Creative Writing Prompts

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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.

Writing Prompt: The Hatching

During the annual spring egg hunt, your child is delighted to find an egg larger than their head. Not only is it huge, it's also warm… and looks unlike any bird egg you've ever seen.

Writing Prompt: Misheard Lyrics

Think of some of the song lyrics you have mis-heard throughout the years. Pick your favorite, and use these mis-heard lyrics as the title of a new creative writing piece. Write a story, scene or poem based on this title.

Trash Tales

Take a walk around the block near your home or work, and note the pieces of litter and discarded items you find along the way. Write a story or a scene based on the items you see lying around.

Left Turn

Complete the following sentence and write a scene or story that begins with it: "It's strange to think that I never would have known about ____________ if I hadn't taken that left turn."

Shine

You're lying on your back in a soft carpet of early spring grass, watching familiar constellations drift across a clear night sky. Suddenly, you notice a particularly bright one among the others… and you're quite sure it wasn't there last night.

Character Name Generator

Character Name Generator: Follow the instructions to search for name meanings on Behind the Name. Select one of the names, and use its meaning to write a story or scene about a character with that name.

The Hate Note

You arrive at home to find an envelope addressed to you on the ground outside your front door. Inside, you find a letter proclaiming the writer's deep and undying hatred for you. The note is not signed.

Romantic Discussion Squares™

You’ve managed to launch a SweetHearts Conversation Hearts competitor in time for Valentine’s Day, but you have to make them distinct from the original product to avoid a lawsuit. What messages do you put on your candy treats, and how do you style them?

Red Snow

The first major snowfall of the season has finally arrived. When the worst of it lets up, you bundle up, pull on your warmest boots, and venture into the whiteness of the back yard. You're admiring gently falling flakes, when you spot something startlingly red amid the drifts at the back...

Character Construction

Build a character using at least one word from each of these lists of physical traits, then write a scene about them that includes the phrase "That didn't go as planned."

Oh, Heck

Satan has instructed his incompetent younger brother, Stan, to open a milder version of Hell known as Heck. How does one end up there, and what punishments does Stan devise?

Typo Fiasco

You (or a character) quickly type up an important email and send it. After it's sent, you suddenly realize that the email includes a typo that completely changes its meaning. What happens next?

Hindered Resolutions

You've created a list of New Year's resolutions for the coming, and you're feeling great about them: They're helpful, practical, attainable and varied enough in their required time commitments that you're certain you can knock them all out within the first half of the year. But each time you try to...

Newtonian Truth

Consider the following quote by Sir Isaac Newton, and write a story or scene that supports the claim: "Truth is ever to be found in simplicity, and not in the multiplicity and confusion of things."

Not Quite Dickensian

A deceased acquaintance appears before you one night and tells you to expect a visitation by three spirits who will transport you to three significant moments from your past. However, you soon discover that the three spirits aren't quite like the ones who visited Ebenezer Scrooge…

Reminiscence

Choose an incident from your childhood that has made a lasting impression on your life: perhaps a memorable incident with your best friend or your confused feelings on the fi rst day in a new school. Write a scene or story based on this incident. Do not write the story as...

The Town of Soft Rains

A soft breeze stirs a leaf that has fallen on the pavement. Otherwise, the street is tidy and beautifully maintained, just like the quiet houses arranged in neat rows along its sides. Just like the vacant shopfronts along quaint Main Street nearby. Just like the silent playground. Where is everyone?

Antiquing

Imagine that you or a character are visiting an antique mall. You wander the aisles, imagining the items crowding each booth—old books, costume jewelry, rolltop desks, typewriters, pocket knives, wooden trains, arrowheads, candlesticks, silverware sets, china dolls, Depression glass bowls (just to name a few). You select three items and purchase...

Thesaurus Abuse

Visit a thesaurus website or grab a thesaurus from your book shelf if you have one. Search or flip through until you find five preposterously verbose, bombastic, grandiloquent alternatives for everyday words. Using all five terms, write a scene about a character who writes "purple prose" or speaks in overly flowery...

The Color of Ideas

Choose one to three colors from the color associations chart. Note the different meanings. Create a character or place associated with each color. Profile the character(s) or setting(s), or write a scene about them.

Two Truths and a Lie

Ask a friend to tell you two truths and a lie about themselves. Without asking which one is false, write a short scene about a character for whom all three statements are true.

Jack-O-Lantern of the Soul

You (or a character) have managed to carve a Jack-O-Lantern that expresses the very essence of your identity and personality with startling accuracy. What is it, and how do your family/ friends react when they see it?