Creating Writing Prompts: 10 to Get in the Flow

Sometimes the hardest part about writing is just getting started. Many people have the desire to create a groundbreaking work of fiction, but it is sadly only the few that actually get to the see the rewards of such a creation. If, like me, you desire to write fiction (and do it well!), putting pen to paper is the all-important first step. So, here are ten creative writing prompts to help you get in the flow.

Note: If you’re not one of those folks who aspire to write fiction, you may still be interested in some other Writing Tips I’ve offered on this site, including those about blogging, organization, and creating a website. If you’re on a completely different train and looking for a new book to inspire you, be sure to check out the many awesome selections I’ve included in my Book Reviews. If you’re interested in reading more of my personal work, check out My Books!

Prompt 1

Your character is moving to a foreign country and begins to search real estate listings online for a place to live. His/her original plan is to rent an apartment, but s/he notices an ad for an old villa that has gone up for sale. It’s huge and beautiful and, unbelievably, it’s in your character’s price range. It seems too good to be true. “I’m sure it IS too good to be true,” says your character’s sister, who warns your character of the foolishness of buying property, sight-unseen, over the Internet. But your character is already mentally decorating the villa…

Prompt 2

Your character sees an interview with a celebrity and feels a powerful connection. Your character is sure that this celebrity is his/her soul mate. But the celebrity doesn’t even know that your character exists — yet. Your character finds the celebrity’s address online and goes there one night, determined to get past security and meet the celebrity in person…

Prompt 3

Your character’s in-laws disapprove of him/her (you decide why). Up until now, your character has dealt with the situation by having limited contact with the in-laws. However, now that your character’s mother-in-law has become very ill and cannot care for herself, the in-laws are coming to live with your character and his/her spouse…

Prompt 4

Your character hates his job and especially his boss. He secretly goes to a job interview with another company and receives a surprising offer. The new company wants him to keep his current job but to act as their spy. In particular, they want him to copy files for them from his boss’s computer…

Prompt 5

It’s 20 years in the future, and space tourism has become a reality. Your character signs up for a trip to the moon. But two days into the journey, the captain of the spacecraft confides in your character that that’s not where they’re really headed…

Prompt 6

On a foreign holiday, your character meets an extremely attractive man or woman. They don’t speak the same language, but they somehow find a way to understand each other, and your character feels a powerful connection that s/he has never felt with anyone before. Impulsively, your character marries this person after they’ve only known each other a very short time. Your character’s new husband/wife moves to your character’s country and begins to take language classes there. The better the spouse is able to communicate, the more your character realizes that s/he isn’t the person your character had believed…

Prompt 7

Write a story or a poem that includes all three of these elements: a power outage, a fake illness, and an unexpected kiss.

Prompt 8

Your character is excited to be invited to a costume party where Chris will be too. For years, your character has loved Chris from afar, but she hopes that this party will provide an opportunity for them to get closer. When she arrives at the party, her eyes instantly go to a tall man dressed as a medieval knight whom she recognizes as Chris. The fact that they’re both wearing masks makes her feel less shy, and she approaches him and starts a conversation. They spend the whole evening talking and dancing and finally make a date for the following weekend. As she’s leaving the party, she’s shocked to find Chris sitting on the front porch, dressed as Elvis Presley. Who is the man she spent the evening with?

Prompt 9

A meal with your family when you were growing up. Try to bring the people to life on the page like characters in a story. What did the room look like? What did you eat? What were the sounds, tastes, and smells? Use descriptive details to transport the reader into the scene.

Prompt 10

Your character’s best friend asks your character if he/she will take care of the friend’s three children in the case of the friend’s death. These children are spoiled and badly behaved, and your character has a lifestyle which is completely incompatible with raising children. However, the chances that the friend will suddenly die seem very remote, so your character says yes, believing that s/he will never have to follow through on his/her promise. Just six months later, the friend is killed in a car crash. The friend’s lawyer calls your character to tell him/her that s/he has been made the guardian of the children…

Now Get to Writing!

I’d love to know which of these prompts speaks to you most and, when you start creating a new story based on one of them, I’d love to read it when you’re ready to share. It’s important to me to connect with new writers and share/edit each other’s work with the continued goal of improving!

Disclaimer: All prompts for this post were sourced from Creative Writing Now, an email list to which I am an ongoing subscriber. I highly recommend subscribing for more writing prompts, story ideas, and writing tips/advice. 

Please leave a comment below if you are inspired, perplexed, saddened, or angered by any of the prompts presented above. I welcome any and all comments and will do my best to respond as soon as possible.

I’d also encourage you to share this with others if you found it particularly insightful or helpful. Be sure to tag @ballisterwriting on Facebook or Instagram if you do! The point of social media, after all, is to be SOCIAL! I don’t need followers or likes, but I’d like to contribute to a real conversation about how we continue to improve as a society and as individuals.

Write On!

Tucker Ballister


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