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Ten Creative Writing Pitches and Prompts

Updated on March 11, 2015

Pitch 1: A Crime Story

Riley is a university student and aspiring filmmaker who suffers from insomnia. To pass the early morning hours, he films the streets outside his bedroom window.

One night, he stays up filming a loud party across the street from his house. The police are soon called and they bust the party. They try to arrest a rowdy student, and when he resists, one officer punches him several times. Riley uploads the video and within days it becomes viral. He begins to receive threatening anonymous phone calls and assumes that they come from the police officer. He goes to the station and confronts the officer; though at first he is ignored, his pleas, coupled with students' and parents' protests, end with the officer being fired.

However, the threatening phone calls continue, asking that the video be removed; Riley begins to suspect that the officer is not responsible. He realizes that in the video, everyone is staring at the student being beaten up, except for one mysterious figure looking in the opposite direction.

He becomes convinced that this figure is the one calling him. However, in order to find the person's identity, he must talk to the fired police officer, who was on the scene.

Will Riley and the police officer be able to get along long enough to find the strange figure and solve the mystery?

Anna spies on her neighbors.
Anna spies on her neighbors.

Pitch 2: A Mystery

Annie is a young girl who lives on a small island with a few dozen other inhabitants. WIth little to do, she and her friend the Duck spy on their neighbors, inventing stories to make their lives seem more interesting. But the most interesting story is the real one, and it's hiding right under her nose.

Pitch 3: A Political Story

Three young American students are stuck in their apartment in Cairo during the curfew instated by the government due to the Egyptian uprising. The novel takes place on the last night of the students' stay in the apartment, as it becomes clear that it is necessary to evacuate them from the country. Unable to see what is going on outside, but for the occasional looting in the streets below their apartment or gunshots heard in the distance, they must rely on CNN, a foreign news source, and their parents calling in, to tell them what is going on in the country in which they themselves are residing.

Anna is an archeology student who is fascinated by Egypt's ancient culture. She finds herself completely unprepared for a people who seem to want to rid themselves of antiquated establishments and rituals, and form a more Westernized world. Neema is an Egyptian American who feels disconnected from her heritage. She comes to Egypt in the hopes of finding herself in her people, but realizes that her people are themselves alienated and confused. Daniel is a West Point Academy student who comes to Egypt to study abroad, but as it becomes clear that the military will play a decisive role in whether or not Mubarak and his regime stay in power, he begins to question his own career choices and values.

As the novel begins, the three students identify themselves as Americans; yet as it progresses, the turmoil raging outside and their impending evacuation pits one against the other as the students question their own identity and examine their values, until, each in their own way, they begin to realize that they are more like the Egyptian people than they could ever have imagined.

Pitch 4: A Social Thriller

The menaced becomes the menace.

After a night of drinking with her close-knit friends, Anne goes to sleep in the arms of her boyfriend. She wakes up in those of a strange girl named Sarah, and can't remember what happened.

As Anne desperately searches for her missing boyfriend--and tries to hide from her friends what she believes must be a sexual encounter with the girl--Sarah gives her own fantastical account of the night. Anne dismisses her crazy story, but it isn't long before the mysterious, menacing Sarah, much to her despair, has intruded into her circle of friends. What's more, they believe her version of events...

Pitch for Young Adult novel
Pitch for Young Adult novel

Pitch 5: A Young Adult Novel

When Jennifer finds out that old nemesis Horace is back in town, she's not too worried at first. But when she stumbles upon clues linking him to a threatening organization headed by the mysterious Mr. Valentine, she realizes she's gotten herself right into the middle of a new adventure--and there's not much she can do about it.

Jennifer's just finished school and she's home with her family in Canterbury. She reunites with old acquaintances and quickly grows tired of being stuck in the house. But where there's Horace there's trouble, and when Jennifer discovers that he's taken up correspondance with his partner-in-crime Bud, she finds herself mixed up in a mystery she can't make heads or tales of. Why do Bud's parents believe him dead? Just how powerful is Mr. Valentine? And what does Bud mean when he says that 'it' will happen on November 6th? The more Jennifer finds out, the less she understands, and the clock is ticking...

Prompt 1: Write About the Prohibition

The 1920s were a particularly thirsty era in America. No one knew this better than Harold Totters, who spent his early life craving something a little more satisfying than milk. His parents hoped the urge would leave him naturally, but it only got worse with time.

The 1920s mafia were what we might call today 'respectable business owners.' That is, they owned bars, clubs, and stores, and their wealth was inversely proportional to their corruption. Yesterday's small-town criminals are today's blue-collar workers. Harold, who had never lifted a finger thanks to his upbringing in an uppercrust Protestant family, soon discovered the thrill of scrubbing toilets.

Prompt 2: Who Killed This Man?

They only blame the butler in detective novels. But in reality, it's those people you pass every day who are the last you suspect. When you open the door too often, your visitors become invisible. And invisible people make the best kind of murderers.

Prompt 3: Tell Us About The Tombstone That Bore Her Name

The night air settled on the soft gray tombstones. She floated in the snow, the stark shadows of the branches above her laced across her face. Everything was peaceful; nothing could be heard, not a bird or a falling branch, nothing but her own muffled steps. She ran a finger across the top of a frosty tombstone, admiring the beauty of the perfectly curved line she had just traced.

Suddenly, a clock chimed. Her eyes widened, her lower lip quivered. The strange, unexpected sound had interrupted the peaceful serenity of the graveyard. It had only lasted a second; she stood still, not daring to breathe. Minutes passed, but they felt like hours. The quiet had returned, but it was a burden now. Each passing second felt weighty now, a mark that, once past, could never be rewound.

She opened her mouth to yell, "Who's there?" But instead of inhaling, all the air she'd held captive fled. She fell to her knees, exhausted, an enormous weight on her back. "Help me!" she screamed, but what sounded to her like a scream was in fact nothing but a murmur that barely had time to pass her lips.

She was now conscious of a pain in her chest. It flicked on steadily, as the blood coursed through. She looked down and saw a large beating heart, entangled in a web of monstrous veins. All of a sudden she was aware of a desire, a need: "I must get out of here, I must go…"

She rose with difficulty, each step she made sinking deeply into the sludge. She ran, attempting to find a way to leave the cemetery, but she was lost; everywhere she looked, there were more tombstones. She ran up an alley, then down the next, flailing her arms in desperation, until finally, she flung herself down, too exhausted to run anymore. The clock chimed again. She looked up, her body filling with dread. And that's when she saw it: she was lying in front of a tombstone bearing her own name.

Pirate prompt
Pirate prompt

Prompt 4: Write About Pirates

It was the night after the hurricane that leveled downtown Portsmouth, New Hampshire, when I had a long and vivid dream of life on an infinite island. All of my brothers and sisters were there, healthy and alive. The moon twinkled behind a mauve cloud which cast deep shadows on the violet-hued sand below. I sat on the beach alone, letting the warm water caress my toenails, my mind numb with peace, my eyelids heavy with sleep. It was late. I began to drift off to sleep, my heart thumping in time with the cadence of the waves.

A light in the distance pierced the swirling fog around me. I looked up. A ship had appeared out of the murky night as if by magic and was edging dangerously close to the jagged rocks by the coast. Just as I thought it would crash it stopped and a rope swung out, hitting the sandy beach with a thud. A cloud of dazzling purple dust erupted.

I squinted, trying to make out the figure climbing down the rope, but it was too far away. I felt, rather than heard, the crunch of each footstep get progressively louder as it neared me. My heart beat against my ribs, threatening to break them at any minute. I willed it to calm down. Suddenly my world turned black. I looked up. He towered above me, his hat cocked to the side, his mustache thin, long, and curled at the tips, his grin wide and missing a tooth, his eye patched. The Pirate. My Pirate.

Prompt 5: Craft a Villain or Antagonizing Hero

The air hung so heavily upon Coven Lane it was a wonder its nightly occupants found the strength to pace its dusty cobblestones. Yet pace it they did, their lips a greedy red, their eyes a blank stare, their bulging skin restrained in desperate garments. They plodded along monotonously, creating small, languid waves of activity, a precisely crafted pattern which they stuck to hour upon hour: clutch handbag, walk three feet, smirk, turn around - another three feet, toss hair for variety.

It was no surprise, then, that they all noticed him - with his large hoodie, zipped all the way up, and his body leaning forward so that it shielded his face, he had disturbed the calm balance of their life and the comfort they derived from it. Their eyes followed him suspiciously as he darted along Coven Lane and ducked out of view into a back alleyway. Then, upon making quite sure he had vanished, they breathed a collective sigh of relief.

This young man's name was Leslie, and it was not the first time that his absence incited relief. Nor would it be, by a long shot, the last.

Now Tell Me This:

Were the pitches or the prompts more helpful to you?

See results


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    • UndercoverAgent19 profile image


      3 years ago

      This is a very helpful hub. Whenever I search for writing prompts on the internet, I usually come across very short, vague, and open exercises. While I do like the space to be able to explore and experiment, I find I tend to have the most fun with very specific and constrained prompts. I think your prompts and pitches are a great blend of specific without being limiting.

    • Christy Maria profile image

      Christy Maria 

      3 years ago

      Very cool ideas Bessie. I have been sitting here with writers block for about a month now! Hopefully I get hit with an idea soon.

    • profile image

      Lee Cloak 

      3 years ago

      Great hub, one I will use time and time again, very well done, Thanks!

    • BessieBooks profile imageAUTHOR


      3 years ago

      Thanks Jodah! I'm glad my prompts were helpful.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Love these Bessie. This is a very helpful hub and I am bookmarking it for future reference when I need a prompt. Thanks for sharing.


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