100+ Creative Writing Prompts & Story Ideas

Updated on November 7, 2018
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Love to write but feeling uninspired? Want to get outside your comfort zone and need an idea for something new? Experiencing writer's block and need something to get those juices flowing? We have all been there!

Here are a collection of prompts based on ideas I have toyed with myself, have written, or would like to write in the future. It seems I am full of ideas on things to write, but very rarely follow through. So, rather than my ideas sitting around dusty and forgotten, I've decided to share with all of you!

I have separated the prompts into genres, although they could transcend the categories they've been placed in based on what you decide to write about. I intend to add more ideas as they come to me, which is why I've named this 100+ rather than just a solid 100.

If you enjoy these or have a favorite genre you would like to see more of or have any questions, please let me know in the comments.

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Science Fiction/Fantasy/Paranormal

  • A child's parents (or a parent's child) have been abducted by aliens. How does s/he save them?
  • A robot begins to question whether their feelings are simply programmed or real and goes off on a journey of self discovery.
  • Imagine a virtual reality world that the majority of society spends most of their time in. What is so appealing about the fictional world they choose to live in? What is the world like once they log off and how do they survive when they spend most of their time logged in?
  • Write a news article on time travel and how it works.
  • Imagine a world where nanobots exist and prevent people from aging or getting sick. What would it be like to live in such a world? For an added twist, somehow, the nanobots have been hijacked by a villain. What happens?
  • A child's dad dies and he is charged with becoming the child's guardian angel throughout childhood well into adulthood. When the child becomes an adult s/he begins to suspect that someone might be looking out for him/her and decides to contact through occult means (tarot, ouji, etc.). Can be told from child or father's perspective--or both!
  • A person is running late for work when suddenly an enormous creature steps on the car in front of him/her.
  • A teenager with a troubled home life invents a fictional world to escape to and soon the lines between his/her imagination and reality begin to blur.
  • Describe a self-sustained manmade island that actually cleans the ocean and explain how it works.
  • A religious woman who has had strange experiences occurrences for most of her life learns she is descended from a long line of powerful brujas/witches.
  • The ancient Mayan civilization was actually a vacation spot for aliens long ago.
  • All the Gods of the world are actually aliens who use the Earth like a game of The Sims.
  • A writer, so focused on thinking of something to write, fails to notice all the supernatural, fantastic, and awe-inspiring things happening around him/her as they move from one favored writing spot to the next.
  • A teen's interest in magic leads them to borrow a book from the library that is actually enchanted.
  • After a near death experience, a teen is now stuck in between worlds; able to see and interact with ghosts and spirits while still physically present in the living world.
  • A strange illness sweeps across the globe, causing anyone afflicted to instantly fall into a hibernation-like coma. Only those who are obsessed with physical fitness, or suffer from sleeping or hyperactive disorders are immune.
  • Story about a fleet of crime fighting androids made to look like the most vulnerable members of society; women, children, and the elderly.
  • The above scenario, but several of these bots strike out on their own and decide to be criminals instead.
  • Same scenario, plus a person falls in love with the android that saves his/her life during a crime.
  • An uncharted island is discovered in the middle of the Pacific ocean. Its inhabitants wield elemental magic and have highly advanced technology.
  • A person discovers they are actually a character in a simulation video game.
  • What if every time you thought "man, I wish I hadn't said that" or "I wish I had done this" a part of yourself is transported to an earlier time with this knowledge so you could make a different decision? What if de ja vu is a side effect of that? What if every time it happened a new parallel universe was created? What if that voice in your head or that intuition you feel is really a future you trying to communicate? And if all of that is true, could you master time travel by training yourself to divide in such a way that you can pick and choose which universe your current mind has total consciousness in?
  • The world ends abruptly and the event somehow gives survivors supernatural powers. A group of college friends travel together trying to make sense of all that has happened and create a new life for themselves.
  • Guardian angels are spirits that are not good enough to go to heaven but not irredeemable so they aren't sent to hell. They need to protect their charges to earn their place.
  • An alien comes to Earth disguised as an underprivileged member of society and documents its interactionswith Earthlings to determine if its civilization should make contact or stay away.

Source

Mystery/Suspense/Horror

  • A young child's parents (and perhaps all the adults of the world) have been turned into zombies by a smartphone app. How does s/he save the day or simply exist in this new reality?
  • Murder mystery involving a nuclear family of four, an anime geek, a posh princess, a sci-fi monster enthusiast, and a creepy baby-faced bellhop at an island resort.
  • All the dolls and mannequins of the world become animated and zombielike.
  • A person learning to read tarot cards begins predicting the deaths of people all around him/her.
  • A molded ceiling in a bathroom collapses revealing a pile of bones. Where did they come from?
  • A person borrows a book from the library and finds an old suicide note wedged in the pages. S/he investigates what happened to the author of the note.
  • A person finds a hidden room in his/her basement.

Action & Adventure

  • A person down on his/her luck gets fed up with life and decides to seek revenge on everyone who ever wronged him/her. Can be serious or comedic.
  • A family sells their house, buys an RV and begins traveling across the country together.
  • A beloved pet gets lost in an airport and tried to find its family.

Coming Up With Ideas Using the Restrictive Method

Fiction

  • Take any of the prompts from the creative non-fiction section and introduce an element of magical realism.
  • Think of a time where you regretted not saying or doing something and write about how things would have gone down if you had.
  • Imagine your child (or imaginary child if you don't have children) at your age. What will/would they be like? For added fun, what will they blame you for?
  • Think of a place you always wanted to go and write a pretend journal about your trip there. This may require some Google mapping and research.
  • Think of a place you dread going or would hate to go and imagine having to be stranded three days there.
  • Write a story about one thing you always wanted to change about your childhood and how that would have changed you.
  • Write a backstory for a stranger you observe.
  • Write a story/backstory about an abandoned building or lot in your neighborhood, how it came to be that way, and maybe even about something that will happen to it in the future.
  • Write the journey of a child's lost toy. Perhaps even your own lost toy from when you were a child.
  • Where do outdoor cats go when they leave the house?
  • What is life like from the perspective of your dog, cat, or other pet?
  • A wealthy family loses everything and has to rebuild their life from the ground up.
  • A family builds their first house together.
  • Write a short story based on the lyrics of your favorite song.
  • Two sisters; one a super organized workaholic, the other a scatter-brained artist, quit their jobs and open a toy store cafe.
  • A girl goes to the same college as her older boyfriend and learns that he has been sleeping around while she was still in high school. She forms a sisterhood with her roommate and new found friends and gets revenge on her ex.
  • After losing her job, a woman takes her savings and opens a thrift store where she puts her hidden artistic talents to use by taking broken things and turning them into something new and unique.
  • A political YouTuber becomes a candidate in an election as a joke and is surprised to find him/herself in a position to win.

Source

Romance

  • A couple meets after one sideswipes the other in a car accident.
  • A woman attends a destination wedding for her best friend (the Groom) and hopes to confess her feelings to him before he gets married. She falls in love with the Bride's best friend in the process.
  • A couple meets on a 5-hour bus ride.
  • A couple meets at a costume party where they both go with the same costume.
  • A person with a lousy partner starts falling in love with the partner's best friend.
  • A powerful person who has never accepted help from anyone gets in an accident and must rely on a home aid for help. They fall in love as the person slowly recovers.
  • A well-known celebrity meets a person who has never heard of him/her and instantly falls in love. Since the person has never heard of the celebrity and doesn't really care, s/he actually has to work to win affection instead of relying on fame.
  • A man who has neglected his family for years has a near-death experience and realizes he wants to be there for them. He has become so far removed from them that he must make his wife fall in love with him again and win back the affection of his children.
  • A self-made millionaire loses everything and has to move back to his/her parent's house in his/her hometown. There s/he runs into the high school sweetheart s/he dumped to pursue his/her business endeavors and must choose between working to get back everything s/he has lost or build the small town life s/he ran away from years ago.
  • A person has a reoccurring dream about his/her soulmate from childhood to adulthood until one day they meet in real lifeā€”but one of them is already dating someone else.
  • Members of a love triangle attempt to have a polyamorous relationship.
  • A YouTube celeb falls in love with an internet troll.
  • A person assumes the online assistant at his new job is some form of AI Virtual Assistant (VA) and asks the VA lots of questions about where to find love and relationships. The person learns that the VA is actually a real person who works remotely when s/he is in attendance at a company party.
  • A northern delinquent is sent to live with relatives down south and falls in love with a policeman's straight edge daughter/son.

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Creative Non-Fiction

  • Tell the story of three defining moments in your childhood and find a link between them. How did these moments help shape the person you are today?
  • Write the story of your first/current romance from your partner's perspective.
  • Think of a time when you felt like a hero and tell the story from someone else's point of view.
  • What was your mother or father like at your age? What about your grandparents?
  • What was the scariest or hardest thing you have ever done and how did you feel after it was done?
  • If you're a parent, imagine your child's first year of life through his/her eyes. If you're not a parent, reflect on a challenging period between you and your parents through their perspective.
  • When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you free up and why?
  • Tell us the story of your favorite childhood comfort item (stuffed animal, toy, blanket, etc.).
  • What was the saddest day of your life and how did you overcome it?
  • Write about your last year in elementary school, high school, college, or your last week at a job. Describe how you felt about ending something you had grown accustomed to and starting something relatively unknown.
  • Describe a day in your life as if it were a romantic comedy.
  • Describe a day in your life as if it were an action movie.
  • Describe a day in your life as if you were the lead character of a sitcom.

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Children's

  • A fox and a bear become friends.
  • What if tigers had to earn their stripes? How would they do it?
  • A day when kids get to run the school for the day.
  • A kid blows a bubble so big s/he gets stuck inside it and everyone/thing s/he gets close to gets stuck inside as well.
  • A kid who always pretends to be sick spends a day at a children's hospital and makes friends with a child who has never been healthy.
  • A child with a peanut allergy starts a business selling non-peanut butter cookies.
  • A child with an overactive imagination gains magical powers to change the world however s/he wants.
  • A child receives their very own package in the mail.
  • A kid makes the best sandwich in the whole world.
  • A child gets a new pair of socks and they are the most amazing socks s/he has ever had.
  • A tea party for dogs.
  • A dog that loves to dance.
  • A child is very excited to meet his/her new baby sibling.
  • A child learns how to do laundry.

Fairy Tales, Myths, and Legends

  • A retelling of a Maori myth.
  • A retelling of a Taino myth.
  • The story of Mami Wata.
  • The story of the Blackfoot tribe's Sky Beings.
  • A modern retelling of Charles Kingsley's Water Babies.
  • A modern retelling of Koschei the Deathless.
  • Gender-swapped Little Mermaid.
  • Classic fairy tales retold in a modern setting.
  • Sleeping Beauty told from the perspective of Sleeping Beauty in her dreams. There is no prince, she has to wake herself by going through a labyrinth of DMT trip like dreams.

Historical Fiction

  • A day in the life of a Mayan citizen.
  • An American comes to Japan in the 1900s.
  • An African-American man joins the military during World War II.
  • A journey through the underground railroad told from a child's perspective.
  • A telling of the first Juneteenth.

Tips on Writing Historical Fiction

Questions & Answers

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