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Creative Writing Prompts and Story Starters

Welcome to the creative writing prompts page! Prompts can be a big help as story starters, or when you sit staring at the computer with nothing to write. It happens.

Sometimes you need something to stimulate ideas and spark creativity. These photos and the accompanying text is meant to do just that, and the act of typing anything often stimulates new ideas and productivity.

These writing prompts are easy to use. Just touch your mouse to the edge of any prompt to see both the image and the text. The prompts are numbered so you can return to them easily or direct others to ones you like.

What you write doesn't matter, write a description, scene, or passage of dialogue. Use what you like and toss the rest. There are no rules, except that you enjoy yourself and keep writing!











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I've left the old creative writing prompts here, as well. They're longer, and may still be useful ...

If you're still stuck and don't find any of the prompts here useful, try looking in a catalogue or magazine. Choose a "character" from one of the images there and describe the character in detail, not only what the character looks like, but also provide information that shows underlying character traits—the man who stops to comb his hair before opening the door, the woman who punches every morsel of food into a calorie counter. Both would be seen as vain, in different ways.

Beginning with a character can be helpful, as you can go in any direction from there. You might put the character in action, and create a problem that will stimulate reader interest. Dream up a goal. Have your character running (literally or figuratively) from something, trying to escape some person or situation. Alternatively, have her running toward something, either a literal destination, or a figurative goal.

For example, a character might be running from a bad relationship. She may not have left yet, but every action she takes will be coloured by that desire to run, either from something unsatisfying or toward something hopeful. Or she could be building toward something. Maybe every action is taken to build a legacy for those she loves.

Creative writing prompts are all around us. We need only stop, look, and wonder. Who was that older woman and why was she walking back and forth in front of the grocery store? What caused the fire that started in the school gymnasium? Where did that scruffy man get the gold watch yellow Porsche? When was the last time that serious couple smiled at each other and laughed together? How did laughing affect those around them?

Any who, what, why, when, where, or how question may act as a writng prompt, whether you are at your desk or riding your bicycle, or sitting in a boring meeting. Hold that thought. Write it later.

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