What’s a writer to do when the well starts to run dry? Spend hours googling writing prompts, it seems.
This whole writing well running dry thing has been a huge problem with at least two of my projects during #onemillionwords 2021. These projects are made up of several short stories. For my Keeper Chronicles project, it’s supposed to be all episodic short stories or novella. The other, Chained Heaven, has been planned out in a way that there are two, possibly three short story compilations before the first series of novels are to be released. That’s a lot of short stories and a lot of different story ideas needed. Ones a mix of magical realism and urban fantasy while the other is your stereotypical high fantasy with various magical races and epic battles.
There are only so many story ideas I can pluck from my own mind within a certain timeframe. After a while, I just start going in circles. Luckily, I’ve been finding some amazing prompts online to refresh the well, so to speak. For every ten I find though, only one fits in with my existing worlds and my characters. I have so many saved that are not usable or not usable at this time so I figured I would share the wealth. Might even do this a few times a month just to help others keep those creative energies going. Let me know in the comments if you’d like biweekly or monthly prompt round-ups in different genres.
Here are my top ten fantasy prompts. Maybe, other aspiring writers out there could give them a good home.
- Write about a mysterious person who meets with the ghost of an old friend for tea every so often.
- Your main character is walking in a snowy wood. They realize after a while, they’re not leaving any footprints.
- Your character is already having a bad day. To make it worse, they run into someone from their past that at one time they cared for very deeply. Can that person undo the bad they had done?
- Local gravestones begin to disappear.
- The ever classic: Body swap but this time with a person they grew up with but haven’t seen in years.
- The queen’s son finds there are ghosts in the castle, and they have been passing along messages to him.
- A curse of silence is placed on the main or one of the main characters and the only way to break it is by capturing a banshee’s scream.
- Every new moon, the townsfolk can hear laughter echo out from the old mine that has been closed for a hundred years.
- A new housekeeper for a prominent wealthy family gets hired on and soon family members are starting to disappear and a dark family secret is about to be revealed.
- “I saw what was in his mind. I know what he’s planning.”
If you use one of these prompts and feel comfortable sharing, please do. I’d love to see what people make of them. Or if you have some prompt ideas that you’d like to send forth into the world let us know.