Good tidings everyone!
We’ve all had writer’s block before. Whether it is lack of motivation, or inspiration something is blocking you from reaching your potential. Perhaps there is a fear of failure? Whether or not you write the next bestseller, you just need to stop worrying and start writing. It’s tough to just let that shit go, and find it within yourself to create something from out of nothing.
Here are some ideas to help you the next time you’re stuck in a rut. They might not be ground-breaking ideas, but you never know what could come out of a fun writing exercise.
1. Look into your family tree. Is there an ancestor with a cool story? Perhaps an old family member with no information you can find?
You could research them and find out the real story for a biography, or just make up a fun explanation! Maybe they joined the circus, or went off on a treasure hunt. You decide!
2. Imagine you could do yesterday again. What would you do differently?
Would you really just chill on the couch all day, or maybe go to the park and find a secret cave with a cult practicing blood sacrifices. The sky is the limit!
3. There are three of you: a good one, a balanced one and an evil one. How do the three of you interact?
This could be a fun, light-hearted comedy with an opportunity for witty jokes with your 3 selves arguing, or it could take a dark turn where your evil and good selves battle for control causing you to develop real and legitimate personality disorders. The balanced one is just fighting to survive. So many possibilities with this prompt.
4. Think of a child in your life. Write a page designed to make him/her fall on the floor with laughter.
There is something totally awesome about just writing an utterly silly story just for the sake of being ridiculous. It’s nice to take a step back, and not take yourself so seriously for a moment.
5. Imagine you can travel back in time to give yourself one piece of advice. What would it be?
How would your life change if you told yourself to ask out your crush? Would you be married or divorced? Or would you tell yourself to study more? Perhaps you would be a genius billionaire? It’s interesting to play the ‘what if?’ game sometimes.
6. Imagine you’re a criminal. Write a letter to your mum asking for forgiveness.
So many possibilities to outline a great story, leaving a lot of details up to the imagination of the reader with this.
7. What is the least convenient personal habit for a detective? Write about that detective.
A detective with bad eye-sight trying to solve a murder? A detective with the inability to communicate coherently? Are they a raging drunk? Perhaps they are a germophobe, neat freak? Just roll the dice on this one, and see what kind of chaos ensues!
8. Think about the most prudish person you know. Now sit him/her next to somebody behaving inappropriately.
Are they at a dinner party? On the train? Stranded on a deserted island together? The setting for this could be fun to play with too!
9. Take the names of the songs on your favorite albums. What if they were chapter headings?
I just checked my playlist, and just to name a few I have on there…1.) Hero, 2.) Shoot Out, 3.) Stranger Danger, 4.) Shameless, 5.) Elevate, 6.) Time Keeps Running, 7.) Enter Sandman, 8.) Los Angeles, 9.) Siren, 10.) Inside the Fire
Building your own story based on the titles of the chapters is sort of like working backwards, but could lead to some interesting twists and ideas.
10. Think of a nursery rhyme. What if it was set in modern day America?
Some examples of nursery rhymes are below if you want to get an idea of how to get started.
- Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
- Mary Had a Little Lamb
- London Bridge Is Falling Down
- Hickory Dickory Dock
11. Recall the best present you ever received. Imagine it being given to somebody with different interests. How does he/she react on opening the present?
The best present I ever received was a hamster. If my brother got my hamster instead, I wonder how things would have played out. Jealousy would ensue for sure!
12. Take your neighborhood in 1000 years’ time. Write an opening describing your street.
This is very interesting because you get to describe something very familiar to you in an unknowable setting. Will your neighborhood thrive and become a booming technological environment? Or will it become decrepit and abandoned because of a zombie apocalypse? Maybe the whole neighborhood gets paved over to make way for an evil, multi-million dollar corporation?
13. Remember the last day you had outside in the sun. What would have happened if it had suddenly started to snow?
This could be a choose-your-own adventure story? Provide the reader with choices on how to survive the snowstorm! Or perhaps because of the snow, you make a snowman that comes to life? Many ways to spin this story.
14. You’re heading up a team of superheroes. What do you call yourself and why?
Bendy! Mr. Sandman! Veritas! Banshee! Fire Feet! These are terrible, but that’s what this is all about. Coming up with ideas that may, or may not be terrible and not worrying about it. Just have fun!
15. Look at the nearest object to you. What would its life be like if it could understand every word you say?
Nearest object is my pillow. It would probably hear all my embarrassing conversations with myself and judge me harshly. You could use any object though! A clock, a candle, a book, or perhaps a knife? Making an inanimate object sentient is a great exercise.
16. You’re about to embark on a dangerous mission. Write a letter to your loved ones for them to open if you don’t make it.
Dear loved ones, you are probably aware that I am dead. There is a map here for you to follow and find a sacred object which will provide you with the clues to who killed me. Find the archaeologist. She will assist you.
Just an example from me! You could make something sad, funny, dark, futuristic. Your story is your own!
17. Imagine you’re a politician for a day. How would you spend your time?
Are you a corrupt politician? Do you start off with good intentions, and slowly make compromises that lead you down a dark path? Perhaps you forge alliances and take down some baddies, etc.
18. What if your favorite pet could talk?
I think about this ALL.THE.TIME. I hope she would say nice things about me, but who knows!? My poodle would be sassy, there’s not doubt. My golden retriever would be hyper and probably tell me to stop working and play with her.
19. Think about the last good decision you made. What would have happened if you’d made the wrong choice?
My last good decision was probably moving out to my apartment. I love my new apartment so much! So what if I never moved and stayed with my parents? Or what if I moved into a haunted house? Or maybe I moved to a location where all my neighbors were cannibals? That’s just my own personal example. What would your story be?
20. You pick up somebody else’s coat accidentally. Something in the pocket makes you suspect the owner of a crime.
Something similar actually happened to my mom. She got a new phone, and she was getting texts and calls from strangers that she didn’t know. The owner of that number was clearly a drug dealer of some kind because she was getting texts from people asking her to meet up for a deal. But there was one very chilling picture of a tied up boy in a dark place, and she was absolutely terrified to be suddenly in the midst of a possible kidnapping and all of this illegal activity.
So now that you have looked at these writer’s block prompts I hope at least one of them has peaked your fancy. I challenge you to pick at least one and write something right NOW. Take your writer’s block and spit in it’s face as you defeat this beast with a short story that hopefully sparks more creativity down the line.