Related Topics

  • Reddit Writing Prompts
  • Romance Writing Prompts
  • Flash Fiction Story Prompts
  • Dialogue and Screenplay Writing Prompts
  • Poetry Writing Prompts
  • Tumblr Writing Prompts
  • Creative Writing Prompts for Kids
  • Creative Writing Prompts for Adults
  • Fantasy Writing Prompts
  • Horror Writing Prompts
  • How to Write a Novel
  • How to Write a Thriller Novel
  • How to Write a Fantasy Novel
  • How to Start a Novel
  • How Many Chapters in a Novel?
  • Mistakes to Avoid When Writing a Novel
  • Novel Ideas
  • How to Plan a Novel
  • How to Outline a Novel
  • How to Write a Romance Novel
  • Novel Structure
  • How to Write a Mystery Novel
  • Novel vs Book
  • Round Character
  • Flat Character
  • How to Create a Character Profile
  • Types of Writers
  • How to Become a Writer
  • Author Overview
  • Document Manager Overview
  • Screenplay Writer Overview
  • Technical Writer Career Path
  • Technical Writer Interview Questions
  • Technical Writer Salary
  • Google Technical Writer Interview Questions
  • How to Become a Technical Writer
  • UX Writer Career Path
  • Google UX Writer
  • UX Writer vs Copywriter
  • UX Writer Resume Examples
  • UX Writer Interview Questions
  • UX Writer Skills
  • How to Become a UX Writer
  • UX Writer Salary
  • Google UX Writer Overview
  • Google UX Writer Interview Questions
  • Technical Writing Certifications
  • Grant Writing Certifications
  • UX Writing Certifications
  • Proposal Writing Certifications
  • Content Design Certifications
  • Knowledge Management Certifications
  • Medical Writing Certifications
  • Grant Writing Classes
  • Business Writing Courses
  • Technical Writing Courses
  • Content Design Overview
  • Documentation Overview
  • User Documentation
  • Process Documentation
  • Technical Documentation
  • Software Documentation
  • Knowledge Base Documentation
  • Product Documentation
  • Process Documentation Overview
  • Process Documentation Templates
  • Product Documentation Overview
  • Software Documentation Overview
  • Technical Documentation Overview
  • User Documentation Overview
  • Knowledge Management Overview
  • Knowledge Base Overview
  • Publishing on Amazon
  • Amazon Authoring Page
  • Self-Publishing on Amazon
  • How to Publish
  • How to Publish Your Own Book
  • Document Management Software Overview
  • Engineering Document Management Software
  • Healthcare Document Management Software
  • Financial Services Document Management Software
  • Technical Documentation Software
  • Knowledge Management Tools
  • Knowledge Management Software
  • HR Document Management Software
  • Enterprise Document Management Software
  • Knowledge Base Software
  • Process Documentation Software
  • Documentation Software
  • Internal Knowledge Base Software
  • Grammarly Premium Free Trial
  • Grammarly for Word
  • Scrivener Templates
  • Scrivener Review
  • How to Use Scrivener
  • Ulysses vs Scrivener
  • Character Development Templates
  • Screenplay Format Templates
  • Book Writing Templates
  • API Writing Overview
  • How to Write a Book
  • Writing a Book for the First Time
  • How to Write an Autobiography
  • How Long Does it Take to Write a Book?
  • Do You Underline Book Titles?
  • Snowflake Method
  • Book Title Generator
  • How to Write Nonfiction Book
  • How to Write a Children's Book
  • How to Write a Memoir
  • Mistakes to Avoid When Writing a Book
  • How to Write a Book Title
  • How to Write a Book Introduction
  • How to Write a Dedication in a Book
  • How to Write a Book Synopsis
  • Business Writing Examples
  • Business Writing Skills
  • Types of Business Writing
  • Dialogue Writing Overview
  • Grant Writing Overview
  • Medical Writing Overview
  • Nanowrimo Overview
  • How to Write 50,000 Words for Nanowrimo
  • Camp Nanowrimo
  • Nanowrimo YWP
  • Nanowrimo Mistakes to Avoid
  • Proposal Writing Overview
  • Screenplay Overview
  • How to Write a Screenplay
  • Screenplay vs Script
  • How to Structure a Screenplay
  • How to Write a Screenplay Outline
  • How to Format a Screenplay
  • How to Write a Fight Scene
  • How to Write Action Scenes
  • How to Write a Monologue
  • Short Story Writing Overview
  • Technical Writing Overview
  • UX Writing Overview
  • Book Writing Software
  • Novel Writing Software
  • Screenwriting Software
  • ProWriting Aid
  • Writing Tools
  • Literature and Latte
  • Hemingway App
  • Final Draft
  • Writing Apps
  • Grammarly Premium
  • Wattpad Inbox
  • Microsoft OneNote
  • Google Keep App
  • Technical Writing Services
  • Business Writing Services
  • Content Writing Services
  • Grant Writing Services
  • SOP Writing Services
  • Script Writing Services
  • Proposal Writing Services
  • Hire a Blog Writer
  • Hire a Freelance Writer
  • Hire a Proposal Writer
  • Hire a Memoir Writer
  • Hire a Speech Writer
  • Hire a Business Plan Writer
  • Hire a Script Writer
  • Hire a Legal Writer
  • Hire a Grant Writer
  • Hire a Technical Writer
  • Hire a Book Writer
  • Hire a Ghost Writer

Home » Blog » 140 Creative Writing Prompts For Adults

140 Creative Writing Prompts For Adults

/

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Learning how to become a better writer includes knowing how to come up with a solid idea. With so many elements to consider when starting your novel, the plot itself may begin to slip away from you. Use these creative writing prompts for adults to get you started on the right path to a successful story and suffer from writer’s block for the last time. .

This list of writing prompts for adults can be taken and used in any way you want. Details can be changed and characters can be added or removed.

They are meant to be a fun way to get your creativity flowing and your next story developing. For even more writing ideas, check out the  writing prompt generator . Here, you will find 500+ prompts of all kinds that will give you some ideas.  Take control of that blank page and create something awesome. 

[table id=25 /]

Dramatic Writing Prompts for Adults

Nothing beats some good old-fashioned drama once in a while. You can turn these writing prompts into a dramatic love story , an exciting short story, or morph them into a different genre. How you use them is up to you.

For a novel that is specifically romance, we have created an exclusive list of exciting and genre-bending romance writing prompts .

  • A young boy discovers that he is the only adopted child among his four siblings. Feeling confused and betrayed, he runs away to find his birth parents. After two months on the road, he runs out of money and still hasn’t found them. Does he go home? Or does he continue his quest?
  • Two couples are fueding and haven’t spoken in years. It is discovered that their two children have become best friends at school, and they want a playdate. Will this increase tension between them or lead to reconciliation?
  • Identical twins are attending the same college. They switch places and take each other’s classes depending on strengths and weaknesses. They’ve gotten away with it for two years until their observant professor of a father is transferred to the school they attend.
  • Two childhood best friends stopped talking after a huge fight in high school. Five years later, they find themselves sitting next to each other on the same 16-hour international flight.
  • Write about a passionate romance that crosses religions.
  • He’s only been in office for a year. He is already being tempted by a corrupt group of criminals who want him to sabotage a series of public safety projects in exchange for funding his entire reelection campaign.
  • Your main character is being offered a promotion from the high school principal to the district director. Sadly, she knows her replacement will cut funding to all of the art programs. How does she manage the situation?
  • A high profile general learns that the opposing army will surrender if he hands himself over. Will he prioritize his own safety, or sacrifice himself for his country?
  • Write about a successful businesswoman who has built herself from the ground up. The business is suddenly threatened by the son of a rich local contractor who started a similar business out of boredom.
  • A successful lawyer knows that his client is guilty of the murder for which he has been charged. He is a good liar and could easily win the case. The case is getting constant media coverage and would guarantee him making partner at his firm.
  • Your main character has lived a sheltered, isolated life. When their delusional and overbearing father dies. They are thrown into the real world and unsure of how to cope.
  • The doorbell rings and your character answers it – finding nothing but an envelope with nothing on it. They open it and follow the instructions to attend a secret underground event. Afterward, they become a part of a huge resistance that the rest of the world knows nothing about.
  • After a family member’s funeral, you arrive home to a stranger on your doorstep claiming the person is not really dead. The funeral was open-casket.
  • It is your character’s wedding day. While the vows are being said, someone from the crowd yells “I object!”
  • A huge storm has stopped traffic. Your character is stuck in the car with someone for an unknown amount of time. The person chooses this moment to confess their undying love. The feeling is not mutual.
  • Your character finds an old, disposable camera on the ground. Feeling, they get the photos developed. What they see tells an unsettling story.
  • Two old friends are reminiscing on a prominent and life-changing event. They have very different memories from that day.
  • Your main character is a world-traveling nature photographer. She stumbles upon a small tribe of indigenous people who have found the cure for all cancer in a small local plant.
  • A young man has been homeschooled all his life and is ready to start college. An attack on his small home town has him being drafted into the army. He is away from home for the first time ever and terrified. However, he becomes a key strategist due to his unique perspective and undiscovered scientific talents.
  • A middle-aged man is tired of his career in a corporate office. He takes all his vacation and sick days at once for an excursion in the Appalachian Mountains. Everything is fine until a blizzard hits.
  • A shy and reserved web designer thinks she has found the man of her dreams online. She is actually being catfished by a competing company who wants to get information from her.
  • A man and women work for two neighboring, rival fast food companies. They always take their lunch breaks together on the bench right in the middle of the two.
  • An ongoing murder investigation takes an unexpected turn when it is discovered that a prolific group of corrupted police officers were behind the whole thing.
  • A television star is renowned and respected for his “method” acting. He only interviews or appears on TV in character. But, this is because he doesn’t have a personality outside of his three most famous characters.
  • A professional gymnast is under fire for her supposed use of performance-enhancing steroids. She leaked the story herself to draw attention away from the fact that she is the leader of a high-profile drug ring.
  • An older couple on the brink of retirement keeps their life savings in the pages of the books in their home. They are just about to start looking for a retirement home to live in when a fire destroys their house and their cash.

Tips for Writing Drama

  • Drama is usually character driven , so make use of both your round and flat characters .
  • Introduce the conflict right away and keep it prominent. A drama will thrive off conflict.
  • Don’t let the resolution come easily.
  • Don’t be afraid to kill characters and write difficult situations.
  • Always show, don’t tell.

Supernatural Writing Prompts for Adults

Supernatural stories are popular. The world is in love with vampires. Write something interesting and unique enough, you might be writing their next favorite book. Use these supernatural story starters for your basic premise. 

  • On her 16th birthday, your main character miraculously survives a deadly car crash without a scratch. Later that week, she watches as a small scratch heals and disappears right before her eyes. Where did this new power come from and what will she do with it?
  • There is an elite society of high education that wants to test a new drug. They give it to highly gifted students, and it allows them to stay awake for 48 hours and record everything they see, heard, and feel in that time. Unfortunately, some unexpected side effects set in two weeks later.
  • A middle-aged man is the only one in his famous and high-profile family without a superpower. The local police rely on his super-powered family to help them catch and fight crime. However, the powers are failing them during a specific investigation. Your protagonists “normal” perspective might just save the day.
  • Your main character suffers a terrible concussion. After recovering, they cannot control the vivid nightmares about the accident. However, they can also take images from their mind and project them into the real world. Doctors think they are crazy and keep them heavily sedated.
  • Write about a world where technology has given animals the ability to speak.

Tips for Writing Supernatural Stories

  • Setting the story in the real world will make your supernatural species more believable.
  • Create the origins of your species and supernatural characters.
  • Create the physical limitations for your species and beings.
  • Avoid the cliches of the genre.
  • Understand your reasons for using supernatural creatures. You shouldn’t be writing them in simply due to their popularity.

Thriller Writing Prompts for Adults

Thrillers can come in many forms and can be incorporated with many genres. Regardless of the details though, they are always meant to excite. Suspense and tension are crucial – it’s always more fun when you don’t know. Writing a good thriller requires a strong set of writing skills. These prompts will give you a good base. If you think you need to improve, try some writing exercises.

If your thriller can get hearts racing, you’ve done a good job.

  • The body of your main character’s best friend is dumped on their doorstep. They make it their mission to find out who is responsible, even if it means crossing some lines and breaking some laws.
  • A murderer is on the loose in your character’s hometown. For 10 weeks they have killed one person on the same day at the same time. Your main character is the next victim. They are abducted exactly three days before the planned kill time.
  • Strange things start happening around town. Your main character decides to find out for themselves what is going on. They do learn the truth, but now they aren’t allowed to leave.
  • Your character suffers from a condition that causes seemingly random blackouts for varying amounts of time. The only thing they ever remember before these episodes is a yellow car with a dent on the side. One day, that car is parked outside their house. This time, there is no blackout.
  • Your main character and their friends take an unsolicited mini-vacation to an off-limits island off the coast of their seaside town. Shortly after arrival, they discover the islands inhabitants and the reason why it was off limits.
  • Your protagonist is in intensive therapy due to extremely vivid nightmares detailing someone’s gruesome death. Many have said it’s just their twisted imagination, but this new therapist seems to think it’s much more than that.
  • You are legally allowed to kill someone one time in your life. You must fill out a series of paperwork, and your intended victim will be given notice of your plan.
  • A brilliant serial killer has been getting away with murder for decades. His only weakness is his acute inability to tell a lie. He is finally caught and tried for all murders. Write about how he still manages to walk free, with no charges laid.
  • Your character is a host at a restaurant. A couple comes in and says they have a reservation. You look it up in the system and find that the reservation was booked 40 years ago.

Tips for Writing a Thriller

  • Have a story that suits a thriller. This usually involves the protagonist falling victim to someone else and being caught in impossible situations.
  • Different points of view can add a lot of value to a thriller. It gives several perspectives and allows the reader into the heads of many characters.
  • Put action as close to the beginning as possible.
  • Don’t be afraid to make your characters miserable.

Thriller Book Writing Template

Squibler has a book writing template that was created specifically for writing a thriller:

thriller novel template

It will walk you through each section of a typical thriller. It includes the basics of a thriller structure, without stifling your creativity. The guidelines are easy to understand, but loose enough that you can insert the details of your story with ease.

Horror Writing Prompts for Adults

The horror genre has always had a cult-like following. Several fictional killers have become household names. Some horror fans will spend their whole lives chasing the adrenaline that comes with a good scare.

If you’re learning how to become a better writer in order to scare your readers, these writing prompts will get you started. A book writing template may be helpful in creating a true horror as setting the stage properly is crucial.

  • It’s Halloween night and a group of rowdy teenagers break into an infamously haunted house in their town. They soon discover it is not the ghosts they have to fear, but the madman who lives upstairs is poisoning them with hallucinogenic gas.
  • There is a disease outbreak at a school. It appears at first to be chicken pox but it is actually a virus that is causing violent outbreaks in the children who begin to terrorize the town.
  • Your main character attends a meditation retreat. It turns out to be a recruiting process for an extremist cult that convinces members to commit dangerous acts of terror. Your protagonist is the only one in the room who is immune.
  • So overcome by his nightmares, your main character attacks anyone who comes near him. He cannot distinguish between loved ones and the monsters in his head.
  • A young man has to dive 300 feet into the ocean to rescue his girlfriend caught in a broken submarine. He must cross through a genetically modified shark breeding ground.
  • An old time capsule is about to be opened and the whole town is present for the celebration. When opened, the only thing found inside is a detached human hand with a threatening note in the grasp. The note is written in your character’s handwriting but dated 50 years before they were even born.

Master horror writer Stephen King reveals some of his thought process: “So where do the ideas—the salable ideas—come from? They come from my nightmares. Not the night-time variety, as a rule, but the ones that hide just beyond the doorway that separates the conscious from the unconscious.”

Horror doesn’t always have to be fantastical and dreamy in nature. Sometimes horror exists in the real world, within people.

Tips for Writing Horror

  • Don’t be afraid to give that gruesome, bloody description.
  • Aim to create extreme emotions.
  • Make sure the readers care about your characters. This will make their horrible situations more impactful.
  • Consider what scares you the most. Keep this in mind when writing.
  • Set the stakes high.
  • Some comic relief or brief periods of peace are okay – necessary even. It can help build suspense.

Crime and Mystery Writing Prompts for Adults

Stories of crime and mystery have been told for ages. There are some classic crime dramas that will never get old. Many non-fiction books have been written on this topic as well. 

Creating a proper mystery takes time and much planning. When done correctly though, it makes for a most memorable story.

  • Your main character discovers another women’s clothes tucked in the back of her boyfriends closet. She plans an elaborate fishing trip to get him far away for a weekend so she can teach him a lesson.
  • A new serial killer is on the loose, killing one person every other day within 500 feet of a museum. There must be a connection and a reason, but how will they catch him when he keeps destroying the cameras and escaping?
  • A young officer is three years sober and committed to getting back on track. That is until he is called to the scene of a high-profile drug bust and is in charge of collecting evidence. Can he control himself around so many drugs?
  • Abandoned cars start randomly appearing throughout the city. No license plates and nothing inside. That is until one is found to contain several dismembered human limbs.
  • Your character has been receiving nasty, lifelike drawings in the mail. They ignore them at first, thinking it is some kids being silly. Until the drawings start coming to life. Since they have the drawings, they know what is going to happen next, and in what order.
  • Your main character and her husband awake one night in the early hours of the morning, both recalling a horrific dream from the night before. They soon learn the dream to be true as they discover a fresh, painful brand in between each of their shoulder blades.
  • Your character never wakes up feeling rested, no matter how long they sleep for. Medication doesn’t help. They decide to film themselves one night. The next morning they watch as they get out of bed around midnight, smirk at the camera, and wave before disappearing out the door for hours.
  • Your protagonist is a member of a small religious group. When a precious artifact goes missing, the head elder’s daughter is blamed for it. Your character knows she couldn’t be responsible because the two of them were romantically involved at the time of the theft. Such activities are strictly forbidden and the daughter would rather go down for the theft than admit to breaking that law.
  • There is a serial killer going after the children of rich and notable families in the area. Your main character is the child of one such family and is terrified every waking moment. Tired of living in fear, they decide to figure out who the killer is and stop them  
  • Your character gets a DNA test, just for fun. After getting the results and doing some more research, they discover that members of their ancestry from all over the world were once all gathered in the same place. The reason is unknown.
  • Your character receives a strange voicemail from an unknown number. The voicemail ends up changing the course of their entire life.
  • Your character is in an accident and loses the memory of the last year of their life. There are so many things that don’t make sense. They must retrace their steps to find answers.
  • The entire town has started sleepwalking, together, every night.  
  • Your character has a short but friendly encounter with a stranger in an elevator. The next day, they are all over TV as the victim of a brutal murder.
  • Your character is redecorating and takes down a painting. They notice something strange engraved on the back of the frame.
  • Your character goes to their usual coffee shop and orders “the usual.” The Barista smiles, nods, and slides something entirely different across the counter. She has never made a mistake before.
  • Your character opens a random book at the library when the cover page falls out. It says “if you are reading this, you have been chosen.”
  • When looking through some old family photos – going back generations – your character notices a cat in almost every photo. The very same colorful spotted cat with a single docked ear that is sitting on their lap.
  • When paying for their groceries, your main character mentions to the clerk that there is a mess in aisle 11. The clerk is confused and explains that there is no aisle 11.

Tips for Writing Crime and Mystery

  • This is a genre where a book writing template can come in handy. The plots are often so complex, it can be overwhelming to keep it all straight.
  • Draw inspiration from real-life crimes. This will make your story believable.
  • Also, draw your inspiration from real-life people and give them realistic motives behind their crimes. Crime and mystery are rarely set in a fantasy world, so being realistic is important.
  • Know how the mystery is solved before you start writing.
  • Include a few cliffhangers – usually at the end of a chapter.

Science Fiction Writing Prompts for Adults

Science fiction is similar to fantasy in that you can make up a lot of stuff, which is a fun way to write.

This is a versatile genre that can be molded into anything you want.

Sometimes, it is rooted in truth with elements of real scientific and technological advances. Other times, there are many assumptions made about the future of science, and lots of make-believe takes place.

  • A spaceship that can surpass the speed of light is allowing a few humans on board to escape our solar system and it’s dying sun. How does the world decide who gets to survive?
  • A shy, introverted tech guy develops a virus that can control human desires, impulses, and choices.
  • A pet store becomes overrun with kittens and sells them off at a low price. However, these cats are actually an alien hybrid that can body jump. It begins causing the owners of these cats to commit suicide within 24 hours of adoption.
  • A live TV broadcast from the White House experiences some technical difficulties. They end up broadcasting a top-secret meeting about a pending alien invasion.
  • Science has developed a brain scanning software that can read thoughts. Before they can decide what to do with it, someone has hacked the system and stolen it.
  • Your character wakes up on a spaceship with no memory.
  • The world has developed a genetic system that engineers everyone for a specific job in the community. Your character hates what they were created to do. This never happens.
  • The world has finally reached a state of all-encompassing peace thanks to a technical system that keeps things regulated. Your character is in charge of keeping the system running. When they discover exactly how the system is kept running, they consider abandoning their post and never turning back.
  • Your character accidentally traps themselves in an alternate universe that hasn’t discovered electricity or technology yet.

Tips for Writing Science Fiction

  • Make your story complex, but don’t rush it. Let your audience process information before adding more.
  • Keep the language simple and easy to understand even if the world isn’t. The majority of your readers will not be scientists or tech experts.
  • Be consistent in terms of the universe. Physical laws, social classes, etc. Know your own world.

Dystopian Writing Prompts for Adults

Dystopian stories are growing in popularity. The genres itself is growing and evolving all the time as people figure out what works and what entertains.

Dystopian is a fun genre to read and experience, but writing it can be just as enjoyable. Having fun while learning how to become a better writer is of utmost importance.

Be careful you’re not writing Dystopia just because it sells well. Make sure you have a real story to tell and that it’s one you believe in.

  • A newly married couple become pregnant with twins. Due to growing overpopulation, they are told they must make a choice when the babies are born. Only one will live. Rather than submit to this, they plan their escape across the border.
  • An amateur teen scientist accidentally discovers an impending alien attack set to destroy earth within a month. He becomes the unwilling leader of the evacuation and defense coalition.
  • A hacker discovers that the new iPhone can be remotely detonated. Many corrupt political leaders are assassinated in this way on the same day. The world breaks into chaos.
  • World War III has come and gone. Governments are a thing of the past and money is useless. Survival is the objective. Your main character also has a medical condition to keep under control.
  • A horrible outbreak of disease devastated the wildlife population 100 years ago. A scientist has recently created a virus that will strengthen the immune systems of the remaining animals. It works too well, and the animals are starting to overtake the human population.
  • After mental illness devastates a generation, scientists create an airborne substance that balances the levels of all people on the earth. Your character is one of the few who is immune.
  • Rampant wildfires are taking over the surface of the earth. Your character is part of a group who is trying to find a rumored ocean deep settlement. The settlement doesn’t really exist.
  • Nature extremists have taken over the government. Any and all activities that are harmful to the land or plants are forbidden and outlawed.
  • Natural farming is a thing of the past. All food is manufactured artificially and distributed. There is no flavor and it’s the same thing every day. Your character takes a stress-relieving trip to the mountains. Here they find the remnants of some real plants, with a few berries on them.

Tips for Writing Dystopian Fiction

  • Know what the message of the story is. What is the main character trying to achieve?
  • A dystopian society is usually one that has taken the current problems of the world and projected them into the future.
  • Dystopian realities are never good ones – make sure you have enough doom, gloom, and darkness for your readers to understand the state of the world.

Historical Writing Prompts for Adults

Historical fiction can be whimsical and charming. It can be dark and spooky. It can be funny and ridiculous. Stories of history span many genres.

Historical fiction can be a combination of educational and entertaining. It tests a writer’s research skills as well as knowledge. The better depiction you can create of your desired time period, the more effective your story will be.

Learning to research is crucial to know how to become a better writer.

  • From a first-person perspective, write about the showdown between a criminal and a lion in the Roman Colesseum.
  • Abraham Lincoln is famous for his top hat. Where did the top hat come from? Who was the president without it? Write a story about the infamous top hat and its life.
  • The Berlin wall has crashed to the ground and its love at first sight for one lucky couple – whose parents aren’t so impressed.
  • Your character is a talented composer whose direct competition is Beethoven.
  • Write about a dinner party where three famous historical figures are in attendance.
  • Your best friend has invented the very first time-travel machine.
  • Write about a well-known war, but give it a different outcome.
  • Write a happy ending for Dracula.
  • Your character’s husband of ten years has just confessed that he has traveled through time from the fourteenth century. He decided to stay because he fell in love with her.
  • Write about the thoughts of someone who is secretly watching Michelangelo paint the Sistine Chapel.
  • Your character is the only one who knows who really killed JFK. It wasn’t Oswald.
  • Your character is working under William Shakespeare as his apprentice.
  • Write about a pair of detectives who solve their cases by traveling back and forth in time.
  • Write about the experience of someone who has just learned of the Titanic’s sinking. They had a loved one on board.
  • Choose a major historical event. Write from the perspective of a witness.
  • Your character wants to travel across the land. No forms of transportation have been invented yet.
  • Write about someone who worked at one of the first printing presses during the printing revolution of the 15th century.

Tips for Writing Historical Fiction

  • Do your research! Inaccuracies or incorrect facts about the time you are writing in will break trust with your readers and decrease your credibility.
  • Choose a specific time period and location. “Early twentieth century” is too broad.
  • In addition to setting and facts, characters need to match the time period. This includes dress, behavior, and language.
  • Small details will matter.
  • Balance the historical facts with the drama and fictional elements.

Humorous Creative Writing Prompts for Adults

Another genre that is especially fun to write as well as read, is a comedy. Nothing beats throwing your head back in full laughter.

The goal here is to make people laugh as much as possible while still balancing a good story and believable characters.

  • Substitute teachers are tired of not being taken seriously. They come together and form a secret society, with plans to revolt.
  • An Elvis impersonator is so good that many start to believe Elvis has actually come back to life. Soon, he has been recruited to lead a superstitious Elvis-loving cult.
  • Three friends are out on the town for a night. Write about the most ridiculous series of events you can think of.
  • Life has gotten tough and your character is considering moving back in with their parents. Before they are able to make a decision, their parents show up at their door asking if they can move in.
  • Your character wakes up one day and everything they say rhymes. They can’t control it.
  • The climate is changing and your main character’s city gets snow for the first time in their entire life. She and her friends are recruited for clean up.
  • Your main character has never had a real job before. They are starting a job at the biggest, busiest store in town on the busiest day of the year.
  • Your character is set up on a blind date with their sworn enemy.
  • Every morning you have a package delivered that contains an item you end up needing that day.
  • Struggling with writer’s block, an author decides to sit at a local train station for information. They get some good material.
  • Your characters are holding a high-stakes rock-paper-scissors tournament.
  • Your main character gets backstage at a concert. What happens back there is much more interesting than the show.
  • Your protagonist decides to buy an old school bus and travel across the country. Being single without any close friends, they post an ad asking if anyone wants to join. The end up having their pick of travel partners.
  • Write a story about a low-profile, insignificant but long-unsolved crime is finally cracked.
  • Your character is a serial killer who kills anyone who hitchhikes along the mountain they live on. One day, they pick up a hitchhiker who kills whoever picks him up.
  • The world’s greatest detective finally meets his match: A criminal so stupid and so careless that the detective can’t ever predict what he is going to do next.

Tips for Writing Comedy

  • Test the humor on others. You might find something hilarious, but if no one else is going to laugh, it will be useless to include.
  • Observe comedy. Your ability to write it will hinge on your experience with it. Watch, read, listen, and speak comedy.
  • Have fun with it. Comedy is fun. If you’re not laughing at yourself along the way, you’ll never get through to the end.

Fantasy Writing Prompts for Adults

Fantasy is one of the most popular genres of the time. It’s growing every day because of its creative and immersive nature. People love to preoccupy themselves with something magical.

Being transported into another world for a little while – that’s what fantasy can do

  • In a world of advanced technological and magical advancements, one group keeps their practice of ancient spells a secret. One day, they are discovered and it leads to a fight. What is more powerful – old magic, or new technology?
  • A large, protected national forest is secretly home to werewolves. One summer there is an especially bad flea epidemic, and the werewolves are greatly affected. The fleas from the werewolves infect the town water supply and start turning everyone into werewolves. The only ones not affected are children under 13.
  • The world is overrun with vampires and humans are dying out. Different races and factions of vampires are beginning to go to war over the limited supply of human blood.
  • Your character finds a strange looking egg in the forest. Thinking it will make a great decoration, they take it home. What hatches from that egg surpasses their wildest imagination.
  • A city has spent centuries living in peace with the water-dwellers who reside in their lakes. Suddenly, the water dwellers declare war and no one knows why.
  • Your character has always been able to alter their appearance. They hide unattractive features. Suddenly, their powers stop working and their true appearance is revealed.
  • Your main character has a fascination with untouched societies – such as hidden tribes in the Amazon. She sets out to study them as a living. One day she accidentally allows herself to be seen by one of the members. What this person does is beyond what your character ever thought to be real.
  • The earth itself is dying and all life on the planet is dying with it.
  • Some people in the world have magic, others don’t. No one knows why. Your main character has magic, but his best friend doesn’t. The friend is exceptionally jealous and is growing more and more desperate to make the magic his.

Tips for Writing Fantasy

  • Focus on being unique
  • Don’t neglect worldbuilding . Inconsistencies will be obvious to readers. This is where a book writing software like Squibler can come in handy. It helps you stay organized and efficient.
  • Create unique names.
  • Don’t be afraid to make the journey long and the outcome unexpected.

Fantasy Novel Writing Template

Fantasy is one of the most complicated genres due to the necessity of building a brand new world. Squibler’s fantasy writing template will help you through this daunting process:

fantasy novel writing template

This template offers guidelines and suggestions for building your world as well as structuring and creating your storyline. It’s helpful but loose enough to allow your creativity to keep flowing.

Dialogue Inspired Writing Prompts

Sometimes, all it takes is a small exchange or a witty one-liner to get your brain working. Take these words and start something new. Or, insert them into an existing project and see what happens.

  • “As she stepped onto the train, I fought every urge to jump on after her.”
  • “He was expensive. Please be more considerate of my money the next time I hire an assassin to kill you.”
  • “You say that like it was a struggle.”
  • “I’m your conscience. That is literally my one job.”
  • “Well, I wish you didn’t love me. I guess no one is getting what they want today.”
  • “I guess it didn’t take.”
  • “I was bored so I blew up my house.”
  • “I taught you how to pick locks, and THAT is how you’re choosing to use the skill?”
  • “They thought I would forget everything. I remember even more than when they started.”
  • “Yes. But I don’t care.”
  • “I killed my mother. Are you really questioning what I can do to you right now?”

Write Your Next Masterpiece With These Creative Writing Prompts for Adults

Whether you have a book writing templat e all filled out or you are starting from scratch, these writing prompts will get your imagination going and make your writing time more productive.

Beat the writer’s block, get your groove back, or just be inspired.  Figure out how to love writing again. Whatever you’re looking for, hopefully, these ideas have helped form the story you need to tell.

Josh Fechter

Related Posts

Top 140 Tumblr Writing Prompts

Published in Writing Prompts

close

Join 5000+ Technical Writers

Get our #1 industry rated weekly technical writing reads newsletter.

close

writing prompts for adults creative writing

Learn story writing from the masters

writing prompts for adults creative writing

Creative Writing Prompts

26 Remarkable Comments

Welcome to the creative writing prompts page! What you can find here is a MASSIVE collection of 63 quality writing exercises (basically, each one is a mini-story of its own, with a twist). This is going to be so much fun, and all while you improve your story writing skills.

You can find all kinds of creative writing exercises here. All of them are fiction writing prompts, and they cover almost every genre, plus you can find creative writing prompts about dialogue, characters, plot, for writer’s block, and much, much more…

Interesting Writing Prompts

This is not the usual stuff. I tried to make these writing prompts intriguing. Most of them are complete scenes and even mini-stories.

You can have them. Yes, you own all the rights, even if you base your entire novel on them and get it published and earn a million dollars for the movie rights. They are all yours.

To become a really good story writer, there is only one thing you need to do: Write! And these creative writing prompts should inspire you to write. They should fire your brain up and make your fingers itch.

With each of these prompts, you can train one specific aspect of your writing; either a genre, or your dialogue or story starter skills, etc…

Post Your Prompt

Also, pick your favorite creative writing prompt, do it, and post it in the comments! Let’s make this a page for everybody to share their creative writing. The more you guys comment and actually do these prompts, the more prompts I will add in the future.

Creative Writing Prompts PDF

To top it all off, you can also download these prompts. Find a neat PDF collection of all the prompts here:

Creative Writing Prompts

Fun Creative Writing Prompts – Index

(Click on the genre to get to the prompts)

1. Romance Writing Prompts

2. Mystery Writing Prompts/Suspense Writing Prompts

3. Fantasy Writing Prompts

4. Science Fiction Writing Prompts

5. Horror Writing Prompts

6. Thriller Writing Prompts

7. Adventure Writing Prompts

8. Action Writing Prompts

9. Historical/Medieval Writing Prompts

10. Dialogue Writing Prompts

11. Character Writing Prompts

12. Plot Writing Prompts

13. Short Story Writing Prompts

14. Writing Prompts with Pictures

15. Writing Prompts for Writer’s Block

16. Story Starters Writing Prompts

17. Unusual Creative Writing Prompts

Bonus: Other Writing Prompts Websites

writing prompts for adults creative writing

Writing Prompts that don’t suck: List of Writing Prompts

Romance writing prompts.

[ Read detailed tips about how to write a romantic scene her e . ]

Writing Prompt 1:

On the night before his marriage, Robert gets a visit. It’s Rachel, the girl that grew up next door and has been his best friend ever since. They had always pushed back any feelings for each other, “we are just friends.” (Yeah, right…!).

Now Rachel bursts into is home in a last, unexpected try to convince Robert he is marrying the wrong woman and she and he are meant for each other. But a ceremony for 150 guests is already arranged. After a lot of passionate talk and tears, Rachel gets him to agree to a game: “Can you guess what I would do…?” They both jot down 10 questions plus their hidden answers. Whoever can guess more of the other’s answers right, wins.

Will Rachel win and they will spend the night on a bus, escaping the wedding? Or will Robert win and watch devastated Rachel walk off into the night, frustration in his heart and tears in his eyes? You decide!

How you can make this scene shine:

Make the scene captivating by showing the reader why these two are meant for each other: Let them remember what they appreciate so much in each other (show, don’t tell), the special moments they shared, show the missed romantic opportunities, and how they complement each other perfectly.

Your reader will hope and fear with them and be hooked to your scene like it was her own love story.

Writing Prompt 2:

Gwen and Christopher have been married for 20 years. One night Gwen finds bright red lipstick on the collar of his jacket. Infuriated, she grabs one of his golf clubs, and swings at his car till it looks worse than a bicycle under a freight train.

When she is exhausted and breaks down crying, Christopher can finally explain what happened: Christopher had been with his Chinese language student group. They all had been on their way to a Chinese restaurant for a change, and it had been raining. He lent his jacket to one of his Chinese language students to protect her from the rain. That’s when the lipstick got on the shirt.

Will Gwen believe him and end up sobbing and relieved in his arms? Or will she not believe one word and soon continue with Chris’ Chinese porcelain collection? You decide!

Leave the reader in the dark about why the lipstick really is on the jacket as long as possible, keep the suspense vibrant. Describe Gwen’s pain and the destruction of Chris’ beloved car in energetic detail, so the reader will live with them as if it was their own (heart and car).

Writing Prompt 3:

King Kong, the giant, roaring ape, falls in sweet love with his female counterpart, Queen Kong. While he was terrorizing New York, she was keeping Chicago on its toes. They meet for a date somewhere in the middle, in a dreamy forest (burning trees instead of candlelight, etc…).

They share a romantic dinner (living cattle, farmers…) and discover their common interests: They both love tearing down skyscrapers, putting police cars on top of billboard ads and eating humongous bananas. And oh, don’t even get me started on the sex…

Will these lonely apes form a bond that helps their love survive against all odds/outer resistance? Or will the egomaniacs in them gain the upper hand and tear their love apart? You decide!

How do you express your love when you are a hairy monster the size of a skyscraper? What would be different, what would be absurd? Emphasize the strange contrast between tender feelings and a gigantic physique. Your reader will find their obstacles very different, but equally painful to his own, and love you for it.

Writing Prompt 4:

Lucas has fallen in love with his dentist. His teeth are very healthy, but he is coming into Jasmin’s practice for the third time within three months, in the hope he will be capable of asking her out in a quiet moment, when nobody is listening.

Unfortunately, the doctor has three assistants and one secretary, and even the door to the waiting room doesn’t look too soundproof… Lucas feels like he is on stage in a Shakespearian comedy. Jasmin, on the other hand, lightly makes fun of him, calling him a hypochondriac.

Will Lucas finally have the balls to follow through with his plan? Or will he have to come for a fourth time? Will Jasmin sense what’s up, and will she be attracted or just annoyed? You decide!

Emphasize the contrast between the nonchalant everyday business of the doctor and her assistants, and Lucas’ timid desire to ask her out. Whatever angle he takes, he is running out of time and of Jasmin’s professional attention. How does he feel? Describe his troubled inner life, and your reader will identify strongly and feel for him.

Additional Romance Writing Prompt:

Also see the SF bonus prompt here . It’s a double prompt for two genres, romance and science fiction.

Mystery Writing Prompts/Suspense Writing Prompts

Writing Prompt 5:

Animal-loving Naomi is at her parents’ holiday home. She is observing a small hut at the forest edge. A van shows up there on three nights back to back. Each time, it seems to pick up something. Naomi sees dark silhouettes sneaking around with flashlights.

One night she decides to sneaks closer, and through a gap in the curtains sees a stack of antlers and fur: She has discovered the sinister doings of poachers. Will Naomi alert the police, or will she be so furious she decides to act on her own? Will she stay undiscovered once the van’s headlights show up on the hill? You decide!

Make the readers wonder “What the heck is going on…?” as often as possible, it will make for a suspenseful story. Show how kind, smart and brave Naomi is, so readers fear for her life. Then make the bad guys come.

Writing Prompt 6:

Paris, 19 th century: Detective Beaumont follows his suspect Forestier, who is wearing a long trench coat. He believes Forestier to be the long hunted for “rose murderer.” That murderer always leaves the rare rose variety “Farewell” on his victims’ bodies. The rose can only be bought in one shop in Paris, and if Forestier walks to that shop today, it is almost certain he is the murderer.

Indeed Forestier’s ways lead him to the flower shop in question. When he comes out, the detective follows him into a narrow street to arrest him. He lays his hands on his shoulders, but once he turns him, he sees that it’s not Forestier – he has been played! The real Forestier must have left the flower shop through a back door, and is now up to who-knows-what…

Will that second person have another trap in store for Detective Beaumont? Will the detective get to Forestier before bad things happen? You decide!

Get into the detective’s head! Show his enthusiasm about finding the long sought-after murderer, his doubts, his shock at the discovery! Show the looming danger he is in. It will make for a terrifyingly good scene…

Writing Prompt 7:

Jeremy has a neighbor whose wife has been missing for months. Jeremy is sitting in his living room, watching a documentary about the most beautiful graveyards of the world. It says that the human body and bones are excellent fertilizers and make plants grow like crazy.

He looks out the window and that huge, blooming rose bush in his neighbor’s garden catches his eye. It’s elevated on a small hill of loose soil, and it’s even more striking, as the rest of his garden is barren ground. Suddenly, Jeremy remembers that the name of his neighbor’s wife is Rose…

In this scene, a lot is happening on a mental level, and little on a physical level. Dive into Jeremy’s somber thoughts and his shocking suspicion. But at the same time, remain some outside stimulus going: E.g. Describe images of the documentary, the landscape of the garden, a clock striking ten, etc… It makes for a well-balanced scene.

Fantasy Writing Prompts

Writing Prompt 8:

The four goblins Hukput, Paddycest, Nixxle and Klozzik are on their way to the cave of the Redwing dragon Isidur. They carry a delicious moore rabbit steak with minty potatoes. They plan to present it to him as humble offering of submission, but in reality the dish is soaked with a sleeping potion so they can rob his enormous pile of golden cups, chains and ducats. Will Isidur smell the bait? Or will his loud snoring fill the cave while the goblins hastily get away with as much gold as they can carry? You decide!

Describe how the deceitful goblins try to get suspicious Isidur to devour their dish. Which tactics do they employ? They are so small, and the dragon is so powerful, but will they nevertheless outsmart him? Describe the wide, majestic nature of the landscape and the cave. Tricky and powerful creatures as well as moody sceneries make for a great fantasy story.

Writing Prompt 9:

Magician Axius is potent, old and absent-minded. He wants to put a spell on his best cooking spoon so it should cook his favorite meal, chicken with sweet pepper. But he gets a detail in the spell wrong. The spoon starts to brutally attack all of the chickens in the patio.

Which unlikely places does the spoon go to while Axius is after it? How does Axius make his way through the terrified flock of chickens? And which spells does he use when trying to calm down his good spoon? You decide!

Time to try some “cute,” homespun fantasy! Lay out the small worries of a big magician. Even he needs to take care of overexcited pets and unruly household goods some time. It’s just that he has more powerful ways to deal with them…

Writing Prompt 10:

Two bored dwarfs, Onyx and Hafax, guard a castle’s entrance. They get into an argument who can throw stones further. While they prove their skills to each other, unfortunately a stone hits a giant who is sleeping in the castle ditch. She comes after them furiously. Will she smash their surprised faces to porridge, or can the resilient dwarfs talk her out of it? You decide!

Show the simple, but competitive nature of the dwarfs. They feel strong and then suddenly very weak… Describe the frightening power of the giant. Show your readers a world of many wonders that only exist in fantasy.

Writing Prompt 11:

The ogre Grawczak is invited to a talk show about strange creatures. Believing in the best intentions of TV and eager to help make races understand each other better, he accepts. The vicious questions on air take him by surprise: “Why do ogres smell so bad; don’t they care other people are disgusted?” and “What does human flesh taste like?”

Will Grawczak just freeze in face of the bright studio lights and endure the process? Will he let them provoke him and look really bad? Or will he just eat the moderator with some spices? You decide!

Describe how helpless the big ogre feels in face of the media. Contrast it with the sensational malice of the moderator. If you can paint the ogre as a likeable being, your readers will root for him strongly. If only we understood ogres better, the world would be a more peaceful place!

Science Fiction Writing Prompts

Writing Prompt 12:

It’s an intergalactic poker tournament. Different races from different galaxies have come together. On one of the tables, the only players left are Froggosaurus, The Big Dust, Rhonda Seventeen-Tentacle and the Red Snailman.

Snailman is doing really well, too well for Rhonda. She suddenly reaches out behind his ear and pulls out a mindreader chip! Will the angry players grill Snailman, or will he be able to flee? Maybe an angry/apologetic dialogue ensues that ends with a bargain? You decide!

Writing Prompt 13:

In 2230, humans have conquered Mars. Automated skytrains run through its red desserts. One of these is stopped by a technical glitch at rush hour. The doors are stuck. When the passengers hear the voice of the control system robot through the loudspeakers, they realize the full extent of the disaster…

The system has come to the conclusion that it’s now superior to its creators, and it is planning to take over. It will open the hydraulic doors for the passengers and allow them to leave, under one condition: They have to chain three programmers in the group to a grabpole in the train and leave them behind. It becomes obvious that the system wants to eliminate the last persons that could still endanger its rule: The most talented programmers…

Will the passengers yield to the insane robot’s demand in order to save their lives? Will they try a trick and risk it all? You decide!

Writing Prompt 14:

Zwooshers look like fluffy, pink, door-high pet giraffes – you just want to cuddle them. But their looks are deceiving! They are actually plundering, reckless space pirates.

In the meeting hall, their captain Haab (eye patch, ruffled plush fur, wooden foot, spacemaid tattoo…) holds an inflammatory speech to hype up his crew. They are about to take the freight space ship that showed up on their radar. The ship must carry at least 65 tons of wood shavings, and Haab wants to take them all!

The crew is all hyped up and ready to go, when Haab trips over his wooden leg and falls off the stage. It looks pretty pathetic for a heroic leader. Will the crew just take this as a sign that chaos and plundering can now ensue, and storm forward? Or will this end the captain’s authority and make the horde want to feed him to the Spacephins? You decide!

Writing Prompt 15:

In 2075, the company Cryptofreeze™ offers the simplest, most effective method to time-travel into the future: They freeze your complete organism and defrost you after the desired period of time. Raul Morales was president of Payadua for 12 years. The laws state that he can’t run for office again for the following 4 terms (24 years). His solution is to get frosted for that period.

He is unfrozen in a big televised show that is transmitted directly into the communication chips of the population’s brains. The show features his frozen body in a transparent casket, lasers, dancers, etc… It should be one huge campaign appearance for the upcoming election.

His rivals do their best to make him look bad though: They smuggle in their own audience to boo and ask the wrong questions, they sabotage the lightning, etc… Will they succeed in derailing his campaign, or will Morales’ reputation shine brighter than ever before? You decide!

Bonus Prompt 16: Romance/Science Fiction Writing Prompt

But Cryptofreeze™ also attracts clients with a completely different set of problems: Henry loves Leila and is sure she is the girl he wants to be with. The problem is that she is 19 and he is 58.

Write two scenes:

Henry wants to talk to Leila and finds her on the running track (where the inner track travels less distance than the outer track, but they are still running side by side…). They jog next to each other, which painfully exposes their age difference. He confesses his love to her, she tells him she can’t live with the age difference, and he tells her he has booked his spot with Cryptofreeze™ and that she should make sure she will be free in 30 years. They say farewell in tears.

Henry is unfrozen, but something has gone horribly wrong: Because of a technical failure he has been frozen double time, for 60 years. Leila is now 79, while he is still 58. Roles are reversed, but it’s not as fun as it was supposed to be… Devastated, Henry visits Leila in her nursery home. She is kept in a large metal box, taken care of by robots who drive her out into the garden once per day.

Will they rediscover their love for each other, or will the circumstances have changed them too much? Will the thought of having missed out on all that precious time just kill them? Or will the make the best of it and find happiness? You decide!

Writing Prompts PDF

You can download a complete collection of all the prompts on this page on a neat sheet. Save them for whenever you need them! Enter your email here for your PDF of printable writing prompts:

Creative Writing Prompts PDF

Horror Writing Prompts

Writing Prompt 17:

Joanna has won a vacation weekend in an old castle. Not many guests are there. Wandering the wide halls, she learns about Count Brookhart, the 16 th century owner of the castle. He stole another nobleman’s wife, started a war, and was beheaded. He is rumored to be roaming these halls as a ghost. The castle’s ancient chronicles state that he will only be redeemed if a living woman kisses him on her knees. Sounds pretty strange, doesn’t it…?

At night, Joanna gets up to look for the bathroom. She only hears wind; a book falls from a shelf out of nowhere. And these heads on the old portraits all seem to turn after her…

She looks into a mirror – and freezes. Behind her is the Count, his eyes beseeching her for a kiss. And she would have to kneel to kiss him, because he is carrying his head under his arm, blood-dripping… Does Joanna feel like redeeming the count? What will happen if she does/doesn’t? You decide!

Describe the setting, the emptiness and the uneasy details. Let Joanna wonder what is going on and show her fear. In the end, go for the terrible shock effect!

Writing Prompt 18:

Gina’s beloved cat Tiger has been feverish and dizzy lately. At a fair, Gina sees a tent with a sign “Voodoo Healings $5.” Inside, she finds an old, hunched woman. She sits down in a strange chair with split rods, and her hair gets caught. The hag speaks a spell and gestures with her hands, then motions Gina to leave.

Outside at the fruit stands, Gina suddenly feels very sick, and it occurs to her what her hair could have been used for… Will she return to demand every single one of her strands back? Or will she already feel too sick and go for a more extreme solution? Will the old woman be gone or deny everything? You decide!

Don’t describe Gina’s fear, but instead describe what makes her scared: Show details of the witch’s looks and how the witch acts, describe Gina’s physical condition. Show how awful it is not to know where the horror is coming from. It will make your readers feel it strongly.

Writing Prompt 19:

When Lucy comes home, she finds her daughter Luna sitting on the floor sobbing, surrounded by broken glass. Luna has just smashed every single mirror in the house. She tells her mother that she saw ‘The Eater’ appearing behind her shoulder in the mirrors: Some dark silhouette that was coming to take a huge bite out of her.

Lucy tries to calm down her hysterical daughter, and is already going through a list of psychiatrists in the back of her head. In the evening, after cleaning up the house, she is applying make-up to go out for an important business dinner. Suddenly she notices huge black teeth appearing behind her in the little mirror…

Will Lucy shake it off as her imagination running wild? Or will she smash the make-up kit? How will she try to save herself and her daughter? And for how long can you avoid mirrors, which surround us… everywhere. You decide!

Have you ever had the feeling that you don’t know what’s going on? Pretty unsettling, right? Give disturbing, moody details about the silhouette, its appearances and effects, but don’t explain the why this is happening. We don’t know why terrible things happen to good people. And that’s scary.

Writing Prompt 20:

Zombie apocalypse has arrived. TV stations finally have the audience they deserve… For the zombies, it’s one huge party, and the humans are desperately holding onto their arms and socio-economic systems.

Four zombies are robbing a bank. Their advantages: Bullets don’t bother them, they really don’t need masks, and they have a natural gift to scare the shit out of the employees. Disadvantages: They are just so damn slow. Imagine a bank robbery in slow motion, and a couple of limbs falling off the robbers on their way out… Will the rotten gang get away thanks to their ‘Shock and Awe’? Or will the guards be quick-witted and find a way to protect themselves and attack? Where is the hunt going? You decide!

Show how absurd this scenario is. How is it different from an ordinary bank robbery? Think it through, and you will get to a couple of interesting scenarios.

Thriller Writing Prompts

Writing Prompt 21:

Jeff is the bloodhound type of a prosecutor. He is currently prosecuting the big ice cream company “Freezelicious.” They are accused of using harmful ingredients. Since Jeff took on that trial, he has been having the feeling that somebody is following him. Yesterday at the gas station, today during the break at a restaurant, and now this Mercedes has been behind him for 20 minutes.

He makes two daring and illegal maneuvers with his car, but just as he thinks he got rid of the Mercedes, it appears in his rearview mirror. He parks at a shopping center and disappears into the bathroom. After a while, the Mercedes driver comes in, and Jeff smashes him against the wall and starts to interrogate him. Turns out the guy isn’t sent by Freezelicious, but by their cheaper competitor Mega Cream. They want to make sure nothing bad happens to Jeff, because they are afraid Freezelicious wants to get him out of the way. Will Jeff just be pissed and throw the guy out? Or will he be secretly grateful? Has Freezelicious indeed planned an assassination? You decide!

Write Jeff’s inner dialogue in short sentences throughout the scene, and alternate it with action bits. Let him wonder whether somebody is following him (yes, no, yes, no) and what they could want. Show his anxiety and uncertainty.

Writing Prompt 22:

Seems like Amanda’s new co-worker Gregory does not waste any time: On his second day in office he asked her out. She declined, and the next week he asked her again with flowers in his hand. She explained he wasn’t her type, no hard feelings.

Today, when she leaves her house, she finds a shocking image: Somebody nailed her cat to the trashcan! In tears, she pulls her lose and buries her in the backyard. On the bus to work, dreadful thoughts race through her head: How can a human be capable of doing something like this? Did Apple suffer for long? Was it just some cruel and mindless kid? Is she in danger? And did she forget to close the bathroom window…?

At work, Gregory sticks his head into her office: “So how is your cat?” he asks… How will this terrible poker game continue? Can Amanda keep cool? You decide!

Again, get into Amanda’s head and play with her uncertainty. How would it make you feel if your co-worker was a dangerous maniac? Grief, terror, vengefulness, remorse… you can draw from all of these strong emotions.

Writing Prompt 23:

Herbert wants to call his son Gerd in from playing in the garden. But he only finds Gerd’s teddy with the head missing, and a note to bring 100,000 € to the Zombie House at the amusement park. If he informs police or doesn’t pay, he will get his son back like his teddy…

Four days later, police are waiting outside the Zombie House, while Herbert roams its eerie corridors, with a backpack filled with 100,000 €. Suddenly, out of the dark, a moldy looking hand grabs his backpack, while his son appears at the end of the corridor. He lets the backpack go and walks towards his son, who suddenly disappears… Will a wild chase between zombie masks ensue? What is waiting in the dark? Will the kidnappers notice the police, and what will they do then? You decide!

Uncertainty and mood! Describe the horrible thoughts of a father fighting for his son. Describe the dark, frightening atmosphere of the Zombie House. Here, your worst nightmares come true…

Adventure Writing Prompts

Writing Prompt 24:

An expedition into the jungle has gone wrong. Desmond is an intrepid, bearded explorer who set out with his team to explore the tropical wild. But they got caught by aborigines.

Then something strange happens: Affectionately, they are asked to put on shoes made of parsley and onion necklaces… Seems like these aborigines are hungry.

Jungle-smart Desmond knows their best bet is to make themselves look toxic. He orders his team to rub violet berries and black roots all over their bodies, to punch a couple of each other’s teeth out and to writhe and babble like an insane person. Will the wild tribe be disgusted, and what will they decide to do with them? Or will they just laugh and proceed to produce a tasty casserole? You decide!

Writing Prompt 25:

Four women are stranded on a small, rocky island. To their dismay, the boat they came in is leaky. The extreme situation makes their masks come off and exposes the true nature of each one:

Ellen freaks out. She blames Ruth for booking a damaged boat and Mary for forgetting to take walkie-talkies with them, even though she had been in charge of equipment.

Ruth can’t stop sobbing, she is pale and shaky and can’t be moved from the rock she is sitting on.

Mary tries to bring all of them onto the same page, so they can work together. She holds Ruth in her arms and sings to her.

Bethany makes a list of possible actions to take and tries to assign tasks to everyone (look for food, try to repair boat, look for material for smoking signal, etc…).

Describe the group dynamics. It could be an upward or a downward spiral. Will the women work together and find a way out of this? Or will they become worked up against each other and start to fight? Will a rescuing boat show up once they are at their lowest point and make them all feel shocked about themselves? You decide!

Writing Prompt 26:

Tobias and Rafael, two colleagues, are trying to reach the top of a mountain in the Himalayas. They are close to the peak, but Tobias knows it’s too dangerous to continue. Once they reached the top, it would get dark and cold, and the descent would be very dangerous. He decides to turn around, but he can’t get Rafael to come with him.

At night he is in his tent and hears Rafael asking for help over the walkie-talkie. The poor guy is sitting high up there in a freezing cold cave without food, and it’s not clear whether he will survive the night. Will Tobias risk his life for a colleague who has disregarded all safety rules? Or will he just encourage him over radio and pray? Will there be calm conditions the next day? You decide!

Action Writing Prompts

[ Read detailed tips about how to write an action/fight scene her e . ]

Writing Prompt 27:

Alfredo is a celebrity cook who loves the good life. That’s why he owes the mafia money.

One day, two gentlemen shaped like bull dozers in suits pay him a visit. They quickly surround him and send him friendly reminders to pay with their brass knuckles and baseball bats. But Alfredo is quick and flexible. He rams a cucumber into their ribs, then quickly jumps over the big counter in the middle of the kitchen.

The weapon of a cook is food… He throws some butter at their feet, so they slide and stumble, and scatters pepper into their eyes. Howling, disorientated and furious, they speed in opposite directions around the block. Alfredo quickly jumps onto the counter, and coming from opposite directions, they crash into each other like colliding trains and stay on the floor unconscious. Alfredo goes on to cook a celebratory cake.

Will the two suddenly wake up and go for Alfredo again? How will he get their heavy bodies out of there? Or is this won already? You decide!

Mix the threat and pain of the cold-blooded torturers with quick dynamic phrases of action (verbs of movement; commas not full stops; graphic descriptions).

Writing Prompt 28:

Prison break time is the best time of the year: Hector, Axl, and Hans have been digging their way to freedom for months. Tonight, they lift the tiles for the last time, hastily crawling through the narrow tunnel. Stuck in the middle, they hear an alarm going off. How were they discovered so quickly? When they block the tunnel behind them with earth and debris, it feels like filling their own graves.

They hear guards crawling after them while rapidly digging the last tunnel part. Once out in the forest, they run! They discuss splitting up, but Hans refuses. They hide in trees, but are discovered by police quickly. They jump into a river, hearing police dogs behind them. Flushing down the river, a waterfall comes up. Whaaaam, freefall! Surely no policeman or dog can follow them here, so they feel safe finally! Until they are washed right into the arms of police waiting at the shore… How is that possible?

The cops have handcuffs for Hector and Axl, and a towel for Hans, who takes a tracker out of his sock… Will the other two try to strangle him? What will be his reward, and how could he have the guts to betray his companions? You decide!

Make it a big surprise and mystery how the cops always know where they are. And give us a taste of what it feels like to be human prey: Use short, quick, hectic sentences to give a sense for the quick pace of the hunt.

Writing Prompt 29:

The “Three Apples” hospital is in flames. On the 9 th floor, nurses Jenny and Linda try to save the babies of the preemie ward. The way downstairs is already blocked by flames, and there is only one way left: Up!

The girls are on the rooftop with the babies, and Jenny brought a container, and a sheet they use as a “cable.” She ties one end around a chimney and sails over the gap onto the neighbor building with a blood-freezing jump. They push the babies safely to the other side one by one like on cable cars, until only Linda is left. But she has major fear of heights, and now the babies are safe, her body has time to panic. The flames come closer.

Will Jenny be able to help her out with another trick? Will she find her courage, or will a helicopter rescue her at the last moment? You decide!

Babies and puppies are your best pawn! Make your reader fear for these helpless little creatures, and fall in love with their brave and quick-thinking helpers. You can heighten that effect by giving the girls very distinctive personalities, and showing their inner struggles. They are no superheroes, they have to earn this!

Historical/Medieval Writing Prompts

Writing Prompt 30:

The middle ages. One of the famous “morality plays” is played in the village. These are basically thinly veiled guidelines for the people on how to behave. This one is for kids though, and very short to allow for their attention span. It tells kids how to behave properly, so mom and dad will love them and they won’t go to hell.

The play features Adam, the good kid, clean and in white like an angel; and Roger, the bad kid, looking nasty in rugs and always misbehaving. Several allegories are also around: Obedience is a thin figure in a long, flowing dress, always looking down. Diligence is a muscular guy with rolled up sleeves and leather apron; Adam tries to be like him, while Roger bites his leg. In the end, Adam is showered with candy toys and even a pet calf, while Roger gets a bloodletting and an ass-whipping. But suddenly the kids in the audience start to cheer and stamp: The calf has lifted its tail and peed all over Adam!

Do the kids get their own morality out of that play? How will the director and authorities turn this around to keep them in line? Will independent thinking or order prevail? You decide!

Create a couple more figures for the “play within the play.” If you constantly switch between the reality of the village and the reality in the play, it will make for nice variety. Get creative on both ends!

Writing Prompt 31:

Francis is a troubadour all girls have a crush on, kind of the Justin Bieber of the 12 th century. He has been courting charming Amalia night after night under her window. Tonight, he sings her his romantic poem “Thou Art the Bellows of Mine Heart.”

Amalia is enchanted, but soon rumbling is heard in the house: Her father has woken up, and that usually leads to him chasing Francis around the house with a rolling pin. He is a wealthy merchant and doesn’t approve of her tie to a penniless poet. The rumbling becomes louder while they speak.

Finally, merchant Robertson rips open the front door and screams up at his daughter: “What happened to the rolling pin!!?” Turns out Amalia has wisely hidden it… Will merchant Robertson get even angrier now? Or will he be charmed by his baby’s wit? Will he do damage to her poor suitor? You decide!

Love is in the air, so describe how and why these two are sighing/yearning for each other: The longing, the flirting, the plans. Draw from romances in your own life, because love never changed throughout the centuries. Disrupt that romance with an angry, drowsy man for great effect!

Writing Prompt 32:

Ancient Rome: On a big “forum” (square), a slave auction is held. Huno, a big, muscular Alemannic slave in heavy chains is next in line. Gaius, a newly rich plebeian, wants to acquire him so he can wear himself out on his construction sites by pulling heavy blocks. Gracelanus, a town clerk, would treat Huno much better and use him as a body guard.

Huno is ordered to demonstrate his power, and he breaks thick logs of wood over his thighs. Gaius lets out humiliating comments like “Work it, proud animal!” or “All the brains are in his upper arms.” He gives him the whip several times to test his resilience. Gracelanus, on the other hand, remains quiet, only to applaud the demonstrations.

When the bid goes to 800 sesterces, these two are the only bidders left. Gaius is hesitating for a moment, and suddenly Huno turns to the side of the stage and lets a heavy log fall on Gaius’ feet. Screaming and swearing, Gaius jumps in circles, while the bid goes to Gracelanus. Will Gaius accept his defeat, or will he get back at them? If Huno is provoked further, can he keep his cool? You decide!

Slavery is disgusting to the modern reader. It has an even bigger effect, if you, the author, don’t judge. Just present the auction as everyday life. Huno’s humility to his own fate, Gaius’ cruelness… try to describe it without emotions.

Creative Writing Prompts PDF

Dialogue Writing Prompts

Writing Prompt 33:

Punker girl Samantha (pierced tongue, “Anarchy” tattoo, etc…) is detained for stealing a skateboard bit by bit from a sports store (wheels first, then axle, etc…). Her attorney George is a seasoned vet. At his office, he tries to explain to the stupid brat what’s about to happen and what he wants her to do in front of court: Explain that she had just been bored and curious how to dissemble a skateboard, wanting to prove herself, and that she would have brought the complete skateboard back. Samantha is not too concerned about all of this and wishes the old man was a little more chill.

Write their dialogue and show how differently they speak about their agendas, different words they use, tone, rhythm, etc… Will George hammer some sense into the teenager? Or will Samantha stay unimpressed and make him lose his cool? You decide!

What it’s good for:

It’s important your characters’ voices sound different from each other. This exercise trains you to give each character their distinctive voice.

Writing Prompt 34:

Greta has lent her pick-up truck to her cousin Iris to transport some furniture. Unfortunately, a little accident happened: The truck perfectly fit around the pillar of the gateway.

Iris enters the kitchen, where Greta is cooking. At first, she is afraid to confess and wants to cheer up Greta’s mood with some enthusiastic compliments. She hesitates and finally confesses.

Greta is busy and hectic when Iris enters, to get dinner ready before guests arrive. She is happy to see Iris return and asks about the furniture buying, then wants to rush her out of her kitchen. After Iris confesses, Greta feels like everything is going wrong on that day and becomes hysteric. Will Iris be able to calm her down? Or will the two women get into a big fight, just before the guests arrive? You decide!

This scene takes the two protagonists through a rollercoaster ride of emotions. It will train you to always let your characters express their feelings and to insert a lot of emotions into your scenes.

Writing Prompt 35:

Fibby & Fozzy are twins. Their mom has died recently, and their uncle Gerald wants to trick them out of the largest part of their inheritance. He just presented a new, fake will that would only leave them a small heritage. They discuss what steps they could take against their uncle’s scam, and they speak about it at their mom’s favorite place on earth, the zoo.

Show them walking through the scenery in a way that the animals provide some subtle subtext for whatever they are talking about. E.g. when they talk about how ruthless their uncle is, they watch a lion tearing his meat apart; when they talk about how they love their mother, they are watching a cute baby panda, etc…

This should improve your sense to connect what your characters are talking about with their environment. Adding a bit of subtext is easy and makes your scene deep and rich.

Writing Prompt 36:

A popular comedian sits on a park bench. He is the type that shocks and amuses his audience with outrageous ideas. A bum sits down next to him. The comedian asks the bum for change. Is this just a lighthearted joke that will ease out into a philosophical discussion about humanity? Or will the bum be seriously offended and react? You decide!

Train your characters to sound real with this one. When the erratic, playful, ruthless comedian clashes with the tired bum, you can lend your characters raw and realistic voices.

Character Writing Prompts

A. Writing Prompt 37:  Shading

Jeff is a very analytical-thinking stock broker; people call him cold-blooded. Sheryl is an elementary school teacher with a big heart. Andy is an always positive and slightly naive flight attendant.

Describe their characters and add one trait to each of them that doesn’t look like them at all. Describe why they have this trait.

Giving your characters an unexpected trait is called “Shading.” E.g. the wealthy, stingy man, who often gives to charity, so he can have the feeling his life has more meaning. If the unexpected trait makes sense, it will give your character a lot of depth and make her look very three-dimensional.

B. Writing Prompt 38: Description

Romeo is a young private detective who dresses like a college boy, with baseball cap and saggy clothes (excellent disguise!). Lana is a stressed restaurant manager. Hannah is a street-artist selling her artwork on a busy corner.

You are having coffee on a lazy Sunday afternoon and are observing each of them separately. Describe their looks, clothes, movements, etc…, so we get a sense for who they are.

Train to describe your characters with this one. Give your readers a sense for who your figures are, simply by listing observations about them. This is pure “Show, don’t tell!” and satisfying for your reader, as she feels like the observer herself.

C. Writing Prompt 39: Backstory

Mariella is an arrogant high-society lady with an expensive fur coat and a little poodle. Henry is a pickpocket with the body language of a beaten dog. Susan is a “speedy reporter,” always driven by the desire to get the latest news first.

Describe their backstories in a couple of sentences each: How did they grow up? What are their biggest fears and desires? What made them who they are? How were they hurt?

This prompt will get you into the habit of rooting your characters in a strong backstory. It will make them look as embraceable as your best friend.

D. Writing Prompt 40: Behavior

Hans is a funny hot-dog street vendor who likes to entertain his customers. Tia is a tax inspector who always welcomes expensive jewelry from companies. Laura is a waitress who is really good at making her customers feel welcome.

Show us how each of these characters would react to the following situations: Somebody carelessly shoving them on public transport. An acquaintance (not friend) asking them to borrow some money. Finding a beautiful rare snail during a bike trip.

Here you are letting your characters act out of their distinctive personalities. We all react very differently to the same situations. Let your figures express themselves!

Plot Writing Prompts

Take the following words and construct a story plot around them. Use them in any order. Describe a short plot summary. Try to add something: Characters, locations, subplots, details, twists. The more you add, the more colorful your story will become. The only rule is that you must use all of the words. Slashes mean you can pick between words.

Writing Prompt 41:

Suitcase – traffic jam – star – contract – drug – celebration – stairs/piano/autograph – beggar – apple

Writing Prompt 42:

Library – rodent – love/hobby/fanatic – magic – flowers – legend/fairy tale/rumor – birthday pie – clock

Writing Prompt 43:

Monastery/Brewery/Pet shop – breeding – tears – wheel – green – rebel – friend – cozy/thick/dirty

Writing Prompt 44:

Cigar – anger – policeman – pill – polite – celebrate/encourage/humiliate – husband – double-edged

Short Story Writing Prompts

Writing Prompt 45:

James and Agnes are throwing their engagement dinner. James’ ex Dina is invited too. Secretly, she still loves him and hates Agnes. During the dinner, she spreads the rumor that Agnes scammed her boss Dimitri out of money/cheated on her fiancée with several of her co-workers/infected people at her office with some disgusting disease. At the after-dinner reception, Dimitri shows up unexpectedly, which leads to really awkward situations for a couple of people.

How will the guests look at Dimitri, Agnes and James? Which awkward misunderstandings and accusations will it lead to? Will somebody clear this up and get Dina kicked out, or will James lose all his trust in his fiancée? You decide!

Writing Prompt 46:

Bruno and Benedict are two kids selling lemonade at their street stand. It’s not going well. A stranger in a trench coat, with a wig and huge sunglasses stops by. He offers to buy all of their lemonade, if they do him a quick favor: Over there on the park bench, a guy with a big sports bag/lady with an expensive jewelry necklace/businessman with a black briefcase is sitting. They should threaten him/her with the knives they use for cutting lemons, and bring him the sports bag/necklace/briefcase. He says it’s a prank for a TV show.

Will the kids agree, and will they actually pull through? If yes, will the wigged guy escape untroubled? Or will the little ones be smart, maybe talk to the guy/woman on the bench? You decide!

Writing Prompt 47:

Randolph is a casino supervisor. He has a crush on that new croupier Lara. Lara on her part has a plan to take her own extra salary from the casino… The two stay after closing hours and get into a risky game: They will play one hour of roulette. If Lara wins, Randolph will turn a blind eye in the upcoming month while chips “disappear.” If James wins, Lara will sleep with him.

Who will come out in front? Or will they call it a draw and declare two winners? And how will the dynamics between the two of them develop during the game? You decide!

Writing Prompt 48:

Gary has been sleepwalking lately. When he wakes up in his bed, he doesn’t remember where he has been, but he finds oily car parts/squashed chocolate/earthy bones in his bed (depending on the genre you want to write in).

Gary’s nephew Walter is working at the car repair shop/chocolate factory/graveyard of the village. Gary asks him to stay at night after his shift, and observe what he is doing in his sleep. But is it even a coincidence Walter is working there? Is Gary subconsciously trying to tell his nephew something, to warn him, help him, or even sabotage him? Will Walter discover something funny or terrible, and can he even tell his uncle the truth the next day? You decide!

Creative Writing Prompts PDF

Writing Prompts with Pictures

Write a story around the following image:

Writing Prompt 49:

Picture Writing Prompt

Writing Prompt 50:

Picture Writing Prompt

Image: Interior Design/Shutterstock

Writing Prompt 51:

Picture Writing Prompt

Image: LaCozza/Fotolia

Writing Prompt 52:

Picture Writing Prompt

Image: anibal/Fotolia

Writing Prompts for Writer’s Block

If you are troubled by writer’s block, try one of these exercise. You will find your mind flowing freely again.

Writing Prompt 53:

Think of a very happy day in your life. Describe what happened on that day and how it made you feel. Were you anticipating it when you woke up, or did you have no idea? What did the people around you say or do?

Just write and don’t overthink. What you write really doesn’t matter. This exercise is designed to get you excited and get your juices flowing, and that’s the only thing that matters.

Writing Prompt 54:

Hansel walks up to Gretel and asks her if she wants to go to the lake with him. She says yes. They dance off into the sunlight.

The most commonplace plot in the world.  Your job is to write the entire scene as badly as you can. Uninteresting characters, predictable dialogue, action that makes no sense… Please make sure to mess it all up. The worse, the better! If everybody who reads it cringes, you have succeeded. And if you want, send it to me, and I will tell you how awesome it is you finally got back to writing: alex at ridethepen dot com.

Writing Prompt 55:

Pick the window that’s closest to you right now, as you read this. Look through it. Describe what you see in detail!

For this exercise, completely turn around at least one of your writing rituals: If you usually write at a desk, write on the couch or the floor; if you usually write by computer, write by hand; etc… The new approach will give you a fresh start.

Story Starters Writing Prompts

[ Read a post with 31 ways to start your story here . ]

Write a story starting with the following sentences:

Writing Prompt 56:

Anderson knew Amanda as a cheerful person. But on that Wednesday, when she came into the office, she was carrying a big basket, and she looked really sad.

Writing Prompt 57:

Kai looked up at his scary task. This was the craziest thing any contestant of “Where there’s a will, there is a million” ever had to do. It was because he was first! Nobody had ever gotten one step from the million…

Writing Prompt 58:

“Once bitten, twice shy.” That’s all Emma could think while looking at handsome Luis and his bullterrier with the huge jaws. “Once bitten, twice shy.”

Writing Prompt 59:

The day Iggy came into Jasmine’s life, the postman rang twice. That was very unusual, and the reason why it happened was unusual too.

Writing Prompt 60:

Getting stood up at the altar is every bride’s worst nightmare. But what if it happens the other way around? On the day of her wedding, Sophie was nowhere to be found.

Writing Prompt 61:

“I’m so happy, Uncle Albert!” Priscilla screamed into her cell phone as her train was speeding towards London. At that moment, nobody knew that a far-reaching confusion would take place on the train soon.

Unusual Creative Writing Prompts

Writing Prompt 62:

Imagine you are a dog. Now tell me about a day in your life from your perspective. How do you spend your time? Waiting, going for a walk with your owner, hunting a cat? Which emotions do you feel? What concerns you, what makes you happy? What matters? What do you want? Follow your wet snout and describe a typical day.

Writing Prompt 63:

Kurt and Sarah are neighbors in the same building, and they are arguing in the hallway. Kurt thinks he lent Sarah three eggs she never replaced. Sarah claims she replaced them a long time ago.

Emma, an elderly lady, passes by and feels obligated to join: Sarah owes an egg, but it’s just one. The two of them tell her to keep walking, as it’s none of her business.

Erin, a student, passes by, and tries to get all of them to make up in the name of peaceful neighborhood.

Charles, a stressed dad, shouts at all of them to shut up.

Finally, the police comes by and issues a citation against all of them because of public disturbance.

Describe this absurd scene, in which each new participant tries to resolve the quarrel, but tops it up by one additional level. What a mess! Show the good intentions of every party, and how the dialogue finally draws them into the argument. Have fun!

Creative Writing Exercises PDF

You can download a complete collection of all the prompts on this page on a neat sheet. Enter your email here for your PDF of printable writing prompts:

Creative Writing Prompts PDF

For Your Consideration…

Check Out These Interesting Writing Prompt Pages As Well:

The Wealthy Writers Club  features a list of over 100 very creative prompts (most of them are short ideas).

26 Remarkable Comments. Join in!

26 Comments

' src=

Hey Riders,

I wrote this sometime back, and thought it’d be best if I shared it with y’all. I’d already gotten a review from (the amazing) Alex, and he encouraged me to put it up here for all to see. Anyway, hope you like it. comments and recommendations are welcome (positive, and if cutting, then constructive).

Happy riding!

P.S. I had some of the stuff for Gwen’s inner dialogue written in italics… not so sure how to do that here, though. Hoping you will get the drift though. P.P.S. This is prompt #2 ————————————————————————————————————————– Gwen sat at the dining table, sipping her coffee, choking back the bitter taste it left in her mouth. Not as bitter as what I am feeling now. She gazed at the large window that would fill the house with glorious, golden light on bright, sunny days. Now, the storm that was raging outside clouded the skies, and the panes dripped with rain whose fate was sealed. She sipped at the coffee, and swallowed painfully, forcing the black liquid to pass the lump that had formed in her throat, and fan out hotly behind her heart which she felt sure was turning to ice. By the window was Chris’ seat. His wickerwork chair he had bought from China during a trip with his student group. She snickered. How long did he think I was not going to find out? Idiot. She sipped at the coffee, and swallowed. The jacket she had bought for him was sprawled on it. Prime leather, as black as sin. And his heart, too. Twenty years of loving the man poured into buying that jacket, only for it to be poured out like spent coffee grounds. She sipped at her coffee, and looked at the clock. Two minutes past six. He always left the bathroom at two minutes past six. As if on cue, he walked into the room, clad in his thick cotton bathrobe. “Whew, what a day it’s been!” he sighed, slipping his hands into the pockets of the robe. Gwen chose not to listen to him; her attention was fully on the jacket. “Sweetie, is there any more coffee? I need the warmth,” he continued, before his voice became as smooth as oil. “Or will you substitute the coffee?” “Why have coffee, when you have the option of green tea?” Gwen sipped at her coffee, slowly turning to face him. His rich brown eyes were puzzled for a moment, before the corners crinkled in amusement. That did it. She flung the coffee mug at him, and he ducked just as fast. The mug exploded on the glossy white wall, coffee streaming down it like rotten blood from a sore wound. “How dare you find this funny?” she screamed, rising up and walking to the wicker chair. She picked up the jacket, sodden and heavy, and tossed it at him across the length of the room. “Explain that, Chris. Explain why you would do this to me!” “Sweetie, what do you mean?” His voice was filled with worry, fear; did she detect a slight quiver? He turned over the jacket, then his eyes widened in realisation. He knows I know, the lying bastard. The lipstick on the collar, red as his neck would be in a few minutes. “Honey, I can explain…” he started, but Gwen could not bear hearing him call her that. How many more has he called sweetie, or honey? She screamed, anger almost blinding her. Or was it the tears? The hurt? She couldn’t say. “Chris, how could you? Twenty years is nothing to you, is it? All we’ve been through, all we’ve faced, and you decide to have it with a whore. A whore, Chris! A slut whose name you can’t even remember!” She picked up a fine porcelain vase Chris had gotten for her birthday. “Gwen, please, calm down, and I can explain everything.” His tone wa soft, almost pleading. Pleading for forgiveness, which I won’t give today. She flung the vase at him. either he didn’t see it coming, or was slow to react. The vase shattered against his head, the shards burying deep into the thick black locks of his hair. He cried out in pain, then crouched down low. Gwen felt a shocking stab of triumph. Why am I enjoying this? “Gwen, what’s gotten into you? Trust me, it’s not what it seems!” Chris got up, a tiny rivulet of blood oozing across his forehead, into his left eye. “Give me a chance to explain everything!” “As far as I know Chris, you have never gotten into me, for as long as I can remember, and you decided to, what’s the word, get ¬into someone else.” She picked up a golf club from its bag – his bag – next to the chair of iniquity. She glowered as she saw him cower back in fear. “Gwen…” “No, Chris, this isn’t meant for you, though the thought of crushing your cunning serpent, along with his nest of eggs, would greatly satisfy me.” She saw his neck muscles cringe at the description. “Gwen, please. I can explain everything – JUST GIVE ME A CHANCE, WOMAN!” She screamed, a feeble attempt at drowning him out, before pushing past him and running out of the house, through the door and into the rain. She spotted his car; his beloved Kia. Did he do it in our car, with that slut? She yelled in anger, anger that seemed to seep out of every pore and element of her being. A scream she felt must have been last used by a Viking berserker; primal and raw. She smashed in the window, the shards mixing with the rain like diamonds. The next swing landed on the bonnet, denting it and taking a big scrape out of the primer. The third shattered the windscreen, and it fell like a delicate fractal plate of ice. She stopped counting after eight, and by the time she was done, the rain had soaked the interior, the system console was cracked, and the steering wheel was awkwardly askew. She was taking in deep gulps, gasping for air. It’s cold, invisible barbs poked at her throat, mixed with the taste of coffee, rage and blood. She realised she had bit her lip, and the blood was dripping onto the wet driveway in big splotches, mingling with the rain. Chris came up from the dry safety of the porch. If he was angered about the car, she couldn’t see it. She began to sob, and fell to the paved driveway, too exhausted to keep standing. She felt Chris’ warmth, smell and presence surround her. “Gwen, it’s alright. Just give me a chance to explain, please.” “I told you, no, Chris. I can’t keep on living if you were to leave me for another.” She let out another sob, and suddenly felt cold. She held on to Chris, even though he was as drenched as she. Still, she needed to feel if he was real; the Chris she knew would never cheat on her. “Gwen, I was with my students, and for a change, we decided to go have our classes at Wong’s over a light lunch.” His voice was soothing, comforting, real. She pulled him closer. She needed that reality more than anything. “The day began so wonderfully, Gwen; the sky was as blue as your eyes, and I felt it would be best to wear the jacket, and think of you and us.” Now my eyes are red, and puffy. Could he still want me? She felt his tender hand push away wet strands of her hair from her face. She didn’t want to look at him; the very idea of seeing his lips mention that he had slept with another woman – or one of those students? – revolted her. “When we were leaving, it started to rain, and I had to make sure my students got home dry and safe. I gave Nessa my jacket – you remember Nessa; she came to see you at the hospital – to cover herself as we walked to the bus stop. I saw her off, then rushed to my parking spot at the café we always use for our meetings. She had some lipstick on; she was from a date with her fiancé before the class began. It must have rubbed off on my jacket” He wrapped her in his big arms, and she could smell the fragrance of the soap he had used. “I swear, I would never walk out on you, Gwen. Never.” “But I had a miscarriage, Chris. Twenty years, and no children. I thought you didn’t want me anymore, now that we can’t have children…” she sniffled, pushing back the memories of the hospital. The smell of antiseptic, green walls, overly sympathetic nurses… the pain associated with them haunted her still. Haunting me to a point where I’d think my husband would never love me? Yet here he is, with me in the rain, even though I’ve smashed our car to pieces. “Chris, I’m sorry I could never be the wife you wanted. You always wanted kids, even before we got married, you’d say how much of a father you wanted to be. Because of me, you can’t have that dream become a reality.” She began to cry, before Chris gently shushed her. “Before I wanted kids, I wanted you. And as long as I have you, Gwen, well – this is cheesy, but – I don’t need anything else. You’re the most perfect, most amazing woman I know. You are the wife I’ve always wanted.” He chuckled at his feeble attempt of professing love. She found herself giggling. He had always made her laugh with his corny declarations of affection. Probably that’s what I’ve always about him; he is real, and honest, and true. “Can we stay here a bit longer?” She nuzzled up to him. “We haven’t done this since college; our vain attempt at recreating The Notebook.” “Oh, yeah; remember when we almost got struck by lightning?” He laughed, and Gwen smiled up at him. What more could I ask for?

' src=

Hey Eddie, good to see you posting this here, because… somebody has to go first, right?

And like I wrote to you via email, this is a great piece of writing. Love the psychology, the dynamics and the details. Plus, you have a wonderful feeling for metaphors, similes, images, etc… Nice!

So who’s next…?

' src=

I want to post my prompt and to get it published too. I have two prompts I have finished writing.

Sounds good, just post your prompts here in the comments. Go for it, I’m curious to see what you have got!

' src=

Alex, these are the best ever!

Prompt 52 I think is my favorite. Two of the subjects I enjoy are stone-age fiction and science fiction. What nice marriage that prompt brings. Oh, hmm, maybe there could be a real one in that story, seed and egg age difference of 40,000+ years and still viable. No, I gotta quit now. Too much on my desk to handle immediately.

I’ll try to come up with a good prompt in perhaps a week. Kinda busy here at the moment.

Number 16, perhaps Cryptofreeze™ could have a companion, Cryptoflow™ to un-age. Wouldn’t that be really something, the two of them keeping on missing each other by several decades; ironing out their schedule and venue misunderstandings and trying again.

Eddie, I’m going to come back and read yours.

Thanks, Will! Oh, you are thinking along the lines of a love child in space and stone. And number 16, yes, that would be awkwardly tragic and funny. Imagine the thought of just waking up from a couple of decades in the freezer, slowly learning to move your limbs again, and buying some flowers to show up at her doorstep – only to learn that you have to do the freezing all over again…

I know, these exercises take more time than the prompts I usually publish in my posts. But when you are ready, I would love to read yours.

Hey, Alex, writing writing prompts is hard. I feel an urge to keep writing rather than stopping at the prompt. When I promised I’d make one, many days ago, I didn’t know what I had let myself in for.

Your blog sends me a copy of every comment posted on this page. They’ve served as prompts to write a writing prompt.

Writing Prompt # (no particular genre):

He knew he shouldn’t do it, even as he did it. But it was too delicious a thought to be abandoned. It simply had to be created to share with others.

It was a bad, bad habit, he had. A divine idea would arrive, an idea so clear and insightful and, well, full of awesomeness, that it must be manifested. Somehow. And the first step in the direction of that “somehow” was to make a promise to do it. Not a self-promise that nobody else knows about and is easy to neglect, but a promise to someone whose goodwill was important.

As expected, he did it again, true to his habit.

Immediately after he stated the promise, making it irrevocable, he had a sinking feeling.

Your assignment, dear reader who is also a writer, should you choose to accept it, is to unveil the promise and the consequences the poor bloke experiences because of it.

And now, Alex, let me make another promise. That I’ll write a short little story from one of your prompts. Perhaps the cave man prompt I mentioned earlier.

Hey Will, it happens to the best. Your prompt now is to take your time and write whenever you are ready. It doesn’t have to be very long, btw. Sometimes a couple of imaginative paragraphs create a great story in the reader’s mind.

Well, if it happens to the best, then I must be the best, right? 🙂

This story simply would not cooperate. It refused to become a “stone-age human meets space-suited human”. And insisted to finalize at 1700+ words.

Be all that as it may, here is what the story insisted it must be.

=====================================

Wzzt, the Martian

If they were translated, the whistles and grunts would have meant, “Wzzt, it has been decided that you will welcome the interlopers.”

Wzzt’s protest sounded like a wounded pig. A foreign listener would not have been much deceived.

——

“Base, I see tracks.”

Mars. Every dream, every night since he could remember, from little boy to adult at expedition training, Sam dreamed about Mars — although he could never recall specific details. And here he was.

“Well, I hope you see tracks. You’re following Opportunity’s path.”

“No, these are light tracks on top of what the dust storm left way back in 2018. Round, about the width of my hand, with marks that might be toes or claws.”

“Well, take some pictures and we’ll figure it out when you get back.”

Joe smirked, thinking his trainer was making a fool of himself. On this, their very first mars external operation. He gloried in anticipation of discrediting Sam. Joe had seen the tracks, too, but Sam reported it to base before he had a chance to do so. For once, he was happy not to be first.

It’s impossible, of course, Sam thought. Decades of satellite and robot explorations had proved Mars habitat is inimical to life more complex than bacteria. The track must be something else.

Sam and Joe, trainer and trainee, proceeded along Opportunity’s path, approaching the base of a cliff. In the shadow of the cliff, the two stopped short.

Sam forgot to draw a breath until his body reminded him.

“Base, there is a creature in front of us. It is about half my height with a roundish body, no neck, three short legs with feet that could have made the tracks we saw earlier. It waddles. And it is slowly approaching us.”

“Shit. Pull your weapons, but don’t shoot unless you are in danger. Raise the gain of your mikes. And activate those external speakers we were told we had to have.”

The thing waddled to a comfortable distance, about five times its own height.

It said, “The first humans have arrived on Mars.”

Joe, wanting to be first with the asounding fact, reported, “It speaks English!”

Sam thought, “Shit. This one has tech.”

He followed his thought with, “Base, it played a recording of our arrival transmission to Earth. On our very own comm channel!”

Base responded with, “Yes, we heard it. It seems we have a spheroid waddler with enough tech to intercept our radio transmissions to Earth, record them, and play them back to us on our comm channel. What the hell is it!”

Joe felt deflated. “Well, it did speak English!”

Base ignored Joe, following Sam’s lead like it always had during training and practice.

The thing said, “It speaks English! Base, it played a recording of our arrival transmission to Earth. On our very own comm channel! Yes, we heard it. It seems we have a spheroid waddler with enough tech to intercept our radio transmissions to Earth, record them, and play them back to us on our comm channel. What the hell is it! Well, it did speak English!”

Base told Sam, “That was not a recording. The same voice repeated what all three of us said. There is high intelligence.”

The things said, “Wzzt.”

Base, “What the hell was that!”

Sam, “Base, I think it refers to itself, it’s species or perhaps it’s name.”

Sam bent his knees, pointed at himself, and said,”Sam.”

The thing raised one of its legs and clumsily pointed at itself. “Wzzt.”

“Base, it seems that it’s name is however that word is pronounced.” Sam chuckles and continues, “Maybe we can introduce vowels to its language.”

Wzzt used a leg to point at Joe.

Sam looked at Joe. Joe was shaking.

For the millionth time Sam wondered how Joe got past the psych tests this mission put them all through. Maybe somebody really was bought off, someone who knowingly endangered the first manned mission to Mars by letting Joe slide into the team.

Sam activated Joe’s speaker and said, “Joe.”

Wzzt said, “Sam. Joe. Follow me to my cave,” turned around, and started waddling back the way it had come.

Sam grimmaced as the thought about psyche tests flitted through his mind. An utterly irresistible compulsion contrary to his innate sense of integrity had compelled him to ensure without doubt that he would be posted as head of Mars External Operations.

Sam said, “Base, it originated something. None of us ever said ‘Follow me to my cave,’ or at least not on a radio. It must have learned by listening to us.

Base, “Follow it. But carefully!”

Sam hurried forward, saying “Yes, Base.”

But Joe didn’t move. He seemed to be rooted.

Suddenly, Joe yelled, “It’s an abomination! Humans are the only intelligence! I’ll rid the world of this mad disease!”

Joe raised his weapon to do just that. Base, alert, deactivated it before it could fire.

Base, “Sam, proceed. Please be carefull. I don’t want to lose you.”

Base continued. “Joe, stay where you are. That is an order. Sam will accompany you back to base on his return.”

Then, “Sam, this is private. As you suspected, there were psyche test anomalies. Confirmation came in just before you met Wzzt, however that thing is pronounced.”

“I realize you have no first contact training,” Base continued. “Who would have thunk you’d need it; here, of all places! Use your own judgement and do what you think is right. If we delay for a partner to join you, this opportunity may be lost.”

Wzzt led the way to the cliff.

“Base, there’s a small hole in the cliff, behind a jut and under a rock shelf. Surveilance would have found it only by being within sight on ground level.

Wzzt held up a foot, a clear signal to stop. Then pointed his foot toward the hole.

“This is my cave.”

Wzzt lowered its foot, re-balanced itself, and continued, “If you come in, radio is lost.”

“You are welcome to come in.”

“Base, you heard Wzzt. It is civilized enough to give me a choice. I’m going in, if I can squeeze through that hole.”

“I don’t like this, Sam!”

“Base, you gave me authority.”

“Agreed.”

Wzzt entered the hole.

When Sam entered, it seemed as if the hole expanded to let him through.

Once inside, the light was dim. But he sensed it was a large cavern.

When his eyes adjusted to the dim light, Sam got a surprise. There was Opportunity, taken apart; but not haphazardly. The pieces were laid out in an orderly fasion, each piece labeled.

A dozen creatures of Wzzt’s shape were standing along the wall.

“Base,” Sam started. Then remembered he had no comm signal.

Two of the creatures along the wall stepped forward with an apparatus, setting it near Sam. A dial was turned.

Wzzt said, “Radio found.”

Tentatively, Sam says, “Base, Wzzt tells me we have comm.”

“Clear and no distortions, Sam.”

“Base, Opportunity is in this cave. Taken apart. By experts. No wonder we couldn’t find it after that dust storm. I’ll send you some visual.”

“Sam, are you okay? There are a lot of Wizzes in that cave.”

“Base, they are friendly. They provided the unit that established our comm from within the cave.”

“Sam! Joe has moved. He is running toward your cave. He’s going inside.”

Joe popped through the entrance hole. He grabbed Sam’s weapon, pointing it at Wzzt. Before Sam had a chance to react, Wzzt shriveled into char.

Sam launched himself toward Joe to take him down.

Suddenly, he halted in mid-flight, suspended. He didn’t and couldn’t move. Neither could Joe, being frozen in a leaning-back defense stance. The two were in a static space of some kind, a total absence of motion.

One of the creatures walked over to Wzzt’s ashes and collected them with a deep bag on a handle reminisent of a butterfly net.

The creature waddled over and forcefully put the bag over Joe’s head all the way down to his shoulders.

In less than a minute, the bag was removed and Joe was able to move. He almost fell down, then regained his balance.

When Joe spoke, it was Wzzt’s voice, “Sam, I am Wzzt. The Joe entity forfeited its right to exist when it tried to take my life.”

The Wzzt/Joe bent, straightened, and twisted, as he got familiar with the new body.

“Humans have strange bodies.”

Then from the radio, blared a frantic, “Sam! Base is lifting! The rockets are firing. According to the instruments we’re headed for rendezvous with Orbiter.”

“Sam, we have no control of the rockets or our trajectory.”

“Sam? Are you there? Talk to me!”

Sam desperately wanted to respond. But he couldn’t move. Nor could he make a sound.

“Base, this is Wzzt speaking through the body you knew as Joe. The life essence that was Joe is no more. It used its every effort to kill me, reducing my body to ashes.”

“We will no longer tolerate you and your kind on or near our planet. Except Sam, who we have chosen to learn from.”

“For decades we have watched you and learned about you. Monitoring established your Earth citizens to be capricious and destructive, at odds with each other, and focused on individual benefit, a mad melee reminding us of the animals that finally reduced themselves to extinction on this very planet you call Mars.”

“Do not come back. If in the future Sam wishes to return to Earth, he will be provided with transportation.”

The communicator was removed and Sam’s stasis was released. He noticed his gun was fully charged. He felt normal, healthy, energetic.

He looked at Wzzt, who was still becoming familiar with his new body.

“What now, Wzzt?”

Suddenly, with a silent, thunderous mental bang, Sam remembered everything.

Wzzt said, “Now you remember, friend Zzzt. Your mission was a success. It will be a long time before humans land on our planet again. We will be fully prepared.”

Sam/Zzzt suddenly felt awkward in his body, but quickly regained control.

In a moment, Zzzt emitted whistles and grunts that meant, “You know, friend Wzzt, they really are a strange species. There is little cohesion.”

Zzzt looked around. All the creatures in the cavern, his people, his friends and some new ones, were ringed around him, one leg raised pointing at him in a silent salute.

Will Bontrager

Oh how strange we have become. We are the aliens.

That was a fun read, Will!

' src=

All of those writing prompts sound fun and wonderful. it is going to hard to pick just one to write on. 

 Thank you 

That’s great to hear, Bruce.

Have fun with them!

' src=

Really useful…. 🙏thanks

Awesome! You are welcome!

' src=

Thank you for all the great resources. I am new to writing and have written a couple of pieces for the Show don’t Tell section on your site. Cheers, Tilly

Kayla was a talented piano player Kayla Vlasov sat at the grand piano, her back straight, her delicate hands poised on the shiny black and white octaves. The audience in the front row noticed how Kayla’s legs hung demurely from the stool, her feet barely reaching the pedals. Kayla’s expression was focussed. Nothing else existed when she was about to play the piano. With her right index finger, she struck middle C. The vibration went through to the audience’s marrow and sent a shiver down their backs. Thunderous applause. This would be an evening to remember.

Winny felt shy Winny held her mother’s hand, as they walked through the gates of Newtown Primary School. A teacher with a warm smile and auburn hair bouncing along with each step came towards them. The child hid behind her mother, wishing she could disappear between the folds of her skirt. Warm tears gathered in Winny’s eyes and she lifted her other hand to her mouth, hoping the teacher wouldn’t notice her quivering bottom lip.

Hi Tilly, these are excellent!

Not only do you “show” what’s the matter, but these are also fun pieces full of atmosphere.

If anybody is wondering where the prompts come from, it’s this post about “Show, don’t tell”: https://www.ridethepen.com/show-dont-tell/

' src=

Thank you Alex for the great prompts

You are welcome, Maria! 🙂

' src=

I would like to use Freezelicious. For a villain name.

Sounds like evil ice cream!

Lol it is. I want Freezelicious. To be a villain in a spy book I’m writing.

' src=

I really have a problem with prompt 24 on the adventure prompts. It feels very dehumanizing to indigenous peoples to portray them in that way and it perpetuates harmful stereotypes. I would suggest removing it because it is insensitive.

Hi Jessica, your comment is heard, but I would consider this excessive political correctness, of which the world already is seeing too much nowadays.

Everything is a stereotype – especially in a writing prompt! Your job as a writer is to then lay out a colorful story that draws the reader in, precisely because it’s so far away from any stereotype, which makes it interesting.

' src=

Looking for something else?

' src=

Hi Alex. Paragraph

I live in a senior residence and have taken on the adventure of coordinating a creative writing group. We have completed a year and I am very enthusiastic about the level of commitment and effort the students have put into all the assignments. This coming year we will be offering to include more people in the group. but since a number of people will be returning I have been looking for some different kinds of exercises to prompt and teach the students.

The prompts seem like a splendid opportunity for all the people in the group to try their hand without having to create new material right off the bat. I will let you know the kind of responses I get. Thanks for putting this together

Hey Pat, sounds great, I imagine in a senior residence people have plenty of time to write. Plus, you are living next door to your critique partners. Would be interesting to hear what came out of it and which prompts were used the most.

Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

If A New Comment Is Posted: Do Not Send Email Notifications. Send Email Notification ONLY If Someone Replies To My Comment(s). Send Email Notification Whenever A New Comment Is Posted.

facebook

Authority Self-Publishing

Love To Write? Check Out These 51 Creative Writing Prompts For Adults

An essential part of being a writer is daily practice —even if that practice is only a few minutes.

And even when the results are less inspired than you hoped. 

As long as you’re committed to building a writing habit and practicing your craft, you’re a writer—not just an “aspiring” one.

Sometimes, all you need is a generous supply of fun writing prompts for adults to get you started. 

We’re happy to help with that. 

What Are Some Interesting Writing Prompts? 

The best, most effective writing topics for adults are those you enjoy. They should stimulate your memory and imagination and create connections in the mind. All you need to do at that moment is to let the words flow onto the page.

Writing prompts can do this in one or more of the following ways: 

  • Remind you of a significant event in your own life; 
  • Trigger a powerful emotion about a particular event or relationship; 
  • Connect to a meaningful experience you’d like to dwell on for a bit;
  • Connect to other disjointed details in your memory; 
  • Relate to universal themes you’d like to explore. 

How You Can Use Daily Writing Prompts for Adults 

Here are a few ideas for using adult writing prompts: 

  • Start a creating writing journal using these as daily prompts ; 
  • Take one prompt and break it down into smaller installments; 
  • Start a creative writing group and share 1-3 prompts per week;
  • Play music that fits the mood of a particular prompt; 
  • Set a timer and commit to writing for at least five minutes straight. 

The best ideas for using the list of prompts below are those you’ll actually use and enjoy. 

51 Creative Writing Prompts for Adults 

Read through the following list of adult writing prompts and let your imagination respond to each one. Some will get your mind going more quickly than others. Some will have a stronger effect at different times. 

You’re welcome to keep this whole list handy or make a smaller list with your favorites. 

1. You’ve just been jolted out of a dream you’d give all your worldly possessions to return to. What was it about?

2. Someone you look up to makes an unexpected and hurtful remark about your body. What goes through your head, and how do you respond? 

3. You’re alone at night in your apartment in the city, and the doorbell starts ringing repeatedly. You look through the peephole and… 

4. You write an anonymous advice column and one day discover the unintended consequences of advice you thought was helpful. 

5. By day, you’re a responsible, if reclusive, college student. By night, you fly over your city as a dragon.  

writing prompts for adults

6. On the advice of her therapist, you write about a character from her dreams, and they show up at your door. 

7. Your significant other interrupts your work one day to say, “I need to tell you something.” What goes through your mind?

8. You don’t really want a pet, but when a friendly stray follows you home, your tender heart wins out and you let it in.

9. You meet someone with whom you feel not only safe but wanted and cherished. One day you catch them with someone else. 

10. You wake up in a different place lying next to someone else and, for some reason you feel more at home. But which life is real?

11. You’re a few short hours away from facing your worst nightmare. What is it, and how do you prepare?

12. You wake up with a headache in a coffin-size box and hear voices outside it speaking a different language. 

13. What comes to mind with the words, “What were you thinking ?”

14. For some reason, everyone is giving you strange looks and tip-toeing around you. 

15. Figures. Just when you get good at coding, the internet shuts down — everywhere. 

16. You were digging in your yard when you found it. And you fully intend to keep it secret.

17. You’re comfortable with anonymity, so it’s unsettling when, one day, everyone you meet acts as if they’ve known you all your life.

18. Your spouse thinks you’re leaving for work, but you know the truth. Maybe, one day, you’ll tell them—if you survive today. 

19. Someone slips a note underneath your apartment door. You unfold it to find a phone number and a brief, urgent message. 

20. Your spouse asks if you’re interested in trying something different with your marriage. And it’s not fantasy role-play. 

21. You wake up one day, and everyone seems shocked to see you alive. You look in the mirror and understand why. 

22. You wake up in the body of a famous historical figure you’ve been studying. How does your day go?

23. Ever since the accident, you’ve been hearing voices—not all the time but often when it’s least convenient. 

writing prompts for adults

24. You show up alone at an old friend’s funeral to pay your respects, but when you reach the coffin, the face you see is your own. 

25. You’ve always taken comfort in the presence of your own shadow, but it’s started taking on a life of its own. 

26. You have one day to do whatever you want without any consequences. What do you do?

27. You’re visited one night by the disembodied spirit of someone you know (still living). Why do they visit you?

28. You’re on the worst vacation ever. And you’re about to do something crazy to change it for the better. 

29. An evil genius hires you as his personal assistant. Your first day on the job is life-changing. 

30. Your life is the subject of a favorite TV show. Describe your character and write about an important scene of your own making. 

More Related Articles

61 Fantasy Writing Prompts To Stoke Your Creativity

66 Horror Writing Prompts That Are Freaky As Hell

List Of The 15 Best Writing Strategies And Examples

31. You find a high-paying job doing something you love. But when your devoutly religious relatives ask what you do, you lie.  

32. Your parents have just revealed a family secret they hoped they’d never have to tell you. You’re about to share it with your partner.

33. You’re in couple’s therapy, and the therapist suggests something you initially consider outrageous but are then… surprisingly open to it. 

34. Write about a time when you had to hide from someone. Were you protecting yourself—or them?

35. Write about an animal you identify with and describe the traits you share with them—or wish you shared. 

36. Describe a moment when someone you were once attracted to tried to intimidate you, and you turned the tables. 

37. Write about how different your life might be if, back at a pivotal moment in your life, you’d taken a different turn. 

38. Write about a relationship that taught you an important lesson and what you would tell that person now. 

39. You inherit a house and discover a secret door leading to a surprise your deceased relative clearly knew about. 

40. You meet and become friends with someone who’s the living equivalent of a favorite character from a novel you’ve read—or written. 

41. You become famous, and your life changes overnight. Write about how it happens and what it leads to. 

42. Create a powerful antagonist character and describe them. What kind of relationship would you or your protagonist have with them?

43. “She looked at me as if seeing me for the first time. When she finally spoke, she said… “

44. You did or said something that has left your family and friends speechless with shock. What is it, and what are the consequences?

45. You have this eerie feeling someone or something is following you home. You’re right. What or who is it, and what do they want?

46. You make a birthday wish, and it comes true. Describe what happens as a result. 

47. You stand up to a bully, and the results are mixed. What happens?

48. You finally get your dream job (or gig), and then you learn something about it that changes everything. 

49. For the first time in your life, you feel free to express your thoughts and see them as worth expressing. Why?

50. You write a book that becomes a bestseller , and someone you meet tells you it’s their new favorite. Describe the book and your fan. 

51. You get a dream job, and your boss turns out to be something other than human. The problem? You’re falling hard for them. 

Now that you’ve looked through all the above writing prompts, which ones stood out for you as favorites? And which will you use today? 

There are times when writers struggle to start their writing pieces. On that note, there is plenty of writing prompts for adults and in this post, there are 51 prompts to choose from.

Leave a Comment Cancel reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed .

Indigoextra - European SEO

85 Creative Writing Prompts for Adults

Creative writing prompt ideas

"If you want to write and you want to get ideas, you have to be alert and open to everything.  Everything you read. Everything you listen to. You have to allow these things to inspire you."

Fun creative writing prompts to inspire and educate

These 79 creative writing prompts for adults and teens are designed as story starters to inspire you. They will also help you write on specific topics and develop important skills you need as an author.

A good writing prompt will jump-start your creativity, help you come up with new ideas and may even give you the inspiration you need to write a full story. Feel free to dive straight in without too much thought. Simply choose the topic that appeals to you, pick one at random and start writing.

If you have a novel, screenplay, or other large project you're working on, I recommend using a prompt for 10 minutes before moving onto your main project. This will help get your creative juices flowing. If you don't have an existing project, spend as long as you want on a single prompt, or try a few different ones. Have fun, be free, and trust yourself.

The following prompts also include some for business, if you're looking for writing ideas to help with your content marketing or creating a blog.

Most of these prompts are written about 'you'. If you'd prefer to write them in third person, choose a name, and write them about a fictional character instead.

If you're looking to use these prompts as part of a class, or for a writing group, you might prefer to check out the  Creative Writing Exercises for Adults and Teens  instead. These include 43 group and solo exercises that are 10-15 minutes each, with more detailed instructions. We also have 42 science fiction and fantasy prompts  for those looking for good story ideas with a touch of magic (or technology).

Choose the topic that fires your imagination

Fire your imagination

So you can plunge straight into the topic that most interests you, these writing prompts are split into the following categories:

Overcoming writer's block

  • Creative writing prompts for a young adult audience
  • Creative writing prompts for adults

Expressing emotion

Fantasy and sci-fi prompts

  • Visual prompts for world building
  • Ideas to develop your online business writing

Overcoming writer's block

If you feel blocked, I recommend using one of the following prompts and writing for ten minutes in a stream of consciousness. In The Artist's Way, Julia Cameron recommends you write 3 pages every morning as your 'morning pages'. She calls this, " The bedrock tool of a creative recovery. " 

To write in a stream of consciousness while using a creative writing prompt, simply start writing and don't stop! If you don't know what will happen next, write, "I don't know what will happen next!"  Then write what the options are, why one option might be better than another, etc. This kind of spontaneous creativity is an incredible tool to help move your book or short story forward and to overcome writer's block. If you read back over your stream of consciousness after just ten minutes, you'll find some nuggets of gold in your writing and may have resolved a difficult decision about a particular piece of text.

All authors face a challenge in getting in touch with their creativity from time to time, so don't feel that you're alone.  

Here are the first set of prompts:

  • You're on holiday in a new city and you were walking along talking to a friend, when you suddenly realise they're no longer with you. What happens next?  
  • You have invented a time machine and set off to the time you would most love to visit.  
  • Think of three conflicts - an internal conflict where the protagonist has doubts, an interpersonal conflict with another character, and an external conflict like a natural disaster, physical barrier, or bad weather. Now write a scene that encompasses all three.  
  • You are sitting, reading a list of story writing prompts when a character from your favourite book opens the door and looks at you. They say, "I've been looking for you."  
  • You are a security guard at a secret lair. It's a cold winter's night and there's a foot of snow. You notice a set of footprints leading straight to you, but you could have sworn that they weren't there a moment ago.  
  • What's a flaw that one of your friends has? Imagine if that flaw was exaggerated and create a character around that flaw.  
  • You get a newspaper delivered to your door every morning, then one day it's tomorrow's paper, telling you what will happen today.  
  • Think about a favourite book or movie. What was the character's main goal? Now give that character a different backstory that explains his/her goal.  
  • You are about to fly on a dragon for the very first time.  
  • Everyone has a superpower based on the topography of where they were born (i.e. mountains, deserts, etc.). You are the first person to be born in space. (This prompt, copied from  Reddit , was the inspiration for a novel, that then became the first in a successful book series).

Prompts to help you write for a young adult audience

Two boys working together

These story prompts are ideal for teen authors and for those looking to write for a Young Adult audience.

  • You're at the best party you've ever been to, when your worst enemy walks through the door and heads straight towards you.  
  • One morning you wake up and you can see people's feelings as halos of colour around them. You discover that a friend has been hiding how they feel.  
  • You're playing with a toy car when it comes alive and starts driving around by itself. It can only make car sounds, but you have a feeling it wants you to follow it.  
  • Think of 3 animals. A creature has just entered your room that is a magical combination of these 3 animals.  
  • What's the most exotic place you've ever visited? Your adventure starts there.  
  • A genie grants you three wishes. You wish for an unlimited supply of your favourite food, then for an unlimited supply of your favourite toys. Instead of appearing next to you, they start falling out of the sky. You have one wish left.  
  • Imagine an ant is looking up at you. What would they see?  
  • You're dreaming of flying and when you wake up, you're hovering above your bed.  
  • The internet and all the mobile phones in the world stop working. Choose a character and give them a goal. What happens?  
  • Write about a time when you saw a dark aspect of humanity. How it feel and how did your behaviour change as a result of it?

Writing prompts for adults

Writing prompts for adults

  • You turn up for a job interview, but instead of being offered a job, you are invited to join an illegal activist group who are fighting to right the wrongs in the government.  
  • You have had a crush on Rowan for ages. One night your car breaks down. Cursing that your phone is out of charge, you hitch-hike home and a car pulls over to pick you up. Rowan's driving it and is alone. You get in feeling relieved and delighted, only to discover that Rowan isn't the person you thought.  
  • Write the names of 3 friends or family members who don't know each other. Now describe a scene where the 3 of them meet.  
  • You are a tree and are scared of losing all your leaves. Autumn is fast approaching.  
  • A rhinoceros is charging down a crowded city street.  
  • You have studied hard to be an opera singer. You are opening the show and forget your lines. In desperation, you sing the song to a different opera. The orchestra know it and play along with you. What happens next?  
  • Look at different clues for a murder mystery , then write a unique clue that could be the first hint to set your detective on the trail.  
  • Write a list of seven exotic or dynamic sounding verbs and number them 1 to 7. Now write a list of seven nouns. Now connect them together by joining the first verb with the first noun, the second verb with the second noun, etc. Choose one of the seven verb-noun pairs to create a piece of fiction.  
  • Choose a sport you love and write a scene about a character starting where they are preparing to perform in the Olympics, or another major competition.  
  • Your character discovers that their best friend is a murderer but chooses to keep it a secret. Create a back story that explains why. What happens next?

writing prompts for adults creative writing

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart”

Hellen Keller

  • Describe the emotion the woman in the above image is feeling.  
  • You are tired and arguing with your best friend over whose turn it is to wash the dishes. It gets out of hand.  
  • You receive a letter saying, "We would like to publish your novel." How do you react?  
  • What was the last strong emotion you felt? If this emotion was a type of weather, what weather would that be? Now place a character feeling the  opposite  emotion in those weather conditions.  
  • Your teenage daughter gets on the train to go to uni, you wave her off, then stand on the platform as the train pulls away.  
  • Think of an emotion. Now describe how your protagonist's body reacts when they feel this emotion.  
  • Your white friends have just left the supermarket and the security guard ignored them. You're black and as you leave, he demands to see your receipt.  
  • A beautiful rainbow shines in the distance, but the storm is headed your way and you're miles from cover.  
  • Your character takes a drug (medicinal or recreational, you choose) that changes their personality radically, making them feel happy but uncaring. While on it, they decide to end a friendship in a dramatic fashion. Afterwards, they try to rebuild that friendship. Write the conversation that follows.  
  • Three friends arrive at a crossroads. All three want to go in different directions. Create a scene where they argue about where to go. Now rewrite the scene from different points of view. See if you can show different motivations and personalities as you write.

Love Stories

Romance poem

Love comes in many forms and is written about in every genre. It goes beyond romantic love, though romance books are the best-selling genre. As so many people have written about love, it can be a challenge to describe love without sounding cliched. 

Before we get to the prompts, here are some quotes about love to inspire you:

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” ― Lao Tzu

“One is loved because one is loved. No reason is needed for loving.” ― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

“Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind, And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.” ― William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream

Now the prompts themselves from 10 different genres.  Choose whichever you feel inspired by! Many of the following say 'poem', but feel free to write a short story or letter if you'd prefer.

  • COMEDY - Choose 2 objects in your house. Write a love poem from one to the other.  
  • ROMANCE - Write a love poem to someone you love.  
  • LGBT+  - Write a scene from the perspective of a transgender teenager about everyday life at high school. Remember that in the modern world, depending on the country, they will encounter both people who support them completely and those who don't, so keep that balance in mind.  
  • SELF-REFLECTION - Write a poem to yourself when you were a child.  
  • SCI-FI - Write a poem from yourself 10 years from now to yourself today.  
  • LEGEND  - Write a poem from the Loch Ness Monster to Nessie, the female monster who also lives in Loch Ness.  
  • HISTORICAL FICTION  - Choose a famous character from history and research if they were married. Write a scene where they disagreed with their partner on a major decision.  
  • ADVENTURE - Write a poem about an amazing adventure in a place you, or your character, loves.  
  • MURDER MYSTERY  - Someone is poisoned in a coffee shop. Write the scene when the detective first arrives.  
  • THRILLER  - Your character wakes to find they are trapped in a dungeon after a first date. Their partner is with them. How do they escape?

What if ideas

Many great story ideas are based on a what if question. What if we're living in a virtual world? What if you gained a spider's abilities when one bit you? What if toys came to life when no-one's there?

Here are some prompts in the form of what if questions. Enjoy!

  • What if plants robustly expressed their opinions?  
  • What if women ruled the world?  
  • What if money became meaningless overnight?  
  • What if you and your friends murdered someone?  
  • What if a news channel gave a fictional story that became reality 24 hours later?  
  • What if you were an alien and had been adopted by humans?  
  • What if food was replaced by 'nutrition pills' to help stop global warming?  
  • What if sound manifested as physical beings?  
  • What if you had a recurring dream about someone, then you met them in real life?  
  • What if characters from history started to appear alive and well in a small town?

Fantasy and sci-fi ideas

  • Bored with your immortal existence, you are gathered with your godly friends to create the ultimate virtual reality game ever. A game you have called 'Earth', but just as your first friend enters the game you realise that the game has a terrible flaw.  
  • You are an orc who wants to do good. You have fled your hometown and arrive at a human village wondering whether you will be welcome.  
  • You character is approaching a castle. What unusual reason do they have to be there? What do they say to the two guards standing outside it?  
  • Evil narcists rule the world, but a wizard is determined to stop them by wiping their memory and the memory of everyone who knew them. This allows them to safely re-enter society. You have just found one of your old diaries and discovered that you were once a warlord who commit terrible evil.  
  • A war between the vampires and werewolves has been going on for centuries in ancient Europe, but you have just found a way to turn the battle. If a werewolf eats garlic, they remain human. You're about to spread a false rumour that will change history and give vampires the advantage forever.  
  • You are an alien visiting Earth and chose to assume an anonymous form as a dog. Now someone wants to adopt you.  
  • Gravity has just reversed itself.  
  • A wish generator fulfils a wish every time you touch it, but the wish it fulfils isn't your own.  
  • Look around you and imagine that an object, plant or piece of furniture you can see is enormous. Decide what this object means to a character. Your character is walking towards it.  
  • Imagine a fantasy world where there is one type of magic. What knock on repercussions does this have on daily life? Write a scene showing this.

If you enjoy this genre, then you can discover more sci-fi and fantasy creative writing prompts . These focus on world building, creating exotic characters and developing plots with an out of this world element.

Visual writing prompts for world building

Sometimes an image can be more of a prompt than words. As it's a different medium, it allows you complete freedom to choose how to write about it. Here are 4 visual writing prompts to help with your world building, along with a suggestion of how to use them for each.

  • You've entered this room for the first time. Decide what your purpose was in entering it, then start writing.

World building

  • Imagine a conversation is occurring here between people who work here all the time. Write the conversation, setting the room as the background.

Internet servers

  • I find the following image so evocative, it shouldn't need a prompt to go with it!

Visual writing prompt

  • Who lives here? Write their story.

World building - the house

As well as visual writing prompts, you can come up with good story ideas using musical writing prompts. Simply take the name of any song below and write a story from it. Focus on sounds in your writing.

Beatles songs

Ideas to develop your online business writing

Non-fiction writing prompts

  • Mix work and pleasure! Write about something you love to do as a hobby in the style of writing that you do for your work. A sales pitch about your favourite holiday destination, or an analysis of the last board game you played, for example.  
  • Choose a product you recently bought from the supermarket and see if you can sell it in 160 characters or less. This is useful if you're writing Meta Descriptions for a web page.  
  • If you had to choose a single issue that determined how you would vote in every future election, what issue would it be? Why?  
  • Write a short review of your favourite movie and a movie you hated.  
  • Write a short autobiography of your life in the form of an interview, where paragraphs alternate between question and answer.  
  • Choose a random article on Wikipedia and write a press release to promote it.  

Google - People also ask

  • What is your favourite book set in a fictional universe? Write a tourist's guide to one area of that universe.  
  • What was a favourite toy you had as a child? What appealed to you about it? Write a sales blurb for that product with you as the target audience.  
  • Find a page selling a toy you loved as a kid. Now rewrite that page as if it was a product designed for adults.

To discover more creative writing prompts, please click the image below.

Creative writing exercises

Creative writing games

Create a murder mystery game

Murder mystery riddles

How to write a company blog

SEO Newsletter

Marketing Blog

  • Real estate SEO case study
  • Writing retreat in South France
  • How Google detects and penalizes AI content
  • How to write a content marketing plan for lasting success
  • How to master multilingual keyword research
  • Marketing to the European culture
  • 15 steps to successful international SEO

Indigoextra Ltd © 2006 - 2024

UK Tel: +44 (0) 208 1234 618 France Tel: +33 (0) 602 222 354

Testimonials - Terms & Privacy  - Ethics - Contact

100+ Writing Prompts for Adults: Unleash Your Creativity and Imagination

By: Author Paul Jenkins

Posted on October 18, 2023

Categories Inspiration , Writing

Writing prompts can be an excellent tool for sparking creativity and overcoming writer’s block. Regardless of whether you’re a seasoned writer or just starting your literary journey, these prompts can guide you in discovering new ideas and refining your writing skills.

As an adult, you might prefer prompts that cater to your unique interests, experiences, and perspective.

V2 16Pl9 Erkuf

There’s a vast array of writing prompts available, catering to a wide range of genres and themes. From exploring interpersonal relationships to delving into fantasy worlds, these prompts can help you break free from the constraints of everyday life and find inspiration in unexpected places.

Moreover, writing prompts can push you to experiment with different styles and techniques, enabling you to grow as a writer.

Ultimately, writing prompts for adults allow you to get lost in your imagination, create vivid characters, and tell captivating stories. By engaging with various prompts, you can challenge your writing habits, ignite your creativity, and develop a stronger connection to your unique voice as an author.

Key Takeaways

  • Writing prompts for adults spark creativity and overcome writer’s block.
  • Wide range of themes and genres cater to adults’ unique interests and perspectives.
  • Engaging with prompts helps develop writing skills, styles, and techniques.

100 Writing Prompts for Adults

Here are 100 writing prompts for adults:

  • Write about a time you felt truly happy. What made you feel that way?
  • If you could go back in time and change one decision you made, what would it be?
  • Write a letter to your 20-year-old self giving advice.
  • Describe the house you grew up in. What memories do you have there?
  • What’s the bravest thing you’ve ever done? Why did you do it?
  • Who has had the biggest impact on your life? Describe how they influenced you.
  • What’s the most spontaneous thing you’ve ever done? Would you do it again?
  • What’s your biggest regret in life? How has it impacted you?
  • Describe a time you failed at something. What did you learn?
  • What are you most proud of achieving in your life so far?
  • What’s the kindest act you’ve ever witnessed? How did it make you feel?
  • What small moments bring you the most joy in life?
  • If you could have a do-over for one day in your life, which day would you choose?
  • When was the last time you stepped outside your comfort zone? What was the experience like?
  • What’s your biggest dream that you hope to achieve in the future?
  • What has been the greatest obstacle you’ve had to overcome? How did you do it?
  • What person has shaped you into the person you are today?
  • What is your greatest strength? How has it helped you in life?
  • Describe a time you felt truly at peace. What were you doing and who were you with?
  • What is your biggest insecurity? How has it negatively impacted your life?
  • What one piece of advice would you offer your younger self?
  • What do you hope people say about you after you die?
  • Who do you miss the most and why?
  • What is your happiest childhood memory? Describe it in detail.
  • What is something you lost that you wish you could have back? Why?
  • Describe your perfect weekend from start to finish.
  • What is the most courageous act you’ve ever witnessed?
  • What is your biggest pet peeve and why does it bother you so much?
  • What is the biggest risk you’ve taken in your life? Was it worth it?
  • What is the most surprising thing you’ve learned about yourself over the years?
  • What is the wisest piece of advice you’ve ever received? Who gave it to you?
  • Describe a time you felt like you failed. How did you bounce back?
  • What brings you true joy in life? Describe how it makes you feel.
  • What rules do you live your life by? Where did they come from?
  • What is your favorite childhood memory involving your family?
  • Who is your role model? How have they influenced your life?
  • What is the most spontaneous trip you’ve ever taken? What made you decide to go?
  • What is the kindest thing a stranger has ever done for you?
  • What are you most thankful for in your life right now?
  • What is the wisest life lesson an elderly person has taught you?
  • Describe a time you felt immense gratitude. What triggered this feeling?
  • What is the most surprising act of kindness you’ve ever witnessed?
  • What old photos bring back the sharpest memories for you? Describe the images.
  • What smell brings back childhood memories for you? Describe the memory.
  • When was the last time you felt pure joy? What triggered this feeling?
  • What is your favorite quote or saying? What meaning does it hold for you?
  • Who is the most inspirational person you know? How have they inspired you?
  • Describe the last time you tried something new. How did it make you feel?
  • When was the last time you had a really good belly laugh? What caused it?
  • What is your favorite family tradition? Why is it meaningful to you?
  • What is the most memorable gift you’ve ever received? Who gave it to you?
  • Describe a time you felt a strong emotional connection with someone.
  • What is the greatest accomplishment in your career so far?
  • What is the most thrilling experience you’ve had? What made it so exciting?
  • Describe the last time you felt butterflies in your stomach. What caused the feeling?
  • What is your favorite place in nature? Describe how it makes you feel.
  • When was the last time you stepped way outside your comfort zone? What motivated you?
  • What is the wisest advice your mother ever gave you?
  • Describe a time you felt truly proud of yourself or someone else.
  • What is the most insightful or wise observation you’ve made about life?
  • What makes you laugh the hardest? Describe the situation.
  • What small things brighten your day when you encounter them?
  • When was the last time you felt pure contentment? Describe the moment.
  • Who has been the biggest inspiration in your life? How have they inspired you?
  • What is the most meaningful or insightful conversation you’ve ever had? Who was it with?
  • If you had one day left to live, how would you spend it? Who would you spend it with?
  • What is the greatest single day you’ve ever experienced? Describe it from start to finish.
  • What is the biggest lesson failure has taught you? How has it shaped you?
  • What places have shaped who you are? Describe how they impacted you.
  • What is the greatest act of generosity you have either given or witnessed?
  • What advice would you offer your 20-year-old self about love and relationships?
  • What is the hardest life lesson you’ve had to learn as an adult? How did you finally understand it?
  • Describe a time in your life when you felt truly alone. How did you get through it?
  • What is the most beautiful place you have ever visited? Describe how it made you feel.
  • What is the most significant change you have made in your life in the past five years?
  • What is the most valuable life lesson your father ever taught you?
  • Describe the most fascinating person you have ever met. What captivated you about them?
  • What has been the most surprising twist in your life story so far?
  • What is the bravest thing you have done that no one knows about?
  • Describe a time you saw someone going through a difficult time. How did you help them?
  • What unpopular opinion do you hold? Why do you think many disagree with you?
  • What does your ideal future look like? Describe your life in detail.
  • What book or movie changed your perspective on something? How so?
  • What is the most spontaneous trip or adventure you ever embarked on?
  • Describe a time you failed at something. How did it change your perspective?
  • What would your childhood self be surprised to learn about your adult life?
  • Who had the biggest positive influence on the person you have become?
  • When was the last time you felt pure joy? What caused this feeling?
  • What do you wish your 16-year-old self knew? What advice would you give?
  • When was the last time you felt you were living your true purpose? What were you doing?
  • What is the greatest obstacle you overcame as an adult? How did you do it?
  • Describe the best birthday you ever had. What made it so memorable?
  • When was the last time you felt proud of a family member? What did they achieve?
  • What is your definition of true friendship? How has your definition evolved?
  • Who do you miss the most who is no longer in your life? Why are they special to you?
  • What is the wisest or most insightful observation about life you have come up with?
  • If you could instill one core value or belief in the next generation, what would it be?
  • When was the last time you felt you made the absolute right choice? What decision did you make?
  • What is one piece of advice you’d give to someone starting out their adult life?

Writing Prompts: Taking the First Step

V2 16Ply 0Kz7I

Writing prompts can be an excellent way for you, as an adult writer, to take the first step towards unleashing your creativity.

Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned writer, prompts can help you break through writer’s block, develop new ideas, and explore different genres.

There are numerous sources to find creative writing prompts for adults, with many websites offering free and engaging ideas designed to spark your imagination. You can use these prompts as either the starting point for your writing or simply as an exercise to get your creative juices flowing.

Remember, when working with a writing prompt, don’t hesitate to adapt it to your personal style and preferences. You can change details, add or remove characters, and even alter the setting to make the stories your own.

Here are some ways to approach writing prompts:

  • Set a timer for 10-15 minutes and write without stopping.
  • Use the prompt as a warm-up exercise before you start working on your main writing project.
  • Share your completed prompt with a writing buddy or in a writers’ group to gather feedback and suggestions.
  • Give yourself permission to write without worrying about grammar or punctuation, focusing on the ideas and emotions you want to convey instead.

Types of Writing Prompts

V2 16Pmq Zrics

Creative Writing Prompts

Creative writing prompts can help you break through writer’s block or simply spark your imagination. They often involve a fun or intriguing situation, character, or setting, which you can use as a starting point for your own story.

For example, you might find a prompt asking you to write a short story about an unexpected encounter at a coffee shop or a magical object found in your attic.

To make the most of these prompts, try writing without worrying about word count or perfect grammar. Focus on getting your ideas down and exploring your creativity.

Keep in mind that you can always edit and revise later. By engaging with creative writing prompts, you’ll build your storytelling skills and gain confidence in your abilities.

Essay Writing Prompts

Essay writing prompts, on the other hand, are aimed at testing your critical thinking, research, and argumentative skills. They usually require you to explore a specific topic or issue, using evidence and logic to present a well-reasoned point of view.

Some examples of essay prompts might include exploring the benefits and drawbacks of a particular technology, discussing the morality of a controversial topic, or analyzing a historical event.

When responding to an essay prompt, you’ll want to focus on creating a clear and organized structure for your work, providing supporting examples and evidence for your claims, and ensuring your language is clear and concise.

Writing Prompts Based on Themes

V2 16Pnq Bts78

Writing Prompts of Family

When it comes to family, there is an endless trove of memories and stories. Try writing about a cherished family tradition or that one time you couldn’t stop laughing at a family gathering. You can also take a more introspective approach and write about your relationship with a specific relative and how it influenced your life.

Exploring Emotions Through Prompts

Writing about emotions can be a powerful way to gain insight into your own feelings and experiences. Consider prompts that explore anger, joy, grief, and desire. For example, write about a time when you felt really fulfilled or challenged by a situation that led to intense feelings of anger. See how these emotions can shape your stories and personal growth.

Prompts on Money and Financial Themes

Money often shapes our lives and affects our decisions. Share your experiences with saving for a specific goal or a time when you had to make a tough financial decision. It could also be a fictional scenario where an unexpected windfall forces reconsideration of your character’s priorities.

School-related Writing Prompts

School forms a significant part of our lives and provides a rich environment for stories. Recall a memorable event from your school days, a favorite teacher, or a challenging assignment. You can also dive into issues such as school friendships and rivalries.

Prompts relating to Social Media

Social media has become a key part of our daily lives. Write about your experiences navigating social media, how it affects your relationships, and its impact on your self-esteem. Alternatively, you can create a story about the consequences of a social media post gone wrong or an unexpected connection made through online platforms.

Travel-themed Prompts

Traveling often leads to unique and interesting stories. Write about a memorable trip you took, an interesting encounter you had on your journey, or even a dream destination. Don’t be afraid to let your creativity roam in these prompts!

Food-related Writing Prompts

Food can evoke powerful memories and emotional connections. Write about a dish that means a lot to you or the experience of learning to cook something with a loved one. You could also explore the culture, history, and emotions associated with a specific type of cuisine.

Health Themed Writing Prompts

Health plays a vital role in our lives and can serve as a great source of inspiration. Write about a personal health challenge you faced, the importance of self-care, or even an experience witnessing someone else’s health journey. These prompts can encourage reflection and understanding of various realities we face with wellness.

Remember to keep it brief and maintain a friendly tone throughout. Happy writing!

Interpersonal Themes and Writing Prompts

V2 16Ppb Aaknh

When it comes to writing prompts for adults, interpersonal themes can provide inspiration and opportunities for self-discovery, especially when focusing on relationships and dating. In this section, we will delve into writing prompts related to dating, offering a few ideas to help you get started.

Writing Prompts for Dating

  • Your Ideal First Date: Imagine you are going on a perfect first date. Describe the setting, the activities, and how both of you interact with each other. What would make this date unforgettable for you?
  • The Unexpected Match: Write a story about two people who are complete opposites but somehow find each other and connect on a deep level. How do they meet, and what challenges do they face in their relationship?
  • A Lesson in Love: Think about a time when you learned something significant about love or relationships, either from personal experience or through observing others. Share the story and describe how it has impacted your view on dating.
  • The Five Senses: Choose one of your past dates or create a fictional date scenario. Write a scene incorporating all five senses (sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell) to help the reader experience the date as if they were present.
  • An Unlikely Romance: Write a story where two characters from different backgrounds or lifestyles find love in an unexpected place or situation. Explore how their preconceptions and biases are challenged as they get to know each other.

Remember, writing prompts related to dating can help you explore new perspectives, spark your creativity, and foster a deeper understanding of your own experiences and emotions. By engaging in these exercises, you’re not only honing your writing skills but also reflecting on your own interpersonal connections. Happy writing!

The Art of Getting Lost in Writing

As you explore different writing prompts for adults, allow your imagination to wander. Embrace new ideas, and don’t be afraid to take risks.

By leaving your comfort zone, you’ll discover fresh perspectives and interesting avenues for your writing.

One way to get lost in writing is to let go of self-doubt and criticism.

Silence your inner editor, and give yourself the freedom to write without constantly worrying about making mistakes. As a friendly reminder, remember that your first draft doesn’t need to be perfect.

Incorporating elements of the unknown, such as the feeling of being lost, into your stories can help you tap into your reader’s emotions and encourage them to lose themselves in your words.

Use vivid descriptions and authentic dialogue to paint a vivid picture of the world you’re creating. The more you can draw your readers in, the easier it will be for them to get lost in your work as well.

Finally, give yourself permission to take breaks when needed. Sometimes stepping away from your writing can give you fresh insight and a renewed sense of direction. Once you return, you may find it easier to get lost in the story again and let your words flow.

Frequently Asked Questions

V2 16Pqx Iru51

What are some unique prompts for adult writers?

Exploring unique writing prompts can help unleash your creativity and inspire new ideas. A few standout prompts for adult writers can include writing about a dream you’d love to return to or crafting a story set in a casino. Feel free to change details, add characters or put your own twist on these prompts to make them truly special.

How can I find writing prompts focusing on mental health?

Writing prompts that focus on mental health can offer a therapeutic space for self-reflection and emotional exploration. To find these prompts, try searching websites, blogs, and forums that specifically target mental health and wellness topics. You’ll come across a variety of prompts, ranging from writing about your feelings and emotions to exploring strategies for self-care and personal growth.

What are engaging poetry prompts for adults?

Engaging poetry prompts can often draw from personal experiences, emotions, or current events. Consider writing a poem about a cherished memory, a strong emotion you’ve recently experienced, or something that affects you deeply. Feel free to play with different poetic structures and styles to discover which resonates with you the most.

Which nonfiction writing prompts are popular for adults?

Nonfiction writing prompts can encompass journaling, essays, or opinion pieces on a variety of subjects. Popular nonfiction prompts might include writing about a significant event in your life, offering your perspective on a current issue, or discussing how personal experiences have shaped your beliefs. The key to exploring nonfiction writing prompts lies in relating your unique thoughts, perspective, and experiences to broader themes and ideas.

Where can I find funny prompts suitable for grown-ups?

Humor can add a fresh and enjoyable element to your writing. To find funny writing prompts suitable for adults, explore websites like Reddit or online writing communities that share comedic short stories, jokes, or funny personal anecdotes as prompts. Remember to have fun and let your inner comedian shine through your writing!

How can beginners find simple yet inspiring writing prompts?

As a beginner, finding writing prompts that are both simple and inspiring may seem challenging. However, there are countless resources available, from writing websites to online forums that cater specifically to novice writers. Start with a basic prompt that encourages you to explore your feelings, experiences, and ideas, and don’t be afraid to modify prompts to suit your personal writing style and interests.

Create Make Write

Create Make Write

Thoughts on creativity, writing & making

creative writing prompts for adults

82 Creative Writing Prompts for Adults To Help You Write

' src=

If you’re looking for creative writing prompts for adults, you’ve come to the right place. In this blog post, we will provide a list of prompts that will help get your creative juices flowing. Whether you are an experienced writer or just starting out, these prompts will help you improve your writing skills and produce great content.

What are the best writing prompts for adults?

  • Write about your favorite place to visit on vacation.
  • Pretend you’re stranded on a deserted island. What were some of the things that cross your mind?
  • What are five words that describe who you are as a person?
  • What would happen if aliens invaded Earth tomorrow? Write about how they might do so. 
  • Think back on one of the most embarrassing moments during your childhood. Now write down what happened, how it made you feel, and why it was so embarrassing for you. 
  • You just won the lottery! Now write down what you’re going to do with all that money. How will it change your life? 
  • Think back on one of the best days during your childhood (or adulthood). Now write down why it was so great. 
  • Describe your perfect day. 
  • Write about if you could have any superpower, what would it be? 
  • What is something that you’ve always wanted to do, but haven’t yet had the opportunity to do? Why? 
  • What are some of your favorite memories from childhood? 
  • How has your life changed since you became a parent? 
  • What would be the title of your autobiography? 
  • Write about how you define happiness 
  • What is the most important lesson you’ve learned in life so far? 
  • If you could go back and change one decision that you made, what would it be? Why? 
  • What is one of your best memories from childhood? 
  • If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why? What are some things that you’d like to do during your trip there? 
  • What is your favorite thing about yourself? 
  • What are some of your goals for the next five years? 
  • What is one bad habit that you would like to break? 
  • If you could have any career in the world, what would it be and why? What steps would you need to take in order to achieve this career? 
  • What are some things that make you happy? 
  • If you could tell your younger self one thing, what would it be? Why? 
  • Define love. 
  • Memorable meals with family and friends
  • A time when you overcame a major obstacle
  • A time when you were embarrassed but it was worth it in the end
  • The power of kindness
  • A day in the life of…
  • A character sketch of your best friend
  • Your favorite place to go on vacation and why
  • 5 things you would take with you if stranded on a deserted island
  • What’s favorite song and why does it mean so much to you?
  • The story of how you met your spouse/significant other
  • Your favorite place to read and why
  • A time when you surprised someone with an act of kindness
  • What happiness means to you
  • Why giving back is important to you
  • How your life has changed since becoming a parent
  • A time when you accomplished something amazing despite all odds being against you
  • What are three things that make your life meaningful? Why do they mean so much to you?
  • Your favorite memory from childhood and why it’s so special to this day.
  • Write a story in which a character tries to reconnect with a former love from a different era.
  • Write a story in which a small community is beset by a curse that makes everyone become animals overnight.
  • Write about a magical object that has the power to grant wishes, but only if the user is willing to pay a steep price.
  • Write about an individual who wakes up one day with some unusual new abilities – they can now read people’s thoughts and emotions, or even control them completely.
  • Write a story about a cursed object that always seems to bring bad luck to its owner.
  • Write a story about a writers’ group that meets every week to critique each other’s work.
  • Write a story about a young woman who discovers her true identity after years of searching.
  • Write about a group of friends who decide to take a road trip together.
  • Write a story about a person who is forced to relive the same day over and over again.
  • Write a story about a family who moves into a new house only to discover that it’s haunted.
  • Write a story about a group of friends who get lost in the wilderness and must find their way back home.
  • Write a story about a person who is given the power to control time.
  • A young woman who is haunted by the ghost of her former lover.
  • A group of friends who get lost in the wilderness and must find their way back home.
  • A young man who discovers her true identity after years of searching.
  • Write about an organization on a mission to save humanity from extinction caused by an unknown event.
  • What would you do if you had the power to save humanity?
  • Write about a time when you had to make a difficult decision.
  • Write about a time when you overcame a personal challenge.
  • Write about a time when you were forced to confront your fears.
  • Write about a time when you were forced to make a tough choice.
  • Write about a time when you were forced to stand up for yourself.
  • Write about an experience that changed the course of your life.
  • Write about an experience that made you stronger as a person.
  • Write about an experience that taught you something valuable about life.
  • Write about a time when you were called names.
  • Write about a time when you had to lie to someone close to you.
  • Write an obituary for yourself and leave your final words and thoughts.
  • Write about what it would be like if your world was turned upside down by the love of one person.
  • Write about a time when you were forced to make a tough choice or stand up for yourself.
  • Write a story in which a character is being pursued by a madman.
  • Write about a time when you were lost in the woods at night.
  • Write about an evil creature that is hunting you down.
  • Write about a dark figure that stalks you in your dreams.
  • Write about an urban legend that is based on true events.
  • Write about a ghost that haunts your hometown.
  • Write about a serial killer who is still at large

What’s next for your writing?

Creative writing is important because it allows for self-expression and exploration. It can be a way to work through emotions or to explore new ideas. It can also be a form of release, allowing for the expression of thoughts and feelings that might otherwise be bottled up. For experienced writers, creative writing can be a way to practice and improve writing skills. These writing prompts will help you do exactly that!

One reply on “82 Creative Writing Prompts for Adults To Help You Write”

  • Pingback: 60 Things To Write About When You're Bored

Comments are closed.

Get writing productivity tips in your inbox, almost every day.

+ discounts & deals on top writing templates.

No thanks, I’m not interested!

thinkwritten site icon

ThinkWritten

365 Creative Writing Prompts

Here are 365 Creative Writing Prompts to help inspire you to write every single day! Use them for journaling, story starters, poetry, and more!

365 creative writing prompts

We may receive a commission when you make a purchase from one of our links for products and services we recommend. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Thank you for support!

Sharing is caring!

If you want to become a better writer, the best thing you can do is practice writing every single day. Writing prompts are useful because we know sometimes it can be hard to think of what to write about!

To help you brainstorm, we put together this list of 365 creative writing prompts to give you something to write about daily.

Want to Download these prompts?  I am super excited to announce due to popular demand we now have an ad-free printable version of this list of writing prompts available for just $5. The  printable version  includes a PDF as a list AND print-ready prompt cards. {And all the design source files you could ever need to customize any way you would like!}

Here are 365 Creative Writing Prompts to Inspire:

Whether you write short stories, poems, or like to keep a journal – these will stretch your imagination and give you some ideas for topics to write about!

1. Outside the Window : What’s the weather outside your window doing right now? If that’s not inspiring, what’s the weather like somewhere you wish you could be?

2. The Unrequited love poem: How do you feel when you love someone who does not love you back?

3. The Vessel: Write about a ship or other vehicle that can take you somewhere different from where you are now.

4. Dancing: Who’s dancing and why are they tapping those toes?

5. Food: What’s for breakfast? Dinner? Lunch? Or maybe you could write a poem about that time you met a friend at a cafe.

6. Eye Contact: Write about two people seeing each other for the first time.

7. The Rocket-ship: Write about a rocket-ship on its way to the moon or a distant galaxy far, far, away.

rocket ship writing prompt

8. Dream-catcher : Write something inspired by a recent dream you had.

9. Animals: Choose an animal. Write about it!

10. Friendship: Write about being friends with someone.

11. Dragon : Envision a dragon. Do you battle him? Or is the dragon friendly? Use descriptive language.

12. Greeting : Write a story or poem that starts with the word “hello” or another greeting.

13. The Letter: Write a poem or story using words from a famous letter or inspired by a letter someone sent you.

14. The Found Poem : Read a book and circle some words on a page. Use those words to craft a poem. Alternatively, you can cut out words and phrases from magazines.

15. Eavesdropper : Create a poem, short story, or journal entry about a conversation you’ve overheard.

16. Addict: Everyone’s addicted to something in some shape or form. What are things you can’t go without?

17. Dictionary Definition : Open up a dictionary to a random word. Define what that word means to you.

dictionary success

18. Cleaning: Hey, even writers and creative artists have to do housework sometimes. Write about doing laundry, dishes, and other cleaning activities.

19. Great Minds: Write  about someone you admire and you thought to have had a beautiful mind.

20. Missed Connections: If you go to Craigslist, there is a “Missed Connections” section where you can find some interesting storylines to inspire your writing.

21. Foreclosure : Write a poem or short story about someone who has lost or is about to lose their home.

22. Smoke, Fog, and Haze: Write about not being able to see ahead of you.

23. Sugar: Write something so sweet, it makes your teeth hurt.

24. Numbers:  Write a poem or journal entry about numbers that have special meaning to you.

25. Dread: Write about doing something you don’t want to do.

26. Fear: What scares you a little? What do you feel when scared? How do you react?

27. Closed Doors: What’s behind the door? Why is it closed?

writing prompts for adults creative writing

28. Shadow: Imagine you are someone’s shadow for a day.

29. Good Vibes: What makes you smile? What makes you happy?

30. Shopping:  Write about your shopping wishlist and how you like to spend money.

31. The Professor: Write about a teacher that has influenced you.

32. Rewrite : Take any poem or short story you enjoy. Rewrite it in your own words.

33. Jewelry: Write about a piece of jewelry. Who does it belong to?

34. Sounds : Sit outside for about an hour. Write down the sounds you hear.

35. War and Peace: Write about a recent conflict that you dealt with in your life.

36. Frame It: Write a poem or some phrases that would make for good wall art in your home.

37. Puzzle: Write about putting together the pieces of puzzles.

38. Fire-starters: Write about building a fire.

39. Coffee & Tea: Surely you drink one or the other or know someone who does- write about it!

40. Car Keys: Write about someone getting their driver’s license for the first time.

41. What You Don’t Know: Write about a secret you’ve kept from someone else or how you feel when you know someone is keeping a secret from you.

42. Warehouse : Write about being inside an old abandoned warehouse.

warehouse writing prompt

43. The Sound of Silence: Write about staying quiet when you feel like shouting.

44. Insult: Write about being insulted. How do you feel? Why do you think the other person insulted you?

45. Mirror, Mirror: What if you mirror started talking to you? What might the mirror say?

46. Dirty: Write a poem about getting covered in mud.

47. Light Switch : Write about coming out of the dark and seeing the light.

48. The Stars : Take inspiration from a night sky. Or, write about a time when “the stars aligned” in your horoscope.

writing prompt star idea

49. Joke Poem : What did the wall say to the other wall? Meet you at the corner! Write something inspired by a favorite joke.

50. Just Say No : Write about the power you felt when you told someone no.

51: Sunrise/Sunset : The sun comes up, the sun goes down. It goes round and round. Write something inspiring about the sunrise or sunset.

52. Memory Lane : What does Memory Lane look like? How do you get there?

53. Tear-Jerker : Watch a movie that makes you cry. Write about that scene in the movie.

54. Dear Diary: Write a poem or short story about a diary entry you’ve read or imagined.

55. Holding Hands : The first time you held someone’s hand.

56. Photograph : Write a story or journal entry influenced by a photograph you see online or in a magazine.

57. Alarm Clock: Write about waking up.

58. Darkness: Write a poem or journal entry inspired by what you can’t see.

59. Refreshed: Write a poem about a time you really felt refreshed and renewed. Maybe it was a dip into a pool on a hot summer day, a drink of lemonade, or other situation that helped you relax and start again.

60. Handle With Care : Write about a very fragile or delicate object.

61. Drama: Write about a time when you got stuck in between two parties fighting with each other.

62. Slip Up: Write about making mistakes.

63. Spice: Write about flavors and tastes or a favorite spice of yours.

64. Sing a New Song: Take a popular song off the radio and rewrite it as a poem in your own words.

65. Telephone: Write about a phone call you recently received.

66. Name: Write a poem or short story using your name in some way or form.

67. Dollhouse: Write a poem or short story from the viewpoint of someone living in a doll house.

68. Random Wikipedia Article : Go to Wikipedia and click on Random Article . Write about whatever the page you get.

69. Silly Sports: Write about an extreme or silly sport. If none inspire you, make up the rules for your own game.

70. Recipe : Write about a recipe for something abstract, such as a feeling.

71. Famous Artwork: Choose a famous painting and write about it.

72. Where That Place Used to Be : Think of a place you went to when you were younger but it now no longer there or is something else. Capture your feelings about this in your writing.

73. Last Person You Talked to: Write a quick little poem or story about the last person you spoke with.

74. Caught Red-Handed: Write about being caught doing something embarrassing.

75. Interview: Write a list of questions you have for someone you would like to interview, real or fictional.

76. Missing You: Write about someone you miss dearly.

77. Geography: Pick a state or country you’ve never visited. Write about why you would or would not like to visit that place.

geography writing prompt

78. Random Song: Turn on the radio, use the shuffle feature on your music collection or your favorite streaming music service. Write something inspired by the first song you hear.

79. Hero: Write a tribute to someone you regard as a hero.

80. Ode to Strangers: Go people watching and write an ode to a stranger you see on the street.

81. Advertisement: Advertisements are everywhere, aren’t they? Write using the slogan or line from an ad.

82. Book Inspired: Think of your favorite book. Now write a poem that sums up the entire story in 10 lines.

83. Magic : Imagine you have a touch of magic, and can make impossible things happen. What would you do?

84. Fanciest Pen: Get out your favorite pen, pencils, or even colored markers and write using them!

85. A Day in the Life: Write about your daily habits and routine.

86. Your Muse: Write about your muse – what do they look like? What does your muse do to inspire you?

87. Convenience Store : Write about an experience you’ve had at a gas station or convenience store.

88. Natural Wonders of the World: Choose one of the natural wonders of the world. Write about it.

89. Status Update: Write a poem using the words from your latest status update or a friend’s status update. If you don’t use sites like Facebook or Twitter, you can often search online for some funny ones to use as inspiration.

90. Green Thumb: Write about growing something.

91. Family Heirloom: Write about an object that’s been passed through the generations in your family.

92. Bug Catcher: Write about insects.

93. Potion: Write about a magic potion. What is it made of? What does it do? What is the antidote?

94. Swinging & Sliding: Write something inspired by a playground or treehouse.

95. Adjectives: Make a list of the first 5 adjectives that pop into your head. Use these 5 words in your story, poem, or journal entry.

96. Fairy Tales: Rewrite a fairy tale. Give it a new ending or make it modern or write as a poem.

97. Whispers: Write about someone who has to whisper a secret to someone else.

98. Smile: Write a poem about the things that make you smile.

99. Seasonal: Write about your favorite season.

100.  Normal: What does normal mean to you? Is it good or bad to be normal?

101. Recycle : Take something you’ve written in the past and rewrite it into a completely different piece.

102. Wardrobe: Write about a fashion model or what’s currently in your closet or drawers.

103. Secret Message : Write something with a secret message hidden in between the words. For example, you could make an acrostic poem using the last letters of the word or use secret code words in the poem.

104. Vacation: Write about a vacation you took.

105. Heat: Write about being overheated and sweltering.

106. Spellbinding: Write a magic spell.

107. Collection : Write about collecting something, such as salt shakers, sea shells, or stamps.

108. Taking Chances: Everyone takes a risk at some point in their life. Write about a time when you took a chance and what the result was.

109. Carnival: Write a poem or story or journal entry inspired by a carnival or street fair.

110. Country Mouse: Write about someone who grew up in the country visiting the city for the first time.

111: Questions: Write about questions you have for the universe. Optional: include an answer key.

112. Rushing: Write about moving quickly and doing things fast.

113. Staircase : Use a photo of a staircase or the stairs in your home or a building you love to inspire you.

114. Neighbors: Make up a story or poem about your next door neighbor.

115. Black and Blue: Write about a time you’ve been physically hurt.

116. All Saints: Choose a saint and create a poem about his or her life.

117. Beach Inspired: What’s not to write about the beach?

118. Shoes: What kind of shoes do you wear? Where do they lead your feet?

119. The Ex: Write a poem to someone who is estranged from you.

120. My Point of View: Write in the first person point of view.

121. Stray Animal: Think of the life of a stray cat or dog and write about that.

122. Stop and Stare : Create a poem or story about something you could watch forever.

123. Your Bed: Describe where you sleep each night.

124. Fireworks : Do they inspire you or do you not like the noise and commotion? Write about it.

125. Frozen: Write about a moment in your life you wish you could freeze and preserve.

126. Alone : Do you like to be alone or do you like having company?

127. Know-it-all: Write about something you are very knowledgeable about, for example a favorite hobby or passion of yours.

128. The Promise: Write about a promise you’ve made to someone. Did you keep that promise?

129. Commotion: Write about being overstimulated by a lot of chaos.

130. Read the News Today : Construct a poem or story using a news headline for your first line.

131. Macro: Write a description of an object close-up.

132. Transportation : Write about taking your favorite (or least-favorite) form of transportation.

133. Gadgets: If you could invent a gadget, what would it do? Are there any gadgets that make your life easier?

134: Bring on the Cheese: Write a tacky love poem that is so cheesy, it belongs on top of a pizza.

135. Ladders: Write a story or poem that uses ladders as a symbol.

136. Bizarre Holiday : There is a bizarre holiday for any date! Look up a holiday for today’s date and create a poem in greeting card fashion or write a short story about the holiday to celebrate.

137. Blog-o-sphere : Visit your favorite blog or your feedreader and craft a story, journal entry, or poem based on the latest blog post you read.

138. Mailbox: Create a poem, short story, or journal entry based on a recent item of mail you’ve received.

139. Sharing : Write about sharing something with someone else.

140. Cactus: Write from the viewpoint of a cactus. What’s it like to live in the desert or have a prickly personality?

141. It’s a Sign : Have you seen any interesting road signs lately?

142. Furniture: Write about a piece of furniture in your home.

143. Failure: Write about a time you failed at something. Did you try again or give up completely?

144. Mystical Creatures: Angels or other mystical creatures – use them as inspiration.

145. Flying: Write about having wings and what you would do.

146. Clear and Transparent: Write a poem about being able to see-through something.

147. Break the Silence : Record yourself speaking, then write down what you spoke and revise into a short story or poem.

148. Beat: Listen to music with a strong rhythm or listen to drum loops. Write something that goes along with the beat you feel and hear.

149. Color Palette: Search online for color palettes and be inspired to write by one you resonate with.

150. Magazine: Randomly flip to a page in a magazine and write using the first few words you see as an opening line.

151. The Grass is Greener : Write about switching the place with someone or going to where it seems the “grass is greener”.

152. Mind & Body: Write something that would motivate others to workout and exercise.

153. Shaping Up : Write something that makes a shape on the page…ie: a circle, a heart, a square, etc.

154. Twenty-One: Write about your 21st birthday.

155. Aromatherapy: Write about scents you just absolutely love.

156. Swish, Buzz, Pop : Create a poem that uses Onomatopoeia .

157. What Time is It? Write about the time of day it is right now. What are people doing? What do you usually do at this time each day?

158. Party Animal: Have you ever gone to a party you didn’t want to leave? Or do you hate parties? Write about it!

159: Miss Manners : Use the words “please” and “thank you” in your writing.

160. Cliche: Choose a common cliche, then write something that says the same thing but without using the catch phrase.

161. Eco-friendly : Write about going green or an environmental concern you have.

162. Missing You: Write about someone you miss.

163. Set it Free: Think of a time when you had to let someone or something go to be free…did they come back?

164: Left Out : Write about a time when you’ve felt left out or you’ve noticed someone else feeling as if they didn’t belong.

165. Suitcase: Write about packing for a trip or unpacking from when you arrive home.

writing prompts for adults creative writing

166. Fantasy : Write about fairies, gnomes, elves, or other mythical creatures.

167. Give and Receive : Write about giving and receiving.

168. Baker’s Dozen: Imagine the scents and sights of a bakery and write.

169. Treehouse: Write about your own secret treehouse hideaway.

170.  Risk: Write about taking a gamble on something.

171. Acrostic : Choose a word and write an acrostic poem where every line starts with a letter from the word.

172. Crossword Puzzle: Open up the newspaper or find a crossword puzzle online and choose one of the clues to use as inspiration for your writing.

173. Silver Lining : Write about the good that happens in a bad situation.

174. Gloves: Write about a pair of gloves – what kind of gloves are they? Who wears them and why?

175. All that Glitters: Write about a shiny object.

176. Jealousy: Write with a theme of envy and jealousy.

Want to Download these prompts?  I am super excited to announce due to popular demand we now have an ad-free printable version of this list of writing prompts available for just $5. The  printable version  includes a PDF as a list AND print-ready prompt cards. {And all the design source files you could ever need to customize any way you would like!}

177. How Does Your Garden Grow? Write about a flower that grows in an unusual place.

178. Jury Duty : Write a short story or poem that takes place in a courtroom.

179. Gifts: Write about a gift you have given or received.

180. Running: Write about running away from someone or something.

181. Discovery: Think of something you’ve recently discovered and use it as inspiration.

182. Complain:  Write about your complaints about something.

183. Gratitude: Write a poem or journal entry that is all about things you are thankful for.

184. Chemistry: Choose an element and write a poem or story that uses that word in one of the lines.

185. Applause: Write about giving someone a standing ovation.

186. Old Endings Into New Beginnings:  Take an old poem, story, or journal entry of yours and use the last line and make it the first line of your writing today.

187. Longing: Write  about something you very much want to do.

188. I Am: Write a motivational poem or journal entry about positive traits that make you who you are.

189. Rainbow : What is at the end of a rainbow? Or, take a cue from Kermit the Frog, and ask yourself, why are there so many songs about rainbows?

end of the rainbow writing idea

190. Museum: Take some time to visit a nearby museum with your journal. Write about one of the pieces that speaks to you.

191. Cartoon: Think of your favorite cartoon or comic. Write a poem or story that takes place in that setting.

192. Copycat: Borrow a line from a famous public domain poem to craft your own.

193. From the Roof-tops:  Imagine you could stand on a rooftop and broadcast a message to everyone below – what would you say?

194. Time Travel: If there was a time period you could visit for a day, where would you go? Write about traveling back in time to that day.

195. Changing Places: Imagine living the day as someone else.

196. Neighborhood: Write about your favorite place in your neighborhood to visit and hang out at.

197. Pirates: Write about a pirate ship.

198. Interview : Write based on a recent interview you’ve read or seen on TV or heard on the radio.

199.  Hiding Spaces : Write about places you like to hide things at. What was a favorite hiding spot for you as a child playing hide-and-seek?

200. Extreme Makeover: Imagine how life might be different if you could change your hair color or clothing into something completely opposite from your current style.

201. Empathy: Write about your feelings of empathy or compassion for another person.

202. Opposites: Write a poem or story that ties in together two opposites.

203. Boredom: Write about being bored or make a list of different ways to entertain yourself.

204. Strength : Think of a time when you’ve been physically or emotionally strong and use that as inspiration.

205. Hunger: Write from the perspective of someone with no money to buy food.

206. Greed: Write about someone who always wants more – whether it be money, power, etc. etc.

207. Volcano: Write about an eruption of a volcano.

208. Video Inspiration : Go to Vimeo.com or YouTube.com and watch one of the videos featured on the homepage. Write something based on what you watch.

209. Sneeze: Write about things that make you sneeze.

210. Footsteps on the Moon:  Write about the possibility of life in outer-space.

211: Star-crossed: Write a short modern version of the story of Romeo and Juliet or think of real-life examples of lovers who are not allowed to be together to use as inspiration for your writing.

212. Font-tastic: Choose a unique font and type out a poem, story or journal entry using that font.

213. Schedule: Take a look at your calendar and use the schedule for inspiration in writing.

214. Grandparents: Write about a moment in your grandparent’s life.

215. Collage: Go through a magazine and cut out words that grab your attention. Use these words to construct a poem or as a story starter or inspiration for your journal.

216. Oh so Lonely: Write a poem about what you do when you are alone – do you feel lonely or do you enjoy your own company?

217. Waterfall: Think of a waterfall you’ve seen in person or spend some time browsing photos of waterfalls online. Write about the movement, flow, and energy.

218. First Kiss: Write about your first kiss.

219. So Ironic: Write about an ironic situation you’ve been in throughout your life.

220. Limerick: Write a limerick today.

221. Grocery Shopping: Write about an experience at the grocery store.

daily writing prompt ideas

222. Fashion : Go through a fashion magazine or browse fashion websites online and write about a style you love.

223. So Close: Write about coming close to reaching a goal.

224. Drinks on Me: Write a poem or short story that takes place at a bar.

225. Online Friends: Write an ode to someone online you’ve met and become friends with.

226. Admiration: Is there someone you admire? Write about those feelings.

227. Trash Day: Write from the perspective of a garbage collector.

228. Mailbox: Open your mailbox and write something inspired by one of the pieces of mail you received.

229. Fresh & Clean: Write about how you feel after you take a shower.

230. Energized: Write about how you feel when you’re either at a high or low energy level for the day.

231. Rhyme & No Reason: Make up a silly rhyming poem using made up words.

232. Tech Support: Use computers or a conversation with tech support you’ve had as inspiration.

233. Hotel: Write from the perspective of someone who works at a hotel or staying at a hotel.

234. Underwater: Write about sea creatures and under water life. What’s under the surface of the ocean? What adventures might be waiting?

underwater life picture

235. Breathing: Take a few minutes to do some deep breathing relaxation techniques. Once your mind is clear, just write the first few things that you think of.

236. Liar, Liar: Make up a poem or story of complete lies about yourself or someone else.

237. Obituaries: Look at the recent obituaries online or in the newspaper and imagine the life of someone and write about that person.

238. Pocket: Rummage through your pockets and write about what you keep or find in your pockets.

239. Cinquain: Write a cinquain poem, which consists of 5 lines that do not rhyme.

240. Alphabetical: Write a poem that has every letter of the alphabet in it.

241.  Comedy Club: Write something inspired by a comedian.

242. Cheater: Write about someone who is unfaithful.

243. Sestina: Give a try to writing a sestina poem.

244. Fight: Write about witnessing two people get in an argument with each other.

245. Social Network : Visit your favorite Social Networking website (ie: Facebook, Pinterest, Google, Twitter, etc.) and write a about a post you see there.

246. Peaceful: Write about something peaceful and serene.

247. In the Clouds: Go cloud watching for the day and write about what you imagine in the clouds.

248. At the Park: Take some time to sit on a park bench and write about the sights, scenes, and senses and emotions you experience.

249. Sonnet: Write a sonnet today.

250. Should, Would, And Could: Write a poem or story using the words should, would, and could.

251. How to: Write directions on how to do something.

252. Alliteration: Use alliteration in your poem or in a sentence in a story.

253. Poker Face: Write about playing a card game.

254. Timer: Set a timer for 5 minutes and just write. Don’t worry about it making sense or being perfect.

255. Dance: Write about a dancer or a time you remember dancing.

256. Write for a Cause: Write a poem or essay that raises awareness for a cause you support.

257. Magic : Write about a magician or magic trick.

258. Out of the Box: Imagine finding a box. Write about opening it and what’s inside.

259. Under the Influence: What is something has impacted you positively in your life?

260. Forgotten Toy : Write from the perspective a forgotten or lost toy.

261. Rocks and Gems: Write about a rock or gemstone meaning.

262. Remote Control: Imagine you can fast forward and rewind your life with a remote control.

263. Symbolism: Think of objects, animals, etc. that have symbolic meaning to you. Write about it.

264. Light at the End of the Tunnel: Write about a time when you saw hope when it seemed like a hopeless situation.

265. Smoke and Fire : “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.” Use this saying as inspiration to write!

266. Railroad: Write about a train and its cargo or passengers.

writing prompts for adults creative writing

267. Clipboard: Write about words you imagine on an office clipboard.

268. Shipwrecked: Write about being stranded somewhere – an island, a bus stop, etc.

269. Quotable: Use a popular quote from a speaker and use it as inspiration for your writing.

270. Mind   Map it Out: Create a mind map of words, phrases, and ideas that pop into your head or spend some time browsing the many mind maps online. Write a poem, story, or journal entry inspired by the mind map.

271. Patterns : Write about repeating patterns that occur in life.

272. Scrapbook : Write about finding a scrapbook and the memories it contains.

273. Cure: Write about finding a cure for an illness.

274. Email Subject Lines: Read your email today and look for subject lines that may be good starters for writing inspiration.

275. Wishful Thinking: Write about a wish you have.

276. Doodle : Spend some time today doodling for about 5-10 minutes. Write about the thoughts you had while doodling or create something inspired by your finished doodle.

277. Chalkboard: Imagine you are in a classroom. What does it say on the chalkboard?

278. Sticky: Imagine a situation that’s very sticky, maybe even covered in maple syrup, tape or glue. Write about it!

279. Flashlight : Imagine going somewhere very dark with only a flashlight to guide you.

280. A Far Away Place : Envision yourself traveling to a fictional place, what do you experience in your imaginary journey?

281. On the Farm : Write about being in a country or rural setting.

282. Promise to Yourself: Write about a promise you want to make to yourself and keep.

283. Brick Wall : Write a poem that is about a brick wall – whether literal or figurative.

284. Making a Choice: Write about a time when you had to make a difficult choice.

285.  Repeat: Write about a time when you’ve had to repeat yourself or a time when it felt like no one was listening.

286. Outcast : Write about someone who is not accepted by their peers. (for example, the Ugly Ducking)

287. Scary Monsters: Write about a scary (or not-so-scary) monster in your closet or under the bed.

288. Sacrifice: Write about something you’ve sacrificed doing to do something else or help another person.

289. Imperfection: Create a poem that highlights the beauty in being flawed.

290. Birthday Poem: Write a poem inspired by birthdays.

291. Title First : Make a list of potential poem or story titles and choose one to write from.

292. Job Interview : Write about going on a job interview.

293. Get Well : Write a poem that will help someone who is sick feel better quick!

294. Lost in the Crowd: Write about feeling lost in the crowd.

295. Apple a Day: Write about a health topic that interests you.

296. Cravings: Write about craving something.

297. Phobia: Research some common phobias, choose one, and write about it.

298. In the Moment: Write about living in the present moment.

299. Concrete : Write about walking down a sidewalk and what you see and experience.

300. Battle: Write about an epic battle, whether real, fictional or figurative.

301. This Old House : Write about an old house that is abandoned or being renovated.

302. Clutter: Is there a cluttered spot in your home? Go through some of that clutter today and write about what you find or the process of organizing.

303. Go Fly a Kite: Write about flying a kite.

304. On the TV: Flip to a random TV channel and write about the first thing that comes on – even if it is an infomercial!

305. Fruit: Write an ode to your favorite fruit.

306. Long Distance Love: Write about a couple that is separated by distance.

307. Glasses: Write about a pair of eyeglasses or someone wearing glasses.

308. Robotic : Write about a robot.

309. Cute as a Button: Write about something you think is just adorable.

310. Movie Conversation: Use a memorable conversation from a favorite movie to inspire your writing.

311. Easy-Peasy : Write  about doing something effortlessly.

312. Idiom: Choose from a list of idioms one that speaks to you and create a poem around that saying or phrase. (Ie: It is raining cats and dogs)

313. Playground: Whether it is the swings or the sandbox or the sliding boards, write about your memories of being on a playground.

314. Romance: Write about romantic things partners can do for each other.

315. Rock Star: Imagine you are a famous rock star. Write about the experience.

rock star life

316. Come to Life: Imagine ordinary objects have come to life. Write about what they do and say.

317. Airplane: Write about meeting someone on an airplane and a conversation you might have.

318. Health & Beauty: Take some time to peruse your medicine cabinet or the health and beauty aisles at a local store. Write a poem, short story, or journal entry inspired by a product label.

319. Determination: Write about not giving up.

320. Instrumental Inspiration: Listen to some instrumental music and write a poem that matches the mood, beat, and style of the music.

321. Wait Your Turn: Write about having to wait in line.

322. Personality Type : Do you know your personality type? (There are many free quizzes online) – write about what type of personality traits you have.

323. Decade: Choose a favorite decade and write about it. (IE: 1980’s or 1950’s for example)

324. I Believe: Write your personal credo of things you believe in.

325. Lost and Found: Write about a lost object.

326. Say it: Write a poem or story that uses dialogue between two people.

327. The Unsent Letter: Write about a letter that never made it to its recipient.

328. The Windows of the Soul: Write a poem about the story that is told through someone’s eyes.

329. Trial and Error: Write about something you learned the hard way.

330. Escape : Write about where you like to go to escape from it all.

331. What’s Cooking: Write something inspired a favorite food or recipe.

332. Records : Go through your file box and pull out old receipts or records…write something inspired by what you find!

333. Banking: Write about visiting the bank.

334. Sweet Talk: Write about trying to convince someone of something.

335. Serendipity: Write about something that happened by chance in a positive way.

336. Distractions: Write about how it feels when you can’t focus.

337. Corporation: Write about big business.

338. Word of the Day: Go to a dictionary website that has a word of the day and use it in a poem, story or journal entry you write.

339. Pick Me Up:  What do you do when you need a pick me up?

340. Unfinished: Write about a project you started but never completed.

341. Forgiveness: Write about a time when someone forgave you or you forgave someone.

342. Weakness: Write about your greatest weakness.

343. Starting: Write about starting a project.

344. Mechanical: Think of gears, moving parts, machines.

345. Random Act of Kindness : Write about a random act of kindness you’ve done for someone or someone has done for you, no matter how small or insignificant it may have seemed.

346. Underground: Imagine living in a home underground and use that as inspiration for writing.

347. Classic Rock: Pick a classic rock love ballad and rewrite it into a story or poem with a similar theme.

348. Night Owl : Write about staying up late at night.

349. Magnetic : Write about attraction to something or someone.

350. Teamwork: Write about working with a team towards a common goal.

351. Roller-coaster : Write about the ups and downs in life.

352. Motivational Poster: Look at some motivational posters online and write a poem or journal entry inspired by your favorite one.

353. Games: Write about the games people play – figuratively or literally.

chess game story starter

354. Turning Point: Write about a point in life where things turned for the better or worse.

355. Spellbound: Write about a witch’s spell.

356. Anniversary: Write about the anniversary of a special date.

357. Gamble:  Be inspired by a casino or lottery ticket.

358. Picnic: Write about going on a picnic.

359. Garage: Write about some random item you might find in a garage.

360. Review: Review your week, month, or year in a journal entry or poem format.

361. Detective: Write about a detective searching for clues or solving a mystery.

362. Camera: Take your camera for a walk and write based on one of the photographs you take.

363. Visiting : Write about visiting a family member or friend.

364. Trust: Write about putting trust in someone.

365. Congratulations : Did you write a poem, short story, or journal entry every day for a whole year? Write about what you’ve learned and celebrate your achievement!

We hope you enjoy these creative writing prompts! And of course, if you write anything using these prompts, we’d love to know about it! Tell us how you’ll use these everyday creative writing prompts in the comments section below!

And of course, if you’d like the printable ad-free version of these prompts to reference again and again or to use in your classroom, you can find them at our Etsy shop !

Chelle Stein wrote her first embarrassingly bad novel at the age of 14 and hasn't stopped writing since. As the founder of ThinkWritten, she enjoys encouraging writers and creatives of all types.

Similar Posts

108 Romance Writing Prompts & Love Story Ideas

108 Romance Writing Prompts & Love Story Ideas

7 Creative Writing Exercises For Writers

7 Creative Writing Exercises For Writers

300 Fun Writing Prompts for Kids: Story Starters, Journal Prompts & Ideas

300 Fun Writing Prompts for Kids: Story Starters, Journal Prompts & Ideas

42 Fantasy Writing Prompts & Plot Ideas

42 Fantasy Writing Prompts & Plot Ideas

101 Poetry Prompts & Ideas for Writing Poems

101 Poetry Prompts & Ideas for Writing Poems

140 Exclusive Writing Prompts For Adults

Chukwudumebi Amadi

  • February 19, 2024

Table of Contents Hide

What are writing prompts, 1. deeper exploration of complex themes, 2. greater emotional resonance, 3. expansion of vocabulary and writing styles, 4. challenge and growth, 5. connection and community, faqs on exclusive writing prompts for adults, we also recommend.

Writing can be a therapeutic and fulfilling activity for adults of all ages. Whether you enjoy journaling, storytelling, or simply exploring your own thoughts and emotions, having a pool of writing prompts can be incredibly helpful in sparking inspiration and keeping the creative juices flowing.

With so many writing prompts available online, it’s important to find ones that are tailored to an adult audience. That’s why we have compiled this comprehensive list of 140 exclusive writing prompts that will challenge and engage adult writers in various genres and styles. From thought-provoking questions to imaginative scenarios, these prompts will ignite your imagination and help you discover new depths in your writing journey. So, get ready to unleash your creativity and dive into this remarkable collection of writing prompts for adults.

Writing prompts are little sparks that ignite your imagination and nudge you to start writing. They can be short sentences, intriguing questions, images, or even just words that offer a jumping-off point for your creativity.

Think of them like keys unlocking specific rooms in your imagination. Some prompts might lead you down familiar paths, while others fling open doors to entirely new worlds.

READ ALSO: What Is Opinion Writing? | Types, Examples & Resources

Benefits of Using Writing Prompts

Here are the potential benefits of using well-crafted writing prompts designed for adults:

Adult prompts can delve into more mature subjects like relationships, mortality, career struggles, or societal issues, offering opportunities for nuanced reflection and self-discovery through writing.

By addressing experiences and concerns relevant to adults, these prompts can evoke stronger emotional responses, leading to more personal and impactful writing.

Adult prompts often encourage the use of richer vocabulary and more complex sentence structures, helping writers refine their craft and express themselves more effectively.

Stepping outside familiar creative comfort zones with prompts designed for adults can push writers to explore new perspectives, experiment with different genres, and hone their storytelling skills.

SEE ALSO: What Is Speech Writing? Best Tips And Jobs In 2024

Sharing adult-oriented writing based on prompts can foster a sense of connection and community among writers who share similar interests and experiences.

Here are 140 exclusive writing prompts for adults:

  • Reflect on a pivotal moment that changed your life and explore its long-term impact.
  • Imagine a world where technology has regressed, and people communicate solely through handwritten letters.
  • Write a letter to your future self, detailing your aspirations and dreams.
  • Explore the concept of time travel and how it might affect personal relationships.
  • Describe a place from your childhood that holds significant memories for you.
  • Invent a new form of art and explain its purpose and significance.
  • Write a short story about a character who discovers a hidden talent in their middle age.
  • Explore the theme of forgiveness in a fictional story involving two estranged characters.
  • If you could have dinner with any historical figure, who would it be, and what would you discuss?
  • Write a letter to your favorite fictional character, expressing your thoughts and questions.
  • Describe a vivid dream you’ve had recently and analyze its potential meanings.
  • Explore the impact of social media on modern relationships and communication.
  • Write a dialogue between two characters who have opposing views on a controversial topic.
  • Reflect on a moment when you faced a significant fear and how it shaped your character.
  • Invent a futuristic society where humans coexist with advanced artificial intelligence.
  • Write a poem inspired by the changing seasons and their impact on your emotions.
  • Explore the concept of serendipity in a short story or personal reflection.
  • Describe a place you’ve never been but have always wanted to visit and explain why.
  • Write a letter of gratitude to someone who has profoundly influenced your life.
  • Invent a new holiday and outline its traditions, rituals, and significance.
  • Reflect on a mistake you’ve made and explore the lessons learned from that experience.
  • Imagine a world without the internet and explore how it would affect daily life.
  • Write a short story about a character who discovers a hidden portal to another dimension.
  • Explore the theme of resilience in the face of adversity through a personal essay.
  • Describe the perfect day in your life, from start to finish.
  • Invent a unique superhero and outline their origin story and special abilities.
  • Write a letter to your younger self, offering advice and words of encouragement.
  • Explore the impact of nature on your mental well-being in a reflective essay.
  • Write a dialogue between two characters who meet at a pivotal moment in their lives.
  • Reflect on a book or movie that significantly influenced your perspective on life.
  • Invent a magical object and describe its powers and significance.
  • Explore the concept of fate in a fictional story or personal reflection.
  • Write a poem about the beauty of imperfections and embracing flaws.
  • Describe a moment of personal transformation or self-discovery.
  • Invent a new mythical creature and describe its appearance, habitat, and behavior.
  • Explore the idea of parallel universes and how different choices could lead to alternate realities.
  • Write a letter to an estranged friend, expressing your feelings and hopes for reconciliation.
  • Reflect on a historical event that has always fascinated you and explore its impact.
  • Imagine a utopian society and discuss the key principles that govern it.
  • Write a short story set in a dystopian future where technology controls every aspect of life.
  • Describe a piece of artwork that holds significant meaning for you.
  • Explore the theme of regret in a personal essay or fictional narrative.
  • Write a letter to an author whose work has deeply resonated with you.
  • Invent a new form of transportation and explain its functionality and benefits.
  • Reflect on a challenging decision you’ve made and the factors that influenced it.
  • Explore the concept of identity and how it evolves over time in a personal reflection.
  • Write a dialogue between two characters who reunite after many years apart.
  • Invent a time-traveling device and explore its potential consequences on history.
  • Describe a recurring dream you’ve had and interpret its symbolism.
  • Imagine a world where people communicate solely through music, and explore its implications.
  • Write a letter to your favorite childhood teacher, expressing gratitude and sharing memories.
  • Reflect on the role of technology in modern relationships and its impact on communication.
  • Invent a new cuisine that combines elements from different cultures and explains its appeal.
  • Explore the theme of sacrifice in a fictional story or personal essay.
  • Write a poem inspired by a specific color and the emotions it evokes.
  • Describe a fictional day in your life where you have superhuman abilities.
  • Reflect on a quote that has inspired you and explore its significance in your life.
  • Imagine a world where emotions are visible, and explore the consequences of human interactions.
  • Write a letter to a future generation, sharing your insights and lessons learned.
  • Explore the concept of destiny and whether individuals have control over their fate.
  • Describe a place that brings you a sense of calm and tranquility.
  • Invent a new genre of music and describe its unique characteristics and themes.
  • Write a short story about a character who discovers a hidden talent later in life.
  • Reflect on a cultural tradition that holds special meaning for you.
  • Explore the theme of resilience through a personal narrative of overcoming challenges.
  • Invent a new form of communication and discuss its advantages and limitations.
  • Write a letter to your future self, outlining your goals and aspirations.
  • Describe a moment of personal triumph and the emotions associated with it.
  • Imagine a world without borders and explore the potential benefits and challenges.
  • Reflect on a piece of advice you received that significantly influenced your life.
  • Explore the impact of social media on mental health in a personal essay.
  • Write a dialogue between two characters who have opposing views on a moral dilemma.
  • Invent a new sport and outline its rules, equipment, and objectives.
  • Describe a place you’ve traveled to that left a lasting impression on you.
  • Reflect on a childhood memory that shaped your values and beliefs.
  • Explore the theme of nostalgia through a personal narrative or fictional story.
  • Write a poem about the beauty of simplicity in everyday life.
  • Invent a new technology that could solve a global issue and discuss its potential impact.
  • Imagine a world where everyone possesses a unique superpower, and explore its consequences.
  • Reflect on the role of humor in dealing with life’s challenges in a personal essay.
  • Write a letter to your favorite fictional character, expressing your admiration and questions.
  • Invent a new form of energy and discuss its environmental benefits.
  • Explore the theme of identity through a personal narrative of cultural heritage.
  • Describe a meal that holds sentimental value for you and the memories associated with it.
  • Write a short story about a character who discovers a mysterious portal to another time.
  • Reflect on a personal achievement and the lessons learned from the journey.
  • Explore the concept of artificial intelligence and its potential impact on society.
  • Imagine a world where dreams are tangible and can be shared with others.
  • Write a letter to someone who has inspired you, expressing gratitude and admiration.
  • Invent a new genre of literature and outline its defining characteristics.
  • Reflect on a personal setback and the resilience it cultivated in you.
  • Explore the theme of redemption through a fictional narrative or personal essay.
  • Write a poem inspired by the changing seasons and their symbolism in your life.
  • Describe a fictional encounter with an extraterrestrial being and its consequences.
  • Invent a new mode of transportation for interplanetary travel and describe its features.
  • Reflect on the impact of nature on your creativity and overall well-being.
  • Imagine a world where emotions are regulated and explore the potential consequences.
  • Write a letter to your past self, offering advice and encouragement.
  • Explore the concept of free will and whether individuals have the power to change their destinies.
  • Invent a new form of entertainment and discuss its appeal to a global audience.
  • Reflect on a historical event that has always intrigued you and its lasting effects.
  • Imagine a world where language is communicated solely through visual symbols.
  • Write a short story about a character who discovers a hidden realm within their own mind.
  • Explore the theme of unfulfilled dreams through a personal narrative or fictional tale.
  • Describe a place from literature or film that you wish you could visit in real life.
  • Reflect on a cultural practice that has shaped your values and perspective.
  • Invent a new way for humans to communicate with animals and describe its potential benefits.
  • Write a letter to a future generation, providing insights into the challenges you faced.
  • Invent a device that could solve a pressing environmental issue and discuss its functionality.
  • Explore the impact of mindfulness and meditation on mental well-being in a personal essay.
  • Imagine a world where societal roles are reversed, and explore the consequences.
  • Write a poem inspired by the concept of finding beauty in unexpected places.
  • Reflect on a moment when you challenged societal norms and the outcomes.
  • Explore the theme of friendship through a fictional narrative or personal reflection.
  • Describe a fictional encounter with a mythical creature and its impact on your life.
  • Invent a new form of government and discuss its principles and effectiveness.
  • Write a letter to your future self, predicting your accomplishments and aspirations.
  • Reflect on a significant turning point in your life and its influence on your character.
  • Imagine a world where memories can be bought and sold, and explore the implications.
  • Invent a new genre of film and outline its key characteristics and themes.
  • Explore the theme of perseverance through a personal narrative or fictional story.
  • Write a dialogue between two characters who reunite after years of separation.
  • Invent a new culinary trend and describe its origins, flavors, and cultural significance.
  • Reflect on the impact of technology on human connection in a personal essay.
  • Describe a moment of unexpected kindness that left a lasting impression on you.
  • Imagine a world where people communicate solely through visual art forms.
  • Write a letter to an influential person in your life, expressing gratitude and appreciation.
  • Explore the concept of fate and whether individuals have control over their destinies.
  • Invent a new form of education and discuss its potential benefits for learners.
  • Reflect on a personal challenge that strengthened your resilience and determination.
  • Imagine a world where emotions are transferred between individuals, and explore the consequences.
  • Write a short story about a character who discovers a forgotten piece of family history.
  • Reflect on a piece of advice you received that positively impacted your life.
  • Explore the theme of transformation through a fictional narrative or personal reflection.
  • Invent a new method for sustainable energy production and discuss its advantages.
  • Write a poem inspired by the concept of embracing change and growth.
  • Imagine a world where books come to life, and explore the adventures within.
  • Invent a new form of storytelling and discuss its potential impact on culture.
  • Reflect on a childhood fear you overcame and the lessons it taught you.

Exclusive writing prompts provide adults with opportunities for self-reflection, creative expression, and exploration of new ideas. They can stimulate critical thinking, enhance writing skills, and offer a platform for personal growth and storytelling.

Yes, exclusive writing prompts are versatile and can be used for individual writing exercises as well as group activities. They can serve as prompts for discussions, collaborative storytelling, or creative workshops.

Exclusive writing prompts can be found in various sources, including writing websites, creative writing books, or prompts generated by writing communities. Online platforms and writing workshops often offer exclusive prompts for writers seeking unique and engaging ideas.

To maximize the impact of exclusive writing prompts, adults can approach them with an open mind, embrace creativity, and explore unique angles in their responses. Using prompts as a starting point, writers can delve into personal experiences, emotions, and imaginative scenarios.

With so many writing prompts available online, it’s important to find ones that are tailored to an adult audience. That’s why we have compiled this comprehensive list of 140 exclusive writing prompts that will challenge and engage adult writers in various genres and styles.

  •   25 Inspiring Freelance Writing Quotes
  • 107+ Creative Writing Prompts For Middle School Students
  • What Is Opinion Writing? | Types, Examples & Resources
  • 15 Different Types of Tones in Writing: Must-Know Guide for All Writers

Related Posts

Best blog post format for freelance writers: the worst thing you can do.

  • May 9, 2024

42 Common Poetry Terms to Know as a Writer

  • April 28, 2024

How Many Word Count Are in a Novel? Word Count by Genre

  • April 24, 2024

PrepScholar

Choose Your Test

Sat / act prep online guides and tips, 105 creative writing prompts to try out.

General Education

feature_creativewritingprompts

The most common advice out there for being a writer is, "if you want to write, write." While this is true (and good advice), it's not always that easy, particularly if you're not writing regularly.

Whether you're looking for help getting started on your next project, or just want to spend 20 minutes being creative, writing prompts are great ways to rev up your imagination. Read on for our list of over 100 creative writing prompts!

feature image credit: r. nial bradshaw /Flickr

10 Short Writing Prompts

If you're looking for a quick boost to get yourself going, these 10 short writing prompts will do the trick.

#1 : Write a scene starting with a regular family ritual that goes awry.

#2 : Describe exactly what you see/smell/hear/etc, right now. Include objects, people, and anything else in your immediate environment.

#3 : Suggest eight possible ways to get a ping pong ball out of a vertical pipe.

#4 : A shoe falls out of the sky. Justify why.

#5 : If your brain were a tangible, physical place, what would it be like?

#6 : Begin your writing with the phrase, "The stage was set."

#7 : You have been asked to write a history of "The Summer of [this past year]." Your publisher wants a table of contents. What events will you submit?

#8 : Write a sympathetic story from the point of view of the "bad guy." (Think fractured fairy tales like Wicked or The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs! , although the story doesn't have to be a fairy tale.)

#9 : Look at everyday objects in a new way and write about the stories one of these objects contains.

#10 : One person meets a stranger on a mode of transportation. Write the story that ensues.

body_modeoftransportation

11 Writing Prompts for Kids

Any of these prompts can be used by writers of any age, but we chose the following 11 prompts as ones that would be particularly fun for kids to write about. (Most of them I used myself as a young writer, so I can vouch for their working!)

#1 : Include something falling in your writing.

#2 : Write a short poem (or story) with the title, "We don't know when it will be fixed."

#3 : Write from the perspective of someone of a different gender than you.

#4 : Write a dumb internet quiz.

#5 : Finish this thought: "A perfect day in my imagination begins like this:"

#6 : Write a character's inner monologue (what they are thinking as they go about their day).

#7 : Think of a character. Write a paragraph each about:

  • An important childhood experience that character had.
  • The character's living situation.
  • Two hobbies or things the character likes to do.
  • The room where the character sleeps.
  • An ambition of the character.
  • Two physical characteristics of the character.
  • What happens when a second person and this character meet.
  • Two important defining personal traits of this character.

#8 : Start a story with a quote from a song.

#9 : Begin a story with, "It was the summer of ______ when ______"

#10 : Pretend everyday objects have no names. Think about what you would name them based on what they do, what you can use them for, and what they look like.

#11 : Start a story with the phrases "My grandparents are/were," "My parents are/were," or "My mother/father/parent is/was."

body_mygrandfatherwasprompt

15 Cool Writing Prompts

#1 : List five issues that you're passionate about. Write about them from the opposite point of view (or from the perspective of a character with the opposite point of view).

#2 : Walk around and write down a phrase you hear (or read). Make a story out of it.

#3 : Write using no adjectives or adverbs.

#4 : Write a character's inner dialogue between different aspects of a character's self (rather than an inner monologue).

#5 : Write a true story from your past that involves light or darkness in some way.

#6 : "Saying goodbye awakens us to the true nature of things." Write something in which someone has to say goodbye and has a realization.

#7 : Begin by writing the end of the story.

#8 : Write a recipe for an intangible thing.

#9 : Write a horror story about an ordinary situation (e.g., buying groceries, going to the bank, listening to music).

#10 : Write a story from within a bubble.

#11 : Write down 2-3 short character descriptions and then write the characters in conversation with one another.

#12 : Write a story in second person.

#13 : Write a story that keeps contradicting itself.

#14 : Write about a character with at least three big problems.

#15 : Write something that takes place on a Friday, the 13th (of any month).

body_somethingfridaythe13thprompt

15 Funny Writing Prompts

#1 : Write a story which starts with someone eating a pickle and potato sandwich.

#2 : Write a short script where the plot has to do with evil dolls trying to take over something.

#3 : Write about writers' block.

#4 : List five election issues that would be ridiculous to includes as part of your election platform (e.g. outlawing mechanical pencils and clicky pens, mandating every person over the age of 30 must own an emergency last rites kit). Choose one of the ridiculous issues and write a speech in favor of it.

#5 : Write a children's story that is insanely inappropriate but can't use graphic language, curses, or violence.

#6 : List five careers. Write about someone with one of those careers who wants to quit it.

#7 : Write down a list of murder methods. Choose one at random from the list to use in a story.

#8 : Write a romance story in which the hero must have a last name corresponding with a physical characteristic (e.g. Jacques Hairyback or Flora Dimple).

#9 : Come up with 10 different ways to:

  • order a pizza
  • congratulate someone on a job well done
  • return to the store something that's broken

#10 : Search for "random Renaissance painting" (or any other inspirational image search text you can think of) on any online internet image search engine. Picking one image, write half a page each of:

  • Statements about this image (e.g. "I meant bring me the BREAD of John the Baptist").
  • Questions about this image (e.g. "How many of those cherubs look like their necks are broken?").
  • Explanations of this image (e.g. "The painter ran out of blue paint halfway through and had to improvise for the color of the sky").
  • Commands said by people in this image or about this image (e.g. "Stop telling me to smile!" or "Bring me some gasoline!").

#11 : Write starting with a word that sounds like "chute" (e.g. "chute," "shoot," "shooed").

#12 : Write about a character named X "The [article of clothing]" Y (e.g. Julie "The Yellow Darted Skirt" Whyte) or simply referred to by their clothing (e.g. "the man in the brown suit" or "the woman in black").

#13 : Write down a paragraph each describing two wildly different settings. Write a story involving both settings.

#14 : Think of a fictional holiday based around some natural event (e.g. the Earth being at its farthest point from the sun, in memory of a volcanic eruption, that time a cloud looked like a rabbit riding a bicycle). Write about how this holiday is celebrated.

#15 : Write a "Just-So" type story about a fictional creature (e.g. "how the dragon got its firebreath" or "how the mudkip got its cheek gills").

body_justsostory

54 Other Writing Prompt Ideas

#1 : Borrow a character from some other form of media (or create your own). Write from that character's perspective.

#2 : Write for and against a non-consequential controversy (e.g., salt vs. pepper, Mac vs. PC, best kind of door).

#3 : Choose an ancestor or a person from the past to write about or to.

#4 : Write a pirate story with a twist.

#5 : Have a character talk about another character and their feelings about that other character.

#6 : Pick a season and think about an event in your life that occurred in that season. Write a creative nonfiction piece about that event and that season.

#7 : Think of something very complicated and long. Write a page about it using short sentences.

#8 : Write a story as a dream.

#9 : Describe around a food without ever directly naming it.

#10 : Write a monologue (one character, talking to the audience/reader) (*not* an inner monologue).

#11 : Begin a story with the phrase, "It only took five seconds to..."

#12 : List five strong emotions. Choosing one, write about a character experiencing that emotion, but only use the character's actions to convey how they are feeling (no outright statements).

#13 : Write a chapter of the memoir of your life.

#14 : Look through the (physical) things you're currently carrying with you or wearing. Write about the memories or emotions tied with each of them.

#15 : Go be in nature. Write drawing your story from your surroundings (both physical, social, and mental/emotional).

body_writinginnature

#16 : Write from the perspective of a bubble (or bubble-like creature).

#17 : A person is jogging along an asphalt road. Write a story.

#18 : Title your story (or poem, or play, etc) "Anti-_____". Fill in the blank and write the story.

#19 : Write something that must include an animal, a mineral, and a vegetable.

#20 : Begin your writing with the phrase, "6 weeks later..."

#21 : List 5-10 office jobs. Pick one of them and describe a person working in that job as if you were a commentator on an Olympic sporting event.

#22 : Practice your poetic imagery: overwrite a description of a character's breakfast routine.

#23 : Write about a character (or group of characters) trying to convince another character to try something they're scared of.

#24 : Keep an eye out in your environment for examples of greengrocer's apostrophes and rogue quotation marks. Pick an example and write about what the misplaced punctuation implies (e.g., we have the "best" meat or we have the best "meat" ).

#25 : Fill in the blank with the first word that comes to mind: "_______ Riot!" Write a newspaper-style article describing the events that that took place.

#26 : Write from the point of view of your most-loved possession. What does it think of you?

#27 : Think of five common sayings (e.g., "An apple a day keeps the doctor away"). Write a horror story whose plot is one of those common sayings.

#28 : Write a scene in which two characters are finally hashing out a long-standing misunderstanding or disagreement.

#29 : You start receiving text messages from an unknown number. Tell the story of what happens next.

#30 : Write one character bragging to another about the story behind their new tattoo.

#31 : Superheroes save the world...but they also leave a lot of destruction in their wake. Write about a normal person in a superhero's world.

#32 : Sometimes, family is who we are related to; sometimes, family is a group of people we gather around ourselves. Write a story about (some of) a character's found family and relatives meeting for the first time.

#33 : Write a story that begins in the middle of the plot's action ( en media res ).

#34 : Everyone says you can never have too much of a good thing. Write a story where that isn't true.

#35 : What do ghosts do when they're not creating mischief? Write about the secret lives of ghosts.

body_secretlivesofghosts

#36 : Every year, you dread the last week of April. Write a story about why.

#37 : Write a story about what it would be like to have an animal sidekick in real life.

#38 : Heists don't just have to be black-clad thieves stealing into vaults to steal rare art or money. Write about a group of people (adults or children) who commit a heist for something of seemingly little monetary value.

#39 : "Life is like a chooseable-path adventure, except you don't get to see what would have happened if you chose differently." Think of a choice you've made and write about a world where you made a different choice.

#40 : Write a story about a secret room.

#41 : You find a message in a bottle with very specific directions. Write a story about the adventure you embark upon.

#42 : "You'll always be okay as long as you know where your _______ is." Fill in the blank and write a story (either fictional or from your life) illustrating this statement.

#43 : Forcing people into prolonged proximity can change and deepen relationships. Write about characters on a road trip together.

#44 : In music, sonata form includes three main parts: exposition, development, and recapitulation. Write a short story that follows this format.

#45 : Begin writing with a character saying, "I'm afraid this simply can't wait."

#46 : Write a story with a happy ending (either happily-ever-after or happy-for-now).

#47 : Write about a character before and after a tragedy in that character's life.

#48 : Choose an object or concept you encounter in everyday life (e.g. tables, the feeling of hot or cold, oxygen) and write an infomercial about it.

#49 : "Life is a series of quests, whether important or mundane." Write about a quest you've gone on (or would like to go on, or will have to go on).

#50 : List 10 different ways to learn. Choose one (or more) and write a story where a character learns something using that one (or more) method.

#51 : You've been called to the principal's office for bad behavior. You know what you did. Explain and justify yourself.

#52 : A character discovers their sibling owns a cursed object. Write about what happens next.

#53 : Write a character description by writing a list of items that would be on a scavenger hunt about them.

#54 : The slogan for a product or service you're advertising is, "Kid-tested, _____." Fill in the blank and write the copy for a radio or podcast advertisement for your product.

body_kidtestedwritingprompt

How to Use Creative Writing Prompts

There's no wrong way to use a creative writing prompt (unless it's to harass and hurt someone)—the point of them is to get you writing and your imagination flowing.

To help you get the most out of these writing prompts, however, we've come up with the six tips below. Try them out!

#1: DON'T Limit Yourself to Prose

Unless you're writing for a particular assignment, there's no reason everything you write in response to a writing prompt has to be prose fiction . Instead of writing your response to a prompt as a story, try writing a poem, nonfiction essay, play, screenplay, or some other format entirely.

#2: DON'T Edit as You Write

The purposes of writing prompts is to get you writing, typos and weird grammar and all. Editing comes later, once you've finished writing and have some space from it to come back to what you wrote.

It's OK to fix things that will make it difficult to read what you've written (e.g., a weird autocorrect that changes the meaning of a sentence), but don't worry too much about typos or perfect grammar when you're writing; those are easy enough to fix in edits . You also can always insert asterisks or a short note as you're writing to remind yourself to go back to fix something (for instance, if as you're writing it seems like you want to move around the order of your paragraphs or insert something earlier).

#3: DO Interpret the Prompt Broadly

The point of using a writing prompt is not to write something that best exemplifies the prompt, but something that sparks your own creativity. Again, unless you're writing in response to an assignment with specific directions, feel free to interpret writing prompts as broadly or as narrowly as you want.

For instance, if your prompt is to write a story that begins with "The stage was set," you could write about anything from someone preparing to put a plan into motion to a literal theatre stage constructed out of pieces of old sets (or something else entirely).

If you're using a writing prompt, it doesn't have to be the first sentence of your story or poem, either; you can also use the prompt as a goal to work towards in your writing.

#4: DO Try Switching Up Your Writing Methods

If it's a possibility for you, see if you write differently in different media. Do you write the same kind of stories by hand as you would typing at a computer? What about if you dictate a story and then transcribe it? Or text it to a friend? Varying the method you use to write can affect the stories you're able to tell.

For example, you may find that it's easier for you to tell stories about your life to a voice recorder than to try to write out a personal essay. Or maybe you have trouble writing poetry, but can easily text yourself or a friend a poem. You might even find you like a writing method you've not tried before better than what you've been doing!

body_switchwritingmethods

#5: DO Mix and Match Prompt Ideas

If you need more inspiration, feel free to combine multiple prompts (but don't overwhelm yourself with too much to write about).

You can also try switching genres from what might be suggested in the prompt. For instance, try writing a prompt that seems funny in a serious and sad way, or finding the humor in something that otherwise seems humorless. The categories we've organized the prompts into are by no means limiters on what you're allowed to write about.

#6: DO Try to Write Regularly

The more regularly you write, the easier it will be to write (with or without writing prompts).

For some people, this means writing daily; for others, it means setting aside time to write each weekend or each month. Set yourself an achievable goal (write 2x a week, write 1000 words a month) and stick to it. You can always start small and then ramp your wordcount or frequency up.

If you do better when you have something outside yourself prompting to write, you may also want to try something like morning pages , which encourages you to write at least 750 words every day, in any format (story, diary entry, social media postings, etc).

body_planouttimetowrite

What's Next?

Thinking about attending college or grad school for creative writing? Our articles on whether or not you should major in creative writing and the best creative writing programs are there for you! Plus, if you're a high schooler, you should check out these top writing contests .

Creative writing doesn't necessarily have to be fiction. Check out these three examples of narrative writing and our tips for how to write your own narrative stories and essays .

Just as writing prompts can help give form to amorphous creative energy, using specific writing structures or devices can be great starting points for your next story. Read through our discussion of the top 20 poetic devices to know and see if you can work at least one new one into your next writing session.

Still looking for more writing ideas? Try repurposing our 100+ easy drawing ideas for characters, settings, or plot points in your writing.

Laura graduated magna cum laude from Wellesley College with a BA in Music and Psychology, and earned a Master's degree in Composition from the Longy School of Music of Bard College. She scored 99 percentile scores on the SAT and GRE and loves advising students on how to excel in high school.

Ask a Question Below

Have any questions about this article or other topics? Ask below and we'll reply!

Improve With Our Famous Guides

  • For All Students

The 5 Strategies You Must Be Using to Improve 160+ SAT Points

How to Get a Perfect 1600, by a Perfect Scorer

Series: How to Get 800 on Each SAT Section:

Score 800 on SAT Math

Score 800 on SAT Reading

Score 800 on SAT Writing

Series: How to Get to 600 on Each SAT Section:

Score 600 on SAT Math

Score 600 on SAT Reading

Score 600 on SAT Writing

Free Complete Official SAT Practice Tests

What SAT Target Score Should You Be Aiming For?

15 Strategies to Improve Your SAT Essay

The 5 Strategies You Must Be Using to Improve 4+ ACT Points

How to Get a Perfect 36 ACT, by a Perfect Scorer

Series: How to Get 36 on Each ACT Section:

36 on ACT English

36 on ACT Math

36 on ACT Reading

36 on ACT Science

Series: How to Get to 24 on Each ACT Section:

24 on ACT English

24 on ACT Math

24 on ACT Reading

24 on ACT Science

What ACT target score should you be aiming for?

ACT Vocabulary You Must Know

ACT Writing: 15 Tips to Raise Your Essay Score

How to Get Into Harvard and the Ivy League

How to Get a Perfect 4.0 GPA

How to Write an Amazing College Essay

What Exactly Are Colleges Looking For?

Is the ACT easier than the SAT? A Comprehensive Guide

Should you retake your SAT or ACT?

When should you take the SAT or ACT?

Stay Informed

writing prompts for adults creative writing

Get the latest articles and test prep tips!

Looking for Graduate School Test Prep?

Check out our top-rated graduate blogs here:

GRE Online Prep Blog

GMAT Online Prep Blog

TOEFL Online Prep Blog

Holly R. "I am absolutely overjoyed and cannot thank you enough for helping me!”
  • Skip to main content
  • Skip to header right navigation
  • Skip to site footer

DigiNo

DigiNo - Online Teaching Jobs, Side Hustles & AI Tools

17 Creative Writing Prompts for Adults

creative writing prompts for adults

When it comes to online ESL teaching , there’s no real substitute for simply using the language.

It’s not always easy to start though. Sometimes need is a little prompt to get the creative juices flowing.

Take a look out of the window, or focus on something nearby. You can make a story about a desk, a chair, a man or a woman. It can be anything.

Some of the best stories don’t focus on grand settings and extravagant places – they focus on the people in them. That’s what we connect with – people. The stories that really stay with us are the ones that give us someone to get to know.

So don’t just focus on a jungle or a swamp, or a construction site or a house; write about the people in them.

Below you will find a series of creative writing prompts – some generic, and some more outlandish.

Remember to experiment with tenses (‘I did this’, ‘you do this’, ‘he did this’) and don’t forget to feed the reader’s senses; don’t just tell us what we can see. What can we hear? What does it smell like?

1. Marooned in space

Imagine a character left adrift in an escape pod, orbiting a distant planet. They look through the rear window and see the hulking, charred wreckage of the ship that used to be their home. They are the only survivor.

photo of outer space

2. Walking in the country side

Imagine a man walking through a wooded area. Why is he there? Is he escaping the hectic and near-constant ‘on the go’ nature of the modern world? Is he out for a nice stroll? Perhaps it’s a lovely sunny afternoon. Or perhaps it’s the middle of the night, and it’s raining. Ask yourself: what brings a man to the woods in the middle of the night?

person wearing pair of black rain boots

3. A detective solving her final case

She’s been in the job for thirty years, and she’s just about ready to retire; but there’s one case that’s always stuck with her… Whatever happened in that house? Where did the boy go? And what was the gardener hiding? Maybe she’s got time for just one more mystery…

click pen and magnifying glass on book page

4. Love at first sight

People always talk about love at first sight like it’s this actual ‘thing’. Like you can see it. And he’d always thought these people were crazy, overly-romantic schmucks. But as he looked across at him, he was reminded that maybe, just maybe, he didn’t know everything…

man and woman sitting on rock near body of water and mountain during daytime

5. Locking yourself out of the house

It wasn’t the first time she’d done it, but every other time her room mate had been there to let her back in. This time, it was an empty house. This time, she’d have to get creative…

closed blue wooden door

6. Freaky Friday

You’ve woken up in the body of another person. You can try telling people, but who would believe you? Maybe you recognise the person you’re in, maybe you don’t. But you know one thing for sure: this couldn’t have come at a worse time…

woman holding balloons

7. A sentient robot

Robots have been ingratiated into modern society for the past 300 years; but honestly, they’re still basically furniture. They can do your dishes and cook your meals, but nothing too extraordinary. The latest model has been programmed to be more ‘human’. It can read your kids a bedtime story and tuck them into bed at night. But they’re still not human. They’re not alive . You ask your robot to climb onto the roof of your house and clear the guttering. But it refuses. Expecting some excuse about it violating programming or some such thing, you ask it why. It simply responds ‘because I do not want to’…

white robot near brown wall

8. Civilization 1000

What will the world look like in 3019? It wouldn’t necessarily have to be our world. Will it have the same problems we do? Why? Are these societal problems surrounding inequality and fiscal irresponsibility; or are the problems more innately human – violence, envy, lust…   What will that world look like? And what kind of people will live in it?

selective focus photography of woman holding ball

9. Civilization 1000+

Take the same world as before, and advance it another 1000 years. What will it look like in 4019? Will they even call it 4019? Maybe the New Holy Roman Empire will have restarted the calendar following its conquest of the Aggregate Spanish Republic. Maybe we’re on year 3, and the world is still rocked from the nuclear armageddon wrought upon the Greater Pacific Alliance, and struggling under the tyranny of Pope Alexei the 13 th ?

person kneeling inside building

10. The Future Book

In an old, forgotten wing of a long abandoned library, you happen across a small book. It’s unobtrusive, delicate, almost designed to avoid being noticed. Its page are blank. It’s not long before you realise that everything you write in the book happens . You wield the power to shape the face of history itself. How do you use it?

shallow focus photography of pencil on book

11. Reflection stops copying you

You brush your teeth before going to bed every night. You always have done. You see your reflection, the two of you brushing in unison. As always. But when you duck to spit, it carries on brushing its teeth.

standing woman surrounded by yellow flower field during daytime

12. Toys come to life

If toys had lives of their own, what would that look like? If Pixar had approached you and asked for your input in their movie ‘Toy Story’, what kind of things would you have contributed? Do they break off into warring factions? Do they have a black market or a seedy underbelly to their society? Do they have money? Or trade goods in exchange for services? What goods? And what services?

shallow focus photography of Hoody toy

13. Shipwrecked on an island

Imagine a character stranded on an island after his ship has gone down. Who was he? A pirate? A naval officer? A wealthy land baron on his way to see his new plantation in the Americas? What’s his life like now ? This prompt is very similar conceptually to the ‘marooned in space’.

empty brown boat on body of water

14. A man who cannot die

man standing on rock in the middle of clip

15. Missing home

What if you came home from work to find your house was just… gone? Maybe there’s a smouldering, hollowed out shell of a building – or maybe there’s nothing. Just space. Like it was never there.   And everyone you loved, everything you owned, was all just… gone.

closeup photo of red and white bird house

16. Visiting a different country

Where have you always wanted to go? Imagine you’re there. What do you see? Smell? Hear? What are the people like?

man wearing headdress

17. Moving to a new city

Imagine a character who’s been forced to leave their old life behind. Why? And where are they now? What’s the city like? How does it meet their expectations, and how do they feel in this alien environment?

closeup photo of man wearing black hoodie jacket

Hopefully these creative writing prompts for adults will get you flowing with ideas! Or you can even use them to teach adults students in teach from home jobs such as…

  • Amazing Talker

Or explore creative writing prompts for kids , to use to teach on platforms like…

  • Cambly Kids

[wp_show_posts id=”8013171″]

' src=

About DigiNo

DigiNo is a free tool to help people earn online income: Read More

Creative Writing prompts for kids

  • Share full article

Advertisement

Supported by

Picture Prompts

125 Picture Prompts for Creative and Narrative Writing

What story can these images tell?

Paper sits in a typewriter. The words “It was a dark story night” have already been typed.

By The Learning Network

For eight years, we at The Learning Network have been publishing short, accessible, image-driven prompts that invite students to do a variety of kinds of writing via our Picture Prompts column.

Each week, at least one of those prompts asks students: Use your imagination to write the opening of a short story or poem inspired by this image — or, tell us about a memory from your own life that it makes you think of.

Now we’re rounding up years of these storytelling prompts all in one place. Below you’ll find 125 photos, illustrations and GIFs from across The New York Times that you can use for both creative and personal writing. We have organized them by genre, but many overlap and intersect, so know that you can use them in any way you like.

Choose an image, write a story, and then follow the link in the caption to the original prompt to post your response or read what other students had to say. Many are still open for comment for teenagers 13 and up. And each links to a free Times article too.

We can’t wait to read the tales you spin! Don’t forget that you can respond to all of our Picture Prompts, as they publish, here .

Images by Category

Everyday life, mystery & suspense, relationships, science fiction, travel & adventure, unusual & unexpected, cat in a chair, happy puppy, resourceful raccoon, cows and cellos, people and penguins, opossum among shoes, on the subway, sunset by the water, endless conversation, falling into a hole, lounging around, sneaker collection, the concert, meadow in starlight.

writing prompts for adults creative writing

Related Picture Prompt | Related Article

Public Selfies

Night circus, tarot cards, castle on a hill, security line, batman on a couch, reaching through the wall, beware of zombies, haunted house, familial frights, witches on the water, blindfolded, phone booth in the wilderness, shadow in the sky, a letter in the mail, hidden doorway.

writing prompts for adults creative writing

Point of No Return

Darkened library, under the table, playing dominoes, looking back, a wave goodbye, out at dusk, conversation, walking away, alone and together, a new friend, heated conversation, up in a tree, hole in the ceiling, under the desk, at their computers, marching band, band practice, in the hallway, in the lunchroom, the red planet, tech gadgets, trapped inside, astronaut and spider, computer screen, special key, tethered in space, on the court, in the waves, city skateboarding.

writing prompts for adults creative writing

Fishing in a Stream

Over the falls.

writing prompts for adults creative writing

Under the Sea

Sledding in the mountains, cracked mirror, wilderness wayfaring, car and cactus, walking through town, tropical confinement, travel travails, roller coasters, atop the hill, climbing a ladder, under the ice, other selves.

Students 13 and older in the United States and Britain, and 16 and older elsewhere, are invited to comment. All comments are moderated by the Learning Network staff, but please keep in mind that once your comment is accepted, it will be made public and may appear in print.

Find more Picture Prompts here.

Purdue Online Writing Lab Purdue OWL® College of Liberal Arts

Welcome to the Purdue Online Writing Lab

OWL logo

Welcome to the Purdue OWL

This page is brought to you by the OWL at Purdue University. When printing this page, you must include the entire legal notice.

Copyright ©1995-2018 by The Writing Lab & The OWL at Purdue and Purdue University. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, reproduced, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our terms and conditions of fair use.

The Online Writing Lab at Purdue University houses writing resources and instructional material, and we provide these as a free service of the Writing Lab at Purdue. Students, members of the community, and users worldwide will find information to assist with many writing projects. Teachers and trainers may use this material for in-class and out-of-class instruction.

The Purdue On-Campus Writing Lab and Purdue Online Writing Lab assist clients in their development as writers—no matter what their skill level—with on-campus consultations, online participation, and community engagement. The Purdue Writing Lab serves the Purdue, West Lafayette, campus and coordinates with local literacy initiatives. The Purdue OWL offers global support through online reference materials and services.

A Message From the Assistant Director of Content Development 

The Purdue OWL® is committed to supporting  students, instructors, and writers by offering a wide range of resources that are developed and revised with them in mind. To do this, the OWL team is always exploring possibilties for a better design, allowing accessibility and user experience to guide our process. As the OWL undergoes some changes, we welcome your feedback and suggestions by email at any time.

Please don't hesitate to contact us via our contact page  if you have any questions or comments.

All the best,

Social Media

Facebook twitter.

🎉 Our next novel writing master class starts in – ! Claim your spot →

BEST ADULTS WRITING PROMPTS

Join (probably?) the world's largest writing contest. Flex those creative muscles with weekly writing prompts.

Showing 104 prompts reset

Re-write alice's adventures in wonderland... but make it mystery., a job interview has gone horribly wrong. you..., write a story using only one of the five senses., write a short story from the perspective of a side character., write a short story from the perspective of the villain., write a story with no dialogue., re-write moby-dick... but make it science fiction., re-write romeo and juliet... but make it horror., re-write frankenstein... but make it romance., write a story about an event from the perspective of three of the participants in the event., write a story in the second person pov., set your short story during the most awkward phase of your character's life., write a story that starts with this sentence: "it was a dark, stormy night.", you have to escape from a house on fire. what are the first three things you grab why, write about happiness., it's 2123, and you're the first candidate for a time travel machine. when and where do you pick to travel, write a story about a retirement home., write a letter to your 11-year self. what advice do you want to tell your younger self, write a story about a first time parent., write a story that starts with the beginning of a relationship, and ends with the relationship ending, too., win $250 in our short story competition 🏆.

We'll send you 5 prompts each week. Respond with your short story and you could win $250!

Contest #250 LIVE

Enter our weekly contest.

This week's theme: All Ears

Prize money

Contest entries, closes at 23:59 - may 17, 2024 est, recent contests ✍️.

#249 – Action Stations with Tom Bromley

#248 – From the Top

#247 – The Great Unknown

#246 – All Fun and Games

Recent winners 🏆

Honey Homecroft – read

Madeline McCourt – read

Sarah Coury – read

Olivier Breuleux – read

Leaderboard 🥇

#1 Zilla Babbitt

32368 points

#2 Deidra Whitt Lovegren

28727 points

#3 Abigail Airuedomwinya

22421 points

#4 Graham Kinross

14520 points

#5 Scout Tahoe

13198 points

#6 Chris Campbell

11258 points

#7 Thom With An H

10614 points

#8 Rayhan Hidayat

10213 points

#9 Michał Przywara

9915 points

#10 Deborah Mercer

9610 points

NEW VIDEO COURSE 🎉

How to Write a Novel

Join Tom Bromley for a writing master class and finish your first draft in 3 months . Learn more →

Explore more writing prompt ideas:

Adults Writing Prompts ⭢

Adventure Writing Prompts ⭢

Angst Writing Prompts ⭢

Character Writing Prompts ⭢

Christmas Writing Prompts ⭢

Dark Writing Prompts ⭢

Dialogue Writing Prompts ⭢

Dramatic Writing Prompts ⭢

Dystopian Writing Prompts ⭢

Fall Writing Prompts ⭢

Fantasy Writing Prompts ⭢

Fiction Writing Prompts ⭢

Fluff Writing Prompts ⭢

Funny Writing Prompts ⭢

Halloween Writing Prompts ⭢

High School Writing Prompts ⭢

Historical Fiction Writing Prompts ⭢

Holiday Writing Prompts ⭢

Horror Writing Prompts ⭢

Kids Writing Prompts ⭢

Middle School Writing Prompts ⭢

Mystery Writing Prompts ⭢

Narrative Writing Prompts ⭢

Nonfiction Writing Prompts ⭢

Novel Writing Prompts ⭢

Poetry Writing Prompts ⭢

Romance Writing Prompts ⭢

Sad Writing Prompts ⭢

Science Fiction Writing Prompts ⭢

Short Story Writing Prompts ⭢

Spring Writing Prompts ⭢

Summer Writing Prompts ⭢

Teens Writing Prompts ⭢

Thanksgiving Writing Prompts ⭢

Thriller and Suspense Writing Prompts ⭢

Valentine's Day Writing Prompts ⭢

Vampire Writing Prompts ⭢

Winter Writing Prompts ⭢

Oops, you need an account for that!

Log in with your social account:

Or enter your email:

IMAGES

  1. Creative Writing Prompts For Adults

    writing prompts for adults creative writing

  2. 17 Creative Writing Prompts for Adults

    writing prompts for adults creative writing

  3. 3 Types of Creative Writing Prompts (for Adults!)

    writing prompts for adults creative writing

  4. Creative Writing Ideas for Adults

    writing prompts for adults creative writing

  5. 9 Creative Writing Prompts for Adults

    writing prompts for adults creative writing

  6. Creative Writing Prompts for Adults

    writing prompts for adults creative writing

VIDEO

  1. WRITING PROMPTS: where to start. 📝 #writingprompts #writingcommunity #journaling #journal #writing

  2. Writing Exercise

  3. Daily Gratitude Journal Prompts for Beginners #shorts #affirmations #motivation

  4. Writing Prompts for Writers that will BOOST Creativity (Bi-Weekly 09/12/2023) #writingideas

  5. Writing Prompts in 3s

  6. Prompt Engineering Made Easy for Content Writers and Publishers #bookwriting #chatgptprompts #kdp

COMMENTS

  1. 140 Creative Writing Prompts For Adults

    Use these creative writing prompts for adults to get you started on the right path to a successful story and suffer from writer's block for the last time. . This list of writing prompts for adults can be taken and used in any way you want. Details can be changed and characters can be added or removed. They are meant to be a fun way to get ...

  2. Best Adults Writing Prompts of 2023

    If you're looking to cut to the chase, here's a top ten list of writing prompts for adults: Write a story about a 40th birthday party. Set your story at a retirement party. It's your wedding day, and as you're saying your vows, a voice from the crowd yells, "I object!" Start your story with the line 'Back in my day…'.

  3. 63 Creative Writing Prompts for Adults (with PDF). All Genres!

    16. Story Starters Writing Prompts. 17. Unusual Creative Writing Prompts. Bonus: Other Writing Prompts Websites . Writing Prompts that don't suck: List of Writing Prompts. Romance Writing Prompts [Read detailed tips about how to write a romantic scene her e.] Writing Prompt 1: On the night before his marriage, Robert gets a visit.

  4. 1800+ Creative Writing Prompts To Inspire You Right Now

    Here's how our contest works: every Friday, we send out a newsletter containing five creative writing prompts. Each week, the story ideas center around a different theme. Authors then have one week — until the following Friday — to submit a short story based on one of our prompts. A winner is picked each week to win $250 and is highlighted ...

  5. 100 Creative Writing Prompts for Writers

    Click to continue. *****. 100 Creative Writing Prompts for Writers. 1. The Variants of Vampires. Think of an alternative vampire that survives on something other than blood. Write a story or scene based on this character. 2. Spinning the Globe.

  6. 51 Creative Writing Prompts for Adults

    5. By day, you're a responsible, if reclusive, college student. By night, you fly over your city as a dragon. 6. On the advice of her therapist, you write about a character from her dreams, and they show up at your door. 7. Your significant other interrupts your work one day to say, "I need to tell you something.".

  7. 199+ Creative Writing Prompts To Help You Write Your Next Story

    A long list of creative writing prompts and writing ideas. 1. Symphony of the Skies. Imagine a world where music can literally change the weather. Write a story about a character who uses this power to communicate emotions, transforming the skies to reflect their inner turmoil or joy. 2.

  8. 85 Creative Writing Prompts for Adults

    Fun creative writing prompts to inspire and educate. These 79 creative writing prompts for adults and teens are designed as story starters to inspire you. They will also help you write on specific topics and develop important skills you need as an author. A good writing prompt will jump-start your creativity, help you come up with new ideas and ...

  9. 100+ Writing Prompts for Adults: Unleash Your Creativity and

    Here are some ways to approach writing prompts: Set a timer for 10-15 minutes and write without stopping. Use the prompt as a warm-up exercise before you start working on your main writing project. Share your completed prompt with a writing buddy or in a writers' group to gather feedback and suggestions.

  10. Best Fiction Writing Prompts of 2023

    The best fiction writing prompts. For many people, a blank page is a just a piece of paper. But for writers who dream about writing a short story or novel, it's something much worse: it's a chilling omen of writer's block. That's how creative writing prompts can help—especially for a fiction writer.

  11. 365 Daily Writing Prompts for Creative Writers

    How to Use Daily Writing Prompts. Press the GENERATE button above. (If it doesn't work, refresh the page.) The text box will generate a short creative writing prompt or topic you can write about today. (If you can't see the whole line, use your cursor to highlight the text and keep scrolling to the right.) Bookmark this pageand write at ...

  12. 50 Creative Writing Prompts For Adults

    7. "I wasn't sure why my boyfriend said he needed to talk.". 8. Picture what a different life could have led you to. 9. Write about a day when you have to face your worst nightmares in real life. 10. "For some reason, everyone started looking at me differently.". 11.

  13. 45 Creative Writing Prompts to Boost your Inspiration

    Listen to conversations and write down interesting dialogue. Eavesdrop at a coffee shop or on a bus, and take notes! Write about a different person every day. Go on a walk, notice a plant or bird, and write about its features in detail. Keep a journal and tracker of your goals. Write about one thing you did every day to achieve them.

  14. 82 Creative Writing Prompts for Adults To Help You Write

    Write about a time when you were lost in the woods at night. Write about an evil creature that is hunting you down. Write about a dark figure that stalks you in your dreams. Write about an urban legend that is based on true events. Write about a ghost that haunts your hometown.

  15. 365 Creative Writing Prompts

    14. The Found Poem: Read a book and circle some words on a page. Use those words to craft a poem. Alternatively, you can cut out words and phrases from magazines. 15. Eavesdropper: Create a poem, short story, or journal entry about a conversation you've overheard. Printable Ad-Free 365 Writing Prompt Cards. 16.

  16. 30 Creative Writing Prompts for Adults » JournalBuddies.com

    You'll find creative ideas about occupations and the real world, right alongside science fiction and fantasy prompts. Take your pick of topics or genres and keep the rest saved for later days when you need some creative stimulation and inspiration for your writing practice. Use this list of creative writing prompts for adults to help you ...

  17. 53 of the Best Writing Prompts for Adults » JournalBuddies.com

    53 Excellent Daily Writing Prompts for Adults. Hidden away on the inside of the jacket. At that moment, she should've left. He should have realized that…. Suddenly everything became blurry and dark. With great joy, I share with you what happened after…. A place I visit often is…. Staring at his reflection. What if….

  18. 140 Exclusive Writing Prompts For Adults

    2. Greater emotional resonance. By addressing experiences and concerns relevant to adults, these prompts can evoke stronger emotional responses, leading to more personal and impactful writing. 3. Expansion of vocabulary and writing styles. Adult prompts often encourage the use of richer vocabulary and more complex sentence structures, helping ...

  19. 25 Creative Writing Prompts for Adults

    Use these creative writing prompts to spark some ideas! 1. Neighborhood gift exchange . . . The neighbors I like get food, coffee, or other treats. The neighbors I don't like, well, they get a flamingo yard ornament. Now, most of the neighbors have pink, plastic birds in their front yards. 2.

  20. Creative Writing Prompts

    For today's prompt, there's something hinky in the local junkyard. By Moriah Richard Nov 7, 2023. Need an idea to help you get started writing? You'll find hundreds of fun writing prompts here - perfect for beginning a new novel or short story, or simply giving your writing muscle a workout.

  21. Creative Writing Prompts for Adults

    Creative writing prompts for adults that spark your inspiration and get your creativity flowing. Perfect for journaling, poetry, or fiction.

  22. 105 Creative Writing Prompts to Try Out

    15 Funny Writing Prompts. #1: Write a story which starts with someone eating a pickle and potato sandwich. #2: Write a short script where the plot has to do with evil dolls trying to take over something. #3: Write about writers' block.

  23. 17 Creative Writing Prompts for Adults

    This prompt is very similar conceptually to the 'marooned in space'. 14. A man who cannot die. Perhaps he's fought in all the wars humanity has ever waged. Been present for the birth of Christ, witnessed the construction of the pyramids of Giza, danced with Cleopatra and seen Napoleon fall.

  24. 400+ Writing Prompts: Endless Inspiration for Your Writing

    Here are 25 Writing Prompts about Morals and Values: Write about a time when you were wrong and didn't realize it for maybe years. Consider morals and how one discovers what truly matters to them. Portray the biggest value in your life. Dissect the biggest problems in the world and how it impacts us every day.

  25. 125 Picture Prompts for Creative and Narrative Writing

    For eight years, we at The Learning Network have been publishing short, accessible, image-driven prompts that invite students to do a variety of kinds of writing via our Picture Prompts column ...

  26. October Writing Prompts: 31 Creative Prompts For Adults

    These October creative writing prompts will help you break out of your comfort zone and experiment with various styles and genres. Maybe you've been working with creative journaling exercises and now you're ready to expand your creative wings, so to speak. Get inspired and motivated to write something new. If you're up for a challenge ...

  27. What the Lighthouse Saw

    Look Up!: Finding Creative Inspiration in the Guilt of Looking Down. Writer-illustrator team Britt Gondolfi and Amanda Romanick share the inspiration behind their picture book that is part poop joke, part urban legend, and part Trojan horse for a discussion about screen time for children and adults.

  28. Welcome to the Purdue Online Writing Lab

    The Online Writing Lab at Purdue University houses writing resources and instructional material, and we provide these as a free service of the Writing Lab at Purdue. Students, members of the community, and users worldwide will find information to assist with many writing projects.

  29. 1800+ Creative Writing Prompts To Inspire You Right Now

    Join Tom Bromley for a writing master class and finish your first draft in 3 months. Browse through hundreds of creative writing prompts — and enter our free short story contest to WIN $250 and publication. Kickstart your writing now! - Page 1.

  30. Best Adults Writing Prompts of 2023

    BEST ADULTS WRITING PROMPTS. Join (probably?) the world's largest writing contest. Flex those creative muscles with weekly writing prompts.