Today I’d like to share a few excerpts from 1200 Creative Writing Prompts, which is packed with fiction, poetry, and nonfiction writing prompts.
1200 Creative Writing Prompts is from the Adventures in Writing series. It’s a lean book with a short introduction and three lists of prompts separated into fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. There isn’t any technique or instruction — just a straightforward collection of writing prompts, so you can get started writing.
Today’s post features an excerpt from the introduction and a selection of five prompts from each section.
Excerpts from 1200 Creative Writing Prompts
Have you ever wanted to write but weren’t sure where to begin? Maybe you wanted to write a story, but you couldn’t think of a plot. Maybe you wanted to write an essay or an article, but you couldn’t think of a subject to write about. Maybe you wanted to write a poem, but you couldn’t find the words.
Writing prompts provide helpful starting points when you’re not sure what to write. Give the prompts below a try and see what happens:
Fiction Writing Prompts
- The protagonist finds himself or herself stranded on a deserted island. But this island wasn’t always deserted. An abandoned village and a lighthouse, which may be the best chance for getting rescued, become the protagonist’s new home.
- Someone is sitting on a park bench reading a news article about a recent string of crimes. This person knows who did it.
- A child pretending to be a spy discovers incredible secrets while surveilling his or her parent, who conducts top-secret research for the military.
- A writer loses the ability to distinguish reality from the fantastical worlds of his or her stories.
- Write a story about how humans could breathe in space without having to wear bulky, uncomfortable space suits.
Poetry Writing Prompts
- Write a descriptive poem 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.
- Use all of the following words in a poem: tapestry, sings, eye, din, collide, slippery, fantasy, casting, chameleon, lives.
- Write a poem about somebody who betrayed you, or write a poem about betrayal.
- Write a poem using the following image: a glove lying in a puddle.
- 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.
Creative Nonfiction Writing Prompts
- Write about someone you admire from afar—a public figure or celebrity.
- Revisit your earliest memories of learning about faith, religion, or spirituality.
- Write a how-to article about a task, activity, or project you’ve learned to complete through practical experience in your career.
- Have you ever had déjà vu—the strange sense that you’ve experienced something before? Write a personal essay about it.
- What is the number-one goal you want to achieve as a writer? To reach your main writing goal, what do you need to do?
Get More Creative Writing Prompts!
To get more prompts like these, pick up a copy of 1200 Creative Writing Prompts, available at your favorite online bookstores.