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.
Tumblr is a blog site that is good for more than just hipster photos and crying over your favorite pop culture icons. It’s also a community for writers of all genres to collaborate and share ideas.
Tumblr is a great resource for writing prompts. Writing prompts on Tumblr take a number of forms, with each Tumblr specializing in a particular form of writing prompt. Even though most of the writing prompts are geared towards short stories that can be written on the site, many of the prompts and ideas can be incorporated in fiction of any length.
These flash fiction prompts will challenge you to create short and gripping narratives that are under 1000 words. Though many are categorized, don’t feel limited!
Flash fiction can be whatever you want it to be. Whether you use the bite-sized stories you write as exercises, standalone pieces, or segments of a larger work, the condensed length is beneficial. I think you will find that the practice of writing flash fiction will help you gain control over word choice, make your writing feel more kinetic, and increase your abilities when it comes to writing without a clear roadmap. In other words, follow your intuition without inhibition.
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.
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.
- She had heard his excuses before, thousands of times, but this time she was sick of them.
- She had never known that a human body could twist into that position.
- The bookcases tilted at a precarious angle over the sleeping infant.
- He was a brave man except when it came to small, tight spaces like the tunnel in front of him.
- The rich couple was never generous, with their time or with their compliments.
- Richard Garlong Champion III believed that though he had never ridden a horse, it would come naturally to him.
- After his seven children had gone to sleep, the father piled the ten puppies into a sack and drown them in the river, but one managed to escape.
- The young couple, who’d just gotten engaged ten minutes earlier, didn’t think the hot air balloon was supposed to make a hissing sound.
- He thought he was the bully online, until a message popped up on his screen one night.
- If her husband had believed her when she said she was getting migraines every day, maybe she wouldn’t have left him.
- She got drunk even before the food arrived.
- He got her alone in his car on the darkened street.
- Everyone said that Amelie was a genius, but Albert never expected what she did one day at school.
- One flashlight flash meant danger, two flashes meant it was safe; but she saw three flashes that night from beyond the bog, and they had never talked about what three flashes meant.
- The new boy liked making tiny little origami weapons — swords, spears, axes — and leaving them on his desk for the next class to find.
- 78 wasn’t very different than 77, Earl was discovering the day after his birthday.
- He would have married her all over again for their ten year anniversary, at least until the morning he discovered the emails between her and his colleague at work.
- I don’t want to work, ever, I don’t want to study, and I refuse to play this little life game that you all have set up for me.
- The best part of hating life is that nobody ever calls you an optimist.
- I wanted to be a winner, and that meant I was willing to cheat.
[Writer’s note: I used to have 120 sentences, and a computer error erased them. Please be patient — I will rebuild them again.]
Stuck in a writing rut? Or just want to write something outside your normal genre?
This first line generator provides you with hundreds of first sentences to rev up your imagination.
Young Adult (YA) literature has become increasingly popular over the last few years. It’s probably because “Twilight,” “Hunger Games,” “Divergent,” “The Fault in Our Stars” and a handful of other YA books have been turned into movies. I like to think that’s the case because the books were great stories.
Say what you want about YA novels, but they have an ability to capture the formative nature of teenage years that I’ve yet to see elsewhere.
Take Stephen Chbosky’s “Perks of Being a Wallflower” for example. It’s the quintessential story of the high school misfit finding his place. But by adding a history of sexual abuse and mental illness, Chbosky writes a story that shows the impact our teenage years have on our lives.
In the wide world of writing prompts, the options are slim for creative nonfiction writers. Even the relevant prompts are often jumbled together with essay and fictional prompts, making it hard for writers to find what they really want.
But not to worry. I present one whole hefty list of prompts just for creative nonfiction writers.
One small note before you dive in: don’t be afraid to mix and match the prompts. Each suggestion was meant to highlight a specific line of inspiration. There is absolutely no reason that two or three of these can’t be explored within one piece.
In fact, just use my tiny suggestions as springboards. Good luck!
How are creative writing exercises different than writing prompts or story generators?
Creative writing exercises are designed to teach a technique. They are highly specific, more specific than creative writing prompts, and much more specific than story generators.
Creative writing exercises for adults are not designed to lead the writer into crafting a full story, but are only designed to help them improve as a writer in a narrow, specific category of writing skills.
I’ve broken the exercises below into categories so you can choose what category of skill you’d like to practice. Can you guess which category in this list has the most prompts?
The instructions for these 52 picture writing prompts are simple: write a story combining some element of all three pictures. It can be crazy or funny or wild, but you have to incorporate some element of all three images.
There’s a scientific reason for why three pictures work better than a single image: because creativity comes from firing up neurons that don’t normally crash into each other. For many of these images, the three pictures don’t seem to combine or complement each other in familiar ways.
That’s the point.
If you stare hard enough, your creativity will find a way to connect these dissimilar dots, and the resulting story will be unlike anything you’ve ever written before. You will have found your way into new material.
Of course, if you want to make it easier, you can simply choose two out of the three images and try to make a story out of those elements.