creative writing prompts

25 creative writing prompts to inspire and motivate you.

Don’t you just hate writer’s block? Some say it’s a disease that only creative workers succumb to. Some say it’s a curse. Others argue that it doesn’t exist at all. But just about everyone has been there–sitting in front of a blank screen, fingers itching to create a masterpiece. And nothing happens.

For me, the most bizarre thing about writer’s block is that it strikes randomly. Most of the time, I’m overwhelmed with more ideas than I can possibly write about. But then I’ll sit down to write and my mind goes blank. Sure, I flip through my notebooks and review all the ideas I’ve stockpiled, but nothing feels right. I want something fresh. I need a new angle.

To help break through this block, I started turning to creative writing prompts. And then I started making up my own prompts. The result: 1200 Creative Writing Promptsa book designed to spark ideas for writers.

Creative Writing Prompts




Today I’d like to share a mash-up of creative writing prompts, all of which come from 1200 Creative Writing Prompts. There are no rules. Write a poem. Write a short story. Write an essay. Aim for a hundred words or aim for a hundred thousand. Just start writing, and have fun.

  1. The protagonist is digging in the garden and finds a fist-sized nugget of gold. There’s more where that came from in this hilarious story of sudden wealth.
  2. Write a poem about something ugly—war, fear, hate, or cruelty—but try to find the beauty (silver lining) in it or something good that comes out of it.
  3. An asteroid and a meteoroid collide near Earth, and fragments rain down onto the planet’s surface, wreaking havoc. Some of those fragments contain surprising elements: fossils that prove life exists elsewhere in the galaxy, for example.
  4. The story starts when a kid comes out of the school bathroom with toilet paper dangling from his or her waistband. Does someone step forward and whisper a polite word, or do the other kids make fun? What happens in this pivotal moment will drive the story and have a deep impact on the main character.
  5. Revisit your earliest memories of learning about faith, religion, or spirituality.
  6. Use all of the following words in a poem: bit, draw, flex, perilous, bubble, corner, rancid, pound, high, open.
  7. Write a poem about a first romantic (dare I say sexual?) experience or encounter.
  8. Write a personal essay describing an exotic animal you’d like to have as a pet.
  9. Silvery flakes drifted downward, glittering in the bright light of the harvest moon. The blackbird soared.
  10. Write a tongue-in-cheek, satirical tribute. Tell bad drivers, rude customers, and evil dictators how grateful you are for what they’ve done. Do it with a wink and a smile.
  11. Write a story about a detective solving a crime that was committed against his or her partner or a crime that his or her partner committed.
  12. Three children are sitting on a log near a stream. One of them looks up at the sky and says…
  13. There is a magic talisman that allows its keeper to read minds. It falls into the hands of a young politician.
  14. We’ve seen cute and cuddly dragons, mean and vicious dragons, and noble dragons. Write a story about a different kind of dragon.
  15. Use all of the following words in a poem: dash, hard, staple, billboard, part, circle, flattened.
  16. Write a story set in the distant future when humanity is at a fork in the evolutionary road. Some humans are evolving; others are not.
  17. The kids were raised on the mantra “Family is everything.” What happens when they find out their parents aren’t who they pretended to be? Will the family fall apart?
  18. Write a poem about one (or both) of your parents. It could be a tribute poem, but it doesn’t have to be.
  19. Turn ordinary animals into monsters that prey on humans: dog-sized rats, killer rabbits, or a pack of rabid mountain lions. Give the animals intelligence and set them loose.
  20. A twinkling eye can mean many things. Write a poem about a twinkle in someone’s eye.
  21. What determines an action or person as good or evil? Who gets to decide what or who is good or evil? Write a personal essay about it.
  22. Write a poem about your body.
  23. The protagonist is about to drift off to sleep only to be roused by the spontaneous memory of an embarrassing moment from his or her past.
  24. Write about the happiest day of your life.
  25. Use all of the following words in a poem: feast, fire, modify, squash, robbed, forgotten, understated.

Now It’s Your Turn

Did any of these prompts inspire you? Do you ever use creative writing prompts to ignite a writing session? Tell us what gets your pen moving by leaving a comment, and keep writing!

To get more prompts like these, pick up a copy of 1200 Creative Writing Prompts today.

Creative Writing Prompts

Pin It on Pinterest