I was never a big fan of writing prompts. The idea that I should write what someone else suggests instead of following my intuition bothered me. That’s a silly way to limit my creativity, and I’ve tried to embrace more writing prompts, lately. My latest example is a writing challenge that’s led to the creation of Torthal and my first short story set in that world.
Without a writing prompt I wouldn’t have launched a new round of world building. Nor would I have gotten back in touch with how much I enjoy that creative exercise. There is great value in writing prompts, even if you’re stubborn like me. I have to let go of some of my preconceived notions to let my creativity flourish.
To that end, I’m going to share a few of my favorite recent writing prompts. These are open ended to promote my creativity rather than channel it into a specific direction. I’ve put some of my favorite ideas in parentheses, but don’t let that hold you back, the point is to explore ideas you might not otherwise consider.
- Write about a ghost, or meeting a ghostly traveler. (The spookier the better!)
- Write about discovering a magical artifact. (An Indiana Jones style archaeologist, a find in a dusty attic, or random location.)
- Write about practicing a magical ability. (It could be in a school setting, with a personal tutor, or by themselves.)
- Write about fighting a supernatural entity. (A dangerous force, evil creature, or just about anything out of control that threatens people.)
- Write about hiding a magical trait. (Bursting into flames, turning invisible, shapeshifting – bonus points if it’s hard to control.)
- Write about a normal job with magic. (Magical ferryman, clean up crew, sky’s the limit.)
- Write about magical animals. (In the past, present, or future.)
- Write about someone who gains magical abilities. (New powers, an emerging trait they knew would come with age, or a total surprise.)
- Write about a mythological character in the modern world. (A god awakening in a remote location, a creature of myth who’s been hiding in plain sight, or some unique person who was misunderstood by the mythology of people in the past.)
- Write about exploring an unfamiliar magical location. (A secret garden, magical world, or whatever you can imagine.)