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Writing Prompts for Short Story Writers

Can’t find a starting point for your short story? Try these fifteen writing prompts.

Writing Prompts

  1. Be dark about things. Write a list of ways to kill people, be as creative as possible.
  2. Stop at a travel agency, grab one of the leaflets present and write a short story on what you would do while there.
  3. Pick a novel that you really like, copy the first line and then write a story from that starting point.
  4. Write a love story where the main character doesn’t win the girl.
  5. Think back on your childhood and about a humorous ‘fact’ you believed. Like the moon being made of cheese, or the tooth fairy. Write a story regarding one of these.
  6. Choose a cliché, make it the title of your story and start writing.
  7. Imagine you’re a ninja hunting your target, and write from your perspective.
  8. Alternatively, write from the perspective of the victim who knows he’s being hunted.
  9. Use Murphy’s Law and write a story where everything that can go wrong does go wrong.
  10. Create a religion, everything down to their scriptures, what they worship and how they worship it. Then right a story from the point of view of the newest convert.
  11. Write a short story entirely through the eyes of a child, make sure to remember not to use big words and that children can’t fully comprehend certain aspects of human nature,
  12. Write about a lake, but make it through the eyes of someone who had just committed a murder. Do not mention the murder.
  13. You’re a famous gladiator in the arena, but you don’t enjoy your job. Write about the lead up to your next battle.
  14. Pick a song you like, use the lyrics, atmosphere or title (or all three) inspire you to write a story.
  15. Go out for a walk with a notepad, write down everything you see. When you get back, pick three or four things from your list and include them in a story.
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