Writing Prompts

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185 articles found

If you give a mouse a cookie

Choose a line from your favorite children’s book and use it as inspiration for a newly imagined short story for adults. How can you transform this line and apply it to a unique situation with fresh characters? Use the line’s message (whether implicit or explicit) as the spine of your story. Need a starting point? …

Published: January 2, 2018

1,000 words: Prompting thanks

  Our “1,000 Words” writing prompts take a picture – beautiful, wacky, abstract, or otherwise – and ask the writer to write whatever comes to mind. Fiction? Poetry? Essay? The choice is yours, scribes. Just start writing.   For more inspiration, visit our database of writing prompts.

Published: November 17, 2017

A Martin Luther writing prompt

  In 1517, Martin Luther posted “The Ninety-Five Theses,” a protest document against practices in the  Catholic Church, on the Castle Church door in Wittenberg, Germany. This started the Protestant Reformation. If you were to write a protest document, what would your theses be about? What would your character protest? What kind of reformation would …

Published: November 10, 2017

Phone tag

  “Don’t worry about me.” It was the second time he had said it, and when my phone rang later that night, I instantly knew who it was and what had happened.   Use these lines as the opening for a short story or scene in a novel. Who said these words? Who is calling? …

Published: November 3, 2017

Dress up

    Find a photo of your favorite childhood Halloween costume and try to recreate that moment on the page. How did you choose your costume? Was it handmade, store-bought, or cobbled together from items lying around the house? How did you feel the moment you put it on? Did assuming another identity change your …

Published: October 26, 2017

New tattoo, new you

  Write about a piece of jewelry, body art, or clothing that you admire but would never wear yourself. Then write about wearing it, whether it’s a necklace, nose ring, tattoo – do you feel different? Do you feel people perceive you differently? Do you like it, or is it uncomfortable? (Fiction writers: Feel free …

Published: October 13, 2017

Past relations

  Create an ancestor for one of your characters and write a significant scene from that person’s history. Now write a significant scene for your first character that subtly mirrors the ancestor’s challenges.

Published: September 29, 2017

It’s the Nick Carraway thing

  Many novels feature a writer as the main character, such as Grady Tripp in Michael Chabon’s Wonder Boys or Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones. Develop a dossier for a writer in your story. What kind of writing education did the character receive? What has your writer published? Is the writer successful or struggling? What is …

Published: September 13, 2017