Every form of writing benefits from a bit of creativity. Whether you’re writing posts for your business blog, creating (or translating) marketing content or just indulging in leisure scribbling, using vivid imagery and unusual scenarios can boost the impact and effect of your texts.

In this post, you can find 7 creative writing prompts you can use to unleash your wild and visionary side – and kiss white page syndrome goodbye. Have fun!

colourful pens and markers

 

How to use the writing prompts

Writing consistently improves your communication skills, expands your vocabulary, and also has significant psychological benefits that can make your life easier. Indulging in regular creative writing exercises  beyond the usual routine creates a “safe space” where you can explore new techniques. This also improves your writing skills, and helps you deliver compelling messages when it matters.

The rules are simple:
1. Set a “writing focus time” (e.g. 45 minutes).
2. Find a quiet place, and leave all distractions behind.
3. Select a writing prompt from the selection below.
4. Write.

To get the most out of the exercise, take it easy. The goal is to let your creative juices flow whilst having fun with words. If you’re using the exercises to improve your writing, you can revise your works at a later stage.

And now …

 

7 creative writing prompts for short stories

 

The time warp

Look out of the window, and note the characteristics of the first person you see (gender, age, attire, general impression). Now, pick a random year from a calendar – and imagine what would that person see/hear/experience if sent back to e.g. 1359.

The thief

Back home from a night out, you find out that something of very modest value (e.g. a pen, a dress, an ornamental plant) has been stolen. Who is the thief behind the strange crime, and why did it happen?

The pocket watch

There’s something gleaming beneath the sand at the beach. You dig out a pocket watch with a monogram engraved on the case. It’s stuck at 4:07 am. Why is the pocket watch broken? What happened to the owner?

The unusual dinner

Pick two fictional characters you like. They should come from different settings (book, game, movie etcetera), and have different backgrounds in terms of age, setting, profession, …
Now imagine them having dinner together. Who else is in the room? What happens there?

The lost picture

An explorer is scouting a jungle/a cavern/some ruins a thousand miles from home. Underneath a rock, he/she finds a picture from his/her home town. What’s the story behind the picture, and why is it there now?

The colourful mix

Choose a colour. Take a short walk, and note down the first three things you see that match that colour (e.g. a coat, a car, and a baking powder package). Now write a story that includes, and somehow connects, the three elements.

The night call

A man/woman/child picks up a call at night. A slightly metallic voice delivers a recorded message, and the call ends with an eerie sound. How does the character react? What did the message say? What happens next?

 

Fancy some more?

Need more inspiration to practice and improve your writing? The Writing Inspiration Playbook does just that. It’s a collection of 53 writing exercises that will help you explore themes, writing styles and genres at your own pace. And it’s free when you sign up for my newsletter. Grab your copy and have fun!

I’m Alessandra, a copywriter and translator based in Turin. I help businesses narrate their ideas with the right form and substance formula. Because communication is alchemy.