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20 Writing Prompts

Updated on August 13, 2015

1. Rewrite Your Favorite Fairy Tale

Yes, fairy tales have been rewritten dozens of times before and you've probably seen your fair share of Dreamworks fairytale parodies but don't dismiss this prompt just yet. Write your fairy tale from the villains point of view, if there is a villain. Why did the villain end up being a villain? How does the villain think? Give the villain a personality. Or better yet, change the ending. If it's a fairy tale with a sad ending make it a happy one and if the ending is happy then write a sad one. Only the imagination sets the boundaries.

2. What's Going on in the Picture Below?


It's a special occasion and your character is going out. What is happening? Why is the street decorated with lights? What happens on this outing?

3. Write a Story About Your Ultimate Dreamguy/Dreamgirl

No, don't write about your crush, girlfriend/boyfriend, or spouse. Ask yourself how your ultimate dream partner should be and use that person as a character and write about him or her. But try not to write a Sue.

4. Start Your Story with the Following Phrase

"Another one's dead, sir."

5. Choose an Event in History and Write About it

Neal Armstrong, the first man on the moon (1969).
Neal Armstrong, the first man on the moon (1969). | Source

It could be any historical event. World War II? The slaughter of the Romanov family? The American civil war? Or use the picture above as inspiration and write about man's first trip to the moon. You decide. Who knows, you might go on to write your first historical novel.

6. What If?

Staying on the topic of history. Think about what would have happened if some significant moment in history didn't happen the same way? Or didn't happen at all? Try to write about, for example, what would the world be like now if Hitler had won the war? Try to imagine that.

7. Write About Your Home

Write a story, which takes place in your home country. Teach the reader about your culture. If it can happen in America it can happen in your country too.

8. Rewrite a Story from the Bible

Fill in the blanks, give the story more details. Or write it from a different point of view. The possibilities are endless. Write about Esther, Joseph or maybe Moses. Maybe just pick one scene and rewrite it.

9. Write About Your Dream

It could be a dream you had last night or a dream you had years ago that you're still thinking about. Let it inspire you. Write about what happened in that dream and create a story from it. Stephenie Meyer got the idea for Twilight in a dream and look how much money she made from it?

10. How Would You Commit a Murder?

Write a murder story. Who is the victim? How does the murderer kill the victim? And where and how does the murderer hide the weapon? More importantly what is the motive behind this deed? And what does the murderer do afterwards? Perhaps he goes home and pops open a bottle of champagne? You decide. Get creative.

11. Picture Prompt


12. Aliens

Who are they? Where do they come from? What do they look like? And why haven't they visited us yet? Write a story about what you think the aliens are currently doing. If you don't believe in the existence of aliens then write about what you'd imagine them doing if they did exist.

13. Write the Story

"That's weird," thought cupid. "I've never hit the wrong person before."

14. Soccer

Write about a soccer game from the ball's point of view.

15. Christmas

Write a christmas story told from the point of view of a pine tree.

16. Distant Dystopian Future

How will the world look some hundreds of years into the future? What will it be like? What went wrong? What has changed? What hasn't changed? Write a story about someone from this dystopian future.

17. Describe Your Future Robot Servant

It's the future. It's common having robots in the house now. What is your robot like? What does it do? What's its name? How much easier would your average day get if you had the help of a robot?

18. Time Travel

You get the opportunity to travel through time. Where do you go? Do you go back or forward? What time do you go back to? And what happens while you're there? And why have you decided to visit that exact time?

19. There is Actually a Monster Under Your Bed

What does the monster look like? What does it want? Why is it hiding under your bed? And what happens when you discover it?

20. Write a Fan Fiction About Something You Hate

Rewrite the story you hate and change it to a story you'll like. How would you rewrite Twilight for example?


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    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Some very interesting prompt here Wavie. I may actually try a few.

    • Wavie profile image

      Wavie 2 years ago

      Thanks everyone :)

    • autumndouglas profile image

      Autumn 2 years ago from Kentucky, USA

      Cool prompts!

    • mactavers profile image

      mactavers 2 years ago

      Great Idea. The musical Wicked is an example of a fairy tale turned upside down.

    • Duane Townsend profile image

      Duane Townsend 2 years ago from Detroit


    • Kat-martin profile image

      Kathleen Bona 2 years ago from Rochester, New York

      Thanks for these tips. I really like #13 :)

    • Wavie profile image

      Wavie 2 years ago

      Thank you, glad to hear it, have fun with your writing.

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 2 years ago from USA

      These are some wonderfully thought out prompts. I saw quite a few I'd like to try.