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 Prompts, a 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Revisit your earliest memories of learning about faith, religion, or spirituality.
- Use all of the following words in a poem: bit, draw, flex, perilous, bubble, corner, rancid, pound, high, open.
- Write a poem about a first romantic (dare I say sexual?) experience or encounter.
- Write a personal essay describing an exotic animal you’d like to have as a pet.
- Silvery flakes drifted downward, glittering in the bright light of the harvest moon. The blackbird soared.
- 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.
- 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 poem: dash, hard, staple, billboard, part, circle, flattened.
- 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.
- 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?
- Write a poem about one (or both) of your parents. It could be a tribute poem, but it doesn’t have to be.
- 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 a personal essay about it.
- Write a poem about your body.
- 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.
- Write about the happiest day of your life.
- 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.