Creativity Collection: 20 Writing Prompts to Enthuse Your Muse

Inspiration is a fickle and flighty creature, if you allow it to be. Take control and show inspiration that you are its master, not its slave, using these 20 writing prompts.

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Prompt 21

Fascinating Phenomenon Prompt

Ball lightning—this appears as a luminous, usually spherical object, varying in diameter. Much mystery surrounds ball lightning, owing to its rarity and unpredictability. And when the ball finally explodes, it can have fatal consequences for those nearby...

Prompt 22

Music Prompt

Casablanca by Two Steps From Hell.

Prompt 23

Conflict Prompt

Take one fact or bit of knowledge you’ve learnt today (it can be something as mundane as learning how to work the washing machine) and factor it into your story in an interesting way. Will your character learn this fact for themselves? Teach it to others? Encounter it in their everyday life? Or will it threaten everything they hold dear?

If you don’t already have a story idea, use your newly learnt fact as a prompt. What unlikely situations might transpire while learning to work the washing machine? Your character could find something long since lost down the side of the washer; they could flood their house; they could accidently electrocute themselves and end up in hospital... The list goes on—only your imagination can limit it.

Prompt 24

Quote Prompt

“The life I touch for good or ill will touch another life, and that in turn another, until who knows where the trembling stops or in what far place my touch will be felt.”
Frederick Buechner

Write a story about connections—one character who affects the life of another, who in turn affects another, and so on. Several characters down the line, the effects of your first character’s actions can still be felt, even if that character is no longer around.

Prompt 25

Dialogue Prompt

“No, no, no. You’re wearing your skin all wrong.”

Who’s speaking? Who are they talking to? Tell their story.

Prompt 26

Historical Prompt

Use the pioneering aviatrixes and balloonists of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century as inspiration for a character. Think Amelia Earhart, Marie Marvingt, Hilda Hewlett, Sophie Blanchard and Sabiha Gökçen. What adventures might your character go on?

Prompt 27

Unexpected Perspective Prompt

Flip your current story around and tell it from the villain’s point of view. Why do they do what they do?

Prompt 28

Fascinating Phenomenon Prompt

Heterochromia iridium—a phenomenon in which one iris is a different colour to the other.

How might this link to fantasy? Maybe each eye can see something different—different worlds, different colours, different layers of reality. What trouble could this lead your main character to?

Prompt 29

Conflict Prompt

The people fled the city in droves. Within days, it was completely abandoned. But what made them leave?

Prompt 30

Dialogue Prompt

“It wakes once every twenty-seven years, and when it does, it’s hungry.”

What exactly wakes? And what—or who—does it like to eat when it does?

Feeling sapped of creative spirit? @Writerology has 20 writing prompts to enthuse your muse right here.

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Prompt 31

Legendary Figure Prompt

Use the tale of Scheherazade as inspiration for a story. You could take the setting and add new characters and conflict, retell the story in a different time period, or have fun with the idea of telling a story within a story.

Prompt 32

Phrase Prompt

“Crise de conscience.”
Meaning: crisis of conscience.

Write a scene in which your main character experiences a crisis of conscience. What have they done to make them feel so guilty? How are their morals challenged? And how—or even will—they set things right?

Prompt 33

Psychology Prompt

Survivor guilt—a psychological condition in which a person believes they shouldn’t have survived a traumatic event when others did not.

Include a character in your story suffering from survivor guilt. What did they survive that others did not? Is their guilt justified? And how do they deal with it throughout the novel?

Prompt 34

Dialogue Prompt

“What I do... It’s like a dance, Kai. And one wrong move can spell death.” She tilted her head, a barely perceptible smile forming on her lips. “Care to be my partner?”

Prompt 35

Fascinating Phenomenon Prompt

St. Elmo’s fire—a bright blue or violet glow, appearing like fire in some circumstances, that streams from tall, sharply pointed structures, such as lightning rods, masts, spires and chimneys, when there is a strong electric field in the atmosphere.

Prompt 36

Plot Twist Prompt

Write about a con-man who finds himself the mark in an even bigger con.

Prompt 37

Music Prompt

Waloyo Yamoni by Christopher Tin.

Prompt 38

Conflict Prompt

Write about the dark side of immortality. While others might see eternal life as a gift, your main character knows otherwise...

Prompt 39

Unexpected Perspective Prompt

Write a story about an invasion... from the perspective of the invader. They could be a soldier in the Roman army during its invasion of Britain, a fighter in the Crusades, part of Napoleon’s Grande Armée, or even an alien paying Earth a visit. For more information on historical invasions, see here.

Prompt 40

Description Prompt

Describe the scene from your bedroom window. What can you see and hear? What sort of smells and tastes can be found out there? And what would it feel like to walk through it, to run your hands across the assortment of textures beyond your windowsill? Now disturb the scene. Send in an angry character, a force of nature, a fleeing animal. Anything to shake things up a bit. Run with that.

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