50 Foolproof Writing Prompts That Will Motivate Anyone

I have designed these writing prompts for people who have the bare bones of a story or character and just need to get to know them better.


  1. Tell the story of a particularly sad Christmas Day through the eyes of your protagonist.
  1. Pretend your character lives to seventy five and is able to go back in time to now (however old they are at the time of your story) – what would they say to their younger self? What would they warn themselves about? Would the older and younger even like or approve of each other?
  1. What does your character keep on top of their bedside table? What is hidden in the drawer?
  1. Tell the story of the time your character was six years old, and left alone by mistake.
  1. Tell the story about the time your character was forced to help someone they didn’t like.
  1. How did your character respond to their first kiss?
  1. What is your character wearing right now, and why?
  1. How would your character respond if suddenly a man wielding a large knife confronted them on a quiet street?
  1. What is the biggest lie your character has ever told? Why did they do it? Do they regret it?
  1. What does your character’s younger sister/brother think about them? Write a story about your character from the perspective of their sibling (or friend or neighbour).
  1. Where does your character live? Describe their home.
  1. Write a letter from the school principal to your character’s parents explaining something good/bad your character did, that shows a hidden side of them.
  1. If your character could only save three items from a house fire that would destroy everything they owned, what would they be?
  1. Tell the story of the time your character realised their favourite grandparent was going to die.
  1. Tell a story about the time your character accidentally killed a baby kitten.
  1. Write a scene where your character goes into their favourite café/restaurant/diner and wants to be left alone, but the waiter/waitress keeps asking questions.
  1. Describe your character’s favourite meal. Where are they? What are they eating? Who are they with?
  1. What did your character’s childhood bedroom look like?
  1. Is your character religious? Write a scene where they are invited to attend a service (at a mosque, church, temple etc). How do they feel?
  1. How would your character paint a wall?
  1. If your character had a pet, what would it be?
  1. Write the transcript of an interview between yourself and a famous chat show host after your book has been published and is a world-wide success. What questions do they ask? How do you talk about the process of writing your novel?
  1. Write a scene where your character gets into trouble for something they didn’t do. How do they react? Can they talk their way out of it?
  1. What did your character want to be when they grew up? Did they achieve that?
  1. Which actor would you want to play your character and why?
  1. Describe how your character would spend four hours while waiting for potentially bad news about someone they love.
  1. Tell the story (from your character’s parents’ perspective) of the day they were born.
  1. What would your character do if they found a bag with a large sum of money in it?
  1. What is your character’s hidden talent or party trick?
  1. Describe your character packing a suitcase, when they have to leave their home forever.
  1. Write a scene where your character must make a difficult choice.
  1. What is your character’s middle name? Why is it significant?
  1. Write the one or two line ‘hook’ that appears on the marketing posters for your finished, best-selling novel.
  1. What is the view from the window right now, from where your character is sitting?
  1. What the secret your character’s ex-best friend is keeping about them?
  1. Write a scene where your character is standing naked in front of a mirror.
  1. Send your character to an event (a party or meeting) that they don’t want to go to.
  1. Write a conversation between your character as yourself as the author, and they ask you questions about why you are writing the story the way you are. Does talking to your character change the way your feel about them?
  1. What was your character’s favourite subject at school? Why?
  1. Write a scene where your character sees someone they have a crush on.
  1. Write a scene where your character is sitting around the dinner table with other characters from the story, but write it from the perspective that they are all actors, and they are talking about their ‘work’ as the characters in the book. Do they like their own characters? What do they think about their costumes? What do they think of the story?
  1. Go to one of the scenes you have already written and re-write it from a different perspective – either someone else in the scene, or someone else watching from a distance.
  1. Describe what you want the front cover of your book to look like.
  1. What personal characteristics do you share with your character? How do you differ?
  1. Write a scene where your character comes home and finds an enormous box on the front door step. What is in the box?
  1. What is your character’s greatest regret?
  1. Write a scene where your character is almost killed in a car accident, whether as a driver, passenger or pedestrian.
  1. Your character is applying for a new job. Write the cover letter.
  1. Write a scene where your character talks to someone about wanting a family (or not). Do they want children? How many? Are they fearful, disinterested, excited?
  1. Write your characters obituary. What have they achieved in their life? How do others view them?

Published by Shannon Meyerkort

Shannon Meyerkort is a Perth-based writer and storyteller

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