Creative Writing Fiction 5 min2023-02-10 00:00

50 Fiction Writing Prompts and Ideas to Inspire You to Write

fiction writing prompts

Have you ever wanted to write a story but had no idea what to write about?

If you’re familiar with that feeling, you’re not alone. At some point in their lives, every writer has sat down in front of a blank page with no idea what to write next.

When you’re in that situation, it might be helpful to look at a list of potential story ideas. A great prompt can help kick-start your creativity and get you in the mood for writing again.

In this article, we’ll give you all our favorite fiction writing prompts to inspire you to write.

How Fiction Writing Prompts Can Help Writers

There are countless ways fiction writing prompts can benefit you. Here are a few reasons you might want to use a writing prompt:

  • To start a new short story or novel

  • To practice writing in a new genre or writing style so you can expand your skill set and try something new

  • To warm up at the beginning of each writing session

  • To make sure you’re in a creative state of mind when you tackle your existing writing projects

So, pick up a pen and a notebook, and let’s get started!

why use fiction writing prompts

Top 50 Fiction Writing Prompts

Here are 50 fantastic fiction writing prompts that will help you start your next story. To help you choose a prompt that excites you, we’ve split them into several categories: fantasy, sci-fi, mystery, romance, and contemporary.

Fantasy Prompts

  • You’ve inherited your grandfather’s antique shop, and you’re surprised to find strange objects with magical powers inside.

  • You set out to break the curse that’s followed your family for generations.

  • You can see visions of the future, but you learned long ago to keep them to yourself. Now, you have to speak up or risk losing everything you love.

  • You work for a zoo filled with magical creatures.

  • You’re a lawyer in a fantasy world, and your job is to negotiate contracts between the humans and the gods.

  • A company harvests dragon scales, unicorn hair, and other magical items to sell for profit.

  • You find a portal to a fantasy world in your backyard.

  • You find a magical item that will make all your wishes come true—but it’s extremely literal in its interpretations.

  • A supernatural monster kidnaps your best friend. You set out to rescue her.

  • Your parents gave different aspects of their magical powers to each of their children. Compared to your siblings, you definitely got the short end of the stick.

Sci-fi Prompts

  • Write an adaptation of your favorite classic tale—in space.

  • Aliens come to Earth, but they’re here for reasons no one expected.

  • Scientists have found ways to transfer memories between different people. You're the first person to sell all of yours.

  • Write about an entire world where people can buy and sell years of their lives.

  • What would happen if you woke up in someone else’s body and they woke up in yours?

  • You live in a moon colony surrounded by high walls. One day, someone breaches the walls.

  • Your parents send you to a summer camp filled with time travelers.

  • You accidentally stumble through a portal to a parallel universe where everything is the same as our universe, except for one key difference.

  • In a world where everyone’s DNA is genetically engineered to best suit their roles in the community, you have to hide that your DNA doesn’t match your chosen career.

  • You land on a new planet and realize the plants there are more intelligent than humans.

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Mystery Prompts

  • You wake up with no memory of who you are, except for a single name.

  • Every day, a strange drawing appears in your mailbox, and they get more and more disturbing.

  • You receive a letter inviting you to a free weekend getaway, and you have no idea who the host is.

  • Your father is keeping something strange in the attic.

  • A man throws an elaborate party in an attempt to conceal a crime.

  • You realize you’ve been sleepwalking every night, and you have no idea what your sleeping self has been up to.

  • You thought your husband was dead. So why is he still writing you letters?

  • Your brother was murdered years ago. The police have stopped investigating, but you’re still looking for the killer.

  • Two friends discover a serial killer's secret hideout.

  • A young woman discovers a frightening secret while she's on her first hunting trip with her husband's family.

Romance Prompts

  • Two soldiers on different sides of a war develop feelings for each other.

  • A member of the royal family falls in love with her bodyguard.

  • You’ve resigned yourself to a loveless arranged marriage, but fate has other plans.

  • You’ve had a crush on your best friend your entire life. Now, he’s about to get married to someone else.

  • You go on a first date and find yourself stuck in a time loop, so you have to keep going on that date over and over.

  • Two rivals have to pretend to be in a relationship—and end up accidentally falling for each other.

  • After a bad breakup, you move to a new town—and find yourself attracted to your next-door neighbor.

  • When two exes are forced to work together, they rekindle old feelings.

  • You fall in love with someone from a different dimension, so you can only see each other once a year when the portal opens.

  • After your plane crash-lands on a deserted island, you develop a bond with one of the other survivors.

Contemporary Prompts

  • Write an adaptation of your favorite classic tale set in the town you grew up in.

  • Two best friends go on a road trip and encounter a problem they never expected.

  • An adopted orphan goes on a journey to reconnect with her birth family.

  • You’re told a family secret that changes everything you think you know about your life.

  • A group of friends takes a practical joke too far, leading to disaster.

  • A college student creates an invention for a technology class and accidentally goes viral.

  • A painter in her early eighties struggles with her slow descent into blindness.

  • A couple breaks up, but the ramifications of their breakup follow them for decades.

  • A carefree playboy is forced to adopt a child, which changes his whole life.

  • You’re framed for a crime you didn’t commit, and nobody believes you’re innocent—except for your estranged sister.

How ProWritingAid Can Help With Fiction Writing

No matter what type of story you’re writing, ProWritingAid is a great tool to help you make your writing shine.

ProWritingAid will suggest ways to improve various weaknesses in your writing, such as grammar mistakes, repetitive words, passive voice, unnecessary dialogue tags, and more.

You can even tell ProWritingAid what type of fiction you’re writing, such as fantasy or historical fiction, to get customized suggestions that match your genre.

Conclusion on Fiction Writing Prompts and Ideas

There you have it—our complete list of the best fiction writing prompts to inspire you to write.

Try out your favorite one, and see if you can turn it into a unique story. 

Good luck, and happy writing!

Write like a bestselling author

Love writing? ProWritingAid will help you improve the style, strength, and clarity of your stories.