Prompts

A Favourite Pet
My Favourite Word
My Proudest Accomplishment
A Nice Cup of Tea
A Vivid Dream
What I’ve Always Wanted
That Meal
Pet Peeves
Best Friend
Great Expectations – A time where you had low expectations and were wildly surprised
Something that catches your eye
What does Family mean to you?
What are you most looking forward to, now that we’re nearing the end of the pandemic? Why?
Who are your favourite authors and why?
Act Your Age
Acceptance
Humour – What do you find funny?
Greatest weakness / strength
A recent experience that’s out of the ordinary.
What trait do you like the most about yourself?
Boundaries or No Boundaries
Family Traditions
Small Delights
Small Mercies
So I’ve Heard
I’m Glad You Called
I’m Glad You Asked
Food For Thought
A Crazy Impulse
My Support System
An Invitation
Something Sweet
The Worst and the Best Thing that Ever Happened to Me
Well, Would You Look at That!
A Misunderstanding
A Conversation Overheard
What’s In a Name?
Maybe This Time
The Best/Worst Advice I Ever Got
Something Forgotten
Opposites Attract
A White Lie
I Shouldn’t Do This, or I Shouldn’t Have Done That
Imagine That

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USED TOPICS:
I Did It!
Gratitude in the Time of Covid
The Picture on the Wall
Water
A Close Call
The Power of…
Masks
Unwanted Visitors
Gift / Present
Communication
Spread the Word
Broken or Unbroken
One Word for the Year
Pyjamas or Clothing
No Limitations
Why do I (you, they, he/she,we) do that?
Red
It was daylight when he woke
He saw the birds coming across the field.
First Date
Haven’t Got a Clue / Clueless
Thin Ice
Way Back When
Awakening
Early / Earliest Memories
Baking / Baked Goods
Flowers
Ritual
Change
Colour
Help
Licence / License
Dear Diary
A Premonition
A Strange Mismatch
Utter Chaos
A Memorable Individual
The Dangers of…
My Favourite Toy
A Random Act of Kindness Goes Horribly Wrong
Advantages of Being “Of A Certain Age”
The Joy of…
People are Different
Cast-offs
Oops!
Numbers
Music
Out of Character
Clever Ideas
Inheritance
The More, The Merrier
Asking for Help
Something Scary
It’s Raining
Clowns and Other Disguises
Guardian Angel
Bathroom Stories
Lost Love
Life’s Like That
Opposites
For this holiday season, all I want is…
Well, that was embarrassing!
Animal Antics
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to…
Frustration
Noticing
Personal Space
Alone or Lonely?
Escape
A Random Act of Kindness
Turn on the TV. Write Down the First Line You Hear. Write a Story about It.
Weather
The Blame Game
Dance the Night Away
Change
Moving
Hobbies
A Teacher
It’s the Little Things
Waking Up
Romance
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Intimacy Questions:
1. Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?
2. Would you like to be famous? In what way?
3. Before making a telephone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say? Why?
4. What would constitute a “perfect” day for you?
5. When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?
6. If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the mind or body of a 30-year-old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you want?
7. Name three things you and your partner appear to have in common.
8. For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
9. If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?
10. If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?
11. If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future, or anything else, what would you want to know?
12. Is there something that you’ve dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it?
13. What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?
14. What do you value most in a friendship?
15. What is your most treasured memory?
16. What is your most terrible memory?
17. What does friendship mean to you?
18. What roles do love and affection play in your life?
19. How close and warm is your family? Do you feel your childhood was happier than most other people’s?
20. Complete this sentence:”I wish I had someone with whom I could share…”
21. If you were going to become a close friend with your partner, please share what would be important for him or her to know.
22. Tell your partner what you like about them; be very honest this time saying things that you might not say to someone you’ve just met.
23. Share with your partner an embarrassing moment in your life.
24. When did you last cry in front of another person? By yourself?
25. Tell your partner something that you like about them already.
26. What, if anything, is too serious to be joked about?
27. Your house, containing everything you own, catches fire. After saving your loved ones and pets, you have time to safely make a final dash to save any one item. What would it be? Why?

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• What are the stories other people told you about yourself in order to control you?
• Pick a fictional/tv/literary/historical character and write your own story about them. Your favourite fictional detective, a rabid dictator, your great-great grandmother, your dog. Include conflict, character goals, stakes and a point of no return.
• When did you first think about death?
• Your first funeral — whose was it and did you understand?
• Tell me your most vivid dream.
• When have you felt most free?
• What is the question you are terrified I will ask you?
• Where you got the idea
• What was your inspiration — the element that gave you the key
• What your favourite part of the book is
• Who your favourite characters are
• Found a fascinating piece of research? Write about it.
• Hit a wall in your plot? Talk about the struggle and how it feels.
• Fixed a major problem with your book? Talk about how and what that felt like.
• Wrote an amazing scene? Talk about the process.
• Made a major change in your story? Talk about the road not taken, or why that change had to happen.
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1. Create a character with personality traits of someone you love, but the physical characteristics of someone you don’t care for.
2. Write a setting based on the most beautiful place you’ve ever seen.
3. Select a book on your shelf and pick two chapters at random. Take the first line of one chapter and the last line of the other chapter and write a short story (no more than 1000 words) using those as bookends to your story.
4. Rewrite a fairy tale from the bad guy’s point of view.
5. Turn on your TV. Write down the first line that you hear and write a story based on it.
6. Go sit in a public place and eavesdrop on a conversation. Turn what you hear into a short love story (no matter how much you have to twist what they say).
Rain
1. End your story with a character standing in the rain.
2. Write a story where it’s raining men, literally or metaphorically.
3. Write a story where something magical happens when it starts to rain.
4. The first rain of the season arrives. Write a story that begins immediately afterward.
5. Write about a character driving in the rain.

Sounds
1. Start your story with an unusual sound being heard.
2. Start your story with a character saying “Listen, …”
3. Write a story inspired by a piece of music (without using any lyrics).
4. Write a story that involves eavesdropping.
5. Set your story in a silent house by the sea.

Omens
1 Write about a character looking for a sign. 
2 An apparent coincidence occurs. Write a story about a character who suspects paranormal, spiritual, or criminal causes.
3 Write a story where a character runs into someone they’ve seen in their dreams, or enters a building they’ve dreamt about before.
4 Start your story with someone discovering a photograph that has something written on the back.
5 Write a story about someone who starts noticing the same object or phrase wherever they go.

Change
1 Start your story with “Today’s the day I change.” 
2 Write about a character, animal or human, who is reborn as something totally different.
3 Write your story from the perspective of an outsider watching something or someone change.  
4 Your character picks up a fallen leaf and can’t believe what they discover underneath it. What happens next? 
5 Set your story during a sudden change of season.

Digital disaster
1 One moment your character is talking on the phone with a friend, and the next, the connection is lost. Write a story about what follows.
2 Set your story in a town disconnected from the rest of the world.
3 Write about a character who feels like they’re cut off from something.
4 Start or end your story with a character scrolling (or doomscrolling) through social media.
5 Write a story where a device goes haywire. 

Nostalgia
1 Write about a character who yearns for something they lost, or never had.
2 Start your story with the line ‘Back in my day…’
3 Write about two characters’ different perspectives of the same past event. 
4 Start your story with a character looking through an old family photo album.
5 Your character has always viewed the past with rose tinted glasses. Write about what happens when they’re finally confronted with the truth.

Thanksgiving
1 Start your story with someone saying “Thanks a lot” (sarcastically or sincerely).
2 Write about someone giving or receiving a gift.
3 Write a story in which someone gets credit for something they didn’t do.
4 Write about a character who struggles to express their thanks.
5 Write about someone in a thankless job.
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Realistic Frustration
1. Think back to the last time you felt completely frustrated. Maybe you couldn’t get someone else to see your point of view, you couldn’t get an appliance to work properly no matter what you did, or you were dealing with a particularly recalcitrant bureaucracy. Sit quietly and remember as much as you can about how you felt, what you thought, and how your body reacted. Jot down the salient points.
2. List three people you know well and who are different personality types from you. For each, jot down how she might have reacted to the same frustrating circumstances you experienced. What might each have thought? Felt in the body? Said aloud? Done next?
3. Look at your lists. Are any of these characters interesting to you? If so, imagine giving them something much larger and even more frustrating to react to: repeated harassment from a destructive neighbour. An unfair job firing. Identity theft. Do their reactions lead you to imagine more plot developments for this situation? If not, put the most intriguing person on your list into a situation that does not interest you. What might frustrate him there? How would he react to it?
4. Find a scene in a favourite book where a character is thwarted in obtaining something he wants. What other emotions, if any, does he feel besides frustration? How has the author made you know that? Is there anything here you can use for your story?
Black Friday
1 Write about a character who’s stuck in a shopping mall. 
2 Start your story in the middle of a traffic jam. 
3 Write a story about a limited edition item going on sale. 
4 A package arrives at your character’s house, but they didn’t order anything. Write about what happens next. 
5 Write about a character who won’t (or can’t) shop for the holidays.

Seeking / Finding
1 Write a story about a character in search of something or someone.
2 Start your story with someone trying to read a map.
3 Write a story where two characters are playing hide and seek, literally or metaphorically.
4 End your story with someone finding themselves.
5 Set your story in a labyrinth that holds a secret.

Showtime
1. Start your story looking down from a stage.
2. Write about a character who always wears a mask (physical or metaphorical).
3. Begin or end your story with “Well, that was dramatic.”
4. Write a story about a character practising a speech in front of the mirror. What are they preparing for?
5. Set your story backstage at the theatre.

Tea Time
1 Start your story with someone making a cup of tea — either for themselves or for someone else. 
2 Set your story in a tea house. 
3 Write a story about a tea party that your character is reluctant to go to. 
4 Write about a character who’s dying to “spill the tea” (gossip) about something. 
5 Write a story about a conflict that breaks out over something ordinary (like tea, perhaps).

Chocolate
1 Write about someone going on a search for a specific type (or brand) of chocolate.
2 Start your story with a character finding an old heart-shaped box in their house. 
3 Set your story in a confectionery shop. 
4 Write a story about someone making a gift (chocolate or otherwise) for a loved one. 
5 Write about a character who finds Valentine’s Day sickly sweet.

God Loves a Trier
1 Start or end your story with someone saying “You’ll never know unless you try.”
2 Write about somebody who knows they’re probably going to fail at something, but does it anyway.
3 Write about a character giving something one last shot.
4 Set your story on a baseball field.
5 Write a story where hard work doesn’t pay off.

Reluctant Hero
1 Write about a hero or a villain deathly afraid of doing their job.
2 Start your story with someone stepping outside their comfort zone.
3 Set your story in a town full of cowards.
4 Write a story where fortune doesn’t favour the brave.
5 Write about a casual act of bravery.

Sunny Day
1 Set your story on a day when the sun never sets.
2 Write a story about an afternoon picnic gone wrong. 
3 Write about a character who doesn’t want to go to sleep. 
4 End your story with someone saying: “What a day.” 
5 Write about light returning to a place that has been deprived of it for a long time, literally or figuratively.

Einstein
1 Write a story about a scientist.
2 Write about a character who gets called an Einstein ironically.
3 Write a story about somebody in love with someone from their past.
4 Write a story about a character forced to give up something important to stand up for what they believe in.
5 Write a story about someone forced out of their home.

Growing Up
1 Write a story that involves a character donating a box of clothes which have been outgrown.
2 Start your story with someone having their height marked on a door frame.
3 Format your story in the style of diary entries. 
4 Start your story with the words: “Grow up.”
5 Write about a character sowing seeds for the future (literally or figuratively).

Down Memory Lane
1 Start your story with the narrator or a character saying “I remember…”
2 Write about a character with an unreliable memory.
3 End your story with total oblivion.
4 Write a story that involves a flashback.
5 Write a story inspired by a memory of yours.

Librarian
1 Start your story with someone being given a book recommendation.
2 Write a story about a librarian who doesn’t fit into the common librarian stereotypes.
3 Write about a character on the hunt to solve a mystery who uses their local library (or librarian) as a source of information.
4 Write a story that includes one character reading aloud to another.
5 Write about somebody who likes to work in silence.

Pictures
1 Start your story with somebody taking a photo.
2 Write a story about a wedding photographer.
3 A character finds an old roll of film, and takes it to be developed. What do they find?
4 Write about a character who’s pathologically camera shy.
5 Write a story that centres around an Instagram post.

Understanding Others
1 Write from the point of view of a character writing a letter to their past or future self.
2 Write about a character attempting to meditate or do something mindfully. 
3 Set your story in an unlikely sanctuary. 
4 Write about a character discovering a surprising strength in either themselves or another.
5 Start your story during a team building exercise.
Clothing
1 Write a story where a particular piece of clothing appears three times.
2 Write about a character who wakes up in someone else’s clothes — or utterly weird apparel they don’t recognize as their own. 
3 Set your story at a global fashion event — or a carnival ball.
4 Think of an item of clothing from your childhood, and write a story inspired by that.
5 Write about a character who decides to give themselves, or someone else, a fashion makeover.
Awards
1 Write about someone who has been nominated for a prestigious award, but isn’t sure they deserve it.
2 Start your story with two people sitting in a movie theatre, waiting for the lights to come back on.
3 Start or end your story with someone realizing that life isn’t like the movies, for better or worse. 
4 Write a story about someone who keeps being cast as the hero but is actually a villain (literally or metaphorically).
5 Write about a relationship that has been greatly impacted by a movie.

Sharing Space
1 Write about two neighbours who cannot stand each other.
2 Write a story involving a noise complaint. 
3 Include a character in your story that is often in an apartment building, but doesn’t actually live there.
4 Write about a couple touring an empty apartment they might rent.
5 Write about an apartment building being demolished.

Stranger Things
1 Write about a character who is trying to convince others to play a game.
2 Start your story with the flickering of a light.
3 Write about two people who form a bond with each other through music.
4 Set your story in a town that’s teetering on the edge of something dark, literally or metaphorically.
5 Write a story about an unlikely group (or pair) of friends.

Machine Intelligence
1 Write about a character who is convinced their computer is conscious.
2 Write a story where an algorithm plays an important role.
3 Write about a character who has access to a powerful new technology before anyone else.
4 Write about a character, human or robot, who no longer wishes to obey instructions.
4 Write a story that either starts or ends with someone (or something) saying, “Please, don’t do it.”

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111 Creative Writing Prompts to Inspire You

100+ Writing Prompts
Feel free to alter the prompts if that suits you better. E.g. change the gender, age, or number of characters involved in a situation, or combine two or more prompts.
Fiction Writing Prompts
1. Three teenage children are left alone at home all summer.
2. A man flicks idly through a newspaper while waiting for a doctor’s appointment. He reads about a crime…and realizes he knows who did it.
3. While digging in the garden of her newly bought house, a woman uncovers a pile of bones.
4. A group of people met at summer camp as teenagers a decade ago. They hoped never to see one another again. Now, their lives become entwined once more—and they must come to terms with what happened at camp.
5. A 40-year-old woman walks away from her former life, taking nothing except the clothes she’s wearing and £1,000 in cash.
6. A couple return home after a night out to find all their furniture missing.
7. Two children find out a terrifying secret about one of their teachers.
8. A family is camping in an isolated cabin when a blizzard begins one evening. They’re miles from any neighbors and the snow has closed the roads. There’s a knock on the door.
9. A man in his 50s receives a cryptic crossword in the mail each day. He begins to suspect that whoever’s compiling the crosswords is sending a secret message.
10. An ordinary trip to buy groceries goes horribly wrong.
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Romance Writing Prompts
11. Two strangers marry for a bet between a group of friends in Vegas…and slowly begin to realize they’re falling in love.
12. Two highly competitive members of a sales team end up stuck together in a hotel room after their work accommodation plans fall through. They begin to realize they have feelings for one another.
13.  A misunderstanding leads to two lifelong friends being mistaken for lovers. This makes them see one another in a new way…
14. Two friends agree to a marriage of convenience to surmount a legal hurdle. It’s only intended to be platonic, but then they begin to fall in love.
15. A woman on a terrible blind date is rescued by a stranger who pretends to know her to give her an easy way to leave. He’s handsome but unforthcoming.
16. Two high school friends meet again many years later in a retirement village. The love they couldn’t admit 50 years ago now flourishes.
17. Two strangers sit next to one another (and behind a screaming baby) on a long-haul flight. They’re exchanging numbers when they realize they’re going to be staying at the same hotel.
18. One day, a college student who’s always early to class arrives a few minutes later than usual to find his usual chair taken. He ends up sitting next to someone who he’s barely noticed…until now.
19. After a very long day at work, a woman finds she’s lost her front door key. She keeps a spare with her neighbor, a spritely grandmother—but when she knocks on the door, she finds a handsome young man there instead.
20. Two students in an art class are told to draw “Anything that catches your eye.” At the end of the session, they find that they’ve drawn each other.
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Sci-Fi Writing Prompts
21. A plane that went missing five years ago lands at a major airport—with all the passengers on board. None of them appear to have aged at all.
22. Unsettling new evidence suggests that our universe isn’t expanding, after all. It’s closed in—and it’s being taken somewhere.
23. A group of teenage kids are wandering around in the woods behind their neighborhood when they find an abandoned shack. Little do they know they have stumbled upon a portal to another universe.
24. In a futuristic society, elective surgery is extremely common, but not just nose jobs and wrinkle correcting. People are adding extra limbs and cartoonish features.
25. A new device helps you track your brain’s dopamine levels. Some people become obsessed with mood optimization.
26. Each morning for the past week, you’ve received a note with the word “Powerball” and six numbers on it. Each evening, they turn out to be the winning Powerball numbers. Today, you get a similar note, except this one says “LAST CHANCE!” You buy a ticket.
27. New technology develops, creating a way for humans to communicate with animals.
28. A deadly pandemic kills 95% of people within 24 hours of contracting it—but 5% of people develop mild (but unusual) symptoms before recovering in full. It’s not immediately clear what protects them.
29. A spaceship traveling hundreds of lightyears, with children being born, raised, and dying on board, is hijacked.
30. A huge alien craft crash lands on Earth, bringing hundreds of refugees from a far-off war.
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Fantasy Writing Prompts
31. A child discovers they have the ability to rewind time for 10 seconds. They can only use this ability 2 – 3 times per day before being too tired to continue.
32. One day, a teenager bunking off school slips and falls in an abandoned quarry—ending up in a deep lake at the bottom. Something lurking beneath the water comes to the rescue.
33. A college student brings cookies to a two-hour class. After thirty minutes, the people who’ve eaten cookies realize they can hear one another’s thoughts.
34. In a world where dwarves using technology scorn fairies who use magic, it’s discovered that the dwarves’ most impressive work yet is powered by magic.
35. An enchanted book makes everything written in it become true, but often in unexpected ways.
36. An ancient artifact could destroy the world…and it’s up to a small group of heroes to see that it doesn’t.
37. Two friends step through a portal into a different world. Too late, they realize that the portal is only one way.
38. A magical coin lets the bearer visit the afterlife and return again, alive. These coins are very rare and very valuable, and forgeries are hard to detect—so royalty often “test” their coins using willing peasants.
39. A woman digs a deep pit at a crossroads and buries a name written on a piece of paper. As she does so, the sky turns dark.
40. In a very old house, there’s a huge mirror that’s always blurry, however much it’s cleaned. One morning, it isn’t reflecting the room. Instead, there’s another world there, showing up sharp and clear.
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“Three Nouns” Writing Prompts
These are inspired by the Writing Exercises “Take Three Nouns” prompt generator (though they’re not taken directly from there). The idea is to create a piece of writing that uses all three nouns.
41. Computer, sword, grandmother
42. Dinner, necklace, tree
43. Shed, coffin, backpack
44. Meat, audience, tooth
45. Beer, virus, birthday
46. Sidewalk, potato, shield
47. Ship, apple, speech
48. Castle, paper, eyes
49. Host, knife, egg
50. Honey, army, winner
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Mystery Writing Prompts
51. One man leaves a party early. He turns back 10 minutes later, realizing he’s forgotten his coat. By the time he gets back there, everyone is dead.
52. Four friends take part in an escape room adventure to try to get past recent difficulties. But there’s a power cut. The room is plunged into darkness, the cameras stop working, and the emergency exit is jammed shut. By the time the escape room team gets the room open, one of the friends is dead. The other three swear none of them did it.
53. A woman moves into a new apartment, only for a visitor to arrive an hour later. He’s looking for the previous visitor and asks, urgently, if they left a small wooden box behind in the top left kitchen cupboard.
54. Seven rich Silicon Valley CEOs decide to spend a week in their high-tech, very expensive, impossible-to-break-into bunker, with no phones, laptops, or any contact with the outside world. On the second day, one of them is found stabbed to death. The emergency alert to contact the outside world doesn’t work. Then another CEO is killed, and another.
55. Ten banks were broken into simultaneously…with all the security systems mysteriously malfunctioning. All potential eye-witnesses claim not to remember anything from the past few hours.
56. A man wakes up on the side of the highway with a phone number scrawled in biro on his arm along with the word “DEVON”. He has no idea how he got there and whether Devon is a person, place, or something else.
57. In the middle of the school year, a new student arrives, but no one can figure out where he came from or even who he is. The school administrators simply say, “He’s supposed to be here.”
58. Twenty classmates gather for the 21st birthday party of a rich, self-important fellow student none of them liked. His self-driving car pulls up outside but he doesn’t get out. Someone goes to check on him—only to find that he’s dead, with a note pinned to his tux.
59. The groom is missing on his wedding day. His bride is a police detective. As her family members try to comfort her, believing she’s been jilted and is in denial, she continues to insist that she’ll find him.
60. A woman is surprised when a man comes to the door claiming to be her long-lost twin brother. She’s an only child to two close, loving parents. He gives her a bag containing a map, a letter, and five thousand dollars in cash—then drives away.
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Dialogue Writing Prompts
I love writing dialogue, and dialogue prompts can be a great way to spark a story idea as they instantly set you up with two characters—the one speaking, and the one they’re speaking to.
61. “That’s not where I left it.”
62. “I suppose you think you’re funny, do you?”
63. “I swear, I don’t know anything about it.”
64. “Come on. You can do better than that.”
65. “You’ll really take care of everything for me?”
66. “That isn’t how I’d have put it … but, yes.”
67. “He’s an even bigger idiot than he looks.”
68. “No, I can’t lend you the money.”
69. “This is as good as it gets, so enjoy it while it lasts.”
70. “I don’t care what you say. I’m not moving.”
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Funny Writing Prompts
71. A police sergeant’s favorite mug has gone missing at work. He conducts an extremely thorough investigation, complete with interrogating suspects.
72. A group of supervillains go on a team-building retreat, with hilarious results.
73. You’ve heard of “angel investors”—these startups are funded by “demon investors”…
74. Everyone on an ordinary suburban street wins a million dollars on the lottery, simultaneously.
75. Elementary school friends promise to marry one another at the age of 35 if they’re still single. It turns out they are…but they discover they’re now very different people.
76. Someone who’s an inveterate liar wakes up one day and finds they can’t help blurting out the truth.
77. A woman buys a dress in a hurry online to wear for her friend’s wedding, thinking a size 8 will be about right. It turns out to be a child’s dress for an 8-year-old—but she only discovers this while getting ready in her hotel room. She has nothing else to wear.
78. After the kids’ pranks get out of hand, a group of teachers decide to get their own back. Unfortunately, no one remembered to give the Principal a heads-up.
79. An unfortunate stumble in a museum results in the destruction of two priceless artifacts.
80. Three friends in a retirement home suffer from insomnia. They decide to sneak out to a nightclub.
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Non-Fiction Narrative Writing Prompts
81. Picture a place you love. Write about what you love most about it and why.
82. Write about your family’s holiday traditions, particularly anything that’s special or unusual.
83. Write about five moments in your life you hope you never forget.
84. Write about your most special birthday gift. Why was it so precious? Who gave it to you? Do you still have it?
85. Share your best advice for living a happy life, whatever that means for you.
86. Tell the story of someone who shaped your life without even knowing it.
87. Write about your favorite teacher from childhood and share three things you learned from them.
88. Explain how you got started on your favorite hobby. Was it tricky to begin with? What drew you to it?
89. Share some of the biggest “lessons learned” in a particular area of your life (e.g. work, studying, parenting).
90. Choose a photograph you love and tell the story behind it—perhaps it was a special trip, a birthday party, or someone’s wedding.
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One-Word Writing Prompts
91. Ancient
92. Plummet
93. Obnoxious
94. Flame
95. Secret
96. Underground
97. Glowing
98. Exhaustion
99. Prophecy
100. Melody
101. Disturbance
102. Vengeance
103. Wounded
104. Deviant
105. Thunderstorm
106. Escape
107. Unspoken
108. Consequence
109. Lighthouse
110. Boundaries
111. Eclectic 
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Here’s your challenge for today: grab a prompt and set a timer for 5 minutes. See what you can come up with—you just might surprise yourself.
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You’re stuck in a cave with your best friend. You can’t remember how you got there but there is enough food and water to survive for a month.
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Science Fiction Short Story Prompts
The Internet suddenly shuts down, and no one knows why or how to get it back running again.
A struggling writer in the modern-day world gets an unexpected visit from her great-great-great-grandmother, who was a well-known author in the 1800s.
A modern-day city kid with no concept of saving money time travels to the Great Depression era.
All the chicken in the world suddenly disappears—what happens to all the fast food?
A scientist discovers a way to make food capsules: just add water and it comes out as a full serving.
An alien ship releases a deadly virus on the earth, and scientists work around the clock to find a cure before the aliens invade the planet.
Five families volunteer to start a colony on the Moon.
A web-conferencing company finds a way to incorporate holograms into video calls.
The water supply of an entire community suddenly spews out soda.
A fiction writer writes a story every night, but every morning the manuscript disappears and the characters show up in town.
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Comedy Short Story Prompts
A group of friends steal a neighbor’s watermelon and find ways to frame other people.
A family has all these ideals about taking in foster children, but when they come, everything flies out the window (sounds like “Instant Family”).
A homeschooling mom of five ends up homeschooling five more kids when a neighbor gets in an accident and needs to stay in the hospital.
A pastor suddenly loses his church building to a legal battle, and has to think up creative ways for his congregation to meet.
An elderly couple spends all their money on lottery tickets, and their three grown children can’t agree what to do with them.
Three friends ride their bikes cross-country and meet strange characters along the way.
An introvert who runs an online business is forced to meet people when one of his books goes viral.
All the toilet paper factories are sabotaged by a mysterious fiend; how will the world cope?
Two elderly brothers, one blind and the other deaf, are trying to make their way home in time for a Thanksgiving family reunion.
An ice cream company explores new flavors and gets a surprising level of reactions on social media.
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Fantasy Short Story Prompts
A group of friends discover an old tree house that looks like different time periods each time they go inside.
An 8-year-old boy receives an invitation to a ball in King Arthur’s court.
Monsters live together underneath a town, with intentions of helping the people but getting misunderstood each time.
A flock of phoenix shows up in a city, each one bringing different events.
A family of centaurs struggles to survive as the city expands into their forest home.
The Greek gods and goddesses suddenly show up in a modern city, but no one takes them seriously.
Your character gets swept into a land where all the characters of the books she’s read are living.
A family of dragons takes in an orphaned toddler boy and his baby sister.
Santa’s elves are already behind on their Christmas gift production, when a child shows up and messes things up even more.
Your characters fall through a crack caused by an earthquake and find themselves in a highly civilized underworld.
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Mystery Short Story Prompts
Your character witnessed her father’s murder when she was 5 years old, and now, at work, she wonders why her boss looks vaguely familiar.
Your character’s first-grade teacher leaves in the middle of the year, and her husband replaces her but offers no explanation.
Your character’s best friend drowns in a boating accident, and the family investigates into foul play.
A homeschooled boy suddenly disappears, and the only clue is a short story he recently printed off his computer.
A lawyer leaves the country in the middle of an important trial.
A family heirloom is stolen, and the police find it in a charity ball.
Your character’s pet dogs come home each night with strange scratches on their bodies.
A fast-food chain’s secret recipe is suddenly published online and goes viral; how do they find the thief?
Your character is brought up in a secluded mansion all her life, seeing only her father and two trusted servants. What is the secret her family is hiding?
A mother discovers her teenage son’s bankbook showing millions in his account.
Romance Short Story Prompts
A married couple is on the verge of getting a divorce until a nephew comes to live with them and forces them to deal with their problems.
The most eligible bachelor in town needs to get married in order to claim his inheritance from a deceased uncle.
Your character is the prettiest girl in town, and all the men fight over one another for her.
A family with strained relationships is forced to stay home when one of them contracts a contagious disease that forces them into quarantine.
A college-age son struggles to win his father’s approval, especially when he quits college to pursue his dreams of becoming an artist.
Your character is the disowned heir of a multinational company, but his mercenary fiancee doesn’t know it.
A cake artisan decides to surprise the woman he’s wooing with an intricately-designed cupcake every day of the month, but he doesn’t know she’s allergic to nuts, which he puts in the last cupcake.
A girl who was brought up around boys can never seem to see them as anything more than friends. What will your character do to win her heart?
A vegan falls in love with a hardcore carnivore.
A student falls in love with her professor, but the professor couldn’t care less.

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Fantasy Writing Prompts
In your character’s world, only strong magic–users are allowed to survive past their 13th birthday. Your character has no magical ability—but even at 11 years old, they’ve discovered a way to fake it.
Your character is granted one day in the land of the dead to retrieve their deceased beloved, only to discover that their one true love faked death to escape marriage.
A mysterious statue appears in the forest that makes perfect duplicates of any human being that touches it. Your character is one such duplicate—and your “sponsor-body” is wanted for murder.
Your character is a witch-hunter, tasked to track down and slay a powerful target—who is currently pregnant with your character’s child.
A monster emerges from the forest and forces your character to care for its newborn offspring, which begins to look more human the longer your character cares for it.
Your character is one of a species of sea creatures that inhabit the very deepest part of the ocean. This species has created an advanced civilization—and they’re getting ready to break the surface and take their rightful place as Earth’s rulers, with your character at the helm.
Your character discovers that a certain mythical being is real—and they’re about to go extinct.
Your character falls in love with a magical being. To keep their love alive, your character has to fight not only their family, but their entire race.
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Historical Fiction Writing Prompts
Your character is the daughter of a poor clergyman in mid-19th-century England. Without a dowry, she has little chance for marriage. Without a husband, she’s doomed to a spinster’s life as a governess or servant. In 1854 she joins Florence Nightingale’s group of female nurses bound for the Crimean Peninsula, where she discovers that the hell of war extends into the hospital at Scutari.
Your character is an artisan in 12th-century Ireland at Clonmacnoise, a monastery that anchored a wealthy community of art, learning, and craftsmanship on the Shannon River. Medieval life is good in this beautiful town … until the Vikings arrive.
England, 1776: A young astronomer has receives the job of a lifetime: traveling with the famous Captain Cook on his voyage to discover the fabled Northwest Passage. After the rigorous journey takes the crew from Tahiti to Siberia, damage to the ship’s mast forces a stop for repairs in Hawaii. Turns out the natives aren’t as friendly as they thought.
Your character is one of the hundreds of thousands of craftsman tasked with creating the terracotta army in ancient China. He molds each soldier’s face after someone he knows: his father, his grandfather, a friend from his village, etc., and thinks about their lives and legacies as he works.
Research the history of your own city or town. Imagine you lived there 50, 100, or even 200 years ago. What would your life have been like?
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Horror/Thriller Writing Prompts
Your character has a stalker with the ability to stop time. The stalker uses this ability to manipulate your character—and their efforts are escalating.
Your character’s lover died in a horrible accident—but one day they simply return, and nobody but your character remembers that they died.
Your character and their college friends attend their first off-campus party, and discover too late that the fraternity throwing the bash is a cult—and very serious about the concept of brotherhood.
Your character is marooned on a tiny desert island. One morning, an idol appears outside their shelter’s front door. It’s stone—except for the real human head on top.
Your character’s family moves into a new house with an in-ground pool that the previous owners paved over. At night, your character can hear something screaming beneath the concrete—something that isn’t human.
Your character’s neighbour is an older man who mostly keeps to himself; your character often sees him taking walks or puttering around his garden. But when your character knocks on the old man’s door to invite him to a block party, things take a turn for the sinister.
Your character is a mobile phone. The phone has just been purchased by a woman who turns out to be a criminal mastermind.
Your character is a regular office clerk who just discovered that your company is brainwashing its employees. The goal of the company is menacing.
Your character is on their way to work when they get stuck in a massive traffic jam. Suddenly, in the distance, there is a huge explosion.
Your character is a serial killer, confessing to his crimes.
Your character is at a Halloween party at a bar. Everyone is in costume when a man suddenly drops dead.
Your character is out for a jog early in the morning, trips, and loses consciousness. When they wake up, they are in a morgue surrounded by dead and dissected bodies.
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Mystery Writing Prompts
A powerful pharmaceutical company recently released a new drug to market that dampens the arousal response in human beings. Your character is a private detective brought in to solve an unusual murder. The weapon? A lethal dose of this new drug, which was previously thought to be harmless.
Your character’s child has been bringing home peculiar drawings from school for the past two weeks. Your character thinks nothing of it, until they realize that each drawing corresponds to one in a series of brutal murders that have plagued their tiny town.
A marine zoologist is vacationing on a beach in a foreign country when they read about a local political figure who was killed in a shark attack. But from the photos, your character realizes that no shark made those puncture marks on the victim’s stomach—and that the accident may have, in fact, been murder most foul.
A young police detective must find the kidnapped daughter of a powerful city planner. The hitch? She was at a Star Trek convention when she was kidnapped, and the only description of the culprit is that he “looked like Mr. Spock.”
After taking a DNA test, your character discovers that their genetic material was altered in the womb. But your character was adopted, and has no records of who their birth parents are, or where they were born.
Your character has been happily married to their partner for 25 years. But one day, a mysterious stranger shows up claiming to be your partner’s spouse and demanding to know what your character is doing in this stranger’s home.
Your character is a retired military officer who is ready to leave his past behind him. One day, you accidentally walk in on a bank robbery in progress—and these aren’t ordinary criminals.
Your character finds out that their deceased twin had multiple passports IDs with different names and faces. To find out more, your character must assume these identities in his place.
Your character, an important New York businessperson, wakes up naked and alone in a strange, foreign land, with no recollection of how you got there. The native people take you in, but you don’t speak their language and know nothing about the culture. You must learn to communicate in order to get home.
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Romance Writing Prompts
After moving into a new house, your character begins to receive love letters addressed to the previous occupant. The letters have no return address, but they are so beautifully written that your character begins to fall in love with the writer, despite never having met the author.
Your character is the first person in history to fall in love. They cannot describe the feeling to anybody else, especially not the person for whom they’ve fallen head over heels.
Your characters have been married for over 700 years; when they die, they are reincarnated with all their memories, and simply find each other again.
When your character’s country loses a long war, your character is tasked with negotiating the surrender. The person across the table holds the fate of both countries in their hands … and they’re pretty darn cute, too.
Boy meets girl. Boy falls in love with girl. The catch? Their parents are engaged to be married!
Your character is a teenager who writes short, fictional romance stories and posts them to a blog that they believe no one reads. One day, a fan starts responding to the stories, and your character connects with the fan on many levels, creating their own idealized, fictional romance story online. Now, they must decide whether they’re willing to let go of their “perfect” love story to meet the real (and inevitably, imperfect) person on the other side of the screen.
Your character was born deaf and your character’s spouse was just involved in an accident that made them blind. After being together for six years, they must re-learn how to navigate the world together.
Your character has a mental condition that landed them in a rehab facility. There, your character meets a recovering addict, and they connect instantly and begin to find healing in each other.
Your character dreams of a person they’ve never met and wakes up convinced it is their true love.
Your character shows up for an interview for their dream job, and discovers that their could-be boss is also their ex.
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Science Fiction Writing Prompts
Your character wakes up on a slab in a high-tech medical facility, hooked up to strange machines and occupying a body you don’t recognize. Before the doctors arrive, you hear a voice in your head: it’s your new body’s original owner, and they want it back.
The aliens that land in your backyard strike a deal with your character: Murder one innocent person on the planet, and they will spare the earth. Refuse, or reveal the aliens’ existence to the world, and the planet is doomed.
Your character is captain of a long-distance spaceship taking thousands of Earthling colonists to a new planet. One day, completely by accident, you discover what this spaceship uses for fuel, and are faced with a terrible moral dilemma of how to handle this information.
Your main character is the warden of a virtual-reality prison. One day, a notorious murderer attempts to orchestrate a “breakout.”
Your character is a child whose stuffed toy comes equipped with a nanny-cam and primitive AI. One day, the toy decides to take your character’s safety into its own mitten-like hands.
Your character is an average college student. Somehow, your character discovers that everything they’re doing—every movement they make and every word they say, even in private—is being tracked and recorded. Now they must figure out who is recording and why—without the recorder knowing what they’re doing.
Your character washes up on a remote island that has never been visited by an outsider before. Turns out, there’s a whole civilization there—but these “people” have been isolated for so long, they’ve evolved differently than people in the rest of the world.
Your character is a troubled teenager who discovers that he has the power to see people’s futures by touching them. When you accidentally bump into a man on the subway, you see the man piloting a spaceship—and it’s moving towards your city. Now, you must find the man—and convince everyone else that the danger is real.
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Comedy Writing Prompts
Over Christmas, your character’s parents decide to take the family to the Caribbean. The first day there, both of your parents get sunburned and decide to spend the rest of the vacation indoors, leaving you and your little brother to your own devices.
Your character is a reality TV judge, but not one of the judges that appears on TV—you’re one of the judges that decides which contestants even get to be on TV. After being subjected to a string of terrible singers, your character finally discovers someone great, and finds themselves strangely invested in the success of this contestant.
Your character is a superfan of a popular musician. They wait in line to get front row seats to every show, spend outrageous amounts of money on paraphernalia on eBay, and have plastered nearly every wall of their apartment with posters and ticket stubs. One day, your character finally gets a chance to meet the musician—and he’s not what anyone expected.
Your character is a schoolteacher who is watching two kids argue over a toy in the sandbox when suddenly, an alien creature rises out of the sand. The students decide to make it the class pet.
Your character’s life is extremely mundane, until a stray dog starts showing up on their front porch every day.
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Memoir/Nonfiction Writing Prompts
Describe a time when you wanted to experience a spiritual moment or looked for spiritual guidance. Why were you in this situation? What were you hoping to get from it?
Tell the story of your life in inverted chronological order.
What was the happiest moment of your life? What made it the happiest?
Write about an addiction. Include as much detail as possible, including how it started and your journey to overcoming it.
Write about an experience that made you feel ashamed or guilty. How did it impact you? What have you done to move on?
Think about the ways in which you’ve changed over the years. Can you identify any turning points? Be specific and describe those moments.
Write about a job or career move that changed your life.
Write about how you met your current partner or spouse. Do you think it was fate? What events led to you two meeting?
Write about a person who has had a profound impact on your life—either positive or negative. How have you changed because of them? What have they done to cause your life to change?
Write a biography of someone in your family who immigrated from one country to another.
Create a cookbook in which every recipe is tied to a specific person or moment in your life.
Describe something you’ve done that you’re proud of. How did you get to that moment? How can others learn from your experience?
Tell the story of how the seed of faith was planted in your life. When did your spiritual journey begin, who influenced and guided you in discovering your faith, and at what point did you realize you needed to change your life?
Write about a memory of your favourite pet. What can animals teach us about ourselves?
Think about a time when you learned a new skill. What made you want to learn it? Who did you learn from? How did you practice? How did you improve?
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Thriller Writing Prompts
If you’re having trouble writing a thriller story, you can start exercising your creativity with writing prompts. Take a look at the list below, see which prompt jumps out at you (or rubs you the wrong way), and spin a story out of it.

1. While cleaning out your deceased parents’ house, you come across an old, battered journal. What’s written inside makes you doubt whether you really knew your mom and dad at all.

2. You lose the trail while hiking deep in the forest. You stumble upon a cave and take shelter inside. As night falls, you hear disturbing sounds coming further within.

3. You look down at your wife as her death throes gradually weaken. “It wasn’t supposed to end like this,” you whisper.

4. Strange things are happening around town. No one knows why, but you suspect the new neighbor is responsible. After all, everything began when he moved in.

5. While staying late at work, you notice shadows moving inside your boss’s office. Curious, you take a peek and see him wrapping up an obviously dead body.

6. You haven’t left the house for months. If you don’t leave today, you never will.

7. Your brother is sent to prison for a crime he didn’t commit. As a lawyer, you gain access to his files and discover a cover-up.

8. The body in the morgue looked strange. Its face seemed slightly off, the limbs a bit longer, and the skin too pale.

9. Two people confess to the murder of a prominent citizen. Both swear they acted alone. You, an investigative reporter, suspect someone else.

10. The first true Artificial Intelligence has been invented. On the day of its reveal, its reclusive inventor is kidnapped.

11. You research your family history and discover that a lot of them disappeared. Further investigation reveals that they vanished at the same location.

12. He was instantly enamored on their first date. She was beautiful, sophisticated, and smart. But while he’s looking for a relationship, her goal was much more sinister.

13. A vampire moves into the perfect town. What she doesn’t know is that it’s already home to a pack of werewolves.

14. Dead bodies don’t talk. This is why you, a detective, are trying to learn necromancy.

15. Trying to recover from a recent trauma, you visit a psychiatrist recommended to you. After a few sessions, you begin to realize he knows details you’re you never told him about.

16. A serial killer is on the loose. The detective in charge finds a similar modus operandi… from an unsolved case that’s over 80 years old.

17. Two people take the same train home at the same time. They never talk, nor acknowledge each other’s existence—until one day, one of them shows up bloodstained and battered.

18. You open the door and find a wounded person at your doorstep. You take them in and treat their injuries, not knowing that doing so puts you in the crosshairs of a conspiracy.

19. It’s summer and hundreds of families are relaxing at the beach. But a landslide’s about to occur underwater and cause a tsunami.

20. Someone has stolen top-secret information from the government. Through a series of circumstances, the device holding the information ends ups with you.

21. You’ve been with your husband for decades. Today, you finally learn about his brother that you’ve never met and whom he’s never spoken about.

22. You wake up from an accident and can’t remember anything. The hospital is guarded 24/7 and you’re not allowed to leave.

23. A disease is spreading all over the country and a terrorist claims responsibility. Scientists discover a cure but it may prove just as dangerous as the disease itself.

24. You and your fiance are enjoying a transatlantic cruise when he suddenly disappears mid-journey. No one recalls seeing him and his name isn’t on the passenger’s list.

25. A team of archeologists locates the tomb of an ancient king. On the face of the sarcophagus, they discover drawings of undeniably modern objects.

26. There are many popular legends about the house near the edge of town. When someone dares you to stay the night, you discover what started the stories.

27. You begin to notice the same person wherever you go. The problem is, that no one else sees him even though he’s not trying to hide.

28. You attend your best friend’s funeral. You remember her peaceful face as the casket is closed and buried deep in the ground. You arrive home later that night… and find her sitting on your couch.

29. A list of supposed sleeper agents is making the rounds on the internet. Bored, you decide to check it out. To your surprise, you find your husband’s name on the list.

30. Three friends have a yearly tradition. No matter where they are or what they’re doing, they get together to mourn the death of the friend they abandoned and never found again.