Writing Prompts

need something to get you started today? spend some time with any one of our curated writing prompts.

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Write about a beginning in your life. Did you know it when it happened or do you see it now by looking back? Experiment with different beginnings for your story:  where else could this start–earlier, later? what other voices or perspectives? If someone asked each primary character in your story “how did this all begin?” … Continue reading Beginnings


Use the image as a starting point. What is striking to you? Is it something about the light? The shape of the columns? The mountaineer suspended mid-ascent? Write about a time you faced an obstacle. Throw a new challenge in your character’s path. How will he or she respond? What did you discover today? Share … Continue reading Obstacles


Tell a story about the two children in the photo. What are they doing now? Who are they? What do their lives look like? Who will they become? Journal about your earliest memory. Think back on an important moment in your growing up and write about it. Describe your childhood bedroom, a classroom, the neighborhood … Continue reading Childhood


Rewrite a scene, but don’t allow yourself to use any visual description. Provide the entire experience to your reader–and your character–by using the remaining four senses. Go outside. Sit for awhile. Then write about what you see, feel, smell, taste, and hear. Focus on the power of word choice to recreate the experience. If you … Continue reading Senses


Write about a homecoming. Maybe it’s one of your own. Maybe you send your character back home for the first time in years. What happens next? Walk through the rooms of a childhood home. Take a visitor on a tour. What details stand out? What memories are tied to the place? What questions arise? Play … Continue reading Home

Urban Adventure

Switch up the setting. Do a freewrite where you change up the setting of your story. What would change if your characters lived in a city? How might the plot play our differently? Invent a city of your own. Work out how it is arranged. What structures and traditions set it apart? Who lives there? … Continue reading Urban Adventure


Write about your first job. What did you do? How did you come to it? What did you learn? Select a character and write about what work they do. What would they like to do? Is he or she happy with their job? Does your character work with their hands? In an office? A factory? … Continue reading Work


What are you afraid of? Is it something silly you can’t quite explain? Is it something entirely rational? Can you pinpoint an experience that started it? Have you ever been in a situation where what you were afraid of actually happened? Use this as a character development tool. Write about your character’s greatest fear. What … Continue reading Fear


Write about a time when you were running late. What happened? What held you up? Did it have a funny ending? A sad ending? How does being on time vs. being late impact your plot? What would change if you added the urgency of racing a clock to your story? How does your character react … Continue reading Late


Tell us the story behind the image. Where did the pictures come from? What is their significance? Who is going through them? Why? Pick even one of the images in the stack and tell us about the photo. Pull out a scrapbook, album, or even your Instagram feed. Pick a photo and then write a … Continue reading Photograph


Some of the best songs are those that tell a story. Choose a song and listen carefully. Then write the story you hear there. Write a song of your own. Experiment with form and technique. What’s your favorite (or least favorite) song? How did you first encounter it? What is the song’s significance in your … Continue reading Song


For today’s writing prompt, we’re going to look at characters’ senses of humour. What would your character find funny? What is the funniest joke he or she has ever heard? What sort of joke would he or she share with another character? How would those other characters react to that person’s joke? Is your character … Continue reading Laughter

Road Trip

Today, imagine if your characters were going on a road trip together. What would they pack? Where would they go? How would they get there—car, horse and buggy, hitchhiking (oh my!)? How long would it take them to get there? Would anything horrid or fortuitous occur along the way? Feel free to share any snippets … Continue reading Road Trip

Puppy Love

For this week’s writing prompt, we’re going to explore your main character and their relationship with animals. Lots of books have animal sidekicks, and if you’re still in the process of character building, this could be a fun exercise! Let’s pretend your main character is going to an animal shelter, perhaps one like in the … Continue reading Puppy Love