Creative Writing Prompts

[description]Get daily creative writing prompts for your short story, fiction or nonfiction novel, essay and more at WritersDigest.com.[/description]
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Need an idea to help you get started writing? You’ll find hundreds of fun writing prompts here – perfect for beginning a new novel or short story, or simply giving your writing muscle a workout.

What Happened to Your Pants?

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."

A Mad Scientist Approaches You With an Offer

A mad scientist approaches you with an offer—he will heighten one of your senses, but it will make one of your other senses duller. It isn't optional; he's going to perform the surgery anyway, but you get to choose which two senses. Write this scene.

Why Did Santa Kidnap You?

You wake up in a daze only to find out you've been kidnapped and are currently tied up to a chair. After hours of unsuccessfully trying to escape, a door starts to open. Your kidnapper is none other than—Santa Claus? Write a story explaining why Santa kidnapped you and what he intends to do...

Your Elf on the Shelf is Stealing From You

You brought an Elf on the Shelf into your home, but instead of him visiting Santa every night, you believe that he is mysteriously stealing money from your wallet and taking nightly trips to (fill in the blank). One night you stay awake and secretly follow him to find out the truth. Write this...

Tell Santa You’ve Been Good

Last year, Santa didn't bring you what you wanted for Christmas and you were left to assume it's because you weren't a good boy (or girl). Start building a case for getting that gift you want this year by making a list of your good deeds to date and what else you plan to...

Celebrity Fender Bender

While driving to pick up lunch, you accidentally bump into the car in front of you—a light fender bender—that pops open the other car's trunk. When you get out to assess the damage, you notice that the driver of the other car is none other than your favorite actor. More important, you notice a...

Why I Write

Tell us the story of when you first realized that you needed to be a writer. (Did it happen when you were young? Was it after you read a particular book? Etc.)

Why You Had to Break In

You are 16 years old and you and your friends have just been caught breaking into the local gas station. After your parents post your bail, you must explain why you did it, since this is not something you would usually do. What your parents—and others—don't realize is that you did it for heroic...

Novel Character Comes to Life – And May Murder Someone

You've written a novel with a character that eventually murders one of his or her neighbors. Suddenly, a new person moves into your neighborhood with the same name as your character. Looks similar too. In fact, you can't help but notice this new neighbor is doing several of the same things as your character—including...

The Afterlife

You've died and gone to heaven, only it's nothing like you've imagined. You're greeted by a guide—someone from your past—who gives you a tour and explains what you can expect out of the afterlife. There's one question you've been dying to know and, at the end of the tour, you decide to ask.

Why You Can’t Get a Flu Shot Excuse

You're at the doctor's office for a regular check up when the doctor suggests you get a flu shot as well. You hate shots, so you come up with the most outlandish excuse as to why you can't get one. Start your story with "You're not going to believe this, but ... " and...

Love Letter From the Future?

You are 15 years old and, while still living with your parents, you discover a secret room in your house. It is filled with all sorts of strange things, but one thing in particular catches your eye: It's a love letter to your mom from someone who isn't your dad. What's more peculiar is...

They Took Everything—Except One Odd Thing

There's been a break-in at your house. The robbers took everything—your couch, your clothes, your toilet paper—except for one odd item that they left right in the middle of your living room. This item, though meaningless to the police, is a clue that you recognize and will lead you to the culprits.

She’s Not Dead

Your high school math teacher disappeared when you were sixteen years old, but now you have reason to believe she’s not dead. A week ago before your high school reunion, you received a mysterious letter that appears to be in code—much like the puzzles she once gave her students. Now, at the reunion, you...

Undercover at Bingo

You’re on a top-secret spy mission—for your grandmother. She can’t make it to her Monday Night Bingo (you tell us why), but she’s certain that one of the regulars is cheating, and she sends you to check it out. Conduct a covert operation to catch this cheater in the act.

Career Day

You’ve agreed to give a talk at your child’s school for Career Day. Not only do you hate public speaking, you found out yesterday that you’ve been fired from your job—and you haven’t told your kid yet. Write what happens when you go to the school to present.

A Mysterious Request

You receive a letter at your workplace from a high school classmate, who is now in prison. “I know I’ve caused you a lot of grief,” the letter says, “but there’s something I need that only you can get for me. Don’t tell anyone about this.”

Terrible Concert

You’ve just been to the worst rock concert of your life. You’re at a bar with friends, drowning your disgust, when the lead singer of the band shows up and offers to buy you a drink. You agree to under one condition—and that deal leads to one memorable night.

Something’s Wrong With This Wedding

Your best friend from college has invited you to his wedding. You haven’t seen him for years, so you’re excited to catch up. But when you arrive at the wedding, you discover that your best friend's bride is someone from your past—and you realize you must stop the wedding at all costs.