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

50 Creative Writing Ideas to Combat Writer’s Block

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A lack of creative writing ideas often leads to a writer’s worst fear: writer’s block.

It’s so easy to fall into its clutches, spending hours at your laptop (or notebook or typewriter) writing sentence after sentence only to cross every one out. Or even worse—to sit an an empty page and write nothing at all. Sometimes it takes time and hard thinking to get out of the rut once you become stuck. Sometimes, however, it takes a little more than that. Sometimes it just might take some outside help.

It can be exceedingly difficult to find solid, mature creative writing ideas on the internet. If you Google “creative writing ideas,” most of what comes up is directed at children or casual writers looking to practice a hobby. But what about creative writing ideas for adults? What about when you have the dedication, passion, and experience with writing, but you just don’t have the ideas?

And if these don’t work, check out my other two posts on Writer’s Block (and second Writer’s Block article).

The next time you’re at a loss for what to write about, try using these creative writing ideas and prompts below. Maybe you’ll be inspired enough to propel you straight out of your writer’s block, or maybe it’ll just be enough to get the gears turning in your head again.

50 Creative Writing Ideas (with Prompts) to Boost Your Inspiration

1. Try Writing Magical Realism

Write a story from a universe similar to this one but possessing one specific magical quality.

1. Write about two people who grow up together, eventually part ways, move to different sides of the country, and somehow still end up unintentionally running into each other very frequently for the rest of their lives.

2. Write about someone who is reincarnated over and over again and remembers all of his/her past lives, but no one else on earth remembers theirs.

3. Write about two people who are physically unable to be awake at the same time.

4. Write about a contract killer literally haunted by his first hit.

5. Write about a prophet who knows the exact day, time, and occurrence of his death years in advance.

6. Write about a character who can taste people’s emotions through the food they prepare.

7. Write about two people who dream about each other before they actually meet.

8. Write a post-apocalyptic story and explain only your main character’s coping mechanism: creating a fantasy world in his/her head and living there.

9. Write about a person who goes to the theater with friends multiple times but always sees a different movie than his/her friends see on the same screen.

10. Write about a person who grows a new finger every time he/she acts cruelly to someone.

If you want help writing your novel, I’ve got the best novel-writing guide in the universe:

12 Steps to Write a Bestselling Novel.

That link will give you advice on characters, plotting, point of view, and more.

2. Write from a Different Perspective

Use a voice and background different from your own to write something unfamiliar and fresh.

1. Write from the perspective of an advanced AI.

2. Write from the perspective of a person in the year 2550.

3. Write from perspective of a mythological siren stuck on the rocky shore of an ocean, trying to lure sailors to their deaths.

4. Write from the perspective of an “inside guy” (jury member, lawyer, judge, etc) during an important court case.

5. Write from the perspective of a family pet whose fate is decided when its owners split up.

6. Write from the perspective of a different gender when subjected to explicit sexual objectification.

7. Write from the perspective of an inanimate object in nature, like a rock or the wind.

8. Write from the perspective of someone with a chronic but not fatal illness (diabetes, OCD, Lyme disease, etc).

9. Write from the perspective of a blind person who comes home to find all the furniture in his/her apartment rearranged.

10. Write from the perspective of a fed-up guardian angel whose designated human is prone to self-sacrificial acts.

3. Write About What’s Around You

Get inspired by ordinary objects in your home.

1. Find a small object in your junk drawer (stapler remover, chewed-up pen cap, paperweight, etc) and write about how it could be used as a weapon to kill.

2. Imagine you have to hide documents essential to national security somewhere in your office or bedroom and write a story about wherever you think is the best place.

3. If the room you’re in has windows, write a story in which the room is exactly the same but with no windows, and vice versa.

4. Imagine you’re cleaning out your desk and find a secret message carved or written on the bottom of one drawer.

5. Open a book in your office, turn to a random page, blindly point to a word, and use it as the very first word of your story.

6. Find a photo of yourself and write a narrative about the photographer in that moment.

7. Pick a room in your house and recount a story, real or fictional, about how a particular object in that room came to be there.

8. Mentally (or physically, if you want to) rearrange all the furniture in your office or bedroom and write about how that changes the overall mood of the room.

9. Search your coat pockets for old recipes, notes, or trinkets and write a story centered around something you find. (If you find nothing, write about why you empty your pockets so frequently.)

10. Pick a small item from your desk drawer and write about a character who carries it around as a talisman.

4. Let Your Reading Inspire Your Writing

Use your favorite books as a launching pad to create something original.

1. Write a scene borrowing the protagonist of a book you’ve read, but cast as a different gender.

2. Research an author you enjoy, then combine his/her life with the life of a character from one of his/her books to create a new character.

3. Take a familiar scene from a book and rewrite it, adding yourself in as a character (spectator, narrator, background figure, etc).

4. Reset a scene from a book in a drastically different time period.

5. Write a different story using the same title as a familiar book.

6. If the book you’re using has a first person narrator, rewrite a scene either from the perspective of another character or in the third person.

7. Write about a fictional person who has an intense reaction (either positive or negative) to a book you’ve read.

8. Write a story using only words found in the first and last sentences of each chapter of a book.

9. Take a book you know well and write an alternate ending that is the exact opposite of the real ending (whatever you think “opposite” means).

10. If the book you’re using has a third person narrator, rewrite a scene in the first person (as one of the author’s characters or a new character).

5. Take a Plot and Write It Multiple Ways

Take a well-defined prompt and write it multiple times, each with a different ending.

1. Write about a Japanese steakhouse chef who accidentally cuts him/herself while cooking in front of a family.

2. Write about a painter who is commissioned by a family member to paint a dead man/woman using no pictures, only descriptions from other people.

3. Write about a group of truckers who all frequent the same truck stops and form a book club for when they see each other again.

4. Write about a seasoned model who shows up to her agency one day with inexplicable cuts all over her legs.

5. Write about two strangers who each grab one end of extremely rare record at the same time in a secondhand vinyl shop.

6. Write about a manic-depressive linguist who conveys his/her emotions to friends using words from other languages that aren’t translatable into English.

7. Write about a group of whalers who accidentally discover mermaids the size of blue whales.

8. Write about someone who mistakenly picks the lock to the wrong apartment at two in the morning when trying to get into a friend’s apartment.

9. Write about a strictly Shakespearian actor who loses all of his/her money and has to take modern comedic roles to stay afloat.

10. And finally: Write about a writer struggling with long-term writer’s block who desperately searches the internet for ideas and prompts.

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74 comments

    1. SAME WITH ME. EVEN THOUGH I AM JUST 13 YEARS OLD, I AM CONSTANTLY SEARCHING FOR NEW IDEAS TO WRITE. THANKS SO MUCH.

      1. YES THIS IS ALSO VERY HELPFUL WHICH IS WHY I AM WRITING IN CAPITAL LETTERS

      1. i dont think this means they shouldnt be a writer, writers block can be really difficult to get over and maybe these ideas didnt help them get over it, i know they didnt help me yet ive been writing for nearly 5 years constantly. each author is different, so its great if it helped others but that doesnt guarantee itll help everyone

      2. That’s really rude becoming a writer means working towards your goal. Some ideas don’t inspire some people. Progress takes work and the ability to write doesn’t come easy to some people. Who knows he/she could become a great writer. We just don’t know it. We choose are destiny.

      3. wow look at that. you are telling people off but you can’t spell the word writer! look into a dictionary.

      4. Maybe you guys should be nice. It’s hard to be a writer, and putting other people down because they didn’t find anything helpful isn’t right. Please remember we all want to change the world.

    1. I think that it was the point tp be random ideas. I personally think that these were amazing ideas and I think you might need to try to be a bit more creative.

    2. the point is to just getting you to write something versus nothing. So if you start getting your creativity flowing it will help you with your personal work.

    3. Honestly, I’ve been to 3 different sites before this one looking for some decent writing prompts. Don’t be fazed if they don’t help you 🙂

    4. That’s fine, they might not help everyone! It also might not be what you’re used to, try writing with one of the prompts, if you don’t end up liking it, it’s still an exercise for your mind. Good luck!

  1. If these don’t help you, then try procrastination. You subconscious is working on your story, so when you sit down, it is so much easier to continue writing. (Works for me!)

  2. Someone that has used one of these prompts should be super nice and let me read what they came up with. I’m super curious as to how some of you are using them.

      1. I am 12 years old and I am confused on where my life is going… either a vet actor, or a book writer. I need advice from some adults.

      2. dear ADVICE PLEASE [or anyone really]
        you should get to be whatever your heart desires. I think that you could be a vet or actor as well as an author. The world needs writers, so get out there and spread some joy! Oh btw, I’m sure we’re all on this site for the same reasons, but don’t give up on your writing dreams

    1. I am using it for a random report I wanted to write about something. It was just kind of boring until I realized… there IS a positive side to COVID 19! I mean c’mon guys there is a positive side to everything so search for the positive sides not the negative ones. So the positive side was… WE COULD IMPROVE OURSELVES!!! Literally just by working on something we like during COVID 19 will make it seem better and BE better!! Some people had no time to improve because they were too busy with some other job but NOW.. We could spend our whole day on something we like and trust me it will benefit each and every one of you!!! ( And your day won’t be AS boring and sad because there WILL be something to do. There is always something to do!!! )

  3. These are some helpful ideas but I don’t agree with a few but that doesn’t matter because some of them helped me. Anyway thank you for them!

  4. These were helpful!
    ( And by the way…One of your probmpts scared me, I often dream about people sometimes and then meet them later. It’s very complicated about how and why. )

  5. Spider girl – why not all of them? You have a long life ahead of you and to only focus one career your entire life is dreary for some people such as myself. I have been a firefighter, preschool teacher, sales person, and am currently a writer and a music teacher.

  6. they’re really good ideas, none of them really appealed to me specifically, but it seems like someone could still make a good story out of them! 🙂

  7. These have really have been a good use for me. I have been in a writer’s block for at least two weeks now and just by looking at some of these creative writing ideas, it has helped a lot. I know some of them may not appeal to all of you specifically, but it does give more confidence in your writing and your stories just by looking at some. For instance, if you were to look at one of the Magical Realism writing ideas, it could open a whole door to new writing possibilities. You can take one of the ideas and turn it into your own. You may not all agree that these ideas can help you, but it can definitely give you the confidence that you may lack when writing stories or maybe just inspire you. These ideas are helpful. Thank you!

  8. Okay Hi, I was looking for a random prompt to write about, and I didn’t find one can anyone give me some ideas for one? I would be so grateful. Just for a little info, I am 13 and in 8th grade and just felt the need to start writing. Anyway, whoever sees this I hope you have a wonderful afternoon (or morning) Be safe throughout this week okay.

  9. omg this is fantastic…Thank you so much. I can relate to so many of these prompts but never really thought of them…

  10. Thank you for this. I’ve been working on the same project for ages and this was a wonderful break from it.

  11. These have been very helpful. Thank you so much for sharing these. The last one was hilarious and made me realize in many cases I was blocking myself, lol. It was great!

  12. most of these really did help me. I put them on to a word doc and kept going back on them and then went to different webs. now if I have writer’s block I have 64 pages of things to try.