Writing Prompts

I love writing prompts. I don’t use them all the time, but they are a great way to keep me inspired to write when I’m stuck and don’t know what to write, or when I’m overwhelmed with ideas. Prompts can sometimes create something wonderful. My short story, Split Peas, was created from a writing prompt. It was one of my biggest challenges but the prompt made that story work.

So I wanted to put up a few of my favorite writing prompts and invite you to share yours.


1. Tarot Cards

I love Tarot cards and there are actually spreads for creating characters but this prompt is to take a deck of tarot cards and draw three random cards, there are your characters. Draw a fourth card, that’s what happens in the story. Look up the meanings of the cards (or don’t and make up your own) and go wild.

2. Write down your favorite/least favorite words

Now write a story/poem, etc that uses all of those. This one works best if you have a friend to exchange words with.

3. Think about the strangest dream you’ve ever had.

Write what you remember, treat it as reality not a dream.

4. Write about a character who does something horrible but is still the ‘good guy’

5. Go to Flickr’s Interesting Photo section, find an image(s) that inspire you.

6. Check the newspaper, find an article and write a poem or story based on it.

7. Turn to page (chapter 7) of the nearest book and find the 7th sentence, start something with that.

8. Look at a map of an area of the world you don’t know about, find a town and use that as the setting. What is this town like? What is happening here?

Alright, that’s what I’ve got for now. What are some  of your favorite prompts or do you use prompts?



  1. Laura Said:

    I never really use prompts…bad memories of English assignments lol. But I am always looking for ideas, and I use some of the strategies you talked about to make up character or place names.

    • Judy Black Said:

      Yeah, there are some prompts I hate, hate, hate, hate because of classes but sometimes it opens everything up and helps me write. I do really like it for characters and places.

  2. Eric Said:

    I just started a new writing prompt on my photo blog: Monday Photo Prompt

    Everybody is welcome to participate. Each week I post a new photo. When people join in, I link their work back to the photo.

    No rules – just write whatever the photo gives you. 🙂

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