Creative Writing Prompts

Creative writing—every writer has surely heard of it before. But do you know what it is? Creative writing is any type of writing in which you express your thoughts and imagination. This includes all types of writing and genres such as fiction, poetry, and nonfiction. Creative writing is useful because it can give you a chance to write freely without expectations. Many writers find this type of writing beneficial. It can clear your mind, inspire new creative ideas, or gain a fresh perspective on your writing.

The Power of Creative Writing Prompts

All writers face the infamous blank page syndrome, also known as writer’s block.

Stuck in a rut? Have a bad case of writer’s block? Don’t have sufficient story ideas? Turn to creative writing prompts to stretch your imagination and flex your creative muscles. They have the power to get your mental wheels turning.

A writing prompt is anything—a word, a picture, a phrase, or a quote—that helps kick start your creative writing. Here’s an example of a visual writing prompt:

visual writing prompt | creative writing prompt

Writing prompts can and be used as a way to interact with other writers. Posting a prompt online can bring different perspectives together in one place. Plus, they can get you in the habit of writing and ultimately help improve your skills. Not only can prompts focus on the elements of storytelling, such as character development, setting, point of view, and plot development, but they can also focus on the genres and subgenres of writing. The possibilities are endless!

The Best Sample Writing Prompts To Fuel Your Creativity

When you lose your inspiration, it’s important to keep writing. That’s the only way you’re going to build momentum. Take a look at these creative writing prompts taken from Writing Basics. Then pick one day per week and set aside 30 minutes to creating a story based on the writing prompts below. You’ll push yourself creatively and, at the same time, improve your writing skills.

It’s time for you and writer’s block to part ways. Write a letter breaking up with writer’s block, starting out with, “Dear writer’s block, it’s not you, it’s me.”

You’re standing outside a restaurant next to a phone booth when, suddenly, it rings. Your gut tells you not to answer it, but with each ring you can’t resist. Finally you pick up the phone—and end up having the most amazing night of your life.

Write about a car negotiation from the perspective of the car.

You’re late for work because you overslept, but your boss hates over-sleepers. He does love entertaining stories, so create an outlandish reason as to why you were late.

You head into the bathroom at work, walk into a stall and close the door. Moments later, as you leave the stall, you notice two people standing there and there’s one major problem: They are of the opposite sex. On the spot, you make up an excuse as to why you are in their bathroom.

Write about a ridiculous competition you start with a friend (e.g., a mustache-growing competition, longest fingernail challenge, etc.).

You and a friend break into your neighborhood swim club late one night to go for an after-hours dip. While splashing around in the pool, you go into shock when a dead body floats to the top. Worse yet—it’s someone you know. Write this scene.

You wake up shackled to a chair and can’t remember how you got there. Two voices are talking. You recognize one of them.

You wake up one day with an unusual superpower that seems pretty worthless—until you are caught in a situation that requires that specific “talent.”

Write a one-paragraph bio about your writing career to date. Then, write the one-paragraph bio you expect to have 10 years from now (including all major writing accomplishments).

One week after attending the funeral of a close friend, you receive a postcard in the mail with the words, “I’m not dead. Meet me tonight at Guido’s Pizzeria. Tell no one.”

You’ve recently purchased a new house. Upon your first full night there, you begin to hear noises but think nothing of it—until you see something that convinces you the house is haunted.

You’ve accidentally dialed the wrong phone number, but the person who answers sounds familiar. Immediately he/she recognizes you, but because you made the call you’re too embarrassed to ask who you’re talking to. Find out who it is using only dialogue.

You bump into an ex-lover on Valentine’s Day—the person you often call “The One That Got Away.” What happens?

Write a 20-line rhyming poem about something that really annoys you.

While driving to pick up lunch, you accidentally bump into the car in front of you. It’s just a light fender bender, but it pops open the other car’s trunk. You notice that the driver is none other than your favorite actor—and that there’s a dead body in his trunk. Who is the actor, and what elaborate excuse does he give you to explain his alarming cargo?

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