• How to write a story
  • How to write a novel
  • How to write poetry
  • How to write a script
  • How to write a memoir
  • How to write a mystery
  • Creative journaling
  • Publishing advice
  • Story starters
  • Poetry prompts
  • For teachers

Fiction Prompts - Ideas for Stories

Three elements.

Choose a set of three elements, and imagine a story that includes all three of them.

  • a hitchhiker, an allergy, and a mistake in a map.
  • a cemetery, a missing dog, and a joke that goes too far.
  • a Halloween costume, a stapler, and a complaint between neighbors.
  • a stolen phone, a love song, and a bet.
  • a dance competition, an engagement ring, and a worried parent.
  • insomnia, a birthday card, and an encounter with someone famous.
  • an eavesdropper, a secret kiss, and a fire in the kitchen.
  • a stuck elevator, a pickpocket, and a promise.
  • a babysitter, a pet snake, and a tow truck.
  • a lit window, a stamp collection, and someone pretending to be angry.
  • a dream come true, inappropriate laughter, and something buried.
  • an abandoned house, false eyelashes, and a lump in the bed.

Character Ideas

Here are 3 ideas you can use to create fictional characters and stories:

  • Write about a character who pretends to be cool and tough, but is actually shy and sensitive.
  • Write about a character who is obsessed with certain colors.
  • Write about a character who secretly plans to leave home and start a new life.

Now, YOU complete the sentences to get even more character ideas:

  • Write about a character who pretends to be ________, but is actually ________.
  • Write about a character who is obsessed with ________.
  • Write about a character who secretly ________.

writing fiction story ideas

First Lines

Here are some beginnings for stories or poems. Start with one of these and see where your imagination takes you.

  • He wasn't at all what I was expecting...
  • How would we ever get rid of...
  • She was a wonderful liar...
  • He hurled the phone against the wall...
  • The fortuneteller was mistaken...
  • I crouched behind the sofa...
  • It was wrapped like a present, but...
  • I should never have come here...

Twist Endings

Here are some twist endings you can use in your own fiction. See what story ideas they give you...

  • The detective turns out to be the killer.
  • The vampire hunter turns out to be another vampire.
  • It turns out that your character's lover has only pretending to be married as an excuse to avoid a commitment to your character.
  • The jewel everyone has been fighting over turns out to be a fake.
  • Your character's main enemy turns out to have been on your character's side the whole time. Your character has been misinterpreting his/her attempts to help him/her.
  • The murder victim turns out to have faked her own death. She's still alive and playing games with the detective!
  • Your narrator has been lying to the reader to make himself or herself look better.

Creative Writing Recipes

Just follow these recipes, and see what comes out of your imagination.

SHORT STORY RECIPE Beginning of the story: Your character's mother wants your character to do something, and your character doesn't want to do it. They argue about it. Next part: The argument is interrupted by a surprising sight which startles both of them. Next: The surprising sight brings back a memory from your character's childhood involving his/her mother. Flash back to this memory. Next: Return to the present. Your character and his/her mother continue their conversation, but the tone of it is changed by the surprise and by your character's thoughts about the past.

POEM RECIPE Line 1: Give the reader an instruction. Line 2: Refer to a smell. Line 3: Use the word "ghostly". Line 4: Mention a childhood toy. Line 5: Quote a proverb or saying. Line 6: Refer to an animal. Line 7: Repeat a phrase from earlier in this poem. Line 8: Ask the reader a question.

Ideas for Stories - Next Steps

Sign up for our free e-mail group to receive fiction prompts, writing tips , and Creative Writing Now news.

You can find hundreds of ideas for stories on our website. Here are some links to start with:

  • Story beginnings and "What If" story ideas
  • "The Evil Roommate" and other story ideas
  • 44 fiction writing prompts
  • See a complete list of Creative Writing Now pages with ideas for stories.

Click here to go back to the Creative Writing Ideas Blog .

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The Write Practice

Top 100 Short Story Ideas

by Joe Bunting | 128 comments

Do you want to write but just need a great story idea? Or perhaps you have too many ideas and can’t choose the best one? Well, good news. We’ve got you covered.

Below are one hundred short story ideas for all your favorite genres. You can use them as a book idea, as writing prompts for writing contests , for stories to publish in literary magazines , or just for fun!

Use these 100 story ideas to get your creative writing started now.

Editor’s note: This is a recurring guide, regularly updated with ideas and information.

100 Top Short Story Ideas

If you're in a hurry, here's my 10 best story ideas in brief, or scroll down for the full version.

Top 10 Story Ideas

  • Tell the story of a scar.
  • A group of children discover a dead body.
  • A young prodigy becomes orphaned.
  • A middle-aged woman discovers a ghost.
  • A woman who is deeply in love is crushed when her fiancé breaks up with her.
  • A talented young man's deepest fear is holding his life back. 
  • A poor young boy or girl comes into an unexpected fortune.
  • A shy, young woman unexpectedly bumps into her soulmate.
  • A long journey is interrupted by a disaster.
  • A young couple run into the path of a psychopath.

The Write Structure

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Why Creative Writing Prompts Are Helpful

Below, you'll find our best creative writing prompts and plot ideas for every genre, but first, why do we use prompts? Is it just a waste of time, or can they actually help you? Here are three reasons we  love writing prompts at The Write Practice:

1. Practice the Language!

Even for those of us who are native English speakers, we're all on a language journey to go from beginners to skilled writers. To make progress on this language journey, you have to practice, and at The Write Practice, believe it or not, we're really into practice! Creative writing prompts are easy, fun ways to practice.

Use the prompts below to practice your storytelling and use of language. The more you practice, the better of a writer you'll become.

2. When you have no ideas and are stuck.

Sometimes, you want to write, but you can't think up any ideas. You could either just sit there, staring at a blank page, or you could find a few ideas to help you get started. Even better if the list of ideas is curated from our best plot ideas over the last decade that we've been publishing lessons, writing exercises, and prompts.

Use the story ideas below to get your writing started. Then when your creativity is warmed up, you'll start to come up with your own ideas!

3. To develop your own ideas.

Maybe you do have an idea already, but you're not sure it's good. Or maybe you feel like it's just missing some small piece to make it better. By reading other ideas, and incorporating your favorites into your   story, you can fill your plot holes and generate creative ideas of your own.

Use the story ideas below to develop your own ideas.

4. They're fun!

Thousands of writers use the prompts below every month, some at home, some in classrooms, and even a few pros at their writing “office.” Why? Because writing prompts can be fun. They get your creativity started, help you come up with new ideas of your own, and often take your writing in new, unexpected directions.

Use the plot ideas to have more fun with writing!

How to Write a Story

One last thing before we get to the 100 story ideas, let’s talk about how to write a great short story . (Already know how to write a great story? No problem. Just skip down to the ideas below.)

  • First, read stories. If you’ve never read a story, you’re going to have a hard time writing one. Where do you find great stories? There are a lot of places, but check out our list of  46 Literary Magazines  we’ve curated over here .
  • Write your story in a single sitting. Write the first draft of your story in as short a time as possible, and if you’re writing a short story , try to write it in one sitting. Trust me, this works. Everyone hates being interrupted when they’re telling compelling stories. Use that to your advantage and don’t stop writing until you’ve finished telling yours.
  • Read your draft. Read your story through once, without changing anything. This will give you a sense of what work it needs going forward.
  • Write a premise. After reading your first draft, get your head around the main idea behind your story by summarizing your story in a one sentence premise. Your premise should contain four things: a character, a goal, a situation, and a special sauce. Not sure what that means or how to actually do that? Here’s a full premise writing guide .
  • Write, edit, write, and edit. Good writing is rewriting. Use your second draft to fill in the plot holes and cut out the extraneous scenes and characters you discovered when you read the first draft in step #2. Then, polish up your final draft on the next round of edits.
  • Submit! Real writers don’t keep their writing all to themselves. They share it. Submit your story to a literary magazine , an anthology series , enter it into a writing contest , or even share it with a small group of friends. And if it gets rejected, don’t feel bad. You’ll be in good company.

Want to know more? Learn more about how to write a great short story here .

Our 100 Best Short Story Ideas, Plot Ideas, and Creative Writing Prompts

Ready to get writing? Here are our 100 best short story ideas to kickstart your writing. Enjoy!

10 Best General Short Story Ideas

Our first batch of plot ideas are for any kind of story, whether a spy thriller or a memoir of your personal life story. Here are the best story ideas:

  • Tell the story of a scar, whether a physical scar or emotional one. To be a writer, said Stephen King, “The only requirement is the ability to  remember every scar .”
  • A group of children discover a dead body. Good writers don’t turn away from death, which is, after all, the  universal human experience. Instead, they look it directly into its dark face and describe what they see on the page.
  • A young prodigy becomes orphaned. Orphans are uniquely vulnerable, and as such, they have the most potential for growth.
  • A middle-aged woman discovers a ghost. What do Edgar Allen Poe, Ron Weasley, King Saul from the Bible, Odysseus, and Ebenezer Scrooge have in common? They all encountered ghosts!
  • A woman who is deeply in love is crushed when her fiancé breaks up with her. “In life every ending is just a new beginning,” says Dakota Fanning’s character in Uptown Girls.
  • A talented young man’s deepest fear is holding his life back. Your character’s biggest fear is your story’s secret weapon. Don’t run from it, write about it.
  • A poor young boy or girl comes into an unexpected fortune. Not all fortunes are good. Sometimes discovering a fortune will destroy your life.
  • A shy, young woman unexpectedly bumps into her soulmate (literally bumps into him). In film, this is called the “meet cute,” when the hero bumps into the heroine in the coffee shop or the department store or the hallway, knocking her books to the floor, and forcing them into conversation.
  • A long journey is interrupted by a disaster. Who hasn’t been longing to get to a destination only to be delayed by something unexpected? This is the plot of  Gravity ,  The Odyssey , and even  Lord of the Rings .
  • A young couple run into the path of a psychopath. Monsters, whether people who do monstrous things or scaly beasts or a monster of a natural disaster, reveal what’s really inside a person. Let your character fall into the path of a monster and see how they handle themselves.

Now that you have an idea, learn exactly what to do with it.  Check out my new book The Write Structure which helps writers take their ideas and write books readers love. Click to check out  The Write Structure  here.

More Short Story Ideas Based on Genre

Need more ideas? Here are ideas based on whichever literary genre you write. Use them as character inspiration, to start your own story, or borrow pieces to generate your own ideas. The only rule is, have fun writing!

By the way,  for more story writing tips for each these plot types, check out our full guide to the 10 types of stories here .

10 Thriller Story Ideas

A thriller is any story that “thrills” the reader—i.e., gets adrenaline pumping, the heart racing, and the emotions piqued.

Thrillers come in all shapes and forms, dipping freely into other genres. In other words, expect the unexpected!

Here are a few of my favorite thriller story ideas :

Rosa Rivera-Ortiz is an up-and-coming lawyer in a San Diego firm. Held back by her ethnicity and her gender, she works twice as hard as her colleagues, and she’s as surprised as anyone when she’s requested specifically for a high-profile case. Bron Welty, an A-list actor and action star, has been arrested for the murder of his live-in housekeeper. The cop heading the case is older, ex-military, a veteran of more than one war, and an occasional sufferer of PTSD. Rosa’s hired to defend the movie star; and it seems like an easy win until she uncovers some secrets that not only make her believe her client is guilty, but may be one of the worst serial killers in the past two decades… and he knows she found out .

It’s the Cold War. Sergei, a double-agent for the CIA working in Berlin, is about to retire when he’s given one final mission: he’s been asked to “defect” to the USSR to help find and assassinate a suspected double-agent for the Kremlin. Sergei is highly trusted, and he’s given to understand that this mission is need-to-know only between him and very few superior officers. But as he falls deeper into the folds of the Iron Curtain, he begins to suspect that his superior officer might just be the mole, and the mark Sergei’s been sent to kill is on the cusp of exposing the leak.

It is 1800. A lighthouse on a barren cliff in Canada. Two lighthouse keepers, German immigrants, are alone for the winter and effectively cut off from the rest of the world until the ice thaws. Both Wilhelm and Matthias are settled in for the long haul with warm clothes, canned goods, and matches a-plenty. Then Wilhelm starts hearing voices. His personal belongings disappear from where he’d placed them, only to reappear in strange spots—like the catwalk, or dangling beneath the spiral stair knotted in brown twine. Matthias begs innocence. Little by little, Wilhelm grows convinced that Matthias is trying to convince him (Wilhelm) to kill himself. Is the insanity real, or is this really Matthias’ doing? And if it is real, what will he do to defend himself? There are so many months until the thaw. 

thriller story ideas

20 Mystery Story Ideas

Enjoy a good whodunit? Then you’ll love these mystery story ideas .

Here are a few of my favorites:

Ever hear the phrase, “It is not who fired the shot but who paid for the bullet?” This is a philosophy Tomoe Gozen lives by. Brave and clever, Tomoe follows clues until she learns who ordered the murder: Emperor Antoku himself. But why would the emperor of Japan want to kill a lowly soldier?

Mystery writer Dan Rodriguez takes the subway every day. Every day, nothing happens. He wears earbuds and a hoodie; he’s ignored, and he ignores. Then one evening, on his way home from a stressful meeting with his publisher, Dan is startled out of his funk when a frantic Middle-Eastern man knocks him over at a dead run, then races up the stairs—pursued by several other thugs. The Middle-Eastern man is shot; and Dan discovers a mysterious package in the front pocket of his hoodie. What’s inside, and what does he need to do to survive the answer?

A headless corpse is found in a freshly-dug grave in Arkansas. The local police chief, Arley Socket, has never had to deal with more than missing gas cans and treed cats. His exploration of this weird murder digs up a mystery older than the 100-year-old town of Jericho that harkens all the way back to a European blood-feud.

story ideas

20 Romance Story Ideas

Ready to write a love story? Or perhaps you want to create a subplot with a secondary character? We've got ideas for you!

Hint: When it comes to romance, a sense of humor is always a good idea. Have fun! Here are a few of my favorite love story ideas :

She’s a cop. He’s the owner of a jewelry store. A sudden rash of break-ins brings her to his store over and over and over again, until it becomes obvious that he might be tripping the alarm on purpose—just to see her. That’s illegal—but she’s kind of falling for him, too. Write the moment she realizes she has to do something about this crazy illicit courtship.

Colorado Animal Rescue has never been more challenging than after that zoo caught on fire. Sally Cougar (no jokes on the name, or she’ll kill you) tracks down three missing tiger cubs, only to find they’ve been adopted by millionaire Bryce Champion. Thanks to an antiquated law on the books, he legally has the right to keep them. It’s going to take everything Sally has to get those tiger cubs back.

He’s a museum curator with a fetish for perfection. No one’s ever gotten close to him; how could they? They’re never as perfect as the portraits, the sculptures, the art that never changes. Then one day, an intern is hired on—a young, messy, disorganized intern, whose hair and desk are in a constant state of disarray. The curator is going half-mad with this walking embodiment of chaos; so why can’t the he stand the thought of the intern leaving at the end of their assistantship?

20 romance story ideas

20 Sci-Fi Story Ideas

From the minimum-wage-earning, ancient-artifact-hunting time traveller to the space-exploring, sentient dinosaurs, these sci-fi writing prompts will get you set loose your inner nerd.

Here are a few of my favorite sci-fi ideas :

In a future society, neural implants translate music into physical pleasure, and earphones (“jacking in”) are now the drug of choice. Write either from the perspective of a music addict, OR the Sonforce agent (sonance + enforcer) who has the job of cracking down.

It’s the year 5000. Our planet was wrecked in the great Crisis of 3500, and remaining human civilization survives only in a half dozen giant domed cities. There are two unbreakable rules: strict adherence to Life Quality (recycling doesn’t even begin to cover these laws), and a complete ban on reproduction (only the “worthy” are permitted to create new humans). Write from the perspective of a young woman who just discovered she’s been chosen to reproduce—but she has no interest in being a mother.

So yeah, ancient Egypt really was “all that” after all, and the pyramids turn out to be fully functional spaceships (the limestone was to preserve the electronics hidden inside). Write from the perspective of the tourist exploring the ancient society who accidentally turns one on.

sci-fi story ideas

20 Fantasy Story Ideas

Need a dose of sword-in-the-stone, hero and/or heroine packed coming-of-age glory?  We love fantasy stories!

Here are a few of my favorite fantasy story ideas:

Bored teenaged wizards throwing a graduation celebration.

Uncomfortable wedding preparation between a magic wielding family tree and those more on the Muggle side of things.

A fairy prince who decides to abandon his responsibilities to become a street musician.

Just try to not have fun writing (or even just reading!) these fantasy writing prompts.

fantasy story ideas

The Secret to Choosing the Best Story Idea

Stories, more than any other artistic expression, have the power to make people care. Stories have the ability to change people’s lives.

But to write a great story, a life-changing story, don’t just write about what your characters did, said, and saw. Ask yourself, “Where do I fit in to this story? What is my personal connection to this story?”

Robert Frost said this:

If you can connect your personal story to the story you’re writing, you will not only be more motivated to finish your story, you might just be able to change the lives of your readers.

Next Step: Write Your Best Story

No matter how good your idea, writing a story or a book can be a long difficult process. How do you create an outline, come up with a great plot, and then actually  finish  it?

My new book  The Write Structure  will help. You'll learn how to take your idea and structure a strong plot around it. Then you'll be guided through the exact process I've used to write dozens of short stories and over fifteen books.

You can learn more about   The Write Structure  and get your copy here.

Have a great short story idea?  We'd love to hear it. Share it in the comments !

Choose one of these ideas and write a short story in one sitting (aim for 1,000 words or less!). When you're finished, share your story in the practice box below (or our latest writing contest ) for feedback from the community. And if you share, please be sure to comment on a few stories by other writers.

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Joe Bunting

Joe Bunting is an author and the leader of The Write Practice community. He is also the author of the new book Crowdsourcing Paris , a real life adventure story set in France. It was a #1 New Release on Amazon. Follow him on Instagram (@jhbunting).

Want best-seller coaching? Book Joe here.

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50 Fiction Writing Prompts and Ideas to Inspire You to Write

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Hannah Yang

fiction writing prompts

Table of Contents

How fiction writing prompts can help writers, top 50 fiction writing prompts, how prowritingaid can help with fiction writing, conclusion on fiction writing prompts and ideas.

Have you ever wanted to write a story but had no idea what to write about?

If you’re familiar with that feeling, you’re not alone. At some point in their lives, every writer has sat down in front of a blank page with no idea what to write next.

When you’re in that situation, it might be helpful to look at a list of potential story ideas. A great prompt can help kick-start your creativity and get you in the mood for writing again.

In this article, we’ll give you all our favorite fiction writing prompts to inspire you to write.

There are countless ways fiction writing prompts can benefit you. Here are a few reasons you might want to use a writing prompt:

To start a new short story or novel

To practice writing in a new genre or writing style so you can expand your skill set and try something new

To warm up at the beginning of each writing session

To make sure you’re in a creative state of mind when you tackle your existing writing projects

So, pick up a pen and a notebook, and let’s get started!

why use fiction writing prompts

Here are 50 fantastic fiction writing prompts that will help you start your next story. To help you choose a prompt that excites you, we’ve split them into several categories: fantasy, sci-fi, mystery, romance, and contemporary.

Fantasy Prompts

You’ve inherited your grandfather’s antique shop, and you’re surprised to find strange objects with magical powers inside.

You set out to break the curse that’s followed your family for generations.

You can see visions of the future, but you learned long ago to keep them to yourself. Now, you have to speak up or risk losing everything you love.

You work for a zoo filled with magical creatures.

You’re a lawyer in a fantasy world, and your job is to negotiate contracts between the humans and the gods.

A company harvests dragon scales, unicorn hair, and other magical items to sell for profit.

You find a portal to a fantasy world in your backyard.

You find a magical item that will make all your wishes come true—but it’s extremely literal in its interpretations.

A supernatural monster kidnaps your best friend. You set out to rescue her.

Your parents gave different aspects of their magical powers to each of their children. Compared to your siblings, you definitely got the short end of the stick.

Sci-fi Prompts

Write an adaptation of your favorite classic tale—in space.

Aliens come to Earth, but they’re here for reasons no one expected.

Scientists have found ways to transfer memories between different people. You're the first person to sell all of yours.

Write about an entire world where people can buy and sell years of their lives.

What would happen if you woke up in someone else’s body and they woke up in yours?

You live in a moon colony surrounded by high walls. One day, someone breaches the walls.

Your parents send you to a summer camp filled with time travelers.

You accidentally stumble through a portal to a parallel universe where everything is the same as our universe, except for one key difference.

In a world where everyone’s DNA is genetically engineered to best suit their roles in the community, you have to hide that your DNA doesn’t match your chosen career.

You land on a new planet and realize the plants there are more intelligent than humans.

writing fiction story ideas

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Mystery Prompts

You wake up with no memory of who you are, except for a single name.

Every day, a strange drawing appears in your mailbox, and they get more and more disturbing.

You receive a letter inviting you to a free weekend getaway, and you have no idea who the host is.

Your father is keeping something strange in the attic.

A man throws an elaborate party in an attempt to conceal a crime.

You realize you’ve been sleepwalking every night, and you have no idea what your sleeping self has been up to.

You thought your husband was dead. So why is he still writing you letters?

Your brother was murdered years ago. The police have stopped investigating, but you’re still looking for the killer.

Two friends discover a serial killer's secret hideout.

A young woman discovers a frightening secret while she's on her first hunting trip with her husband's family.

Romance Prompts

Two soldiers on different sides of a war develop feelings for each other.

A member of the royal family falls in love with her bodyguard.

You’ve resigned yourself to a loveless arranged marriage, but fate has other plans.

You’ve had a crush on your best friend your entire life. Now, he’s about to get married to someone else.

You go on a first date and find yourself stuck in a time loop, so you have to keep going on that date over and over.

Two rivals have to pretend to be in a relationship—and end up accidentally falling for each other.

After a bad breakup, you move to a new town—and find yourself attracted to your next-door neighbor.

When two exes are forced to work together, they rekindle old feelings.

You fall in love with someone from a different dimension, so you can only see each other once a year when the portal opens.

After your plane crash-lands on a deserted island, you develop a bond with one of the other survivors.

Contemporary Prompts

Write an adaptation of your favorite classic tale set in the town you grew up in.

Two best friends go on a road trip and encounter a problem they never expected.

An adopted orphan goes on a journey to reconnect with her birth family.

You’re told a family secret that changes everything you think you know about your life.

A group of friends takes a practical joke too far, leading to disaster.

A college student creates an invention for a technology class and accidentally goes viral.

A painter in her early eighties struggles with her slow descent into blindness.

A couple breaks up, but the ramifications of their breakup follow them for decades.

A carefree playboy is forced to adopt a child, which changes his whole life.

You’re framed for a crime you didn’t commit, and nobody believes you’re innocent—except for your estranged sister.

No matter what type of story you’re writing, ProWritingAid is a great tool to help you make your writing shine.

ProWritingAid will suggest ways to improve various weaknesses in your writing, such as grammar mistakes, repetitive words, passive voice, unnecessary dialogue tags, and more.

You can even tell ProWritingAid what type of fiction you’re writing, such as fantasy or historical fiction, to get customized suggestions that match your genre.

There you have it—our complete list of the best fiction writing prompts to inspire you to write.

Try out your favorite one, and see if you can turn it into a unique story. 

Good luck, and happy writing!

Hannah is a speculative fiction writer who loves all things strange and surreal. She holds a BA from Yale University and lives in Colorado. When she’s not busy writing, you can find her painting watercolors, playing her ukulele, or hiking in the Rockies. Follow her work on hannahyang.com or on Twitter at @hannahxyang.

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Home / Book Writing / Realistic Fiction Story Ideas: 50+ Prompts to Get You Started

Realistic Fiction Story Ideas: 50+ Prompts to Get You Started

For some writers, it's easy to come up with a story about space aliens, vampires, superheroes, or magical beings. But what if you're looking to write a more grounded, realistic short story or book? Well, you might need some realistic fiction story ideas. Luckily, that's just what we have for you in this article. We'll talk about different ways to come up with realistic fiction ideas, and we'll provide you with a list of realistic fiction story prompts to get you going.

Let's get going!

  • What realistic fiction is
  • How to come up with story ideas in this genre
  • Prompts for realistic fiction stories
  • How to test your idea before you write

Table of contents

  • What is Realistic Fiction?
  • Choose a Theme
  • Draft Some Characters
  • Realistic Fiction Story Prompts
  • Vetting Your Realistic Fiction Idea
  • Realistic Fiction Story Ideas: Final Thoughts

As the name suggests, realistic fiction defines fictional stories that are grounded in reality. There are believable characters , the situations are easily recognizable, and the conflicts are genuine. These storylines can take place at any time, but they're usually contemporary to the author's life. A realistic fiction tale may seem like a true story, but it's not.

Realistic fiction is not a genre of its own. There is some definite overlap with other genres , like literary fiction and historical fiction. The main characters can be anyone from high school kids to elderly adults. Even children can be major players in a realistic fiction story. But one thing has to hold true: they need to be realistic characters in realistic settings.

Coming Up With Realistic Fiction Story Ideas

There are about as many ways to come up with story ideas as there are writers. Obviously, no one can tell you what to write, but you can get inspiration from anywhere. And the following tips should help do just that.

Writing with an overarching theme in mind can help get the ideas rolling. And there are some common themes in realistic fiction that have held true over the years.

  • Love – All different types of love — new, old, unrequited, platonic, fading — make excellent themes for realistic fiction.
  • Growing Up – Some of the best realistic fiction is about changing from childhood to adulthood, or from adulthood to old age.
  • Life Changes – From divorce and sickness to getting fired and learning to truly live, life changes have made for many a great story in this literary genre.
  • Self-Discovery – The successful woman realizes there's more to life than working 60 hours a week. The college student suddenly realizes that his true passion lies in religion after a near-death experience. Everyone goes through self-discovery, which makes it an excellent theme.
  • Bravery/Perseverance – Finding the will and the way to face unbeatable odds is a very human thing. We take solace in others learning to live their best lives in the face of great adversity.
  • Social Issues/Injustice – Some of the most impactful realistic fiction stories deal with social issues such as racism and injustice. Creative writing in the realistic fiction genre is all about exploring these kinds of issues through compelling and believable characters .

You may have noticed that all these themes are very human. Of course, you could argue that every story is, at its core, human. But these themes are especially human because they're about struggles that people from all walks of life have to deal with. They're about humans dealing with very human problems . If you keep that in mind, you won't go wrong while crafting your realistic story.

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Remember that characters in realistic fiction won't have superpowers, magical abilities, or the ability to read other people's thoughts. They won't live in a futuristic science fiction civilization. They're just people, which means you can take inspiration from real life .

Try to nail down some character specifics for your protagonist first. Will she be an aging woman who just lost her husband of forty years? Will he be an accountant who saves a young boy's life on his way to work?

Your main character should absolutely have a story arc , so think about what you want that arc to be. Uplifting stories generally have a positive arc with a relatively happy ending. But, like life, there's no guarantee of a happy ending in realistic fiction.

Also, think about some traits or quirks you want your main character to have. Not only physical traits, but beliefs, habits, and compulsions, as well . Check out this article for more on making believable characters .

The following prompts are designed to get the ideas flowing. You can choose a writing prompt and stick close to it, or you can let it take you in any direction you please. The story you end up with may look nothing like the writing prompt you started with! Let each prompt be the story idea that sparks a novel or a short story.

1. Write a story about a character learning that the most important aspect of a relationship isn't what she once thought it was.

2. Write a story about a group of close friends becoming a family after one of their own passes away.

3. Explore the meaning of love through the eyes of two different characters from opposite sides of the world.

4. Write about a character learning about self-fulfillment vs happiness the hard way.

5. Write about an old couple finally going on a train trip through Europe in an effort to save their marriage.

6. Write a story about a character who struggles with self-esteem and vanity.

7. Explore where true confidence comes from.

8. Write a story about characters learning what's truly important as they move from adolescence to adulthood.

9. Write about a woman who meets the love of her life as a result of the 9/11 attacks.

10. Explore the importance of learning to help others during tough times.

11. Write a story in the form of a personal narrative from the perspective of a cult leader.

12. Explore the life of a fictional 19th-century suffragette.

13. Weave the story arcs of several seemingly disparate characters into one surprise ending where they all get what they've been searching for — together.

14. Write a story about a character who loses one of their five senses but learns to live better for it.

15. Write about a character overcoming drug addiction.

16. Write about a character who willfully decides to turn around their philosophy about life, learning to live with intention.

17. Write a story about an author who struggles with writing until something drastic happens in their life.

18. Explore where morals come from and why there's such a big wide range of them.

19. Explore a situation (either real or fictional) in which the majority was wrong about something that affected people's lives.

20. Write a story about a character learning that his concept of love is unhealthy.

21. Write about a family of refugees struggling to survive as they flee their war-torn country.

22. Write a story about an aging athlete who does the impossible.

23. Write about two characters struggling to shift their priorities and keep their relationship intact as they age.

24. Explore a character's trip through the criminal justice system as she is wrongfully convicted of a crime.

25. Write about an entrepreneur's journey to start a small business while his larger competitor sabotages him.

26. Write about a man's journey to return a lost child to his parents.

27. Write about a character learning to love herself before she can love anyone else.

28. Explore the implications of obsession.

29. Write about two characters who used to be best friends when they were kids reconnecting after many years.

30. Start your story with a small moment that has outsized and unforeseen consequences.

31. Write about a teenager who runs away from home after an argument with his parents.

32. Write about the last citizens of a dying town, struggling to revitalize the area.

33. Explore a historic earthquake or natural disaster through the eyes of fictional characters experiencing it.

34. Write about two children who are accidentally left at an amusement park.

35. Write a story about characters during the Great Depression.

36. Write about a dispute between neighbors that gets quickly out of hand.

37. Explore the meaning of Christmas through the eyes of a character who has just lost her family.

38. Explore the trials and tribulations of a character who was devastated by the 2008 financial crisis.

39. Write about a person who leaves everything behind to join a cult (e.g. Peoples Temple or Heaven's Gate).

40. Explore the implications of a husband who is caught spending time with a son he's just learned about.

41. Write a story about parents who struggle with a teenager who has mental health issues.

42. Write a story about siblings who struggle to deal with the mental and physical deterioration of one or both parents.

43. Write a story about a kid who has to deal with bullying at his new school.

44. Write a real-life fairy tale without the magic. Set it in modern times.

45. Explore the high-stakes corporate world through the eyes of a woman who encounters a glass ceiling.

46. Write about a poll worker who is accused of doctoring ballots during a particularly virulent election.

47. Explore the implications of a gender reassignment operation through the eyes of the person undergoing the operation.

48. Write a story about a young woman who struggles with anxiety as she makes her way through the world.

49. Write a story about a pair of identical twins who have to learn to live their own lives after spending so much time together as children.

50. Write a story about a town that suffers a severe earthquake.

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In the realistic fiction genre, good writing is a combination of compelling story elements , characters that feel real, and situations that are easily recognizable. Of course, a knack for narrative writing is also a plus. Fortunately, all these things can be learned.

But in the competitive fiction market, you need more than just a great story to succeed . For the best chance of success, you need to position the book into the correct categories and ensure you have the best metadata so readers can find it.

And the easiest way to do this is with Publisher Rocket. If you find a story idea that you like, you can vet it with Publisher Rocket, ensuring that the category isn't too competitive. Publisher Rocket can also tell you if there is a demand for the type of realistic fiction story you're going to write.

  • Publisher Rocket's keyword search tool can help you determine what phrases and keywords Amazon shoppers are actually using when looking for realistic fiction books on Amazon.
  • The Competition Analyzer helps you to see what other realistic fiction authors are doing and approximately how much they're making from their books.
  • The AMS Keyword Search function can help you formulate the best Amazon Ad campaigns for your realistic fiction book .
  • Lastly, the Category Search function helps you to choose the best categories when you publish your book on Amazon . This is very important for visibility!

This tool does the heavy lifting for you, searching through Amazon to bring you information on keywords, categories, and competition. Learn more about Publisher Rocket here .

Each writer has their own writing process, but the prompts and tips above should help you get into the creative flow. Whether you use a prompt as the spark of inspiration for a full-length book or for a short story idea doesn't really matter. Many great realistic fiction writers got good with short stories before moving on to novels. What matters is that you stay consistent and keep writing. The more you write, the better you'll get!

Dave Chesson

When I’m not sipping tea with princesses or lightsaber dueling with little Jedi, I’m a book marketing nut. Having consulted multiple publishing companies and NYT best-selling authors, I created Kindlepreneur to help authors sell more books. I’ve even been called “The Kindlepreneur” by Amazon publicly, and I’m here to help you with your author journey.

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Home » Blog » 62 of the Best Flash Fiction Story Prompts

62 of the Best Flash Fiction Story Prompts

writing fiction story ideas


Flash fiction is a highly underrated branch of fictional writing. It is essentially just an extremely short story. Flash fiction usually falls under 1000 words, though some may stretch it to 1500. Flash fiction doesn’t usually become popular the way a novel or even certain short stories do, but it is a very valuable form of writing. Even if they aren’t highly read or recognized, writing good flash fiction is a true test of a writer’s abilities and creativity.

Flash fiction can be deceptively difficult. You don’t have very much time to reveal information or develop characters. For this reason, it is a challenge that every writer of fiction should take on at least occasionally. If you’ve never done it before, finding some flash fiction prompts is a good way to start. You can find many in our writing prompt generator .

The great thing about flash fiction prompts is that they don’t have to be complex ideas. The story doesn’t have to stretch very far. Short, simple, and catchy ideas will do just fine for some flash fiction prompts to help you get started.

A Quick Overview Before Getting Into Flash Fiction Prompts

Before diving into your flash fiction venture, take a moment to think about how you can make your flash fiction interesting and effective. Consider these tips:

  • Start in the middle of the action. You don’t have time for lengthy exposition or character backstory.
  • Don’t use a lot of characters. You won’t have time to describe any of them. Sometimes characters are not even named unless it is relevant or significant to the story in some way.
  • Make your title bold and strong.
  • Don’t actually end the story. Leave the resolution up in the air. End it on a cliffhanger that will never be realized. This will make it stick in the reader’s mind.
  • Make sure your last line leaves them wondering. In addition to the climax that will never resolve, don’t let the last line give off a “finished” feeling. Don’t bring your readers to the end, but take them somewhere new with the last line. A place where they will continue to question and wonder about the ideas and themes of the story.

General Flash Fiction Prompts

  • A character with chronic sleepwalking problems one day goes on an adventure as he does what his waking self was too afraid to do all these years.
  • The protagonist is painting an image of what he thought was fictional, but it suddenly triggers forgotten childhood memories.
  • The paranoid protagonist is convinced she is being spied on and breaks into her neighbors’ house to confront them. She is met with more than she expected.
  • Someone does something extreme to return a borrowed item from many years ago.
  • Write a story that contains ONLY dialogue.
  • Recount a personal experience but write it from the perspective of someone who was on the sidelines.
  • Your character is a young child’s imaginary friend. The child is growing up, and their friend is slowly fading away.
  • There is an urban legend floating around about a taxi that doesn’t take you where you want to go, but rather where you need to go. Write about a character that gets into this taxi. Where do they go and why? Alternately – who or what is the driver?
  • Write about a character whose house is burning down. Their family escapes out the front. They escape out the back and run into the forest in a panic and get lost. When they are unaccounted for by rescuers, they are pronounced dead. Rather than show up and correct everyone, they decide to roll with it for a while.
  • Write about someone who is observing their own funeral from out of sight
  • Your character is literally the devil himself, taking human form because he got bored in hell. He’s actually a pretty fun guy and a good, respectful roommate.

Action Flash Fiction Prompts

  • A school bus driver falls asleep and it is up to some 10-year-old students to steer the bus and their class to safety.
  • A young teenager is babysitting for the first time. The house is in the middle of a forest and despite being locked up really well, a robbery commences. She must fight to protect the children.
  • A patient’s heart has stopped and they embark on a supernatural journey that leaves with a new outlook on life.
  • Write about a character who is caught in the middle of a devastating natural disaster, but for some reason, he remains untouched and unharmed.
  • Write about a character who is the clone of a master criminal. They were created solely for science – to study the mind. But, they want a life of their own.
  • A teenager has the ability to see how dangerous a person is – on a scale of 1-10 – simply by looking at them. An angry man with an assault rifle and a list of enemies would be a 7 or 8. The new kid at school is measuring 10 every day.
  • Your character committed a murder decades ago. It was investigated but went cold after a couple of years. Suddenly, a detective shows up at their door asking some questions.
  • Your character slowly starts to realize that all her closest friends are actually secret agents who have been tasked with keeping her alive. At her 21st birthday party, with all her friends around her, the people who are after her finally arrive.
  • Write a scene that happens right after a tragedy. Don’t reveal what the tragedy was.

Thriller Story Prompts

  • A sailor returns home from the sea only to find that his wife somehow knows everything that happened with him while he was away.
  • Write about a character who is born into a family of highly respected superheroes. But, he never sees them as they are always out and about saving people and fighting crime. The only family time they ever get is Sunday night dinner where talk of their day jobs is not permitted. Your character realizes that the only way to see his family is to become a villain. Sunday night dinner just became much more interesting.

Romance Flash Fiction Prompts

  • A glimpse into a Victorian-era love story. Write about a single day or a single moment in their lives.
  • Winter is the only time two lovers can be together, for whatever reason.
  • A double date goes slightly awry when two girls begin to fall for each other’s boyfriends.
  • Two strangers are caught at the top of a broken roller coaster. A love story ensues.
  • Write about one character from two perspectives. One person is in love with them, the other hates them.
  • Write about a romance that had every chance to succeed but one person damaged the relationship beyond repair.
  • Whenever a heart breaks, so does a piece of the world. This is where cracks, fissures, and valley’s come from. Write about the story behind the grand canyon.
  • Everyone is born with two tattoos. One matches their soulmate and the other matches their biggest enemy. Write about a character who’s two tattoos are the same.
  • A women goes on a lot of dates and becomes frustrated that it never seems to work out. It’s not actually multiple guys, it’s a shapeshifter who has fallen in love with her. He vows to get it right one of these times.

Historical Flash Fiction Prompts

  • A king with six wives… and a secret boyfriend.
  • The Salem witch trials are well underway. Unfortunately, the witches are the only ones who can save the world from an impending alien attack.
  • Your character is burning old, historic family photos one by one. Why?

Horror Story Prompts

  • The building is burning and someone is trapped. The smoke is thick and they start seeing words written in it.
  • Someone finally learns the origin and meaning of their longtime recurring nightmare.
  • A world-renowned surgeon is curing patients of cancer. The technology he is using to do so is leading to shared hallucinations which cause his patients to do the bidding of a mysterious leader. He is secretly the leader, and he is controlling them. Write from a patient’s perspective.
  • An alien community has invaded earth and is biding their time before the takeover. They are staying under the radar by hiding in the lifesize character costumes at theme parks.
  • The protagonist receives a strange text message warning her NOT to look at the moon. Her phone is full of other messages, notifications and posts raving about how beautiful the moon is. Everyone is encouraging everyone else to look at it.
  • Write about a character who sold their soul to the devil years ago. The devil appears one day to return the soul because it is just too burdened for even the devil himself.
  • Your character is watching a video recording of themselves. What they are seeing is not what they remember.
  • Your protagonist finds a collection of “missing person’s” flyers and newspaper clippings. They all contain their photos, spanning their entire life.
  • Write about a world where dreams are the currency. In order to achieve yours, you must shatter someone else’s beyond repair.
  • Your character accidentally finds some old, buried home videos. The first few are nice, until they realize something – there is a sibling in the videos that they have no recollection of.
  • Once a year, dream catchers need to be emptied of all the nightmares they have collected. Where do the nightmares go?

Fantasy Flash Fiction Prompts

  • A young teen boy struggles with his newfound identity as a werewolf. It doesn’t help that he ends up going through his very first transition in front of the whole town.
  • A group of friends angers an evil wizard and he transforms them into board game pieces. They must complete the game in order to return to the real world.
  • Everyone is born knowing the day they are going to die. Write about a character whose day of death already passed, but they are not dead.
  • Write about a character who suddenly wakes up with the ability to detect any and all lies immediately. It turns out their best friend of 20 years has lied about everything, including their name.
  • Your character has always been able to read minds. They are used to it by now. Until one day, someone talks to them through thought.
  • Write about a character who is interrogated by authorities. A man comes in and presents them with multiple photographs, all from different points in history. Your character is in all of them, but they don’t know why nor do they remember any of the photos… except for one.
  • Your character wakes up with no memories. Everyone tells them that they were in a bad car crash and are suffering amnesia. They accept this and go about their lives. Ten years later, they find an old journal of theirs that tells a very different story.
  • When your protagonist asks someone a question, they can mentally see the real answer, no matter what the person says. It’s most entertaining, until one day they look in the mirror and ask a question they really shouldn’t have.
  • Astronauts are exploring more and more of mars. One day they come across a cave that contains a single human skeleton and a short note.

Dystopian Story Prompts

  • A new injection is being test run in a high school. It is a serum that instantly gives kids great knowledge – the idea is to replace formal education. Everyone’s set of information is a little different. Write about a character who has gained the knowledge to somehow stop the program in its tracks.
  • Evolution is starting to go backward. Humans are reverting back to instinct. Behavior is more closely resembling that of animals every day. What does this look like?
  • The entire world is at war. A small group of humans in one city have taken over and locked down a subway system. They are running out of supplies – what do they see when they are forced to venture out for the first time in several years?

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Fiction Writing Prompts : A Comprehensive List For Writers

writing prompts

Table of Contents


What are fiction writing prompts, benefits of using fiction writing prompts, story starters, character prompts, dialogue prompts, setting prompts, theme prompts, plot prompts, story starter examples, character prompt examples, dialogue prompt examples, setting prompt examples, theme prompt examples, plot prompt examples.

  • Incorporating Prompts into Your Writing Practice
  • Adapting Prompts for Your Own Writing Style

Science Fiction Writing Prompts

Fantasy writing prompts, romance writing prompts, thriller writing prompts, horror writing prompts, speculative fiction writing prompts, frequently asked questions, further reading.

If you're a writer, you know how hard it can be to come up with new and exciting ideas for your stories. That's where fiction writing prompts come in! These prompts are designed to get your creative juices flowing and inspire you to write something new and unique. Whether you're a seasoned writer or just starting out, fiction writing prompts can be a valuable tool in your writing arsenal.

In this comprehensive list, we'll cover everything you need to know about fiction writing prompts, including what they are, the benefits of using them, and the different types of prompts available. We'll also provide plenty of examples to help get you started, as well as tips on how to incorporate prompts into your writing practice and adapt them to fit your own writing style.

At the end of this article, we'll also answer some frequently asked questions about fiction writing prompts and provide additional resources for further reading. So whether you're looking to overcome writer's block, expand your writing range, or simply want to try something new, this list of fiction writing prompts is sure to help!

If you're new to writing, you may want to read up on some of the basics before diving into this list of prompts. Check out creative writing and fiction on Wikipedia for more information.

Fiction writing prompts are short phrases, sentences, or paragraphs designed to inspire writers and stimulate their imaginations. They can be used to jumpstart a new project or to help overcome writer's block on an existing work. Fiction writing prompts can take many different forms and cover a variety of topics, from character development and dialogue to plot and setting.

If you're new to fiction writing prompts, you may be wondering where they come from and why writers use them. While there's no one answer to this question, it's believed that fiction writing prompts have been around for centuries, with writers using them in various forms to generate ideas and inspire their writing. Some writers use prompts as a daily writing exercise, while others turn to them when they're feeling stuck or need to break out of a creative rut.

To learn more about the history and origin of fiction writing prompts, check out this article on writing prompts from Wikipedia. It provides an overview of the different types of prompts and how they've been used throughout history.

There are many benefits to using fiction writing prompts in your writing practice. Whether you're a seasoned writer or just starting out, prompts can be a valuable tool for unlocking your creativity and generating new ideas. Here are some of the key benefits:

  • Boost Your Creativity: Fiction writing prompts can help you break out of your usual patterns of thinking and come up with new and unique ideas for your stories. By forcing yourself to think outside the box, you may discover ideas that you wouldn't have thought of otherwise.
  • Overcome Writer's Block: If you're feeling stuck or uninspired, fiction writing prompts can help you get past your writer's block and start writing again. By giving you a starting point, prompts can help you overcome the blank page and get your creative juices flowing.
  • Expand Your Writing Range: Using a variety of different prompts can help you explore different genres, styles, and topics. By experimenting with different types of prompts, you may discover new areas of interest or develop new writing skills.
  • Practice Your Craft: Writing is like any other skill - the more you practice, the better you get. Fiction writing prompts provide a structured way to practice your writing and develop your craft. By using prompts on a regular basis, you can improve your writing skills and build confidence in your abilities.

If you're interested in learning more about the benefits of fiction writing prompts, check out this article on writing exercises from Wikipedia. It provides an overview of the different types of writing exercises and how they can help writers improve their craft.

Types of Fiction Writing Prompts

Story starters are prompts that give you a starting point for a new story. They typically provide a setting, character, or situation that you can build upon to create a new and unique story. For example:

"She woke up to find herself on a deserted island, with no memory of how she got there."

Story starters can be a great way to overcome writer's block and get your creative juices flowing. They provide a starting point that you can build upon, allowing you to focus on the act of writing rather than coming up with a new idea.

Character prompts are prompts that focus on developing a new character. They can provide details about a character's appearance, personality, or backstory, or ask you to imagine what a character might do in a specific situation. For example:

"Write a scene in which your character is confronted by an old enemy."

Character prompts can be a great way to develop new characters for your stories or to flesh out existing characters. By thinking about your character's motivations, strengths, and weaknesses, you can create more well-rounded and believable characters.

Dialogue prompts are prompts that focus on creating new dialogue for your stories. They can provide a situation or context in which two or more characters are speaking, or simply ask you to come up with a conversation between two characters. For example:

"Write a conversation between two strangers who meet on a train."

Dialogue prompts can be a great way to practice writing realistic and engaging dialogue, as well as to explore the relationships between your characters.

Setting prompts are prompts that focus on creating a specific setting or atmosphere for your story. They can provide details about a location or environment, or ask you to imagine what it would be like to be in a certain place or time. For example:

"Write a story set in a haunted house."

Setting prompts can be a great way to practice describing settings and creating atmosphere in your writing. They can also help you explore new settings and genres that you may not have considered before.

Theme prompts are prompts that focus on exploring a particular theme or idea in your writing. They can provide a broad concept or idea that you can explore in your story, or simply ask you to think about a certain theme or topic. For example:

"Write a story about the power of forgiveness."

Theme prompts can be a great way to explore deeper themes and ideas in your writing, and to challenge yourself to think more critically about your work.

Plot prompts are prompts that focus on creating a specific plot or storyline for your story. They can provide a series of events or plot points that you can use as the basis for your story, or simply ask you to come up with a unique plot idea. For example:

"Write a story about a detective who must solve a murder case before the killer strikes again."

Plot prompts can be a great way to practice developing plot and structure in your writing, and to challenge yourself to come up with new and exciting plot twists and turns.

If you're interested in learning more about the different types of fiction writing prompts and how to use them, check out this article on writing prompts from Wikipedia. It provides an overview of the different types of prompts and how they can be used to inspire your writing.

You can discover more about developmental editing , and how this can make you a better writer.

Examples of Fiction Writing Prompts

To help get you started, here are some examples of fiction writing prompts. Feel free to use these as a starting point, or to modify them to fit your own writing style and interests.

  • "She opened the old book and found a letter inside, addressed to her."
  • "He always knew there was something different about him, but he never expected to find out he was a long-lost prince."
  • "The train was late again, but this time it brought something unexpected."
  • "Write a scene in which your character meets their childhood hero."
  • "Describe your character's morning routine in detail."
  • "Write a backstory for your character's worst fear."
  • "Write a conversation between two strangers who discover they have something in common."
  • "Describe an argument between two friends that turns out to be a misunderstanding."
  • "Write a scene in which two characters are lost in the wilderness and must work together to survive."
  • "Write a story set in a post-apocalyptic world."
  • "Describe a haunted house in vivid detail."
  • "Write a story set on a remote island."
  • "Write a story about the importance of family."
  • "Describe a character who learns the true meaning of forgiveness."
  • "Write a story about the consequences of telling a lie."
  • "Write a mystery story in which the protagonist must solve a murder case."
  • "Write a story about a group of strangers who must work together to survive a natural disaster."
  • "Write a story about a character who discovers they have magical powers."

If you're looking for more examples of fiction writing prompts, check out this article on Writer's Digest . It provides 54 additional prompts to help inspire your writing.

How to Use Fiction Writing Prompts

Now that you have a better understanding of what fiction writing prompts are and the different types that are available, it's time to talk about how to use them effectively in your writing practice. Here are some tips:

  • Choose prompts that interest you: To get the most out of fiction writing prompts, it's important to choose ones that appeal to your interests and writing style. If you're not interested in the prompt, you're less likely to be motivated to write.
  • Use prompts to generate new ideas: Fiction writing prompts can be a great way to generate new ideas for stories, characters, or settings. Use them as a starting point to jumpstart your creativity and come up with new and unique concepts.
  • Combine prompts for added complexity: To create even more complex and interesting stories, consider combining multiple prompts. For example, you could use a setting prompt and a character prompt together to create a unique situation for your characters to navigate.
  • Give yourself a time limit: To help avoid getting stuck on a prompt or spending too much time on one idea, give yourself a time limit to write. This will help you stay focused and motivated, and will encourage you to move on to new prompts and ideas more quickly.
  • Revise and edit your work: Like any writing exercise, it's important to revise and edit your work after you've finished writing. Use the prompts as a starting point, but don't be afraid to make changes or go in a different direction if the story calls for it.

If you're interested in learning more about how to use writing prompts effectively, check out this article on writing prompts from Wikipedia. It provides an overview of how writing prompts can be used to inspire your writing, as well as some tips and strategies for using prompts effectively.

A World Without Electricity

Imagine a world without electricity. How would people survive? How would they communicate? What would happen to technology and civilization? Write a story set in this world.

Time Travel Gone Wrong

A group of time travelers goes back in time to change the course of history, but something goes wrong, and they end up altering the future in unexpected ways. Write a story about the consequences of their actions.

First Contact

Aliens make first contact with Earth, and they are not what humans expect. Write a story about the encounter and how it changes humanity's perception of the universe.

Virtual Reality Overload

In the future, virtual reality has become so advanced that people prefer to live their lives inside a simulated world. Write a story about what happens when someone becomes trapped inside the virtual world.

Evolution of Humanity

Write a story about the future of humanity. How will humans evolve? Will they merge with technology, or will they develop new abilities and senses?

The Last Human

In a world where humans have gone extinct, the last remaining human awakens from cryogenic freezing. Write a story about their journey to find other survivors and rebuild civilization.

The Singularity

In the near future, artificial intelligence surpasses human intelligence and begins to evolve rapidly. Write a story about the consequences of this singularity.

A Dystopian Society

Imagine a world where a single corporation controls all aspects of society. Write a story about a group of rebels who fight against the corporation's control.

Space Colonization

In the distant future, humans have colonized other planets and established interstellar societies. Write a story about the conflicts and challenges faced by the colonists.

Parallel Universes

Write a story about a person who discovers they can travel to parallel universes. What do they discover about themselves and the nature of reality?

The Lost Heirloom

Write a story about a character searching for a lost family heirloom. What is the heirloom and why is it so important to the character and their family? Who or what stands in their way as they search for it?

A World of Magic

Imagine a world where magic is commonplace. Write a story about a character who discovers their magical abilities and must navigate this new world. What challenges do they face and how do they use their magic to overcome them?

A Creature in the Woods

Write a story about a character who encounters a mysterious creature in the woods. What does the creature look like? Is it friendly or hostile? What happens as the character tries to interact with it?

The Enchanted Object

Write a story about a character who comes into possession of an enchanted object. What is the object and what magical powers does it possess? How does the character use the object, and what are the consequences of its use?

The Prophecy

Write a story about a character who learns of a prophecy they are fated to fulfill. What is the prophecy, and what role does the character play in it? How do they come to terms with their destiny, and what obstacles do they face along the way?

Write a story about a character who discovers a portal to another world. What does this world look like, and what dangers or wonders does it hold? How does the character navigate this new realm, and what happens when they return to their own world?

Write a story about a character who is cursed. What is the curse, and how does it affect the character's life? What steps do they take to break the curse, and what obstacles do they face along the way?

The Secret Society

Write a story about a character who discovers a secret society that has been hiding in plain sight. What is this society, and what secrets do they hold? How does the character become involved with them, and what happens as they uncover the truth?

The Forbidden Love

Write a story about a character who falls in love with someone they are forbidden to be with. Who is this person, and why are they off-limits? What sacrifices do the characters make to be together, and what consequences do they face?

The Time Traveler

Write a story about a character who discovers the ability to time travel. What periods of time do they visit, and what do they learn from these experiences? How does their time travel affect their present-day life, and what happens when they try to change the course of history?

The Second Chance

Write a story about two people who have a chance encounter after years of being apart. What happened between them in the past, and what has changed since then? Do they try to rekindle their relationship, or do they part ways once again?

The Fake Relationship

Write a story about two people who enter into a fake relationship for their own reasons. Why do they decide to pretend to be together, and what complications arise from this arrangement? Do they develop real feelings for each other, or is it all just an act?

The Secret Admirer

Write a story about someone who receives secret admirer notes or gifts from an anonymous sender. Who is the secret admirer, and why are they keeping their identity hidden? How does the recipient react to these gestures, and what happens when they finally discover the truth?

The Opposites Attract

Write a story about two people who come from different worlds or have opposing personalities. What draws them to each other, and what challenges do they face as a result of their differences? How do they navigate their relationship despite these obstacles?

The Summer Fling

Write a story about two people who meet during the summer and fall in love. What makes their summer romance special, and what happens when the season ends? Do they try to make their relationship work long-distance or go their separate ways?

The Unrequited Love

Write a story about someone who is in love with someone who doesn't feel the same way. How does the protagonist cope with their unrequited feelings, and what happens when they finally confess? Do they find closure or continue to hold onto their feelings?

The Love Triangle

Write a story about three people who are involved in a love triangle. Who are the three characters, and what draws them to each other? What happens as they try to navigate their feelings and their relationships with each other?

The Rekindled Flame

Write a story about two people who were once in love but have been separated for a long time. What brings them back together, and do they still have feelings for each other? What happens as they try to rebuild their relationship?

The Workplace Romance

Write a story about two people who fall in love in the workplace. What are their jobs, and how do they meet? What happens as they try to balance their work and their relationship, and how do their colleagues react?

Write a story about two people who fall in love despite the fact that their love is forbidden. What makes their love forbidden, and what risks do they take to be together? How do they navigate their relationship in secret, and what happens if their love is discovered?

The Disappearance of a Celebrity

A famous celebrity has vanished without a trace, and the world is in shock. As a private investigator, it's your job to uncover the truth behind their disappearance. As you delve deeper into the case, you realize that there's more to the story than meets the eye. Write a thriller about the investigation and the shocking discoveries you make.

A Deadly Game of Cat and Mouse

A skilled assassin is targeting you, and you don't know why. As you try to stay alive and figure out who's behind the hit, you realize that the assassin is always one step ahead. Write a thriller about the deadly game of cat and mouse between you and the assassin.

The Secret Experiment

You're a scientist working on a top-secret government experiment. As the project progresses, you begin to uncover disturbing truths about the experiment and the people in charge. Write a thriller about the dangers of playing god and the consequences of unchecked ambition.

The Hostage Situation

You're a hostage negotiator tasked with resolving a tense situation. A group of armed criminals have taken hostages in a crowded building, and they're demanding a ransom. As you try to negotiate a peaceful resolution, you realize that the situation is more complicated than you initially thought. Write a thriller about the intense standoff and the desperate attempts to save the hostages.

The Stalker

You have a stalker, and they're getting bolder by the day. As you try to uncover their identity and put an end to their harassment, you begin to realize that their obsession runs deep. Write a thriller about the terrifying experience of being stalked and the lengths you'll go to protect yourself and your loved ones.

The Haunted House

You've just moved into a new home, but something doesn't feel right. As you begin to experience strange occurrences and disturbing visions, you realize that your house may be haunted. Write a thriller about uncovering the dark history of the house and the terror that ensues.

The Unsolvable Mystery

You're a detective tasked with solving a seemingly impossible case. The clues don't add up, the suspects all have alibis, and the evidence points in multiple directions. Write a thriller about the frustration and desperation of trying to solve an unsolvable mystery.

The Apocalypse

The world as we know it has come to an end. In the aftermath of a catastrophic event, you must fight to survive and protect the ones you love. Write a thriller about the dangers of a post-apocalyptic world and the struggles to rebuild and survive.

You've been invited to join a secret society with powerful members and mysterious rituals. As you delve deeper into the society's inner workings, you realize that their true purpose is much darker than you could have ever imagined. Write a thriller about the dangers of getting too close to a secret society and the desperate attempts to escape its grip.

The Perfect Crime

You've committed the perfect crime, and you've gotten away with it. Or so you thought. As the authorities close in and the evidence starts to mount against you, you realize that you may not be as clever as you thought. Write a thriller about the thrill of the crime and the terror of getting caught.

The Abandoned House

You and your friends decide to explore an old abandoned house on the outskirts of town. As you enter, you realize that something is not quite right. Write a story about what happens inside the house.

The Cursed Object

You inherit a strange object from a deceased relative. As soon as you bring it home, strange things start happening. Write a story about the cursed object and its effects on your life.

The Forest at Night

You decide to take a midnight hike in the forest. As you wander deeper into the woods, you start to feel like you're being watched. Write a story about your eerie encounter in the forest at night.

The Creepy Carnival

You and your friends decide to visit a traveling carnival that has set up in town. As you explore the carnival, you realize that something is not quite right. Write a story about your spooky experience at the creepy carnival.

The Haunted Hotel

You check into a hotel for the night, but quickly realize that the place is haunted. Strange noises, ghostly apparitions, and other unexplainable events keep you awake all night. Write a story about your terrifying stay in the haunted hotel.

The Mysterious Neighbor

Your new neighbor seems friendly enough, but there's something unsettling about them. You start to notice strange things happening around your house after they move in. Write a story about your investigation into your mysterious neighbor's true identity and intentions.

The Forbidden Room

You inherit an old mansion from a distant relative. As you explore the house, you discover a room that has been locked for years. Despite warnings from the locals, you decide to open the door. Write a story about what you find inside the forbidden room.

The Possessed Child

Your child starts to exhibit strange behavior that you can't explain. They talk in a different voice, have superhuman strength, and seem to know things they shouldn't. Write a story about your terrifying experience with your possessed child.

The Demon Summoning

You and your friends attempt to summon a demon as a party game, but things quickly spiral out of control. Write a story about your encounter with the demon and the consequences of your actions.

The Island of the Dolls

You and your friends decide to explore a remote island that is rumored to be haunted by dolls. As you wander the island, you start to realize that the dolls are more than just inanimate objects. Write a story about your chilling experience on the island of the dolls.

An Alternate Reality

Write a story set in an alternate reality where one key event in history has played out differently. How has this altered the course of history? What is different about the world and how do people live in it?

A World Without Time

Imagine a world where time doesn't exist. How do people measure their lives? How do they organize their days? What happens to aging and mortality? Write a story set in this timeless world.

A World of Advanced AI

Imagine a world where artificial intelligence has advanced to the point where machines can think and feel like humans. What kind of society would emerge? What would the relationship between humans and machines be like? Write a story set in this world.

A World of Superhumans

Imagine a world where humans possess extraordinary abilities beyond the average human. How do they use these abilities? How do they interact with society? What kind of conflicts arise? Write a story set in this world of superhumans.

A World of Teleportation

Imagine a world where teleportation is a common form of transportation. How does this change society? What kind of technology and infrastructure would be necessary? What kind of problems arise from this mode of travel? Write a story set in this world of teleportation.

A World Without Death

Imagine a world where death does not exist. How do people live their lives knowing they will never die? What kind of societal changes occur when people are essentially immortal? Write a story set in this world without death.

A World Without Emotion

Imagine a world where humans are incapable of feeling emotions. How does this change the way people interact with each other? How does this affect decision-making and morality? Write a story set in this emotionless world.

A World Where Dreams Come True

Imagine a world where people's dreams come true in reality. How does this change the way people dream? How does it change the way they live their lives? Write a story set in this dream world.

A World of Shifting Realities

Imagine a world where reality is constantly shifting and changing. How do people adapt to this environment? How do they make sense of the world around them? Write a story set in this shifting reality world.

A World Without Gravity

Imagine a world where gravity does not exist. How do people live in this environment? What kind of technology and infrastructure would be necessary to adapt? What kind of new forms of movement and transportation emerge? Write a story set in this gravity-free world.

Below are some frequently asked questions that will provide more information.

What if none of the fiction writing prompts appeal to me?

If you're not interested in any of the prompts you come across, don't force yourself to write about them. Instead, try modifying the prompts to fit your interests and writing style, or come up with your own prompts that better suit your needs.

Can I use fiction writing prompts for non-fiction writing?

While fiction writing prompts are designed for fiction writing, many prompts can be adapted for non-fiction writing as well. For example, a prompt that asks you to describe a character's morning routine could be modified to ask you to describe your own morning routine. Don't be afraid to experiment and see how prompts can be adapted to suit your writing goals.

Are there any downsides to using fiction writing prompts?

While fiction writing prompts can be a helpful tool for generating new ideas and practicing your writing skills, there are some potential downsides to using them. For example, relying too heavily on prompts can stifle your creativity and limit your ability to come up with original ideas. Additionally, some writers may find prompts to be too constraining or limiting, and may prefer to write without them. Ultimately, the decision to use prompts or not should be based on your individual needs and preferences as a writer.

If you're interested in learning more about fiction writing prompts and how they can be used to inspire your writing, here are three non-fiction books that you may find helpful:

This book provides over 400 prompts and exercises designed to inspire writers and help them develop their craft. It includes prompts for fiction, non-fiction, and poetry, as well as tips and strategies for using prompts effectively.

Wikipedia Link

This book provides over 200 writing prompts and exercises to help writers of all levels develop their creativity and find inspiration. It includes prompts for fiction, non-fiction, and poetry, as well as tips and strategies for using prompts effectively.

This book provides 642 prompts and exercises designed to spark creativity and help writers overcome writer's block. It includes prompts for fiction, non-fiction, and poetry, as well as blank pages for writers to jot down their own ideas.

Writing can be a challenging and solitary pursuit, and it's not always easy to come up with new ideas and stay motivated. Fiction writing prompts can be a helpful tool for writers looking to overcome writer's block, generate new ideas, or get in some extra writing practice. Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned writer, using prompts can greatly expand your writing skills and explore new possibilities.

In this article, we've covered what fiction writing prompts are, their benefits, the different types of prompts available, and how to use them effectively. We've also provided examples of prompts to get you started and some recommended books and further reading for those interested in learning more.

Remember, writing prompts are just one tool in your writing toolbox, and they may not be right for everyone. Ultimately, the decision to use prompts or not should be based on your individual needs and preferences as a writer. Whether you choose to use prompts or not, we hope that this article has provided you with some useful insights and strategies for taking your writing practice to the next level.

If you're interested in learning more about writing and the writing process, check out this article on writing from Wikipedia. It provides an overview of the history of writing, different types of writing, and some of the challenges and rewards of the writing life.

Claim your free eBook today and join over 25,000 writers who have read and benefited from this ebook.

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