generator . Besides that, Narrato also offers a YouTube video idea generator (the content idea generator we’ve mentioned previously). Then there are tools like Nova.ai which offers a YouTube video maker to simplify the video creation process. For YouTube Shorts, you might want to look into Vizard.

7. ChatGPT prompts to repurpose content into social posts

Repurposing content is the best way to maximize the impact of your existing material across various social media platforms. For instance, you might have a well-researched, insightful blog post that is just sitting on your blog, waiting for readers to find it. Snip parts of it into bite-sized tweets, turn it into an engaging infographic for sharing on Pinterest or perhaps adapt it into a series of Instagram Story snippets. You’ll have created more content for different channels, without having to invest a lot of time and effort.

Repurposing content is a strategically brilliant and time-saving way to make a big splash across the social media world. When you have ChatGPT to help you, this gets even easier. Here are some ChatGPT prompts for social media posts that you can use for repurposing content –

  • Help me summarize this content into a social media post for [Facebook/Instagram/LinkedIn/Twitter]: [Add content]
  • Create an [Facebook/Instagram/LinkedIn/Twitter] that gives a brief overview of [insert blog].
  • Can you please summarize the whitepaper [INSERT WHITEPAPER] into a [Facebook/Instagram/LinkedIn/Twitter] social post?
  • Take a look at this video script and create a summary of X key points from the video that we can share on [Facebook/Instagram/LinkedIn/Twitter]: [Add video script]
  • I need you to repurpose content for these social media platforms: [Facebook/Instagram/LinkedIn/Twitter]. Provide me with different versions of the following successful piece of content for each platform: [insert the original content].

what are some creative writing prompts

Using Narrato AI Chat for repurposing content

Alternative tools for repurposing content into social posts

Narrato’s AI repurposing tool could be a great alternative for transforming documents, blogs, text, videos, and more into social media posts. No adding prompts or anything. Simply add your input material, choose your output, the tone you want it in, and any other additional instructions. The AI tool will give you a repurposed version of the content in a snap.

Tips for writing better ChatGPT prompts for social media posts

Although the machine-learning model does a good job generating social media posts, a little guidance can enhance the quality of its output. Here are some tips to help you write better ChatGPT prompts for social media posts:

1. Provide some context

When it comes to content generation, context is king. To get the best results from ChatGPT, ensure your ChatGPT prompts for social media posts have enough context. Rather than starting with a vague prompt, elaborate on your topic, provide specifics, and define the purpose/goal of your post. This gives the AI a focused direction, ensuring your post is on point and engaging.

2. Specify your tone and style

The tone of voice in your social media posts affects how your audience engages with you. With ChatGPT, you can create content that mirrors your brand voice, whether it’s formal, conversational, or quirky. Simply include the tone and style you want in your prompt. For example, you can say, “Create a funny post about our recently released mobile app.”

3. Include information about your target audience

Understanding your audience is key to creating compelling social media posts. If you need a post tailored towards millennials, specify it in your prompt, e.g., “Write a catchy Instagram caption for millennials showing the importance of sustainable fashion.” This way, ChatGPT generates content that resonates with your target audience.

4. Use open-ended questions in ChatGPT prompts

When you add open-ended questions to ChatGPT prompts for social media posts, you transform the way you interact with the AI. Instead of receiving short, direct responses, you can expect more detailed, thoughtful, and engaging responses. For instance, instead of asking “What are the benefits of eating apples?”, you might ask “What are your thoughts on the beneficial properties of apples?”

5. Experiment with different prompts

Lastly, get creative with your prompts. Due to the algorithmic nature of AI, sometimes the output might not be exactly what you expect. Experimenting with different ChatGPT prompts for social media posts allows you to understand what works best for the tool, your brand, and the audience. Try new angles or perspectives, play around with the prompt structure, and test different types of content (polls, quizzes, stories).

Create better content with ChatGPT prompts for social media posts

Inspiration has an amazing new address in AI. We’ve shared over 60 ChatGPT prompts for social media posts to jazz up your social media game and make your presence more engaging and interactive. Play around with these prompts, tweak them to fit your style, and watch your social media content leap to a whole new level. If you want to skip the hassle of prompt engineering, there’s Narrato AI. This AI content creation tool offers some great AI tools and templates to make social media content generation a breeze. Keep your audience engaged, connected, and entertained with high-quality posts generated by this intelligent AI tool.

If you liked this compilation of ChatGPT prompts for social media posts, don’t miss out on these other compilations –

  • 80+ ChatGPT prompts for marketing success
  • 60+ powerful ChatGPT for copywriting
  • 50+ best ChatGPT prompts for SEO content creation

Narrato's AI Content Genie

Akshita is a content creator, with a penchant for turning complex topics into engaging and informative articles. As a wordsmith with a knack for storytelling, she is constantly looking for an opportunity to create something new.

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