Today’s prompts come from my book, 1200 Creative Writing Prompts. Enjoy!
We writers are full of ideas for stories, poems, essays, scripts, and other types of creative writing projects. We’re often so busy focusing on our output that we don’t take enough time for self-reflection.
It’s a good idea to pause every once in a while and think about who we are, what we do, why we do it, and how we’re getting it done. Read More
Today’s post includes a selection of prompts from 1200 Creative Writing Prompts. Enjoy!
Civilization. Society. Culture.
We live in a complex world fraught with struggles.
Most of us are so busy worrying about our own personal problems that we have little time to think about problems that plague our communities, countries, and the planet.
Yet many of us want to be good citizens and stewards. We want to do our part to make the world a little better, or perhaps a lot better. Read More
Today’s post features a selection of prompts from 1200 Creative Writing Prompts. Enjoy!
We all want our writing to be compelling, even mesmerizing. One effective way to captivate readers is to engage their senses.
When you trigger a reader’s sense of sight, smell, sound, touch, or taste, you illicit a physiological response to your writing, and the reader will connect with it on a deeper, sensory level.
Food is a fantastic way to stimulate readers’ senses, because food has the rare ability to affect any or all of the senses. We see food, smell it, touch it, and taste it. We even hear it. Just think about french fries sizzling in a greasy skillet. Mmm.
Writing about food or incorporating food into our writing are ideal ways to engage readers’ senses. That’s why today’s creative writing prompts focus on food, drink, and delectable treats.
Creative Writing Prompts — Good Enough to Eat
Choose one of the creative writing prompts below and write a story, a poem, an essay, or a journal entry. Try to convey each of the five senses in whatever you write (sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch).
- Write about a banana split: three scoops of ice cream with banana halves on either side and a big mound of whipped cream on top laced with chocolate sauce and sprinkled with chopped nuts—all topped off with a plump red cherry.
- After a light but satisfying meal, you order dessert. It’s rich, sweet, and freshly baked. You bite into it and your taste buds explode with delight.
- Write about the smell of cheesy, doughy, saucy, spicy pizza baking in the oven.
- You dip your chip into a bowl of salsa, and when you take a bite, your mouth goes up in red-hot flames.
- Write about the fizzing sound of cola being poured into a glass full of ice cubes.
- You’re feeling under the weather, so you put the teapot on. Soon it starts to scream.
- Write about the taste of medicine: cherry-flavored cough syrup.
- Describe a grand feast: the spread of a holiday meal.
- Write about waking up to the smell of hot, freshly brewed coffee.
- It’s Halloween and you’re bobbing for apples. You stick your face in the cool water, chomp around searching for purchase, and feel the apples bumping against your face and floating away from you. Then you get a ripe little apple lodged firmly between your teeth.
- Write about the sound in your head when you munch on crispy chips or crunchy crackers.
- You’re digging your fingers through a box of hot, buttered, salted popcorn in a dark movie theater.
- Write about the squishy sensation of kneading dough between your fingers and the smooth texture of it when you pat it and roll it out.
- There’s a big bowl of chilled, fresh summer fruit in the fridge. It’s colorful, juicy, and sweet.
- You’re driving through town with your windows down, and you pass that intersection where you can smell all the fast food restaurants.
Did you find these creative writing prompts helpful or challenging? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment. And keep writing!
Travel and adventure are the themes behind some of the greatest poems ever written and best stories ever told.
Blockbuster movies like the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises, TV shows like Lost and Game of Thrones, and books such as Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland, Peter Pan, or Adventures of Huckleberry Finn all use adventure as a premise for telling a riveting tale.
Today’s creative writing prompts are designed to get you out of the house and away to a far-off place. You can go anywhere you want. Some of these places are fantastical while others can be found on any map. Read More
Today’s post includes a selection of prompts from the book 1200 Creative Writing Prompts. Enjoy!
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 our relationships with them would inspire, inform, and ultimately, appear in our writing.
Our relationships with other people affect us emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually. Some people fascinate us; others irritate us. Whether it’s a lover, child, friend, stranger, or nemesis, relationships can provide compelling and meaningful inspiration for our writing.
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.
- Some relationships aren’t simple enough to be classified as toxic or healthy. Writing about a complex relationship is, well, complex. Give it a shot.
- Every morning, the same customers show up at a quaint and cozy small-town diner. Some are great friends, some loathe each other, and some barely know each other. One day, a stranger comes to town and becomes a regular at the diner, shaking up old relationships and rivalries.
- One character is a thief. The other is a cop. If their relationship is going to succeed, someone’s going to have to give up their career. Who will it be?
- Has a total stranger ever helped you? Have you ever thought about all the people in this world you’ve never met but who have affected your life? Write a poem about strangers.
- Think of something important you’ve learned about human relationships, and write an article describing what you learned, how you learned it, and how it could benefit others.
- Do you have nieces or nephews? Tell your story of becoming an aunt or uncle. How did it change or affect your life?
- Tell the story of how you met your best friend or significant other.
- Write about your siblings. Describe their appearance, their personalities, and your relationship with them. If you don’t have siblings, write about why you would want them, or why you’re happy as an only child.
- Have you ever been close with your neighbors? Did you all get together regularly? Ever throw a block party? Tell the story of you and your neighbors forming a community of friendship (or rivalry).
- Write a story about two people who care deeply for each other but who, for whatever reasons, move on and away from each other.
Did you find these creative writing prompts helpful? Which did you choose? What did you write? Leave a comment, and keep writing!
Today’s creative writing prompts look to the seasons for inspiration. All of these writing prompts come from my book, 1200 Creative Writing Prompts. Enjoy!
Writers and artists, and human beings in general, have always been inspired by the cycle of nature. The seasons provide a rotating backdrop for our lives. They mark the passage of time, and they represent change — moving on and letting go.
A season can provide a setting for your story or the subject for your poem. Seasons can function as metaphors. They can bring challenges for characters in the form of severe weather and natural disasters. Even the absence of seasons will affect a piece of writing.
Creative Writing Prompts
All writers get stuck. Call it writer’s block, lack of inspiration, or absence of the muse. Sometimes, ideas just don’t come easily. That’s when creative writing prompts and other writing exercises can keep your creativity going.
These prompts are an accessible way to jump-start a writing session when you’re fresh out of ideas. Use these creative writing prompts to write a poem or a story, jot down a few thoughts in your journal, or compose a blog post.
- A woman is walking alone on a beach in the summer twilight (or at dawn) when something happens that completely changes her life.
- The heat is sweltering and everybody’s indoors. The lucky ones have air conditioners. Everybody’s trying to stay cool. Write a poem about what it feels like at the height of a scorching summer.
- Use all of the following words in a piece of writing: lemonade, cotton, fish, taffy, ripe, saltwater, blackberry.
- A single mother leaves her two teenage children home alone for the summer.
- The leaves turned gold and amber, and then they drifted to the ground. We raked them into mounds then leaped and landed.
- The protagonist is raking leaves on the lawn. He or she pauses for a breath and glances at the neighbors’ lawn. They never rake their leaves, the protagonist thinks, and their dog is always using my yard as a latrine. The protagonist decides to do something about these inconsiderate neighbors.
- Halloween is just around the corner, and the protagonist has a lot do this year: candy, costumes, and pumpkin carving. The house smells like apples and caramel. While making preparations, he or she looks outside and sees something astonishing.
- There’s a quiet cracking sound, and then an apple falls, twirling to the ground below and bruising itself against the hard earth.
- While shopping in a department store during the holidays, a child is separated from his or her parents and discovers a portal to a winter wonderland.
- All the kids are looking forward to their winter break. There’s a school-sponsored ski trip, and one girl is aching to go so she can try snowboarding for the first time.
- Puppies and kittens aren’t always born in spring. This winter, a special puppy is born, one that will change people’s lives.
- Even though it’s freezing outside, people are out and about, bundled up and chattering among themselves. Write about pedestrians in the winter.
- It’s the last snowfall of the year. What do you do? Go sledding? Build a snowman? Head to the pond for some ice skating?
- Write a piece using the following image: a clearing deep in the woods where sunlight filters through the overhead lattice of tree leaves.
- Deer bound across the field, breaking delicate blades of grass with hard hooves, pausing to dine on soft flowers.
- Write a piece using the following image: someone standing in a doorway, soaking wet, with rain pouring in the background.
Have Fun with These Creative Writing Prompts!
If you use any of these creative writing prompts, come back and tell us how they worked for you. Feel free to make up your own seasonal creative writing prompts and leave them in the comments. And keep writing.
Today’s post features a selection of prompts from my book 1200 Creative Writing Prompts. Enjoy!
At some point in their lives, all artistic people run into creative walls. Writers lose inspiration so frequently, they have their own special term for it: writer’s block.
Luckily, writing ideas don’t have to magically appear in order for creativity to flow. There are numerous tricks that we writers can use to lure the muse out of hiding.
Writing prompts are an ideal way to ignite a writing session when you’re feeling uninspired.
Today’s writing prompts are all about music, and since pretty much everybody loves music, you should find at least one prompt among these that motivates you to write something.
Before you get started, you might want to go put a little of your favorite writing music on. You know, to set the mood.
Creative Writing Prompts
You can use these writing prompts in any way you see fit. Compose a poem, a short story, a personal essay, or write a song (that would be rather fitting). Use the prompt as-is or change it to suit your needs. Most importantly, have fun!
- Music makes the world go round. Listen to your old favorites or explore some brand-new music. Choose a song or album that you have a visceral response to. Maybe it makes you want to dance, laugh, or cry. Write a descriptive essay about it. Is it soft and tender? Hard and brash? Hip and groovy? What moves you? The lyrics? The melody? The rhythm?
- That summer, everybody was listening to that song. It was playing everywhere.
- Write an article about your favorite musician. What makes this musician so special? Looks? Talent? The sheer number of fans? Awards and critical acclaim? Sales? Quality of craftsmanship?
- The protagonist’s significant other is a musician—always on the road. When rumors of trysts with groupies arise, the protagonist decides to follow the tour bus and see what’s really going on.
- Write a personal essay about how music has affected you or shaped your life.
- She waves her wand and the music rises and falls—deep lulls and glorious crescendos, trills from the wind section and a deep hum from the brass.
- Write a top-ten article listing your favorite songs or albums with short explanations of why each one earned a spot on your list.
- Use all of the following words in a poem: measure, signature, staff, key, instrument, notes, band, play, riff, radio, runs, tune, listen.
- Write a critical review of your favorite song or album. What made it so good? Could it have been better? Provide a detailed analysis of its strengths and weaknesses.
Remember, choose the writing prompts that click for you. Write anything you want and feel free to change the prompt so it works for you. Have fun, and once you’re done, come back and tell us how it worked out for you.
Do you ever use creative writing prompts to spark writing sessions? Have you found them helpful? Got any writing prompts of your own to share? Leave a comment!
Today I’d like to share a collection of prompts from 1200 Creative Writing Prompts, which contains a variety of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction writing prompts.
Some of the prompts in the book are story starters. Some are word lists. The prompts I’m sharing today are simple but provocative images that are designed to spark a writing session.
In writing, imagery is the key that can unlock a reader’s imagination. When an image is rendered with the right combination of words, it magically appears in the reader’s mind like a photograph or film clip.
Here’s an example:
A woman wearing a black dress is lying on the floor in a disheveled room.
Now look at the image above. Note the details that are missing from the sentence above: the tilting couch and mirror, the shiny hardwood floor, and the brightly colored plastic flower in the foreground. These details were left out of the example sentence to create a white space, which readers can fill in for themselves.
One reader might imagine clothing scattered across a carpet, a broken lamp, and a woman who has been injured lying on the floor, waiting for help. Another reader might picture the aftermath of a party: dirty dishes, empty bottles, and a woman passed out from drinking too much wine. One reader will imagine a wild and beautiful young woman, another will picture an older, more refined woman.
The perfect balance of description and white space provides just enough detail to make the image manifest, but not so much that the reader’s own imagination fails to be engaged. As a writer, it’s your job to know how much detail you need to include in your writing in order to bring out the most important elements of any image.
Creative Writing Prompts
Today’s creative writing prompts deal with creating imagery in writing. Each prompt consists of an item, which functions as the inspiration for a larger image. You’ll need to paint in the final strokes so the image and its emotional implications become clear.
As you work through these creative writing prompts, try asking questions about the prompt you’ve chosen and the image it evokes. Where is it? Who put it there? Why? Ask questions until the image comes into focus. Then use your words to paint the picture you have developed in your mind.
You can use these writing prompts to create an essay, a short story, a poem, or a quick freewrite. You can write a few paragraphs or a few pages. Follow the image wherever the image takes you.
- A pair of baby shoes
- A torn photograph
- A broken bottle and a guitar pick
- A “no smoking” sign and a pair of fishnet stockings
- An oxygen tank
- A partially deflated basketball
- A fishing rod
- A circus clown removing his or her makeup
- An empty hospital bed
- The vast emptiness and beauty of space.
Once you’re done, come back and tell us how these creative writing prompts worked for you. And keep writing.
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.
Luckily, I have several books and other writing resources that are packed with writing exercises and creative writing prompts. Sometimes, all it takes are a few words to get me started, and then I’m off, writing into the sunset.
Creative Writing Prompts
Today I’d like to share a mash-up of 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.
- You’re is digging in the garden and find a fist-sized nugget of gold. There’s more where that came from in this hilarious story of sudden wealth.
- Write about something ugly — war, fear, hate, or cruelty–but find the beauty (silver lining) in it or something good that comes out of it.
- 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.
- A kid comes out of the school bathroom with toilet paper dangling from his or her waistband.
- Revisit your earliest memories of learning about faith, religion, or spirituality.
- Use all of the following words in a piece of writing: bit, draw, flex, perilous, bubble, corner, rancid, pound, high, open.
- Write a poem about a first romantic (dare I say: sexual) experience or encounter.
- He turned the key in the lock and opened the door. To his horror, he saw…
- Silvery flakes drifted downward, glittering in the bright light of the harvest moon. The blackbird soared.
- 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.
- 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.
- Three children are sitting on a log near a stream. One of them looks up at the sky and says…
- There is a magic talisman that allows its keeper to read minds. It falls into the hands of a young politician…
- We’ve seen cute and cuddly dragons, mean and vicious dragons, and noble dragons. Write a story about a different kind of dragon.
- Use all of the following words in a piece of writing: dash, hard, staple, billboard, part, circle, flattened.
- A doctor puts his hand on his patient’s arm and says, “You or the baby will survive. Not both. I’m sorry.”
- Write about when you did something bad and got away with it.
- 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?
- You walk into your house and it’s completely different — furniture, decor, all changed. It doesn’t look like the same house anymore. And nobody’s home.
- 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.
- A twinkling eye can mean many things. Write a poem about a twinkle in someone’s eye.
- What determines an action or person as good or evil? Who gets to decide what or who is good or evil?
- Write about your body.
- Have you ever been just about to drift off to sleep only to be roused by a spontaneous memory of an embarrassing moment from your past?
- Use all of the following words in a piece of writing: feast, fire, modify, squash, robbed, forgotten, under-stated.
Now It’s Your Turn
If none of these creative writing prompts inspired you, don’t despair. Come up with some prompts of your own, and then share them in the comments.
Today’s post includes a selection of prompts from 1200 Creative Writing Prompts. Enjoy!
Animals have played a huge role in literature throughout history.
They appear in poems and stories, and plenty of nonfiction works have been written about animals and humans’ experiences with animals.
And it’s no wonder. We humans have forged strong bonds with animals. Our pets are like family members. In fact, Americans spend $41 billion dollars a year on their animal companions (as of 2011). Billions more are donated to wildlife preservation, animal welfare advocacy, and conservation efforts.
Naturally, animals fit comfortably into the stories we tell. Today’s creative writing prompts pay homage to our animal friends by inspiring a writing session that features animals.
Creative Writing Prompts About Animals
Below, you’ll find a series of creative writing prompts. Choose one, and turn it into a short story, a poem, a play, or an essay. Write anything you want, and if you can’t decide what to write, then do a freewrite.
- Children are delighted when a mama cat gives birth to a litter of five orange tabbies and one little gray runt.
- Write a piece using the following image: a camel walking across the desert.
- A young man on his first hunting trip has a deer in his sight and suddenly remembers the day his dad took him to see Bambi.
- Write a piece using the following image: sea life dying in waters that have been poisoned with toxins or littered with dangerous waste.
- Sunlight dances on the surface of the water. Waves roll gently against the shore. Seagulls soar above, dipping and diving through the sky.
- A school of dolphins is too trusting and approaches a boat whose crew is intent on capturing the dolphins and bringing them to a theme park for a swim-with-the-dolphins attraction.
- A bird and squirrel live together in the same tree (like The Odd Couple).
- Write about hunting.
- Two children, a brother and sister, respectively capture a butterfly and a moth, then proceed to argue over which insect is superior.
- Write a piece using the following image: a bird’s nest full of eggs.
Make up Your Own Creative Writing Prompts
Feel free to make up your own animal-related creative writing prompts and leave them in the comments.
If you use any of these creative writing prompts to spark a writing session, come back and tell us how they worked for you. What did you write? Did you learn anything new? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment. And keep writing.
For more inspiring prompts, pick up a copy of 1200 Creative Writing Prompts, available at your favorite online bookstore.