People-Inspired Writing Prompts

writing prompts

Writing prompts for people inspired by people.

There are many sources of inspiration in the universe but perhaps none as potent or pervasive as the people who inhabit it.

Naturally, we’re all greatly impacted by other people, so it stands to reason that they would inspire, inform, and ultimately, appear in our writing.

The people with whom we have relationships affect us emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually. Whether it’s a lover, child, friend, stranger, or nemesis, other people provide compelling and meaningful inspiration for our writing.

Writing Prompts

Today’s writing prompts are designed to help you think about the people who have impacted your life. You can use these prompts in any way that feels comfortable for you. Write a poem, a story, an essay, or a private journal entry. Let the words flow, and try to connect emotionally with whatever you’re writing.

  1. They say it’s better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all. Who have you loved and lost?
  2. Too often, writers are more motivated by heartache than by joy (all those broken-hearted poems and love songs!). Write about a love that is not stained by pain, betrayal, or heartbreak — one that is happy and healthy.
  3. Then again, heartbreak is part of life and often full of many lessons. It is worth writing about.
  4. Some relationships aren’t simple enough to be classified as painful or joyous. Writing about a complex relationship is…well, complex. Give it a shot.
  5. It’s possible to have a relationship with someone you’ve never met — a historical figure, a hero, maybe even a fictional character. Many people these days also have relationships (of sorts) with celebrities they admire (leaders and entertainers, for examples).
  6. Most of us have had an enemy of some kind, whether it was a bully on the playground, a nasty co-worker, or someone who caused us or our loved ones great pain and suffering. These people make great models for villains in our stories.
  7. Have you ever encountered a stranger who roused your curiosity? Not someone you found attractive, just a person who drew your attention. If you never had the chance to get to know that stranger, you’ll have to use your imagination.

Did you find these writing prompts helpful? Which did you choose? What did you write? Have you ever used writing prompts to inspire writing sessions? Leave a comment, and keep writing!

Creative Writing Prompts

About Melissa Donovan
Melissa Donovan is a website designer and copywriter. She writes fiction and poetry and is the founder and editor of Writing Forward, a blog packed with creative writing tips and ideas.


11 Responses to “People-Inspired Writing Prompts”

  1. Sarah says:

    I’m learning to become less obvious when I base my villains off people I know. LOL

  2. Jill Tooley says:

    Ooooh, #2 would be a huge challenge for me! Like many other writers, my sadness (and sometimes my misanthropy) inspires my best work. I’ll have to give this alternate method a try soon. Challenge accepted! 😉

    • I do think creative people are more inclined to create when inspired by sorrow than joy. However, I think the best works of art show a balance of emotions, so our work will be better if we can learn to explore a wider range of emotions in our work. I’m glad you decided to take on that challenge, Jill!

  3. Jesse B. says:

    Hmm. I think I’ll go for a mofication of prompt seven, and I’ll also do four.

  4. Krithika Rangarajan says:

    I am not very good at creating using prompts, but these seem interesting! Thank you #HUGSS


  5. Great prompts for writing about people and character development. Thanks for sharing!


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  1. […] exercise comes from the website Writing Forward.  Specifically, it’s a post on “People-Inspired Writing Prompts.”  The prompt is supposed to “help you think about the people who have impacted your […]