Creative writing prompts are the missing link all writers need…whether you’re writing for fun or looking to write an amazing novel and live full time off your fiction writing.
Picture this: your imagination is a match…and you need to light it.
There are a number of different methods of setting a match ablaze and come up with story ideas. You can swipe it on the ground, against a rough surface, use your own nail, or even light it with another match that’s already burning.
But the best (and easiest) way? Striking it against the matchbox it came in. That’s what it’s for, after all.
Here are the best writing prompts we have for you:
- Fantasy Writing Prompts
- Sci-Fi Writing Prompts
- Dystopian Writing Prompts
- Contemporary Writing Prompts
- Romance Writing Prompts
- Horror / Thriller Writing Prompts
- Mystery Writing Prompts
- Reddit Writing Prompts
- Nonfiction Writing Prompt
Creative Writing Prompts are Your Matchbox
All you need is one writing prompt to light your imaginative fire and you can burn through a book idea, formulating the plot and all with just a single prompt. You can even write a powerful short story with a small prompt!
And that’s exactly what we’re here to help you with, whether you’re writing as a hobby or looking to publish through KDP.
Real writers know that you can easily come up with bits and fragments of a story but the overarching plot can be tricky to drum up.
You know what you want to write about: life’s happenings, a tragedy in your life, a deep memoir, magic, advanced science, realistic contemporary stories, but you just can’t figure out how to go from the genre and character development to a writing a novel.
200+ Creative Writing Prompts for Fiction Book Ideas
If you’re ready to take the plunge and finally start writing a book like you’ve always talked about, we can help you get started.
Something to keep in mind is that creative writing is largely driven by voice, style, characters, and your plot.
These are 100% original, never-before-seen creative writing prompts you won’t find anywhere else.
But if you’re ready to start right now, here are a few to set the creative wheel of your imagination in motion so you can find your writing style and master your craft.
30 Fantasy Writing Prompts
Fantasy is all about magic, creatures, and abilities. The possibilities with a fantasy world are nearly endless.
You can literally make up anything you want. This is why fantasy is my preferred genre to write in.
Here are 30 original fantasy writing prompts:
- Write about a character who finds an odd-looking egg in the forest. When they take it home, they never could have predicted what was inside it.
- Write a book about a character who has always had the ability to change how they looked, and so they hid their true appearance behind attractive façades. Now, their abilities aren’t working, exposing what they truly look like.
- Write a story about once peaceful water dwellers who have suddenly declared war on a settlement that was its only true ally. Your character has no idea why and is thrust into the war against their will.
- Write about how magic is the norm. Some excel at it, some are only okay, and others are against it completely, despite being able to use it. Your main character is the latter.
- Write a story about how time has always been a constant in a world where reality can be warped and stretched. Then your character, through research and hard work, discovers you can even alter time.
- Write about a character who researches untouched societies as a living. While deep in the jungle on an assignment, they accidentally allow themselves to be seen by someone from the society, a big no-no. What that person is capable of is beyond the world your character knew existed.
- Write about a character whose world is dying. The actual earth is sick and killing all the plants and probably life as they know it.
- Write a story about one of your characters who has magic. The other wants nothing more than to have magic. How far is that one person willing to go to make that magic theirs?
- Your character and their brother have always been best friends. They know practically everything about each other. Until they catch him do something they never thought possible.
- Write a book about an ancient society where your character hears a voice within their own mind. Shunned by their village, they spend their life as a near-slave, waiting on others, doing the hardest work, and granted little freedom. Well, they did, anyway, until they uncovered who the voice belonged to.
- Your character boards a ship to sail across to a newly discovered land. What they find when they get there are undiscovered species – both animal and humanoid.
- Non-magic people are outlawed. Your character has no magic and their older sibling has been ensuring nobody knows since your character was born. One missed moment might ruin everything.
- Write about a character who needs a miracle, and they meet one too! Who knew miracles were actually beings and not just something that happens? Your character makes a bad first impression when their miracle shows up to help them out.
- Write a story about how all types of magic exists in your character’s world. While drinking liquid happiness (magic drink) from a local tavern, they’re hit with a vision that overpowered every drop of happiness consumed. They’ve never had visions before, either.
- Your character has always believed magic exists. They just didn’t know how close it really was.
- Write a book about how after an accident that killed your character’s father, they uncover secrets they can’t even understand. Then their father’s friend shows up out of nowhere and explains all of it.
- Write about how your character teaches children magic. When one kid proves to be way more than expected, they have to help them understand exactly what they can do – and stop them from doing something that could be dangerous.
- Write a story about your character and while awaiting test results in the hospital, they encounter an…odd person who teaches them about a world beyond their own – and better than their own.
- Write about a character who embarks on a quest to locate a special type of rock that lights fires almost instantly – something their settlement needs. What they didn’t expect to find, however, was a mermaid-like species living in the cave that houses most of that rock.
- Write a fantasy story about a character who wakes up every day feeling the same thing: that something in their life is just…missing. When they realize their frequent nightmares are actually memories, it all becomes clear.
- Emotions can be controlled. Thoughts can be stolen. In the world your character lives in, holding on to your own sanity is the difference between destruction and thriving. They must learn to push out anyone who tries to alter their perception of reality.
- Write about your character, who gets caught in the middle of an ancient feud between two families as a result of one of their failures. In order to make things right, they have to dive head first into a world they’d rather not know even existed.
- Your character is short on food, shelter, and even patience. When they (literally) run into someone from their past, their reality starts to make sense. If only that person could undo what’s been done to them.
- Magic is the currency. Your character is a rare breed who was born without it. When they find themselves in a dangerous challenge to prove their worth to the settlement, magic would’ve come in handy.
- Write a book about a character who can teleport – but only to places they’ve been before. Their dream? To backpack across each of your world’s countries in order to acquire the most locations. The only thing stopping them is a past that’s sprinting to catch up to them.
- Your character’s country is the best…until a new ruler steals the throne by force…of magic. The most shocking part? Nobody from that country knows magic exists…and everybody with magic didn’t know those without it exist.
- Write about a character who wants to do everything on their “bucket list.” But when they’re kidnapped and shipped off to the unknown, there’s only one thing left on their list: survive. It just so happens the place they end up stuck is one of dreams.
- Your character hears a language they’ve never heard uttered before that day…yet they understood every single word. Turns out, they’re not really from where they think.
- Your character is a compulsive liar, unable to stop themselves from spinning tales that make them the envy of everyone around them. Then they wake up one day to discover that their lies have all come true…
- Write about a character who goes looking for magic out of curiosity. They find more than magic in their family history.
How to Write Fantasy Stories:
Fantasy is a wildly popular genre. There are countless fantasy worlds out there and that means you really have to focus on being unique within your world.
Here are a few ideas to do these writing prompts justice:
- Create 100% unique cultures
- Avoid these worldbuilding mistakes
- Develop slang for your world based on what’s popular/trending/makes sense with the time it takes place
- Do NOT use common phrases like “train of thought” if trains don’t exist in your world
- Use unique names
- Don’t forget about diversity!
- Opt for an unexpected and different journey and outcome (many fantasy novels follow a similar formula)
- Write what you want to read!
- Schedule your writing time and follow those deadlines if you really want to finish
30 Sci-Fi Writing Prompts
Are you one who loves advanced technology, diseases, and even space travel? If so, science fiction writing is right up your alley.
When it comes to creating new technologies and advanced societies, you really have to think outside the box.
Here are 30 sci-fi creative writing prompts:
- Write about a character who wakes up in a space pod alone…next to a ship so massive it’s actually carrying a planet beneath it. Your character has no memory from before they wake.
- Write a story about a character who lives in a world where every single person’s DNA is carefully genetically designed for something to help the community. Your main character despises what they were created for. This has never happened before.
- Write about how your character lives on a planet other than Earth. In fact, they don’t even know Earth exists. Well, they didn’t until some sort of advanced, technical probe crash-landed in their settlement, exposing the fact that they’re not alone. Now they have to decide what’s best for their settlement.
- Write a book about how the world used to be plagued with war and famine and inhumanity. But after years and years of developing a technical system that is the center of and controls everything, it’s almost completely peaceful. Your character is the engineer keeping the system running and when they uncover how it works, they contemplate abandoning everything they know.
- Write about the newest advancement in virtual reality that adds a physical sense. Now your characters can even hook up with people through your phone, all while staying at home. But when a glitch alters the mechanisms, what was once pleasure becomes pain and the user gets trapped in a VR state.
- Write a story about how others have been keeping your character alive for over 300 years because of a secret they know. When someone new finally learns the truth, reality becomes…confusing. Now, with only a short adulthood left to live, your character must ensure nobody else learns of this secret. But…well, news spreads fast.
- Write about how they didn’t mean to, but in an attempt to build a time traveling machine, your character actually discovered alternate universes – and then accidentally trapped themselves there. Oh, and this alternate universe hasn’t discovered electricity yet.
- Write a story about a character who lives in an ancient society. When a shiny, unnatural looking contraption touches down and creatures emerge, everything they once knew changes.
- Write about how the only reason your character is alive is because of a test device implanted around their heart. It wasn’t supposed to work and now, they’re not only healed, but they’re also changing. Just what exactly was that device made out of?
- Write about a character who wakes up in a dark, hot room dressed in hardly anything. Their memory is foggy but clearing up, and they have some sort of technical device securing their hands together. They stumble over to a tiny window that gives them a clear view of a world far below them.
- Write about your character’s sister who is discovered dead and the cause of death ruled an overdose. Your character knows better. She was the only person in the family who never had an issue with drugs. In fact, she was developing a cure for cancer in the most advanced research center in the world. Your character finds that…suspicious.
- Write a story about how computers are outlawed. Having access to technology is punishable by life in prison. Your character runs an underground cyber center that gets crashed by local law enforcement. But during interrogation, they get hired instead of prosecuted…because something unworldly has touched down.
- Write about a character who accidentally created a virtual reality software that taps into the user’s psyche and creates their ultimate dream reality. They were on track to become a billionaire until some users became addicted and unable to free themselves from its hold.
- Write a story about how the world your character currently lives on is nearing its breaking point. While the rest of the world rushes to evacuate everyone to a space pod with a destination of a livable planet, your character remains behind bars, left to die with the rest of the world’s prisoners. The kicker? They’re wrongfully convicted.
- Write about how disease is finally eradicated. Cancer is nothing more than an old nightmare. Your character spent years working his way into a lab dedicated to making sure it stays that way. Their secret? They’re a hardcore believer in natural selection. He decides to take Darwinism into his own hands.
- Write a book about a city that’s the first to implement an entirely technological government. It’s under strict surveillance from the outside in order to determine if this is the future of your country…and the world. Your character stumbles into trouble when they discover that technology isn’t in charge at all – a group of people they’ve never seen or heard of are.
- Write about hot time altering is possible, but fatally illegal. In this world, characters can bend, pause, rewind, and even fast forward time…but at the risk of their lives. Your character, in a midst of panic, accidentally alters time…by going 300 years into the past.
- Write a story about how the outdoors is plagued with radioactive particles created by a new technology once thought to eradicate airborne diseases. People are confined to the indoors unless they use a special, very expensive suit. Citizens who can’t afford them are driven mad by confinement. Your character wants to find a way for everyone to have a suit – no matter what law enforcement says.
- Write about a character who invents airborne particles with the intent to eradicate diseases. Unfortunately, they become radioactive, toxic, and severely deadly to anyone who breathes in even a tiny amount.
- Scientists have created a man-made atmosphere around the planet of Mars in order to make it completely livable. Your character is one of the lucky few who are chosen to be among the first to inhabit the planet. What they don’t know is that there is no atmosphere…and others already inhabit it.
- Write about your character who lives in a world where the outdoors is plagued with natural disasters daily. Venturing outside is dangerous and rarely done. When they’re forced to leave their home to rush to the aid of someone struggling outside, they learn that those “natural” disasters are completely fabricated. Their new life mission is to find out why.
- Write a story about how in your character’s world, identity is implanted into your forearm at birth. It’s scannable and contains any information someone would ever need to know, including age, overall health, risk for diseases, and more. Your character, having spent their life in a type of foster care, applies for a job only to realize that now, at the age of 18, their identity is showing two different sets of information.
- Your character’s job is to lead the mission of colonizing new planets – even if there’s life present. When the truth of how they manage to find habitable planets surfaces, a new recruit shows them just how wrong it really is. Your characters new goal? To stop it.
- Write about how oceanic cities have been built for the rich. They float atop the ocean, traveling hundreds of miles a day, all while its citizens go about their everyday life. Unfortunately, your character discovers a superstorm developing below the ocean’s surface, something that has never happened before – something they are wildly unprepared for.
- Your character develops a new device you implant in your ear that reads the minds of those they focus on. After light testing, they accidentally discover that the local baker has a massive, dangerous, potentially even deadly secret.
- Write about how in the distant future, magic is discovered as being real…at least for the humanoid creatures inhabiting an Earth-like planet. Your main character is among the few chosen to venture to the planet and study them. They just never expected to discover the source of the magic like they did in the process.
- Write a story about how oxygen levels on Earth have been plummeting for centuries. Now, with the population dwindling due to suffocation and disease, your main character has to find a way off the dying planet without attracting too much attention from the Keeps, also known as the highly deadly enforcement force tasked with making sure only certain individuals leave.
- Write a story about how centuries ago, a solar flare damaged the Earth’s atmosphere in the opposite way expected; it actually made it stronger. But now the sun’s rays have difficulty penetrating it and the world is slowly growing colder. Your character is among the many determined to find a way to fix it.
- Happiness is an illusion, as are every other emotion. In your futuristic society, humans are bred in a lab without them as a means of creating equality. The only problem is that your main character was born the natural way…with every emotion intact. If this is discovered, they’ll have to fend for their life.
- Write about how your main character was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Tasked with delivering something seemingly unimportant, they witness something they shouldn’t have and are pulled into a world of secrecy, dangerous weapon manufacturing, and a virtual war the public is blind to.
How to Write Science Fiction:
This genre is another very popular one, and for good reason. You can imagine a realistic, yet very different future than what we currently have.
But you also want to make sure to remember a few of these guidelines when creating your science fiction world from these writing prompts:
- Decide if the story will take place in this world or a completely unique one
- Create realistic advanced technology that your characters would actually use
- Avoid modern-day slang unless the story takes place here
- Create your own slang. A great example of this is in Jenna Moreci’s sci-fi novel, EVE: The Awakening pictured below)
“Dynamic” is the slang the author created in this instance. It fits with the sci-fi world and further creates a sense of realism and it pulls the reader deeper into the world.
30 Dystopian Writing Prompts
As this genre gains more and more popularity, you may find yourself wondering what a certain post-apocalyptic world might look like.
Why not write about it?
WRITING PROMPTS: wildfires have engulfed the large majority of living land. Your character is one of many attempting to board a ship set for a new in-ocean settlement…that they don’t know doesn’t exist.
Here are 30 dystopian creative writing prompts:
- Write about a character who finds an odd-looking egg in the forest. When they take it home, they never could have predicted what was inside it.
- Write a story about how natural farming doesn’t exist anymore. Due to climate change, all food has to be manufactured in bulk and distributed. There is no flavor and is the same every day. Your character, who has spent their entire life in this world, takes a trip to the mountains far away from their home. There, they discover real plants, and on them, berries.
- Write about nature extremists taking over the government, stopping at nothing to ensure all man-made harm on the planet is eradicated. Your character ends up in their clutches, forced to do their bidding.
- Write a story about how, due to climate change, wildfires have engulfed the large majority of living land. Your character is one of many attempting to board a ship set for a new in-ocean settlement. The problem? That settlement doesn’t actually exist.
- Write about how after a devastating illness that rocked only the wildlife population over 200 years ago, a scientist created a virus that strengthens animal’s immune systems with the purpose of creating balance and stabilizing the wildlife population once again. The problem is that it worked too well and the wildlife has exceeded (and reduced) the world’s population
- Write a book about how after a devastating storm that encompassed the entire world, the population has thinned significantly and your character, who lost all of their family but their youngest sibling, has to go up against the new “government” with a group of allies as they attempt to gain control over the living population of the world – in the worst way.
- Write about how over the course of a few hundred years, cases of depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses caused the death and destruction of generations. Then an airborne substance was created to balance all levels of each person so they’re created 100% equal in every way. Turns out, your character is immune to the substance.
- Write about how the third World War is done and over with for many years now. It was the downfall of the world’s economic system. Now your main character must navigate a world where governments no longer exist, money is useless, and survival is the only objective. Oh, and they have a debilitating medical condition to look after, too
- Write a story about how two thousand years after a massive wave of a fatal illness swept over the entire world, your character navigates a life of poverty and hardship, struggling to feed their very young twin siblings and alcoholic father. That is, until a new form of choosing a leader is proposed. Now they can finally compete to rule over their settlement.
- Write about how books have nearly been abolished. Your country is separated into three main regions with a dangerous “neutral” zone in the center. With a rumor of a way out located in the midst of the neutral zone, your main character must venture through two other regions to get there.
- Write a book about a character who is fortunate to have been born into a powerful family after the downfall of the world. They have everything they would ever hope to have…except for a clue as to what happens outside their very large, protective walls. Once they find out, they can’t help but need to change it.
- Write about a single tower that powers what’s left of the country’s population. When an outsider tampers with its mechanisms, the tower breaks down, leaving your main character and everyone else struggling to survive.
- Write about how the birthrate has dropped significantly. So much so that children are now worth millions. Your main character, a very poor woman, just found out she’s pregnant – and won’t be able to hide it for long. Kidnapping and worse await her if anyone finds out that she can reproduce, and will soon have a child up for “grabs.” In order to save herself – and her child – she must confess her pregnancy to the father, a very wealthy man in politics.
- Write a story about a character who ventures away from the only town they’ve ever known, despite warnings and many attempts to make them stay. What they find is emptiness…for miles and miles and miles.
- Write a story about a hidden temple is the only thing standing in the way of your character becoming the next ruler of a post-apocalyptic, off-the-grid society. When a newcomer ventures into their land, their chance of finding the temple becomes dangerous…maybe even impossible.
- Write a book about how they really thought they were helping by creating a single drug with the power to eradicate diseases, illnesses, and even cancer. What they didn’t anticipate was the massive super virus 100% resistant to the drug. Your main character seems to be the only one who can’t catch it…that they know of.
- Write about how society has collapsed over hundreds of years, not with war or a single event like they always thought would happen. Your main character discovers a voice message from 700 years prior detailing the downfall’s construction. The 300 years it took to destroy society was completely planned. But why?
- Since the manmade radioactive superstorm that destroyed most of life as they knew it, extreme measures have been taken to document every move of every person. Your main character scans a chip when they eat, sleep, travel, and even when they have sex. When offered a way out, your main character takes it without question…which might be their biggest mistake.
- Write a story about how the government was taken over by the rich nearly 50 years ago. Your main character was lucky enough to be born into the wealthiest family. What they never thought of, though, was the fact that one day, the could be kidnapped and used as leverage.
- Write about a character who, after witnessing horrors of rising crime and drug rates, ran away at the age of 12 to live on their own in a secluded wooded area. Now, after 10 years of solitude, people start filing into their neck of the woods covered in wounds, tattered clothing, and bruises.
- Write about a super tsunami that’s demolished the eastern portion of the United States. But contrary to what was expected, the water is actually creeping inland, not back out to sea. Your main character’s home is a victim of the ocean.
- Write a story about how electricity is scarce…and very expensive. Your main character walks home one night to discover a brand-new electric car sitting idle in behind a forest tree line. They follow its tire tracks to find a massive house lit up and blasting music. A stranger waves at them to come in.
- Write a book about how at the height of your character’s career – and life as a whole – an attack destroys their city, kills their spouse, and forces them into poverty…and maybe even war. With new laws, new standards, and new rulers in place, their life obtains a whole new purpose.
- Write a story about how a little boy is running toward your main character, a look of absolute joy lighting up their face. Then they freeze, their joy turning to anger, rage. Your character cocks their head, confused, and then the truth hits them. He must be one of the Ruin Children, born from the people affected by the Great Tragedy.
- Write about a trial being the only way your character can ever hope to rise above their current abysmal ranking. Your world’s current society is one bred for advancement. Anyone who can’t meet the standards is done for. Your character needs a near miracle to pass their trial.
- Due to an error made by someone in the distant future when time traveling, the world’s societal (and time) structure has collapsed. Each day may produce a completely different reality than the one before. Survival isn’t guaranteed and strangers could have been your best friend – or more – only yesterday.
- Your character’s world is what happens when an experimental chemical compound intended to sustain plant life is pumped into the atmosphere. Now trees have overgrown, plants are squeezing into homes, and the Earth’s oxygen levels are (if you can believe it) too high.
- Tagged, chipped, and shuffled into line. That’s your character’s everyday reality. They’re herded like cattle…to be used in the same way as cattle. Then a single guard takes pity on your character and offers them a way out.
- Write a story about a main character who’s read all about the warning signs of a solar flare and the flipping of the Earth’s magnetic field. They’ve scoured through studies and research papers depicting what would happen. Since both occurred within the same year over a century ago, they’re stuck to live in the aftermath.
- Peace. The world is ruled by one person dedicated to keeping the peace. There’s been no war or poverty or famine in centuries. Your main character is newly employed to be the ruler’s personal assistant. When they discover how the world is kept at peace, their life changes forever.
How to write Dystopian books:
Dystopian novels are one of the biggest trends sweeping the literary world. With books like The Handmaid’s Tale stirring more post-apocalyptic stories, it’s easy to get stuck in the same mindset as many other dystopian novelists.
Here are a few things to keep in mind if you want to write dystopian using these writing prompts:
- Think way outside of the box
- Use literary elements from your story’s past to form their present
- Paint a very clear picture of everyday life for your character from the very first page
- Get creative with the laws, culture, and customs
- Don’t just “go with the flow”: The Handmaid’s Tale is so popular largely due to the fact that it’s unique. Not many people would have thought of a world that was overrun by a religion – and that’s what makes it so tantalizing; it’s unexpected.
28 Contemporary Writing Prompts
Some people don’t necessarily want to escape from this world. In fact, they just want to escape from their own life for a little bit but prefer to read something realistic, something they can relate to.
Contemporary writing is all about forming connections with readers.
Here are 28 contemporary writing prompts:
- Write about a character who’s done everything they’re told. They just graduated high school and are off to a very good college to get their degree in something reliable. But when they get there, they realize there’s a whole world of opportunity they never knew existed. Now they have to maintain the façade of going to college even though they decided to pursue a different endeavor.
- Write a story involving a character who answers the door to nothing but an intricate envelope on the ground; an invitation. After attending the secret underground event, they become a part of the biggest activist group out there…and nobody even knows who they are.
- Write about how, while on a hike with friends, your main character discovers a small tower buried beneath the ground. After some digging, they realize it’s filled with scrolls they can hardly make out. What they contain will change your character’s view of life forever.
- Write a book about how a character has been living a very sheltered, very dangerous life. After the death of their overbearing father, they’re thrust into the real world – only to realize just how different their life really is from those around them.
- Write a book about how your main character gets called out of school/work by someone they don’t know for something they are clueless about. But for some reason, the person addressing them thinks they already know everything about it.
- Write a story about how, as an artist, your main character has it well. But when everything they’ve worked for is burned in a tragic fire, they have to start all over with nothing to their name and a roommate determined to hold them back.
- Write about how life for your main character has never been easy. After venturing in and out of foster homes, they’re finally an adult and on their own. When their birth mother reaches out to reconnect, they never could’ve predicted what’s kept her away for so long. Now your character has to decide between getting involved with their real mother or cutting ties forever.
- Write about how death is a natural part of life. Your main character has been feared it or been affected by it. But when their best friend goes missing and their body shows up in front of their house, your character makes it their mission to find out who’s responsible – even if it means breaking the law…a lot of laws.
- Write a story about a character who’s in an accident that leaves them blind. When they meet a stranger who shows them how to enjoy life again, everything seems to be perfect. Until tragedy strikes that stranger.
- A strange person approaches your character claiming to be their long-lost parent. But your character isn’t adopted…so they think. Now they have to make sense of a new reality and an identity that’s shocking.
- Write about how a half-eaten apple flies through the air and smacks your character on the head. There’s nobody around and no way for anyone to hide. Then it happens again the next day. They do some digging and discover the source…a small child with rags for clothes and hollow cheeks.
- Your character’s identity is stolen, racking up thousands of dollars in debt. They were just fired, and to top it all off, their long-term significant other just broke up with them for their friend. And they said your twenties would be the best years of your life.
- Your character was adopted from foster care when she was 5. Their memories of their time in that foster home are almost non-existent. All they can remember is feeling scared and a distinct song that gets stuck in their head from time to time. As they’re walking to class one day, they hear that familiar song in the distance.
- Write a story about how your character woke up in a stranger’s home with a gaping, painful wound on their leg. They have no idea where they are, how they go there, or who the strange man in the corner of the room watching them is.
- Write about how your character had been studying their whole life. With everyone in their family having gone to an ivy league school, your main character feels the pressure to get in and get A’s. They even stoop to low levels to do so.
- Your character embarks on a mission to prove that the key to happiness is doing whatever they want, whenever they want. But that mentality quickly lands them in serious trouble with drugs, new “friends,” and decisions they can’t undo.
- Write a story about a dimly lit street at 3 am. Your character strolls by like they have many nights before after a long shift at the bar. A building they’ve never noticed before flashing an “OPEN” sign catches their attention. Once inside, the direction of their entire life changes.
- Write about how nothing has ever really been difficult for your main character. They’ve been able to coast through life, get a good job, make good friends, and are happy. Then a social worker shows up at their door with a six-year-old child – the same child that was adopted six years prior. Turns out, raising a six-year-old is very, very difficult.
- Your main character has worked their entire life to make their dreams of curing cancer a reality. But when it seems like a cure is within reach, a suspicious fire burns all of their research…or so it seemed.
- Write about a character who survived an accident that killed one of their siblings. When they thought life couldn’t get any harder, a scary diagnosis rocks their already unstable boat. Dealing with grief, your family blaming you for a sibling’s death, and a debilitating disease isn’t easy. Thank goodness they make a new friend.
- Write about purple glasses. Black hair. Polka dot shoes. Your main character has seen this person on the subway every day for two years. When they notice their absence for a week straight, they decide to find out who they are. Turns out, your character shouldn’t have gone snooping.
- Your character lines up at the bank very early in the morning, dreading another day of mind-numbing work ahead at their corporate job. A gentleman in a grey suit with white hair greets them and engages in some small talk. Then, out of nowhere, he hands your character a gun, takes a few steps back, and fires a couple of rounds into the ceiling.
- Write about how fire is your main character’s solace – their addiction. Their home is littered with candles, a lighter is never more than a foot from them, and bonfires are a nightly occurrence. Addiction of any kind can be a very dangerous thing.
- Write a story about how your character sees balloons – hundreds of them – floating toward the sky from miles away. They go to investigate the cause and end up really regretting that decision. They get pulled into something that could change their life forever.
- It’s been two years since your character has actually had a steady job. After growing increasingly desperate, they answer an ad for a personal assistant position. They just didn’t expect it to be for a major drug cartel leader.
- Hospitals have never been your character’s favorite. They think they smell…weird. Unnatural. But they work there now and will have to get used to it. They throw on their white coat and enter the building. Ugh. The psychiatric ward always smells the worst; like wet stone and rotting wood mixed with subpar antiseptics.
- Your main character starts to hear voices shortly after experiencing a trauma. Now they’re in therapy, fighting with their own mind in order to sort out what really happened that day and why they can’t stop hearing another voice.
- Write about how children are the future. They have the power to right our wrongs and start anew. Your main character befriends an orphaned child and learns more from them than they realized was possible.
How to Write in the Contemporary genre:
I personally believe contemporary can be one of the hardest genres to write because you have the least wiggle room when it comes to creativity.
Everything has to be realistic in today’s society.
Here are a few tips to remember for writing contemporary from the very talented author of Little Birds and Writing Youtuber, Hannah Lee Kidder:
- “Realistic dialogue is important. All the characters should sound different from one another, their vernacular should make sense for their background, and the writer should read it out loud.”
- “Tiny details are hella dope in descriptions. It should be so specific and vivid that when the reader finishes the story, they feel like they’ve lost a bit of reality.”
- “Imagining characters complexly is also important. Work on understanding real people. If you understand people and why they do what they do, you can understand characters and what they do”
- Create a conflict many can relate to or sympathize with
- Spend a lot of time on the character arc as many contemporary novels are primarily character-driven
Contemporary Writing Exercise From Hannah Lee Kidder: Sit in public and pick a random person, then write a completely made up story on them.
30 Romance Writing Prompts
Romance is the most popular book genre out there right now. People love reading about love!
But that doesn’t mean you can think of any love story and get to work.
Here are 30 romance writing prompts for you:
- Write about how your character has gone through life believing that love is a choice. Their decision? To never get involved because love can only lead to pain and hardship. But after an argument with a stranger, their view of love, and life itself, is changed.
- Write a story about how marriage is just what happens when you’ve been with someone forever. For your main character, that seems obvious. But when they’re months away from their wedding and an old friend barges into their life unannounced, a wedding seems like the furthest thing from their desires.
- Write about a character who is up for a big promotion within their company. They’ve put everything on hold for it – including their love life. But when an outsider is hired instead, they lose it, focusing all their energy on bringing this newcomer down. They just didn’t think about the fact that they might end up liking them.
- Write a book about how a character and their significant other have been together since childhood. After a war between their people rips them away from each other, they’ll have to fight, manipulate, and fool in order to get each other back.
- Write about how a package is mailed to your main character. It’s filled with what seems like hundreds of letters all to a single person. Memories and confessions of love are penned within those letters. Your main character feels drawn to the person on the other end and sets out to find them – and the letter’s true destination.
- Write a story about how arranged marriages are the standard. In fact, nobody marries for love. Love doesn’t even exist in your character’s world. But when they’re drawn to someone who’s already spoken for, they start to question everything they know about love.
- Write about how your main character lives in a society of slavery. If you’re not born in a certain family, you’re shipped off and sold. When your character is sold for the 8th time in their short 20 years, then end up at one of the top houses – and become a personal servant to the next leader of their settlement. Soon, they’re enthralled in a romance that could get them both killed…because he’s already promised to another…a very dangerous other.
- Write a story about how cheating is wrong. Your character’s society puts emphasis on loyalty above anything else. In fact, cheating and betrayal of any kind in any relationship are punishable by life in prison (and even death in extreme cases). So why does something that’s been illegal for as long as they can remember feel so right when your character meets someone new? Avoiding jail just became the most difficult part of your character’s life.
- Write about how your character started going blind at the age of six. Fifteen years later, they meet someone who makes their life better in ways they couldn’t have imagined. Then they realize that they’ve actually met that person before.
- Your main character has seen the same person at the bus stop every day for what seems like over a year. They also bump into them frequently at coffee shops, grocery stores, and even restaurants. Finally, they decide to introduce themselves to the person who Fate seems to be pushing their way.
- It had been 10 years since your character last saw their biggest crush. How they both ended up in the same city away from their hometowns makes no sense to them. It’s got to be more than a coincidence, right?
- A waft of something flowery washes over your main character as they jog down the street. They turn and follow the scent to someone dancing in the middle of the street to no music while reading a book.
- Write a book. about how your character runs away from their tribe in the dead of night. After an injury leaves them exposed, an unlikely ally of a rivaling clan saves their life.
- Reading minds might seem like an advantage in the dating world. But when your character can hear every single thought someone has about them, it quickly reduces their chances at finding love.
- Write a. story about how a treehouse in the deep woods is your character’s favorite place to relax. But when they get interrupted by the weird kid at school, they have to set some ground rules for its use. Sharing a treehouse with the weirdo might just be the best thing they’ve ever done.
- Write about how it’s rare to find true love as a child. Your main character did – and they grew up to marry their childhood sweetheart. But after an unexpected death, your character is forced to live without their true love. Oh…and they have a one-year-old to take care of on top of it.
- Write a book about how your character waited two weeks for their date to call. What seemed like a perfect evening must’ve not been all that great for them. Then their date’s sibling called…to tell them they had died. But they did leave a few notes with your character’s name on them before it happened.
- Her brother’s friends are off limits. Her dad’s friends are off limits. She knows those rules. But when a new coworker of her dad’s enters the picture, she’ll have to find a way around her father’s rules.
- Write a story about how many memories of love and loss come to your character’s mind when they’re invited to an all-adult summer camp. They decide to go for it and spend 6 weeks in paradise with complete strangers.
- Write a romance story about how you don’t know unconditional love until you’ve ever felt it at your core. And once you do, you can never settle for anything less ever again.
- “Marry your best friend,” they said. “It’ll be fun,” they said. But when your best friend turns out to be the complete opposite of how you thought, a relationship can get tricky. Your character is on the lookout for a new best friend.
- Write a romance about how your character is basically a “starving artist,” an art student just barely getting by. Their roommate, another art student and your character’s crush, opens a gallery featuring breathtaking paintings of your character. It’s everything your character could want…and then they meet the person who pays thousands for their portrait. Now their roommate is hardly on their mind.
- In an ancient world, your character is getting ready for a life partner ceremony. Their partner – someone they’ve known their whole life – is already chosen and it’s time to secure the bond. But when someone your character has never met before steps up to challenge your supposed-to-be life partner, they’re forced to be with a stranger.
- Write about how two old bicycles are embedded in a tree – grown into it from years of being chained to it. Upon further inspection, your character finds a bottle in one of the baskets and in that bottle, a letter. They attempt to return the letter to its owner to find someone else entirely.
- Write a story about how in order to marry in your character’s society, suitors have to fight a person’s entire family for their hand. On the same day your character challenges their love’s family of 8, someone else challenges theirs – a family of only 3.
- “All’s fair in love and war.” Does this still ring true when your character is fighting a war for love? Some say they’ll move mountains to get to the love of their life. Others will move kingdoms.
- Write a romance about how falling in love is dangerous – especially for your character, who must stay focused if they want to rule someday. But when their mother’s friend brings her daughter to their palace, their entire focus changes. If only she would notice your character.
- Write about what happens when your very particular character meets the least likely person to ever be a good match for them.
- Falling in love is never easy. It’s even more difficult, however, when you find out the person you’re head over heels for is a torturer. And worse…they enjoy it.
- Write about a character who decides to take a vacation for themselves to a secluded little town in order to figure out what to do with their life after college. Little did they know that this small town could house so much of what they’re really looking for in life – including a hottie with a less-than-favorable reputation.
How to Write Romance:
Even though romance is an extremely popular genre doesn’t mean you can be lazy when it comes to the actual romance and creative writing prompts isn’t always enough to help you develop a full-blown romance.
People read romance to be invested, to feel something real.
That’s why you have to remember these tips when writing romance when using these writing prompts:
- NEVER romanticize abuse as “love” (AKA, a jealous boyfriend should never be praised for “loving your character more” because this is harmful to readers)
- Create real chemistry by giving your characters qualities that would actually foster a connection
- Avoid “insta-love” by giving your characters time to bond and get to know each other
- Look out for serious romance cliches and overused plot lines like love triangles, forbidden romances (these can be great if done uniquely!), and crazy exes
- Continuously up the stakes whenever the reader gets comfortable with the relationship
30 Horror/Thriller Writing Prompts
Because being terrified is entertaining to some people, horror and thriller books exist and are quite popular!
The great thing about this genre is that you can get really creative and really dark.
Here are our 30 horror and thriller writing prompts:
- Write a book about how your main character is home alone, just like most nights. This time, however, a new neighbor pays them a visit. And it wasn’t for the last time.
- Write a story about how eight murders have taken place in your character’s town in the past 8 weeks. Once a week, on the same day, at the same time. When your character gets abducted after being out past the town’s new curfew, they have only 48 hours to discover why this is happening and how to get free…all while being tortured by the murderer.
- Write a horror story about how it’s a day of celebration in your character’s hometown! A 100-year-old time capsule is about to be opened, so of course, they go, just like most of the town. When a deceased human hand with a sinister note attached to it is the only thing in the capsule, questions start to buzz. The first being, who is the person who wrote the note? Oddly enough, the note is written in your main character’s handwriting…with their signature…dated 82 years before they were even born.
- Write about how your main character suffers from a condition that gives them periodic blackouts for seemingly no reason. The only thing they can seem to remember from before each blackout is a bike. A red bike with a white basket and muddy tires. One day, they see that very bike leaning up against their house but this time, they don’t blackout.
- Write a thriller about how odd and unexplainable events are said to happen in a certain seaside town. Your main character takes it upon themselves to visit in an effort to see just how accurate the sightings are. What they find is beyond anything they imagined. But now they can’t seem to escape the town.
- Write a story about how your main character and a couple of friends take a boat trip to a tiny, vacant, off-limits island for a night of celebration. When the sun goes down, they realize just how occupied the island actually is…and there’s a reason it’s off-limits.
- Write a book about a character who’s in therapy because whenever they close their eyes at night, they see (very vividly) someone’s tragic death. Some say it’s just their twisted imagination, their new therapist thinks it is something much, much different…and dangerous.
- Write a story about how your main character gets into an accident. While they make a seemingly full recovery, something has just been off inside their head since the crash. When they wake up next to a mutilated body in an unrecognizable place, they start to worry.
- A new town, a new job, a new life. Your character moved away to start over and become someone they’ve always wanted to be. The problem? They just can’t seem to stop killing people.
- The lure of a mysterious person will never get old. Their dark hat, sly smirk, and inquisitive eyes pull your main character in…until they can’t get out.
- Write about a dare. That’s how it all started, like all those horror movies your main character loves. They venture into that basement from the outside with confidence…only to discover two kids and a decaying body chained up. Now they have to make sure they don’t get caught. The hidden camera on the basement stairs doesn’t help with that.
- Write a horror about how your character gets a new job in a restaurant as a waiter. The tight-knit family running the place welcomes them with open arms…and then invites them to take part in what really happens when they close at night.
- Your character’s significant other has always talked in their sleep; it’s nothing new. But when their voice changes and their words take a dark turn, your character can’t help but do some digging into why that is…and they don’t like what they find.
- Your character thinks they must be the last person left on Earth. After a devastating disease swept over the entire world, they wander aimlessly. Then they come across a town that seems unchanged, inhabiting seemingly normal people. They learn that’s far from the truth.
- Write about how after wandering into a brand-new book store, your character thoroughly enjoys the last few books they’ve read. When they go to buy another, the owner recommends a very specific book. They start reading only to realize it’s about that very town, 50 years earlier, about a book shop owner who preys on customers.
- Your character is walking home midday when they hear an usual sound coming from an ordinary house in the suburbs. They soon forget about it for the rest of the day. Then, when they’re falling asleep, they hear that same sound outside their window.
- A boot, a broken glass bottle, and a scuba diving mask show up on your character’s front lawn after a city-wide festival. Thinking nothing of it, they toss them in the garbage…only for them to reappear the next morning.
- Write a story involving a character who officially meets the person they’ve been bumping into all over town. After hitting it off, they go out on a date that ends very poorly for one of them.
- Write about how the painting that’s been in your character’s home for over 50 years starts screaming.
- They said not to visit the museum at night. They said strange things might happen. Your character never imagined just how much they should’ve listened.
- Your character’s best friend just got back from some intense rehab. They seem better than ever…until your character discovers their method of staying clean; a new addiction has taken its place.
- Write a thriller novel about how your character wakes up to a door slamming. They rush to their toddler’s room only for them to be missing. A single gardening glove is in their place on the bed.
- Your character’s mom is caught sneaking into their house in the middle of the night…a trail of mud patterning the floor in the shape of her heels. She’s in a trance and won’t answer to her name.
- Write about how your character gets up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night and is alarmed to see their dad standing in the hallway. After shaking it off, they ask him what he’s doing. Without a word, his eyes start to bleed.
- Write a book about a character who’s known the neighbor across the street for years. But after witnessing them limping into their home, covered in something dark at 4 am, your character has questions. Getting close to them might be the only way to find out their secret.
- Write about how all the pictures of your character and their sister go missing from their home…one by one.
- Your character wakes up one morning and all the candles in their house are lit. They haven’t lit them for weeks.
- Witnessing someone’s descent into madness is something your character never thought they’d experience. It soon becomes increasingly clear that they might not witness it in its entirety.
- Write about how the school gym is filled. It’s a day of celebration. Your main character graduates today and when it’s their time to take the stage, a scream is released from someone in the stands.
- Write a horror book about how there have been attacks in your character’s town as of late. Instead of physical injury or even death…the victims are injected with heroin over and over and over until they’re completely addicted. Then they’re released.
WRITING PROMPTS: Odd and unexplainable events are said to happen in a certain seaside town. Your main character goes there to investigate…now they can’t leave.
How to write horror and thriller:
Scaring people so much so that they sweat while simply reading is a difficult task. You really have to focus on the structure of your writing in order to create that reaction.
Here are a few things to remember if you use these writing prompts:
- Building anticipation will be your #1 focus
- Readers need to feel surprised and scared so dig deep and get twisted
- Plot twists are a must; never let your characters or readers see what’s coming
- Continuously up the stakes
- Focus on building deep sympathy for your character from the very beginning. This will make the stakes seem even higher and increase tension, just as Stephen King does in his infamous novel, IT, pictured below.
30 Mystery Writing Prompts
Human curiosity is what makes this genre so incredibly popular. We always want to figure out what happened. Mystery books are natural page-turners because we just aren’t satisfied until we find out what happened.
But that can be difficult to create from nothing.
Here are 30 mystery creative writing prompts:
- Write a mystery about how your character is 16 and just learned they were the last person to see their crush the night they were murdered. But when they come forward with these details, they become the new main suspect. They’re determined to solve their crushes murder or risk going to jail for something they didn’t do.
- Write a story about how recently, there’s been a number of abandoned cars scattered throughout the city. Nobody knows where they’re coming from and there’s not a single personal item in them. That is, until one is discovered with a freshly removed human scalp on the dashboard.
- Write about how for the past month, your character has received a number of disturbing and detailed drawings in their mailbox. After chalking it up to immature kid stunts, they try to forget about it. But when the drawings come to life in brutal, horrific ways, they’re the only person who knows of the drawings and therefore, knows what one will come next.
- Write about a character who gets a DNA test for fun – just to see where they really come from. After becoming obsessed with one little detail, they soon discover a number of their ancestors from all over the world were once located in a single, unpopulated place; a gathering of sorts.
- Write a mystery about how your character’s spouse nearly falls through the door, beaten nearly to requiring hospitalization. When an unknown but distinct brand marking is discovered between their shoulder blades, your character has to find out who they are and why they did it.
- Write about a single member of each noble family who has been murdered every week for the past two months. Your character is of a very noble household and can barely sleep each night. So they decide to find out who is responsible.
- Write a story about a character whose religion has a talisman as old as the religion itself. After it goes missing, all fingers point to the chief’s oldest child of 19 years, engaged to the healer’s oldest child. But they never could’ve done it. They were (romantically involved) with your main character when the theft occurred.
- Write about how your main character wakes up every morning feeling as though they didn’t get more than a couple of hours of sleep. After sleep studies, medications, and trying everything available, nothing seems to work. They decide to videotape a night of sleep to determine if maybe they’re sleepwalking. Turns out, they are. Except they seem completely conscious. In fact, in the video, they approach the camera, smirk, and walk away with a wave before disappearing for nearly the entire night.
- Write about how your main character is a key witness for a murder case. Video footage of them at the scene during the murder shows that clearly. The only problem? They can’t remember anything from that night.
- Write a story about a character living in an average sized town. As of late, a very large number of people have been going missing. They leave no trace. There’s nothing connecting them. It’s as if they all vanish in the middle of the day.
- Two years after your character’s significant other goes missing, presumed dead, they start getting messages that could only be from them.
- Your character is going about their normal day when suddenly, a low sound blares outside and doesn’t stop. For weeks. Nobody knows what’s causing it.
- During a follow-up set of interviews, your character conducts around a certain mob member, long thought to have put an end to that very mob, they find out that the mob member has been lying – for 30 years…about everything.
- Write about how, to make some extra money, your character puts their spare room on Airbnb. The first few people seem fine and the extra income is great. Then someone comes to stay for a week and very…odd events keep taking place in that room.
- Your character is a professional photographer. When processing images from a recent event, they notice a single person on the outskirts of every photo…and it’s not a coincidence.
- Your character opens an old sketchbook to try their hand at it again after years of being too busy with their corporate job. When they open it, their half-finished pieces are completed…and it wasn’t their doing.
- All the plants in and around houses in your character’s town are dying even though all other foliage is left untouched. It started happening after the last meteor shower.
- In your character’s world, crime is nonexistent. Everyone lives in harmony with each other. That’s why the murdered child found in the street sets the town into complete and utter chaos.
- Write a mystery about how when the Internet was first invented, warnings of sharing your personal information were everywhere. Now your character knows why. Cyber information is being used to frame innocents in extreme crime cases.
- Write a book about how a crack in the window was all the thief needed to secure the right position that allowed them access to the town’s most famous piece of history. Your character is the one who was supposed to keep it safe.
- Your character’s people believe a certain boulder is sacred. It’s the heart of their civilization and religion. One day the town wakes to find it pulverized, reduced to nothing but dust and sand.
- Write about how there’s a house at a dead end that’s not abandoned, but hardly anyone has even caught sight of who lives there. Your character decides to pay them a visit and discovers why nobody has seen them.
- Your character is introduced to someone that seems perfect for them. After digging into their past, a string of crimes has followed them but your character can’t necessarily prove it was them. So they decide to ask about them.
- Someone left their bag on the bus. Your character, being the good person they naturally are, grabs it and rushes after the person. They never turn around and your character is left with a bag full disturbing ransom notes.
- All the statues in your character’s entire town go missing. They were carefully removed from building, monuments, and schools. Nobody knows how or where they are now.
- Write about how your character moves to a new town with hopes of finally settling into real adult life. But they soon realize that nobody remembers who they are day after day, despite making very clear and memorable introductions.
- The leaves on all the trees have turned black but refuse to fall off the branches. It’s the middle of spring.
- A number of dead bodies are uncovered when your character decides to participate in the upkeep of the city’s public garden. No wonder the food has been so great – it’s been freshly fertilized.
- Write a story about how your character wakes up to a little girl’s screams outside. They rush to her but she’s not hurt. She just has no idea who she is, where she’s from, or how she got there.
- Write about how your character receives a number of letters in the mail to a name they don’t recognize. After weeks of letters piling up, they finally decide to read one. The first letter contains nothing more than a set of coordinates…so do the rest.
How to Write Mystery:
Mystery is a very difficult genre to write. You have to ensure that you don’t give away too much information so the readers don’t figure it out.
These are some of our tips for writing mystery using these creative prompts:
- Make readers think they know what will happen by planting false foreshadowing along with real hints
- Make the antagonist very likable
- Juxtapose tense scenes with mellow ones to increase tension
- Keep the story moving forward always
Reddit Writing Prompts
Reddit is home to many different things—including writing prompts that you’d never find anywhere else.
Oftentimes, people go ahead and create threads expanding on a writing prompts they read.
Here are some of the best Reddit writing prompts:
#1 – “You have a machine that tells you the effect of an action you are thinking about making, but you can only activate/use it once.”
#2 – “Well…you never asked.”
#3 – And to top it all off, they give you a medal for it.
#4 – Every Christmas, Santa delivers gifts to the children who have been ‘nice’. But there’s a lesser known brother Santa who every five years takes gifts away from children who have been ‘naughty’ even once. You just don’t know when…
#5 – You are casually walking down a deserted road when you fall into an open man-hole.
#6 – You weren’t sure which was real.
#7 – People thought society would be better if we killed the worst 1% every year. Today is the hundredth anniversary, and the notion of the “worst” is getting really tricky.
#8 – Absolutely everything that makes you uncomfortable is beneficial for you. Weakened viruses train your immune system, small muscle tears make you stronger…and small bullets make you more resistant to larger bullets. Turns out, the government is awfully interested in your unusual ability.
#9 – Before you, the villain holds your sidekick and love interest over a cliff, taunting you to choose one to save. You take one (1) second to think about it. You then shoot them both, to the shock and horror of your archenemisis.
#10 – You’re a man/woman happily married with kids but in severe financial difficulty. A genie gives you the chance to irreversibly rewind time back to the date of your tenth birthday and you accept, hoping to make your current life better with the knowledge you have…
#11 – Every time you die, you are reincarnated into a new body. Unfortunately, the first few times, you failed to act as a normal child after being reborn. You are now a known factor for world powers, crazy nutjobs, major religions, and people who would give anything for the immortality you possess.
#12 –You have a name in your contacts that isn’t in any language you know, you delete it but the next day the number appears again. And that’s when life becomes a little weirder.
#13 – You get to heaven only to find that the judgement is entirely based on how many promises you’ve broken.
#14 – Before you became apprentice, nobody told you learning a new spell is the easiest part of your studies. The real challenge is learning to survive the diverse and alien consequences of casting a spell.
#15 – A war-thirsty species is finally defeated after rampaging through the galaxy for decades, and their remains are exiled to a far away and dangerous planet. Everyone panics when, millennia later, Humanity comes out of that planet asking where is everybody.
Non-fiction Writing Prompts
I bet I know you.
You’re the type of person who has dreamt of writing a book for however many years, only held back by the lack of ideas – or good ideas, rather.
Or maybe you’re the type who has tons of ideas but aren’t sure if they’re worth pursuing.
It’s hard. I get it. A book is a big commitment and one you might actually want to go through with. But without having a clear idea of what to write about, that dream can seem too far out of reach.
But I’m telling you, it’s not.
In fact, using writing prompts can help you free your mind from its current constraints so you can explore ideas you might not have otherwise thought of yourself – in addition to a number of other benefits.
Nonfiction Writing Prompts for Good Book Ideas
It’s one thing to use a writing prompt, it’s another to ensure that idea is actually a good one. We put together a list of tried-and-true writing prompts that can help you understand what’s most important to you and what you should pursue.
While reading these, note which ones cause you to pause and think – if only for a moment longer than the rest.
Those are the ideas to ponder and create a mind map for.
Here are a few writing prompts for a number of different broader categories that have proven to be prosperous.
Writing Prompts about Morals and Values
This is one of the top book ideas right now. Writing about your personal beliefs, how you came to them, and how they steer your life is something almost everyone can relate to.
And in a time where morality is being questioned time and time again by the media, it’s the best time to write on this topic.
Here are 25 writing prompts about morals and values:
- Write about a time when you were wrong and didn’t realize it for maybe years.
- Write about morals and how one discovers what truly matters to them.
- Write about the biggest value in your life.
- Write about the biggest problems in the world and how it impacts us every day.
- Write about problems in the world nobody is paying attention to.
- Write about a time your morals were compromised and how it affected your life.
- Write about a time your values were challenged and you had to face it.
- Write about the difference between a value and a moral.
- Write about societal values that actually negatively impact our lives.
- Write about morals that have inadvertently negative impacts.
- Write about an inner struggle between what’s morally right and what feels right.
- Write about how to find what you value in life.
- Write about what life would look life if morals were not in place.
- Write about the idea of values affecting your morals in life.
- Write about popular moral dilemmas in the world.
- Write about how morals and values differ within different cultures and regions.
- Write about a time when you had to debate morals and values.
- Write about your idea of the best combination of morals and values.
- Write about a conflict you once endured because of mismatched morals.
- Write about how to overcome doubting your morals and beliefs.
- Write about how morals and values shape happiness in life.
- Write about the importance of matching morals and values in relationships.
- Write about how to share your morals with others.
- Write about ways in which one can develop new morals and values.
- Write about how our morals and values change as we grow up.
Tips for Expanding on these Writing Prompts:
- Be honest but don’t force your ideas on someone else
- Use research and facts to back up your statements
- Give real-life accounts of your experiences
- Avoid adopting a “know-it-all” voice
Writing Prompts about Health and Wellness
This is another book topic that has seen a rise in sales and engagement over the past few years. Society is starting to focus on health and well-being more so than many other important life ventures and now is the time to write about it!
Here are 25 healthy and wellness writing prompts:
- Write about your struggle with an addiction of some kind and how you overcame it.
- Write a book about your journey to become healthy.
- Write about what being healthy inside and out means to you.
- Write about how others can overcome unhealthy habits.
- Write a book about the importance of mental health and wellness.
- Write about how to form healthy habits.
- Write about how to find the best exercise type for your needs.
- Write a book about the idea of self-care and what it means to you.
- Write about how to find health through personal reflection.
- Write about the technicalities of being “healthy.”
- Write about the different ways in which someone can find health and wellness.
- Write about how others can affect your health.
- Write about the impact of mental health on your physical health.
- Write about a specific form of exercise you’ve grown to love and why.
- Write about what it means to have overall life wellness.
- Write about the impact of who you surround yourself with on your mental health.
- Write about how learning can impact your health.
- Write about dietary needs and how they affect your mental health.
- Write about how to break unhealthy habits that drag you down.
- Write about how negativity can greatly impact your health.
- Write about your ideal health and wellness system for long-term success.
- Write about a time when you had to overcome super unhealthy ways.
- Write about what you’ve learned about yourself through pursuing wellness.
- Write about how professional athletes approach health and wellness.
- Write about societal standards of health and wellness.
Tips for Expanding on these Writing Prompts:
- Always use facts and research with something as sensitive as health
- Talk about what has worked for you personally and why
- Feature advice from experts in the field
- Include actionable steps others can learn from
Writing Prompts about Love and Relationships
This can be a tricky topic to write about because love is different for everyone.
Each relationship has different needs and trying to tell someone what their relationship needs can often cause issues if it’s not actually what their specific relationship can benefit from.
That being said, keeping your message broad enough to impact a lot of people while also hitting specific key points can make it easier.
Here are 25 writing prompts about relationships and love:
- Tell a story about how you see love.
- Write about what’s most important in a relationship.
- Write about how to enjoy your relationship in every phase of life.
- Write about your idea of a successful relationship.
- Write about what it really takes to have a> successful relationship.
- Write about how your friendships play a part in your relationships.
- Write about how self-doubt can affect your search for love.
- Write about how to love someone else in a way they need.
- Write about how to find what you truly enjoy in a life partner.
- Write about becoming open-minded in your pursuit of love.
- Write about the importance of loving yourself before loving someone else.
- Write about your journey to find love and what it’s meant for you.
- Write about a time you thought you found love but were very wrong.
- Write about how finding love has changed the way you care for others.
- Write about how to develop healthy and nurturing relationships.
- Write about friendships and how they play a role in your happiness.
- Write about creating relationships that lift you up and not drag you down.
- Write about what it means to truly love unconditionally.
- Write about how intimacy can help your self-esteem.
- Write about ways in which you can improve your sex life.
- Write about ways in which you can improve your romantic relationship.
- Write about ways in which you can improve your platonic relationships.
- Write about loving yourself and what that fully means.
- Write about building strong relationship foundations in a family.
- Write about how to communicate in relationships.
Tips for Expanding on these Writing Prompts:
- Never assume every single person loves and wants love the same way
- Tell personal, real-life stories to build relatability
- Keep your advice open-ended and always encourage communication
Writing Prompts about Childhood and Family
We all had a childhood and we all have a family – even if we’ve decided to adopt friends to be a part of our family.
That means everyone can relate to being a child and having a family.
That being said, it’s hard to decide on which direction you can take when writing about your childhood or family.
Here are 25 writing prompts about childhood and family:
- Write to your parents about all they’ve taught you about life, love, and happiness.
- Write to your family about what they mean to you.
- Write about parenthood and how it’s changed you.
- Write about your parents and what they taught you.
- Write about what your parents didn’t teach you and how it affected your life.
- Write about how not having parents impacted your life.
- Write about your childhood and how it shaped you.
- Write about what the definition of family truly means to you.
- Write about finding family in the least expected places.
- Write about discovering who you are within your family.
- Write about the lessons you didn’t realize you learned as a child.
- Write about how your childhood friends affected your adult life.
- Write about whether or not your family can truly impact who you are as an adult.
- Write about how to have healthy communication in your family.
- Write about the trials and tribulations of a blended family.
- Write about your journey as an adopted child.
- Write about whether or not emotional closeness with family affects your life.
- Write about your vision as a child and whether or not you lived up to it.
- Write about childhood pains that have followed you into adulthood.
- Write about how to let go of a crappy childhood to find happiness as an adult.
- Write about how your family doesn’t define you.
- Write about letting go of toxic family members to find happiness.
- Write about how you’d change your childhood if given the chance.
- Write about the journey of parenting and what it’s taught you about yourself.
- Write about how to make your own family when you can’t rely on your own.
Tips for Expanding on these Writing Prompts:
- Family can be a sensitive subject so avoid hard “facts” about “all” families
- Make sure to include details about differences
- Tell stories others can easily relate to at the beginning
Writing Prompts about Happiness
Happiness is very subjective. We all have very different ideas about what true happiness is and how it comes about.
What you have to remember, though, is that everybody wants to be happy.
Here are 26 writing prompts about happiness:
- Write about the idea of wants versus needs in life.
- Write about work and finding happiness in your career.
- Write about not being happy in your career and how to conquer it.
- Write about finding success in your career.
- Write about finding success in every aspect of your life.
- Write about building a successful love life, family life, and career.
- Write about balancing a career and family life.
- Write about being open-minded in life.
- Write about what rewards you can reap from being kind.
- Write about what you can gain from being open-minded in every aspect of life.
- Write about goals in life and how to accomplish them.
- Write about what living a happy life is defined as according to you.
- Write about a time you had very little happiness and how you found it again.
- Write about the ups and downs of life and how to get through them.
- Write about what truly contributes to happiness in life.
- Write about the true measures of happiness in life.
- Write about how success ties into happiness and how to define them separately.
- Write about the difference between how you view happiness now versus when you were a kid.
- Write about the biggest life lessons one can learn through finding happiness.
- Write about what people should focus on instead of happiness in life.
- Write about the difference between self-fulfillment and happiness.
- Write about the biggest problem in today’s society revolving around happiness.
- Write about the idea of NOT looking for happiness in order to find it.
- Write about how self-reflection can increase happiness.
- Write about what you expected happiness to be versus how it truly is.
- Write about how to include the people in your life when finding happiness.
Tips for Expanding on these Writing Prompts:
- Remember that your happiness is not what makes everyone else happy
- Focus on helping others find what makes them happy
- Talk about times you were unhappy frequently to drive the point home
Writing Prompts about Self-Esteem and Confidence
No matter who you are, you’ll experience moments of self-doubt and a lack of confidence.
Yes, even Beyonce has felt down about herself occasionally (though probably not often!).
The point is, writing about a lack of self-esteem and how to gain it is something everyone has experienced and therefore, everyone can relate to.
Here are 25 writing prompts about confidence:
- Write about accepting who you truly are and how it can change your life.
- Write about how to ignore societal expectations when they clash with who you are.
- Write about how to change your overall outlook to be more positive.
- Write about what it’s like to go from disliking yourself to truly loving yourself.
- Write about what it truly means to have complete confidence in yourself.
- Write about how to conquer inner demons in order to love yourself.
- Write about your journey to accepting your flaws and seeing them as strengths.
- Write about daily habits that will lead to overall confidence.
- Write about how bettering your health can increase the way you view yourself.
- Write about how physical appearance actually has little to do with confidence.
- Write about how journaling can relieve negative thoughts about yourself.
- Write about your journey with therapy and the quest to gain confidence.
- Write about alternative methods one can use to gain confidence.
- Write about how using certain essential oils daily can help with your mood and self-esteem.
- Write about the internal effects of a negative opinion of yourself.
- Write a workbook dedicated to making someone feel positive about themselves.
- Write about the negative impact toxic friends/family have on your self-esteem.
- Write about how toxic relationships can alter your self-esteem for the worse.
- Write about how to overcome a learned toxic thought-process when thinking about yourself.
- Write about how to introduce self-love into your life.
- Write about the difference your life can have if you have self-confidence.
- Write about struggling with self-esteem and how it can affect relationships.
- Write about how to know if you actually do love yourself or not.
- Write about how to use your passions to increase your confidence.
- Write about how to help someone else learn to how themselves.
Tips for Expanding on these Writing Prompts:
- Be honest, real, and raw when writing about your experiences
- Offer different solutions even if they didn’t work for you personally
- Interview a psychology expert in order to further the book’s credibility
Faith-Based Writing Prompts
Faith is a very personal journey for people. Whether you’ve been a lifelong believer or have recently stumbled into something that has changed your life, others have been there.
And they’ll want to read about it.
Here are 25 writing prompts about faith:
- Write about your faith and how you discovered its meaning.
- Write about how your faith changed your life.
- Write about how you learned to love yourself through your faith.
- Write about your journey from not having any faith to where you are now.
- Write a message to anybody who doesn’t think they have something to believe in.
- Write a book to the person who helped you discover your faith.
- Write about how your faith shapes your family.
- Write about overcoming questioning your faith.
- Write about the unexpected realities of having strong faith.
- Write about how your faith can steer your career and life.
- Write about how much others can gain from pursuing faith.
- Write about your own struggles with faith and how you maneuvered them.
- Write about juggling faith, family, friends, and love.
- Write about how school impacted your faith negatively or positively.
- Write about common struggles with faith and how to overcome them.
- Write a memoir about your life’s journey to accepting faith.
- Write about being part of a family with split faith
- Write about friends or family not understanding your faith.
- Write about how there’s more to life than JUST your faith and how to avoid blinding yourself to it.
- Write about different faiths and how to separate differences.
- Write about what faith means to you and how you express it daily.
- Write a how-to guide for finding something to believe in.
- Write a guide for how to discover what’s truly meaningful to you with your faith.
- Write about how faith can give you a whole new family and a sense of belonging.
- Write about the differences in your life since believing in something bigger than you.
Tips for Expanding on these Writing Prompts:
- This is a great time to be open and specific about your beliefs
- Avoid shaming others in an attempt to get your message across
- Tell deeply personal stories so others can relate
Writing Prompts about Personal Journeys
Everyone has a personal journey. No matter what you’ve been through, there is a lesson hidden within it.
You can use these writing prompts to not only discover more about yourself, but perhaps light the way for others to see and understand as well.
Here are 25 writing prompts about your personal journey:
- Write about a moment in your life that changed the way you saw the world.
- Don’t censor yourself and write about what you believe the meaning of life is.
- Write about the biggest struggle you’ve faced in life.
- Write about your journey to finding yourself and all you’ve learned.
- Write about life lessons you believe everyone should learn.
- Write about how you got to where you are in life and where you’ll go from here.
- Write about a tragedy you, unfortunately, lived through and how it has shaped you.
- Write about an internal struggle of yours and how you were able to solve it.
- Write about your pet/s and what they mean to you.
- Write about how you were able to accomplish so much by a young age.
- Write about your life and what lessons you learned that others should know.
- Write about what you’ve gained from networking throughout your life.
- Write about your top life values and how they contribute to happiness and success.
- Write about learning to live with something difficult or painful every day.
- Write a memoir about your unique life.
- Write a story to your younger self about life, love, and happiness.
- Write about conflict in your life and how you managed to get through it.
- Write about your life’s expectations versus its reality.
- Write about art and how it can show you a lot about yourself.
- Write about a time when you thought all was lost.
- Write about looking for the light in life instead of succumbing to darkness.
- Write about your journey to understand what it means to truly be alive.
- Write about how to conquer toxic desires.
- Write about your journey through sports and how they shaped you. 25. Write about your journey to write and publish a book 🙂
Tips for Expanding on these Writing Prompts:
- Don’t censor yourself
- Talk to a therapist or psychologist to better understand your own journey
- Bring your real-life experiences into play