short story prompts

In his panic, he ends up shutting the bat in a room with your character while he calls an exterminator from a safe place in the house.
What does your character do? Write the story.
The stranger assures your character that it’s nothing illegal and points out that it has already been through the security check.
At the airport, a stranger offers your character money to carry a mysterious package onto the plane.
Your character gets cosmetic surgery in an attempt to make her boyfriend her more.
A missionary visits your character’s house and attempts to convert her to his religion.
At a garage sale, your character buys an antique urn which she thinks will look nice decorating her bookcase.
Your character finds a homeless family on his doorstep and invites them into his home to sleep.
Your character’s mother-in-law comes to visit for a week, and your character suspects she is trying to poison him.
What is one of your greatest strengths? Invent a character who doesn’t have this strength.
At a Chinese restaurant, your character opens his fortune cookie and reads the following message: "Your life is in danger.
Your character feels she can’t send the missionary out into the storm, so she lets him come down into her basement with her.
Your character suspects her husband is having an affair and decides to spy on him.
Your character changes jobs in order to have more time with his family.
Your character’s husband becomes hysterical, frightened that it might be rabid.
Your character develops the idea that she can hear the voices of the dead on a certain radio channel.
Your character’s boss invites her and her husband to dinner.
What is one of your bad habits? Invent a character who has the bad habit, but a much worse case of it than you have.
Your character has to sell the house where she grew up.
Create a situation in which having this strength is very important for your character.
Your character notices that a stranger is following her.
Your character thinks her boss is looking for an excuse to fire her.
Extreme challenge: Why not write a book of short stories? Choose seven or eight short story ideas to get started.
One problem: your character doesn’t know how to dance.
It’s your character’s first day at a new school.
Your character is trying to get rid of him just as storm warning sirens go off.
Your character has to tell his parents that he’s getting a divorce.
Your character starts receiving flowers and anonymous gifts.
Your character has recently married a man with two teenage children.
Your character picks up a hitch-hiker on her way home from work.
Your character is visiting his parents over a holiday.
Your character’s dream is to be a professional dancer.

I have been writing prompts every week for The Write Prompts lens for over seven years and have been writing prompts for its sister blog, also called The Write Prompts, for five years.
"Continue On" creative writing prompts are a great way to get the juices flowing when you do not know where to start.
I have never had trouble with creative writing (yet), and never knew that there was such a thing as "prompt" or books teaching how to write "prompts".
What follows are 100 Continue On writing prompts that you can use to to create 100 short stories (or novels if you are so inspired).
I love to write creative writing prompts.
NOTE: You are free to use these writing prompts within your creative writing but please do not post them on your website or elsewhere — provide a link to this page instead.
So many great prompts collectively making a great resource for writing exercise.
This is a great selection of writing prompts.
@Eszabella: Hi Eszabella, yes you may post the writing you create using my prompts.
In short story writing, conceiving good plot may not be as difficult as penning first line/para and your article is good way to master the start.
The difference with this page is that the prompts are all starter or "Continue On" writing prompts.
You have come up with some really good writing prompts and ideas.
My writing preference is either to write journal entries that can sometimes lead to a story, or to create short stories or novellas.
The writer gets organized to write then types the prompt at the top of their page and continues writing with her own words until the end of the story.

Write a short story that involves a creative writing teacher, an urgent debt, and an unexpected windfall.
McSweeney’s Internet Tendency: List: Short Story Prompts from a Man Who Needs $5000 by Tomorrow.
Write a story about a young boy who is bored on a summer afternoon and decides to find out if he has any wealthy relatives he did not know about.

For more first line writing prompts, go to the Dialogue Generator page.
Generate first line prompts for stories, subject prompts for free-writing, characters and plot-lines.
When you click the button, a random first line for a story will be generated.
Important note: due to the number of school-age writers now using this site, a new ‘Younger Writers’ section of the website is under development.

Try to include a variety of “sensory” details in this scene, to help readers feel as if they are actually right there WITH the characters and not simply reading about them.
Use a variety of sensory details to describe your favorite place in the world.

So if you found us there, welcome! Sometimes I only get to update this thing sporadically because I get busy with band stuff.
Write about a meeting in a corporate office that goes horribly, horribly wrong.
Hey, this thing still works! How about a writing prompt? Use these things in your story.
Write a story about a guy who walks into a bar on a dark and stormy night.
Write a horror-romance-comedy that takes place at a backyard cookout.
Tired of only finding sucky writing prompts on the Internet? I know I am.

Do you make it? Miss and send to a shootout? Write this scene, but here’s the catch: There’s something on your mind that’s distracting you and must be incorporated into your thought process while trying to score the goal.
Write a scene where you find the buried treasure, only it’s not exactly the treasure you expected to find.
“It’s a matter of life and death.” So you rush with your friend to the cafeteria, only to find several of your classmates have been turned into zombies.
He also mentions the person’s name: and it’s someone you know! Write a scene where you attempt to stop the jumper from jumping.
Surfing through the Internet you find a strange pop-up: “Click now to receive three million dollars! Just press the link! … You have 30 seconds.” The lights immediately turn off and a timer begins on your screen.
Write this scene and express the emotion and frustration your character undergoes as you internally try to sort this out.

Whether you’re entering a writing competition, completing a writing assignment, want to get your short story published or you just enjoy writing stories, the various idea generators here will provide you with as much, or as little, help as you need.
 Using examples from her own published short fiction, Della Galton takes you from ‘story idea’ to ‘final edit’, and demonstrates how to construct and polish the perfect short story, ready for publication.

✐ DAILY WEIRD PROMPT ✐ GIANT ROBOT ATTACK Write a short story from the point of view of a character witnessing two giant robots fighting.
✐ DAILY WEIRD PROMPT ✐ THE (ODD) BODYGUARD Write a short story from the point of view of a character who works as a personal bodyguard.
✐ DAILY WEIRD PROMPT ✐ GIANT ROBOT ATTACK Write a short story from the point of view of a character witnessing two giant robots fighting.
✐ DAILY WEIRD PROMPT ✐ ALL THE PRETTY… GIRLS? Pick one of your favorite characters. Write a short story where this character stumbles upon someone they find extremely attractive.
✐ DAILY WEIRD PROMPT ✐ THE (ODD) BODYGUARD Write a short story from the point of view of a character who works as a personal bodyguard.
✐ DAILY WEIRD PROMPT ✐ NOT AGAIN, UGH Write a short story where a character experiences the same day, over and over again.
✐ DAILY WEIRD PROMPT ✐ DID WE… WIN? Write a short story from the point of view of a soldier.
✐ DAILY WEIRD PROMPT ✐ DID WE… WIN? Write a short story from the point of view of a soldier.
✐ DAILY WEIRD PROMPT ✐ NOT AGAIN, UGH Write a short story where a character experiences the same day, over and over again.
✐ DAILY WEIRD PROMPT ✐ BUNDLE OF LOVE Write a short story from the point of view of a notebook.
✐ DAILY WEIRD PROMPT ✐ MOMENT OF SILENCE Write a short story set in a funeral.

Could link to ‘Medusa’, ‘Havisham’, or ‘Othello’. Start this story when they decide to chase / follow.
[8] Dangerous Ambition (links to Macbeth). Want the lead role in the school play (or to be head girl/boy)? What will you do to get it? Start this when you realise the lead is up for grabs but you’re not the first choice.
How does he deal with or solve it? Start this story at the moment where the child realises he can’t go.
Start this story with the child lusting after the cake, which you should describe – baking, decorating etc – in delicious detail.
[12] You go for a forest walk (e.g. on a Geography trip or DofE) with someone you don’t like much from school and get lost. Could link to Robert Frost’s poem ‘The Road Not Taken’, ‘Storm in the Black Forest’ by D.H. Lawrence or ‘Wind’ by Ted Hughes.
For more on the guy in the photo see this video. Start this story when he wakes up in a hospital bed.

15) Create a short story that is 26 sentences long, each sentence beginning with the next letter of the alphabet. (Add other, arbitrary conditions, if desired, such as one sentence should be one-word long; there should be one question mark, one quotation, etc.) Rigid rules often produce fascinating results—such as with well-written sonnets, which have 14 lines and tight rhyme schemes, each line governed by a specific number of syllables and alternating stressed and unstressed syllables.
Creative writing exercises, like any kind of warm-up routine before playing a sport or a musical instrument, help loosen up your imagination while honing your writing muscles. The goals of the prompts below: clear, lively writing that uses specific images, well-chosen verbs and precise nouns, that “shows, rather than tells,” and that avoids clichés.
1) Describe a “first” (first apartment, first kiss, first time driving a car, first lie, first big success, first roller coaster ride, first time in this setting). Include as many details as possible, being sure to include an aspect relating to each of the five senses.
18) Describe the room of one of the following: a high school student about to drop out; a cashier who has just won the lottery; a faded movie star who still thinks she’s famous; a paranoid person, etc (see full list of suggestions in What If? Writing Exercises for Fiction Writers). Be as detailed as possible.
9) Recall a photograph from your life and describe it in a way that suggests (but doesn’t specifically name) why it matters. (Remember the creative writer’s adage, “Show, don’t tell.”) Describe what happened either just before or just after the photo was taken.
19) Create a how-to manual for something you can do well (clean a fish, change a flat tire, restring a guitar, make sushi, shop for groceries). Describe the process so that someone else could complete the task based on your directions. Use present tense verbs.
8) Describe a presence in your house (childhood home/current place of residence)—a person, a pet, a piece of furniture, an illness, a secret. Use all five senses. Be as detailed as possible.
16) Create a still-life in the room that implies a dramatic moment (e.g. an overturned chair, several balled-up pieces of paper, an open map, a torn envelope, a set of keys, a silk scarf). Describe what happened either just before or just after that moment.

Writing Prompt[WP] all music over the years has been sung by a man/woman vocal team with the ability to change their voices into any sound/style.
Writing Prompt[WP] After being abducted by a UFO, your alien captor explains to you in broken English that he doesn’t have the heart to perform the invasive probe on you.
Writing Prompt[WP] Humanity is the only race in the galaxy with such a massive lack of common sense that we’re the only species that requires laws to form societies.
Writing Prompt[WP] A highly contagious disease rips through humanity but it is only fatal to females, leaving only a handful of survivors.
Writing Prompt[WP] Every Tuesday an old, slightly crazed man runs into your shop and asks for the year, before walking out in disappointment.
Writing Prompt[WP] – You develop superpowers, however it starts to cause problems with your normal life.
Writing Prompt[WP] A school on lockdown is saved by a child’s invisible friend.
Writing Prompt[WP] In a fit of road rage you wish mayhem on another driver.
Writing Prompt[WP] Instead of hearing what people say, you hear what they mean.

There are also many other sites that can, inadvertently, provide a rich seam of material for writing prompts – for example news sites with their intriguing headlines or pictorial sites such as that give you access to a vast range of photographs that can prompt your writing.
You can find ideas for writing prompts of your own from all sorts of places : snatches of overheard conversation, headlines, signs, words picked from a book and so on.
You may also find that if you stop trying to think so hard about what you wanted to write and switch you attention to the prompt instead, the words and ideas for your original piece start to come to you after all.
Sometimes writing groups offer a prompt for everyone to write about, with the intention being for everyone to come up with something they can then share.
There are also numerous blogs that offer a regular writing prompt to inspire you and where you can, if you wish, post what you’ve written.
A writing prompt is simply a topic around which you start jotting down ideas.
Another idea is just to keep an eye on all the tweets being written by people all over the world, some of which can, inadvertently, be used as writing prompts.

Six-word stories are a great way to practice your writing without actually having to write much.They can also be used to warm up before working on a novel or short story.
But if you end up staring at a blank screen right now—I was before I was able to write a six-word story—just think of a sentence or two that might be intriguing and tells a story without telling an entire story.

1,000 human beings are selected to board a spaceship headed for the stars.
The trip is so long that they will die in space, but their descendants will reach a new planet.

This plot generator creates original and random storylines for plays, novels, short stories, soap opera, TV series or a movie script.
The writer's plot idea generator started out as a bit of fun but has evolved into a tool that writers find useful to prompt their work.

In March, students got to know their characters through a series of prompts designed to bring out character traits and personalities.
The student’s sense of his or her character will also influence how he or she reads the prompt, and each student is likely to create an entirely different scenario out of the same brief setup.
Your character gets a visit from an old friend—but the friend has changed and doesn’t seem to be the same person.
Your character goes to see a movie that he or she has been waiting to see for months—only to be seated next to someone who is talking loudly the whole time.
While each prompt leaves enough room for the student to write an entire story if he or she desires, students can also combine several prompts to create a longer story or short book.
In each prompt, the student’s character encounters a surprising situation or runs into a dilemma.
Your character gets an interesting offer from a friend.
Your character finds a wallet with a large wad of bills stuffed inside lying on the street.
At school or work, your character gets an unusual assignment.
Your character sits down to write a story.

They are wonderful places for trying out ideas you could never sustain in a novel (or maybe you could, but a short story is certainly a good place to test out the idea).
This engagingly bizarre and whimsical short story by Stephen Koster reminds me why I love the short story.

The other night I estimated that I’ve written close to 2000 pages over the last three years, so you can probably imagine this tingly sense of elation I’m feeling at being so close to finishing.
I made a set of 60 writing prompts about The Great Gatsby.
I’d also like to point out that John Spencer has really taken up the gauntlet on the fun writing prompts front.
Even though I’m not in the classroom, I’d like to do my part to support students learning to love reading (this is actually what my dissertation is about).
Meanwhile, I’ve been keeping track of prompts I’d like to make.
I’ve been getting some questions about how to get around the whole issue of Tumblr being blocked at different schools.

Join Wattpad to read and share books and stories (for free).
Over the last two years I have been providing LGBT short story prompts.

Holidays can be great inspiration for memories (both happy and sad) that can make us want to rush to our note pad right away! These pages of creative writing prompts about Halloween, the 4th of July New Years Eve, Thanksgiving, and birthdays can help you to remember even your most obscure holiday memories.
And here is a list of creative writing lesson plans along with two lists of journal writing ideas, journal writing topics and journal writing prompts.
And here are pages of middle school writing prompts, elementary writing prompts, essay writing prompts and creative writing essay ideas.
Other memories you may want to remember or forget include these creative writing prompts about school, childhood, college, prom, divorce, work, travel, and lastly your general regrets.
For literary nerds like me, try out these creative writing prompts about Shakespeare, language, and books or these prompts about the fantasy and mystery genres.
Try these out to get your students (or yourself) writing! Also, try out these Christmas writing prompts, a page of Christmas creative writing ideas and a Thanksgiving writing prompt list! For the Jews among us, here is a page of Hanukkah writing prompts.
Looking for some more general prompts? Take a look at this creative writing topic list, a list of descriptive writing prompts and a page of short story topics.
Wouldn’t it be great if money wasn’t an issue for you? Prosperity is a great state of mind to help you to be inspired by some more writing prompts.

Epistolary stories can take many forms: for example, a romance novel comprising love letters between a couple; a mystery story where clues are hidden in the letters, thus inviting the reader to discover the murderer before the detective does; historical fiction, where a series of letters paints a dramatic picture of exciting events.
Character changes come about as a result of the hero/heroine facing obstacles and becoming stronger/wiser/more mature/more sympathetic to others’ problems: the diary entries reflect this process of change in the protagonist, at the same time drawing readers into the story as they share intimately in your hero/heroine’s struggles and triumphs.
How to end the story? Some suggestions: he gets his heart’s desire and they live happily ever after; or he gets the girl but realizes she’s not the one he really loves after all; or he gets her but later loses her because of some flaw in his/her character or a tragic event separates them; or he doesn’t get her but learns some important truths along the way; or he doesn’t get her and discovers it’s really her sister/best friend he loves after all.
No more writer’s block! With the writing prompts, story starters and story writing ideas on this page, you’re well on your way to creating terrific plots for romance books, fantasy books, mystery books, funny stories, short stories and more.
Weave your story round a central character with an all-consuming passion — someone who’ll stop at nothing to get what he or she wants, be it money, power, revenge, fame or a lover.

Every story – from a short children’s story to a full-length novel – needs a good plot.
Stuck plot? Need an idea for a drabble? Kick your writing muse of the muck with this.

In addition, sometimes creative writing prompts can help spark an idea when you’re stuck on a short story or some other fiction piece that you’re working on.
Every Monday Creative Writing Ink publishes a photo or an illustration and you’re invited to write a short story or poem using the image featured in the post as your inspiration.
Anjie is an English teacher who decided to start a blog in order to share creative writing prompts.

Electric Literature is a non-profit dedicated to amplifying the power of storytelling through digital innovation.Our mission is to ensure that literature remains a vibrant presence in popular culture by fostering digital innovation, supporting writers, building community, and broadening the audience for literary fiction.We believe the transformative experience of reading literature fosters empathy and explores the human condition like no other art form.

It’s a small piece of information that I’ve been trying to find a way to write a creepypasta on, without it being too cliche.
You know, I’m always an idea guy myself as I often come up with story ideas all the time just by walking around from place to place and observing natural scenery.
I’ve had a few people on twitter and email who’ve expressed frustration over having ideas for creepypasta, but not the talent/time/drive to actually write them.
I’m not good at story telling or making pasta, so if anyone has an idea with this go ahead and make it.
So here we go: this comments section is where you guys can post your creepypasta “prompts” – ideas for creepy stories that you might have, but for whatever reason, aren’t going to use yourself.
A couple people have asked if we had a space for them to leave their ideas so that, perhaps, someone who wants to write but needs help with the idea part might be able to use them.
The main character is obcessed with some kind of game like elder scrolls,gothic or of any similar type .He becomes so much obcessed with the game that he cannot distinguish between the real world and gaming world.He is soo lost in it that he thinks real world as a game and starts killing people.

Radcliffe was at Comic-Con International in San Diego promoting one of his two upcoming films, the darkly comic horror tale "Horns." In it, he plays a man accused of killing his girlfriend who grows horns that prompt people around him to reveal their darkest secrets.

Whether you’re having trouble thinking of short story ideas, or you find yourself returning to similar plots and themes, these exercises and prompts will help you take new directions with your writing.
This lighthearted writing exercise essentially prompts groups or pairs of writers to provide each other with random stories while helping the group to bond.