Are you a curious novelist exploring uncharted genres or are you a current writer of the past seeking new adventures?
Whatever your purpose, these 40 historical writing prompts, partnered with a collection of vintage photographs, are guaranteed to help you get ideas, transcend to an inspiring era and help you to write your own piece of history.
1. The Lonely Lighthouse
As a survivor of a massive sea storm, you seek safety inside of a mysterious 19th century lighthouse off the coast of Cornwall. Describe the fascinating (or frightening) discoveries that await inside.
2. Behind Enemy Lines
3. Fire at the Factory
Imagine you’re an Irishman working at a factory in the 1930s. It’s your first day on the job. Without having the proper training, you accidentally set fire to the plant. Write a mock report of how the fire started and how your character escaped fault.
4. The Traveling Circus Clown
5. The French Ruler
Write a chapter in the point of view of an English spy who attempts murder during Louis XIV’s coronation in 17th century France. How does your tyrant plan to execute their mission and are they successful?
6. Swan Lake
A group of close friends meet for the last time before going in separate ways in 1940s England. Write a scene about their last moment together. Do they make a pact to see each other again in 10 years or do they reminisce back in time to the day they first met?
7. Sailing Away
In 1950s Charleston, South Carolina, two teenagers escape the troubles of boyhood to go on an adventure of a lifetime. What conflict do they have with each other as they go on their voyage and where do they go?
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8. The Dinner Bell
10. Aerial View Beach
As an airplane pilot you are much more aware of what’s happening in the sky rather than the ground. Write a scene where the pilot flies over a beach and spots a crowd of beach-goers flocking to the surf. Do a 15 minute freewrite of what you see in the water.
11. Turquoise Waters
You are an inhabitant on a tropical Mediterranean island. One day you go out for a stroll along the cliffs when you notice a strange ship across the waters coming toward your home. Write one chapter where you describe who’s on board the ship and what they want. Are they friends or enemies?
12. Kooky Cribs
13. He’ll Be Coming Around the Mountain
14. Block Party
Extra! Extra! Write a scene about a group gathering in the streets of Chicago, Illnois in the 19th century. Are employees going on strike? Are women fighting for equal rights against men? Or are people cheering for the one person that could lead a hopeless village to a brighter future?
15. The Butler Did It
16. The Long Journey Home
Write a story about a boy who ran from home after revealing a scandalous family secret that should have been kept jan drugs canada under lock and key. Now a man, fifteen years later, he’s returned home only to discover that there is still unrest after his plaguing mishap.
17. On Top of God’s Mountains
Write one chapter from the point of view of a 1970s mountain climber in Colorado, who discovers a brick hut on top of a mountain. Is it inhabited or is there a certain relic which transcends him to a different era?
18. The Road to Nowhere
19. Buffalo Dreams
20. Oriental Ornaments
21. Handle with Care
22. The Lion Tamer
23. Beauty Mark
Write a robbery scene that takes place in a popular jewelry boutique in 1960s New York. Is the jewel thief a stealthy shoplifter or a glass-shattering maniac? Does the crime take place at night when the store is closed or during business hours? And how does the robber know the jewelry store owner?
24. War Hero
25. Hotel of Haunts
26. Let’s Shake On It
27. Baskets, Anyone?
Write a story about a 1980s New Yorker looking for adventure, who purchases a basket from an eccentric city merchant and discovers an item inside that takes the character back in time to 15th century Scotland.
28. Poker Face
29. The Diner
30. A Man’s Best Friend
31. Dear . . .
32. Once Upon a Time
33. The Kiss
34. Cabin Fever
35. Under the Weather
36. Summer Dreams
38. Fort Knox
39. The Rogue
40. The Highwayman
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