Friday, January 1, 2016

40 Writing Prompts

Happy New Year, everybody! Can you believe it’s 2016 already? This year, I’ve decided to collaborate more with my fellow writers. To kick off the New Year, I’ve asked three writers to help me come up with a list of writing prompts for this year. These are meant for inspiration rather than a challenge to write every single one. Please check out the writer websites too and show them your support! The prompts are organized in alphabetical order of last names not in order of importance.

Faith Boggus
  • The smell of lavender overwhelms you as an orange fog moves across the lawn.
  • “Hey. I just got your message”
    “What message?”
    “911. You know where to find me.”
    “I didn’t send that.”
  • A child’s scribbled drawing(s) hold the answer to ending a very long war.
  • “Why is there oatmeal on the ceiling?’
  • A man comes out of an office building holding a dozen roses and a spear.
  • The lights give a bright flash, and the room goes dark while you’re at a party in a strange building.
  • One day you sit down to read your favourite book and see a pattern that you’ve missed before, discovering a secret message.
  • “Have you ever done this before?”
    “Is it safe?”
    “No clue.”
    “Let’s do it.”
  • Your journal gets published without your being aware of it, and you learn that it has entries you haven’t written.
  • “Don’t your eyes always do that?”
    “Twinkle? Shine? Gleam? Reveal my soul?”
  • A young girl reaches into her bag and pulls out a blowtorch.
  • You find a list of names with four already marked off in your child’s handwriting.
  • “Socks are my favourite things.”
    “I thought rocket launchers were.”
    “Can’t a girl have options?”
  • A red light flashes in the darkness of a room. A room you don’t remember entering.
  • One afternoon, everyone who drinks coffee falls asleep and won’t wake up.

Sarah Fluegel
  • It’s scarier inside this house than outside of it, and that’s saying something considering we’re in the middle of the apocalypse.
  • I just love getting the family together for Christmas, the food, the presents, the giant robot fights…
  • I can count the number of times I’ve let someone down on one hand, well from this week anyway.
  • “Turn it back on!” “My database says that air is not mandatory to your species.” “I don’t care, you stupid robot, I said turn it back on!”
  • Werewolves aren’t all that scary they’re just like big giant teddy bears, with sharp teeth, and claws and anger issues. So what I’m saying is that maybe if we just hug the werewolves they won’t hurt us!

Azelyn Klein
“That’s me by the way. Hello.” *waves*
  • Describe the sound of an instrument without using any sound-related words.
  • “News flash for you: blowing stuff up won’t solve the world’s problems”
    “It’s solved mine before.”
  • That idea that’s been bugging you while you’re working on a big project. You know the one. Write a complete, 500-word story about it.
  • “Are you ready for this?”
    “Ready for what?”
    “The end.”
  • Write an intriguing story that ends mid-
  • Pick your least favorite setting. It can be a room or building. Write a story set only in in that place. Eg. someone trapped in an elevator.
  • Retell one of your least favorite stories in a way that appeals to you.
  • She teetered on the edge between being a hopeless romantic and a mystic gypsy.
  • A man travels back in time to fix his past mistakes. At least, that’s what he tells his teenage self.
    • “And no more jumping off buildings.”
      “But I wasn’t—”
      “I don’t want any of your excuses, young lady.”
    • People who travel back in time grow younger by one year for every hundred years they travel back and vice versa for the future. A thirty-year-old would become twenty when traveling to 1016.
    • She was the kind of girl that nobody would give a scholarship to. A few parking tickets, maybe, but never a scholarship.
    • After the war, there wasn’t a soul left who didn’t know a man who faked his own death.
    • A man has something to declare after an international flight. But it’s not something security expects.
    • Leap years are a conspiracy. Three years out of four, the population’s memory is wiped of Feb. 28. Until one man discovers what the world is trying to cover up.

    Alex Micati
    • Describe a scene when a man walks into a bar. Will he meet a priest and a rabbi?
    • Your character wakes up in a place where they had no idea they would end up, next to someone they have no recollection of having met. Describe what happens next.
    • Describe a car crashing into a deer, from the deer’s point of view.
    • Write a scene using gender-neutral pronouns.
    • Write a series of wordplay (unlimited number).

    I hope you’re feeling inspired for this new year! Feel free to use any of the prompts and comment below with prompts of your own or the opening of your story.


    1. Haha! I think I know a couple things that might have inspired your end mid-sentence prompt. ;)
      I love the idea of trying to describe the sound of an instrument without any auditory words, and the conspiracy theory one too.
      (There's a typo in my "Your journal gets published" prompt.)

      1. Yes, well, it would be interesting!

        Thanks. I think those are the two I could find myself turning into a short story or a poem someday. :)

        (Fixed. Sorry, I had some difficulty formatting this post, and that must have happened somewhere along the way. Thanks for letting me know.)