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7 Creative Writing Prompts To Spark Your Writing

Categories: Brian Klems' The Writer's Dig, Story Ideas Tags: Brian Klems, online editor blog.

Man I hate writer’s block. We all get stuck in a writing rut from time to time. Sometimes it gets so bad for me that I can’t even come up with a clever status update for Facebook—for Facebook! If my creative muscle is having difficulty piecing together a one-sentence quip, how in the world can I flex it long enough to turn out a short story or a novel or even a new blog post?

The remedy I’ve found that works best for me is trying a writing prompt. Writing prompts come in all shapes and sizes, but, most important, they force us to take a premise and find creative avenues to turn it into a story. They allow you to break out of funk you’ve been trapped in and enter an entirely different arena—likely one that you hadn’t considered before.

If you’re stuck on one of those ruts—or are just looking to try your hand at some writing fun—you’ll love the 7 writing prompts I’ve shared below. That’s a full week’s worth of writing exercises! All are different and attempt to force you into scenarios that will make you dig deep and be as creative as you can be. You can stick with the tentative 500-word limit (so you can squeeze it in during a lunch break) or you can break out and write a longer piece. The best part: If you want, you can post it to our website and receive feedback from other Writer’s Digest community members (and feel free to share feedback on others’ works too).

Here are the 7 Writing Prompts to keep you creative every day for a week. Enjoy!

1. 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 … .”
Post your story here.

2. You and your three closest friends decide to go camping. You arrive and set up camp nearly three miles away from where you left your car. Late that evening, as you sit around the campfire roasting marshmallows, one of your friends reveals a deep dark secret that turns what was to be a fun weekend into one of the scariest weekends of your life.
Post your story here.

3. Two men stop you on your way into your local post office. One flashes a badge at you. They tell you about a top secret sting operation they are about to execute and they need your help. They can’t give you any of the details, only that you are to walk into the post office, go up to the counter with the gentleman named Bert working it, and you have to say to him, “My stamps are looking a bit square these days, if you know what I mean.” Write what happens next.
Post your story here.

4. Pretend you are a recovering alcoholic who falls off the wagon while attending your high school reunion. Start your story with “I hadn’t had a drink in nearly 10 years” and end it with “If only I could remember where I left my pants.”
Post your story here.

5. You’re cleaning out your garage and, hidden away in a back corner, you find an old shoebox. The box is heavier than it should be. When you open it up, you find cash—$40,000, to be exact. Where did the cash come from, who hid it there and why?
Post your story here.

6. When you were little, you could swear there was a monster under your bed–but no one believed you. On the eve of your 30th birthday, you hear noises coming from under your bed once again. The monster is back and has an important message to deliver to you.
Post your story here.

7. You’re late for work because you overslept, but your boss hates over-sleepers. He does love entertaining stories, so create the most outlandish excuse as to why you were late.
Post your story here.

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9 Responses to 7 Creative Writing Prompts To Spark Your Writing

  1. marydelta says:

    Dear Writer’s Block, it’s not you, it’s me… I thought for a long time that you were an actual block. Wooden, cut from a leftover two by four, with a crayon face drawn on by the kid. Kid was four at the time, called the thing “Blocky…” I used to put it in the bin next to the fireplace, thinking that I would burn it when the kid wasn’t looking… clever thing would always fish it out, and there I’d find it around the house, getting sootier and sootier…

    I am now starting to connect the existence of that actual block with a lag in inspiration, of “go-go juice.” It is possible that this was not coincidentally tied with the existence of an actual wooden block. You see… the block was drawn on and named by a four year old with a six year old sister. We were all living in a house with a roof that didn’t shed water. Our living room had a “water feature” that came in through the ceiling. We were afraid that CPS would be called, and our kids would get taken away. So much writing fodder… strangely, though at the time, all I could seem to do was have too many margaritas in sippy cups and draw the occasional “clown face” with makeup I no longer wore.

    Writer’s Block… sweet, cute, whimsical Blocky… I think you have been a pile of ashes for a while now, and have been fertilizing the mulberry tree in the backyard. My kid can always make another one, but she’s 14 now, and uses online art programs. Ah, the good old days.

  2. sullivancm says:

    Wonderful writing prompts Brian. I just finished creating some 5th grade writing prompts. Thanks!

  3. Julia175 says:

    I’m new to this site. Not sure about permissions/copyrights, etc. Brian, I couldn’t see how to contact you directly. May i use your 7 prompts in an article I’m writing? Actually, I have to edit them anyhow to make them age-appropriate. Please advise asap. Thanks, Julia

    • If the article is appearing online, then no. It hurts your Google rankings if material is placed in more than one domain.

      If it’s for an article in print, I don’t mind so long as you attribute them to me and Writer’s Digest. But note to the editor that the article can’t appear online.

      Take care,

  4. typestir says:

    Hello again, Brian

    I see my little note did finally post, as did my “Dear Writers’ Block” submission–twice. I’m very sorry about that. And, since the apology I just wrote on that link immediately posted, maybe the problem last week was with the internet connection?? At any rate, in addition to writing practice, it seems I also need a little more patience.

    Apologies again,

  5. typestir says:

    Hello, Brian

    I’m new the WD website, and a little confused about how it works.

    On April 11 I received the WD email with your 7 writing prompts. I wanted to try at least some (maybe all) of them, but as I work every day but Sunday, I don’t have much time during the week, so I saved the email for yesterday. Last night I started with the first prompt (Dear Writer’s Block), but after I finished writing, it wouldn’t post. I tried a second time, and got a message saying it couldn’t post because it was a duplicate post–but still, nothing ever posted.

    I considered the possibility that this is a monitored site, and that nothing gets posted until it is read (makes sense), but I just checked again, and it still hasn’t posted. So, is there a deadline by which submissions must be posted? Is there a fee to post here?

    Using the prompts looks like fun–a quick workout for the creative muscles. But half the fun, and challenge, is writing for an audience. So, I would like to partcipate here, but can’t seem to figure it out. Hopefully this little note will post.

    Thank you.

  6. tonypanama says:

    I”m experiencing writers block at this moment. I hope someone invents a magic pill for that. Nice article

  7. madcapmaggie says:

    Brian, loved the prompts. You are now responsible for the following:

    From Brian Klem’s prompt:

    Excuses, Excuses

    I’m sorry, boss, I’m late to work
    It couldn’t be avoided.
    My waking license was revoked
    and now it’s null and voided.

    I found my son’s new game device
    and soon became addicted
    to a game called Wordament.
    It couldn’t be predicted.

    On Wednesday night, I played a lot
    at last began improving.
    Last night I started up again
    and found it rather soothing.

    But then my eyelids wandered shut.
    My score were in the cellar.
    I had to play a few more times
    until results were stellar.

    But by the time my game improved
    the morning sun was rising.
    My eyes began to close again,
    which wasn’t so surprising.

    To make a long, long story short,
    I lay down for a second
    I really meant to stay awake.
    Alas, sweet dream-land beckoned.

    I promise not to play again
    although I quite enjoyed it.
    My wife complained of gross neglect,
    found the device, destroyed it.

    So that, dear boss, is my excuse.
    I hope to be forgiven.
    And even though I’d like to sleep,
    I promise not to give in.

    Margaret Fieland

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