10 Writing Prompts to Kickstart Your Story

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Sometimes, the worst part about writing can be starting. The blinking cursor stares you down, the blank page feels endless, and suddenly, you don’t want to write anymore. Lucky for you, here are 10 writing prompts to kickstart your story and avoid that palm-sweat-inducing fear of the blank page.

  1. Go people-watching and bring a writing notebook. Write down any bits of conversation you find interesting. Use one line as the beginning of a story.
  2. Write a story completely in epistolary (letter) format.
  3. Write a story starting with something that has happened to you at work, or during a chore that you know intimately.
  4. Write a story using an old carousel as the setting.
  5. Shuffle your music playlist and write a story inspired by the first song that plays.
  6. Find an interesting antique photo you feel has a story behind it, and let the image come to life. You can use old family photos, or start at a website like Getty Images and search archive photos.
  7. Search the National Archives for passenger arrival lists of old ships. Find a person or group that interests you and write a story inspired by their journey.
  8. Write a story about someone’s wedding that goes completely wrong.
  9. Write about the first day of someone who lied about their skills to get a job they’re not qualified for.
  10. Last but not least, try free writing! Let yourself write whatever comes to mind for 10-15 minutes. So many good story ideas come to life when we just let our minds run wild!

If you use any of these writing prompts, be sure to post your story on Ready Chapter 1’s Peer Critique Forum to get fast, actionable feedback that will make it even better!

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