He got up and sat on the edge of the bedstead with his back to the window. “It’s better not to sleep at all,” he decided. There was a cold damp draught from the window, however; without getting up he drew the blanket over him and wrapped himself in it. He was not thinking of anything and did not want to think. But one image rose after another, incoherent scraps of thought without beginning or end passed through his mind. He sank into drowsiness. Perhaps the cold, or the dampness, or the dark, or the wind that howled under the window and tossed the trees roused a sort of persistent craving for the fantastic. He kept dwelling on images of flowers, he fancied a charming flower garden, a bright, warm, almost hot day, a holiday—Trinity day. A fine, sumptuous country cottage in the English taste overgrown with fragrant flowers, with flower beds going round the house; the porch, wreathed in climbers, was surrounded with beds of roses. A light, cool staircase, carpeted with rich rugs, was decorated with rare plants in china pots. He noticed particularly in the windows nosegays of tender, white, heavily fragrant narcissus bending over their bright, green, thick long stalks. He was reluctant to move away from them, but he went up the stairs and came into a large, high drawing-room and again everywhere—at the windows, the doors on to the balcony, and on the balcony itself—were flowers. The floors were strewn with freshly-cut fragrant hay, the windows were open, a fresh, cool, light air came into the room. The birds were chirruping under the window, and in the middle of the room, on a table covered with a white satin shroud, stood a coffin. The coffin was covered with white silk and edged with a thick white frill; wreaths of flowers surrounded it on all sides. Among the flowers lay a girl in a white muslin dress, with her arms crossed and pressed on her bosom, as though carved out of marble. But her loose fair hair was wet; there was a wreath of roses on her head. The stern and already rigid profile of her face looked as though chiselled of marble too, and the smile on her pale lips was full of an immense unchildish misery and sorrowful appeal. Svidrigaïlov knew that girl; there was no holy image, no burning candle beside the coffin; no sound of prayers: the girl had drowned herself. She was only fourteen, but her heart was broken. And she had destroyed herself, crushed by an insult that had appalled and amazed that childish soul, had smirched that angel purity with unmerited disgrace and torn from her a last scream of despair, unheeded and brutally disregarded, on a dark night in the cold and wet while the wind howled

72 Short Story Ideas To Supercharge Your Writing

‹ Back to blog

Are you ready to write a short story, but not sure where to start? Get some new ideas today with these diverse and engaging short story ideas. 

Though I’ve broken them up into subcategories, don’t feel limited by the headings. Feel free to add some romance to a supernatural story, or frame a family tale in a historical or dystopian setting.

The key to using these short story ideas is an open, flexible mind. Use these prompts as springboards, and then follow your inspiration.

The first half of these short story ideas are general categories — Humor, Family, Power, Plot Twist — while the second half offers story ideas in specific genres — Fantasy, Horror, Dystopian, Crime, Sci-Fi, Romance.

And when you’re ready to write a novel, I have resources for you, too. This thorough guide to novel writing will give you all the tools and techniques you need to write an exquisite novel.

Enjoy!

Humor

elvis-presley-308825_960_720


  1. Substitute teachers are sick of not being taken seriously, so they form a secret society: Subperior.
  2. Tell the tall tale of a high-fashion penguin who goes shopping for a tuxedo and gets into the modeling industry. Make as many crossovers between fashion and bird life as possible.
  3. An Elvis impersonator books a concert that is so good, people believe the real Elvis has come back to life. Next thing he knows, he is the leader of a superstitious Elvis cult.
  4. After a religious cult takes over the government, caffeine is outlawed. Tell the story of a brave and coffee-loving family who opens a #CaffeineSpeakeasy.
  5. Everyone confuses Fabio the Frog for a toad because of his warts. Explore the struggle.

2 Characters or Less

hand-1701984_960_720

  1. Tammy has been in solitary confinement for 2 years and hasn’t experienced any human contact, not even letters, at least until she starts receiving mysterious notes under her door.
  2. Tired of working as a corporate robot, Gerald uses all of his sick days to spend a week alone hiking in the Appalachian Mountains. Everything seems fine until a blizzard hits.
  3. A shy web designer thinks he has found the man of his dreams online. It turns out he is being catfished by the member of a competing company who is probing him for information.
  4. Brenna and James work for two neighboring fast food companies and always take their lunch breaks on the sidewalk bench at the same time. Are they brave enough to pursue something more from this newfound friendship?
  5. A traveling make-up artist named Brenda and a purse-sized dog go on a cross-country trip to a funeral that Brenda does not want to attend. Tell the story from both Brenda’s and the dog’s point of view.

Adventure

mountain-1031130_960_720

  1. Homeschooled Adam has just finished high school and is planning to start college close to his town when suddenly, an attack on his isolated hometown means he is drafted into the army. Even though he is away from the first time and terrified, he doesn’t just survive — he becomes a key strategist thanks to his scientific insight.
  2. Traveling nature photographer Lindsay happens upon a group of indigenous people who may have found the cure to cancer in a rare, local plant.
  3. Portuguese foreign exchange student Gabriela’s host parents aren’t as innocent as they seem. Before she knows it, these undercover mob members kidnap her as part of an international conspiracy theory. Halfway across the world and alone, how can she escape and uncover the truth?
  4. An American actor is cast as the star of a movie about a multi-lingual travel agent. Instead of buying Rosetta Stone, he packs his bags and decides to travel to four different countries across the world, but he doesn’t expect to fall in love with his guide.
  5. A boy steals a jet packet that can help him fly, and he gets adopted by a flock of birds as they migrate south for winter. Show how his relationship with them evolves until hunters try to kill the birds and shuttle him back home.

And if you’re ready to move from short story writing to bigger writing (NOVELS!), I also have a wonderful resource for you.

Read this comprehensive post on how to write your novel, including ideas on outlining, writing a series, and using the snowflake method.

Friendship/Family

family-932245_960_720

  1. When 14-year-old Oliver learns that he is the only adopted child of his eight-person family, he feels betrayed and runs away to find his birth parents. However, after 2 months alone on the road, he runs out of money and still has not succeeded. Does he keep looking or go home?
  2. An unlikely friendship between the 6-year-old sons of feuding parents leads to an unexpected and tense reunion at a playdate. Is this the beginning of a reconciliation, or is it just added fuel to the fire?
  3. Two childhood friends stopped talking after a high school feud, until they find themselves on the same international flight five years later. What conversations unfold over the next 12 hours, and do they keep in touch, or go their separate ways forever?
  4. A set of 12-year-old identical twins have gotten away with switching places in class since one is good at math and the other is good at English. They switch outfits at lunch and come back to each other’s desk to find their very strict and observant mom is the substitute teacher.
  5. When Ali, a Muslim man, falls in love with Rachel, a Jewish girl, both of their families are appalled. What do their families do to keep them apart?

Twist

drugs-1276787_960_720

  1. Federal investigations into an ongoing murder investigation discover that a dangerous coalition of police officers were behind the crime.
  2. A famous gymnast is under fire for using performance-enhancing steroids. It turns out that she’s the one who leaked the story to detract attention from the fact that she is a drug lord selling a highly addictive and eventually deadly new substance.
  3. A young television actor is hailed as one of the best of his time. While reporters call him “method” for only interviewing in character, it’s because he doesn’t have an identity outside of his famous characters, three of whom he switches between due to Dissociative Identity Disorder.
  4. Jenna is backstage at graduation about to make her valedictorian speech when she hears a gunshot in the crowd. Write an account of the next 10 minutes from her perspective.
  5. An elderly couple keeps all of their money at home between the pages of their books. They’re ready to gather it all and start looking for a retirement home when a fire burns down their house and their cash.

Power

tie-690084_960_720

  1. After only a year in office, Governor Li finds himself tempted by a corrupt organization who wants him to sabotage a public transportation project in exchange for funding his entire reelection.
  2. Principal Watkins wants to take the promotion to district director, but she knows the new principal will slash all of the arts programs. How does she decide between the promotion that will help her send her kids to college and saving the arts programs she loves so much?
  3. When General Adams finds that the opposing army will surrender if she hands herself over, does she prioritize her own safety, or sacrifice herself, even if it means torture?
  4. A successful lawyer knows that his client is guilty of murder, but he can easily lie and win the case, which is getting significant media coverage and would surely guarantee that he would be made a partner at his firm.
  5. Yvonne has worked hard to build her successful real estate company, and she loves her work. But when a competing realtor starts stealing all of her clients, she has to fight back in unusual ways to keep her business alive. 

Supernatural

levitation-1287234_960_720

  1. On his 16th birthday, Christopher miraculously survives a head-on car crash without a scratch. A week later when he scrapes his knee playing basketball, it heals within minutes. Where did this power come from, and what can he do with it?
  2. The Elite Education Society, or EES, is giving out pills to gifted students that give them the power to stay awake for 48 hours and record everything they see, hear, and feel in their minds as if in a notebook. But little do they know, the side effects that appear two weeks later will cause a disaster.
  3. 63-year-old Emerald is the only member of her family without a superpower. However, when the local police force who relies on superhero power fails to catch a murderer, her down-to-earth perspective ends up being the key to solving the crime.
  4. After his concussion, Jamal Winston finds he has no control over recurring and vivid dream of his accident. However, while awake, he is able to project images in his mind into the room and change the world around him. Too bad the doctors think it is all in his head, and continuously sedate him. Can he fight the power of a medically induced coma?
  5. What happens when technology gives animals the power to speak?

Romance

heart-700141_960_720

  1. Rachel, a successful defense attorney who was just made a partner at her firm, is working on one of the biggest murder cases in Boston’s history. When she realizes she’s developing feelings for the prosecutor, it’s too late to back out. What’s more important: stay true to her work values, or take a chance at love?
  2. Jordan’s just a lonely college guy swiping through Tinder when he finds his favorite actress, Geena Davis, has liked him back. But when they meet up, he realizes they have no connection. Rather, it’s her assistant who catches his eye.
  3. When Alexandra and Amber’s yearlong secret relationship is discovered, they’re expelled from their all-girls high school and forced to attend separate public schools. How to they keep their love alive under the watchful eyes of their judgmental community?
  4. Two painters have been married for 5 years. How does their relationship change when one of them suddenly goes blind?
  5. This short love story between an asexual boy and girl will contain three distinct scenes: a cute meeting, a first date, and the first time the two say “I love you.” The challenge is to build romantic tension without any sexual tension whatsoever.

Fantasy

background-1475670_960_720

  1. When the long-running secret order of magicians is discovered, it’s time to fight. But what’s stronger: ancient magic, or advanced, current technology?
  2. The Pineshore National Forest is home to more than just evergreen trees. It is a haven for werewolves, and though they only come out at night, the fleas that cling to their skin crawl into the lake and transmit the werewolf virus through the town’s water supply — the only people it doesn’t affect are those under 14.
  3. Vampires and Robots that run on human blood fight over the limited human blood supply in an epic war of the supernatural versus the machines.
  4. A seemingly ordinary horse is visited by a mystical presence that promises to make her a unicorn, but she must face the dangers of escaping her stable if she wants access to this new and mysterious world.

Sci-Fi

man-320276_960_720

  1. A spaceship that can surpass the speed of light allows some humans to escape our solar system with its dying sun. How will humanity decide who gets to be a passenger?
  2. A special computer virus is engineered by a rogue Apple employee to control human desires and impulses.
  3. A pet store with an overflow of cats sells them at a very low price. However, what seemed to be normal kittens were actually the offspring of an alien that can body jump from human host to human host, causing each of their hosts to commit suicide after 24 hours.
  4. A live TV special about the White House has a microphone malfunction that ends up broadcasting a top-secret meeting about an impending alien invasion to the whole nation.
  5. Scientists develop a new brain scanning device that can read thoughts. Who should have access to this technology? Before they have time to decide, someone has hacked into their computer system and stolen it.

Horror

girl-1475433_960_720

  1. It’s Halloween, and ghost hunting teenagers wander into an infamous haunted house near a local graveyard, only to find that it’s not ghosts they need to fear, but a poisonous gas that warps their memories and puts them at the hands of the delusional and twisted man who lives upstairs.
  2. When a disease similar to chicken pox breaks out in a local preschool, it leads to a quarantine. Though it seems harmless at first, it turns out that its symptoms include violent outbreaks that cause the children to break loose and terrorize the town.
  3. What seems like an ordinary meditation seminar turns out to be the recruiting ground for an extremist cult that hypnotizes members to commit acts of violence. No one is immune, except Margaret Bradshaw.
  4. Nothing can wake Keith up from his night terrors, which cause him to attack anyone who comes near him, as he cannot distinguish those he loves from the villains he sees in his head.
  5. JJ has to scuba dive 300 feet down through a genetically modified shark breeding ground in order to rescue his girlfriend in a broken submersible, but a horrifying surprise awaits him in the depths.

Crime (Mystery/Revenge)

burglary-257399_960_720

  1. After he discovers another man’s clothes tucked in the back of his girlfriend’s closet, Brad plans a fishing trip to get her far away for the weekend and teach her a lesson.
  2. The Smithsonian Slasher has caused panic throughout DC. With a new victim every other day within 500 feet of one of the museums, he must have a motive and a method, but how are the police to find him when he has destroyed all of the cameras and keeps escaping?
  3. A shoplifting dare turns into a case of mistaken identity, and next thing she knows, college junior Amanda is on trial for murder. 
  4. Officer Turner is three years sober and dedicated to getting his life back on track. That is, until he is called to the scene of what he thought was a theft, but turns out to be a high-profile drug bust. Can he suppress his urges around the mountains of cocaine, especially since he is in charge of collecting evidence?
  5. What happens when a set of identical twin men commit countless murders that they plan together, but continuously use each other as an alibi?

Dystopian/Futuristic

nuclear-weapons-test-67557_960_720

  1. In 2150, Aliya becomes pregnant with twins and, in an overpopulated country with an authoritarian government, has to make a choice of which one to keep and which to kill when they are born. Instead, she sets out to escape across the border with her husband.
  2. When NASA scientist Jose discovers that there is an impending alien attack that is sure to destroy Earth within the month, he becomes the reluctant leader of an uprising and the coordinator of an international planet evacuation.
  3. When California breaks off of North America and declares independence, it sparks the second US Civil War.
  4. It turns out the iPhone 26 has been hacked and can be remotely detonated. Key political leaders across the globe are assassinated on the same morning, and the world descends into chaos.

Children

children-887393_960_720

  1. 20-pound dachshund Kevin stands out among his border collie siblings and is bullied for being different. He is set out to prove that not only can he herd sheep, but befriend them as equals.
  2. 8-year-old Tanner has been working hard all year to keep his grades up so that he can participate in the annual Teacher-For-A-Day extravaganza.
  3. What happens when a normal girl discovers a teleportation device in the park across from her house that only she knows how to use?
  4. An elementary-aged child has a unique talent for understanding animals, so much so that they end up helping out trainers, veterinarians, and wildlife researchers. Work in some animal facts!

If you’re writing a children’s book, then read my post, “12 Steps to Writing a Children’s Book.”

Historical

old-pictures-1261325_960_720

  1. It’s 1955. After Rosa Parks is arrested for sitting in the white section of the bus, a group of Civil Rights Activists of all races come together to start a nonprofit bus business.
  2. Write a first-person narrative of an Ancient Roman Colosseum showdown between a criminal and a lion.
  3. World War II is brewing, and Brian wants nothing more than to fight for the Allies, but to do so, he’ll have to make sure no one finds out that he was assigned female at birth.
  4. Who was Abraham Lincoln without his famous top hat? Write an account of its transformations through the years, paralleling its life with that of the 16th US President.
  5. It’s love at first sight for a lucky young couple as soon as the Berlin Wall crashes to the ground, but in the days that follow, their parents aren’t so excited.

For advice on writing a historical novel, you should definitely check out 7 Steps to Writing Historical Fiction.

I hope these short story ideas have generated some good stories for you! Leave a note in the comments if a particular short story writing prompt worked well for you.

Author Bio:

Victoria Fombelle is a freelance writer, stand-up comedian, and clinical mental health counseling student living and working in Chicago.
short-1

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

248 comments

      1. Thank you! I love writing but always run out of ideas. This was really helpful, Bookfox!

      2. Thanks for the story ideas! I started an introduction to one of the ideas, and I think it’s great! Again, thanks for all the ideas! Even though it’s not required, I’m putting you in the credits.

      3. Hi Book fox, I’m writing a essay and I want to use the Friendship Feud one. May I use it and do I have to credit you? Thx!

      4. heyy! thank you so damn much for these ideas, you have no idea how much helpful these are. thank you so much. stay blessed

      5. Could you please assist me, I’m writing a story about twin high school girls, but I’m out of ideas

      1. This comment says a lot more about you than it does the ideas.

        If you really can’t turn any of these ideas into a compelling story you may want to take a little time to look at your own shortcomings and how you might address them, instead of attacking the people around you.

      2. Maybe try looking at your own grammar before criticizing a perfectly good list of ideas for stories. You can’t even write a simple sentence, who are you to call this “terriable?”

      3. i know right i did not find this helpful at all. At least i found someone to agree with me.
        thank you AARON. I love you for that <3

      1. I have to write a children’s book about cells so I’m trying to get inspiration. This is helping so thanks!

    1. These prompts are amazing, they really helped me a lot! I’m a writer, I write all sorts of different genres like Romance, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Horror, Crime and Murder +more, and I really liked the Adventure, Twist, and Romance prompts, which I will likely write a story or a book off of. Again, thank you so much I love these! <3

    1. Depends on what level of school you’re at! But as a former teacher, I always loved whatever stories my students came up with, as long as it was a good story.

    1. Amazing Website. I love the ideas. I don’t know how on earth you managed to think of all these ideas because it takes me hours to think of just a simple plot. Thanks a lot. This really helped me. 🙂

  1. Bookfox,I’m writing a short story for school – 500 words so do you think it’s OK to cut the description in the introduction because if I use description it goes past my limit. Any ideas for what to do?

  2. Bookfox, this is pretty amazing. I’m writing a story right now, and I’m almost finished. I promise that I’m going to give you credit for these *amazing* story ideas. I wouldn’t have done it without you, or the Random Name Generator…

  3. Hey, Bookfox. I positively love these story ideas. I’m going to write a story off of one of these ideas, but I’m going to put a small twist to it. Is that okay and do I have to give you credit?

  4. I love how diverse this is, most of these types of prompt lists have no mention of LGBT+ people whatsoever, this is so great!

    1. Don’t you have anything better to do then complain? If it bothers you so much then replace the sexuality of the characters with ones you want. It’s just prompts, you don’t have to stick to the script.

      1. Nothing. Read her comment and fully understand what she was saying before jumping to conclusions. She was happy the LGBT community was integrated into the post.

    2. What about Black Civil Rights? Sometimes LGBT+ members think their situation is the most important. Don’t get me wrong I think we shouldn’t even be fighting for human rights but we have to. But if you want to stand up for what’s right, stand up for the Civil Rights too.

  5. Wow, I love the way that you’ve presented ideas that spur creativity, and are open to any kind of ending and interpretation. I’m thinking about building off either the idea of Tammy in solitary confinement, or the idea of quarantined children that have a disease like chicken pox, that causes violent outbreaks. Thank you!!

  6. I’m almost done with my story! I’m writing it on Google Docs, and the pages are much longer than real pages. It’s 50 pages, and if any of you have Google Docs or Google Drive in general, can you tell me how much that is? Thanks.

    Regards, John

  7. Do you think that I can do a story about a guy who can’t die and seen everyone he loved died? I wanted to see what somebody thinks about that.

  8. i love these story ideas THANK YOU SO MUCH YOU HAVE A GREAT MIND I LOVE THEM SO MUCH thank you for inspiring me

  9. I love this website! It’s so helpful and great. Just wondering can I please use the graduation, gunshots one? I really like that one. Thanks

  10. How do you get such amazing ideas? I get ideas too but very VERY slowly. AND, I don’t know whether I should write the story as a novel or a short story. Also, Love you for such amazing ideas; Even more so for sharing them! Hats off

  11. Here’s a story idea…
    A girl gets raped at 16 and has a baby boy named Ryan. She gets married later to a man that she thinks works at an office building but he really works as a secret agent, saving people everyday. The woman then gets pregnant with twin girls. Later she gets kidnapped by someone trying to get revenge at her husband. Her husband then gets the message at the work place and is surprised that it’s his wife. He then goes on a mission to find his wife.

    1. All that ‘she gets pregnant’ is just unneeded in the main story. She doesn’t even have to get raped, as it has no meaning to the story whatsoever. Make her husband a normal guy who then goes to save his wife after she gets kidnapped by the man she was raped by as he’s afraid of being convicted.

  12. So I was wondering if it was okay that I altered a few story ideas to make my own. If it isn’t I can always use the ones written down, which are amazing, by the way. Thank you for the help! I’ll be booked all Summer with writing now!

  13. I would just like to say I used the Graduation/gunfire prompt in a school contest and the story I wrote was selected as the top story written throughout the school. This is my favorite list for writing and one I continually return to. Thanks for making it!

  14. I use your ideas all of the time they are so inspiring. You should start up a youtube channel telling stories u have written. 🙂

  15. I wrote a couple of private-eye e-book novels: “Midnight Whiskey” and “Angel Eyes” that nobody is reading, so I don’t know if they are any good or not. Anyway, no more private-eye novels from me. Now I want to try humor but need some ideas to get started. You provided me with nine suggestions to consider. Thanks much, J. G. Curtiss

  16. Hi I’m doing a stop motion for my project at school and I was wondering if it would be ok if I used one of your ideas and if you wanted me to credit you or something?

  17. These are all fantastic story ideas, however the one about the dachshund seems to be very similar to the plot of Babe the Sheep Pig?

  18. “A successful lawyer knows that his client is guilty of murder, but he can easily lie and win the case, which is getting significant media coverage and would surely guarantee that he would be made a partner at his firm”

    Change murder to child molestation, and this is the basic plot of ‘The Devil’s Advocate’ (Keanu Reeves/Al Pacino film).

      1. Thank you, but I’m not much of an author. I dabble, but a book? No, I’m not even close to being in that league.

  19. These are some absolutely brilliant ideas! Thank you so much for sharing them, they definitely got the creative juices flowing!

  20. Do you have any internships available? I am a Journalism major, but I enjoy writing short stories for fun. I haven’t written a short story in a while but I am trying to start back up again. I would love to be your intern if you would give me a chance.
    Thank you

    1. Wow. The ideas are fantastic! Thank you so much! I love the one about identical twins.
      Most of my story ideas come from other books I’ve read, then I combine different books. Is that cheating?

  21. Hi bookfox, what would the conflict and antagonist be for the one about the kid who has healing powers? Thanks!

    1. Conflict could be that there’s an unpleasant side effect and he must decide whether or not to seek help and risk losing his powers. Alternate possiblility: someone finds out about his powers and he becomes a human science experiment. Hope this helps!

  22. I REALLY like the idea about the substitute teachers. You are the MOST AWESOME person ever. Thanks BOOKFOX ! Does this count as plagiarism if I use the idea because it didn’t come from me?

  23. This is really creative and helpful!!! :)) I want to use the identical twin one. But I love sci-fi too and those prompts are really good ones. Thank you so much for all these ideas!

  24. Hey is it ok if i use one of ur really good syories in this creative story tests thing or is that plagerisim 9
    (Like if its plagerisim ill change it a bit)

  25. Thank you so much!! You just helped me with ideas for the short story for homework!! (He said we could look up ideas and we don’t have to come up with it ourselves)

  26. THANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOU

  27. Desperately been looking for inspiration these days. Used to come so much quicker- story after story! But now that I’m determined to write a full length novel, my inspiration just goes away. I think I’m a bit intimidated by the sheer work a book is, so I just shut down, but I’m determined! Now I just have to pick the perfect idea.

  28. So helpful! I was thinking how to spend my winter holidays, and as I enjoy writing, I thought I would write 1 short story every day. If I would have thought of a good idea on my own I would have been surprised. These are great ideas. I came across this website today and I’ve written a story using one of these guidelines. Thank you once again.

  29. At 82 years young my own ideas are few and far between. I’ve just joined a small writing group in my small town in NZ and am inspired by your great ideas. My fingers are itching to get going, just have to get past Christmas with all the Grandies. Merry Christmas to you all.

  30. i want to use so many, im a huge fan of writing, and i may enter one in my school short story contest. do i need to give you credit???

  31. You offer such a variety of diverse prompts! It’s not often that someone gets to see such unflinching representation of LGBTQ and other marginalized people in literature. Thank you!

    1. Some ideas:
      1.) Murder a character
      2.) Have one go missing
      3.) Injure your main charater (trip, fall, get stabbed, ect)
      4.) Take a look at some dialog prompts and work them into the scene
      5.) PLOT TWIST

  32. and I’m going to do a short story semester in ELA, mind if I use one of the short story ideas for my writing?

  33. How awesome is this?! I love this idea page so much. I’m in elementary school, so do you think the one about Brenda and her dog would be good for my writing class? We are doing our own stories; every theme!

  34. hi just wondering – like the idea of the identical twins murder story but can you explain how they use each other as an alibi? i dont really understand that part of the prompt. thanks

  35. I’ve got to write a 5-600 worder for my beginners creative writing class by tomorrow afternoon. I was stuck so I started trawling sites for prompts. Your’s is the best I’ve found yet. I usually write dark and heavy stuff but I wanted to try humor for a change. I’m going to go with the Elvis one; I love it! Thought I might work as many Elvis song titles into the narrative that I can. Thankyou, you’ve turned a frustrating day into fun.

  36. Here are ideas that i want to see in a novel:
    A young boy who becomes the leader of the residence, fighting zombies. The story tells how he grows up and how every event makes him stronger.

    An event that makes almost every person gain a power to manipulate pacific things. The story is told by a school boy who can manipulate everything. He tackles through difficult problems as growing into a teenager. Many people relly on him for protection but he doesnt know how to use his ability.

    A knew idea for mass production of electricity causes all the power in the world to run out. Nothing can turn it back on. The story tells of a war between the president and ordinary people. The story is post apocolyptic. The moon blows up, global warming occurs, cyclones occur almost everywhere. Everywhere is a dead zone. The story is of a normal person who falls inlove with the leader of the resistance. In the end, the leader betrays them. Many more events occur but it is up to you to find out.

    A fantasy story where most mythical creatures become extinct. The story is of a basted whos father was the king. After the king dies, his half brother becomes king. He was raised as a slave. He tries to excape but is captured and tortured. He manages to excape under great sacrifice. He becomes friends with the rest of the mythical creatures. Creates an army and manages to become a king. After long effort he manages to overcome his brother.

    A story where a boys spy father dies. After the boy grows into a man he becomes a spy too. He is tasked with a small enemy but he finds out that it can dedtroy the world. The villian kills almost everyone he knows. He finds another spy service and joins them. He manages to……………..(insert your thoughts)

  37. I love the one with the overflow of alien cats, but is it ok if I change the part about commiting suicide?

  38. This is by far one of the best short stories website I have come across!
    I’m thinking about doing the Caffeine Speakeasy one, although can you give me some tips o how to build on the plot? 🙂
    Thanks.

  39. Can I use one of the topics for my short story? If I can do I have to use credits or something like that?

  40. hi I like sci-fi stories and and thigs to do with superheros as I am a big marvel fan. However I am not sure which of your supernatural ideas I like best please could you give me a suggestion of which one to do. thank you

    1. I think the one with Emerald would be a good pick

      (If you don’t like her age, I’m sure you will be able to change it!)

  41. I love this I really love writing but am not very good but these are amazing i’d love for my teacher and classmate to see them cause my teacher loves using story starters like this thank you so much for the inspiring ideas

  42. This is such a great list of short story ideas!
    I love how this was put together, categorized and included the LGBT+ community.
    This personally helped me a lot with my writer’s block.
    Thank you!

  43. WOW! Thank u so much BOOKFOX! Can I take one or two storylines and mix them together to make one story?? Do I have to give you some credits???

  44. Thank you so much for these great ideas! I am currently trying to write a short story about a girl who’s 18th birthday is on the 31st December 1999. Your suggestions really helped me realise that it was getting boring and that I had not researched at all!!

  45. So, do we have to give credit because i like these ideas. I’m already writing two books right now and im only 12.

  46. Any writing tips I’ve been stuck on a story and I don’t know if I should give up or keep going.

    1. Try coming up with the backstory before you write your outline. Once you have the backstory down, the outline tends to just piece itself together. Also, focus on how the external events push the internal conflict of the character. External conflicts are boring and flat if you don’t connect them to the internal conflict.

  47. Thank you so much for creating this site! I’m ALWAYS running out of good ideas for story writing! I love all of the different catagories that you sorted these story ideas into! It made it so much easier to find what I was looking for!

  48. I am in middle school, and I needed ideas for a book. I love writing but I can never figure out what to write about. Thank you for all these ideas!

  49. they are great ideas, but alot of them seem better for a longer story.
    either way, i love writing, and these are great ideas.
    thank you!

  50. the ideas are so great, i have no clue which ones to chose however i am still am learning about writing so if anyone ca give me advice on writing that would be great, thank you.

  51. I think these ideas are genius, I’m Competing in the young writers award writing competition and I’m afraid if I use these ideas, I’ll get caught and say I was “copying” a book that has already been made? Do you think I will??

  52. I want to use one of these prompts for a short story competition at school. Can I do this or is it considered ‘copying’?

  53. List like this are good to get the mind flowing. The real value is reading an idea and thinking “Not bad… you know, a better idea is…”

    My problem is everything I write winds up as porn. The guy hiking into the blizzard will meet an ice nymph on my head.

    It’s good porn, but still…

  54. I’m really interested in a story idea for a Wattpad story I would like to write. Can I use it? and If I can do I need to credit you or anything?

  55. I absolutely LOVE those ideas.
    They are sensational, epic, insane, perfect.
    But whenever I try to write something under a specific catergory, I can’t seem to stick to one idea and I think I trail off a lot.

  56. Great ideas thank you! Do you have any ideas on animals? I would like to do a short using horses or dogs and am looking for more ideas. All ideas welcome!

  57. These ideas were wonderful, but I have a problem. I’m having writer’s block, and even looking at short story ideas isn’t helping. Do you have any tips?

  58. I’m meant to write a 500-word story for school, which has to happen over the period of 1 day and can’t be fantasy or even a bit fictional. I have no idea what to do. Help!

  59. I have a story idea of my own that any of you could try!
    When the main character, Emily, is diagnosed with schizophrenia at 15, her whole world changes. Not only does she hear and see people no one else can see, but she is suddenly caught up in a wild adventure that may end up with her dead.

  60. These are so great there’s so many ideas I have for some of them. Definitely great for inspiration!

  61. TO ANY AUTHORS: Please write stories appropriate for young teens, no grisly murders or anything that my Mom would balk at.

    I go to the library and can’t find any books that interest me and get past my parents’ once-over.

  62. Im doing an Ext Eng 2 course in year 12 at the moment, and i need to find original content that would not bore the HSC markers. As much as these ideas intrigued me, would it intrigue the HSC markers, or are these stories on the touchline of being too cliche and predictable?

  63. Hi
    thank you for sharing to write short story ideas You know I’m a beginner in writing a story as before I wrote many blog posts for clients now start for short story writing.

    Thanks again
    Michel Joachim

  64. Great collection of ideas! The horror and fantasy sections are my favorites.

    I’ve also found that art is also a great source of story ideas. If I look at a piece of art and ask myself “What are these people talking about? How did they get here? What will they do next?”, my mind starts filling with ideas for possible stories.

  65. As an actor who uses a similar acting technique to the one in the dissociative identity disorder idea, I’d be careful portraying that. It’s not as simple as it sounds, and of course, it’s always important to research disorders before writing them.

  66. These are amazing ideas, and I’ve been in love with writing since I was in 2nd grade. However, I’m having a hard time building off of them. Not that they’re bad ideas, I’m just having a hard time writing recently and I really want to write a story. The last time I wrote a story was at the beginning of 8th grade this year. Any tips for being able to kick off a good story when you have a lot on your mind?

  67. Help! I have no clue on what to write about, I like to write about fun stuff like thriller and adventure but to push me even further I would like to do some romance novels. Any ideas?

    1. The first short story in the ‘romance’ section could be appropriate to what you are looking for. You could add in some more thriller action as that story is really for romance. Hope that helped! HAPPY WRITING 🙂

  68. I loved this so many cool ideas and there very mysterious so you can always think of things.

  69. Wow!! Thank you SO SO SOOOOO much!! I loved the ones about twins, like many other people also said. Here’s a fun fact you’ll probably find really interesting about me that’ll make you say “No way. REALLY?” Well, I’m actually a twin who’s 12, so the idea about 12 year old twins switching classes for each other would be PERFECT. Thank you again, this page was lifesaving!!

  70. Hey BookFox, I was wondering if I could use one of the mentioned ideas. If so would you like me to write a citation for you?

  71. I love to make stories, but I can’t stay in one story. I get bored easily and I have trouble staying on one topic. I am a HUGE fan of horror. Are there any prompts you can give me?

  72. Those that say these are bad ideas have to think about their own imagination with it! I was able to come up with multiple spin offs from these, thanks to you of course!
    Absolutely love them. Were some of them not exactly in my interests? Yes, but no ones going to love everything 100%. And even with them not being in my interests, I can still see them being turned into great story ideas with the right person.

  73. Hey, I know I might have come a little late but…. I absolutely love your ideas! If it is not asking a lot do can you guys upload a few more story ideas, just for the reason that I have used almost every one of them in my writing!!
    Thank you,

  74. Hi I was wondering if this is a good start to a book or does it need a lot of work cause I need all the help I can get so … here is what I got so far

    Hi my name is Kaylon Klinglesmith I am about to turn 18. I am working as a maid for this cute, rich, but shy college guy named Blake. So the way I met him is kind of funny. It started when I was walking to college. I am living by the collage I ran into while I was looking for an important green math book. I fell on the ground and by the time I was getting up a boy with blue hair and blue eyes was saying something but I could not understand It sounded like blue bla bla blue ha ah ht. See I don’t understand anything but then I finally came to my senses and he was talking Korean. I am so lucky I studied Korean. He was actually saying “ Hey what do you think you are doing… you got my shoe dirty.” I was so busy trying to understand what he was saying I did not look at him until he said meanly “hey you look at me!” so I looked at him. He said sarcastically “ Do you understand me or do I need someone to translate for me” I said sadly “ um I am so so sorry about your shoe” He smiled and said with joy “what is your name“ I was so nervous sooo I sounded like “Me my um Kaylon Klinglesmith what is your name?” He said he would not tell me until I do something for him so I asked what he wanted. He said “I need someone to be my maid” I said “me or do you want me to find someone for you?” He said, “I want you to do it for my friend. Oh and my name is Byeong-ho” Which means bright and great in Korean. “Well bye Ohh and my friend should be here any minute ” He said with a smile

    So …. I finally found my book and I bet 100$ you don’t know where it is … you’re not getting 100$ but it was in another book. Anyways I was sitting on a bench thinking that we have no school today !!!!!!!!! That was me being mad at my self for going out of my house now I am a maid

  75. These are SO the best ideas I have seen! All others pale beside them. They just get you thinking and that’s what I want. Thank you!

  76. I love to write stories. Your ideas are amazing! I’m starting a new grade and want to write fresh stories. Could I use some ideas? I would definitely mention you in credits.

    Btw you have really creative ideas! Have you written any books? I would totally read them.

  77. These are really good, but not the scary ones (I don’t like scary things). I might use one of these ideas in the play I’m writing, thank you BookFox!

  78. This is my first adventure. After being retired for a few years, I was bored and decided to return to work on a seasonal position with a well-known company. Work was good until COVID-19 entered the world and everything changed. My job closed its doors forever; so now here I am unemployed at an age that employment is hard to find unless you are well experienced in what may be offered. This is when writing came to mind. I’m glad that Google helped me to find this online writing course. I think it’s great! Perhaps from the lessons explored and learned I will be able to actually have my first short story published. I look forward to this with great anticipation.

  79. Salve!
    As one author to another, love this!
    Perfect ideas for my story.
    I am writing a mafia story and I think I shall use the mistake equals unhappiness.
    I appreciate the ideas!
    Vale!

  80. BOOKFOX i have to thank you for giving me such wonderful ideas #3 childrens was very helpful for my writing assignment.

  81. this is my book that I made using #3 childrens

    (made with modified writing prompt)

    The Device

    4 year old Bean the corgi is your average stray dog. He is known all around town as the dream dog. Every day Bean must put up with people trying to adopt him but bean turns them all down. Here is Beans story…

    It was a bright and warm day in the park where we see BEan the dog strolling around sniffing things when Beans sees a shiny thing on the ground it looked like a round beetle made of clay and silicon. So he watched it for 7 minutes when he saw a girl walking towards the beetle bean thought that the girl was going to take it so bean and the girl simultaneously pounced onto the beetle. The beetle split in half right as they pounced but the beetle the girl landed on was smaller than the one Bean captured. Bean and the girl(Amanda) were stunned when right before their eyes the beetles started crawling into their stomach, Strangely enough, it didnt hurt. The reason for this was that bean and Amanda’s brain had never felt this feeling of crawling beetle made of silicon before so it put up a weak tingle instead of pain.

    A week later Bean discovered that whenever he thought hard enough he could do any of the following things: cut off gravity for any one thing, Change the density of himself and anything metal and could use telepathy or swim through anything like it was water. But as we all know bean is a dog so he would not be using these powers for being a superhero or wooing a girl as he does not care because he is a dog. So Bean started using his telepathy to play fetch with himself and make the ball very light so it would go farther. Sometimes he would just make himself light so he could bound around happily.

    Amanda was very confused when a week later she was able to teleport so the first thing she did was see how far she could go and she realized that as long as she could see where she would be able to go there so she decided to see if the corgi also got powers.

    3 months later beans unique abilities were discovered by nasa and area 51 and they sent a soldier team after him armed with tranquilizers and dog treats that would sedate him if he ate them.

    Bean was minding his own business when he felt a spark go through him suddenly he felt…sophisticated And so he went outside to play fetch and calm his mind when suddenly it felt unnecessary and tiring. A couple of minutes later he was craving earl gray tea 2 cream 1 sugar and half sweetener. When there was a creaking noise and Suddenly 5 humans flooded in at the door all wielding dog treats now even though bean was more sophisticated he still loved treats and so when the humans started waving the treats bean went up without hesitation and started inhaling as many as he could.

    He woke up in a white room with many people in white coats staring at him. Bean was confused but he did not really care where he was because the coat – people smelled nice and friendly when to his surprise one of the people started talking and to beans surprise: he could actually understand them! So once the conversation was over bean said: “hello my good sirs wonderful day out isn’t it? But I am feeling like I could fancy some caviar and tea. Do any of you good chaps know where I could find some?“ All of the people were stunned when one said “did that dog just speak?” then another person said “and he spoke like a fancy person!”.

    Eventually Bean introduced himself and the scientist also did and explained why they wanted him there they said “Bean we brought you here because of your ability to manipulate gravity so we thought well gravity prevents us from launching our massive ships off of earth so you could cut off gravity for our ship and we could launch it into space”. Bean suddenly spoke something that would change history forever. “Well my good chaps if you are scientists then you would know that gravity transcends space and time so i could theoretically send a message back in time and advance humanity massively if i sent a message back in time that would contain all of our research of this era and humanity would be ahead of its normal schedule”. “He’s a genius!” They all chorused. When one of the people said: “well couldn’t he use his telepathy to move our solar system to a different place? Or push a black hole away? Or defend earth from meteors?” The answer is yes, said bean. In addition to all my other unique abilities i have the ability to zoom in with my eyes so i can tell you that i have already tried those things with no advancements for anyone or anything.

    Amanda had managed to track bean all the way to a mysterious shack she guessed that this was beans house but when she went in she saw walls that looked as if they were bleached when she looked harder she saw around 6 people that looked like scientists and a fancy voice from the middle of the group she decided to teleport into the middle of the circle so she did using her tele-balls which is a tiny camera she throws and if it land somewhere she cant see she lokes through the camera and can teleport there so thats what she did and once she was in the middle of the circle she saw a dog with an ornate collar eating caviar and drinking tea. The collar showed that the dogs name was bean and that this was the dog she was looking for. Suddenly the scientists realized that someone had just teleported into their circle and very very surprised so they sat amanda down and started asking questions but she answered nothing and suddenly: bean spoke, Chaps my far-sight detects an asteroid the size of the moon hurtling towards us we must do something!.

    Now normally this would be no problem because bean could just slap it away with his telekinesis but this one was much too big for that so the scientists made a chamber that would supercharge bean with enough power to destroy the asteroid. So bean stepped into the chamber and started absorbing energy rapidly so rapid that the machine could not supply energy fast enough. So bean started absorbing energy from the scientists and from amanda and the earth and finally once bean had absorbed every trace of energy on earth he was finished so he flew into space using his telekinesis and started absorbing the asteroid and then the moon and finally… the sun and the galaxy when Bean finally had enough energy he transformed into a ball of light and sped off into the unknown.

    THE END