Writing Prompts to get your creative mind moving
1. If you were going on a journey and could only take what would fit in a backpack, what would you take? Why?
2. Cesare Pavese is known for saying that "we do not remember days, we remember moments." Describe your moment.
3. Oscar Wilde has said that "I never travel without my diary. One must always have something sensational to read on the train." What one thing do you always carry with you?
4. Write about one thing you are most proud of in your life.
5. Do you agree with Albert Einstein in that "imagination is more important than knowledge?" Why or why not?
6. In Letters to a Young Poet, Rainer Maria Rilke wrote to young Franz Kappus "...if you wake up every morning thinking about being a writer, then you were meant to be a writer." What do you wake up every morning thinking about being?
7. Select the one thing that you hate most about yourself and write about it as if it were the one thing you love most about yourself.
8. If you were a caution sign what would it say? Why?
9. Sheryl Crow sings that "...it's not having what you want, it's wanting what you've got." Do you derive happiness from shiny new things or do you cherish the items you already own? Explain.
10. I write for the sheer joy of writing because behind everything there is a story to be told. What do you do for the sheer joy of it? Why?
11. Inspired by People Magazine's Interview of Chris Hemsworth, this prompt asks you to write about last thing's in your life:
* What was the last thing you lost?
* When was the last time you were awestruck?
* What was your last spontaneous moment?
* What is your last vice?
* When was the last time you sang or danced just because?
12. Pick one of these first lines to write from:
* The smell of...
* We've never talked about...
* Dreaming of...
* No one knows...
* You can do...
* Imagine a place...
* My best friend...
* Home is wherever...
* When I sang...
*It was a dark and stormy night...
13. Pick five random words for each of the following journalistic questions and use them as writing inspiration. If you get stuck on finding words, try using the first words on five random pages of a book or magazine nearby. (Idea taken from a Facebook post)
14. You have 15 minutes. Pick one of the starters below and write what comes to mind. Don't think, just write:
* Stand still.
* Every [BLANK] has a beginning.
15. Your character is given a list of names. Why? (From Writingeekery on G+)
16. Write a short story of 700 words or fewer that begins with the following sentence: The difference is , I lie for a reason. (Writer's Digest, YOURSTORY, Contest #70)
17. Write the opening sentence (one sentence only, 25 words or fewer) based on the prompt: You & I Are Love. (Writer's Digest, YOURSTORY, Contest #74)
18. Write seven poems dealing with the seven deadly sins (Pride, Envy, Wrath, Gluttony, Lust, Sloth, Greed). You can't use their names. (The Writer's Circle Facebook page)
19. What drives you? Freewrite for 10 minutes. (Inspired by the question written on the side of a Paper Transport, Inc. semi)
20. Write your best horror story in two sentences. (From a Facebook post)
21. You wake up stranded on an island with the main character of the last book you read. How
does that work out for you? (From a Facebook post)
22. Write five or six different emotions on little slips of paper and put them in a bowl. Draw one at random and write a review of a recent movie you saw, or book you read, using the one emotion you drew.
23. Today, use all of your senses to paint a word picture. Pick an every day item. Describe it using 5 visual descriptions, 4 tactile descriptions, 3 audial descriptions, 2 olfactory descriptions, and 1 description on how it might taste.
24. You just landed a huge contract. Make a wish list of the things you would buy.
25. Pretend you walked into a coffee shop and 'that song' is playing; the one that evokes specific memories. What song is it? What event or person do you associate with it? Do you have the song in your playlist or do you only come across it by coincidence?
26. Story starter: No matter what she did, the compass kept spinning.
27. Write a story that starts with the line, "There were three of them."
28. Photocopy a random page in a book and use that page to create a piece of writing in any way you choose. Ideas:
* a found poem
* using the last sentence on the page as the first sentence of a new piece of writing
* taking random words from the page and using them in a piece of writing
* cutting the page into strips and rearranging them in a way that suits you
* selecting a word or phrase and using it as the topic of a piece of writing
29. Write down the first words that come to mind for each of the first letters of the colors of the rainbow (R-O-Y-G-B-I-V) then use those words in a piece that begins: "I was told life with me was..."
30. Take 10 minutes to write about jelly beans. Don't think, just write.
31. Spend seven minutes listing things that make you laugh or smile for no reason at all. Now randomly pick one and expand on it.
32. Write a poem in ten words then rearrange the words and see how many more poems you can come up with.
33. You were given a tin can with five odd items in it: a plastic compass, a mini padlock, a AA battery, a pink feather, and a foreign coin. Use them to rite a personal ad for someone you have never met.
34. Look around you and write down ten things you see or descriptors of your surroundings. Use those words in a 100 word piece about arguments.
35. Put pen to paper and write about one of the following topics:
*Taking a road trip
*Looking for something you have lost
*What's in your diary/purse/wallet
*Bottles, jars, and buttons
*Your collection of...
*Time and clocks
*Beginnings or endings
*An interesting piece of mail
36. Write a scene that starts with the line "Where did you find that?" (SarahSelecky.com)
37. Story Starter: He just stood there, staring at me as if he'd never seen me before. As if I were a stranger. A terrifying stranger. (got-an-inkling tumblr.com)
38. Story Starter: She sets a place for him at dinner every night, forgetting that she's buried him a long time ago. (Created using part of a starter from got-an-inkling tumblr.com)
39. Story Starter: You and your partner decided to get matching tattoo's. Since you've had them, you have noticed that they turn warm when your partner is happy and cool when they're sad or angry. Your partner is away for the weekend and your tattoo is really starting to burn. What's happening? (From a Facebook post)
40. Island of Nightmares: "Welcome to the Island f Nightmares, where your dreams come to life. Enjoy your stay because you're not leaving...ever." (From blueeyesgrayeyes.wordpress.com)
41. You're walking past a dark, sleepy forest when giggling rises up from the depths. (Unknown/Facebook)
42. She added a charm to her bracelet for every life that she took. (Unknown/Facebook)
43. Finish this sentence: If Mark Twain and Margaret Atwood were to get together to write a book... (WriteOnTheWorld.Wordpress.com)
44. When the photo was developed he was shocked to find... (Unknown/Facebook)
45. As she walked towards the exit of her favorite coffee shop, she glanced down at her cup. "YOU'RE BEAUTIFUL" was written in place of her name. he glanced back, and their eyes met. (From hollowayshideaway.com)
46. If you could write a note to your younger self, what would it say in only two words? (From writerslife.org)
47. Write the happiest story you can using only 4 words. (Unknown/Facebook)
48. You find yourself in front of seven identical doors. A voice from above tells you: "These seven doors lead to seven places: Narnia, Neverland, Wonderland, Hogwarts, Camelot, Middle Earth, and Westeros." Which door do you go through? Why that door? What happens? (Unknown/Facebook)
49. According to Matthew McConaughey there are 3 things he needs each day:
* Something to look up to
* Something to look forward to
* Someone to chase
Thinking about your life, how would you define these 3 needs? (Inspired by his 'Best Actor' acceptance speech, 2014)
50. Write about yourself in 6 words.