WARM UP WITH THESE WRITING PROMPTS

Do you have writer’s block? Try these prompts to kickstart your creativity.

PROMPTS FOR WRITING DIALOGUES

  1. Craft a conversation composed only of questions.

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  2. Two people have just gotten into an argument! Describe who they are and what they’re arguing about within the dialogue.

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  3. Write the rest of a conversation where the first line is “I never knew it would be this difficult.”

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  4. Two best friends are having a heart-to-heart conversation. What are they saying?

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  5. A group of travelers from different countries meet at a bar. How do they discuss their similarities and differences.

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  6. Two characters are locked in a room where they’re avoiding the elephant in the room: a potential romance between them. How does their conversation go?

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  7. Write a dialogue for a person who is talking to their parents about something they’re passionate about. What are the parents' responses?

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  8. Anxiety before a performance has left a character reeling. What are they telling themselves in their head?

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  9. Use these four words in a conversation: "uncanny," "gruesome," "running," "occurrence."

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  10. Recreate—and finish—a conversation you once heard in a public place between strangers.

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  11. Write a conversation starting with this line: “Don’t panic and don’t make any sudden movements.”

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  12. Write in the voice of a character who speaks mostly in slang.

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  13. Write a conversation between a mother and her teenage child that occurs over text messages.

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  14. Two characters are trying to describe the same event, but in radically different ways. What do these conversations look like?

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  15. A character is responding to another’s ad in a online post. How does the conversation go?

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  16. Dialogue tags are the words after a line of dialogue like “said,” “whispered,” and “asked.” Write a conversation without using them.

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  17. Reveal someone’s life story only through dialogue.

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  18. Write a conversation where the two-people involved want two very different things, focusing on the tension.

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JOURNAL WRITING PROMPTS

  1. What is your most cherished childhood memory?

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  2. Imagine changing one decision you’ve made. How would life be different?

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  3. Write about an experience that changed your perspective.

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  4. What does self-care mean to you?

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  5. Write about a time when you felt angry. How did you cope?

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  6. What is one thing about yourself that makes you feel proud? Why?

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  7. How have you changed in the past year? Write about your transformation.

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WRITING PROMPTS FOR ELEMENTARY KIDS

  1. Onomatopoeia describes a word that sounds like what it means. Write a story that uses 5 onomatopoeia words.

    What are onomatopoeia words?

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  2. Homonyms sound the same but mean different things. Write a story that uses two pairs of homonyms correctly.

    What are homonyms?

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  3. Write about a new country you created. Make up a language for that country and tell us all the rules.

    How do you make up a language?

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  4. What is your hobby? Explain it to someone who’s never heard of it.

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  5. Write about your happiest moment without using the word happy.

    What are synonyms for happy?

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  6. Write about a time you broke a rule, and why you did it.

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  7. Your parents have handed over the rules of the house to you for the day. Write about what you would change during your day in charge.

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  8. You wake up with a super power. What is it, and how do you use it?

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  9. Write a letter to your role model, or another person you really admire.

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  10. Write about an adventure you and your best friend had. Make sure it has a beginning, middle, and end.

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  11. Write about a time in your life where you experienced a very strong emotion that wasn’t sadness.

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  12. Personification is where you give human characteristics to an animal or object. Personify one of your pets and write about a day in their life.

    Learn more about personification!

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  13. What’s your favorite book? Write a review about it. Make sure to include one critique.

    What is a critique?

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  14. Write a list of 10 things you were grateful for this month. Make sure to explain why.

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  15. An ekphrastic poem is a description of a scene or work of art. Write an ekphrastic poem about your favorite photo or piece of art.

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  16. Who is your favorite superhero and what makes them so great?

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  17. What do you think the world will look like 100 years from now? What new technology will we have?

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  18. List the top three places you want to visit and why.

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  19. Find a popular saying or idiom, like “The grass is always greener on the other side” and give your opinion on whether it is right or wrong.

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  20. Outline a step-by-step plan for achieving a big goal.

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LOVE STORY WRITING PROMPTS

  1. Retell the history of a couple that has been married for over forty years. What are their most dramatic moments (good and bad)?

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  2. A couple is entering therapy. Why are they there and do they come to a resolution?

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  3. Write about two people who have a mutual longing for each other but are too afraid to act.

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  4. Pick a period in history and explore what romance looked like in that time. For example: how would a gentleman caller court a bride in the 1920s?

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  5. Choose a city you’ve never been to, research it, and write about two people who decide to have their first date there.

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  6. A character decides they’re going to declare their love! Draft the epic speech they’re going to give to their intended partner.

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  7. Two people with opposing personalities are sitting next to each other on a long flight. What brings them together during the plane ride?

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  8. Write a story that is not about love at first sight, but love at first smell.

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  9. A speed dating event goes hilariously wrong. What derails the night?

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  10. Tell the story of someone who goes out on 10 Tinder dates in 1 week.

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  11. Your characters meet and fall in love but they don’t speak the same language. How do they show affection for each other?

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  12. Set your story in a fictional place where a computer algorithm determines your life partner. Decide whether it works or if it has unintended consequences.

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  13. Write a story about two people who cannot be together because they are in different social classes.

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  14. Write a romance where both characters have deadly secrets that they can't tell each other.

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  15. One person lives in Europe, the other in Africa. How does this long-distance romance work?

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  16. A pair of teenagers are experiencing their first love. Tell their story.

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  17. Describe a universe in which soul mates exist, but the only clue your characters have is their soul mates' first names.

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  18. They say opposites attract. Describe a relationship where the two people are exactly the same.

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  19. A pair of people go on a great first date, but then don’t see each other for 10 years. Do they still like each other? How have they changed?

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HOLIDAY WRITING PROMPTS

  1. Describe a holiday tradition unique to your culture.

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  2. A ski resort is snowed in! How do some of the guests entertain themselves?

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  3. What is your favorite holiday memory, and why is it special to you?

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  4. Plan your ideal holiday party. What do the decorations look like? What kind of food will you serve? What are the conversations like?

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  5. Rewrite your favorite holiday story, but have it take place in the 21st century.

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  6. Make a case for why you think you deserve (or don’t!) presents this year.

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  7. Christmas creep is a phenomenon where Christmas-related paraphernalia begins showing up in stores earlier and earlier each year. Is Christmas creep a good or bad thing?

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  8. Give your own persuasive evidence for whether or not Santa exists.

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  9. Learn about a tradition for a December holiday you don’t celebrate (Christmas, Kwanza, or Hanukkah), and explain it in your own words.

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  10. Write about all the ways in which a family holiday party can go wrong.

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  11. Write a poem about what it would be like to actually walk in a winter wonderland.

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  12. Take the song "Frosty the Snowman," and rewrite it from Frosty’s point of view.

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  13. Write a paragraph describing the ugliest holiday sweater in the world.

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  14. What kind of reindeer games do Santa’s reindeer actually play? Make a few up and describe the rules.

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  15. Create your own winter holiday. What’s the theme?

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  16. Write a persuasive paragraph about whether or not Valentine's Day should be considered a national holiday.

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  17. If Cupid existed today, what would he look like and how would he act?

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  18. If the presidents who are celebrated during Presidents' Day had dinner together today, what would they talk about?

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FUNNY STORY WRITING PROMPTS

  1. Take an unfortunate situation that happened to you, and write an essay where it becomes humorous instead.

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  2. The neighbor is throwing a huge party. What does your character find when they go tell them to quiet down?

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  3. Write a narration for a funny nature documentary ... about humans.

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  4. Every time you wake up, you’re in a different body. Describe what you would do in each body.

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  5. Write a story where an inanimate object in your house comes alive and isn’t happy with you. How do you deal with it?

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  6. Create and write about a villain who fails to intimidate the protagonist.

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  7. For one day, the animals in a zoo gain the ability to communicate and decide to take over. What are their conversations like?

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  8. Write a story where a group of time traveling nobility get dropped in the middle of a modern-day tourist trap.

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  9. Your best friend invites you over to finally reveal a “big secret.” When you get there, what do you see?

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  10. What would happen if you were thrust into a job where you had no training? What funny mistakes would you make?

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  11. Aliens came to conquer Earth, but decided we weren’t worth the time. Write a story about why.

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  12. Craft a conspiracy theory about something innocuous. For example: What are the sprinklers at the grocery store really spraying on the fruits?

    What does innocuous mean?

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  13. Write about a public marriage proposal that goes horribly wrong.

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  14. Collectively, the human’s prefrontal cortex has weakened, causing everyone you know to only speak the truth. Set your scene at a dinner party that gets derailed because of this.

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  15. An idiom in Norway for heavy rain is “It’s raining witches.” And, one afternoon, it does. What happens?

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  16. A contest will give $100 dollars each time your character gets insulted. How will they get people to insult them?

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  17. You’ve swapped places with your terrible boss! You have 12 hours in their body. What happens in the office that day?

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MYSTERY WRITING PROMPTS

  1. Write about the disappearance of a person that lives in a small town.

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  2. Craft a spooky story where the narrator is unknown to the reader.

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  3. You’ve stopped at a quaint town off the highway. But where are all the townspeople?

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  4. Surrealism is an art movement that utilizes imagery from the unconscious mind. Base a short story off of a dream you had but didn’t quite understand.

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  5. Using an abandoned building in your city, create a backstory for why it’s no longer occupied.

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  6. While walking past the local park at night, your character stumbles into a detective who thinks your character is the perfect suspect. Is the detective right or wrong?

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  7. The phone rings early one morning. The person on the other end says nothing but “You’ll be getting a letter in the mail today.” What happens next?

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  8. A professor of archaeology figures out an important artifact has suddenly gone missing. Who, or what, took it?

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  9. Take an unassuming story from today’s news and retell it as a mystery thriller.

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  10. Imagine a family member has disappeared. How did you contribute to their disappearance?

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  11. You and your family are taking a vacation to a fishing town. The keeper of the lighthouse, however, has some stories to tell you. What are they?

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  12. Take a superstition or spooky story from your country, and write about it actually happening to someone.

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  13. Write about a detective who has to figure out why they were hired.

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  14. Something is off about your new neighbors. What secrets are they hiding?

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  15. The lights go out at a museum gala. When they come back on, the most valuable piece has been stolen! Who took it?

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  16. Your character has awoken with amnesia. There is a strange key in their pocket. How do they figure out what the key is to?

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  17. Write about a character who survives an assassination attempt and must find out who tried to do them in.

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  18. Write a story where you try to solve your favorite unsolved murder.

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PROMPTS FOR WRITING A NOVEL

  1. Jot down an outline of a novel idea you don’t think is good.

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  2. Outline a novel where you fictionalize something that has actually happened to you.

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  3. Choose a historical figure to write a fictitious biography about. Why did you choose them?

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  4. Create the plot of a novel using the lyrics from one of your favorite songs.

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  5. A character study is a piece of work that examines the life of one, or a few, particular characters in detail. Write a character study of someone who is your complete opposite.

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  6. Set your novel entirely in a small European village that clings to a traditional way of life. Describe this village in detail to begin.

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  7. Research a niche community you know nothing about, like the lives of high-profile chefs, and set your novel in that world. Write a synopsis.

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  8. Interview one of your older relatives to draw inspiration for a novel. What answers are most interesting?

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  9. Draft an outline of a romance novel where the two main characters don’t meet until the final chapter.

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  10. Compare and contrast two of your favorite novels. Which parts do you like best from each?

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