There are 500 fiction writing prompts in the book 1200 Creative Writing Prompts. These are the first fifty.
1. While at summer camp over a decade ago, five teenagers’ lives became irrevocably intertwined. Now their paths have crossed again, and they must all come to terms with what happened that summer.
2. Someone is sitting on a park bench reading a news article about a recent string of crimes. This person knows who did it.
3. As passengers disembark from a transatlantic flight, they start to experience amnesia—all of the passengers except one. The farther they go from the plane, the more severe their amnesia becomes. Will they risk forgetting everything?
4. A writer loses the ability to distinguish reality from the fantastical worlds of his or her stories.
5. The protagonist is obsessed with serial killers and decides to make a documentary film reenacting their most horrific crimes.
6. Some relationships aren’t simple enough to be classified as toxic or healthy. Writing about a complex relationship is, well, complex. Give it a shot.
7. In a country that rants and raves about freedom, the government decides that its people should not be allowed to drink liquor. Write a story set during Prohibition in the United States.
8. The setting is a festive party honoring the holiday of your choosing. Something unexpected happens, and the guests are drawn into a weekend of pranks and hijinks.
9. One kid in a big city is bored. School won’t be out for a couple of months. There are no holidays to look forward to. He or she wishes the family lived in the country. (Where do kids get these ideas?)
10. On the first day of school, two best friends discover a frightening secret about one of their new teachers.
11. Some stories rhyme. “’Twas the Night Before Christmas” is one example. Shakespeare’s plays are another. Try writing a story that is also a rhyming poem.
12. It’s a cold, rainy night. A man and woman stand beside a car outside a convenience store, arguing. One of them pulls out a gun.
13. Four friends on a nature hike discover a deep cave, complete with running water. As they go deeper and deeper into the cave, they find strange objects—human skeletons, an old computer from the early eighties, a gas mask, and strange mango-sized orbs that emit a glowing blue light.
14. What if you discovered a portal to another world? Where is the portal? How does it work? What’s on the other side?
15. Everyone is getting tired of the cold and eagerly anticipating summer. But this summer is going to bring more than sunshine and easy days at the beach because something terrifying and unimaginable is lurking in the water.
16. An elderly couple traveling through the desert spends an evening stargazing and sharing memories of their lives.
17. Write about a historical natural disaster that caused death and destruction to a small number of people and therefore never received national or international attention.
18. The protagonist is about to drift off to sleep only to be roused by the spontaneous memory of an embarrassing moment from his or her past.
19. Write a children’s story about a bird and squirrel who live together in the same tree (like The Odd Couple).
20. All the kids are looking forward to their winter break. There’s a school-sponsored ski trip, and one girl is aching to go so she can try snowboarding for the first time.