Are you looking for inspiration to start writing? Do you stare at a blank page, not knowing where to begin? Writing prompts might be just what you need to get your creative juices flowing.
Writing prompts are short ideas or questions that help writers explore new topics, experiment with writing styles, overcome writer’s block, or practice their craft. Writing prompts can be in any writing style and can be as short as one sentence or as long as needed.
Writing prompts can be found in many forms, from books to websites to apps. Some are general and open-ended, while others are specific and focused on a particular theme or genre. Whatever your interests or goals, there are writing prompts out there that can help you achieve them.
What Are Writing Prompts?
Writing prompts are tools writers use to spark creativity, overcome writer’s block, and generate new ideas. They are often used in creative writing classes, writing workshops, and by individual writers looking for inspiration. Prompts may be as short as a sentence or as long as needed.
A writing prompt can be anything from a single word to a full sentence or paragraph. It is designed to give you a starting point for your writing and to help you explore new ideas and themes.
Writing prompts can be a great way to challenge yourself and push your writing in new directions. They can help you develop your writing skills, experiment with different genres and styles, and explore new topics and themes.
Creative writing prompts, in particular, are designed to inspire your imagination and help you tap into your creativity. They can be used to write short stories, poems, essays, or even full-length novels.
There are many different types of writing prompts, including:
- Visual prompts: These prompts use images or photographs to inspire your writing. They can be anything from a landscape to a portrait to an abstract design.
- Word prompts: These prompts give you a single word to use as a starting point for your writing. The word can be anything from a noun to a verb to an adjective.
- Sentence prompts: These prompts give you a complete sentence to use as a starting point for your writing. The sentence can be anything from a simple statement to a complex question.
- Story prompts: These prompts give you a basic plot or scenario to use as a starting point for your writing. They can be anything from a single sentence to a detailed outline.
I love hanging out in various writing prompts Reddits to see what people do with the various prompts. If you want a challenge, check out the two-sentence sections, too. The two-sentence horror stories can be particularly amazing when done right. And crafting a two-sentence story? It’s harder than it looks.
Writing prompts are a valuable tool for writers looking to improve their skills, overcome writer’s block, and explore new ideas and themes. By using them regularly, you can challenge yourself to write in new ways and develop your unique writing style.
The Benefits of Using Writing Prompts
If you’re struggling to come up with ideas for your writing, using writing prompts can be a great way to get started. Writing prompts are designed to spark your creativity and help you overcome writer’s block.
The writing prompt may not be directly related to your WIP (Work in Progress), but sometimes just getting started writing is enough to help you be inspired enough to keep going.
Here are some of the benefits of using writing prompts:
1. Writing prompts provide inspiration
One main benefit of writing prompts is that they inspire. When you’re stuck for ideas, a well-crafted writing prompt can give you the spark you need to start. Writing prompts can be anything from a single word to a complex scenario, and they can help you generate ideas for characters, plots, and settings.
2. Writing prompts help you develop your skills
Using writing prompts can also help you develop your writing skills. When working with a prompt, you must think creatively to develop a story that fits the prompt. This can help you develop your ability to write compelling characters, create engaging plots, and build vivid settings.
Consider what others will likely write about if you want to challenge yourself. Then, find another angle and write that.
3. Writing prompts encourage experimentation
Another benefit of using writing prompts is that they encourage experimentation. You can try out new ideas and explore different genres when working with a prompt. This can help you discover new writing styles and find your writing voice.
4. Writing prompts help you overcome writer’s block
Perhaps the most significant benefit of writing prompts is that they can help you overcome writer’s block. When struggling to develop ideas, a writing prompt can be the jumpstart you need to get back on track.
By providing you with a starting point, a writing prompt can help you break through the mental block that’s been holding you back.
Writing prompts can be an excellent way to improve your writing skills, overcome writer’s block, and generate new ideas. Whether you’re a seasoned writer or just starting, incorporating writing prompts into your writing practice can help you become a better writer.
How to Use Writing Prompts
The best way to use writing prompts is as a beginning exercise (or as needed) when you write. Start with a prompt, write, and move on to your work in progress. Use writing prompts to help you learn new techniques and practice thinking critically to move the plot forward.
Writing prompts can be an effective tool if you want to improve your writing skills or overcome writer’s block. Writing prompts are short phrases or sentences that are designed to inspire you and get your creative juices flowing.
In this section, we’ll cover two essential aspects of using writing prompts: finding the right prompts and using them to overcome writer’s block.
Finding the Right Writing Prompts
Finding the right writing prompts can be a challenge. You want to find interesting and inspiring prompts but not so difficult that they become overwhelming.
Here are a few tips to help you find the right writing prompts:
- Look for prompts that relate to your interests or experiences. For example, if you’re interested in science fiction, look for prompts related to that genre.
- Use online resources to find prompts. Many websites and social media accounts provide daily writing prompts.
- Consider using prompts from a variety of sources. Using prompts from different sources can help you develop a broader range of writing skills.
Using Writing Prompts to Overcome Writer’s Block
Writer’s block can be a frustrating experience, but using writing prompts can help you overcome it.
Here are a few tips to help you use writing prompts to overcome writer’s block:
- Don’t be afraid to write badly. The goal of using writing prompts is to get your creative juices flowing, not to produce a perfect piece of writing.
- Set a timer for a specific amount of time and write continuously until the timer goes off. This can help you create a creative flow and overcome writer’s block.
- Use prompts to explore new ideas or perspectives. Writing prompts can help you break your usual writing habits and explore new ideas and perspectives.
Finding and using the right writing prompts effectively can improve your writing skills and overcome writer’s block. So next time you’re struggling to come up with ideas, give writing prompts a try!
On days when my writing gets stuck and I can’t find a writing prompt that speaks to my soul, I sit down and write the worst thing I can think of. Seriously. Writing badly is hard work – and it quickly helps my brain unlock the next step forward that isn’t as bad as what I’m trying to write.
Different Types of Writing Prompts
Writing prompts can be an excellent way to get your creative juices flowing if you’re looking for inspiration. Many types of writing prompts are available, and each type can help you explore different aspects of your writing.
Here are some of the most common types of writing prompts:
Fiction Writing Prompts
Fiction writing prompts are designed to help you create characters, settings, and plots for your stories. They can be used for short stories, novels, or even screenplays.
Some common fiction writing prompts include:
- Create a character who is struggling with a difficult decision.
- Write a story about a person who finds a mysterious object.
- Write a story set in a dystopian future.
If you struggle with too much worldbuilding, give yourself a timer for worldbuilding. This isn’t a world-building exercise, after all. It’s a writing prompt. Write!
Nonfiction Writing Prompts
Nonfiction writing prompts are designed to help you explore your own experiences and ideas. They can be used for memoirs, personal essays, or journalistic articles.
Some common nonfiction writing prompts include:
- Write about a time when you overcame a challenge.
- Write about a relationship that has had a significant impact on your life.
- Write about a topic that you’re passionate about.
When I’m needing to write something nonfiction (like an article for one of my sites), I start by writing some common questions related to the topic. Then, I use those as my writing prompt to get started. It works like a charm.
Genre-Specific Writing Prompts
Genre-specific writing prompts are designed to help you explore different genres of writing. They can be used for any writing but are particularly helpful if you’re trying to write in a specific genre.
Here are some examples of genre-specific writing prompts:
- Write a romance story where the two main characters come from different worlds.
- Write a mystery story where the detective is also the murderer.
- Write a sci-fi story set on a distant planet.
No matter what type of writing prompts you choose, they can be a valuable tool for any writer. They can help you overcome writer’s block, explore new ideas, and hone your craft.
So why not try them and see what stories you can develop?
How Writing Prompts Can Improve Your Writing
Writing prompts can be a great tool for improving your writing skills. They can help you develop your imagination, creativity, structure, plot, theme, writing style, dialogue, tone, conflict, drama, and suspense skills. They can help you in any way you need them to.
Here are a few ways writing prompts can help you become a better writer:
1. Develop Your Imagination and Creativity
Writing prompts can challenge you to think outside the box and develop new and exciting ideas. They can push you to explore different genres, characters, and settings you may not have considered before.
Using writing prompts, you can develop your imagination and creativity, which will help you develop more original and engaging stories.
2. Practice Structuring Your Writing
Writing prompts can also help you practice structuring your writing. They can give you a starting point and help you develop a clear beginning, middle, and end to your story.
This can be especially helpful if you struggle with organizing your thoughts or get lost in your writing.
This is something I practice with my fiction writing, as I tend to get lost in the plot at times.
3. Experiment with Plot and Theme
Writing prompts can be a great way to experiment with plot and theme ideas. They can help you explore different storylines and themes you may not have considered before.
This can be especially helpful if you’re struggling to develop a plot or theme for your story.
If you need a good spot to start, work on developing a literary foil for your characters. For example, if your protagonist struggles to overcome a personal vice, create a foil for them that succumbs to a similar vice.
4. Develop Your Writing Style and Dialogue
Writing prompts can also help you develop your writing style and dialogue skills. They can challenge you to write in different styles and voices, which can help you find your own unique writing voice.
They can also help you practice writing dialogue, which can be challenging for many writers.
Practice writing some dialogue, and try to keep it readable. It’s hard sometimes!
5. Create Conflict and Build Suspense
Finally, writing prompts can help you create conflict and build suspense in your writing. They can challenge you to create tension and drama in your story, making it more engaging for readers.
By using writing prompts, you can practice creating conflict and suspense, which will help you become a more skilled writer.
Writing prompts can be valuable for writers looking to improve their skills. Using writing prompts, you can challenge yourself to think outside the box, develop your writing skills, and create more engaging and original stories.
Resources for Finding Writing Prompts
Plenty of resources are available if you’re looking for writing prompts to get your creative juices flowing.
Here are some of the best ways to find writing prompts.
Writing Prompts to Get You Started
If you’d rather not create your own writing prompts, plenty of resources are available to help you get started. Here are some of the best places to find writing prompts:
- Poets & Writers offers a new writing prompt every week and a list of essential books on writing for guidance and inspiration.
- Writer’s Digest has hundreds of fun writing prompts, perfect for beginning a new novel or short story or simply giving your writing muscle a workout.
- The Write Life has compiled a list of 52 places to find writing prompts when you need inspiration, including prompts from Poets & Writers and other websites and resources.
- Reedsy offers over 1800 creative writing prompts to inspire you right now. The prompts are categorized by genre, making it easy to find a prompt that fits your interests.
- Reddit has a ton of writing subreddits and writing prompt ideas. Just don’t get lost down the rabbit Reddit hole.
In addition to these resources, consider joining a writing community or entering a writing contest. These can be great ways to find new writing prompts, get feedback, and connect with other writers.
How to Create Your Own Writing Prompts
If you struggle to find inspiring writing prompts, why not create your own? Here are some tips for coming up with your own writing prompts:
- Think about your favorite books, movies, or TV shows. What themes or characters do you find most interesting? Use these as a starting point for your prompts – or write an alternate ending.
- Consider your own experiences and emotions. What are some of the most significant moments in your life? How did they make you feel? Use these as inspiration for your prompts.
- Look for inspiration in the world around you. Walk, visit a museum, or people-watch at a coffee shop. Look for interesting characters, settings, or situations that could be the basis for a writing prompt.
- Take two of your favorite ideas or genres. Make a mashup. How can they work together?
Some of the best books I’ve read of late are mashups of genres and ideas that, at first glance, oughtn’t to have worked together (some of my favorite food dishes are mashups of multiple cultures, too!).
But the writer flexed their creative muscles and nailed the story. So feel free to get creative.
Writing can be a great way to promote wellness and relieve stress. Whether you’re an experienced author or just starting out, taking the time to write can be a great way to express yourself and explore your thoughts and feelings.
If you’re struggling to develop a book idea, don’t worry – you’re not alone. Many authors struggle with finding the perfect concept for their next book. However, the prompts discussed in this article can help you brainstorm and come up with new ideas.
One of the secrets to successful writing is to keep practicing. The more you write, the easier it will become to find your voice and develop your style. So, don’t be afraid to experiment with different prompts and techniques to find what works best for you.
And if you can’t write well yet? Don’t worry. Write badly for now. You’ll get better with time.
Writing prompts can be a powerful tool for writers looking to improve their craft. Whether you’re looking to explore new ideas or get some writing practice, the prompts discussed in this article can help you get started.
So, why not give them a try and see what you can create?
Got a favorite writing prompt? I’d love to hear it. Leave it in the comments.