Fiction writing prompts 

When your writing won’t flow fiction writing prompts come into their own.

Have you ever stared at a blank screen willing words to come when none will? If you have then I promise you’re not alone.  Sometimes the writing flows and sometimes it just doesn’t, for whatever reason. Creative writing prompts can help stimulate ideas and get your writing flowing freely again. They may give you a whole new idea or help unblock you so you can return to your work in progress.

I came up with the idea for my work in progress by playing the ‘what if’ game.


17 Fiction writing prompts

Here are some random prompts you may find useful:

1.       What if the birds started to disappear?

2.       What if you woke up with a super power?

3.       It was a dark and stormy night…

4.       You find a treasure chest under a loose floorboard in your bedroom.

5.       You’re startled by a noise.

6.       The day the sky turned orange

7.       The cat put his paw into the fish bowl, hooked out the family goldfish and raced out through the cat flap with it between his jaws

8.       Write a story including the words: television, cake, boots, chaos, squashed

9.       Suddenly you could understand what your guinea pig said

10.   There’s a plan to cut down the woods behind your house

11.   You dream of being a ballerina

12.   Walking through the woods you discover a hidden house

13.   You’re given a bracelet for your birthday. When you wear it strange things happen

14.   You find a tiny kitten curled up in your shed

15.   The bear who can’t growl

16.   What if you discovered you had a twin sister

17.   What if you could fly?


Where can you find further prompts?

You get the gist. There are lots of places you can find writing prompts. Writer and editor Meg Pokrass has a list of writing prompts on her website.

You could try writingexercises.co.uk which generates free writing prompts and exercises.

There are also plenty of books which contain a wealth of writing prompts – a good tool to add to your writers’ tool box.

Fiction writing prompts don’t have to be words, they can be visual as well. Philip Pullman recommends using Myriorama cards aka Many Thousand Views. The cards show landscapes, some with figures. You can arrange them in any order to make a variety of scenes which can spark ideas.

Do what works for you.


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