One of the most common pieces of advice given to writers is to "just write". It's good advice - the best way to practice and improve your craft is by putting pen to paper or fingers to keyboard - but it is much easier said than done.

Here you'll find a list of writing prompts to get you started. Use just one, or combine them and see where the inspiration takes you. If you're not sure how to start, I'd suggest picking a prompt and writing non-stop for ten minutes. Don't worry about spelling or grammar, and don't second guess or edit your work during the ten minutes. Just keep your pen moving, writing whatever comes into your head. It doesn't have to be perfect, you can always edit it later. You'll be surprised by what ideas you come up with when you get rid of your inner critic and just write!

Use one of the following sentences as the first line for your piece of writing:

  • I knew I had to get out of there when...
  • I didn't know it at the time, but everything was about to change.
  • It all started when I opened the box.
  • The last ever photo of her was taken on my phone.
  • All I could see was a bright blue light.

If you'd like more prompts like these, try picking a book at random at your local library and copying down the first sentence. Don't read the rest of the book or the blurb until after you've finished writing though!

Write a story based on one of the following pictures:

fake butterfly

Write a story based on one of the following scenarios

  • A portal opens up in front of you. Where does it go? How did it get there? Do you dare step through?
  • You come home one day to find a letter waiting for you on your doorstep. Who is it from? What does it say? What will you do now you've read it?
  • You hear a strange noise in the middle of the night, and go downstairs to investigate. Who (or what) is causing the noise?