50 Fiction Writing Ideas
When you have a good idea that you’re working on, it feels like all is right in your writing world. When you don’t have a project, you can feel lost or unfocused. Growing up, I always had a story in my head, but my writing fell flat after college. I was in that time between wanting to write just for fun and wanting to write stuff that people would read. That would lead to a lot of self-doubt and hesitation about what I wrote about. So, I would comb through book stores and libraries looking for books that would help to unblock me, and I had a hard time finding them.
Most books about writing tell you what to do once you have a solid idea. They like to explain the mechanics of the writing and editing process. I’m usually okay once I get started, but starting a project can be tricky. You have to find something that you want to write about, something that will keep your attention, and something that others will want to read. I was feeling a bit blocked again lately so I decided to write down as many writing prompts that I could think of. When I was finished, I not only had a list of 50 prompts, but I now had an idea for two new novels. Below are the ideas that I came up with. I hope they are as helpful for you as they were for me.
- Write about a place that you’ve never been to. Imagine what it would be like.
- Write in a particular accent, preferably one that you are familiar with. Every region has one.
- Write a story set in your favorite historical time period (do some research first).
- Make your protagonist the opposite gender from yourself.
- Write a main character who is much older than you.
- Write a mystery.
- Make up a brand new world. Spend time plotting out every detail about what the world is like before coming up with a story.
- Tell the ending of the story first. Then, try to tell the story to the reader so that it doesn’t matter that they know the ending.
- Write songs to insert into a story, and base the story around them.
- Update a classic story, or retell a classic story that is heavily disguised so that no one realizes that it is based on the original material.
- Tell a story from multiple points of view.
- Make a list of words and then use every word in a story.
- Make a list of words and then purposely leave them out of a story.
- Make your narrator unreliable.
- Tell a story from an animal’s point of view.
- Tell a story using a series of photos.
- Research a profession that you are interested in but doesn’t know about, and write about that job.
- Write about your version of the afterlife.
- Write about a choice that you would have made differently and what the results would have been.
- As k a child for a topic, and write about what they suggest.
- Come up with an interesting title, and shape a story around it.
- Write about your family history or one interesting relative’s life.
- Create a “choose your own adventure” or a story with multiple endings.
- Write a story based on a piece of art that you own or someone else’s. Make it about the subject of the piece, the artist, or the art itself (ex. being stolen, being created, etc.)
- Write your version of the apocalypse.
- Create a fad.
- Center the story around a major news event.
- Write about an illness or disability.
- Write about the beginning or end of a friendship.
- Write about a dream you have had or a recurring dream that you continue to have.
- Write about the last days of someone’s life.
- Write about a kidnapping.
- Write about a celebrity.
- Write a coming of age story that you can identify with.
- Write about food, cooking, or eating.
- Write a fictional story designed as a memoir.
- Write something funny. Laugh out loud funny.
- Make a notoriously bad story good.
- Write about running or starting a business.
- Tell a ghost story.
- Write about mental illness, preferably one you have experience with or know about on some level.
- Write about somebody’s fear or phobia.
- Write about a character turning into something not human (an animal, an object, etc.)
- Write a story that relies heavily on dialogue over plot.
- Write about a crowded place (ex. a concert, a theme park, a sports field, etc.)
- Write about a dream job or dream life.
- Write about someone with super powers, not necessarily a super hero.
- Write about somebody who does something terrible and how they deal with the consequences.
- Write about a sporting event or team.
- Write a sequel to one of your previous pieces.
How did you do? Come up with any ideas? Have any prompts to add to the list? If so, let me know in the comments, or feel free to send me a draft or finished piece to read. Good luck!