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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!

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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.


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."


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).


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").


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).


#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.


#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.


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!


#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).


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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Creative Writing Prompts

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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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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?

use 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.

use 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 or 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.

use 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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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:

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


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


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.


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.


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!

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! 🙂


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

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.

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

Oh great. Good for everyone who enjoys picking the pen and writing something readable

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  • EXPLORE Random Article

How to Use Creative Writing Prompts

Last Updated: October 21, 2021

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Generally, staring at a blank page will not help you begin writing. Sometimes you need help getting over that first hump, as a blank page can be a bit scary. Writing prompts can be beneficial because they can get you started, giving you the inspiration you need. However, you should be aware of a few ground rules when you use them.

Getting Used to Working with a Prompt

Step 1 Use writing prompts as a starting place.

  • For instance, the prompt could be something of this nature: "You open your closet door to find your clothes aren't there anymore. Instead, you see horse-drawn carriages and people walking in what appears to be London. What happens next?"
  • It could be an old postcard, where you write about something related to the picture. It could be an intriguing quote (such as "Half the lies they tell about me aren't true," by Yogi Berra) or even a snippet of someone else's writing.

Step 2 Don’t feel like you need to follow the prompt exactly.

  • That is the whole point of writing prompts; to get you writing, but still allow you to develop your own ideas.

Step 3 Write whatever comes to mind.

  • Don't think too hard about what you should be writing, just write. Try to turn off that really analytical part of your brain that wants to edit as you go.

Step 4 Remember that your writing doesn't need to be perfect in your first few drafts.

  • If you expect your writing to be perfect before you ever put it on the page, you will never write anything. Instead, you'll be plagued by crippling writer's block.
  • Writing takes revision, and the first draft isn't the time to be thinking about editing.

Step 5 Organize and develop your writing.

  • Maybe you just want to use a short passage and develop it into a larger story. Maybe you came up with several ideas that will work for a series of poems. Maybe you have a nearly complete story that just needs some revision.
  • Circle ideas you like. If you really like a paragraph, but it doesn't fit in to what else is going on in your writing, keep it in a word document for later. You might just be able to use it somewhere else.

Step 6 Revise your writing.

  • Don't forget to have someone else read over your work. They can give you invaluable feedback and catch mistakes that you missed.
  • The point of the writing prompt is to get you started, but to be a good writer you also need the drive to keep going and the patience to revise once you have a draft story or poem.

Experimenting with Prompts

Step 1 Try using prompts in a group.

  • Start a story together, with everyone throwing out ideas and one person writing. Alternatively, you can brainstorm ideas together, then write on your own; have someone read the writing prompt, and someone to write on a chalkboard. Have everyone else throw out ideas for the person writing.
  • Once you're finished brainstorming, everyone can break off to write their own ideas based on the prompt and brainstorming.
  • Another method is to have one person start writing from a prompt and then having each person read and contribute to the next section, all done without speaking.

Step 2 Try a new prompt if the one you're using isn’t working for you.

  • If you've given it a good amount of time (at least fifteen minutes), trying using a different one. Sometimes a particular prompt just won't be the right fit.

Step 3 Use only one part of a prompt.

  • "What is the meaning of life? That was all; a simple question that tended to close in on one with years, the great revelation had never come. The great revelation perhaps never did come. Instead, there were little daily miracles, illuminations, matches struck unexpectedly in the dark; here was one."
  • For a prompt like this one, the starting place could be what the "little daily miracle" is. The point is to use it as inspiration to begin writing. When using a writing prompt, start writing as soon as something sparks your curiosity, letting it lead you into the writing process.

Step 4 Create multiple stories from the same prompt.

  • To do this, try thinking about each of your senses (touch, sound, smell, etc) in turn, or use a narrative voice you wouldn't normally consider. Maybe you've never been to war, but you want to imagine a war scenario from different perspectives using a writing prompt.
  • Maybe the prompt is something like "Your country has just entered World War III. How are you involved?" You could write about being a soldier, but you could also write about being a spouse at home, the president sending people to war, or a person on the other side. In other words, write from a different perspective each time. You may even be able to develop the pieces into a series, as they will likely share common characteristics.

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Over 170 Prompts to Inspire Writing and Discussion

Here are all of our Student Opinion questions from the 2020-21 school year. Each question is based on a different New York Times article, interactive feature or video.

<a href="">Related Student Opinion</a>

By The Learning Network

Each school day we publish a new Student Opinion question, and students use these writing prompts to reflect on their experiences and identities and respond to current events unfolding around them. To introduce each question, we provide an excerpt from a related New York Times article or Opinion piece as well as a free link to the original article.

During the 2020-21 school year, we asked 176 questions, and you can find them all below or here as a PDF . The questions are divided into two categories — those that provide opportunities for debate and persuasive writing, and those that lend themselves to creative, personal or reflective writing.

Teachers can use these prompts to help students practice narrative and persuasive writing, start classroom debates and even spark conversation between students around the world via our comments section. For more ideas on how to use our Student Opinion questions, we offer a short tutorial along with a nine-minute video on how one high school English teacher and her students use this feature .

Questions for Debate and Persuasive Writing

1. Should Athletes Speak Out On Social and Political Issues? 2. Should All Young People Learn How to Invest in the Stock Market? 3. What Are the Greatest Songs of All Time? 4. Should There Be More Gender Options on Identification Documents? 5. Should We End the Practice of Tipping? 6. Should There Be Separate Social Media Apps for Children? 7. Do Marriage Proposals Still Have a Place in Today’s Society? 8. How Do You Feel About Cancel Culture? 9. Should the United States Decriminalize the Possession of Drugs? 10. Does Reality TV Deserve Its Bad Rap? 11. Should the Death Penalty Be Abolished? 12. How Should Parents Support a Student Who Has Fallen Behind in School? 13. When Is It OK to Be a Snitch? 14. Should People Be Required to Show Proof of Vaccination? 15. How Much Have You and Your Community Changed Since George Floyd’s Death? 16. Can Empathy Be Taught? Should Schools Try to Help Us Feel One Another’s Pain? 17. Should Schools or Employers Be Allowed to Tell People How They Should Wear Their Hair? 18. Is Your Generation Doing Its Part to Strengthen Our Democracy? 19. Should Corporations Take Political Stands? 20. Should We Rename Schools Named for Historical Figures With Ties to Racism, Sexism or Slavery? 21. How Should Schools Hold Students Accountable for Hurting Others? 22. What Ideas Do You Have to Improve Your Favorite Sport? 23. Are Presidential Debates Helpful to Voters? Or Should They Be Scrapped? 24. Is the Electoral College a Problem? Does It Need to Be Fixed? 25. Do You Care Who Sits on the Supreme Court? Should We Care? 26. Should Museums Return Looted Artifacts to Their Countries of Origin? 27. Should Schools Provide Free Pads and Tampons? 28. Should Teachers Be Allowed to Wear Political Symbols? 29. Do You Think People Have Gotten Too Relaxed About Covid? 30. Who Do You Think Should Be Person of the Year for 2020? 31. How Should Racial Slurs in Literature Be Handled in the Classroom? 32. Should There Still Be Snow Days? 33. What Are Your Reactions to the Storming of the Capitol by a Pro-Trump Mob? 34. What Do You Think of the Decision by Tech Companies to Block President Trump? 35. If You Were a Member of Congress, Would You Vote to Impeach President Trump? 36. What Would You Do First if You Were the New President? 37. Who Do You Hope Will Win the 2020 Presidential Election? 38. Should Media Literacy Be a Required Course in School? 39. What Are Your Reactions to the Results of Election 2020? Where Do We Go From Here? 40. How Should We Remember the Problematic Actions of the Nation’s Founders? 41. As Coronavirus Cases Surge, How Should Leaders Decide What Stays Open and What Closes? 42. What Is Your Reaction to the Inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris? 43. How Worried Should We Be About Screen Time During the Pandemic? 44. Should Schools Be Able to Discipline Students for What They Say on Social Media? 45. What Works of Art, Culture and Technology Flopped in 2020? 46. How Do You Feel About Censored Music? 47. Why Do You Think ‘Drivers License’ Became Such a Smash Hit? 48. Justice Ginsburg Fought for Gender Equality. How Close Are We to Achieving That Goal? 49. How Well Do You Think Our Leaders Have Responded to the Coronavirus Crisis? 50. To What Extent Is the Legacy of Slavery and Racism Still Present in America in 2020? 51. How Should We Reimagine Our Schools So That All Students Receive a Quality Education? 52. How Concerned Do You Think We Should Be About the Integrity of the 2020 Election? 53. What Issues in This Election Season Matter Most to You? 54. Is Summer School a Smart Way to Make Up for Learning Lost This School Year? 55. What Is Your Reaction to the Senate’s Acquittal of Former President Trump? 56. What Is the Worst Toy Ever? 57. How Should We Balance Safety and Urgency in Developing a Covid-19 Vaccine? 58. What Are Your Reactions to Oprah’s Interview With Harry and Meghan? 59. Should the Government Provide a Guaranteed Income for Families With Children? 60. Should There Be More Public Restrooms? 61. Should High School-Age Basketball Players Be Able to Get Paid? 62. Should Team Sports Happen This Year? 63. Who Are the Best Musical Artists of the Past Year? What Are the Best Songs? 64. Should We Cancel Student Debt? 65. How Closely Should Actors’ Identities Reflect the Roles They Play? 66. Should White Writers Translate a Black Author’s Work? 67. Would You Buy an NFT? 68. Should Kids Still Learn to Tell Time? 69. Should All Schools Teach Financial Literacy? 70. What Is Your Reaction to the Verdict in the Derek Chauvin Trial? 71. What Is the Best Way to Stop Abusive Language Online? 72. What Are the Underlying Systems That Hold a Society Together? 73. What Grade Would You Give President Biden on His First 100 Days? 74. Should High Schools Post Their Annual College Lists? 75. Are C.E.O.s Paid Too Much? 76. Should We Rethink Thanksgiving? 77. What Is the Best Way to Get Teenagers Vaccinated? 78. Do You Want Your Parents and Grandparents to Get the New Coronavirus Vaccine? 79. What Is Your Reaction to New Guidelines That Loosen Mask Requirements? 80. Who Should We Honor on Our Money? 81. Is Your School’s Dress Code Outdated? 82. Does Everyone Have a Responsibility to Vote? 83. How Is Your Generation Changing Politics?

Questions for Creative and Personal Writing

84. What Does Your Unique Style Say About You? 85. How Do You Spend Your Downtime? 86. Would You Want to Live to 200? 87. How Do You Connect to Your Heritage? 88. What Do You Think Are the Secrets to Happiness? 89. Are You a Sneakerhead? 90. What Role Have Mentors Played in Your Life? 91. If You Could Make Your Own Podcast, What Would It Be About? 92. Have You Ever Felt Pressure to ‘Sell Your Pain’? 93. Do You Think You Make Good Climate Choices? 94. What Does TikTok Mean to You? 95. Do Your Parents Overpraise You? 96. Do You Want to Travel in Space? 97. Do You Feel You’re Friends With Celebrities or Influencers You Follow Online? 98. Would You Eat Food Grown in a Lab? 99. What Makes You Cringe? 100. What Volunteer Work Would You Most Like to Do? 101. How Do You Respond When People Ask, ‘Where Are You From?’ 102. Has a School Assignment or Activity Ever Made You Uncomfortable? 103. How Does Your Identity Inform Your Political Beliefs and Values? 104. Are You an Orchid, a Tulip or a Dandelion? 105. Are You Having a Tough Time Maintaining Friendships These Days? 106. How Is Your Mental Health These Days? 107. Do You Love Writing or Receiving Letters? 108. What Has Television Taught You About Social Class? 109. Are You Easily Distracted? 110. What Objects Bring You Comfort? 111. What Is Your Favorite Memory of PBS? 112. Have You Ever Felt Embarrassed by Your Parents? 113. What Are You Doing to Combat Pandemic Fatigue? 114. Have You Ever Worried About Making a Good First Impression? 115. What Do You Want Your Parents to Know About What It’s Like to Be a Teenager During the Pandemic? 116. How Have You Collaborated From a Distance During the Pandemic? 117. How Important Is It to You to Have Similar Political Beliefs to Your Family and Friends? 118. How Are You Feeling About Winter This Year? 119. Which Celebrity Performer Would You Like to Challenge to a Friendly Battle? 120. How Mentally Tough Are You? 121. What Smells Trigger Powerful Memories for You? 122. What Are You Thankful for This Year? 123. Do You Miss Hugs? 124. Are You a Good Conversationalist? 125. What Habits Have You Started or Left Behind in 2020? 126. What Was the Best Art and Culture You Experienced in 2020? 127. What’s Your Relationship With Masks? 128. What Role Does Religion Play in Your Life? 129. How Will You Be Celebrating the Holidays This Year? 130. What Is Something Good That Happened in 2020? 131. What New Flavor Ideas Do You Have for Your Favorite Foods? 132. What Are Your Hopes and Concerns for the New School Year? 133. How Has 2020 Challenged or Changed You? 134. What Do You Hope for Most in 2021? 135. How Do You View Death? 136. What Is Your Favorite Fact You Learned in 2020? 137. What Are the Places in the World That You Love Most? 138. Have You Ever Experienced ‘Impostor Syndrome’? 139. How Well Do You Get Along With Your Siblings? 140. Do You Talk to Your Family About the Cost of College? 141. Do You Have a Healthy Diet? 142. How Do You Feel About Mask-Slipping? 143. Do You Believe in Manifesting? 144. How Do You Express Yourself Creatively? 145. What Are Your Family’s House Rules During the Covid Crisis? 146. What Online Communities Do You Participate In? 147. Have You Experienced Any Embarrassing Zoom Mishaps? 148. What Does Your Country’s National Anthem Mean to You? 149. Are Sports Just Not the Same Without Spectators in the Stands? 150. Would You Volunteer for a Covid-19 Vaccine Trial? 151. What ‘Old’ Technology Do You Think Is Cool? 152. Have You Ever Tried to Grow Something? 153. How Has the Pandemic Changed Your Relationship to Your Body? 154. How Do You Find New Books, Music, Movies or Television Shows? 155. Are You Nervous About Returning to Normal Life? 156. How Do You Celebrate Spring? 157. How Do You Talk With People Who Don’t Share Your Views? 158. Would You Want to Be a Teacher Someday? 159. What Would You Recommend That Is ‘Overlooked and Underappreciated’? 160. What Children’s Books Have Had the Biggest Impact on You? 161. What Is Your Gender Identity? 162. Have You Hit a Wall? 163. What Is the Code You Live By? 164. Do You Think You Have Experienced ‘Learning Loss’ During the Pandemic? 165. What Are the Most Memorable Things You’ve Seen or Experienced in Nature? 166. Do You Want to Have Children Someday? 167. What Have You Learned About Friendship This Year? 168. What Seemingly Mundane Feats Have You Accomplished? 169. Has a Celebrity Ever Convinced You to Do Something? 170. How Have You Commemorated Milestones During the Pandemic? 171. How Often Do You Read, Watch or Listen to Things Outside of Your Comfort Zone? 172. Do You Think You Live in a Political Bubble? 173. What Is Your Relationship With the Weight-Loss Industry? 174. What Have You Made This Year? 175. How Are You Right Now? 176. What Are You Grateful For?

Want more writing prompts?

You can find even more Student Opinion questions in our 300 Questions and Images to Inspire Argument Writing , 550 Prompts for Narrative and Personal Writing and 130 New Prompts for Argumentative Writing . We also publish daily Picture Prompts , which are image-centered posts that provide space for many different kinds of writing. You can find all of our writing prompts, added as they publish, here .

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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 .

See more courses

Carol ann duffy, lee child, alan moore, julia donaldson, jed mercurio, malorie blackman.

The Write Practice

The Only 10 Creative Writing Prompts You Need

by Joe Bunting | 54 comments

You get better at any skill through practice. Prompts are a great way to practice writing (as you might imagine, we're really into practice here), and in this post, I have ten of our best creative writing prompts.

Try a few out, and if you're ready to take the next step in your writing, check out our 100 Best Short Story Ideas .

10 Best Creative Writing Prompts

How To Use These Creative Writing Prompts

At the end of every article on The Write Practice , we include a writing prompt so you can put what you just learned to use immediately. And we invite you to share your writing with our community so you can get feedback on your work.

The Write Practice is more than just a writing blog. It's a writing  workbook , and we think it's the best one on the Internet (of course, we're a bit biased).

One of the most important parts of practice is getting feedback, and we want to help YOU get feedback on your writing. To do that, choose one of the prompts, write for 15 minutes, and then copy and paste your practice into the box at the bottom to post your practice in our forum for feedback. You'll be able to read others' practice and give feedback too.

And if you want even more prompts, you can download our workbook,  14 Prompts , for free here (it's normally, $5.99).

Our Most Popular Creative Writing Prompts

Why not try using two or three of these creative writing prompts in your writing today? Who knows, you might even begin something that becomes your next novel to write or short story. It's happened to Write Practicers before!

Enjoy the writing prompts!

My 3 Favorite Writing Prompts

Write about a time you felt out of place, awkward, and uncomfortable. Try not to focus on your feelings, but project your feelings onto the things around you.

Write about a ghost. How do they feel about the world? What do they see and hear? How did they become a ghost?

  • Your characters haven’t gotten any sleep. Write about why, and how they respond to being sleepless.

1. Grandfathers

Write about a grandfather, maybe your grandfather or your character's grandfather. What memories do you/does your character associate with him?

See the prompt: Grandfathers

Creative Writing Prompts

2. Sleepless

Your characters haven’t gotten any sleep. Write about it.

See the prompt: Sleepless

Creative Writing Prompts

3. Out of Place

See the prompt: Out of Place

Creative Writing Prompts

Write about longing. How does it feel to go about a normal day when your character wants something else?

See the prompt: Longing

Creative Writing Prompts

5. Write About Yourself

Write about yourself.

See the writing prompt: Write About Yourself

Creative Writing Prompts

See the prompt: 3 Reasons to Write About Ghosts

Creative Writing Prompts

7. Road Trip

Write about a road trip. Is your character escaping something? Is your character looking for something? Hint at the thing without telling us while describing what the character sees.

See the writing prompt: Road Trip

Creative Writing Prompts

Write about the morning. What are your character's morning routines? What is special about this  morning?

See the prompt: Morning

Creative Writing Prompts

9. The Beach

Write about the beach. Is your character reflecting on something important that has happened to them? Describe the memory while overlaying the sights, sounds, and smells of the beach onto them.

See the prompt: The Beach

Creative Writing Prompts

Write about autumn. Natural surroundings can bring up old memories and odd feelings. Describe what your character sees, feels, and most of all does.

See the prompt: Autumn

Creative Writing Prompts

Do you use writing prompts in your writing? What is your favorite prompt for ideas? Share in the comments .

For today's practice, choose one of these prompts and write for fifteen minutes . When you're finished with your practice, share it in the practice box below. Don't forget to leave feedback for three other writers.

Happy writing!

' src=

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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Join over 450,000 readers who are saying YES to practice. You’ll also get a free copy of our eBook 14 Prompts :

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use creative writing prompts

50 creative writing prompts to enrich your craft

Creative writing prompts provide a useful way to jog inspiration. Try these creative writing exercises focused on individual elements of storytelling:

  • Post author By Jordan
  • 13 Comments on 50 creative writing prompts to enrich your craft

Typewriter with lightbulb symbolizing writing prompts and inspiration

Creative writing prompts – find inspiration to:

Create compelling dialogue, craft vivid setting descriptions, create interesting characters, create strong story openings, master tense, craft more effective sentences and phrases, find story ideas.

  • Create eventful plots

Craft satisfying story endings

1. a relocation.

Prompt: A character is moving to another city. She visits her favourite public place and sees something that makes her want to stay. Describe this in 500 words, using third person POV (he/she). Then rewrite in first person, using ‘I’.

Why: Rewriting third person scenes (especially emotional ones) in first person helps you find your character’s voice. You’re telling the reader what your character thinks as your character, not an observer. When you rewrite in third person (if you prefer this POV), some of this immediacy will carry over.

Prompt: A character is being chased by a villain or villainous group through an abandoned warehouse. Describe their fear and lucky escape in 500 words or less. Rewrite the piece from the viewpoint of the villain(s).

Why: Rewriting a protagonist’s scenes from the antagonist’s perspective can help you create a more realistic sense of threat, since you will be able to picture the protagonist as well as antagonist’s movements and psychological state clearer.

3. A late arrival

Prompt:  A character arrives late to a party, not knowing that an old significant other is attending too. The relationship didn’t end well. The host introduces them to each other, unaware of their history.

In 500 words or less, write the scene and rewrite it twice, once from each character’s perspective: The late arriver, the ex and the host.

Why: Sometimes a story scene can be effective written from a secondary character’s point of view. Writing as a neutral observer might help you notice details worth including in the scene (such as the main characters’ actions and body language); actions that you wouldn’t think about as much if you were writing from a different viewpoint.

How to Write Scenes Free Guide


Read a guide to writing scenes with purpose that move your story forward.

4. A long affair

Prompt: A POV writing exercise courtesy of Writer’s Digest:

A teenage couple is sitting at a restaurant, playfully making up a fake Cosmo love test for each other. What questions do they ask each other? Now, write the same scene, but this time the couple is in their thirties. How would the questions differ? Write the same scene again, but this time the couple has been married for fifteen years. How would their questions be different than the other two tests?

Why: Character development makes your characters feel real. Rewriting scenes from the POV of younger and older versions of your characters will give you a sense of how your characters’ voices and concerns could change over the course of your novel realistically.

5. A change of view

Prompt:  A detective is called to a small hotel to investigate the disappearance of a guest. Describe him searching the guest’s room in 500 words or less. Use first person POV. Then rewrite the scene in the second person (using ‘you’ to describe his actions, as though the reader were the detective).

Why: Although the second person is very uncommon as a point of view, writing a series of actions in second person can help you get into descriptive mode – you’re putting the reader immediately in the viewpoint character’s shoes, making them see and do exactly what your character sees and does.

Creative writing prompt - dialogue between fighting lovers

6. An argument

Prompt:  Two lovers are having an argument in a bar. Character one hates public displays and is trying to calm the situation. Character two doesn’t care at all what other patrons think. Write their exchange in 500 words or less.

Why: Conflict in dialogue makes it lively and the raised stakes draw readers in. The point of this creative writing prompt is to remind you to include individual characters’ differing psychologies and likes and dislikes so that each character’s voice is distinct.A new tag

7. Remove dialogue tags

Prompt 7:  Take several lines of dialogue (either your own or another writer’s work) that use dialogue tags (‘he said’, ‘she said’).

Rewrite the exchange without any dialogue tags, describing each character’s body language (e.g. crossing arms, pacing back and forth, sitting down, standing up) between their spoken lines instead. (E.g. “You said the same thing yesterday.” She crosses her arms, leaning back.)

Why: Dialogue tags can be distracting and repetitive. Body language can show how your characters are speaking and feeling without telling the reader outright, and this brings characters to life.

8. A public figure

Prompt:  A public figure (a celebrity or politician) is giving a long speech when they are interrupted by a member of the audience and heckled. The speaker loses their calm and responds to the heckler in far more informal speech.

Why: We use different ways of talking depending on whom we address. Creating sudden shifts in how a character talks in scenarios such as this helps us remember to vary a character’s expression according to their circumstances.

9. An elevator pitch

Prompt:  Two characters have been stuck in a lift for an hour. They were strangers but they begin opening up, telling each other about their lives while they wait for assistance. Their conversation is awkward at first but by the end it’s as though they’re old friends. Use 500 words or less.

Why: Creating a sense of progression in dialogue shows change and this change and sense of development is a large part of what makes a story interesting.

10. A group project

Prompt: . Four college students have been put in a group to compile a report. Each has a very different work approach. One student loves to research first, another likes to organize people and delegate tasks, one is a lazy slacker and one just agrees with everyone else to avoid conflict. Write their argument about how to complete the project.

Why: It’s important when writing multi-character scenes to give each character a voice that corresponds to their immediate goals as well as personalities. This exercise will help you create multi-character scenes that are complex and rich with dramatic potential.

[Try extra character writing exercises here for further practice.]

11. A lone hiker

Prompt: Imagine your character has gone hiking in a forest on a mountainside. There is nobody else around. Describe what they hear as they pass through different parts – a densely wooded area, a stream, and a high ravine.

Why: Often when we write setting we rely on visual description almost exclusively. Creative writing prompts that help you invoke the other senses will help you create fuller mental imagery for readers.

12. A city changes

Prompt:  Describe the general goings-on in a city over the past 100 years. In the course of your description, describe at least one major landmark that’s changed as well as one memorable event that residents won’t soon forget.

Why: Writing setting well, especially in historical fiction, requires showing place as dynamic rather than static. The process of time changes a place and showing these changes occasionally makes your novel’s locations feel real.

13. A sailor’s impressions

Prompt: Describe a seaside city from the viewpoint of a traveler who is visiting for the first time. Describe the same place again from the viewpoint of a local. Think about the different places in the city each would find interesting, and have each character list three things they love and three things they hate about the city.

Why: Characters’ relations to places affect what they notice about them and where they go, and the same place in your novel can have multiple qualities depending on whose POV is being used. A visiting character might end up eating at awful tourist-bait diners, for example, while a local is more likely to avoid these.

14. A house changes

Prompt: Describe a big, rambling house in the daytime and make it seem comfortable and homely. Rewrite the piece, keeping everything except the adjectives the same. Change the describing words you use so the house feels sinister, eerie or outright terrifying.

Why:  In setting, time of day and place work together to establish mood and atmosphere. This exercise will help you show how places take on different characters according to the conditions under which we experience them.

15. A character’s refuge

Prompt:  Imagine your character has a favourite place they escape to whenever they feel stressed or need quality alone time. It could be somewhere in nature or else an inner city café, music hall or public library. Describe this setting in 500 words including at least three of senses: smell, touch, sound, sight or taste.

Why: Involving the reader’s senses in your settings makes your fictional world easier to imagine. We form memories of places not just through vision but the other senses too. Do this exercise regularly to create memorable locations for your story.

16. A Mary Sue

Prompt: Describe a character who is loved by everyone (if you’ve seen the cult classic show  Twin Peaks , Laura Palmer is a good example). Describe the character and what is so lovely about her in 500 words or less, but end with a secret or flaw that not everyone sees.

Why: Story characters who are perfect are boring. Great characters are light and shade. ‘Good characters’ can have flaws and ‘bad’ characters can have pasts that show the reader a human side. The villain Lord Voldemort in J.K. Rowling’s  Harry Potter  series was once an ordinary boy.

17. A police line-up

Prompt: Imagine a character who witnessed a crime has to identify the perpetrator in a police line-up. Each of the suspects is quite similar looking but there is one vivid aspect of the guilty party that stands out. Describe your character noticing this stand-out feature and realizing who the guilty suspect is in 500 words or less.

Why:  When we describe characters, we often reach for the most obvious physical features such as hairstyle and eye colour. But these are seldom particularly identifying and can read as clichéd. When readers could spot your characters in a police line-up, you’ll know they are vivid. [Someone on Tumblr used forensics software to put together sketches of famous literary characters based on their descriptions: See more here ].

18.A formative experience

Prompt: Imagine a character who has a single, over-arching goal in his or her life (it could be the quest for money or love, status or acceptance, for example). Now describe a single event from your character’s life that strongly influenced their adopting this goal. Describe the event from the character’s viewpoint as a memory, in 500 words  or less.

Why:  Even if you don’t explicitly mention a character’s entire backstory in your novel, knowing details about  why  your character wants and strive for specific things will help you create a three-dimensional cast for your novel.

19. An intriguing voice

Prompt: Go to YouTube. Click on a random video and quickly minimize the window before you see anything. Describe the voice of the first person you hear speaking, in detail. Is there any defining characteristic? Is it low, high, raspy, clear? Do they have a stutter or an odd way of starting, pausing, or ending sentences? Begin with ‘Her/his voice is/was like…’

Why:  Thinking about the differences in how people sound and express themselves will help you write characters whose voices are unique and interesting.

20. A metamorphosis

Prompt:   It’s fun to ask yourself questions such as ‘if my character were an animal/song/building/food item, what would they be?’ Imagine a character in her mid 40’s who’s a schoolteacher. Her class loves her because she’s a bit odd and quirky. Now answer these questions:

If my character were an animal what would she be and why?

If my character were a song, what would it be and why?

Why:  Creative writing prompts that involve asking questions about imaginary people help to create a more concrete idea of them in your mind’s eye. Even if your reader doesn’t know every little thing about your character, you should have a very deep understanding of them yourself so that, if they’re faced with a specific situation, you will already have some intuition as to how they will react.

21. A dramatic incident

Prompt:  Begin an opening sentence with a character having died. For example, Faulkner begins his acclaimed story ‘A Rose for Emily’ thus:

When Miss Emily Grierson died, our whole town went to her funeral: the men through a sort of respectful affection for a fallen monument, the women mostly out of curiosity to see the inside of her house, which no one save an old man-servant–a combined gardener and cook–had seen in at least ten years. William Faulkner, ‘A Rose for Emily’. Available online here .

Why:  Dramatic story openings that leave things unanswered pull the reader in. How exactly was Miss Emily a monument? Why is she so intriguing to the town and why had nobody seen the inside of her house? How did she die? Faulkner leaves many questions to answer in the course of the story.

Story opening writing prompt using 'if'

22. A narrator’s regret

Prompt: Begin a story with the words ‘If I’d known then what I know now, I never would have…’ Continue the opening for up to 500 words.

Why:  Conditionals (if, would, could, etc.) create a question in the reader: ‘Then what?’ Beginning a story with a character talking about having grown or acquired new knowledge in some way makes it clear to the reader that there has been momentous change of some kind, and change is what creates story.

23. An uncommon birth

Prompt:  Begin a story ‘I was born…’ Many classic novels that are  bildungsromans  (stories about coming of age) follow this format (e.g.  David Copperfield  by Charles Dickens and  Midnight’s Children  by Salman Rushdie).

Why:  Great characters have history and can remember (and are driven to some extent by) important life events. You don’t have to give your character’s life history from the day they were born. But write a list for each character in your novel about important events in their life, even if we only meet them when they are in their thirties.

24. A strange action

Prompt: Begin a story with a surprising or unusual action. For example, ‘I rushed around the house in terror, turning every tap on full’.

Why:  The mundane and everyday can happen in the course of your novel. But keep the most mundane parts of your book for any part but the beginning. An unusual or inexplicable action as an opening creates curiosity.

25. An encompassing idea

Prompt: Write a first line that encompasses the whole of a story idea. For example, the first line of The Lord of the Rings   written this way could be ‘I had been to Mount Doom and back, and everything in the Shire had changed.’ This great exercise was suggested by Joe Bunting of The Write Practice in his post on writing great first lines .

Why:  Being able to condense your story into a single line is a good skill to have. It’s often best to write the first line of your novel once you have finished your first draft, too, and once you have all the details of plot you’ll be especially able to find an opening that encompasses the central ideas your book covers.

26. A marriage day

Prompt: Imagine a character describing her wedding day. Describe how she and her future spouse walk down the aisle and how she feels about the occasion, all in the present tense and first person plural (‘we’). Then rewrite the passage in the future tense (‘We will’).

Why: Different tenses and moods have interesting effects (e.g. the subjunctive mood is used to describe hypothetical situations – ‘if I had been president, I would have…’). Rewriting an important event in the future tense can show a character’s longing or the castles in the sky they are building. Writing the above scenario this way can be very effective if you will later show how the event did not go to plan at all. It will let you create a contrast between expectation and reality and this element of surprise is a satisfying component of storytelling.

27. A revelation

Prompt:  Your character is a high school student who has just sat his exams.

Describe the exams he has completed in the recent past tense (e.g. ‘Yesterday, I wrote history and my pen ran out of ink in the middle of the French Revolution’).

Now rewrite the piece in the past perfect (past perfect tense shows actions that are complete, e.g. ‘I had walked to the exam venue at 8:00 am.’) End the rewrite with a revelation that came on the last day (for example, the entire class had to re-sit the exam because there was a mix-up with question papers).

Why:  Past perfect tense is useful for creating anticipation, because it shows something happened before something else . The reader says to herself ‘I see that all these actions have been completed, so what are they leading to?’ Mastering past perfect will help you create a more complex sense of time and chronology in your novel.

28. An interview

Prompt: Describe a character waiting nervously outside a venue for a job interview. Describe what they are worried they will be asked and in what ways they feel prepared. Write in recent past tense, ending with ‘the door opened’. After this, rewrite the same scene in the present progressive tense (beginning ‘I am sitting outside….’ and ending ‘the door opens…’)

Why:  It is important to be consistent with tense in a single section of your book or scene, unless transitions between tenses are logical and easy to follow (for example, a character shifting from sharing a memory to describing a present action). Mastering ‘present progressive tense’ (the tense using present participles that shows immediate, current action) will help you create active scenes that unfold in front of the reader.

29. A five-year plan

Prompt: Describe a character making plans for where they will be in life when they reach 30. Make several uses of the future perfect tense that indicates an action that will be complete in the future (e.g. ‘I will have finished studying’).

Why:  Characters, like real people, project themselves into the future, imagining when certain tasks or undertakings will be finished and what their achievements will look like. Future perfect tense shows that the narrator’s current situation has a definite end-point, making it clear that your character is in a state of transition. This helps to create a sense of both shorter time and longer time scales in your novel.

30. An unexpected visitor

Prompt: Begin a story about an unexpected visit with the words ‘I had not been expecting anyone, but…’ Use the past perfect progressive tense (‘I had been [working/walking/thinking/waiting/missing]’) at least two more times in the exercise.

Why:  The past perfect progressive tense is used to describe a continuous action that was completed in the past. It’s useful for writing about interruptions because there is an implied ‘but’ or ‘when something else happened’. For example ‘I had been reclining by the pool with my eyes closed when I heard an unfamiliar voice.’

31. An imperfect copy

Prompt: Open a favorite book to a random page and pick a paragraph. Copy out the paragraph but change every adjective to a synonym. Compare the two versions and note any differences in connotations. For example ‘green’ describes the color, but ‘verdant’ describes the green of lush vegetation or grasslands specifically.

Why:  When you rewrite, finding more descriptive alternatives for words that perhaps aren’t carrying enough weight will make your writing more vivid.

32. A marathon

Prompt:  Write a scene where your main character is running a competitive marathon. Describe her progress and feelings as she nears the finish line. The first time around, use adverbs (e.g. ‘I ran quickly around the bend in the road’), then rewrite using descriptive verbs instead of verb-plus-adverb (e.g. ‘I hurtled/sprinted’, instead of ‘I ran quickly’).

Why:  Adverbs tell the reader how an action is performed, while active verbs show that specific quality of action more imaginatively.

33. A synonymous exchange

Prompt: Write a scene between two characters who are out on a date at a restaurant. They mirror each other’s gestures from time to time in a subconscious display of affinity. For the first pass, use the same words for these gestures (e.g. ‘She smiled at me as she returned from the restroom and I smiled back.’) The second time around, take all the double words (e.g. ‘smiled’ and ‘smiled’) and replace one with a synonym so there is less repetition.

Why:  Sometimes it is hard not repeating the same word in short succession or you do so intentionally for effect. Yet using the same describing words within a short space of time for different objects or actions can feel amateurish and repetitive to readers. Use this exercise to practice creating variation and to expand your repertoire of useful synonyms.

34. A precocious child

Prompt: Write a scene in which your main character is talking with a precocious child who uses big words a lot (such as ‘precocious’, meaning showing certain abilities or interests at a younger age than the norm). Then go through the scene and find the shortest possible alternative for every longer word. An alternative to ‘precocious’ could be ‘clever’.

Why:  Learning to simplify your writing and strip it down to its most basic meanings is important for becoming a good editor. Before you can write great ornate prose, you need to have a good sense of how to write simply and sparingly.

35. A letter

Prompt: Write a scene in the passive voice, where a character receives bad news in a letter and describes being given the letter and reading it. For example, ‘The letter was given to me yesterday.’ Then rewrite the whole scene in the active voice, where the character is in the subject position: ‘I received a letter yesterday.’

Why:  A lot has been written about using active voice rather than passive voice. Passive voice can be used intentionally to create the impression that a character is fairly passive in their life and pushed and pulled by others. Generally, though, active characters are interesting to read about because we have a sense of their actions being purposeful and driven by some or other immediate goal, and that creates stakes that arouse interest.

36. A newsworthy hook

Prompt: Go to Google search and click on ‘news’, then type in a single word. It can be the name of a place, a colour, a job description. Then use the first line of the top result to begin a story and continue for 500 words. For example, for ‘purple’ the current result is ‘Jimi Hendrix would have been perfectly comfortable with the purple haze of uncertainty that surrounds many of the Liberal government’s most pressing agenda items.’ Granted, it would be an odd story, but you could write speculative fiction about Jimi Hendrix returning from the dead to be a guitar-playing political commentator.

Why:  News articles are a great source of story ideas, from the ordinary to the bizarre.

37. A chance find

Prompt:  Open a favourite novel to a random page. Use the first 5-7 words of the first complete sentence to begin writing a story. For example, from Haruki Murakami’s  The Wind-up Bird Chronicle:  ‘I was going to beat him…’

Why:  Other writers’ books are filled with great turns of phrase. A single image or action can spark your imagination and start off an interesting story.

38. An autocomplete

Prompt: Go to Google search and start typing in a phrase beginning ‘What if’. Look in the auto-complete suggestions that pop up (for ‘what if everyone was’ a suggestion is ‘what if everyone was vegan’). Write a story opening up to 500 words long that explores this idea in greater detail.

Why:  Many great stories and novels branch out from a simple premise. For example, C.S. Lewis’ great fantasy novel  The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe  starts from the question ‘what if there were another world where animals could talk and we could reach it through secret portals?’

39. A blind stroke of luck

Prompt: Open a dictionary to a random page five times, close your eyes and land your finger on a random word. Write each of the five down and try to combine them into a story idea. For example, for ‘alternative’, ‘full’, ‘discovery’, ‘critic’ and ‘original’, you could come up with ‘A critic obsessed with Kafka makes a discovery – a drawer full of alternative original drafts of stories that seem to give a cryptic message.’

Why:  Using random techniques can jog your creativity and help you find curious combinations of subject matter you’d never normally dream of writing about.

40. A song to start it all

Prompt: Take a playlist on a music streaming service or your own device and select shuffle.

Press play and use the words of the title as either the opening of a story or to create the main idea. For example, the words ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ (the title of a song by the band Joy Division) could be words a character thinks in a story about an unhappy love affair.

Why:  Songs are great sources of writing inspiration because they are often ambiguous and allow us to fill in the gaps using our own imaginations.

Create eventful plots

41. a great win.

Prompt: Write a scene in which a person wins the lottery. Describe their excitement and the lead-up to claiming their ticket, and the moment that they find out that they got the date of the draw wrong and didn’t win anything after all.

Why:  The ‘reversal of fortune’ is a common ingredient of tragedy and drama. Practice writing about reversals of fortune to improve at creating the rising and falling action of dramatic moments in your stories’ plots.

42. A prophecy

Prompt: Write a scene in which a prophet comes to a village and shares a premonition that throws the townspeople into turmoil. Describe how a main character decides to set about resolving the situation.

Why:  The catalyst for your story, the inciting event that sets it in motion, needs to create tension (whether between characters or within one character) that begs resolution. This exercise will help you practice creating action-centered story beginnings.

43. A betrayal

Prompt:  Write a scene in which two old friends have a fight that threatens to dissolve their friendship for good. It could be a fight over a clash of values or a personal betrayal. Towards the end, show that there is a glimmer of hope that they will reconcile.

Why:  Conflict (whether internal or between characters) is the lifeblood of great plots. If everything is easy and straightforward for your characters, the stakes are low and the reader invests less emotionally.

44. An adoption

Prompt: A woman has been searching for her birth mother for years because there are important questions she needs to ask her. She’s finally found the right address and has made contact, and the woman has invited her over. Start with ‘She rings the bell’ and describe their interaction for about 500 words.

Why:  Climactic plot moments are opportunities to create suspense and resolution. Isolating and practicing writing moments of plot revelation will help you handle moments of truth creatively and assuredly.

45. A new piece of evidence

Prompt: A detective has been on the hunt for a notorious killer for years. He’s finally tracked him down to a hideout and the detective manages to cuff and arrest him. But while combing through the killer’s hideout, the detective makes a shocking discovery that opens a whole new chapter. Write an ending for this story that also suggests the beginning of a new plot line.

Why:  Writing a book series is challenging, and knowing how to create new arcs even as you resolve major ones helps to keep readers invested in seeing what your protagonist will face next.

46. A late pardon

Prompt: A man imprisoned wrongly for a crime is released after 20 years. He’s lost touch with his family. Describe his surprise homecoming in 500 words or less.

Why:  Dramatic stories that carry a lot of emotional weight need to be resolved satisfyingly. If your protagonist has suffered immensely, the ultimate deliverance should read as comparatively immense. This exercise will help you find dramatic story endings for dramatic beginnings.

47. A better ending

Prompt: Take a novel that had an ending you found unsatisfying. Rewrite the ending and change elements so that you’re happy with the outcome.

Why:  Sometimes writers make choices that upset us. We finish thinking ‘there was so much promise, and then they went and did  that ‘. So practice writing endings that satisfy your expectations of a book so that you are best equipped to satisfy your readers’ own.

48. An educated guess

Prompt: Read the first paragraph of a short story or novel, then close the book and write a final paragraph.

Why:  Many story openings give a clear sense of what the general themes and preoccupations of the book are. It’s important that the opening and closing of your book resonate with each other, so practice writing these two parts together as an exercise.

49. A top-rated finale

Prompt: Take a favorite television series or movie. Make up your own ending based on what you can remember of the plot line and characters.

Why:  Using TV shows and movies as inspiration is effective because screenwriters are especially well-versed in strong beginnings and openings. Practicing an exercise like this will help you think like a screenwriter in how you craft compelling story endings.

50. A blank slate

Prompt: Create your own prompt for writing a story ending and post it in the comments below

Why:  Coming up with prompts is a valuable creative exercise in itself.

Find daily writing prompts with exercises to practice literary devices and craft.

Try easy, step-by-step prompts that will help you outline your novel and support to see you through the challenging first draft.

Related Posts:

  • Daily writing prompts: 365 ways to practice craft
  • Writing science fiction: 8 ideas for quantum leaps in craft
  • Fantasy writing prompts: 200+ ideas to create magic
  • Tags writing exercises , writing inspiration , writing prompts

use creative writing prompts

Jordan is a writer, editor, community manager and product developer. He received his BA Honours in English Literature and his undergraduate in English Literature and Music from the University of Cape Town.

13 replies on “50 creative writing prompts to enrich your craft”

This is an amazing list! I love the fact that you listed a “why” after each exercise, it really helps to focus the mind. I’ve included a link to this post in my latest blog post on I hope you don’t mind! If you do, let me know and I will take it down, but I thought it would be great to share it with other people.

Thanks, Elisabeth. Not at all, I’m glad you liked it and grateful for the mention. B.

[…] you are struggling to come up with ideas to write about daily, these great writing prompts will inspire you and maybe take your writing in a new […]

Writing prompts has a great significance. It helps the readers come to know the goal of writing the article.A single word, a single line even a picture can be the writing prompts.So, we should be more creative to write a writing prompts.It must be clear, concise and focused.Nowadays, many paper writing service, online writing schools help us to learn writing prompts. Here you have shared fifty real life example of writing prompts. These examples must help us to write a great prompt. Thank you for sharing.

Hi Cody, it’s a pleasure. Thank you for reading!

I wrote a short story based on the first one, and I didn’t follow it exactly but I am really happy with it. I plan on having my friends edit it. I love the why it helps me understand what the point of it is besides just typing words. Thankyou

It’s a pleasure, Emilie. I’m glad you found it inspiring. Good luck with your story!

There are some amazing ideas here! So glad I found this list, you’ve really got me thinking! Thank you 🙂

I loved the prompts as well as the structure of your post! It certainly gave me some food for thought…I was wondering if there’s some way to get feedback on what I write using these prompts, though…is that possible?

Thank you Ananya, I’m glad you enjoyed this article!

You can share pieces for feedback from peers in our members-only writing groups. You can sign up here:

Fantastic. Thank you.

It’s a pleasure, Tinka, thank you for reading!

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500 Writing Prompts to Help Beat Writer’s Block

Looking to get your story started with a writing prompt? You’ve come to the right place. In this post we detail everything you need to know about writing prompts and give you 500 writing prompts broken down by genre. Enjoy!

I want to be a writer… but what if I have nothing to write about?

Ever feel like you’d love to write but you’re fresh out of ideas? Like there’s nothing else that you could possibly write about, or you have no idea where to even get started? We get it. One of the hardest steps in writing a book is often knowing where to get started. Coming up with content, getting your pen (or pencil) to paper, and letting your creativity flow is a challenge that many writers struggle with. As we know, facing writer’s block and fighting personal writing doubt is common. An overwhelming number of professional authors admit to getting stuck well before they get to the point of selling books on Amazon . Thankfully, there’s an answer to the question of where to turn when you feel like you’ve hit that proverbial wall: the writing prompt.

What is a writing prompt?

How often do writers use writing prompts?

There’s no right answer to this question because using writing prompts can often be a personal choice. Some authors find it greatly benefits their ability to turn out creative results. Some authors know that they already have the right ideas for a book in their heads. With using writing prompts, you need to decide on what’s best for you . Whatever method helps you generate ideas is what’s best for your writing!

Is there a writing prompt that’s best for me?

You might be wondering if there’s one type of writing prompt that’s best for you. It’s easy to find selections of prompts that are filtered by specific genres (romance, mystery, and so on). However, we recommend sticking to genre-specific prompts if you want your writing to be more focused. With that being said, you never know when inspiration will strike. If your writing needs are less genre-restricted, reading as many prompts as possible may be the best option for you! Whenever I write for fun, I love to read as many prompts as I can across all genres. Hey, you can get some pretty fun ideas for a thriller story from sci fi writing prompts.

Where can I find writing prompts?

Easy – the Internet! And books, too. We recommend checking out our collection of prompts first, but there are numerous great sources throughout the web. Through combing the Internet for great websites and blogs like Reedsy , Screencraft , The Write Practice , Bryn Donovan’s resources , and the @writing.prompt.s Instagram page, we’ve written and gathered 500 writing prompts to help you kickstart your brain into writing mode. Categorized into ten popular genres, we encourage you to grab your mug of coffee or tea, read through our prompts, and get ready to catch the writing bug.

Have any particular writing prompts that help you get focused? Want to tell us about a great website for writing prompts? Feel free to share those in the comments below. Happy writing!

  • Mystery / Thriller
  • Science Fiction
  • Fantasy / Paranormal
  • General Fiction
  • Religion / Spirituality
  • Travel / Adventure
  • Young Adult

What are some mystery and thriller writing prompts?

  • You find strange, muddy footprints leading up to your front door.
  • A stranger sits down next to you on a train and gets up, leaving a package behind. Do you investigate the package?
  • You hear news of your next-door neighbor vanishing without a trace.
  • One day the national news channel shuts off. And the next day after that, too.
  • One day at work, you look across the street to see a hooded figure in a black coat pointing directly at you. What do they want?
  • You stumble upon a strange house you’ve never seen before on your morning run.
  • You get a text message from an unknown number saying, “Meet me outside. Now.”
  • Your parents tell you that they actually don’t know whose child you are.
  • Someone puts a large black box on your doorstep. A note on the front reads, “Caution: may bite.”
  • You wake up to discover a completely different, unknown face staring back at you from the mirror.
  • The protagonist of your story discovers that there is a person who looks exactly like him.
  • An international spy group recruits you to be their latest member.
  • You begin to realize that your reflection is no longer appearing in mirrors.
  • You aunt passes away, leaving you $500,000 in her will under the condition that you resume care for your hundred-year-old home.
  • Your best friend tells you that she feels like someone’s been watching her. The next day she goes missing.
  • Three words: Long lost brother.
  • The day of your wedding, you wake up to find every person in your wedding party has been brutally murdered.
  • The FBI begs you to come back to work on a special case. Your former partner has turned and is now wanted for the murders of three co-workers.
  • Local gravestones begin disappearing.
  • You can solve murders simply by stepping foot at the crime scene. Problem is, no one believes you.
  • Write a short story where the protagonist has a doppelganger. (Reedsy)
  • Your fingers tensed around the object in your pocket, ready to pull it out at a moment’s notice. (Reedsy)
  • You’re sitting by a window watching the flakes slowly and silently fall. Suddenly, you see something outside that snaps you out of your reverie. (Reedsy)
  • You’re at a huge store scouting out Black Friday deals. You start to notice that all the security cameras in the store seem to be following your each and every move. (Reedsy)
  • You work for the CIA who send you undercover in the FBI, who send you undercover in M16, who send you undercover in the CIA, who are very confused that you are back after only two weeks. (Reedsy)
  • A terrorist group has been infiltrated by so many agencies that it is now run by spies, unbeknownst to the spies themselves. This fact becomes apparent to an actual extremist who joins their ranks. (Reedsy)
  • Ever since childhood, a dark figure no one else can see has been following you around, whispering in your ear. Today you see it lying a few feet away, screaming and asking you to run. (Reedsy)
  • You’ve lived an average life up until today, your 20th birthday. You just found out that your dad is the runaway son of a doting criminal warlord, and your mom is the daughter of an equally doting secret agent. Both family businesses are looking to make you the next heir. (Reedsy)
  • She has been walking for hours. Her feet are starting to bleed. But she can’t stop moving… she can’t let him find her again. (Reedsy)
  • The morning after a blizzard you make your way outside and slowly start to realize everyone has disappeared. (Reedsy)
  • You find a hand-written note on your windshield that says, “Drive west for 100 miles.” (Reedsy)
  • You wake up in a jail cell, crusted blood covering your hands. You have no idea how you got there. The cell door clangs open, and an officer walks you to interrogation room where two detectives wait to question you. (Reedsy)
  • You walk into your job and find a secret, coded note pinned to your desk. What do you do next? (Reedsy)
  • Guard this with your life. (Reedsy)
  • A loved one confides in you, but the secret could damage someone else you care about. What do you do? (Reedsy)
  • As you’re browsing through a rack of sweaters, someone approaches you and says, “I need you to listen to me very carefully.” (Reedsy)
  • Write a short dark comedy in which a long-unsolved mystery is finally cracked. (Reedsy)
  • They say a picture is worth a thousand words but you knew the one you’d just taken was worth a million. (Reedsy)
  • You were the oldest person still living in the town and you remembered things no one else did. (Reedsy)
  • Looking through old family photos, multiple generations back, you notice there is a cat in almost every group photo. The same cat – color, pattern, one docked ear – that is currently purring on your lap. (Reedsy)
  • “… and that’s why dividing by three is illegal.” (Reedsy)
  • You’re a serial killer who murders anyone you see hitchhiking up your mountain. One day, you pick up a hitchhiker who kills anyone who picks them up.
  • You are legally allowed to commit murder once, but you must fill out the proper paperwork and your proposed victim will be notified of your intentions. (Reedsy)
  • You hire two private investigators to investigate each other. One month later both come to you to present their findings. (Reedsy)
  • 20 years after your daughter was abducted, a detective finds you to reopen the case. The detective turns out to be your daughter. (Reedsy)
  • You’re shaking hands with a stranger at a networking event when you ask for their name. “I have no name,” they reply. (Reedsy)
  • As you’re paying for your groceries, you mention to the clerk, “There’s a mess in aisle 16.” They give you a puzzled look and reply, “There is no aisle 16.” (Reedsy)
  • The detective didn’t realize they were being foiled by a competing detective. (Reedsy)
  • The first day you opened your own office as a private investigator, you didn’t expect it to be busy. You were wrong. (Reedsy)
  • You are the world’s greatest detective. With your near superhuman intellect, you have never failed to solve a case before. One day, you finally meet your match: a criminal so unbelievably stupid that you cannot possibly comprehend and predict what he’s going to do next. (Reedsy)

What are some romance writing prompts?

  • Left at the altar, you decide to seek revenge on your ex.
  • You got ditched at the last minute before prom – who will your date be?
  • A stranger texts the wrong number, and accidentally sends you a declaration of love. The message is so sweet and heartfelt that you know you can’t let it go.
  • A divorced former couple find each other on the same flight to Paris… Sitting next to each other.
  • After joining an adult swim league, you realize that your coach is irresistibly cute.
  • Your husband accidentally sends you a text meant for his mistress.
  • You and a hot stranger get trapped in an elevator.
  • Write a love story set at the zoo.
  • A college professor and their teaching assistant hit it off a little too well.
  • You get to make one wish to create your dream romantic partner. What is it?
  • Two strangers on an online chat room hit it off. Turns out they’re childhood sweethearts.
  • A parole officer falls in love with his parolee.
  • After their catamaran crashes, a husband and wife on their anniversary trip are left marooned on an island in the tropics.
  • She’s a burgeoning lingerie model who needs her cute neighbor to take portfolio shots of her.
  • An alien falls in love with a forbidden human.
  • Desperate for cash, a med student signs up to be a nude model for a retired women’s art club.
  • A cutthroat business woman swore she’d never find love until her best friend sets her up on a blind date.
  • Two widowed people meet at a community garden.
  • A chef decides to embark on an international culinary tour for inspiration and falls in love with their tour guide.
  • A daughter tries to set her widowed father up on an online dating app – without him knowing.
  • A Republican presidential candidate and Democratic presidential candidate fall in love.
  • You are a popular book heroine’s love interest. You now have 60 seconds to convince them that saving the city is more important than saving you. (@writing.prompt.s)
  • The love of your life is your brother’s nemesis.
  • You fall in love with every person you make eye contact with.
  • You’re a mail order bride arriving at her new home for the first time.
  • After you move to a new city, you fall in love with your realtor while buying a new house.
  • You realize that you’ve fallen out of love with your new wife while you’re on your honeymoon.
  • You and your best friends decide to try a new dating app for the first time.
  • At your friend’s urging, you begrudgingly attend a Valentine’s Day speed dating event. (Reedsy)
  • Every day, you return to your apartment and say, “Honey, I’m home. Oh wait, that’s right… I live alone.” But then one day, a voice replies, “I picked up some pizza.” (Reedsy)
  • Cupid offers to shoot an arrow into the person you love. He warns you that if the person already has a pre-existing affection towards you, it will disappear when the arrow strikes. (Reedsy)
  • You meet your doppelganger of the opposite sex and find you are strangely attracted to each other. (Reedsy)
  • Write a romantic comedy. Difficulty: both lovers are emotionally mature and have excellent communication skills. (Reedsy)
  • In the future, romantic attraction is literal: each person is fitted with an electromagnetic bracelet which, they claim, will pull you to your soulmate. It’s the day they turn the magnets on, and you’re waiting. (Reedsy)
  • A fortune teller falls in love with their client who has their palm read every month. (Reedsy)
  • It wasn’t love at first sight. But now you were starting to see them in a new light… (Reedsy)
  • Someone with anxiety falls in love with someone extremely adventurous. (Reedsy)
  • The lives of two people are changed forever when they coincidentally meet and engage in a weekend-long affair. (Reedsy)
  • They lived in a world where PDA is forbidden. One day, they slipped up and held hands on the street. (Reedsy)
  • Two characters who are perfect for one another are foiled by bad timing. (Reedsy)
  • Two mortal enemies fall in love when they’re trapped in an elevator together and begin to see the other person’s perspective. (Reedsy)
  • Valentine’s Day at a retirement home. (Reedsy)
  • Well, that was a New Year’s Eve kiss you won’t forget any time soon. (Reedsy)
  • You have the ability to make anyone fall in love with you. You’ve just fallen in love for the first time. Do you use your power? (Reedsy)
  • You and your partner finally have the most romantic vacation planned. Problem is, your in-laws decided to tag along at the last minute.
  • You never would have guessed that in 48 hours you’d be married. (Reedsy)
  • A dog lover and cat lover fall in love… and must find a way to get their animals to fall in love, too.
  • You’ve been bumping into the same stranger for months. Finally, you decide to say hello. (Reedsy)
  • They might have aged 50 years, but when they held you, those hands felt exactly like they did the first time. (Reedsy)
  • An avalanche strands two mortal enemies together… and they start to fall in love.

What are some science fiction writing prompts?

  • You wake up one morning to find out that you get to move to any planet of your choosing.
  • Your wife is a droid.
  • Every day, you get one hour to revisit any moment from your life. What do you pick?
  • Gravity no longer exists.
  • You are chosen to go on the first ever recreational space journey.
  • After people die, their spirits can be brought back from death but at the cost of one random human life. Is it worth it?
  • Everyone in the world has the ability to read thoughts. Except for one person.
  • You have to power to build one separate planet. How do you build it? Who gets to live there?
  • What team do you gather to fight the largest alien and terrorist threat on Earth?
  • The world is dying. In order to save it, you’ve been commanded to sacrifice yourself to an invading alien group.
  • You are the first person able to breathe in outer space.
  • A rare form of cancer is the newest superbug. With a team of scientists, you all must find a cure before the population is wiped out.
  • Human beings begin to find themselves growing extra limbs as global warming amps up.
  • It turns out humans have been the aliens all along.
  • You are in charge of a secretive government agency that aligns people’s fates. Their livelihood is entirely up to you and what you want to do with it.
  • Technology becomes illegal.
  • All plant life on the planet is wiped out, except for in Florida.
  • You are one of the mechanics on the first ever self-flying airplane.
  • Walking through the woods one day, you come across a small animal that has the ability to instantaneously clone itself.
  • Your whole family has fought in the space military, but you’ve decided to no longer take part in it.
  • In an alternate universe where global warming has ruined the planet, you’ve spent your entire life living in an airplane on autopilot.
  • You’re a 15-year-old in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. However, a cure has been found that not only rids the infected person of the virus before they turn but prevents it altogether. Only one problem… Your parents are anti-vaxxers. (@writing.prompt.s)
  • Nasa engineers monitor the curiosity rover’s actions. All seems normal until the robot suddenly changes its course. The scientists attempt to correct it over and over until they suddenly receive a transmission from the rover: “Will Save Oppy” (@writing.prompt.s)
  • What if a nuclear submarine was ordered to launch their nuclear arsenal onto the world? (Screencraft)
  • What if the world we live in is actually a computer simulation? (Screencraft)
  • What if the past and present timelines began to merge? (Screencraft)
  • What if your stepfather or stepmother is actually your future self? (Screencraft)
  • What if the sun began to die? (Screencraft)
  • What if the universe as we know it is actually someone’s imagination? (Screencraft)
  • Everyone on earth begins to experience universal amnesia.
  • The year is 2200. What does the world look like to you?
  • In the future, we no longer require water, air, or food. We are a super efficient team of robots.
  • What do you think happens when the grid goes down?
  • Describe your perfect utopian world.
  • Your penpal lives on the opposite side of the universe.
  • Aliens who only communicate with sign language invade. To avoid war, our governments must engage a vastly marginalized portion of the human population: the hearing-impaired. (The Write Practice)
  • A rogue planet with strange properties collides with our sun, and after it’s all over, worldwide temperature falls forty degrees. Write from the perspective of a someone trying to keep his tropical fruit trees alive. (The Write Practice)
  • Ever read about the world’s loneliest whale? Write a story in which he’s actually the survivor of an aquatic alien species which crashed here eons ago, and he’s trying very hard to learn the “local” whale language so he can fit in. Write from his perspective the first time he makes contact. (The Write Practice)
  • An alien planet starts receiving bizarre audio transmissions from another world (spoiler: they’re from Earth). What does it mean? Are they under attack? Some think so…until classic rock ‘n’ roll hits the airwaves, and these aliens discover dancing. Write from the perspective of the teenaged alien who first figures it out. (The Write Practice)
  • Take anything we find normal today (shopping malls, infomercials, products to remove facial hair, etc.) and write a story from the perspective of an archeologist five thousand years in the future who just unearthed this stuff, has NO idea what any of it was for, and has to give a speech in an hour explaining the historical/religious/sociological significance. (The Write Practice)
  • House cats are aliens who have succeeded in their plan to rule the world. Discuss.
  • A high schooler from fifteen hundred years in our future is assigned a one-page writing project on a twenty-first century person’s life based entirely on TV commercials. Write the beginning of the essay. (The Write Practice)
  • Time travel works, but only once in a person’s life. Write from the perspective of someone who chooses to go back in time, knowing they can never return. Where do they go and why? (The Write Practice)
  • 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 who accidentally turns one on. (The Write Practice)
  • Ten years from now, scientists figure out how to stop human aging and extend life indefinitely—but every time someone qualifies for that boost, someone else has to die to keep the surplus population in check. Oh, it’s all very humane; one’s descendants get a huge paycheck. Write from the perspective of someone who just got a letter in the mail saying they’re the one who has to die. (The Write Practice)
  • In the future, 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. (The Write Practice)
  • 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. (The Write Practice)
  • In the nineteenth century, there’s a thriving trade in stolen archeological artifacts. Write a story from the perspective of an annoyed, minimum-wage employee whose job is traveling back in time to obtain otherwise unobtainable artifacts, then has to bring them back to the present (the 1800s, that is) and artificially age them before they will sell. (The Write Practice)
  • Steampunk! Write a story from the perspective of a hot air balloon operator who caters to folks who like a little thrill… which means she spends half her time in the air shooting down pterodactyls before the paying customers get TOO scared. (The Write Practice)
  • Creation myth! Write from the perspective of a crazy scientist in the year 28,000 who, determined to discover how the universe began, rigs up a malfunctioning time machine, goes to the “beginning” of the universe, and ends up being the reason for the Big Bang. (Logic? Causal effect? Pfft. Hush, it’s time-travel, and that was never logical.) (The Write Practice)

What are some fantasy and paranormal writing prompts?

  • A mysterious creature speaks to you in your dreams and tells you that when you awake, you will have the ability to see into another realm.
  • Your pet dragon transforms into a person.
  • You are gifted with the strongest, most elusive sword in the kingdom, but if you use it you will never be able to speak again.
  • A magical world exists underground. To get there, you’ll need to start digging.
  • You wake up and find out that you’re the only living person left on the planet.
  • On her deathbed, your grandmother tells you that there’s a hidden treasure buried in her backyard. The family has been trying to locate it for decades. It’s up to you to finally find it.
  • The ocean becomes the sky.
  • You must save your kingdom from ruin by learning how to breathe fire.
  • You have the power to read the lost language, making you the only person to decipher the scroll.
  • Fairies are tired of being used for free labor.
  • Your favorite fairy tale is now set in 2019.
  • You are kidnapped by a knight who demands your assistance in sleighing the city’s most dangerous dragon.
  • A man and his wife own the largest potion store in town. Little do the townspeople know, but they’re all being slowly poisoned by the potions.
  • A magical toad begins talking to you, but you’re the only person who can hear him.
  • You come into possession of a ring that can change the weather to whatever you decide.
  • You’re selected to take part in a secretive, underground magic university… but you have to kill someone to go.
  • You wake up to find yourself a member of King Arthur’s Round Table.
  • An underwater society decides to overtake the world.
  • Regular person by day, a shape shifter by night.
  • Satan puts you in charge of Hell.
  • You are the king. After your daughter was kidnapped by a dragon, you offered the standard reward to whoever rescued her. You weren’t expecting a different dragon to rescue her. (@writing.prompt.s)
  • A woman has been dating guy after guy, but it never seems to work out. She’s unaware that she’s actually been dating the same guy over and over; a shapeshifter who’s fallen for her and is certain he’s going to get it right this time.  (@writing.prompt.s)
  • The cocky main character of a popular book is sent to the real world. He is shocked to find that the fans of his book not only like the villain more but favor his side kick over him. (@writing.prompt.s)
  • You’re an immortal who lives at a beach resort. You have many summer flings with mortals on getaways. One day you see someone you had a hot romantic night with 50 years ago. They look exactly the same. (@writing.prompt.s)
  • The stars have been watching you your whole life, as you laughed and cried, loved and suffered. Today, you’re finally going to do something that none of them can bear to watch. They blink out, the whole night sky turning dark, just as you’re about to do it. (@writing.prompt.s)
  • A lord takes a fancy to a peasant girl and kidnaps her for his own. Little does he know that she’s a trained assassin who has been preparing to take his life for years. (@writing.prompt.s)
  • You are the last person on Earth, and you are able to make one wish. What do you wish for?
  • You and your family are on a hike when you stumble upon a group of witches in the forest, in the midst of casting spells.
  • You have the power to transform into whatever mystical creature you choose.
  • You and your ghost best friend are an infamous crime-solving team.
  • No, there’s absolutely no way that ghosts are real. Sure, you just saw a mysterious fuzzy figure you appear before you in your house, but that had to be your imagination… right?
  • You’re the one human who is capable of seeing ghosts. It’s up to you to save them from being removed from the human world for good.
  • You were born to be a villain, but you find yourself leaning more and more towards the good as you get older.
  • Spend some time working on world building. How can you create a believable fantasy world that readers can picture clearly? What types of characters does your world include?
  • Dream up your own, one-of-a-kind mythical race.
  • You and your adventurous crew on a quest for the old King’s hidden gold. Just one problem – so is the rest of your village.
  • 10 cm of snow had fallen overnight, just as the weatherman predicted. The only thing is… the snow isn’t white. (Reedsy)
  • You start realizing that at least one aspect of every dream you have comes true the next day. (Reedsy)
  • You can buy a pill that lets you decide exactly what you will dream about while you sleep. (Reedsy)
  • You find a polaroid camera that seems to predict the future: its pictures show what will happen exactly 5 minutes from the moment you take them. (Reedsy)
  • You were on your way to see a doctor who promised to know the secret to making yourself fall out of love with someone. (Reedsy)
  • Write a story that includes a character hearing their fate by a fortune teller. (Reedsy)
  • As a joke, you put on a tinfoil hat. Suddenly your mind goes completely silent. (Reedsy)
  • Silence is now literally golden. For every day of total silence a person completes, they receive a piece of gold. (Reedsy)
  • A new candy had been invented that allowed the person who ate it to relive any memory they wanted. There was a lineup outside the shop. (Reedsy)
  • It’s 1AM at night. But the sun is out. (Reedsy)
  • You wake up 10 years younger. What do you do? (Reedsy)
  • I wish I could skip next week, you think as you get into bed that night. In the morning, you wake up 100 years in the future. (Reesy)
  • They found out about us. They’re coming. They were the words the kingdom had feared hearing for thousands of years. (Reedsy)
  • A group of scientists on a submarine are alarmed when they spot what looks like a functioning lighthouse at the bottom of the ocean. (Reedsy)

What are some general fiction writing prompts?

  • You’re chasing your dream of being the first person to fly.
  • Coffee is illegal and you have to single handedly smuggle it into the country.
  • You have to get to the bottom of your family’s deepest secret.
  • What was the strangest thing you’ve ever seen in public?
  • Detail the life of the person who inspires you the most.
  • Imagine what would happen if you woke up one morning unable to see, speak, or hear.
  • Think about what you are most proud of. Follow the story of how you got to that point.
  • By way of a lottery system, the king chooses you to be his queen.
  • Use five points of view to describe one situation.
  • Describe the life of a struggling author attempting to make it “big.”
  • Tell the story of one woman on the mission to find her lost biological daughter.
  • Your dream is to open a restaurant and be a top chef, but how can you do that when you were born without taste buds?
  • You’ve just returned home from war only to find your family missing without a trace.
  • A famous shoe designer asks you to quit your job and be his latest model.
  • You have the power to create, and star in, your own reality show. What does it look like?
  • The dark family secret that’s always been hidden comes to light.
  • As an 80-year-old, you decide to finally learn how to swim so you can participate in a triathlon.
  • Write a scene detailing your greatest fear. Now imagine that has come true for your character.
  • What’s the greatest advice you’ve ever been given? What if you lived solely according to it?
  • You live in a world with no stress and fear.
  • Death has been flirting with you for a long time, but they’ve become a bit annoying. After another attempting to hang out with you again, you jokingly tell them, “If I was the last person on Earth, I’d maybe give you a chance.” Death believes you and will double their efforts.
  • When people are born, they are assigned a soulmate. They have a song in their head that only them and their soulmate know. How do you find your soulmate? (@writing.prompt.s)
  • Write a story about a character waking up to something absurd. (Reedsy)
  • Write a story about a character waking up to the best news of their life. (Reedsy)
  • Write a short story with an unreliable narrator that readers can never quite trust. (Reedsy)
  • Write a short story in which the main “character” is the setting: for example, a house. (Reedsy)
  • Write a story about someone who would be described, above all else, as honest. Or kind. Or intelligent. (Reedsy)
  • Using only dialogue, write a short story about a first date, a reunion between old friends, an argument that gets heated, an adult explaining something to a child, or the reveal of a long-hidden secret. (Reedsy)
  • Imagine telling the story of a professional hypnotizer. (Reedsy)
  • Tell a story through text messages.
  • Tell the story of what you would do if you won the lottery.
  • Write your own obituary.
  • Tell a story from your favorite era.
  • Imagine how you would help solve the greatest challenges that the world faces. What would your plan be?
  • What would a world be like with no poverty? What would change? What would stay the same?
  • Tell the story of the first time that you learned to do something really well.
  • Imagine what it would be like to be a pop star.
  • Tell a story through song.
  • Write from the perspective of your worst enemy.
  • Tell a story using only one sense – seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, or touching.
  • After years on the job search, you’ve finally gotten your dream job – but it changes you for the worst.
  • You own a tiny mom and pops-type store that you run with your family.
  • The worst thing that you could imagine happening happens.
  • You’re the judge of the annual pie contest in your hometown but, unbeknownst to you, one of the pies is poisoned.
  • You go on a road trip to visit your late father’s grave.
  • Tell the story of seeing the ocean for the first time. Or the last.
  • You’re allergic to oxygen.
  • Imagine what would happen if every person in the world woke up in a good mood every day.
  • You’re put in charge of taking care of your elderly grandmother towards the end of her life.
  • You get one chance to talk to any person in the world. Who do you choose?

What are some religion and spirituality writing prompts?

  • What makes you believe in God?
  • God speaks directly to you – what does He say?
  • What do you find to be most beautiful in the world?
  • You get to build a religion of your own. What do you make it into?
  • You must live every single day according to a holy text of your choice. What happens?
  • Explore what it means to be religious versus spiritual.
  • What helps you meditate?
  • What is the greatest wisdom that you would like to impart on the world?
  • Who is one religious figure you would like to have dinner with? What do you talk to them about?
  • Describe your idea of heaven.
  • Detail your favorite story in the holy text of your choosing.
  • You live in a world where no Gods exist.
  • What does karma mean to you?
  • What would your ideal world look like?
  • You have the power to make every single person in the world ether religious or nonreligious. What do you do? What changes about the world?
  • What makes you a religious or spiritual person?
  • Describe what a church means to you. Have you had positive or negative experiences in a church?
  • Write a poem about your religious path in life.
  • Write a religious comedy.
  • What happens when a priest decides he doesn’t want to be a priest anymore?
  • Think about what morality means to you.
  • What is the difference in good versus evil? How do you know?
  • How does one know what is innately good?
  • What makes you religious?
  • What makes you non religious?
  • Put yourself in the shoes of someone who has completely opposite spiritual or religious views from you. Why do they think a certain way?
  • Describe what your childhood views in spirituality or religion were.
  • What do you hope your religious or spirituality path to look like as you age?
  • How would you advise someone to strengthen their faith?
  • If you could talk to God, what would you want to say?
  • The Southern Baptist Convention elects its first woman president, though she is subsequently removed from the position due to an obscure rule. In protest, every woman leaves the Southern Baptist denomination to form an independent, women-only sect of Baptists.
  • God needs a vacation from heaven, so he comes to earth to experience life as a dog. He is captured by animal control and is impounded, and you adopt god-the-dog after a tragedy that makes you question your faith.
  • An opiate addict going through severe withdrawal symptoms has a conversation with the Buddha – what did they talk about, and was it the result of a fever dream, or a spiritual awakening?
  • You record a video that seemingly shows a woman walking on water at a small rural pond. The video goes viral as proof that Jesus has returned, and Christians begin to wonder if Christ was the Daughter, not the Son, of God.
  • A secular Jew and a devout Muslim debate food and faith on a train from Quebec to Montreal.
  • What are your personal ten commandments?
  • When was a specific moment where you felt a “divine presence” in your life?
  • Have you ever felt like you’ve experienced a glimpse into the afterlife?
  • What form do you think the afterlife will take, if you believe that it exists?
  • Have you ever had an out of body experience?
  • William Blake, famous British poet, thought that to love was to be in tune with the divine. Do you think this is true? How have you experienced divine love?
  • How have you experienced the divine through love?
  • Emanuel Swedenborg believed that there was a soulmate for every person, and that you couldn’t get into heaven until your soul mate had also passed away. Do you believe in the concept of soul mates?
  • Do you believe in reincarnation?
  • What would reincarnation look like to you?
  • Some religions believe that animals and plants have souls. Do you agree with this? Why or why not?
  • Describe a particularly spiritual moment in your life. What were you doing? Were you by yourself or with someone else?
  • What is your most taboo religious belief?
  • Some religions believe that human beings could never truly represent a higher power in art. Do you agree with this? What is an example of art or words that you feel represent the higher power?
  • What are your thoughts on love languages?

What are some travel and adventure writing prompts?

  • Write about your favorite vacation.
  • What culture interests you the most?
  • You get lost in a foreign city with no cell phone and no money. What do you do?
  • Your favorite chef asks you to join them on a culinary tour of the world.
  • What country have you always dreamt of traveling to?
  • What’s your dream vacation?
  • Tell the story of the worst traveling experience of your life.
  • A country of your choosing fuses with North America.
  • You and your best friends go on a road trip across America, with no budget and for however long you want.
  • You are asked to review a luxury hotel on the beach.
  • You are forced to leave your home and move to a remote foreign country. What do you pack with you?
  • What about traveling excites you?
  • Go back in time to the era of your choosing and describe how you live.
  • Rate your top five favorite places in the world. What do you like about each place? What do you dislike?
  • If you could have any travel-related job in the world, what would it be?
  • You and your partner are kidnapped on your honeymoon.
  • Describe a 100-day walking journey around your state.
  • Imagine if you had never left your home in your entire life and then were forced to go outside and never come back to your house.
  • What do you say to your family in a postcard from a new location?
  • Describe what it’s like to sit in rush hour traffic in one of the busiest cities in the world.
  • A journey to a new location is disrupted by natural disaster.
  • Describe what it’s like to travel with a crippling fear of airplanes.
  • What is it that you love about traveling? Explore that feeling.
  • What is frightening about traveling? Explore that feeling.
  • What stories would you most like to share about the town that you’re from?
  • You have the opportunity to move anywhere in the world. Where do you choose?
  • Explore what your travels in Asia have been like.
  • Explore what your travels in Europe have been like.
  • Explore what your travels in South America have been like.
  • Explore what your travels in North America have been like.
  • Explore what your travels in Africa have been like.
  • What is the most unusual place you’d like to travel?
  • What do you think is most misunderstood about the culture of your home country?
  • What cultural norms are you most interested in exploring from foreign countries?
  • Describe the foreign foods that you most want to try.
  • Imagine that you are a successful chef in a foreign city.
  • Describe a time when you have been excited to explore a new place.
  • What is the most beautiful image that you have ever seen while traveling?
  • You get to go to any museum in the world. Which one do you choose?
  • What is your greatest horror story from traveling?
  • What is your happiest story from traveling?
  • Picture yourself on a foreign vacation with a person of your choosing. What do you do?
  • If you had to move to a foreign country tomorrow, what five items would you pack with you?
  • Set the scene for a beautiful beach that you have never traveled to.
  • Set the scene for a gorgeous castle that you have never traveled to.
  • A three day visit to Budapest becomes a maritime adventure down the Danube River to the Black Sea.
  • You are a sales representative for a roulette table manufacturer. While visiting the Harrah’s Cherokee Casino for work, you decide to discard all your possessions, cash out your minimal savings, and hike the Mountains-to-Sea trail from Clingmans Dome to the Ocracoke Lighthouse.
  • While en route to visit your college roommate in Kyoto, Japan you meet a stranger at Tan Son Nhat International Airport who needs your help finding a prophetic monk hiding from persecution in Saigon.
  • You have to make it from Cairo to Alexandria (Egypt). You have no money. Your only mode of transport is a temperamental camel.
  • In a high-stakes game of poker in the French Quarter, you wagered your soul to a voodoo doctor on a pretty bad hand. The only way to null the bet is to find a woman in Port-au-Prince, Haiti who has an item – the only  item – the man is willing to trade for.

What are some horror writing prompts?

  • You wake up to a world in which all prisons are shut down, releasing dangerous prisoners into your neighborhood.
  • A masked stranger appears at your front door with a knife.
  • A random number texts you saying, “Don’t forget, you’re next.”
  • Someone knocks at your door. You open it to find your deceased grandfather who has come back from the dead to pay you a visit. What does he want?
  • Animals take over the world.
  • Strange murmuring sounds being to come from the door that leads to your basement.
  • While watching the evening news, the anchor looks directly at the camera and begins screaming before the camera cuts to black.
  • A polar vortex freezes the entire planet.
  • Whatever building you enter, you can see all of the people who died there.
  • You wake up in a strange room, tied to a chair, with a single knife on the floor pointed at you.
  • A chilling voice appears in your head. It won’t go away. One day, it tells you that you have to run.
  • The old cuckoo clock at your grandmother’s home is haunted.
  • You’re driving at night when you can’t help but shake the feeling that there’s a person in your back seat.
  • One day, while you’re in the shower, you hear your front door open and close. “Hey, roomie, I’m home!” Someone shouts. You don’t have a roommate.
  • A strange man living down the street begins leaving presents at your doorstep.
  • The cruise ship is haunted.
  • While working at a clothing store, you’re closing up the shop for the night when you see five men walk in through the front door and lock it behind them.
  • You’re in the middle of a bank robbery – hiding in the bathroom.
  • Your dog won’t stop barking at a sunken spot in your living room floor.
  • For the last few days, you’ve been getting ominous messages written in blood on your bathroom mirror. Turns out, they’re from an awkward ghost with a serious crush on you. (@writing.prompt.s)
  • The reason no one has ever seen the real Santa Claus is because everyone who sees him dies. You just saw him and now you need to survive. (@writing.prompt.s)
  • You wake up bound to an electric chair, moments before your imminent death.
  • A woman afraid of clowns is forced to work in a travelling circus. (Screencraft)
  • A treasure hunter finds a tomb buried beneath the dirt. (Screencraft)
  • A bartender serves last call to the only remaining patron who is the Devil himself. (Screencraft)
  • A boy’s stepfather is actually a murderous werewolf. (Screencraft)
  • A man wakes up with no mouth. (Screencraft)
  • Deceased soldiers return to their Civil War-era homes. (Screencraft)
  • Suburbia is actually purgatory. (Screencraft)
  • A man suffers from sleep paralysis at the worst possible time. (Screencraft)
  • A man murders his wife while sleepwalking.
  • What appears to be a ghost approaches your car while you’re waiting at a stoplight.
  • It’s late at night, and you hear footsteps in the cellar—but you’re definitely home alone… or so you thought. (The Write Practice)
  • You’ve put that doll in the cabinet, in the closet, in the attic, but no matter where you tuck it, it always shows back up on the sofa. On Halloween night, you come out to find it watching you… (The Write Practice)
  • A bad-tempered businessman is driving home after a long day of work. He thinks he sees his kids trick-or-treating and stops to pick them up—but those aren’t costumes. (The Write Practice)
  • A young woman goes to her grandmother’s house for tea on Halloween night. They have a wonderful time together, sharing stories, joy, and the best times of family. The next day, the woman learns her grandmother has been dead for a week and no one could get ahold of her to tell her. (The Write Practice)
  • Aliens have just landed on Earth—and boy, did they pick a weird day to come. How do they respond to Halloween, supernatural or otherwise? Do they decide this place is just too bizarre and get the heck out . . . or do they stick around and join in the fun? (The Write Practice)
  • On Halloween night, lovers get to come back and spend the evening together one more time. One couple from the Roaring Twenties decides to come back from the grave to help their extreme nerd great-grandchild or the kid will never get married. (The Practice)
  • A little boy’s lost in the woods, but at least his faithful dog is with him. As they look for the way out, the dog defends his master against terrifying monsters and animals. Finally, the boy arrives safely on the other side, beautiful green field, no more fog or night. Then the dog goes home . . . where his owner, the little boy, has died. The good doggy guarded him all the way to his final rest. (The Write Practice)
  • You wake up in the middle of the night to see a dark figure crawling across your floor.
  • Moments after taking off for a flight, the entire plane begins to shake dramatically. The pilot comes on the speaker and says, “This is very bad.”
  • You awake in a dark, small box and can hear strange noises outside.
  • Several weeks after buying your dream house, you start getting strange letters delivered in the mail warning you to move out.
  • Your dog has been acting very strangely recently. Some would say… almost human.
  • You stumble across a website that contains clues to some very disturbing crimes.
  • As you’re settling in to bed for the night, you hear an unusual scratching sound at your bedroom window.
  • You’re on vacation in a new city for the first time. As you walk down a busy boulevard, you suddenly look up to realize you have no idea where you are or how you got there. Come to think of it, you don’t even know who you are.
  • On your way to work, you notice that no one is driving on roads. The busy rush hour traffic is nonexistent, and there are no people walking around, either. It’s just you. What’s going on?
  • You discover, much too late, that your downstairs neighbor is a cannibal.
  • During a renovation of your home, you and your spouse find human remains underneath your back porch – a crime that you are now being charged with.

What are some children’s writing prompts?

  • Your dog begins speaking in a human voice one morning.
  • The sky turns purple.
  • Your best friend’s head turns into a mushroom.
  • Dinosaurs come back to earth.
  • You and your family rescue a turtle who was hit by a car and nurse him back to health.
  • You turn into a goldfish.
  • What would happen if you could turn any food into cotton candy?
  • Rain turns into soda.
  • Your family adopts a pet monkey.
  • The new kid at school wants to be your friend, but you’re very shy.
  • You and your boy scout troop get lost in the middle of the forest.
  • Your parents tell you they’ll give you $20 if you eat your vegetables with every dinner. Do you do it?
  • Write about a special memory from your childhood.
  • What parent were you closest do? What are some of your favorite memories of spending time with them?
  • Write about yourself at age five.
  • Write about yourself at age ten.
  • What was your greatest dream when you were a child?
  • Write about your favorite childhood pet.
  • Get inspiration for your writing by thinking about a vacation you took as a child.
  • What would happen if you woke up one day and kids ruled the world?
  • Tell the story of a child who has just transferred to a new school.
  • Tell the story of a platypus.
  • Imagine running away with a group of your childhood best friends – where would you go?
  • Dream up your own imaginary world.
  • Children’s books are known for their fun and creativity. What’s the craziest, kookiest new breed of animal you can imagine?
  • Give advice to new parents.
  • Give advice to your younger self.
  • Imagine what it would be like to live in a world where instead of taking the school bus, you ride a dragon to classes!
  • Write about your favorite childhood game.
  • Tell the story of a family who decides to hire a new babysitter or nanny.
  • Your parents tell you one day that you’re going to be a big sister – but you really like being the only child!
  • If the world could be any color, what would you want it to be?
  • If you could taste a specific flavor any time you ate something, what would you want it to be?
  • Describe a trip to the zoo with your class.
  • You and your best friends get to leave school to have lunch anywhere in town. Pizza, candy – anything! Tell the story of where you go.
  • Tell the story of your first time at summer camp.
  • Tell the story of your first time away from home.
  • What if we lived in a world where kids were treated like adults? And adults were treated like kids?
  • Take a spin at your very own Dr. Suess-esque book and use rhymes to tell a kooky, crazy story!
  • You’re in charge of babysitting your little sibling for the first time.
  • You decide to run away from home – what are some of the challenges that you face?
  • Picture a world where everything is upside down! What’s life like for you?
  • Write a book advising children on how to overcome adversity.
  • Write a book advising children on how to be a good friend.
  • Write a book advising children on how to be a kind sibling.
  • Bobby the Bunny wants to make friends with a fox pup who recently lost its family.
  • A giraffe and an ostrich live together in a zoo, where they bond over similar neck characteristics and learn how to play one another’s games.
  • A dragon wants to be loved and befriended, but every time he farts, fire erupts from his rear end.
  • Bruce the German Shepherd loves to run through the woods with his human. When he and his human get separated from one another, Bruce has to learn from his forest friends how to get back home.
  • Tell the story of the tooth fairy… Imagine that she just started her job and has to be trained.

What are some young adult writing prompts?

  • It’s your first day of middle school. But when you’re half human, half dragon, that makes things a little tough.
  • What happens when you begin working at the same yogurt shop as your crush?
  • Both of your parents die in a car accident, leaving you an orphan who gets shipped off to your mysterious aunt’s house in Europe.
  • One day you find out that you never have to return to high school. What do you decide to do instead?
  • You’re chosen to go on a school trip to Africa where you’ll be helping to build wells. You’ve never been out of the country, though, and are worried.
  • Your mom disappears one day, and you never see her again.
  • Tell the story of the best high school summer of your life.
  • Your boyfriend gets in a horrible car accident and ends up in the ICU. Another girl is found in the car with him, too – but she died. Who is she?
  • You find out that your brother is adopted.
  • During her freshman year of college, she found out that people in her dorm started to disappear. Almost from thin air.
  • A group of high school freshmen learn that the teachers and administrators at their boarding school are actually human like AI working towards the Singularity and human enslavement. If they don’t act fast, the robots win.
  • A group of at-risk teenagers are on an overnight camping trip with a wilderness counseling group in Badlands National Park when an arctic blast forces them out of a blizzard and into a cave. On day three, their counselors go out in search for help – and never return.
  • Your high school sweetheart dumps you suddenly because of something you posted on social media. But you didn’t post it, and you have to figure out just how different – and difficult – your life is now that you’ve been hacked.
  • Imagine that the world is run amok with vampires. Or zombies. Or authoritarian dictatorships in a dystopian future.
  • In the near future, climate change has led to the extinction of butterfly and bee pollinators. A small group of teen geniuses band together to develop autonomous, robotic insects to replicate the functions of insect pollination before the global food shortage turns from disastrous to extinction-level.
  • You find out that your best friend’s dad is responsible for the growing number of missing people in your hometown. How do you get everyone to believe you?
  • You did it – after years of hard work and try outs, you finally won the coveted spot on the football team. But here’s the thing – you’re the first girl to ever play.
  • One night you wake up to find yourself levitating over your bed. The next morning, strange wings start to grow from your shoulders. Are you turning into some sort of mystical bird?
  • It was pretty freaky to wake up for school one morning, only to see that my parents were literally frozen into blocks of ice in the kitchen. Even freakier? Every adult in town is frozen solid, too.
  • A boy pursues his list of wildly ambitious New Year’s resolutions, with hilarious and touching results. (Bryn Donovan)
  • A girl on the swim team transforms into a part-time mermaid. (Bryn Donovan)
  • A group of “outsiders” become a clique that eventually excludes others. (Bryn Donovan)
  • A girl’s favorite author plagiarizes her fanfiction. (Bryn Donovan)
  • A boy learns who believed his sister died finds out she’s very much alive. (Bryn Donovan)
  • A teenager’s best friend goes missing—and is widely believed to be the murderer of a family member. (Bryn Donovan)
  • Two teens begin to write a fantasy novel together and then cross over into the world they’ve created. (Bryn Donovan)
  • In a dystopian future, college admissions boards have access to video footage of students’ entire lives. (Bryn Donovan)
  • A girl always hangs out at a particular little nook at the library. Then the same boy starts taking the space every day. (Bryn Donovan)
  • A boy learns something terrible about his parents.(Bryn Donovan)
  • In a modern-day Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, three girls ditch class for a day filled with adventures. (Bryn Donovan)
  • 35. A girl who wants to be a virgin until she gets married faces social pressure about her decision. (Bryn Donovan)
  • A teen gains the ability to take the form of any other person she chooses. (Bryn Donovan)
  • A girl’s science fair project yields results that attract the government’s attention. (Bryn Donovan)
  • A teen’s suspicions about a teacher lead him to conduct a private investigation. (Bryn Donovan)
  • A girl struggles with the decision to tell authorities about what the star quarterback did. (Bryn Donovan)
  • Soon after a boy was born, his father went missing. Now, a skeleton has been discovered in the basement of their former home. (Bryn Donovan)
  • You check out a book from the library and discover that it’s telling the story of your life. Do you decide to read ahead and find out what happens, or let it be a surprise?
  • Your beloved dog goes missing, resulting in a cross-country chase to reunite her with your family.
  • Put yourself in your favorite anime or manga series. What type of character would you play?
  • You and your best friends have been playing in a band in your mom’s garage for years. Now you’ve gotten discovered by a major Hollywood scout, but they only want you to go on to fame.
  • Some friends go to an escape room only to discover it’s being run by one of the most elusive serial killers in history.
  • After going to see the circus with your parents, you decide to run away to join the troupe. What act do you take on?
  • What would you tell your younger self as a teenager? What do you wish you had done differently, or not done at all?
  • What would your younger self tell you now? What would they think about your life?
  • Tell the story of someone who switches places with themself as a 14-year-old.
  • Think Princess Diaries – you’ve just found out you’re part royal with a massive inheritance to look forward to. What changes about your life?
  • A small spaceship crash lands in your backyard with nothing inside but an instruction manual on how to rebuild the aircraft. Do you take it back into space?
  • You have the power to shift into whatever creature you want – bear, wolf, etc. When do you choose to utilize your powers?
  • What would happen if you changed places with a rockstar?
  • Your big brother has always been the more successful, studious one of the family. You’ve finally got a chance to prove yourself and one up him – how do you do it?

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46 comments on “ 500 writing prompts to help beat writer’s block ”.

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Thanks for sharing the prompt ideas! I am thinking to start writing a book since a long time. But I wasn’t getting any good heads. Your article has helped to understand my area of interest, especially in which I can write a book successfully.

very nice story I like it

Writer’s doubts never end here is a way to solve this issue with 500 writing prompts. It is such a research based and praiseworthy blog, it is a must read. Thank you for this article! This is really very informative for us.

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With all 500 of these, I should have no trouble finding something to write about. Thanks so much for these prompts.

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My friends and I are doing a competition to see who is the best FANTASY writer. Here’s the catch, you need to include twins, homeless people and abused animals in your story. Plz help???

Hi Ebony! Maybe try a slightly post-apocalyptic slant? I know that subgenre can veer on Science Fiction (instead of Fantasy) but you could definitely apply those required themes to a post-apoc story.

Urban fantasy set in a modern day. The protagonist is a homeless person who has a pet dove-griffin (also called winged rats). One day, he is assaulted and they take his companion, leaving him for dead. He survives, and uses his background as a hunter to track down the people who wronged him, stumbling in the process upon a ring of fantasy animal traffickers called the Chain of Cerberus, which is ruled by three brothers, triplets. He has to fight against all odds using his skills and save his only friend and companion.

The secret motivation for the protagonist is atonement for his past as a hunter, since he helped rich people (like the Triplets) to capture the fantastic animals they were after.

I call it ‘Fantasy John Wick’

Thank you for sharing such a wealth of prompts! These are fantastic. What a tough job to choose 500! If you’re interested in more open-ended prompts (just to switch it up), check out my instagram for (almost) daily writing prompts as well: @sharp.writer .

This is the complete list of writing prompts over the internet. Thanks for sharing.

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SoI made like a short script bit of a prompt like the one bout you looking in a mirror to see something that does not look like you.

Its 5 o’clock in the morning. As I came out of my cream sheets with speckles of generally grey all around, I fixed my bed. From patting down pillows to rearranging my duvet for the most part placing my silk pretty black blanket to definitely finish it off. I basically was heading for the fridge to get the creamer for coffee when I stared into the actually metal fridge looking for my reflection but instead kind of found that something looking back at me and it was not my reflection, which really is quite weird. Its kind of looked nothing like me, or so I thought. I really tried to really come up with excuses; I am in a daze, I am still half-asleep, I for the most part am asleep. IT CAN’T BE. I said, until I saw that it can. But that thing in the mirror particularly was scaring me because it stared back at me and it was waving now in a kind of like I AM WATCHING YOU kind of way. but before I could do anything it….

I found your blog very helpful in my writing project someday. Thank you for sharing your wonderful article.

I’m so glad this was helpful to you, Monique. You’re very welcome!

I have been reading posts regarding this topic and this post is one of the most interesting and informative one I have read. Thank you for this!

You’re very welcome, Patricia!

i need to do a story in which the main character is a demigod (as in percy jackson yknow) and i don’t know what to write.

Here’s one you might enjoy , Anika! Found on the #demigod prompts Tumblr page.

This is an excellent list of prompts! For me, though, I don’t lack story ideas or character scenarios. After plotting out my story, I tend to get stalled after a few chapters or in a particular scene, even when I have a good conflict for the characters to work through. ****** I found this great little book on Amazon called “What Would Your Character Do?” It really helped me because the prompts are designed to get you brainstorming about your character’s next actions when you’re stuck in a scene. I can always find a prompt in the book to get me unstuck! I’ll definitely share this particular list with my writer friends though!

Great recommendation, Jackie! Thanks for sharing

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thank you for these prompts. they really helped with my writer’s block

these are so helpful! I’ve been trying to figure out how to continue my dystopian story for weeks then I found this website! I can’t wait to continue working!

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Thank you so much for compiling such an array of prompts. Reading through these and of course changing them up in my head has me scrambling to write again. Have a Blessed Day!

Was looking for some takes regarding this topic and I found your article quite informative. It has given me a fresh perspective on the topic tackled. Thanks!

What a great list of writing prompts. I have saved this page to share with my writing partner. I am sure we will use some of these.

Hello! I wanted to ask you, if I am allowed to use some of you prompts. (of course I will give credits to you and add a link to this site). I am leader for a community on an app called Amino, it’s quite similar to Instagram, where the member can post some stuff. I wanted to post some writing prompts, since everyone there likes to write. So I wantet do aks, if i can use some of your prompts. (And sorry for my bad english, I have a german community there, since I speak german…)

Absolutely, please feel free to share and we would appreciate linking back!

Of course I do, thank you!

This was so helpful! Every prompt in this article was amazing You’ve really outdone yourself Kelsey!!!!!<3

This is extremely helpful. I am in 2nd year of high school and struggle with writers-block. I decided to do number three in the ‘horror’ section, and the options written in this article are extremely ‘flexible’ — there is a prompt for everyone. Thank you.

These writing prompts are fun! Thanks for putting it all together.

I’ve started several books. None completed, Although a few stories were published in a small town newspaper. A couple of years ago I began a book when the work came to an abrupt end. My husband fell off the roof. Now, after 2 years, I find myself wanting to write, but stymied as how to pick up where I left off. I’ve read your prompts. Some of the fiction, thriller, mystery and prompts in other areas have been true life experiences for me. Now, as I stand in the aftermath of the train that hit me, in need of a battery jump to restart, I have hopefully found a way forward.

I absolutely loved these! Thanks so much! Writing prompts really help me keep the wheels turning.

Thanks so much for these amazing prompts! I had nailed down a genre and topic but needed some help getting down to the nitty gritty specifics. You saved the day (and my essay). Thank you!

I am impressed with your sharing. Helpful for new writers. Thanks for your share.

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Unbeatable listing. A lot of quality and tremendous compilation.

I love these prompts! They help me get started when I’m feeling stuck.

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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?

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AI Habit

65+ ChatGPT Prompts for Creative Writing

college student doing creative writing

Are you ready to unleash your creativity and take your writing to new heights? Look no further! In this blog post, we'll explore the powerful AI language model, ChatGPT, and guide you through crafting effective prompts for creative writing.

Harnessing the potential of GPT-4 architecture, ChatGPT can be an invaluable tool to assist and inspire writers, whether you're working on a short story, poetry, or crafting engaging dialogues. But the key to getting the best results lies in your ability to formulate the right prompts.

Join us as we delve into the world of ChatGPT and learn how to make the most of this AI-driven writing companion!

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Table of Contents

Understanding ChatGPT and Its Limitations

Gpt-4 architecture.

ChatGPT is built on the powerful GPT-4 architecture, which allows it to generate highly coherent and contextually relevant text based on user inputs. It's a massive language model trained on a diverse range of text data, which enables it to respond to a variety of prompts with human-like accuracy. However, it's essential to understand its limitations to create effective prompts and manage expectations.

Potential Biases

As a result of the data it's trained on, ChatGPT may sometimes exhibit biases present in the source material. These biases can manifest in the form of stereotypes, political inclinations, or controversial opinions. When using ChatGPT for creative writing, it's crucial to be aware of such biases and review the generated content for potential issues.

Limitations in Context and Understanding

While ChatGPT can produce impressive results, it may struggle with understanding the context or the nuances of certain prompts. As a result, it might provide responses that are irrelevant or off-topic. To overcome these limitations, it's essential to craft prompts that are clear and unambiguous.

Example Prompts:

Write a descriptive paragraph about a mysterious forest, focusing on the sights, sounds, and smells.

Create a dialogue between two characters who are meeting for the first time at a coffee shop.

Describe a futuristic cityscape from the perspective of a person visiting it for the first time.

Write a poem about the fleeting nature of time, using imagery from nature to illustrate your points.

Imagine a world where animals can speak, and write a conversation between a dog and its owner about their daily routine.

Create a short story about a detective solving a seemingly impossible case, with a surprising twist at the end.

Crafting Effective Creative Writing Prompts for ChatGPT

Set clear goals for your writing project.

Before diving into the world of ChatGPT, it's essential to have a clear idea of your writing goals. Are you looking for inspiration to write a novel, a poem, or a script? Knowing your objectives will help you create targeted prompts that generate the desired output.

Be Specific with Your Instructions

ChatGPT relies on your prompts to understand your expectations. Providing specific instructions will guide the AI to produce content that aligns with your vision. The more explicit your prompt, the more accurate and relevant the generated output will be.

Write a 500-word short story set in a dystopian future where technology controls every aspect of life.

Compose a sonnet about unrequited love, using a Shakespearean rhyme scheme.

Write a scene of a play where two characters argue about a moral dilemma, with one taking a utilitarian stance and the other a deontological one.

Experiment with Different Prompt Styles

There are various types of prompts you can use to inspire creative writing with ChatGPT. Experimenting with different styles will help you discover what works best for your writing goals.

Open-Ended Prompts

Open-ended prompts allow ChatGPT to generate content that is broad and creative. These prompts provide general guidance, giving the AI more freedom to explore diverse ideas.

Write a short story about a character who discovers a hidden talent.

Describe a magical world with unique flora and fauna.

Compose a poem about the beauty of the night sky.

Guided Prompts

Guided prompts are more specific and direct the AI towards a particular outcome. These prompts are ideal when you have a clear vision for your creative writing project.

Write a 300-word horror story set in an abandoned asylum, with a vengeful ghost as the main antagonist.

Describe a medieval feast from the perspective of a court jester who is secretly plotting the king's downfall.

Compose a haiku about the serenity of a snow-covered landscape.

Image-Based Prompts

Image-based prompts use visual cues to inspire creative writing. You can describe a scene or an image in your prompt and ask ChatGPT to generate content based on that description.

Write a short story inspired by a scene depicting a lonely lighthouse on a stormy night.

Describe a bustling marketplace in a fantasy world, with various mythical creatures selling their wares.

Compose a poem based on an image of a serene lake surrounded by autumn foliage.

Adjusting the Level of Detail in Your Prompts

The level of detail in your prompts can significantly impact the generated content. You can experiment with adding or removing details to achieve the desired level of creativity and specificity in your output.

Write a sci-fi story about a group of astronauts stranded on an alien planet. (less detailed)

Write a sci-fi story about a group of astronauts stranded on an alien planet, where they encounter a race of telepathic beings who help them return home. (more detailed)

Techniques to Enhance Creativity with ChatGPT

Use of iterative prompting.

Iterative prompting is a technique that involves refining your prompts in multiple steps, allowing you to guide the AI-generated content more effectively. You can start with a broad prompt and gradually add details or constraints to achieve your desired output.

Write a fantasy story about a magical artifact.

Write a fantasy story about a magical artifact that grants its wielder immense power but comes with a terrible curse.

Write a fantasy story about a magical artifact that grants its wielder immense power but comes with a terrible curse, where the main character must choose between personal gain and the greater good.

Collaborative Writing with ChatGPT

You can use ChatGPT as a writing partner by taking turns in crafting a story or a poem. This approach allows you to combine your creativity with the AI's capabilities, resulting in unique and engaging content.

Start a short story with an intriguing opening line, and ask ChatGPT to continue the story.

Write alternating stanzas of a poem, using ChatGPT to compose every other stanza.

Blending Multiple Prompts

Combining two or more unrelated prompts can lead to highly creative and unexpected results. By merging different ideas, you can create unique scenarios and storylines.

Write a short story that combines a time-traveling scientist and a mythical creature in a modern-day city.

Compose a poem that blends themes of nature and technology, exploring the harmony and discord between the two.

Implementing Constraints for Unique Output

Adding constraints to your prompts can encourage creativity by limiting the options available to ChatGPT. This technique can lead to innovative ideas and unexpected twists in your writing.

Write a short story without using any adverbs.

Compose a poem where each line begins with a different letter of the alphabet.

Write a dialogue between two characters using only questions.

Best Practices for Using ChatGPT in Creative Writing

Review and edit generated content.

While ChatGPT can produce impressive results, it's essential to review and edit the generated content. This will help you ensure that the output aligns with your vision, is free of biases, and maintains a consistent voice and style throughout.

Revise the AI-generated short story for better flow and coherence.

Edit the AI-generated poem to improve its imagery and emotional impact.

Manage Expectations and Be Patient

It's important to remember that ChatGPT is not perfect and may require multiple attempts to generate the desired output. Be patient, and be prepared to experiment with different prompts to achieve the best results.

Rewrite the previous prompt, focusing on a different aspect of the story.

Adjust the previous prompt to be more specific, guiding ChatGPT towards the desired outcome.

Avoid Plagiarism and Respect Copyright

When using ChatGPT, ensure that you are not infringing on copyrighted material or plagiarizing other works. Be responsible and ethical in your use of AI-generated content.

Write a story inspired by the themes of a classic novel, without directly copying the plot or characters.

Compose a poem that pays homage to a famous poet's style, without plagiarizing their work.

Maintain a Balance between Human Input and AI Assistance

While ChatGPT can be an invaluable tool for creative writing, it's crucial to strike a balance between AI-generated content and your own creativity. Use ChatGPT as a source of inspiration and a writing partner, rather than relying solely on it for your creative projects.

Write the first half of a short story, and ask ChatGPT to complete the second half.

Compose the opening lines of a poem, and use ChatGPT to generate ideas for the rest of the poem.

Successful Creative Writing Prompts for ChatGPT

Crafting engaging fictional stories.

Using ChatGPT, you can generate captivating fictional stories by providing prompts that cover various genres, themes, and styles. Experiment with different settings, characters, and plot elements to create a diverse range of stories.

Write a suspenseful thriller about a detective trying to catch a mastermind criminal.

Create a heartwarming story about a group of friends embarking on a life-changing road trip.

Compose a historical fiction story set during the French Revolution, with a focus on the struggles and triumphs of ordinary people.

Innovative Poetry Generation

ChatGPT can help you create unique and impactful poetry by providing prompts that explore different styles, themes, and forms. Experiment with various poetic techniques, and let ChatGPT's creativity inspire your own.

Write a villanelle about the passage of time and the inevitability of change.

Compose a series of haikus capturing the essence of each season.

Create a free verse poem that explores the concept of identity and self-discovery.

Creating Memorable Characters and Dialogues

ChatGPT can be used to develop engaging characters and realistic dialogues that bring your stories to life. Use prompts that focus on character development, relationships, and interactions to add depth and complexity to your creative writing projects.

Write a character sketch for a protagonist who must overcome their fears to save the world.

Create a dialogue between two characters with opposing views on a controversial issue.

Describe the dynamic between a group of friends, emphasizing their unique personalities and the bonds that unite them.

Adapting ChatGPT for Other Creative Writing Projects

Screenwriting and scriptwriting.

ChatGPT can be an invaluable tool for generating screenplays and scripts for various types of productions, including films, plays, and television shows. Use prompts that focus on plot development, scene descriptions, and character dialogues to craft engaging scripts.

Write a scene for a romantic comedy where two characters realize they have feelings for each other.

Create a monologue for a character reflecting on a life-altering decision.

Develop an outline for a three-act play that explores the complexities of family dynamics.

Worldbuilding for Fiction and Roleplaying Games

ChatGPT can assist in the process of worldbuilding, helping you create intricate and immersive settings for your stories or roleplaying games. Use prompts that cover various aspects of your fictional world, such as geography, history, culture, and politics.

Describe a unique magical system that exists in a fantasy world.

Write a brief history of a fictional kingdom, focusing on key events and figures.

Create a detailed description of a futuristic city, highlighting its architecture, technology, and social structure.

Writing Prompts for Teaching and Learning

ChatGPT can be a valuable resource for educators and students alike, providing a vast array of writing prompts to inspire creative thinking and improve writing skills. Use prompts that cover different genres, styles, and topics to encourage a diverse range of writing experiences.

Write a persuasive essay arguing for or against the use of AI in everyday life.

Compose a personal narrative about a meaningful experience that shaped your life.

Create a fictional diary entry from the perspective of a historical figure during a significant event.

Improve Your Writing Skills with ChatGPT

Enhance your vocabulary and sentence structure.

ChatGPT can help you expand your vocabulary and improve your sentence structure, providing you with a wide range of examples and inspiration. Use prompts that focus on specific language skills and request feedback on your writing to enhance your abilities.

Provide five synonyms for the word "beautiful" that can be used in a descriptive paragraph.

Rewrite the following sentence to make it more concise and effective: "The small, furry creature with big ears and a bushy tail quickly ran up the tall tree."

Evaluate the clarity and impact of this paragraph, and suggest improvements where needed.

Experiment with Different Writing Styles and Techniques

ChatGPT can expose you to various writing styles and techniques, helping you explore different ways to express your ideas and creativity. Use prompts that challenge you to write in unfamiliar styles or try new techniques, broadening your skills as a writer.

Write a short story using only dialogue, without any narration or description.

Compose a poem that uses alliteration and assonance to create a musical effect.

Create a piece of flash fiction that tells a complete story in 100 words or less.

Develop Your Editing and Revision Skills

ChatGPT can assist you in honing your editing and revision skills, providing examples of how to refine and polish your writing. Use prompts that focus on different aspects of the editing process, from addressing issues with grammar and punctuation to improving the overall structure and flow of your work.

Identify and correct any grammatical or punctuation errors in the following paragraph.

Rearrange the sentences in this paragraph to create a more coherent and logical flow of ideas.

Revise the following passage to eliminate unnecessary words and phrases, making it more concise and impactful.

ChatGPT can be a powerful tool for creative writing, providing inspiration, guidance, and assistance in crafting unique and engaging content.

By exploring various prompts, techniques, and best practices, you can harness the potential of ChatGPT to enhance your writing skills, generate captivating stories, and develop your own distinctive voice as a writer.

Embrace the possibilities of AI-assisted creative writing, and let ChatGPT be your partner in your literary journey.

110+ ChatGPT Prompts for Coding

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About R.J. Adams

R.J. is an artificial intelligence aficionado, committed to demystifying the intricacies of this cutting-edge technology for enthusiasts and novices alike. Leveraging his comprehensive background in internet marketing, online tools, and communications, he continually ventures into the landscape of newly released AI tools, conducting thorough tests and analyses, as well as finding the best prompts to use on the latest AI tools. He can also solve Rubik's Cube in under 2 minutes.

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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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How to use AI writing prompts to get the best out of your AI tools

Written by by Annette Chacko

Published on  October 31, 2023

Reading time  9 minutes

As the popularity of AI marketing gains momentum, there is a rising need among marketers to sharpen their skills in writing prompts to fully leverage their investments in AI tools. Even though these tools are becoming more user-friendly and intuitive with time, you still need the right nuances in AI prompts to generate desired responses.

We’ll help you navigate this learning curve so you can write effective prompts that align with your different marketing needs. Read on to understand the mechanics of AI writing prompts and how to craft them for the best results. Plus, explore different types of prompts and use cases.

What are AI writing prompts?

AI writing prompts are a form of interaction between a user and an AI tool that enables the model to generate the desired result. Prompts enhance the efficiency of an AI platform so it processes data more efficiently to derive valuable insights and generate engaging content.

An image defining AI prompts. The text reads AI writing prompts are a form of interaction between a user and an AI tool that enables the model to generate the desired result.

AI prompts are both an art and a science. They need human intuition and creativity to formulate the right query and combination of elements necessary to catalyze an AI tool’s built-in prompt logic. It’s only then that you will fully utilize your AI tool and get the insights and ideas you need.

AI tools enable you to offload time-consuming tasks, saving time and energy for strategy planning and development. With effective AI prompts you can optimize these tools to extract key information from social listening and customer experience data.

Also, ideate and draft compelling content such as product descriptions, web articles and social posts. This is especially useful, given content creation remains one of the most time-consuming tasks for marketers, per The Sprout Social Index™ .

An image that states a finding from the Sprout Social Index report. It says content creation remains one of the most time-consuming tasks for social marketers.

AI prompts also help you customize content for a global audience by adapting it for different demographics to reach a wider audience. You also have the flexibility to adapt the tone and style of your writing based on the situation—a crucial part of AI-driven customer experience .

With this context in mind, let’s take a look at the different types of AI writing prompts needed to achieve various tasks.

Types of AI prompts

According to The 2023 State of Social Media report , 93% of business leaders say they expect to increase investment in AI and ML to scale social customer care functions over the next three years. It’s clear that brands are exploring AI capabilities for marketing and beyond more confidently. It’s no longer a question of when but how they will adopt AI.

Data visualization that says 93% of business leaders expect to increase investment in AI and ML to scale social customer care functions over the next three years per the 2023 State of Social Media report.

Effective writing prompts spark your creativity and help you write more thoughtfully, so you can better meet your goals. Here’s a look at how different types of AI writing prompts serve various purposes.

An image that mentions the different types of AI prompts. The top three are Creative, informational and reasoning.

Creative prompts 

These are used to develop engaging and creative content based on audience preferences. This includes long and short-form copy, artwork, music and videos. An example of a short-form AI writing prompt is, “Create a social post for Mother’s Day” and for a long-form is, “Write an email introducing (insert: new product) to an existing customer”.

Creative prompts can also be used to create content to mimic a certain writing style. For example, “Write a short brand origin story for a social post in the style of Mark Twain.”

If you’re using an AI image generation tool, a good prompt could read, “Create an image of a child playing with a dog in a garden”.


These prompts are used to extract details from big data to inform decision-making. For example, to get an overview of a competing brand, a prompt could read: Give me a brief history of Nike’s more successful shoe line.

These are used to draw conclusions about a subject and are useful in developing compelling content. For example, “What is the impact of building strong communities on social?”

Listicles are multi-purpose AI writing prompts used to compile a list of options such as email subject lines, blog titles, brands, etc. For example, “Write a list of blog titles on the importance of an effective content calendar”.


These help generate content to provide guidance. These serve various purposes such as customer service AI or creating a guide for a new team member. An instructional prompt may read, “Explain the steps needed to upgrade from the Sprout Social Standard plan to the Enterprise plan.”


These prompts create interactive conversations and can be used in multiple ways. For example, to train a human resource team, a prompt would read: Pretend this is a job interview and I am interviewing a candidate for the role of a social media manager.

These AI writing prompts are words or phrases that are closest to the goal of the generative content. These are mostly used to draw insights from data or in image or video creation.

How do AI prompts work?

AI writing prompts need to be very specific and contain all the essential elements required to elicit an optimal response. Here’s why this is necessary.

AI prompt engineering depends heavily on natural language processing (NLP). The technology helps the tool interpret queries, written in a conversational style, to generate relevant answers. NLP algorithms scan all the data points in a query, as machine learning and other AI tasks work in tandem, to generate the corresponding output. This process involves three stages:

An image explaining the different stages in which AI prompt engineering works behind the scenes to process a prompt and generate a response.

1. Asking a query

The AI writing prompt is analyzed by natural language understanding (NLU), a subtask of NLP. This technology helps the tool identify the context of the query so other AI and ML tasks can take necessary steps to generate the right response.

2. Processing the query

The AI model scans available data to search for relevant information by using sub-tasks such as named entity recognition (NER) and intent recognition. Entity extraction and part of speech (POS) taggers in the tool identify relevant keywords and details such as the task (write a blog post), style (creative/formal) or word count (100).

Sentiment mining algorithms analyze the processed information and detect the tone to match the intent of the user. They modulate the response for appropriate phrasing and style as NLP algorithms choose the right words, grammar and syntax to create the output.

3. Answering the query

This part uses natural language generation (NLG), where different data points based on the question string in the prompt combine to generate a response. In the background, neural networks (NNs) help the tool retain the context of the query throughout a conversation. This enables the tool to remember previous prompts and generate responses relevant to the ongoing interaction.

Eventually, the tool generates the most accurate response based on its training and the AI writing prompt’s style (creative, listicle, keyword, etc.).

How to write AI prompts

AI writing prompts must be clear, concise and direct to ensure the tool understands the task accurately. Each query must be finely tuned, considering factors like topic relevance, keyword selection, structural coherence and target audience, to elicit the best possible response. Let’s dive in.

Goal : Be specific about the goal of your project. Are you creating a social post, customer care response, an email or a blog? Since each of these content types has a particular style, the response generated will only be accurate if you focus it on the goal.

Task: Your prompt should not contain more than one task. Every new task must be a separate query. For example, if you want to write a list of the most popular clothing brands with short descriptions and rank them according to popularity, you need to break this query into two parts.

Your first prompt will read, “Create a list of the most popular clothing brands and rank them according to popularity.” Once the tool generates the list, write the second prompt, “Write a short description for each brand on the list.”

Topic: Specify your topic. Are you writing about a healthcare product, the environment or a particular industry?

Target Audience: Think about who you are creating the content for. Is your target audience between the ages of 30 and 40? Are you writing for a group of professionals such as lawyers or teachers? Or is your content aimed toward customers you wish to convert?

Persona : Mention the persona you are writing for based on key traits, roles and responsibilities. For example, an AI writing prompt aimed at executive audiences could say, “Write a blog for business leaders in the SaaS industry about data security”. Specifying the persona is important because it helps the AI tool choose the correct vocabulary from its database and use it contextually.

Tone: Choosing the correct tone for your content makes it more compelling and engaging. This is especially useful in marketing communications and customer care. Specifying a tone such as assertive, happy, empathetic or friendly, helps sentiment analysis algorithms within the AI tool to choose appropriate words and phrasings in the response to ensure it matches the tone you specify.

Style : Mention how you want your response to be formatted. For example, you can ask for the output to be in bulleted form, paragraph or prose.

Keyword: Be specific about what you want from the response. The more specific you are in your query, the more accurate the output will be.

Word count: Last but not least, define the word count. It helps the AI tool know how long or short the response needs to be. In doing so, the tool can decide how much and what details are important to include in the response.

Combining as many of these elements in your prompt will help elicit the best response from your AI tool. Think of each of these elements as keywords and include or exclude them from your prompts as required.

Points to remember

Even though an AI tool generates answers conversationally, its understanding of nuances and contexts is limited. To meet this challenge, you must:

  • Be clear in your instructions.
  • Rephrase your queries if you’re not getting the response you want. This will also help train the tool to match your style.
  • Ask a close-ended question if you’re looking for a specific answer.
  • Include as much relevant detail as possible in your query.

Check the generated content for plagiarism and accuracy to meet the standards of your organization’s AI use policy .

Examples of AI prompts to improve your writing

Here are some examples of AI writing prompts used in different scenarios for content generation that will help improve your writing.

1. Social media messages

Social teams work on tight deadlines and constrained bandwidths to manage brand campaigns. Social tools with generative AI capabilities are apt for managing this challenge, like Sprout’s Suggestions by AI Assist feature.

The tool’s built-in prompt logic will generate three post options based on your prompt and enable you to make edits as you deem fit. You can also change the tone of the copy to be more confident, friendly or professional.

Here an AI writing prompt could read, “Are you feeling those summer vibes? Try our new seasonal lavender latte today.”

2. Social listening

According to the 2023 State of Social Media report, 97% of business leaders believe AI and ML tools will enable companies to analyze social media data and insights more efficiently. AI prompts are key in helping achieve this goal.

A data visualization card that reads 97% of business leaders believe AI and ML tools will enable companies to analyze social media data and insights more efficiently per the 2023 State of Social Media report.

In such cases, the AI writing prompt is a keyword or a key phrase meant to extract meaningful information from social listening data. It should not be a sentence as this will dilute the accuracy of the result.

For example, in Sprout’s Queries by AI Assist, your prompt will be the keyword most relevant to your listening goal. When you write a topic keyword, such as a brand name for competitive analysis, the tool’s intuitive ML model will generate semantically similar keyword suggestions to assist in your listening goal.

A screenshot of Sprout's Queries by AI assist features that gives you 5 options based on your keyword.

You can apply the same logic to exclude terms from your social listening to narrow your search.

A screenshot of Sprout's Queries by Assist feature where you can exclude keywords from your listening data to reduce noise and get targeted information.

3. Copywriting

If you’re using AI prompts to fast-forward time-consuming parts of your writing project, the prompt will have a blend of the elements mentioned in the previous section.

For example, to make an article on social media budget management more compelling, you could include a sample social media budget. Getting one from a generative AI tool will save you time from actually calculating it.

In this case, I specified the goal (budget plan) and topic (influencer marketing) along with very specific details such as the maximum budget and the tenure of the budget. The writing prompt reads, “Create a budget plan for influencer marketing keeping within $4000 for the year.”

A screenshot of a response generated by an AI tool using the AI prompt, “Create a budget plan for influencer marketing keeping within $4000 for the year.”

4. AI art prompt

AI writing prompts for image-generation tools are a bit different from copywriting tools. These prompts need to be very specific and contain keywords related to all the elements you want in your artwork.

For example, I created this image for a social post advertising snow boots using this prompt: Winter boots on a snowy cliff surrounded by evergreen trees and autumn leaves, in front of mountains.

An image from a generative AI tool that shows winter boots with a winter background. The image was created using an AI art prompt that said, "Winter boots on a snowy cliff surrounded by evergreen trees and autumn leaves, in front of mountains."

Master AI writing prompts to optimize your work

AI writing prompts enable you to dig into social media metrics, competitor performance and audience engagement levels. They are also great for creating content strategies, relevant social posts and targeted ads for higher conversions. Knowing how to mix the right elements in an AI prompt is the key to getting the best out of AI tools so you work smarter, not harder.

Use these tips to create stellar prompts as you explore AI marketing tools to manage your time and workflows better.

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Writing Forward

  • Creative Writing Prompts Inspired by Historical Events

by Melissa Donovan | Oct 24, 2023 | Creative Writing Prompts | 11 comments

creative writing prompts

Creative writing prompts inspired by historical events.

Today’s prompts include selections from the book 1200 Creative Writing Prompts . Enjoy!

Nonfiction writers are obviously inspired by the real world, but fiction writers and poets also take inspiration from real people and events.

Wars, scandals, scientific advances, and famous figures in history have all been represented in every form of writing.

Works of fiction that resonate best with readers contain a kind of truth, a reflection of our own real experiences. That’s why looking to the events of history for story ideas is a great way to inspire a writing session. And of course, poetry takes inspiration from everything in the universe. While personal experiences may be more popular sources of inspiration, some incredible poems and stories have been triggered by real events throughout history.

Writing Prompts

You can use these creative writing prompts to write anything you want — a poem, a short story, a blog post, or a journal entry. The idea is to find the prompt that speaks to you and then start writing.

  • In a country that rants and raves about freedom, the government decides that its people should not be allowed to drink liquor. Write a story set during Prohibition in the United States.
  • The Great Depression filled the space between America’s Prohibition (which was still in effect during the Depression) and World War II. The Depression affected the entire world. Well-to-do people lost everything and found themselves standing in food lines. Ordinary people went to extraordinary measures to get a meager meal. Meanwhile, someone, somewhere profited.
  • World War II gave rise to what journalist Tom Brokaw called “the greatest generation.” Create a cast of compelling characters and write a story showing how circumstances forced them to become great.
  • The entertainment industry boomed in the twentieth century. Technology changed entertainment from an attraction you paid to see in a theater or other public setting to something you could enjoy from the comfort of your home. Every home had a radio. Black-and-white silent films evolved into Technicolor talkies. Now we have the Internet. Write a story centered on entertainment technologies of the past.
  • Spaceships, planes, and men on the moon: We started out traveling around on foot. Then some clever Neanderthal invented the wheel. Now, we soar through the skies and tear through space. Write a story about a long journey set in an era when planes, trains, and automobiles weren’t readily available.
  • The 1960s gave us Civil Rights, Woodstock, and the space race. What happens when a nation’s people are divided? What happens when minorities of people are oppressed? What happens when ordinary kids decide they don’t want to grow up and become just like their parents? Mix in the fact that there’s a war nobody understands and most people don’t believe in. Add drugs, flowers, and peace signs, and you’ve got the sixties. Write a story set during this iconic decade.
  • Write a story that is set around the assassination of an important, benevolent, historical figure: for example, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, JFK, or John Lennon.
  • Revolution could be defined as a war between a state and its people. Revolution often occurs when people are oppressed to the point of mass suffering. Choose one such revolution from history and write a story about the people who launched it.
  • Throughout history, people have emigrated across land and ocean. Choose a time period of heavy human migration. Then choose a starting place and a destination and write the story of a character or group of characters who take the voyage. Focus on the journey, not the place of origin or the destination.
  • The 1950s are often painted as a simple and idealistic time in American history. One income could support an entire family. Jobs were plentiful. Moms stayed home with their kids. Divorce was scandalous. Write about a protagonist who didn’t fit the mold, whose life was difficult because of the cultural and societal conventions of the time.

Good luck with these creative writing prompts! Have fun and don’t forget to come back and tell us how they worked for you.

Got any writing prompts of your own to share or add to this list? Leave a comment.

Creative Writing Prompts


Benjamin Gorman

Great ideas for prompts. I’ll be stealing these for my Creative Writing class. Here’s one I came up with for a poetry class I’m teaching this summer. Feel free to try it and give it a more thorough explanation here, if you like it. essentially, the writer goes through his or her twitter feed or Facebook status updates and writes a list of the interesting verbs and nouns, then puts them together in interesting ways to form found poetry or story ideas. Here’s the list I came up with:

Melissa Donovan

Hi Benjamin. I like the idea of getting word lists from Twitter and using them to prompt a writing session. Thanks for sharing!


Almost every time when I read scientific news I get ideas for my book set in far future. Or when I look at space pictures from Hubble. Sometimes I simply can’t enjoy reading the articles itself – ideas, ideas are coming! 🙂

I know the feeling! I was researching outer space just this weekend. Sometimes, I get so many ideas, it takes me a few days to work out which ones I should use!


I found this very interesting. Woodstock caught my eye because although I was not there the music is from my generation. My mind is overflowing with possibilities………….

Ooh, cool. Woodstock was before my time, but I’m fascinated by the Woodstock culture. There are definitely stories to be told there! Good luck with yours!

Kelvin Kao

And isn’t it convenient that history just repeats itself? 😉


I suppose it could include events in one’s own life? Pretty potent events inspired my entry into fiction.

Of course. Some of the best inspiration comes from real-life experiences.

Jesse Byron

Speaking of cultural movements, does it seem to anyone else that America has entered a sort of post-Romantic era?

This is from Britannica : “Introspection was inevitable in the literature of an immediately Post-Romantic period, and the age itself was as prone to self-analysis as were its individual authors.”

I don’t think I’d use that description to describe what is happening in America right now. I would call this a divisive era. Dark, dystopian works seem to be popular juxtaposed against commercial art that could be construed as shallow or meaningless ( Hunger Games v. Fifty Shades ). In fact, one might say that there is a struggle between materialism and meaning. We could also call it the post-technology age, where we are challenged to adjust to a new system in which we rely heavily on technology and it has cost lots of jobs.

What a great question, Jesse. It’s given me much to think about. I do believe we are on the cusp of some new era. We live in fascinating times!

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Writing Prompt Generator

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