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.

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?

The Reaper Knocks

There's a thunderous knock at the door. You open it to find an improbably tall, black-robed figure towering over you with a scythe in one bony hand. The figure peers at you for a long moment, then looks down at a clipboard in its other hand. Then back at you. Then...

Lost Dog

The family dog has been missing for weeks, and everyone is devastated (except that one family member who was just never a dog person, of course). Suddenly, the dog returns, showing up out of nowhere. (Most of) the family rejoices. But as time goes by, it becomes clear that something isn't...

Did You Hear That?

As you likely know, the term onomatopoeia refers to words that imitate sounds associated with actions and objects. Incorporate as many onomatopoetic words into a story or scene as you can.

The Athlete

Think of an athlete, coach or other sporting-type person you've met before. Using this person as a springboard, identify the following qualities about them and then incorporate these qualities into a character in a story: physical body type, style of walking, usual outfit, reaction under stress, non-athletic passion.

A Roll of the Dice

In the spirit of taking chances, roll two six-sided dice. Whatever number comes up, write down the first word you can think of with that many letters. Repeat six times. Incorporate these six words into a story or scene and see where it takes you.

Awry

Write about a situation in which plans go awry, leading to disastrous consequences. Did you go to college anticipating success, only to flunk out? Does a character fall in love with the wrong person, leading to a difficult breakup? 

Unfairy Tales

Write a scene that involves a fairy tale trope turned on its head or otherwise deviating from typical expectations. For example: A princess who’s cruel to her kind stepmother; a golden goose that lays explosive eggs; a big, frightening wolf who really just wants a friend.

Secrets Within

The police come to your residence with a search warrant. But somewhere inside, there is something you don't want anyone to find, ever.

Character Content

Consider what it means to be "judged by the content of your character." Write a scene in which an individual is not judged by the content of his or her character, but by something else entirely. It doesn't have to be skin color, but perhaps another physical attribute or factor beyond...

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,...