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Writing Prompt Ideas
The truth of the matter is that it’s hard to create inspiration when there’s not anything to take inspiration from. Even if you have a novel in the back of your mind that’s dying to get out, there are plenty of blocks that could be keeping you from putting it on the page. That’s where writing prompts can help.
Creative people tend to be perfectionists, and they put a lot of emphasis on all of the elements coming together to create the perfect story, play, essay, or blog post. But the truth of the matter is that writing is a muscle that needs to be exercised every day in order to keep it strong, and doing 10 minute writing exercises can help you flex that muscle.
But even if you block out the right amount of time every day, it’s no guarantee that that inspiration will come. The brain is a fickle thing, after all. A great way to get those creative juices flowing is through writing prompt ideas. These ideas can be for anything - fiction, nonfiction, short stories, fantasy, you name it. You can even use them for things like journaling and reflection. The point of these ideas is to rev your brain up and get it going, so if your topic takes a left turn and veers away from the original subject, that’s totally fine. In fact, that’s great! It might mean that you’re writing about something that you wouldn’t typically write about.
Writing every day can be a majorly useful tool in boosting self-awareness and improving mental health. Using writing prompts can ease the pressure that can sometimes come with writing and the entire creative process.
If you’ve committed to writing every day but you’ve hit one of those slumps that writers are all-too-familiar with then writing prompts are a great place to start. They can help to get you back on track.
And what’s more - Six In Schools is a popular choice among teachers for creative writing prompts to jumpstart their students' creative writing process! Check out our website for more content.
Writing Prompts for Students
Speaking of writing prompts for students, there are plenty of great ideas when it comes to this subject. Writing is a huge part of daily school life, which makes writing prompts acceptable and encouraged for all ages. Writing prompts for kindergarten, writing prompts for middle school, and writing prompts for high school are all helpful tools that can help students succeed - even when they’re having a hard time coming up with starters on their own.
Good writing prompts for kids are prompts that are just specific enough - but not too specific. You want to give your students the leeway to make the prompt their own, but with still enough structure for it to give them a roadmap on where to go.
Here are a few examples of writing prompts for teens and kids alike:
“Write about a special bond that you have with an animal.” This gets kids thinking about their personal lives and also what a ‘special bond’ means to them. Plus, who doesn’t enjoy writing/talking about a family pet?
‘Describe your dream bedroom. What would be in it, and why?’ Kids of all ages love to daydream, and where do kids tend to spend the most time? In their bedrooms! Most likely, your students will have an answer for this prompt and it will engage them enough to want to write about it.
Fiction Writing Prompts
Even fiction writers are subject to creative blocks sometimes - in fact, it’s a very common occurrence. It can be a lot of pressure to come up with an entire universe, including characters, setting, and conflict - all on your own! This is where fiction writing prompts can be helpful.
Something interesting that tends to work for short story writing prompts is the concept of putting three unlikely concepts together and creating a plotline out of it.
For example, what can you create out of ‘a cemetery, a missing dog, and a joke that goes too far’? There are literally endless avenues that that story could go down - and it could be a great opportunity to create one of the best short story ideas with a twist.
This concept also works well for flash fiction writing prompts because the idea is so minimalist. What you create from the prompt can be as short as you want, which is why it lends itself to flash fiction. Take this one, for example - ‘a babysitter, a pet snake, and a tow truck.’ There are thousands, maybe even millions, of interesting stories that can come from those three nouns - all you have to do is think of one of them and make it your own.
Nonfiction Writing Prompts
Even though nonfiction stems from real life, it can be just as easy to get stuck as it is to find yourself in a fiction rut. But don’t worry, nonfiction writing prompts can help.
Many students gain experience with nonfiction by keeping a daily journal, and prompts can be especially helpful there too. Mindfulness journal prompts for students to get their minds working in a certain direction and create something of a theme for their daily journal entry.
These prompts create journal entries that kids can look back on after years have gone by to see what their mental perspective was like at the time. Here are a few examples:
‘What is one person you look up to and why?’ Some people look up to the same person for their entire lives, like a parent, a guardian, or maybe even a celebrity. For some people, that person changes. It can create insight for students to think about who in their life acts as their role model.
‘What is one thing that helps you when you’re worried?’ This is a great mindfulness prompt for any age, because it’s proven that writing about worries can help to alleviate them. And if students are writing about what helps them when they get worried, that can act as a reminder to go back to that coping mechanism when anxiety does pop up.
Creative Writing Prompts
Creative writing can encompass either fiction or nonfiction writing, and it can be possible to hit a wall here too. Even if you consider yourself a creative person, creative writing prompts can still help you out in a major way. And even if you haven’t hit a wall, creative writing prompts can still be useful in a number of other ways like if you need to exercise your imagination a bit more, if you want to increase the amount of time you spend writing, or if you want to learn more about yourself. Even if you’re not a huge fan of writing prompts, there’s still no harm in trying them out. They can also be especially helpful for teens and children as they get a hold on their blooming creativity.
Take a look at these creative writing prompts for teens and creative writing prompts for kids:
‘Write about your favorite childhood memory.’ For a child, they might not have to think too far back to conjure up their favorite childhood memory, but this could be a great exercise in nostalgia for teenagers.
‘Write about the house you grew up in.’ Whether or not the kid or teen still lives in this house, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that this is an exercise in creating a setting, which many writers find difficult - and this is a way to flex that muscle!
Fantasy Writing Prompts
Fantasy can be an especially difficult genre to write because you’re creating everything from scratch. From the rules of the universe to the backstories of the characters, the weight of the fantasy world is literally on the writer’s shoulders, and that’s why fantasy writing prompts can come in helpful.
‘You find an odd-looking egg in the forest, but once you take it home and it hatches, you can’t believe what’s inside.’ This helps the writer learn how to create suspense and flex their creativity in coming up with what’s actually in the egg.
‘You discover a wand along with an instruction manual. Write about the first few days with your new wand.’ This will get the writer thinking about what they would want a wand to do - would it be good, or evil?
‘Write about a wedding where the bride’s family is magical and the groom’s family hates magic.’ This prompt is a great exercise in creating characters and conflict.
‘A genie gets tired of his job and throws a tantrum that sends spells everywhere. What happens next?’ This will get the writer thinking about what sort of chaos these spells would cause and how to describe it.
Writing Prompt Generator
Sometimes, the most helpful thing you can find is a writing prompt generator. Whether that’s a short story prompt generator or a creative writing prompts generator, these online tools come up with story ideas that are completely random. When you use a writing prompts generator, you’re leaving the heavy lifting up to the computer and all you have to do is wait a few moments before the tool comes back with a prompt for you. And if you don’t like the prompt that the story ideas generator comes up with, you can just click the refresh button and it will create another one that’s entirely different.
For writers that enjoy writing things that are a little off the beaten path, these random story prompt generators can be a huge asset. They don’t operate within any constraints, so you never know what you might get when you open the webpage. And from these prompts, you might just create your best story yet.