101 Writing Prompts and Ideas: Fiction & Non-Fiction.

Updated on July 15, 2016
ChristinS profile image

Christin has been successfully self-employed for over 17 years. Her passion is helping others hone their skills and find good opportunities.

Writing Prompts and Ideas to spark creativity
Writing Prompts and Ideas to spark creativity | Source

Writing Prompts for Creative and Non-fiction Writers

When is the last time you challenged yourself to write outside of your comfort zone?

I love to write and have found an appreciation for the benefits that come from challenging myself to engage in different writing styles. Writing is cathartic in many ways, from personal journals, to just having a place to allow your mind to explore.The best writers are well-rounded and always open to exploring new ideas and writing techniques.

Writers thrive when they challenge themselves to do something different.For those of us who primarily write non-fiction or informational articles, we should challenge ourselves to also write fiction or poetry. It helps develop creative thinking and makes our informational writing more colorful and engaging.

Informational writing is better when it grabs readers by invoking feeling. When is the last time an encyclopedia really got your blood pumping? When readers value what we write; they come back for more. Creative writing gives that edge to standard, informational writing.

On the other hand, those who primarily do creative writing also benefit by writing that is more structured. For creatives, structure allows ideas to flow more cohesively and helps develop story lines that flow nicely and are easy to follow and understand.

I know I quickly get frustrated with stories that “jump around” or are carelessly worded and arranged. I appreciate the effort it takes for a writer to really make their prose flow well.

Both writing styles work to enhance each other and we should avoid being only “one type of writer”. Empower yourself to be the strongest writer possible by exploring many different styles.

Below are 101 random writing prompts or ideas. Some are creative and others are for non-fiction work. The idea is to pick one that seems challenging and just start writing.

Free writing is a great way to get your ideas out on paper. Go back to it later and develop the good parts into other works. Who knows? Maybe there will be some good hub ideas born here! You may also find that you learn some things about yourself in the process and that’s always wonderful too! I really believe that writing has the power to change our lives.

Prompts

1) If I were a superhero my special power would be……

2) If I were an animal I would choose to be a ……., because………..

3) Describe a random inanimate object near to you right now – without saying what it is.Paint a word picture that makes people understand what you are writing about.

4) Pick an inanimate object and tell a story through its eyes as though it were a living being.

5) What 3 words best describe you and why

6) If you could interview one person, alive or dead, who would it be and what 3 questions would you ask them? What do you think their answers would be?

7) What have you always wanted to try that you have never done?

8) Name the top five best vacation spots according to your experience and “sell” people on the idea.

9) Who do you think you are?

10) How to win at ___________. (pick a game you are good at)

11) The best free activities to enjoy in your area

12) You are a talk show host – how do you run your show and what is it about?

13) The best way to deal with a difficult relative

14) Is honesty always the best policy? Why or why not?

15) A day in the life of your cat/dog through his/her eyes.

16) What is the best season of the year and why?

17) How do you save money on groceries?

18) What is your favorite color and how does it make you feel?

19) Coffee or Tea?

20) How do you handle a cold?

21) Describe yourself as your favorite mythical creature (unicorn, fairy, dragon etc.)

22) Today is your last day on Earth – what do you do with it?

23) What is your extended definition of maturity?

24) Create an extended definition for the first word that pops into your head.

25) What do you hate about writing?

26) This morning I sat up quickly and looked out the window and there it was, a ……….

27) Suddenly it moved, startling her and she………..

28) What does it mean to be a Man/Woman? (Define both if you really want a challenge ;) )

29) The craziest thing I ever believed was…..

30) Top 10 ways to spend a lazy day

31) Top 10 favorite (movies/songs/whatever) and why

32) The best thing that ever happened to me was….

33) The most wonderful thing about today so far is ……..

34) Persuade – Is texting a good thing? Why or why not

35) Persuade – any subject you are passionate about that is not religion or politics – think outside the box

36) Persuade – why do you deserve a raise?

37) The best way to prepare oatmeal

38) Tips for making awesome cookies or whatever dessert comes to mind

39) Is all soda bad for you – why or why not? (use sources to back your claim)

40) What is the best way to eat healthy?

41) Combine the follow 3 things into a work of writing: a coffee cup, fear of snakes, and a sunny day

42) Your character suspects his/her spouse is lying to them or worse, cheating. When they investigate they discover a big surprise and it’s …

43) You walk out of your front door and discover there are no people around – everything is quiet and eerily not right… what happened?

44) Your character thinks the boss is about to fire him so he ….

45) Pick one of your greatest strengths and develop a character of the opposite gender who also has that strength

46) Develop the scene of a great ghost story

47) Picture an ideal land/place in your mind and then describe it in vivid detail.

48) Hey, what’s that up there in the sky?

49) Holy cow! I can’t believe they did that! (What did they do?)

50) Pick your favorite meal and describe in detail how you prepare it


Do you struggle with keeping your thoughts, ideas, notes and plans organized? If so, you should consider investing in Scrivener. This software has a virtual cork board with note cards that allows you to visually move things around. It also has an outliner feature where you can organize ideas using as many levels as you want with drag and drop capability. It also has a targeting and statistics feature that shows a continuous live word/character count on the screen. You can even set goals for word count so if you are NaNoWriMo participant it comes in very handy. This is an amazing organization tool and worth every cent for all the features you get.

Getting organized can help you overcome the writer's block and procrastination that comes from being overwhelmed by too much "clutter" in your workspace, writing, and brain :).

51) Would a monkey make a good pet?

52) What would life be like if you were only one foot tall?

53) What would life be like if you were 10 feet tall?

54) What foreign country would you most like to visit and why?

55) If there was a planet of alien life forms what do you suppose they would be like?

56) How do you take a great picture?

57) If you could do anything you wanted to right now, with no limitations, what would it be?

58) You’re driving down the road when suddenly….

59) It was a lovely day to go for a walk so she took a different route and what she discovered was…

60) Describe what it’s like to sit by the ocean

61) What are the benefits of spending time alone? Do you do it often enough or too much?

62) Which of your relatives do you like the least and why?

63) What is your greatest accomplishment?

64) What do you want to be remembered for?

65) Write your own eulogy (tough one!)

66) What historic figure do you admire the most?

67) Which historic person do you feel you are most like and why?

68) The biggest lie I ever told was….

69) How do you write a great short story?

70) What steps do you take as a writer to really polish your writing

71) What are your best writing tips

72) Pick a hobby and describe how to do it in 10 simple steps

73) Who is the most interesting person you have met?

74) The most unusual thing happened to me today ….

75) She opened up the door and ……

76) When I was a child my favorite thing to do was …

77) How do you grow a _______ plant? (Pick one – whatever you like to grow an herb, veggie, flower etc.)

78) How to be a great (whatever your career or hobby is here)

79) 5 simple ways to make more money

80) 5 simple ways to add more joy to your life

81) Why credit is good/bad

82) Develop a plan to build something and share it

83) Complicate something simple ;) the opposite of what we normally do.Take something simple and really break it down in very basic parts. – getting out of bed, starting the day, eating breakfast or anything else you can think of

84) Describe a unique ritual or habit you have and how it came to be

85) Do you love yourself the same way you love others? Why or why not?

86) Choose a random photograph from your collection.Look at it for a few minutes and then write about how it made you feel and the thoughts that came up

87) “Silence is golden” – why?

88) What were you like 10 years ago? What will you be like 10 years from now?

89) What do you want to do right now?

90) What are you afraid of? Create a character with the same fear or phobia and describe them in detail.

91) Create a single character based on a composite of your mother and father.

92) Describe the perfect place for a pair of soul mates to meet.

93) Describe the scent of freshly brewed coffee or bread baking

94) Describe various colors to a person who has always been blind to help them conceptualize them.

95) You find yourself alone in a spooky old house so you ….

96) You look in the mirror and your face is missing – instead you see ….

97) Your top ten cooking tips

98) How do you ride a bike?

99) What is the best national park in your area and why?

100) Describe your favorite local restaurant and convince someone why they should go there.

101) What is the best piece you have ever written and what makes it so?

Questions & Answers

    © 2011 Christin Sander

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      • ChristinS profile imageAUTHOR

        Christin Sander 

        5 months ago from Midwest

        There are non-fiction prompts in the article. Google is also a helpful resource to seek out other prompts.

      • profile image

        Sabrina 

        5 months ago

        I did not get any nonfiction on my behalf of this article. please add more nonfiction prompts!

      • ChristinS profile imageAUTHOR

        Christin Sander 

        6 months ago from Midwest

        Thanks for the feedback Emily, I'll keep that in mind for future articles.

      • profile image

        Emily Sanford 

        6 months ago

        can u please post ideas that are literal non fiction topics? for example- the galaxy, spirits, or some sort of sport? that was what i was looking for but i really think these ideas would be useful to me in a different situation. But great ideas and wonderful inspiration!

      • ChristinS profile imageAUTHOR

        Christin Sander 

        7 months ago from Midwest

        Wonderful Daniel! I'm so glad they sparked your creativity and you had fun. That's excellent news.

      • profile image

        daniel Liu 

        7 months ago

        these ideas inspired me to write more and helped me understand how fun it is to do so.

      • ChristinS profile imageAUTHOR

        Christin Sander 

        8 months ago from Midwest

        You're welcome Travis - glad it helped you.

      • profile image

        TravisGMoney5 

        8 months ago

        This was very helpful for a school writing project...thx

      • ChristinS profile imageAUTHOR

        Christin Sander 

        9 months ago from Midwest

        Thanks Dan, hope you get hours of creativity from them.

      • profile image

        Dan 

        9 months ago

        I liked the ideas

      • ChristinS profile imageAUTHOR

        Christin Sander 

        14 months ago from Midwest

        you're very welcome laura :) glad you enjoyed them.

      • ChristinS profile imageAUTHOR

        Christin Sander 

        17 months ago from Midwest

        "horriable" nsome thing? Maybe you need a new hobby hon - or maybe you're a spam bot either way.... lol.

      • ChristinS profile imageAUTHOR

        Christin Sander 

        18 months ago from Midwest

        Well lulu, I suggest you sit down and try. Writing requires effort and just doing it. Prompts are just that - prompts, you have to do the work.

      • profile image

        lulu 

        18 months ago

        nothing helped

      • ChristinS profile imageAUTHOR

        Christin Sander 

        19 months ago from Midwest

        You're welcome Lilly! :)

      • profile image

        Lilly 

        19 months ago

        Thanks!

      • ChristinS profile imageAUTHOR

        Christin Sander 

        20 months ago from Midwest

        You're welcome Lili

      • profile image

        Lili 

        20 months ago

        I like this thanks

      • ChristinS profile imageAUTHOR

        Christin Sander 

        20 months ago from Midwest

        Thanks Mike :)

      • profile image

        Mike 

        20 months ago

        Cool page.Love it!

      • ChristinS profile imageAUTHOR

        Christin Sander 

        20 months ago from Midwest

        You're very welcome Isabella, so glad you found them helpful :)

      • profile image

        Isabella 

        20 months ago

        This is a amazing page,

        Ive started doing texts in a book and used this page for when I was stuck for topics

        Thank you.

      • ChristinS profile imageAUTHOR

        Christin Sander 

        22 months ago from Midwest

        Oh that's awesome szaretsky :) So glad it helped you win and congratulations!

      • profile image

        szaretsky 

        22 months ago

        This helped me win an essay contest at school

      • cryptowallremoval profile image

        jay crypto 

        2 years ago from USA

        thanks for sharing the info.

        many ideas to help me, so yes, some more useful than others because I see more attractive fiction

        Christin greeting

      • ChristinS profile imageAUTHOR

        Christin Sander 

        3 years ago from Midwest

        hi, you're welcome :)

      • profile image

        hi 

        3 years ago

        thanks

      • ChristinS profile imageAUTHOR

        Christin Sander 

        3 years ago from Midwest

        Thanks Kristen glad you enjoyed the hub. Hope it helps you get your muse going :)

      • Kristen Howe profile image

        Kristen Howe 

        3 years ago from Northeast Ohio

        Great writing prompts, Christin. I've been pulling a blank for the past couple of months, before I tackle my next novel this year.

      • ChristinS profile imageAUTHOR

        Christin Sander 

        4 years ago from Midwest

        Thanks Seasons. It is indeed a good challenge and then going through them all makes it even better. :)

      • Seasons Greetings profile image

        Laura Brown 

        4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

        I wrote a 101 writing prompts post once. It was a good challenge in itself. :)

      • ChristinS profile imageAUTHOR

        Christin Sander 

        5 years ago from Midwest

        Thanks everyone for the votes and sharing. Glad you enjoyed the prompts Paul :) hope some great hubs come from one or two of them.

      • Paul Kuehn profile image

        Paul Richard Kuehn 

        5 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

        ChristinS,

        You have listed a lot of very interesting and useful writing prompts. If I could think more out of the box like you, I think it would be easier for me to write. Voted up and sharing.

      • midget38 profile image

        Michelle Liew 

        5 years ago from Singapore

        Coming in to share this again!

      • ChristinS profile imageAUTHOR

        Christin Sander 

        5 years ago from Midwest

        thanks so much for reading and sharing :) much appreciated.

      • midget38 profile image

        Michelle Liew 

        5 years ago from Singapore

        Christin, I have put this in my reading list. Thanks for the writing prompts and I will use them. Sharing!

      • ChristinS profile imageAUTHOR

        Christin Sander 

        6 years ago from Midwest

        B Leekley - Thanks so much for the comment and the votes and shares! - much appreciated :D

      • B. Leekley profile image

        Brian Leekley 

        6 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

        Good advice and good prompts. Up, Useful, Interesting, shared, and bookmarked.

      • ChristinS profile imageAUTHOR

        Christin Sander 

        7 years ago from Midwest

        Hi ktrapp I love writing exercises. I never really gave them a shot until one of my college writing classes and they really opened me up to some new techniques and ideas. :) Glad you enjoyed the hub

      • ktrapp profile image

        Kristin Trapp 

        7 years ago from Illinois

        Very useful. Thanks for the writing-prompt ideas. We used to do this first thing in the beginning of my 8 a.m. freshman composition class in college. It was actually one of my favorite parts of the school day!

      • ChristinS profile imageAUTHOR

        Christin Sander 

        7 years ago from Midwest

        Thank you John I appreciate the compliment :) Glad you enjoyed the hub

      • John Yeoman profile image

        John Yeoman 

        7 years ago from Story writing land in the centre of England

        Great tips! And I speak as a PhD in creative writing.

      • ChristinS profile imageAUTHOR

        Christin Sander 

        7 years ago from Midwest

        Thank you for the comment - glad you found some useful prompts. I agree sometimes just getting started is the hard part. Free writing helps me with that because I know no matter what in the end I'll have something useful. Cheers :)

      • RandomThoughts... profile image

        RandomThoughts... 

        7 years ago from Washington

        Thanks for the motivating direction tips....sometimes it is hard to just get started.

      • Danette Watt profile image

        Danette Watt 

        7 years ago from Illinois

        Hi Christin, lots of great prompts here.

        I agree with what you said regarding those who write primarily non-fiction, informational stuff (such as myself) need to practice at creative writing and vice versa.

        Voted up and useful, thanks for sharing

      • attemptedhumour profile image

        attemptedhumour 

        7 years ago from Australia

        Hi Christine, i certainly agree with about being different. We can be who we want to be, go where we want and scoot off on tangents if we so desire. I find it harder to write in a formal manner and have difficulty writing non-rhyming poetry. Your list is a good idea and will no doubt help to avoid that dreaded writer's block. cheers

      • ChristinS profile imageAUTHOR

        Christin Sander 

        7 years ago from Midwest

        You're welcome Adrianne, I'm glad you found them useful and encouraging. thanks for commenting

      • profile image

        Adrianne 

        7 years ago

        Thank you Christin for sharing these wonderful writing prompts. I definitely feel more encourage to deep my creative writing!

      • ChristinS profile imageAUTHOR

        Christin Sander 

        7 years ago from Midwest

        Thanks Lenore - so glad you found some of them useful. I hope they lead you to a great piece of writing :)

      • Lenore Robinson profile image

        Lenore Robinson 

        7 years ago from Delaware

        Thumbs up and useful! Many thought provoking ideas, thanks for sharing!

      • NicholasA profile image

        NicholasA 

        7 years ago from Midwest

        These are all awesome writing ideas. To only have a day that we could sit down and go through them all and write them out.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, owlcation.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://owlcation.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)