Writing Prompts

I’m subscribed to several writing newsletters, such as the ones for Writer’s Digest and The Writer.  Quite often there’s a writing prompt included in the newsletter.  Here are some of my favourites:

The plane lifted off the runway and into the air. The person next to you turns and quietly whispers in your ear, “I know I’m supposed to keep this a secret, but I absolutely must tell someone.” (From Writer’s Digest)

I liked the mystery of this one.  No matter how many times you read this prompt, the person and the secret can always be different.  I know that’s generally the idea behind a writing prompt, but this one really speaks to me.

Here’s another one from Writer’s Digest:

The Tooth Fairy visits your house in the middle of the night, only she isn’t just taking your children’s teeth. What is she stealing from your house and how do you attempt to stop her?

Again this one suggests many possibilities.  Is the tooth fairy a mean old fairy, or just someone who is down on their luck?  I also like how this one can be inherently silly (we’re talking about the tooth fairy afterall) or more serious, whichever you prefer!

A final one, this time from Script Magazine:

A woman is given the ability to go back in time and change one event in her life. 

The original prompt called for a screenplay synopsis based off this idea but I think it can be used for a short story or whatever else you’d like to work on.  Once again it can suggest so many possibilities – is this a woman who is unhappy with how her life turned out and wants to change things for the better?  Or is her life more like the woman’s in Neil Gaiman’s “The Wedding Present?”

Just these three prompt suggest a multitude of stories.  And there are many others to choose from, whenever you need a boost in your writing (or just want to write something quick for fun).  So what are some of your favourite writing prompts?

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1 Comment

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One response to “Writing Prompts

  1. Shauna

    Here’s another one I just found in a Writer’s Digest Newsletter:

    Your best friend from college has invited you to his wedding. You haven’t seen him for years, so you’re excited to catch up. But when you arrive at the wedding, you discover that your best friend’s bride is someone from your past—and you realize you must stop the wedding at all costs.

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