Michille: Story Prompts

512px-TeleprompterWhen the story isn’t moving, some writers use story prompts. With NaNoWriMo coming soon, it seemed like a good time to compile some here (and then attach them to my bulletin board to use during November). Some are sentence starters, others are meant to provoke thought, others are just funny story ideas. I found several websites that have a lot of them (Creative Writing Now, Daily Writing Prompts, Creative Writing Prompts).

Cliches: It was a dark and stormy night. Once upon a time. Hello. My name is _______.

False appearance: _______ was/were not what it/he/she seemed.

Regrets: If only I/he/she/they had/hadn’t __________.

The lemon: your character buys a new _________ and discovers it has terrible problems.

Three unrelated things: identify 3 unrelated things and write a story about it, like small engine repair, a butterfly collection, and designer boots.

Vacation: Send your character on your ideal vacation.

Google: type “Images” into a search engine and choose an image to write about.

Weird news: Google “weird headlines” and write the story that goes with it. “Woman Attacks Man With Bowl of Spaghetti.” “Computer Virus Spreads to Humans.” “Stolen Clowns Found Stuffed in Car.”

First lines: This time her boss went too far. “Did you hear that?” This is a fine time for the fire alarm to go off.

Problem: Locked in the attic, leg is broken, car won’t start.

Have a go at some of these if you get stuck or add some. I am going to continue to collect them to help with my writing goal in November.

6 thoughts on “Michille: Story Prompts

  1. Some of these sound like they wouldn’t be just story prompts for when you get stuck—they’d be fine stories on their own! When I have no ideas but want to write something, I sometimes like the challenge of taking something like this (the three unrelated items or weird news) and see if I can build a story with it. It’s like a writing homework assignment: you wouldn’t do it if you didn’t have to, but sometimes you can make lemonade.

  2. Oh, I really like the lemon idea — my character maybe isn’t inherently magical, but she buys this camera that shows the real nature of things — which really screws up the wedding pictures she was supposed to take because the groom is really a . . . .

    Oh, yeah. Gonna run with this today! Thanks!

  3. My favorite weird headline (seen in Star magazine when I was about 14): “Man Exposed to Uranium Gives Birth to Baby Magnets.”

    I’m not making that up, either.

    • And you still remember that? I came across some other funny headlines when I was noodling around for this post, but most of them were just funny because the authors of the articles didn’t seemed to be aware, like “Weiner’s Rise and Fall”, “Psychics Predict World Didn’t End Yesterday”, “One-Armed Man Applauds the Kindness of Strangers.”

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