20 Things to Write About for Creative Writing

things to write aboutAny creative writer can tell you that the only way to get better at writing is by writing more. However, any writer can also tell you that sitting down to a blank page can leave your mind just as blank. Writer’s block can attack a writer at any time, and if you need some help overcoming it, the best way to do that is to write. So, what do you write when you can’t think of anything to write? Try some of the things to write about listed below. Learn to write for children with this course.

1. Pick up the closest book…

Grab a book off your bookshelf, randomly browse through your Kindle library, or snatch a piece of paper with writing on it from your desk. Pick a random page or area, and pick a random sentence. Use that sentence to start your writing prompt. Here are a few you can try:

  • “If I had a mother, I’m sure she would’ve been proud.” Taken from Location 81 of 5729 of Inquisitor by R. J. Blain
  • “Marley was dead.” Taken from Location 3 of 22 of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens – feel free to change the name to fit your prompt
  • “She obviously understood what his answer meant because she shook her head.” Taken from Location 2194 of 3036 of Happily Ever After by Susan May Warren

2. Create a random character.

Describe this character in full detail. What’s her full name? What does she look like? How old is she? What’s her family life? Does she have any family? File this character away to use in a possible future story. You never know when you’re going to be unable to come up with a character. Don’t write this character using a form. Describe her and everything about her with paragraphs. Join the novel writing workshop to finish that novel.

3. Write only a paragraph, but…

The paragraph has to end with the words, “He would give anything to turn back the clock five minutes.” Taken from the Writer’s Write Pinterest board for writing prompts, this particular writing prompt forces you to think quickly and backwards. Instead of starting from the beginning of a paragraph and writing to the end, your ending has already been created. You have to come up with what brings the character to that point.

4. Take one from the title of the last 5 books you read.

Another prompt taken from the Writer’s Write Pinterest board, this particular prompt encourages you to come up with a bizarre title based on words from other books you’ve read. You then use that title to create a short story. Like the third prompt, this particular prompt also encourages you to think backwards in a way. Most writers will come up with a title after they finish their writing. This time, you have your title and have to come up with a story that matches the title.

5. Use a dream as inspiration.

Did you have an unforgettable dream last night, or perhaps someone told you of a dream they had? Use that to build your story. Try to use the few details you have from the dream to create a vivid image. Recreate the world of this dream as much as you possibly can. Was it a nightmare? You just created a horror story. Learn how to write with flair to build up your writing skills even more.

6. Write from your life.

Sometimes, your own life can be the best inspiration. Take a childhood memory or a more recent memory, and write it. Put a fictional twist on it. Have fun with it; don’t worry about sticking to the truth. The whole idea is to start getting the words flowing. If you really want to have fun with it, describe this particular memory from the viewpoint of something else – a chair in the room, the walls, or perhaps even one of the plates in the cupboard.

7. Do you love Starbucks?

Write a story from the barista’s point of view. If you frequent McDonald’s, consider writing a story about that drive through window worker. Write about the friendly waitress who repeats the day’s specials for an older couple having difficulties making a decision.

8. Use an image for inspiration.

Pick a topic, any topic, and type it into Google Image Search. Choose your favorite image, and write a story about it. If you select an image of a person, describe that person in detail and create their back story. If you select a landscape image, describe that area. You can keep both to use as characters or settings later when writing a longer piece.

9. Give life to things that don’t have life.

Writer’s Write gives out a prompt about creating the days of the week into people. Do the same thing with anything else you can think of. Use the seasons, weather, or even the months of the year. Use what you know about those things to create the person based on them. A character created from rain could have a personality that’s depressing and sad, or they could be someone that brings life.

10. Put yourself into that book.

Some readers love to fantasize about what they would do if they were the main character in the story. Make that a reality for yourself. Pick your favorite book, or even take just the most recent book you read. Pull the main character out, and insert yourself. Use your personality, your history, and everything about you to decide how the story might change with you in it instead.

11. Use a famous short story, and expand on it.

Sometimes, that short story the author wrote just isn’t enough. If you find yourself wishing there had been more to the story, write it! This may very well be one of the easiest ways for you to cure writer’s block as characters and a whole world have already been created for you. All you have to do is expand on it further.

12. Create sentences using literary devices.

Writers often use literary devices to bring their writing to life. Consider using a literary device in every sentence you write. See if you can create a whole page that way. Some example literary devices include alliteration, assonance, simile, and metaphor. Find some that you like and create sentences. Turn your ideas into pages.

13. Use your other senses.

Close your eyes, and use your other senses around you. Describe what you hear, what you smell, what you touch. Recreate that room without your vision. Can you tell what room you’re in using just those other senses?

14. Pick your favorite song, and write a short story inspired by it.

Music tells a story in a far different fashion than that of books or stories. Take your favorite song, and write a story that fits the story of that song. Some great bands to use are Evanescence, Muse, and The Used. If they’re not your style, try listening on Pandora for something that tickles your fancy, and use that.

15. Write about how your life would be different if you had made a different choice.

If you’re dating someone, write about how your life would be if you weren’t dating that person or if you were dating someone else. Attending college right now? Write about how your life would be if you’d decided to wait on college. Take some creative liberties with it, and make it fun. Just be sure to warn your partner if you do decide to write a story about dating someone else.

16. Write a short story using nothing but dialogue, or don’t use any dialogue at all!

Really challenge yourself, and see just how much of a story you can describe just by writing in dialogue. Then switch it up a little, and write a story that has no dialogue whatsoever. You might just find that it’s not as easy as it sounds, and it will definitely get those creative juices flowing!

17. Write about two people trapped in an elevator.

Sometimes, elevators stop working. Write a story inspired by such an event. Maybe one of them is claustrophobic, and it’s up to their companion to keep them calm until help arrives. Maybe it’s a man and his ex-girlfriend. Do they fight? Do they reconcile? Come up with whatever you want.

18. Write about what’s under the tree.

Consider what you want to be under that tree, and describe it. Describe the tree, describe the person that goes under the tree to get the item, or even just discuss the wildlife working their way around whatever that item might be. There are plenty of items you can put under a tree.

19. Pick your favorite classic tale, and rewrite it.

Like Gregory Maguire’s Wicked, take a classic tale you know from childhood, and recreate it. What if Cinderella’s prince wasn’t so charming after all? Maybe it’s a young man trapped in the tall tower letting down his hair. Throw vampires into Beauty and the Beast, or recreate Little Red Riding Hood with werewolves. The choices are endless.

20. Borrow from mythology.

Myths from around the world can provide plenty of inspiration. Perhaps you could write a story in which Cupid hits the wrong person with his arrow. Now, he has to work with this girl to help her find the true person she’s supposed to fall in love with. Research Celtic myths, or write about the Roman gods.