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Writing is an acquired skill. That means the more you practice the better you get.
Why Use Creative Writing Prompts for Adults?
- As inspiration when you have writer’s block (don’t stare at a blank page for long)
- As a warmup stretch for your creativity (so you can start your own writing limbered up)
- To practice writing (so you can become a better writer)
How to Use Creative Writing Prompts for Adults?
You should try and do a quick 500 word writing prompt daily – but that doesn’t mean you need a new prompt every day. Look at the same prompt two or three times.
4 Ways to Use (and Re-Use) Prompts:
- Use the same story idea, but write a different scene.
- Add in a new character, or change the main character
- Write from a different perspective
- Write a completely different story idea
This post contains 3 types of prompts: visual (with ideas), plot, & character.
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Creative Writing Prompts (for Adults)
Your task: Write a scene of (at least) 500 words for each prompt.
Writing Prompts (Visual)
Use the image as inspiration to write 500+ words. If it doesn’t inspire you, check out one of the ideas.
UNDER THE SEA Ideas
- Invent a new game to be played underwater. What happened to the first group who played?
- Is that a portal opening?
- In the future, starfish are more valuable than gold.
FERRIS WHEEL Ideas
- It’s been closed since the accident.
- She told him on the Ferris Wheel so he couldn’t leave.
- An adult-only fair.
- The latest, greatest fad for the ultra-wealthy: a galaxy in a jar. Who cares that mining each one kills 100 people?!
- The substance was so volatile, everyone in the lab had to sign a death waiver.
- Finally! A way to live forever.
X MARKS THE SPOT Ideas
- A game of hide & seek that goes horribly wrong.
- A search for Cleopatra’s secret hidden treasure.
- The latest trend: selfies with “hidden” treasure.
Writing Prompts (Plot)
Use the writing prompt as inspiration to write 500+ words. Feel free to change any part of the prompt you want!
Writing Prompt #1
Everyone has a collection of mute clones. They act as spare parts, body guards, and slaves. You want to set yours free, but it’s forbidden!
Writing Prompt #2
Two food truck owners are competing in a small market. Who’s willing to do whatever it takes to succeed?
Writing Prompt #3
Your character is being chased through an abandoned building. Why? By whom? Do they escape?
Writing Prompt #4
The grim reaper needs a vacation. He offers your character a deal: she won’t be reaped, but for 2 weeks of every year, she’ll have to be the reaper.
Writing Prompts (Character)
Use the character information/prompt as inspiration to write 500+ words. Feel free to change any part of it that you want.
Character Prompt #1
Ella didn’t want children, but she has 3. She wanted to travel, but she never has.
Character Prompt #2
You’re invited to Jesmin & Mark’s wedding! *Cash is the only acceptable gift, a minimum of $400.
Character Prompt #3
She’s a recent immigrant. Her dreams of a better life are crumbling around her.
Character Prompt #4
Patricia’s daughter is two months old. Patricia is determined that nobody will ever see her be less than perfect. Whatever the cost.
Buy a Writing Prompt Notebook
I like to do writing prompts by hand. I feel more inspired that way. I keep my writing prompts in a separate notebook, just for prompts. You can use any notebook you want (or scraps of paper).
Here are four of my favorite cheap (and pretty) writing prompt notebooks.
I hope you were inspired by (at least one of) these 12 writing prompts.
Remember: Practice! Practice! Practice! It’s the only way to improve.
Ready for more? Check out these 12 Horror Writing Prompts next!
Want to inspire someone else? Post your scene(s) (or a link to them) in the comments. Be bold! Be brave!
Read what others have come up with – offer praise and/or constructive criticism. Accept the same.
We’re all in the same boat – just trying to be better writers.
If you like this post, please follow me on social media. Thanks!
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Exciting New Books (Mar 2020)
Check out these three books, set to be released in March 2020. I can't wait to get my hands on all of them (although when I'll actually read them is another story).
House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas
Hunt Athalar is a notorious Fallen angel, now enslaved to the Archangels he once attempted to overthrow. His brutal skills and incredible strength have been set to one purpose-to assassinate his boss's enemies, no questions asked. But with a demon wreaking havoc in the city, he's offered an irresistible deal: help Bryce find the murderer, and his freedom will be within reach.
As Bryce and Hunt dig deep into Crescent City's underbelly, they discover a dark power that threatens everything and everyone they hold dear, and they find, in each other, a blazing passion-one that could set them both free, if they'd only let it.
My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell
2000. Bright, ambitious, and yearning for adulthood, fifteen-year-old Vanessa Wye becomes entangled in an affair with Jacob Strane, her magnetic and guileful forty-two-year-old English teacher.
2017. Amid the rising wave of allegations against powerful men, a reckoning is coming due. Strane has been accused of sexual abuse by a former student, who reaches out to Vanessa, and now Vanessa suddenly finds herself facing an impossible choice: remain silent, firm in the belief that her teenage self willingly engaged in this relationship, or redefine herself and the events of her past.
THE GLASS HOTEL by Emily St. John Mandel
Vincent is a bartender at the Hotel Caiette, a five-star lodging on the northernmost tip of Vancouver Island. On the night she meets Jonathan Alkaitis, a hooded figure scrawls a message on the lobby's glass wall: "Why don't you swallow broken glass." High above Manhattan, a greater crime is committed: Alkaitis is running an international Ponzi scheme, moving imaginary sums of money through clients' accounts. When the financial empire collapses, it obliterates countless fortunes and devastates lives. Vincent, who had been posing as Jonathan's wife, walks away into the night. Years later, a victim of the fraud is hired to investigate a strange occurrence: a woman has seemingly vanished from the deck of a container ship between ports of call.