A collection of original prompts for free use. 5 new prompts every week.
“Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.” ― Louis L'Amour
Sitting down at your notebook or computer, mind at the ready, concentration the size and diameter of a laser beam, is very well and good. However, telling someone to write can be the same thing as telling someone to paint. "What?" they will ask. "What shall I create?" In the beginning, determining the what, foregoing the tendrils of inspiration, can be worse than not writing at all. To combat this pre-writing writer's block, I've come up with various prompts for you to use as you will, and shall, with your own ingenuity and imagination, spark just the recipe for that one certain dish that has been brewing in your mind all along.
45. It's the big day! The climax of your story! What's the headline?
44. Your protagonist has to write a "Dear John" letter. How do they go about handling this?
43. You haven't done your homework. Oh man. What's your excuse this time?
42. After a very long sleep, you wake up alone in the woods. Drawing back some of the foliage, you are surprised to see....
41. You're at an airport and accidentally get on the wrong plane. Write about what it would be like to go to a destination you're not exactly thrilled with.
40. Write this plane's story.
39. Write about what it would be like to experience wind for the first time.
38. You're walking along a busy city street. People are rushing past you, of all sorts of different backgrounds. Some are in suits or dresses and others, jeans and T-shirts and hard hats. Rounding a corner, you look down in your hands and gasp in surprise at the little button someone must have slipped into your coat pocket. You look around, but no one seems to be suspicious. Curious, you inspect the small button more carefully. It's not a button for clothing; in fact, it rather looks like the big red button under glass they tell you not to push in action movies, which, of course, are smashed and pushed anyway. Turning it over, you discover that this is a once-in-a-lifetime re-do button, good for one use to re-do any one moment in your life. You look around again, slightly more on edge. Was this button meant for you? Who put it in your pocket? Can it really do what it says it can? Will you press it? What would you change, and how would it change your life, if at all?
37. Which is the most meaningful: a roaring fire, or a single lit candle?
36. Begin a short story with: "And so it was, that after all was said and done, we died."
35. Write about one man's epic battle every day to work with the city traffic. With an axe.
34. Your protagonist goes on an unexpected blind date with your minor antagonist (or just antagonist in general). What would occur from both perspectives based on their personalities?
33. There's an elephant in the room and it can't get past the double doors.
32. Carrot sticks. Write about what just popped into your mind.
31. Tell the story of the hunter and the deer (any time period) from both perspectives.
30. Your protagonist and antagonist are admiring pieces of art at a gallery. Each has one piece of art in particular that sticks out to them, that they will definitely remember. What kind of art impresses them so, and what do they think of it?
29. If your protagonist had to choose between ending a common person's life and ending a life of a great leader who has not yet been born, which would they choose? Which would your antagonist or anti-hero choose?
28. A bicycle falls in love with a scooter.
27. Your next door neighbor has, right on time, stepped outside of their house, screamed, and walked back in. What has caused her to do this?
26. BAM! You wake up, gasping for breath, your heart skipping beats. You wipe your forehead and note the sweat already collecting there, staining your hair. Groaning, you roll over and check the clock next to your bed. It's sometime early morning, the glowing numbers hard to read. As you sink back to your pillow, your mind begins to wander to the dream that must've left your nerves frayed and your palms clammy. Your brow furrows. For the life of you, you can't remember. This continues every night for two years. One morning, you wake up and are shocked that you have remembered the dream. But you're not in your bedroom anymore.
25. Every single day of your life, every hour, every minute, has been written down in one large, spiral-bound notebook. At the end of your life, you can only save one page to remember, one day. Which page do you choose?
24. Light bulbs are illegal.
23. Write a diary entry of what it would be like to share an apartment with your favorite pop culture character. What do you learn about them that no one else knows? Are they all that you had hoped for and more, or do you discover something horrible about them?
22. Describe a Thanksgiving dinner in which your antagonist has married your protagonist's favorite cousin...and no one knows of their deep-seeded, bitter conflict.
21. Someone sees a Campbell's tomato soup can for the first time in their lives. What are they thinking, having known nothing like it to compare it to? How would they describe it?
20. Your antagonist gets into an argument with a grumpy neighbor watering his lawn and he/she just wants some peace and quiet to read the morning paper!
19. Your protagonist's friend tries to tell him/her something important, but they cannot seem to open their mouth. Describe how they communicate the information using their body.
18. Running from government spies, in an act of desperation you fling yourself into the nearest alley dumpster. You shut the lid and close your eyes, listening for approaching footsteps. You hurt all over from the jump into garbage, but that's not what's bothering you. "What are you doing here?" a voice next to you asks.
17. In the year 2020, scientists have discovered that broccoli is toxic.
16. There has been one thing. One thing in the world that you have desperately wanted all your life. On the day you turn 90, your wish finally comes true. Is it still worth it?
15. Your protagonist comes to a fork in the road. One way leads to him/her succeeding in their quest, but his/her best friend disappears. The other way leads to failure, but everyone survives. Write each ending.
14. Write a world in which stars can talk – but only to mutes.
13. Describe your favorite day in the world using only the letter "s".
12. Write the personification of bat that has lost its hearing.
11. You go fishing and all you have to show for it are a pair of goggles, a rusted pistol, a stereotypical hiking boot, and diamond ring. How did they get there?
10. Your protagonist is in love with your antagonist, but your antagonist does not reciprocate the feelings at all. How does your protagonist handle rejection from his/her enemy? How does your antagonist handle the situation? And what caused the attraction in the first place?
9. While trekking through The Amazon Rainforest, you stop to take a breather when suddenly, you see in the distance what you're certain is a new animal entirely! What does it look like? What do you do?
8. You're the cashier at a department store. A smiling little old lady with strong perfume comes your counter with a rope, a porcelain tea set, a knife, and a keychain that says "I <3 Vegas". What does she plan to use them for?
7. You see the love of your life ten years before you first met and they aren't at all what you expected.
6. The world is made of entirely out of water. But one day, someone sees dry land.
5. You run into someone you haven't seen in years. What's changed about them? What's changed about you?
4. Write a story about a city where there have never been cloudy days.
3. Write a newspaper article about what your character has been getting up to recently.
2. You look through an old photo album in an antique store and come across a picture you don't remember being in with people you don't recognize. It's dated the next day.
1. Write a story about the man who looks at his pocket watch once every hour, on the dot.