writing prompts

9 Creative Writing Prompts for Adults

Becoming an amazing writer means taking time to practice. But coming up with a subject for a story isn’t always easy, and that can leave you frustrated. Luckily, creative writing prompts can often save the day, giving you the direction you need to get your story flowing.

What Are Creative Writing Prompts?

In the simplest terms, a creative writing prompt gives you a topic or the start of a story that you then use to move forward. It can be a description of a concept, a piece of dialog, a scene, or anything else that gets you thinking.

With creative writing prompts, you can focus on your story-building skills without having to worry about writer’s block. Since coming up with an initial idea can be one of the hardest parts, using prompts eliminates that obstacle.

creative writing prompts

How Do You Use Creative Writing Prompts?

Creative writing prompts are sources of inspiration. You can use them in nearly any way you see fit. For example, if the prompt features dialog, you can use the exact verbiage to start your story. You launch your creativity, using that as a starting point.

But, if you’d prefer just to take the basic idea and go somewhere else with it, that’s fine, too. The only time it might not be is in creative writing classes or other formal situations where there are specific rules. If you are using the prompts for your own enjoyment, then tweak the details if you are inspired to do so.

9 Creative Writing Prompts for Adults

1. “In exchange for magical powers…

…a man makes a deal with a demon, promising his first unborn child in exchange. In a nearby city, a woman makes the same deal with a witch to get her magical powers. That man and woman later meet and fall in love. When their first child is born, both the demon and the witch arrive to stake their claim.”

2. “As the leader of a county’s army…

…the general already feels a great burden as war ravages the nation, but also an innate drive to triumph. He learns that surrendering himself to the opposition could bring an end to the bloodshed. But doing so means ‘losing,’ both for himself and his country. He has to make a choice.”

writer's block

3. “The lawyer knew her client murdered all of those people…

…without question. Winning the case would be a breeze, and there’s a good shot she’d make partner if she did. But it would also mean a serial killer would be back on the streets.”

4. “The doorbell rings, and your character goes to answer…

‘Hello, you don’t know me, but I’ve come to warn you,’ the person at the door says. ‘You think you’re normal, but you’re not. If you don’t come with me right now, in about 30 seconds, you’ll regret it. Are you coming or not?’”

5. “Just two years ago…

…technology made it possible to speak to our pets. Now that the animals are used to it, we stopped liking what they have to share, and some of it has even gotten a bit scary.”

6. “Your character opens the mail…

…to find a strange book in an envelope. As they open to the first page, the title reads, ‘The Story of You.’ Once they start reading, they discover that it covers their whole life. Your character becomes obsessed, reading the book day and night. Soon, they catch up to the present day, but the book isn’t done. There’s still a chapter left, and it’s all written.”

creative writing

7. “This is the third break-in at…

…an art museum in the past two weeks. Each time, a famous painting disappears, and there are seemingly no helpful clues. Your character is the investigating detective and can’t seem to shake a feeling of exhaustion. After sleeping the night after the third break-in, your character wakes up to find the missing paintings, along with a note. ‘I’m you, and I/you took the paintings,’ the note reads, ‘I’m the other you in your head, and I come out to play at night.’”

8. “’What do you mean…

…you didn’t know?’ your character’s father shouts at your mother. ‘This DNA tests says the kids aren’t mine. What did you do?’ Your character chimes in, ‘Wait, then who is my father?’ Your mother’s reply was the last thing you expected.”

9. “Your character is new to the…

…world of employment, having never had a job before. They land an entry-level cashiering and customer service position at the leading superstore in your area, and head in on their first day to work an opening shift. It happens to be Black Friday.”


If you are still looking for inspiration, try a vision board or mind map. These tools and processes encourage you to explore your thoughts in a structured way and often lead to unexpected story ideas.

If you enjoyed this article, please share...
Share on Facebook
Pin on Pinterest
Tweet about this on Twitter
Share on StumbleUpon
Share on LinkedIn
Email this to someone