It’s the Number 1 question authors are asked in interviews: Where Do You Get Your Ideas?
Of course, a large part of being a writer is having ideas, harnessing them, molding them. But we all have days when the ideas aren’t coming. We still want to write, but where to start?
Here are some sites that provide writing prompts.
Starting in our own backyard, you can check out StoryADay’s very own writing prompts. During Story A Day May I post daily prompts, Every Wednesday in other months I post WriteOnWednesday challenges, where you can post right in the comments and get some immediate feedback.
Each prompt is intentionally ambiguous, adaptable to any genre and style, and comes with a list of tips to help you delve deeper into the ideas. Try one today or sign up to receive weekly prompts by mail.
Easily the most fun prompt generator around: hit a button and spin! The Writer Igniter generates a fresh Character, Situation, Prop and Setting (with a picture for the setting). Useful for sparking an idea when you need a quick writing hit.
Weekly writing prompts from the ultimate writers’ magazine. You can post 500 words about the prompt in the blog comments and see what other people have posted.
Anytime a Tumblr user tags their post as “Writing Prompt”, it’ll pop up in on this page. There is a strong (and youngish) writing community on Tumblr, serious about their art. Definitely worth bookmarking.
Over 600 writing prompts, mostly one-liners and snippets of dialogue and word lists (which can be surprisingly productive).
Never again can you say that you have nothing to write. Creative Writing Prompts lists 346 prompts all on one page — that’s almost one for every day of the year. Hover your mouse over a number to generate a prompt. More for journaling than short story writing, but still useful.
These prompts seem to be aimed at kids, but they work for me! There are journal prompts and prompts for creative writing. I love that they have them separated into Right Brain prompts and Left Brain Prompts, among other things. You can choose from among different types of prompts too: story starters, titles, themes, character descriptions, tone, even prepositional phrases!
A collection of user-submitted prompts. Often skewed towards apocalytic/sci-fi/fantasy/horror topics, this is the place to go if you like to write dark!
This site is aimed at teachers who give their students a period of free-writing or journal writing ever day, but it can work for any writer. You can use them for freewriting/morning pages/writing practice, or you might use them to spark ideas for seasonal stories (which publications love). The prompts are batched by month and often relate to themes and historical events from that month. Well worth checking out, especially if you are trying to do morning pages/journaling to warm up your writing day.
This page posts three different prompts every week: one for creative non-fiction, one for poetry, and one for fiction. Often the fiction prompt is ‘write a scene in a story that…’, but sometimes it prompts you to write a whole story, and it usually illustrates you how to think more deeply about the idea.