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20 Creative Writing Prompts To Get You Writing Quickly!

Updated on February 22, 2018
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A.P. Petty is mixed with Zora Neale Hurston, fun house mirrors, and rooibos tea.

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To get you thinking

Below I have provided two random quotes. What comes to mind when you read them? Do you agree with them? Do you disagree with them? Where does it put you? What does it evoke for your characters? Center your story around one or the both of them.

1) "What's done in the dark will come to light."

2) "Sometimes you stand on the edge of a cliff and you jump. You jump 'cause you're tired of feeling scared. Sometimes you jump just to see what it feels like to fall." (From the movie Introducing Dorothy Dandridge.)

Vocabulary enhancers

Below I have provided words to help broaden your vocabulary while writing. You can use them in the order of your choosing. For some of you it maybe easy, but for others it may not be. What can you build around these words that would connect them in context? Does your character talk a certain way? Are they in trouble? What might it reveal about their personality? You tell me.

3) Serpent, acute, gazelle, copious, and crevasse.

4) Gourmet, treason, inclusion, published, and design.

5) Aberration, haughty, intrepid, furtive, and embezzle.

The beginning and end

Below are a few story starters and story ends. These can be tricky, but also fun! They challenge you to stay disciplined and to work creatively with what you're given. And, sometimes if you're having trouble starting and ending, they can give you a sense of direction as well. What kind of story can you write around them? What does it say to you and your character(s)? You decide.

6) Write a story that starts with: "My mother always said to never trust a man who didn't make his bed" and end it with "It never happened."

7) Write a story that starts with "We all knew Jed did it" and end it with "and that's how I got to Romania."

8) Write a story that starts with "I was twelve when he left us" and end it with "get out of here, you crazy lovebirds."


They come in threes

Below I have grouped three things at random per prompt. Your main goal is to make them visible and necessary to your story. What can you do with them? What significance do they have in your story? Is it a mystery story? Is it a practical joke gone wrong? You decide.

9) Write a story based upon the last thing you ate in the opening line, a secret meeting at a cafe, and a shredder that shreds more than just papers.

10) A nail file, a clown costume, and a museum trip.


11) Beer googles, a cryptic text message, and an empty glue bottle.


12) An older college graduate, deflated birthday balloons, and a burning building.

13) A taxidermist, a makeup case, and a lover of children's movies.

They come in threes...again

Below I have group together phrases. They're coherent, but they do have to be used wisely in your story writing. The key is to use them without altering the verbiage. What might your story center around regarding them? Does a particular genre come to mind? Might they represent a conflict of some sort? When and where does it occur? It's up to you.


14) "Don't want to understand," "pursuits and ambitions," and "notorious lack of diversity."

15) "In the camp," "see negative images," and "to our children."

16) "Splitting up family," the largest denomination," and "halting the expansion.

17) "Gained full independence," "probably because of poisoning," and "at the depot."

The singular one

Below I have just a single prompt. It's to get you thinking about how certain keywords relate to certain genres of writing. Not only are the tones different, but also in context they evoke the connotations set by the writer. With that being said, it maybe odd to use certain words or phrases in stories that might be common in other genres. And, that's the beauty of it: expanding your mind from what's common and learning to mix up your language, but to still deliver.

18) Write a romantic story using the following words: murder, death, violence, compassion, and insidious.

Picture prompt

19) Write a story based off the picture shown. What's happening here? Who is it? What do you make of it? Tell me.
19) Write a story based off the picture shown. What's happening here? Who is it? What do you make of it? Tell me. | Source

Second and last picture prompt

20) Where do you think this is set at? What might it have to do with your story? Are your characters on a vacation? Do they have family there? Let me know.
20) Where do you think this is set at? What might it have to do with your story? Are your characters on a vacation? Do they have family there? Let me know. | Source

© 2018 AP Petty

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