Creative Writing Prompts

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.

Thrift Store Finds

Take a trip to the thrift store, or think about your latest trip. Pick one item you find interesting and imagine who its past owner(s) was. How did they use the item? Why did they end up donating it to the thrift store?

Museum Artifacts

Take a look around a museum, or recall your favorite pieces in a museum. Imagine what the past lives of these artifacts look like. Alternatively, you may imagine what the everyday objects in our lives might look like in a museum and what stories future generations will tell about them.

Awkward Prom Date

Your character’s prom date went … not so well. Why? Post your response (500 words or fewer) in the comments below.

School Daze

Your character’s child comes home with a detention slip to sign, but your character isn’t angry. What’s the reason that they aren’t angry with their child for getting into trouble at school?

Tornado Season

A tornado is forming, and your character is in the absolute worst place they can be at the moment. Where are they? How do they handle the situation? 

What’s Cooking?

As your character watches the hibachi chef prepare their meal, something seems … off. What is it?

I’m Glad You Called

The person whom you have been trying to talk to for ages finally answers the phone. Who is this person? How does the phone conversation progress?

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.

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.

Spinning the Globe

Imagine that a character did the old spin the globe and see where to take your next vacation trick. Write a story or scene describing where they went and how their trip panned out.

The Variants of Vampires

Think of an alternative vampire that survives on something other than blood. Write a story or scene based on this character.

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.”


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.

Charts of Speech

Write a story or scene using at least three words from the list shown here.

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…

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