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100 Short Story (or Novel) Writing Prompts

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M.E. Wood ran a website for writers wanting to write for over 15 years.

A Few Words to Get You Started

I love to write creative writing prompts. For over seven years, I have been coming up with new ideas every week for The Write Prompts. Here, I do the same, only these are all starter or "continue on" writing prompts. They are a great way to get the juices flowing when you do not know where to start. They are what I would call the first line or in some cases, the first paragraph of a potential story or novel. You, the writer, simply write or type the prompt at the top of your page and continue writing with your own words until you finish the story.

If you finish the thoughts listed below, you will have written 100 short stories (or novels, if you are so inspired). Rather than picking and choosing, I recommend you give yourself the challenge of working through each one. Have fun!

Continue Writing From Here . . .

  • Doug stuck his hand in the box and immediately pulled it out. "Ow," he said. He licked the side of his index finger as if it had honey on it.

    (Continue to write about who Doug is, where he is, and what is in the box...)

  • Gabriel clenched his teeth feeling the porcelain slide. He took a deep breath, relaxed his jaw. "You have two choices," he said, "you can leave on your feet or on a gurney..."

    (Continue to write about who Gabriel is and who he is talking to.)

  • "I love you," she whispered into her pink cell phone. Nothing but music and the rustle of paper returned what she thought was an open and honest expression. "Did you hear me?" she paused. "I said I love you."

    (Continue to write about who she is and who she is talking to....)

  • I don't know how I am going to get home. Worse yet, I am alone and have to...
  • Finding yourself between two men who are at odds with one another is a bit complicated but when one is thirty-two and the other is eight years old it, can be downright...
  • Daniel Morgan knew the kiss would ruin everything but he just couldn't stop himself from leaning over after Beth Myers said she had always had a crush on him...
  • "What can be more exciting than working with spuds?" My fathered asked me after graduation. I had just finished telling him I wanted to go to college. It was obvious he was perplexed. He never went to college, his father never went to college, and his grandfather never did either. Most of the family never went to high school. I didn't know what I wanted to do with my life. All I knew was I didn't want to be a potato farmer. Mrs Ellis, our school's only guidance counselor who was also the school's only English teacher, had me believing that a year in college would help me decide on a better option… no, not a better option, just different. And I wanted something different. Beyond...
  • I had a conference call in five minutes. Marcy had my meeting papers laid out along with some fresh pens, Post-its, and a note pad all ready for me. At least until I walked in and spilled my Starbuck's down my white blouse and all over my desk, papers, and keyboard. Who would have thought that a grande covered so much horizontal space. This was my moment to shine and...
  • The water is always calm when I go out at 4 a.m. The whole world reflects back at me and it doesn't care; unlike the average woman who looks at her reflection and always finds something to pick apart. The air seems coolest at this time and you would think it would be quiet but the birds are always up chattering away as if to say, "Where have you been, did you sleep in? We have been up working for an hour already!" I would get lost in the beauty of nature were it not for the subtle plunk of my oar hitting the water. It is during this (not so) quiet time that I am able to...
  • It was no wonder when Mark Jelly swerved off the end of McKinley road last March. Driving 25 mph, I could not see more than a few inches in front of me. Special lighting was erected after Mark died but for some reason some one or some thing kept damaging it until eventually the city stopped repairing it. Until the next time someone plummeted to their death and hopefully that someone was not going to be me tonight. I had to get through to...
  • I know it is cliché to say he smiled with his eyes; but, he did smile with his eyes. Unfortunately the rest of him was saying...
  • Many things get the hair on the back of my neck up, but nothing more so than...
  • 45 minutes ago my cover was blown. I'd been under for...
  • I always thought that if you forgot all the bad things that happened to you that it was inevitable that you would forget all the good things, too. I never thought that focusing so much on the bad things would attract...
  • The harder she scratched away at her forearm, the quicker the flesh fell away. From outside the containment unit, Dr. Elana Miles and Dr. Mark Rustenburg watched on dismay as the...
  • He was lying face down on the raft. At first we thought he was sleeping, using the inflated side of the raft as a pillow and one hand hanging over, grazing the water's edge. But then...
  • Risking one's life to save a kitten's was not something I ever thought I would do. I don't even like cats. But there I was climbing up a tree next to an apartment building with smoke and flames coming out the top. All to rescue the orange kitten sitting in the third story window, meowing. It didn't seem to be in any particular distress, but the building had been evacuated and no one knew who was in that apartment and no one was allowed back in. Hence the climbing of the tree with the crowbar in my back pocket. My intention: break the window, stuff the cat in my jacket, and shimmy back down the tree. Kittens are not cooperative when windows have been smashed and strangers are trying to grab them. But that didn't stop me from making the...
  • The family camp. Flies, heat, dust, and a dock leading to cool blue heaven. Dad could always be found in his collapsible aluminum chair with a fishing pole in one hand and a Budweiser in the other. Mom would be in the kitchen chopping a continuous supply of watermelon or making sandwiches. And Jefferson and I were usually...
  • I sat in the taxi fidgeting the tulle under my gown and thinking I'd rather be at home in my flannel pajamas instead of going to...
  • Marcus could hear the horn sound in the distance, a sign he was getting closer to the island. Soon he would be face to face with the father he left behind ten years ago. Every day since he left, he had made a mental list of all the things he wanted to say when he returned, but now only one thing came to mind. He would...

"The pen is the tongue of the mind."

The pen is the tongue of the mind.

— Miguel de Cervantes

Finish This Story . . .

  • I come from a long line of animal healers— almost four generations. I say almost because I haven't decided if this is a family tradition I want to keep alive. Don't get me wrong, I love animals and my heart weeps every time I have to wrap a broken wing or mend a leg that has been mangled in a trap. It's dedicating my life and my future children's lives that I have a problem with. Next week I'm supposed to go away to veterinarian school but...
  • It's hard to describe the sound of ripping flesh. Even more difficult is the sound the flesh makes when a vampire makes first bite. You wouldn't think your sense of hearing would be paramount when you are being attacked but I guess that is just one of the ways the body separates itself from the pain. I never expected to survive but...
  • Derrick held up his glass of wine and looked across the table at his brother Donny, then to Donny’s wife Gia. “We’re here to celebrate...
  • I knew he was being patronizing but I was still glad that he showed up, that someone I trusted was within an arm’s length of me. I didn’t reach out for him, I just looked at my blood-painted hands and arms as he droned on about the risks of being a homicide detective. His words faded into the background as my own thoughts filled my mind. If only I had been a few minutes...
  • When you are as rich as I am, it is easy to live an adventurous life. Just yesterday I took off in the company jet and went...
  • The first time I learned to use a hula hoop was...
  • She could hear the shower water running when she came in the front door. “That’s strange,” she said. She dropped her keys in the lead crystal dish on top of the buffet and headed upstairs. The bathroom door was ajar a few inches and steam was billowing out. As her fingers reached out to push the door open, the small hairs on the back of her neck stood to attention. But it was too late, the masculine hand was already on her...
  • I hate surprises. No, I really do hate surprises. The last time someone surprised me I nearly...
  • John and I had been trying to have a baby for four years by the time Joshua Chimer came into our lives. We never talked about adopting and we definitely never thought we would have to make good on our god parent vows to friends we hadn’t seen… well, in a long time. But as we stood there looking into the five-year-old’s bright blue eyes, we knew it was...
  • “I really wanted to see you again,” said Rebecca. She repeatedly twirled a strand of her long auburn hair tightly around her right forefinger until the tip blushed, then released it. “I was afraid you didn’t want to see me because of what happened on our date.” Her mind flashed back to...
  • Nancy Richard's arms were full of bags by the time she reached the front door. She didn’t go out much anymore. She had fallen in love with her new condo. For the last three weeks she had relished decorating every square inch of it, pampering every room with sweet scents and lavish décor. When she finally unlocked the door, she was mortified to find...
  • My name is Miranda Harkness and for four hours a day, I work as an online computer tech helping inexperienced users navigate their systems. I get paid well enough to cover the basics, which is all anybody ever really needs. My real job comes when the sun goes down. Unfortunately, vampire hunting doesn’t pay well. At least not until now...
  • For the first ten years of my life, I always imagined myself a princess. Then in the eleventh grade Bobby Monroe called me a hag and I realized I wasn’t a princess after all. It’s amazing how quickly someone can defeat your dream with the utterance of one word. Twenty years later, I cringe whenever I hear it and am immediately brought back to that rainy afternoon when my love for myself diminished. That’s why when I opened up my mail and found an invitation to my high school reunion, I...
  • Every Sunday morning, Gwen liked to go for long walks on the trail behind her house. Most of the time she would pass one or two people and they would nod greetings or exchange a brief sentence or two about the weather. Overall they never made an impression on her and vice versa. That was until the first Monday in August when, after a long day of typing catalog descriptions, she looked up from her supper to the nightly news and saw the face of a man she had passed the day before. She turned up the volume in time to hear...
  • Parents don’t realize the damage their occasional slight remarks cause. It is not their fault, really. Sometimes they just don’t realize they have forgotten to turn their internal filter on. If they do realize what they have said, they make the mistake of assuming that little ones won’t remember or that the words they string together won’t make an impression. One time when I was six years old, my mother gave me a gentle but loving poke in the belly and said, “You’re getting chubby.” By the time I was thirteen, I was pinching the same belly and saying to my reflection, “You’re getting fat.” When I was eight years old my father said...
  • Working for the John Montgomery Agency was my life. When I say it was my life, I really mean it. I worked twelve hours a day, brought work home with me, and always took work with me on vacation (whenever I was forced to take one). I had no friends, and my family had pretty much given up on the idea of ever seeing me again. Then a funny thing happened...
  • I grew up in the little town known as Norwood, Virginia. It was so small the local doctor was also the undertaker, the vet, and a florist… ok, his wife was the florist, but when he wasn’t performing his other three professions, he was by her side in the town’s only flower shop, Lily of the Valley, cutting flowers and making deliveries. When Ann Margaret disappeared one Sunday afternoon in June, no one ever thought that Dr. Mandguard had...
  • When they inspected Lesley Olson’s passport, she never expected they would...
  • The day I became a judge was one of the most relevant days of my life. I took an oath that valued our legal system and I believed it to the core of my being. The day I started taking the law into my own hands, with no regard to the system whatsoever, was the day I truly felt...
  • From behind a lacy curtain she watched as four riders galloped toward the house. Her husband had sent her inside when he heard the hooves in the distance. She had no idea who they were, but from the...

A writer doesn't solve problems. He allows them to emerge.

— Friedrich Durrenmatt

Writing Prompts Continued . . .

  • My name is Kyle Deerborne. I am an architect from California, living in New Mexico. I’m thirty-four years old, single but looking. Two days ago I killed someone and I haven’t been able to...
  • Nick Woolley lived a haphazard life from the day he was born, mostly due to no fault of his own, but by the time he was seventeen he had...
  • Rose Egglin sat in the 1979 Mustang Indy Pace with the engine running. It wasn’t environmentally friendly, but she wanted to be sure she could fall in line behind him when he came out of the store. It was a reliable car despite its age. Rose had been trailing a client’s husband for three days. She hoped that today was the day he...
  • Damon pressed the thumb and forefinger of his right hand into the inner corners of his closed eyes, hoping to provide some relief from the pain that throbbed there. His doctor had given him a new medication to try, phito-something-no-one-could-spell, but it didn’t seem to be touching it. Any longer and he’d have to...
  • On Friday, November 13, 2009, I vowed I’d never kiss Mitch Moore again. On Saturday, November 14, 2009, I had my body and lips pressed up against...
  • Thanks to Star Trek, I grew up thinking space was the final frontier, when in reality it was really...
  • It was twenty minutes before Dr. Monique Resler had to deliver her presentation on the positive aspects of genetic research to a room full of potential sponsors with pens in one hand and checkbooks in the other. She was nervous and experiencing the whole sweaty palm response but at the moment, she was more concerned with being late. As she pulled up to the light at Marque and Fifth...
  • “You have got to be kidding me.”

    “He actually compared your hair to a poodle?”
    “Yeah, I was a bit surprised, too.”
    “So, what did you say?”
    “I didn’t say anything. I got up and...

  • No one appreciates fairy godmothers. I give, give, give and do I even get a thank you in return? That’s right, no. Well, now it’s my turn. I’m going to be my own fairy godmother and the first thing I’m going to take care of is...
  • I can still see her standing near the shore, a giant tropical print towel tied under her armpits and her feet buried in the sand. It was the end of summer and...
  • Thunderstorms really wig me out. Not heebie-jeebies like, I’m talking about the shakes and hyperventilating and everything in between. I used to pass out on a regular basis in grade school and high school. I swear, we lived in the thunderstorm capital of the world. You would think my parents would have...
  • Ever since I was five, I have always liked to surround myself with my favorite things. Back then it was ribbons and patent leather shoes. Today it’s pearls and...
  • I should have known when I saw the first few hints of green that something had gone terribly wrong but it wasn’t until my hairdresser Sondra completely removed the towel that...
  • There are ten secrets about living in Odessa Springs that every newcomer wishes they had known before they had called the movers and filed for their change of address. Let me go through them for you one at a time. Number ten...
  • Cane’s vehicle began to slip on the ramp. I could hear a mad screeching as he jammed his foot onto the brake. When the spin started, all I could think...
  • The gash in his leg slowed him some but Jonathon carried her from Myers Bridge all the way to Tuckers Corner with little...
  • I met Court down by Rayborn’s swimming hole. He splashed me on purpose and I got mad at him on purpose. He laughed, and I flipped my wet hair and swam away. I didn’t think he would...
  • He was standing in the center of the dimly lit back room. In the distance, he could hear a train beating the rails. On the other side of an abused oak desk sat Mr. Simms, sucking back his cigar. When it came down to it, all Jake could ask was “Why...
  • The news anchor's voice continued to crack, "A lethal virus has been released in Las Vegas. At the moment we know of four stages. The final outcome looks..."

Everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.

— Sylvia Plath

More Writing Ideas

  • He opened the book to the folded pages and...
  • The door busted open and in walked...
  • Have you ever seen a floor covered in blood? At first glance, there is a simple beauty to it and how the red contrasts with the white linoleum. It doesn't immediately register that what you're looking at is actually blood. Slowly, a stiffness builds up in your body as your mind begins to realize that the beauty is actually life's essence. Then, what was a simple beauty becomes repulsion. Seeing Marcus laid out with a meter-wide red polka dot under him wasn't beautiful. It was downright hysterical. Not hysterical as in funny, hysterical as in I can't control my reaction. I remember looking at Denise who stared back at me dumbfounded and...
  • I always wanted to be a creator. I didn't know what I wanted to create. I just wanted to create. So when I saw the little blue plus sign, I knew I had found my...
  • Derek and I were like two weather fronts that collided in the night. On that first night the resulting storm was full of heat and electricity. It continued for the first ten years of our marriage until something out of our control happened. He died. He left me alone. Had I known what alone really felt like, I probably would have never invited him in that first night. I would have avoided the rapture. I would have...
  • I'm a winner. He was definitely a loser. I should have felt guilty but I didn't. Even if people had known the truth behind how I won, I don't think I would have cared. The important thing was they didn't and I was the one going to New York on an all expense paid trip. Sure it was a business trip, but...
  • The center aisle of the train was filled with people standing elbow to elbow. The man in front of me smelt of cigarettes and roasted chicken. Individually, that would have been alright, but every few minutes it would mix with wafts of cheap perfume from who knows where. A man in a black suit to my right kept touching my arse with the back of his hand. Accidentally? I hoped so, but I was glad I had decided against the short skirt. Fifteen more minutes and I would...
  • My sister Sally and I always had such fun when we were kids. We were less than a year apart in age so it was almost like we were twins. We even went out of our way to look like twins, dressing and wearing our hair the same. It wasn't until mom and dad decided to call it quits that a shift in our family dynamics somehow changed what I thought was an inseparable connection. You wouldn't think something as small as...
  • I've often wondered what it would be like to be on the inside looking out instead of always on the outside looking in. Are those people even aware of how great their lives are? Do they relish in the fact that everything in life comes easy for them? Or are they totally oblivious? These were actual thoughts that ran through my head as I watched Susanna Merrytown walk over, sidestep me, and introduce herself to my date. Okay, my escort. I was...
  • One. Two. Three. He caressed each bullet in the palm of his hand before slipping it into its chamber. He had done this dozens of times before but somehow tonight it felt poetic. Four. Five. Six. When the last chamber was loaded, he looked across the room to the menacing man he had tied to a chair. Would today lead him to the salvation he...
  • When we signed up, volunteered really, we never expected it to be more than a six month term. Three years later, we are still battling over who...
  • Sandra Arbuckle took a controlled breath before she tentatively lowered her hand into the murky...
  • The day we decided to clone an extinct animal was the day life as we knew it was changed forever. Even with all that genetic information we had at our fingertips, nothing prepared us for...
  • He wasn't abusive when we fell in love. I guess we all change in relationships, don't we? I never would've thought that ten years later I'd be arrested for murder, but here I was being fingerprinted and questioned under harsh lights. The truth is...
  • It was raining cats and dogs. Seriously, the wallpaper in Emily's room was raining cats and dogs. But I didn't hold it against her. She was my best friend and I could always...
  • For my mother, sweat stains on silk was a catastrophe. For me, the earth would have to crack open and a giant...
  • It all started with a rash on my...
  • "Sylvie! Sylvie! Damn it, where are you child?" I peeked through the planks of the porch stairs at Aunt Hinie's uneven stockings. Her worn shoes disappeared from view and I heard the porch door squeak and slam. I'd get the strap later but I just wasn't ready to...
  • There are three important rules you should live by if you want to survive in this world. First, always look over your shoulder. Second, never trust anyone. And third,...
  • It was 1986. The Fly was in the theater and The Phantom of the Opera was a musical, I hadn't seen either of them. My mom dressed me in the most hideous pink frock with puffy sleeves and...

Write from the soul, not from some notion what you think the marketplace wants. The market is fickle; the soul is eternal.

— Jeffrey A. Carver

More Writing Inspiration

  • I wasn't scared. I mean, sure, I jumped, but that was just a habitual response. I wasn't scared. In fact, I've never been scared a day in my life. You wouldn't think...
  • He could feel its prickly tendrils poking through the thin cotton of his denim pockets. He wanted to remove it but was afraid...
  • The sweet scent of gardenias mingled with beer made me want to retch. I fought the urge as they looked in my direction. Were they looking at me? Or was it my wild imagination taking over again? One of the men nodded in my direction. Yep, they were looking at me. Of course it could be something as harmless as...
  • June was never particularly exciting in our neighborhood. Not until the summer Rachel and Owen moved in next store. It was...
  • She kept picking at it. First her index finger to gain entry. Followed by all of them. Digging deeper and deeper, despite the increasing pain. Logically, she knew she should stop, but it kept...
  • I wasn't sure why I decided to visit Charlie when I did. But looking back it seemed kismet that I should show up when I did. He really...
  • The hand-sized moth wings flutter around his face. Tenderly at first, then...
  • "Stop yanking on my arm!" screeched Alice. She pulled her tender arm across her chest and...
  • He whispered in Dan's ear, "You are in for a real surprise when..."
  • Her eyes followed the line of shiny tools arranged strategically from left to right on the wooden table in front of her. The tips of her fingers wandered over the handles, as if trying to decide which one..."
  • "Dusk was long gone and the café was quiet except for a middle-aged man sitting near the door who..."
  • Gossip can either make or break a woman's career. Unfortunately, there is a fine line between good gossip and bad gossip. The trick is being able to manipulate both in your favor. I had become a master gossip manipulator by the time I was 23 but by the time I was 27, things had gone haywire. It all started when I picked up...
  • I was waiting at the bus stop, sucking back an Iced Capp, the first time I saw Mr. Tall Dark and Handsome among the other construction workers. This is pretty much what I do every day on the way to work. The only difference today was that one of the guys fell from the scaffolding. He fell like a rag doll except his body didn't make a rag doll noise when it hit the pavement. Mr. Tall Dark and Handsome was the first to reach the body. For some reason he looked across the street at me and mouthed...
  • Sex is not the only thing that happens in airplane bathrooms. Of course there are the obvious other bodily functions, but I am talking about the other things no one talks about. The primping, the flushing of contraband, and for me, pre-flight panic attacks. Every time I board a plane I stuff my bag in the overhead compartment above my seat then make a beeline for the bathroom, where I hyperventilate until someone bangs on the door or I pass out. Ok, I only passed out once, but it is always a possibility. On the flight back from Phoenix I was especially...
  • In all my twenty-five years I had never been so confused as I was at that moment. Not quite the reaction a man hopes to see in a woman's face when he professes his love but what is a girl to think when the guy she grew up with and thought she knew suddenly talks about love when he should be...
  • I hate clowns. But mostly I hate people who make me explain why I hate clowns and the look on their faces when I...
  • I used to be a friendly child. I would think nothing of stopping to chat with neighbors on the way home from school or from the store. It is amazing how one incident with one person can change your perspective. When the nameless old man from down the street reached over his fence and grabbed my wrist like a snake snatching its prey, I remember feeling sick to my stomach and the intense satisfaction in his eyes as he...
  • There is nothing more uncomfortable than when you are driving down a deserted stretch of highway with a full bladder. Guys have it easy. They can pull over anywhere, discreetly pull it out, and go. Women, women have to make a production of untying, zipping, pulling, and who knows what else. Not to mention we have to worry about some freak jumping out of the bushes. But I couldn't hold it anymore. In hindsight, I should have just peed my pants and kept going but how could I know...
  • Maxie's deft fingers pulled at the hair wire sewn into the tweed jacket. Now that she had the information she needed it had to be removed before...
  • The worst part of an unhealthy relationship is not the years of stagnation, it is following through with your decision to end it. And in a long term relationship, it is not only the couple who are affected. The shared friends, the extended family, they all end up bruised. The day I ended it with Mike, I...

My imagination makes me human and makes me a fool; it gives me all the world and exiles me from it.

— Ursula K. Le Guin

Stephen King on Short Stories

One of my favorite authors is Stephen King. The funny thing about this is that the first book I ever read of his was On Writing, a blend of autobiography and writing advice. This book turned me on to The Stand, a very large book I managed to read in four days (normally, I am a very slow reader). From then on, I have been hooked. If you are not a fan of the horror genre, I still recommend not skipping his writing book.

Special Request

You are free to use these writing prompts within your creative writing, but please do not post them on your website or elsewhere—provide a link to this page instead. Many thanks.

© 2011 Moe Wood

What do you think? What works for you?

Achen on March 19, 2019:

I'm writing a story for my assignment and I suck at writing stories. Could you please help me !!!!!!

Moe Wood (author) from Eastern Ontario on February 07, 2019:

There are certainly many of those kinds of prompts around. Different people need different things. Happy writing!

Star Rose0 on January 30, 2019:

I feel really old. I remember when a prompt was something like 'Last Kiss' or 'Are you kidding me?'. Not a whole paragraph and certainly not dictating the character, POV or style of writing.

Charlotte on October 11, 2018:

Here's some feedback for real people; this website was useful, but there are also some negative points. I didn't really want to use most of these short-story starters, as they didn't fit the style that I write in. Overall, a wonderful site for those that can make use of these story starters, but for the few that write like me, you can't make much use of this site. Thank you for taking the time to read this long review!

Bryan on September 18, 2018:

These will help me write a book with my friends to read

Destroyer964 on June 04, 2018:

Amazing! Thanks so much, I will get my writing cap and start putting words down! You have helped me get past my writers block, again, thanks!

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on April 27, 2018:

These are really useful especially at moments when you're in front of your computer and can't think of anything to write. These open a whole lot of worlds in my imagination.

Ryan on January 17, 2018:

This was absolutely amazing

Writer&Dancer 9905 on January 02, 2018:

Moe, before I ask you a question, let me just say that this page has helped get my creative juices flowing more than once. Thank you so much for making this, and I still use it as constantly as I can.

Am I allowed to use on of your amazing prompts to begin my book? As soon as I saw this one, I just HAD to type it up on Google Docs.

It's this one:

There are three important rules you should live by if you want to survive in this world. First, always look over your shoulder. Second, never trust anyone. And third,...

I've already written three pages in 1.15 spacing in two days! Thanks for the prompt, but please consider the question and answer as soon as you can.


Kloe on September 12, 2017:

I love to read and write. I do it all the time but the I just started is making a chapter book

Molly on September 09, 2017:

Is it okay if we use the prompt in our creative writing story and post it on a website such as wattpad but, leave a link to this website giving credit for the idea?

Oh and awsome prompts going to do so much writing.

Promise on September 07, 2017:

Thank you so much for this...really helped a lot

Erin on August 09, 2017:

Really cool!

Monica.s on May 18, 2017:

Wow this site literraly saved my life for the finals (exams tmrw) cant wait too write my short story now!!!

Annonomous on March 04, 2017:

I went to the book store to find dozens of these books with story starters, but all of them had price tags of $25 and up, for 20 stories. Finding some for free was great!

idek on January 25, 2017:


#pinklover on December 28, 2016:


Clo on November 18, 2016:

I love to write so this was really useful. I did the first one and this is what I came up with though I changed it up a bit:

Jim stuck his hand in the box and immediately pulled it out. "Ow!" he cried. He licked the side of his index finger as if it had honey on it. Miranda looks up from her book concerned. “ What happened Jim?” she asks walking over next to Jim. “ Something in that box bit me.” complains Jim still rubbing the side of his index finger. “ Bit you?” says Miranda quite shocked. Jim looks at his index finger that was now red. “ Yes, bit me.” mummers Jim lost in thought.

Jacob on October 28, 2016:

The story that takes place in Norwood, Virginia sounds like a story, I had started writing years ago. I never published it though. Like the prompt is really similar.

ChocoholicAlert on August 22, 2016:

Love these prompts. Will use if there is nada in the brain. Any good protagonist names? Preferably teen names?

Artemis Winters on August 22, 2016:

Some pretty awesome prompts right there! Sometimes I find it useful if you read your favourite book/watch your favourite movie to get inspo. SOOO MANY IDEAS!!!

Artemis on August 20, 2016:

Awesome prompts! Can you reccommend any cool names for teenaged protagonists? I am NEVER good with names.

White Fang on August 17, 2016:

Some really good prompts. I always fallback onto a few failsafes to start a story: beginning of school year/term/holidays, camping (recreational or educational), a cruise or a family holiday. And what are some cool girl's names? I ALWAYS use either Alicia or Artemis.

Walt Hussain Obama on July 26, 2016:

When I opened my eyes, I found myself sitting on a stool in an empty bar. There was a drink in front of me that I didn’t remember ordering. I shielded away from the lights above me, wincing as my eyes refused to adjust. Pain rippled across my chest. I couldn’t breathe…

A man sat down next to me, the smell of smoke clinging to his leather jacket. He rapped the wooden table. “A scotch on the rocks, one third ice.” I glanced over at him, meeting his steady gaze. He smiled at me. “Name’s Thanatos.”

I could feel the temperature in the room dropping, one degree at a time. Shivering, I told him my name. My breath clouded in the air. I fought to keep my eyes open, and pain again worked its way through my chest. I closed my eyes, trying to ignore the voices calling…

I opened my eyes. A thin bartender brought his drink over, eyes hollow and cheeks gaunt. I wanted to talk to him, but something about his posture warned me against it. He ever so quickly glanced at me before hurrying away.

“Are you ready?” asked Thanatos, swirling his drink with his left hand. The ice cubes hugged the outer edge of the cup, clinking together noisily. He leaned back against the counter, and again he met my gaze. “Yes, or no?”

I swallowed, frozen in my seat. “I don’t understand. What are we –” My breath caught in my throat. I couldn’t breathe…

Thanatos gently touched my shoulder, and the weight on my chest disappeared. My breath came back, and I felt the pain dissolve away. For a brief moment, a smile flickered across his face. He looked much older than I originally had thought, the stubble on his chin more grey than black. “My dear girl,” he began, pausing to sip at his drink. “Are you ready to die?”

I understood my situation then. The pain, the inability to breath, the voices calling to me. “I’m dead,” I whispered, putting a hand to my stomach. “Someone shot me.”

“Yes,” he agreed. “It is quite unfortunate. You have my condolences, and all that.”

“Then who are you?” My voice shook.

He let out a breath, not quite a sigh, and stared at his amber-colored scotch. “From the beautifully infinite set of days I have existed in this universe, I have learned one thing, and one thing only; we fear endings.”

I folded my arms, resting them on the scratched bar counter, and waited for him to continue. “I’m no more powerful than you. Who am I to play God? I am no creator. I am merely a side effect.”

“A side effect of what?”

“Of life, my dear. I am a side effect of awareness, of the universe wanting an audience, of human nature.” He said this with his eyes resolutely fixed on the lights above us. “If the tale of humanity is an epic poem filled with glowing hope, then the universe is an untold tragedy which has no end.”

“You never answered my question,” I said. “Who are you?”

He crookedly smiled, and I doubted he would give me a straight answer. “I have been given many names, though I doubt I have a true name. I do not believe I was born, or even created. I simply am.” He leaned in closer to me, setting the drink down. “My name is Death.”

I could feel him gauging my reaction. “I hate to say it, but I was expecting a little more cloak and dagger and a little less alcohol. Though I’m not objecting. This is a nice change.” I took a sip of my drink and raised an eyebrow at him. He threw back his head and laughed, shoulders shaking.

“I like you,” said Death, fighting to keep his face straight. He stood, downing the rest of his drink. “Truly, I do. But don’t let me keep you. Places to go, people to see, right?”

I didn’t know how to respond. “Until the next time, darling,” he said, giving me a wink. Death raised his arms. The lights flickered, rattling in their fixtures. On the wall behind him, I saw the shadow of dark wings unfurling.

He reached forwards, his leather jacket becoming a cloak of darkness, draping over his shoulders, and touched his hand to my forehead. Ice ran through my veins as I felt the bullet wound on my abdomen reappear, blood dripping down my chest.

Then I was gone.

Credits to Witt.Stanton

Innes Johnson on June 22, 2016:

Great story starters, but not very inspirational

Mlandi on February 08, 2015:

You have no idea how much this saved me. :) I was so happy when I found this site, I even combined some.

BessieBooks on January 31, 2015:

Thanks for these! I might use one if I get stuck.

FictionFish on January 14, 2015:

Thanks for all of the resources. I will take your challenge of using all of these prompts for a writing project on my blog. The category will list the name of your article here as well as a link in the post to it also.

Moe Wood (author) from Eastern Ontario on January 04, 2015:

I am glad you are finding them inspiring.

Not that I am aware of.

Happy writing!

Linda Fox on January 03, 2015:

These are so inspiring! I am taking just five minutes each morning to continue one of these (chosen at random the night before, so I've had time to sleep on it) and usually don't want to stop - I sneak back later in the day and add a little more or flesh out background details.

I would love to be able to see how other people have chosen to continue the same prompts I have used - is it possible to find anything of this nature?

Lilly4 on September 25, 2014:

Thank you so much

I used the last one and got a 98%

You saved my life!!!

Moe Wood (author) from Eastern Ontario on August 04, 2014:

@stephie-braley: But of course!

stephie-braley on August 01, 2014:

Can I combine writing prompts?

annlapenna on July 23, 2014:

Hello and thanks...lots of prompts.....thanks for sharing....I am hoping I can use some of these prompts in my writing on my Blog

Moe Wood (author) from Eastern Ontario on July 20, 2014:

@meherzaidi: Thank you!

Moe Wood (author) from Eastern Ontario on July 20, 2014:

@brittabucketlist: Thanks for stopping by. Happy writing!

brittabucketlist on July 18, 2014:

Great Lens! Thank you for sharing :)

meherzaidi on July 17, 2014:

Very helpful post.In great detail.

Moe Wood (author) from Eastern Ontario on March 24, 2014:

@Eszabella: Hi Eszabella, yes you may post the writing you create using my prompts. Thanks you for asking and for linking. Have a great challenge!

Eszabella on March 24, 2014:

Hi! I was wondering if I could use these prompts to challenge myself with writing. I would like to post whatever I happen to come up with every day, using one prompt per day, on However, I wanted to ask your permission first. I would credit you and this website. So, may I use these prompts on wattpad? Thanks so much.

hqiatfu on February 28, 2014:

This is superb! Really provocative!

QuizSquid on February 23, 2014:

More than enough here to stimulate even the most blocked writer. Thanks, BigGirlBlue. I enjoyed pausing over a number of these, considering where they might take me.

Marilyn McKay from North East, Victoria, Australia on January 27, 2014:

I like this lens, your prompts are sparking thought, this I thank you for.

Treasures By Brenda from Canada on January 05, 2014:

Wow, this is quite a list of story prompts!

TanjaCrouch on December 24, 2013:

Great lens. Thank you.

tonyleather on November 05, 2013:

Host of great ideas! Thanks!

Samuel Wright from Bakersfield, Ca. on October 24, 2013:

Thanks for this... something to whet the pump. Nice to have things like this when you have moments of writers block.

KathyZ1 on October 22, 2013:

Nice lens.

TheCozyDinosaur on October 07, 2013:

This is really impressive. I wish I had your creative juices!

MoreThanAMama on September 24, 2013:

Great prompts! I'm bookmarking this page for future reference.

SBPI Inc on September 22, 2013:

Good information.

mel-kav on August 25, 2013:

Great tips and I love the quote from Jeffery A Carver. Thanks!

rbnewman55 on August 22, 2013:

Writing prompts are basically pump primers, it seems. I know of an author, Harlan Ellison, who would sit in the window of a book store and crank out stories using this method.

steadytracker lm on August 22, 2013:

A great short story can be born from just about any experience. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful lens with us.

PhatHuynh on August 20, 2013:

thanks so much

anonymous on August 17, 2013:

Thanks, I'm sure these will help some other folks in myself in my creative writing class. I'll pass on the URL.

anonymous on August 07, 2013:

thank you for this

anonymous on August 01, 2013:

@PromptWriter: Thanks so much!!!!!!!!!!!!! You really helped me. I had an extreme case of writers block, but thanks to you it's gone!!!

SavioC on July 27, 2013:

You have created an awesome lens. I can see you have put in a lot of work. Thanks for it. I found it very helpful as I am new to writing & you have come with some excellent ideas that I guess can help me get more creative.

Moe Wood (author) from Eastern Ontario on July 21, 2013:

@anonymous: Yes you can use these in your stories. BUT after you let the story rest a bit I suggest going back and changing the prompt text to your own -- rewrite a new start if you use it for the opening line as you don't want to submit a story somewhere and have someone else with the same beginning. These are just prompts to get you going and what you write after that is all you.

anonymous on July 21, 2013:

Can we use these in our stories? At least the ideas?

DtKnight on July 07, 2013:

Wow these are some incredible writing prompts. Thank you so much for being an inspiration for aspiring writers and providing a template of sorts on where to start. Your lens where writing is concerned are truly a joy to read.

Doc_Holliday on June 28, 2013:

Thanks for a great list. I have a number of ideas from these already, after a quick read.

Colin323 on June 28, 2013:

Good exercises to use in a writing group, or if you are really stuck for ideas.

RennyCross on June 22, 2013:

Wow ! That's truly helping me now.

cwilson360 on June 20, 2013:

Great suggestions - I love seeing where a prompt takes me!

anonymous on June 15, 2013:

Hi! Great Reads and writing prompts. Thanks

someone111 on June 10, 2013:

Great lens and great prompt suggestions!

anonymous on June 03, 2013:

Great prompts!

JohnGcorner on May 28, 2013:

Hehe, most of my short stories stay in my head but now you've made me think about writing those actually down. Anyway, thanks for the great inspiration. ;)

BarbsSpot on April 20, 2013:

@Lensmaster...Holy cow! A place to write prompts for stories and novels!! Now I know what to do with those four bank boxes of ideas I've saved over time! Thanks for this Lens!

bornot2b1 on April 14, 2013:

I have never had trouble with creative writing (yet), and never knew that there was such a thing as "prompt" or books teaching how to write "prompts". Incredible! Thank you for your lens, the prompts here are very interesting.

mpurse on March 10, 2013:

Crumbs, that's a lot of prompts. I'll start from the top... :-)

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on February 12, 2013:

Prompts do help and thank you for your suggestions. These are truly great.

ysc on February 06, 2013:

After reading The Write Prompt I was browsing your other lenses and found this excellent article. Great work. In short story writing, conceiving good plot may not be as difficult as penning first line/para and your article is good way to master the start. Thank you

anonymous on January 16, 2013:

Awesome lens, thanks!

Moe Wood (author) from Eastern Ontario on January 14, 2013:

@Dandelia23: Happy writing! :D

Dandelia23 on January 14, 2013:

Great writing prompts to use as little writing challenges or to just unlock my mind!!!Bookmarked!!!

Axll LM on December 27, 2012:

What a great lens idea. It's really helping me get past my writer's block.

Moe Wood (author) from Eastern Ontario on December 11, 2012:

@anonymous: YOU'RE WELCOME! Happy writing!

anonymous on December 10, 2012:

I've been discouraged about not having enough story idea, but now thanks to this set of prompts, my mind is swimming with ideas. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!

Moe Wood (author) from Eastern Ontario on December 09, 2012:

@anonymous: Yes, that would be interesting. Occasionally someone will post some of their results on my blog and it is always interesting to see what they came up with.

anonymous on December 08, 2012:

What an interesting concept. It would be fun to see a page of people's different stories using your prompts, or do you have one?

anonymous on November 18, 2012:

Your prompts for 1-20 rock. I was looking at other sites for prompts for younger people and they all suck and sound like they were written by school marms with no children

Gail47 on November 16, 2012:

I enjoyed the comments by Steven King regarding short stories. My writing preference is either to write journal entries that can sometimes lead to a story, or to create short stories or novellas. I've only written one novel length book and that was through NaNo in 2007. Thank you for sharing the video.

nifwlseirff on October 27, 2012:

A fantastic set of prompts! I need to return here whenever I can't find the inspiration to write. Thank you!

sunny saib on September 09, 2012:

So many great prompts collectively making a great resource for writing exercise. I might just finish a story soon and send you.. Double likes!

Renaissance Woman from Colorado on September 04, 2012:

These prompts are incredibly stimulating. My mind is racing. Thanks for stirring my creative juices this morning. Appreciated!

bskcom on September 04, 2012:

Thank you for the inspiration! :)

jmchaconne on July 31, 2012:

This is excellent information. Thank you for a helpful lens. You are a master.

Kim from Yonkers, NY on July 05, 2012:

added to my Creative writing 101 lens

raelcalu on June 24, 2012:

wow, interesting lens...haven't heard of it or haven't tried one...definitely gonna go back here for reference, might need some of it during those writer's bloc days...liked the quotes too.

anonymous on June 04, 2012:

Love, love, love this lens - well done, you. I have bookmarked it so that I can refer to it often for writing prompts. I will happily add this lens as a related lens to my Fish Flash Fiction lens (I was over the moon to be long-listed for this year's competition).

This is such an inspiring lens that I don't want to do my uni study now, I just want to write, but ...

Cheers, Beejay

Spiderlily321 on April 21, 2012:

Love this great lens. You have come up with some really good writing prompts and ideas. Thank you for sharing!

anonymous on April 02, 2012:

Interesting lens. Liked.

anonymous on March 07, 2012:

Another great lens!

Zut Moon on January 11, 2012:

Good Information ... you must be Canadian... LOL ... I am now using Squidoo to publish my short story The Diary of Moses Jenkins. Not my best work but does have a surprise ending. I was selling it for a whopping 99 cents but after I finally had enough to buy a cup of coffee, decided to let it go free ... duh ...

anonymous on December 29, 2011:

This method of writing seems very interesting and creative. A great lens for all ages!

anonymous on November 14, 2011:

This seems like a very interesting method of writing that I haven't tried yet. Seems to be the perfect thing for short stories, but I wonder if anyone has ever tried to develop a novel out of one of your prompts.

corinnemwestphal on September 25, 2011:

Some of these have come in very handy on those days when I just can't get my creative juices flowing on their own. Thanks very, very much!