Welcome to the creative writing prompts page! These story starters will give you ideas for bits of dialogue, scenes, or entire stories. They will help you get writing when you sit staring at the empty screen with nothing to say. It happens.
Use these images and questions to stimulate ideas and spark creativity. Jot down any additional questions you have about the situation before you begin writing. See the additional prompts at the end of the page for more sample questions.
The writing prompts are easy to use.
Just click on any prompt to see both the image and the text. They are numbered so you can return to them easily or direct others to ones you like.
Write about the woman who lives in apartment 567. What does she want more than anything? And what is she doing to make sure she gets it?
They planned to meet at the stone panel at the museum, but she never made it. Why?
Somewhere in your story describe this Asian bench and have it play an important role.
Why did she change her mind about having a baby the first time her niece gripped her finger?
She opened the door wearing nothing but a gold chain and an old blanket. What happened next?
Who is running this bath for whom? How long has it been since the person had a bath, and why?
Two people meet here every day. Who are they and why do they meet?
Where were these berries served and why were they $50 a bowl?
They found this old bicycle in the back shed. Why does it change everything?
Describe the shop where these jars exist. Why does your character enter the shop?
Describe what the mother sees and feels when she looks at her baby for the first time.
What's hiding beneath the green in this pretty pot?
Who did these books fall on and why did they fall? What happened to the person on whom they fell?
He wants to rip it all up and she wants to preserve it. Write about what they're arguing over.
She had to fix it for Bobby's sake. Use this as an opening line in a story.
Describe what happens after he puts the caterpillar down his sister's shirt.
He punctuated every remark with a quick image on the chalkboard and his students loved him for it. What else did he draw on the chalkboard that day and what was he teaching?
Everyone made it home for Christmas except Benjamin. Where was he?
Who saw this and why?
She had to get away. When she rounded the corner she saw that she had nowhere to go. Describe what happens next.
What is in the monk's bowl and who put it there? Describe how it got there.
2010 was the worst year of his life. Why?
Why is this doll hidden in your protagonist's luggage?
What is behind this wall and why does your character need to get over it? Describe what he does now.
He believes the crab cakes are poisoned. Why does he think that and who brought them to the table?
Describe this flower and the garden where it grows.
If the neighbours took care of their lawn, his wouldn't be filled with dandelions. Whose door does he knock on about it? Write the conversation they have.
They have traveled too far to go back now. They are riding on a motorcycle. How bad does the trip get? Describe what happens.
A headless duck appears in your main character's recurring dream. Describe the dream and the character's response to it.
Why did you only photograph its eye?" she asks. Write his explanation and the ensuing discussion.
Who planted the rosebush where this rose grows, and why does she dislike it so much?
She saw this wall in her dream. What did she dream happened after she saw the wall, and how does that change her behaviour now?
Describe what you see in this photo and what it means.
Who is coming for brunch and what will they argue about?
What did she do when he came to the door?
She stepped back and surveyed her work. Until now she'd always been disappointed, but today was different. Why?
Describe this photo without using the word green.
Who is watching this ferry leave, and what is he or she thinking?
Describe the advertisement this frog appears in and what it means to the person who’s ripping it up.
Why is the magnifying glass more important than the fingerprint in this photo?
Where is this and why are your characters there?
Why was this birthday card torn in half?
He only got this far, and then he stopped. Why?
Before she went on stage she did one more thing. Describe her actions.
List three possibilities for what this might be, and write about one of them.
What is this frog's name? Write about how it got its glasses.
What does his expression mean? Write about the event that caused him to look like this.
Now that the glass blocks are installed, she doesn't like them? Write a story about what she hoped would happen than didn’t.
Describe the meal that preceded this dessert.
He fell in love with her the moment she looked at him. Describe this first meeting, then end with what she said when she gave her pink scarf to him.
A man named Hal returns home, after a five year absence, to celebrate the birth of his baby sister Zoey. Use this writing prompt to write a scene from Hal's POV that shows his arrival and how he responds to the baby.
Describe the inside of an expensive ice hotel frequented by tourists.
Margaret hikes into the foothills, and comes across a life-sized sculpture carved into the rock along one side of the path. Describe her response to the sculpture.
Courtney and Jim have lived together for six years. Courtney asks Jim if he wants to marry her, and reacts to his response. Write this scene from Jim's perspective, with no more than four sets of quotation marks.
Write a scene that shows Alexa find a sock stuffed from toe to top with currency.
Start a paragraph with the words "I saw a man in a red," and describe two characters who meet on the street.
Imagine or remember the worst date of your life, and write a paragraph or two describing it.
Write a scene where a character packs a suitcase.
Describe what it is like to be you today.
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