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Writing prompts for short stories and other fiction

Before you can start a short story, you need an idea. Sometimes it’s difficult to know exactly where to start. That’s where my writing prompts for short stories and other fiction come in.

I love coming up with ideas. But I don’t have the time or the motivation (or the focus, thanks, ADHD!) to actually write all of it myself. So why not share my ideas with other writers?

Think of writer’s block: is it actually an inability to write, or is it a problem caused by a lack of motivation and ideas? One of the most common recommendations for any writer struggling to write is to just write. Writing prompts and short stories are perfect exercises for overcoming writer’s block, because it gets your creative mind flowing and pulls you away from that novel you’re struggling to continue.

This post includes a masterlist of writing prompts.
Keep reading for a masterlist of all my writing prompts!

How to use writing prompts for a short story

On my blog, you’ll find all kinds of writing prompts themed around certain times of the year, genres I specialise in, tropes, character types, and more. You can use these however you want; how you interpret a prompt is completely unique to you!

Unlike many writing prompt generators and posts, I offer a bit of a unique twist on writing prompts. In each post, you’ll find:

  • character prompts, with 3 possible character descriptions to build from
  • word prompts, with 6 seemingly-random but on-theme words to use in your short story or just to get you thinking
  • setting prompts, with 3 settings to pick from or combine together
  • trope prompts, with 3 tropes linked to a relevant TV Tropes page for further reading and inspiration
  • plotlines, with 6 potential plots I’ve thought up for you to use or draw inspiration from
  • a sensory prompt, something that evokes something sensory, like a sound, taste, texture, or sight

That’s 22 prompts per blog post to get those words flowing! You might latch onto just one prompt, combine multiple, or even challenge yourself to do more.

Do whatever you like with the prompts: write a new short story, write a whole novella, incorporate it into the plot of your novel, or anything else.

Want to share how my writing prompts have helped your short stories?

You can let me know how my writing prompts have helped you, and I’d especially love to hear if I’ve helped you enter a competition, publish some short fiction, or inspired a new idea. I’d also love to read what I’ve inspired, whether you would like my proofreading services or not, if you post your stories online.

Acknowledgement or credit is always nice, even if it’s simply linking to my website from yours or a shoutout on social media!

You can find the full collection of my writing prompts using my Writing Prompts category or keep reading to find a masterlist of every blog I’ve posted, organised by genre. The main genres I create prompts for include fantasy, horror, romance, and queer/LGBTQ+, but you’ll find all kinds of sub-genres too.

Writing prompts masterlist


Fantasy writing prompts about dragons
LGBTQ+ fantasy fiction ideas
Short story ideas for fantasy writers


Horror writing prompts


Ho, ho, ho: Christmas romance writing prompts
Meet cute writing prompts
Romance writing prompts for short fiction
Summer romance writing prompts
Vampire romance writing prompts
Writing prompts for romance stories set in spring


Bite me: gay vampire fiction ideas
Gay romance writing prompts for your next novel
LGBTQ+ writing prompts for every genre


NaNoWriMo creative writing prompts
Short fiction prompts for Halloween

Where else can you find writing prompts for short stories?

Outside of my own prompts, my favourite places to look for writing prompts are:

1 thought on “Writing prompts for short stories and other fiction”

  1. Pingback: Short story prompts for Halloween | H Noss Proofreads

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