Writing prompts – 6 ideas to start you writing

The inspiration for writing stories often comes about from a moment in time, a flash of memory, or a minute particle of an idea.

The challenge is to follow that idea or memory and flesh it out into something you want to write about.

Sometimes a whole story might come to you with very little effort and other times you are excited enough about an idea to think more on it and expand the idea.

Your starting point

In this post you will find some ideas that I have used in writing because they caught my own imagination. Some of them turned into stories very quickly while others may have been parked on the back burner for bringing out at a later date.

Read through the prompts and see whether one of them leaps out at you. It may just be that you are inspired enough to start writing and see where it leads, or you might envision a complete story.

Snippets and scenes

These prompts are snippets and scenes that may form the start of your story and lead on to other things, or they may end up as a scene in the middle of a story. The prompt might just offer you the springboard of an idea that never features the actual prompt mentioned. It doesn’t matter. The idea is to just write.

1. You are walking through deserted cobbled alleyways at dusk. Just ahead of you, and around a corner out of sight, you hear a door close. When you round the corner there is a faint lingering waft of perfume in the air but there is no one there. To whom did the perfume belong? Was she going out or coming home? Where had she been, or where was she going?

2. Driving along an unlit country road at night you round a bend and your headlights pick out a figure running through the fields. A little further on the figure appears beside the road with their arm out signalling you to stop. Would you stop? What happens next? Why were they running across a field at night?

3. It is dusk and the sun has almost set. A figure can be seen on the road ahead leaning forward onto a shovel, digging in the roadside ditch. Reaching down at his side he picks up a small package and drops it into the hole he has just dug. Having covered it over he takes up the shovel and walks away into the night. What is he burying and why? Who is he?

4. You are woken in the middle of the night by the sound of helicopters circling above your house. It becomes quite clear that one of them is about to land nearby; the searchlight illuminating something beyond a house across the road from you. Who, or what, are they looking for? Why are they looking?

5. A man sits on a bench overlooking a river estuary. It is sunset and he is alone. Why is he alone? What is he doing there at dusk? What is he thinking?

6. A young woman runs through a park at night, in the rain. She has no raincoat or umbrella. She is dressed elegantly as if for an evening out. Ahead of her a man stands in the shadows, smoking a cigarette. Why is she in the park at night in the rain with no coat? Who is the man and does he have anything to do with the young woman? Is this a threatening situation or does she know him?

Where do you get your writing prompts and do you have any you would suggest?