Writing Prompt Story Starter: The Imagination


Shutterstock / lisima © Imagination

Fiction is all about engaging the imagination. So, here is a list of 20 writing prompts.

Hopefully one or two can spark off some story ideas.

Happy musings . . .

  1. It doesn’t really taste of vanilla.
  2. It’s the world’s worst maze.
  3. Hypochondriac.
  4. Write a story that starts and ends with a lie.
  5. When was the last time you laughed out loud?
  6. What is love?
  7. “If you were truly sorry, you wouldn’t have said that.”
  8. Sky is green, grass is blue.
  9. El Dorado.
  10. Would a witch really do that?
  11. Your greatest inspiration.
  12. Your protagonist is named after a Biblical character.
  13. Write a story based on the enclosed post image (Budapest).
  14. Write a positive story about failing at something.
  15. Worst job.
  16. “Don’t just stand there . . .”
  17. “You are a long way from home.”
  18. 1799.
  19. Dreamers Do.
  20. Draw something.

A little imagination

It doesn’t matter if a writing prompt features in your finished story or not – see it as the catalyst to the story itself.

Writing for many is a visual process, hence the reason why illustrations, photographs and paintings can inspire stories. Words might not instantly captivate the imagination like an illustration, but they can still work to good effect.

Take the above 1799 as an example. At first glance it looks like a year, or even a number. Maybe that in itself will make you think about world events in the year 1799, and thereafter begin to plant a story seed in your mind. If it’s a number, could it form part of a puzzle that needs to be solved? Or maybe it’s how many steps there are between point A and B.

What might look like a simple word prompt can be the pathway to all sorts of different story scenarios.

Prompts work best when not taken at face value. Whatever the writing prompt, ruminate on it – it’s the secret to unlocking the imagination.


To choose another “Friend” Story Starter, click here.

Alan Spink

Alan is a member of the “Friend” Fiction Team. He enjoys working closely with writers and being part of the creative process which sees storytelling ideas come to fruition. A keen reader, he also writes fiction and enjoys watching football and movies in his spare time. His one aspiring tip to new writers is to “write from your imagination”.