21 Writing Prompts You Never Knew You Needed

Some writers really like the exercise of using writing prompts. A writing prompt is a word or phrase that prompts you to write something. It's...I mean, it's just what it sounds like. So if your writing prompt is "macaroni castle," you'd probably write a short story or a chapter or a scene about a castle made of macaroni. Or maybe you'd write about macaroni noodles shaped like castles. Or maybe you'd say, "Wow, that's a really stupid writing prompt, I'm going to ignore it completely and write about a train conductor instead." And that's just fine. It's your writing prompt. It's your journey.

Now, not all writers like to use writing prompts. I, for one, do not. I like to write what I'm writing, and prompts almost never align with the story I'm working on. When I was writing Apocalypticon, for example, I didn't see one single writing prompt about zombies or Amtrak or killer buffalo. Following a prompt would have gotten me off track.

But I really enjoy writing writing prompts. So here are some really first-rate writing prompts for all of you writers out there who could really benefit from one or two (or 21. There are 21 of them). I bet you never knew you needed them before.

  • Dinosaur parade
  • Radish villain
  • Chicken muffin
  • A horrible blender accident
  • A horrible blender accident involving tentacles
  • The world's unhealthiest ninja
  • Superpowered chewing gum
  • Randall the Ornery Prospector
  • Pants that are made of the sun
  • Bubble gum-flavored bleach
  • The day the shoes got their revenge
  • Schnauzer ghosts
  • A virus that turns everyone into narwhals
  • Zombie clock
  • Mud baby
  • Antlers for legs
  • Another dimension where all the animals are British film critics
  • Bedpan symbolism
  • An emergency exit, but for entering
  • Psychopathic toenails
  • A house completely powered by clouds

I think that'll do for now. What do you think? Are you overwhelmed with inspiration?

If you end up writing anything--and I mean anything--based on one of these prompts, I'd love to read it! Comment with it, send me a link, email me the whole blessed thing, whatever. 

And for the first person to use all 21 prompts in one story in a way that makes sense? I'll give you free digital versions of all books I publish for life from here on out.

Clayton SmithComment