Writing prompts are a great way to get new ideas for stories. They can widen your horizons and help you break out of your box. There are times when I’m feeling brave and will try new kinds of writing. Genres that I don’t normally try like sci-fi or real life, poetry, different styles of writing, different POVs, etc.
It doesn’t usually happen because most of the time I’m just trying to get through my own editing process or writing down ideas I get from interesting dreams, but it has been known to happen. In fact, I’m currently sitting on a sci-fi story that I was told would work better as a novella instead of a short story. Needless to say, that’s a lot more effort than I’m willing to currently put into a genre that doesn’t come naturally to me so I’m sitting on it.
Now, what is a writing prompt? I believe I addressed this in a previous post but I’ll go over it again because they can be fun and helpful. A writing prompt can be anything from a few words to a whole sentence. It’s just something that plants an idea in your head and gives you something to start your writing. Mine usually start with a word and then end up continuing to a whole idea as my brain delves into the possibilities.
Here are a few examples:
- Lethal spider flowers
- A girl’s transformation begins with a simple, white skirt (provided by HL Henrikson)
- Camera steals souls (that one might’ve been provided by HL Henrikson as well)
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to take one or some of the following (or previous) writing prompts and make a story out of it/them. It can be as long as you want or as short as you want and in any style or form you want. This writing exercise is only to help generate ideas in your head.
- Genetic mutation
- Poison as a weapon
- Costumes that become part of people when worn at certain times
- Talking birds
- A priest learns something he shouldn’t
- Leprechauns trick a woman thereby trapping her in their realm
- Runner loses a leg
- People are born with wings/tail/some other animal trait
- Interview with a snake
- Camper meets the wendigo
- The afterlife is not what we expect
- Stars are living, breathing beings
- A child adopts a 2-headed puppy
- Mice rule the world
- The eyes are the windows to the soul
How do you get ideas for stories? Do you ever use writing prompts to help kick start your imagination?