Creative Writing Prompts

[description]Get daily creative writing prompts for your short story, fiction or nonfiction novel, essay and more at WritersDigest.com.[/description]
[keywords]writing prompts, creative writing prompts, expository writing prompts, writing prompt[/keywords]

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.

Give Them a Hand

Write a scene about a conversation or another interaction, and include a focus specifically on the characters' hands. Include the appearance of the hands, as well as the way they move and gesture. What do the hands say about the personalities involved?

Spent

He wasn't supposed to know about that $20,000 at all, yet somehow he got his hands on it—and spent all of it in less than an hour. What the **** are we going to do now?

Twice a Day

Even a broken clock is right twice a day. Give some good advice from a completely unreliable source, and convince someone to take this advice.

Somnia

You (or a character) awaken suddenly from a strange, vivid dream. You remember that the dream involved an unusual object in a distinctive place, but you don't know what it means. Decide on the object and the setting, then use a dream dictionary to look at common meanings behind those symbols....

Madder Libs

First, think of one of each of the following: a word you use too much; the name of a city you'd like to visit; an unusual color; a hobby; a physical quality a person might wish for; an animal; a famous author; a verb ending in -ing; a number; an adverb....

Bowdlerized

Write about a situation involving an attempt to gently or modestly explain something illegal, outrageous or lewd to someone who might find it offensive, disturbing or problematic.

Lost Journal

While cleaning out your house, you stumble upon a journal you don't remember writing in. As you flip through the pages, it becomes apparent that this journal belongs to a fictional character (either a character you've written, or a character from one of your favorite books). Share one of the entries...

Idiomatic

Choose one of these idioms and include it in a story that also includes a literal use of one of the figurative words in the idiom. For example, if I were to choose the phrase "at the drop of a hat," I would also include a hat or someone dropping something.

Two Stories

J.M. Barrie once wrote, "The life of every man is a diary in which he means to write one story, and writes another; and his humblest hour is when he compares the volume as it is with what he vowed to make it." Writing as yourself or as a fictional character,...

So Close, and Yet…

Writing Prompt: You have nearly arrived at your dream destination. Thus far, the trip has been uneventful, and there's only an hour's drive left between you and vacation bliss—when suddenly the vehicle breaks down, leaving you stranded. Where are you, and what do you do?

All the Feels

It’s typical in stories and manuscripts to use variations on the verb “to feel” to express emotion: He felt mad. I feel scared. But there are much better ways to describe a character's emotional state. Try it with one of these "feeling" prompts. Write a scene based on one of the...

Timelessness

You have discovered what appears to be an ordinary room. But as soon as you enter the room, time stops for you. When you leave the room, time picks up right where you left off. What do you use this room for?

Elementary

There's a knock on your door. Upon opening it, you find yourself facing a man dressed distinctly like Sherlock Holmes. He informs you that he is a detective, and that you are a suspect in the disappearance of a person named John Watson. What happens next?

The Wonderful What of Where?

In memory of L. Frank Baum, choose one of these quotes from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, fill in the blanks, and use it as the opening to a story of your own. (Bonus imaginary internet points if you can include more than one.)

Fourth Wall

Write a story or scene in which one or more of the characters knows that they are in a story. How long have they known? Do they care? If you want, take it a step further: The narrator absolutely hates the main character.

Flavor of the Month

First, write down 12 flavors you can think of (ice cream or candy flavors, savory flavors, etc.). Next, use all 12 flavors to write a story or scene (in 500 words or fewer) beginning with the following: The sparkling water was…

Extraordinarily Ordinary

Describe something ordinary in an unrelated genre style. For instance, you could describe your living room in the style of an epic fantasy, a pigeon in the style of a western, your breakfast in the style of a steamy romance, or an office building in the style of a sci-fi thriller.

Blahbarian

Write a scene that includes a character speaking a different language, speaking in a thick accent, or otherwise speaking in a way that is unintelligibe to the other characters. (Note: You don't necessarily need to know the language the character is speaking—be creative with it!)

That’s Not What I Meant

Writing Prompt: Write a story that involves confusion over homonyms (words that have the same spelling but different meanings) or homophones (words that sound the same but are spelled differently). You can use any homonym or homophone you can think of, but here are a few examples to get you started.

Spoken Stories

For World Storytelling Day, share the best story you've ever heard or told by word of mouth, or have a fictional character recount their favorite story.

Lucky Day

You're making your way down a cobbled street when a stocky, red-bearded man beckons you into an alley. He reaches into his coat, produces a locket on a long gold chain, and hands it to you. Upon opening the locket, you find a four-leaf clover pressed beneath a small glass pane....

Simile But Different

Pick an item from each column in the chart to create a simile. Use the following starting phrase for your story, making sure to include the simile(s) you’ve created somewhere in the piece. "I (or she/he) took a sip of …"