Fight Scene Writing Prompts and Ideas:
1. Two people fight without waking or disturbing a third person.
2. Someone uses an object that isn’t usually considered to be dangerous as an effective weapon.
3. It’s impossible to tell the real opponents from the ones who are illusions or holograms.
4. People fight in zero gravity.
5. People fight underwater.
6. People fight in a building that’s on fire.
7. Two people fight, and an unlikely bystander saves our main character.
8. Two people fight, but when a third person attacks our main character, his other opponent saves him.
9. Fortunately, his blood is also a weapon.
10. One of the fighters is drugged or drunk.
11. Someone’s trying not to hurt the person who’s attacking him.
12. Someone finds out that she’s fighting the person she meant to join forces with or save.
13. Someone fights while wearing something that makes them appear the opposite of tough or intimidating.
14. They fight naked.
15. They fight in Times Square on New Year’s Eve.
16. A protester and counter protester fight.
17. Someone shoves his opponent into a body of water, and then rescues him when it’s apparent he’ll drown.
18. Someone gets help from an animal.
19. A friend, co-worker, or ally suddenly attacks someone.
20. One person dumps a gallon of something over the other person’s head.
21. One person chokes the other with a computer cord.
22. One person chokes the other with a string of Christmas lights.
23. Someone defends herself from an attacker while driving at top speed.
24. They fight in a hospital, which makes it easy for the main character to patch himself up afterward.
25. Bullying the bartender or server was a mistake.
26. She knocks out two men with one move.
27. They fight in a locked closet.
28. He celebrates his victory too early.
29. Someone leaps from a considerable height to land on an opponent.
30. Someone breaks the rules of the duel.
31. She accidentally wounds the person trying to stop the fight.
32. He accidentally wounds a bystander.
33. Someone was only pretending to be knocked out.
34. Her weapon gets stuck.
35. Priceless objects or valuable property gets damaged in the brawl.
36. Someone uses a bed sheet in the struggle.
37. The fight is a ruse to distract people from what’s really going on.
38. Someone repeatedly tries to avoid the fight to no avail.
39. Someone takes refuge in a disgusting place.
40. He finds himself battling a creature he didn’t believe existed.
41. They fight on slick ice.
42. He fights three challengers in succession.
43. Her glasses get destroyed and she can barely see.
44. He steals his opponent’s car, not realizing his allies rigged it with an explosive.
45. Someone’s ridiculous move or antic catches an opponent off guard.
46. Someone loses an opponent in the crowd and then finds her again.
47. A garden tool becomes a deadly weapon.
48. Someone hurls a shopping cart through the air.
49. Someone gets bashed with a crown or tiara.
50. He accidentally kills his opponent.
Science Fiction Plot Ideas and Writing Prompts:
All citizens are temporarily neutered at birth. Would-be parents must prove to the government that they’ll be suitable caretakers and providers before they are allowed to procreate.
All marriages must be approved by a department of the government, which analyzes massive amounts of data to predict the success of the union, its economic and social impact on society, the health and welfare of any children, and so on. It’s such a hassle that many people opt for government-arranged marriages instead.
Global warming prompts rapid mutations in the human species.
The world’s leaders broker a deal with the alien invaders that many see as unfair.
Humans have discovered a way to communicate directly with animals, and all the meat they consume is lab-created.
Extreme elective surgery is the societal norm, and humans undergo creative modifications that include extra limbs, cartoon-like features, and so on.
Breeding modern humans with large amounts of Neanderthal DNA leads to interesting results.
In this world, Napoleon’s army took over Australia, he never lost at Waterloo, France took control of most of Europe, and World War I and World War II never happened.
An alien from a planet where no one else experiences empathy comes to live on Earth, believing they will fit in better there.
A drug that makes people non-confrontational has been added to the public water supply and to all beverages sold by major corporations.
The huge, thin sheets of material covering some trees and yards turn out to be discarded placentas.
A low-level employee in a bureaucratic government office realizes the paperwork he files every day contains codes that determine others’ fates.
A human and alien fall in love, causing an interplanetary crisis.
An alien doesn’t know how to tell the humans s/he’s become intimately involved with that s/he’s an alien, even though they will find out soon.
High-speed robotic horses become a trendy alternative to cars and weave through heavy traffic with ease.
Birds and butterflies are able to navigate on long migrations due to proteins in their bodies that align with the earth’s magnetic fields. Scientists put these proteins to a new use.
An entertainment company synthesizes huge amounts of data they collected about viewer’s responses to movies and shows, and they use it to create a TV show that’s dangerously addictive.
Mars has been terraformed by dropping nuclear bombs on its poles, and the first human colonists have been assured that almost all of the radiation has escaped the atmosphere.
An attempt to save the honeybees had surprising consequences.
Online bullying is made a felony, which leads to unforeseen complications.
At a new underwater amusement park and resort, built at a greater depth than any other construction before, the guests face an unforeseen threat.
Spies use tiny implants in the retina that record and transmit everything to the commanders in another country. The implants dissolve after a certain amount of time.
The first time travellers seem to have no ability to improve the course of human events. If they kill Hitler, for instance, some other person does exactly what he did. They search for the way to really alter the timeline.
Astronauts develop strange and unexpected symptoms in response to traveling at light speed.
It’s easy to look up exactly where any person is at any given time.
New fitness devices track your movements and everything you eat automatically.
A new device automatically tracks your mood levels and emotions. This leads people to avoid more of what makes them unhappy and do more of what makes them feel good.
People become human mood rings: they get implants that make them change color along with their mood.
Criminals and dissidents undergo illegal genetic therapy to change their DNA so the government has no record of them.
Euthanasia is legal and painless means are widely available. A detective specializes in suspicious cases of euthanasia that may have been murder.
Books and videogames have both been replaced by interactive virtual worlds filled with fascinating characters.
Colonists on another planet want to be an independent country and lead a rebellion.
People from a civilization that mysteriously disappeared centuries ago, such as ancestral Puebloans in the U.S. Southwest, return.
An alien planet outsources city planning by creating a complex, engrossing city-building videogame popular with humans.
A time traveler from centuries in the future fails in their attempt to impersonate a person of the twenty-first century. They enlist someone’s help to carry out a mission.
A virus can be transmitted from computers or other machines to humans with bionic upgrades.
Advertisements appear randomly in thin air in front of a person. Getting media without this advertising is prohibitively expensive.
A team of scientists attempt to genetically alter a human to adapt to another planet’s terrain or outer space travel. They accidentally make him or her immortal.
Implants make telepathy possible between the humans who get them.
The Air Force uses invisibility technology for the first time, but the pilot realizes her mission is morally reprehensible.
People are nostalgic for snow, so they create artificial snowstorms.
In a world where pain and suffering have been eliminated, people pay to experience a variety of negative sensations under safe and controlled circumstances.
A secret society of scientists labors to make medical discoveries and to save the planet, even though a religious fundamentalist government has outlawed their activities.
Medical researchers are attempting to bring people back to life after they’ve been dead for thirty minutes or even an hour and give them a full recovery. Their experimentation is unethical and/or leads to strange alterations to people’s brains.
Someone is shrunk to a tiny size to perform a life-saving or planet-saving procedure impossible for a machine or an average-sized human.
His loved one died, but is alive in a parallel universe, and he is somehow getting messages or clues about her life there.
On Ceres, a large asteroid, there’s a fueling station for spaceships. Terrorists take over the station and disrupt space travel and trade.
Because it’s too hard to screen for performance-enhancing drugs, they are made legal and are an important component of sports.
The ability to make visual recordings of dreams has exhilarating and terrifying consequences.
Because android “kids” have become so lifelike, amusing, and hassle-free, no one wants to have real ones.
Patients are woken up from hibernation when the cures to their diseases have been discovered.
Zodiac Traits – Write a Sagittarius Character!
“He was sent to kill her…now he’s desperate to protect her.”
Christmas Writing Prompts For Holiday Inspiration:
Two people who are secretly romantically interested in one another. They agree to share Christmas dinner together, just as friends, because a family holiday isn’t going to happen and all of their other friends are already busy.
Someone doesn’t have anyone to spend Christmas with.
A person is on a difficult quest to find or make a particular gift for someone else.
A Christmas card arrives in the mail fifty years after it was delivered.
The Christmas ornament is supposedly enchanted.
Someone has just became fabulously wealthy and is picking out gifts for their family.
Someone is transported to a Christmas in a past century.
To impress her, he learns all of the words to her favorite Christmas carol. And he doesn’t even like carols. Or Christmas. Or singing.
Someone embarrasses herself at a Christmas party.
Write a scene inspired by the image of a boat decked out in Christmas lights.
Notes and gifts from a “Secret Santa” take a strange turn.
After the blizzard hits, they’re stuck together for a while, and they have to stay warm.
A single person reacts to getting Christmas cards from married couples with pictures of them with their smiling children.
Two strangers wind up participating in a holiday activity together.
Someone has been cutting down and stealing trees from the Christmas tree farm.
Someone resorts to desperate measures to get home for Christmas.
Write about the worst present your character ever got.
They’re putting up a Christmas tree at the hospital.
Write about someone who’s determined to make amends at Christmas.
Write a scene that incorporates the smells of Christmas.
Someone receives a gift wrapped in newspaper and duct tape.
At the castle, Christmas is very different from what she’s used to.
He and his very pregnant wife can’t find a hotel room right before Christmas.
Okay, he’s not Santa, but he did have a very good reason for breaking into the house.
What’s a reindeer doing in this part of town?
Mystery Plot Ideas and Writing Prompts:
A woman asks a writer to write the story of her life. Then she goes missing.
Murder victims are found buried with some of their wordly goods, Viking style.
Three people close to the murder victim have confessed. Each of them swears they acted alone.
Notes and gifts from her “Secret Santa” at work take a strange turn.
It’s going to be a beautiful wedding at a beautiful destination, but two people in the wedding party have been murdered.
The creator of a high-tech prototype that will change an industry has gone missing.
Her parents believe her to be their biological child, but they all learn otherwise.
The dead woman’s wedding ring is found in a ditch forty miles away.
A museum conservator is restoring an old painting, and an X-ray reveals something shocking or mysterious painted or written in the layer beneath.
A sorority sister who bullied perspective pledges is found dead.
As a man researches his genealogy, he finds that ancestors from a few different generations and a few different countries made visits to the same remote place.
Someone replaced the woman’s contact lens solution with a damaging liquid.
He’s always been a faithful husband, but someone has planted false evidence of his having an affair.
A detective is hired for a high price to find a thief who stole something that doesn’t appear to have any real value.
Every unmarried lady at the ball wanted to dance with the duke, so it’s too bad he was found stabbed in the garden.
In the middle of a wilderness, someone finds an abandoned bunker with security cameras, powered by a generator.
The graves of historic figures are being robbed.
Clues to the mystery come to him in dreams, but nobody believes him.
Serial murders in cities in two different countries are very similar.
A man she didn’t know left her a valuable and unusual item in his will.
A writer researching his biography of a Golden Age movie star comes across something that makes him suspect that contrary to the official story, she was a murder victim.
The accidental death of this investigative reporter seems a little too convenient.
The murders all relate to common fears, such as public speaking, flying, and heights.
A woman wakes up with a headache and goes into work, only to learn that she’s been missing for a month.
Writers are being murdered at the mystery writers’ convention.
The painting must have been stolen from the museum in broad daylight, but the security cameras malfunctioned and no witnesses have come forward.
Three different guests at the Air BnB died later under mysterious circumstances.
A practicing witch or voodoo priestess is accused of murder.
The murders are re-enactments of famous murders in novels or movies.
He claims to be the rich man who was lost at sea two decades ago.
The inspector’s friend is murdered while he is talking on the phone to the inspector.
A dead body is found in an unclaimed piece of luggage at the airport.
He was murdered on his honeymoon on a cruise ship, and his new, much-younger bride was the only one on board who even knew him.
A woman who didn’t know she was adopted meets her twin sister, who gives her a dire warning.
One of the pies submitted to the state fair contest was poisoned.
The report of a celebrity’s death is false, but he dies soon after.
The murder victims all have the same tailor.
Who would kill the guest of honor at their 100th birthday party?
The victim was found drowned in a whiskey barrel at the distillery.
A wife arranges a romantic “scavenger hunt” for her husband, but someone else changes a few of the clues.
The thief who steals rare books always leaves a sonnet behind.
The wrong body is in the casket at the visitation. No one knows who it is, or where the other body is.
The murders were definitely committed by a human, but resemble the attacks of wild animals.
After the woman returned the lost wallet, someone began stalking her.
The book she’s reading seems to be telling the story of her own life, though she doesn’t think she’s ever met the author.
A man who faked his own death must be found in time.
Someone in a villain costume and mask attempts to kill an actor at a fan convention. The actor is saved by a fan dressed as a superhero.
An Egyptian mummy, or what appears to be one, is found in an unlikely place.
A man is found murdered following a heated argument with several people on social media.
A body is found in the organic vegetable garden at a hippie commune.
Writing Prompts Inspired By Tarot Cards:
THE FOOL… Write about someone beginning a new adventure or journey, with no idea of where it might lead.
THE MAGICIAN… Write about someone performing real magic or the illusion of it.
THE HIGH PRIESTESS… Write about a female religious figure.
THE EMPRESS… Write about a pregnant woman.
THE EMPEROR… Write about a stern patriarch
THE HIEROPHANT… Write about someone who insists upon convention or conformity.
THE LOVERS… Write about two lovers who face a difficult choice.
THE CHARIOT… Write about a victorious ride.
STRENGTH… Write about someone struggling with or overcoming their animal instincts.
THE HERMIT… Write about someone who has isolated himself or herself in search of some truth.
WHEEL OF FORTUNE… Write about a stroke of extraordinary bad luck.
JUSTICE… Write about a guilty person’s punishment or an innocent person’s reprieve.
THE HANGED MAN… Write about someone who calmly makes a huge sacrifice.
DEATH… Write about the end of a life, relationship, job, or living situation that brings relief.
TEMPERANCE… Write about someone who uses patience or self-control in a difficult situation.
THE DEVIL… Write about someone giving in to temptation.
THE TOWER… Write about a city or citadel under attack.
THE STAR… Write about the one thing that gives a character hope when things look bleak.
THE MOON… Write about a disturbing dream.
THE SUN… Write about an event filled with sunshine and joy.
JUDGEMENT… Write about a character who realizes s/he has a calling or a purpose to fulfill.
THE WORLD… Write about someone who’s on top of the world.
Creative Writing Prompts to Help You Annoy Your Characters:
His coworker or neighbor keeps listening to awful music.
At the casino, she played the slot machine for an hour before giving up. The next person sat down and got a huge jackpot on the first try.
Someone who was caught breaking a rule, or the law, wasn’t properly punished.
Someone stole or copied his creative work, research, or invention.
Someone’s taking up two seats on public transit, so she has to stand.
There are no parking spaces, and someone double-parked.
Someone criticizes her cat, dog, or child.
His pet, child, partner, or roommate wakes him up at night for the third time in a row.
Her snack just got stuck in the vending machine.
Someone he knows keeps talking about himself or herself, dominating the conversation.
She’s wrongly accused of a misdeed, or even punished for it.
The zipper of his coat gets stuck.
She sees someone mistreating or threatening a vulnerable individual.
He gets home from the store with several bags of groceries, but not the one item he went there to get.
Someone cheats on her.
Someone steals his wallet, computer, or car.
There’s water on the bathroom floor and his socks get soaked.
She’s asked her partner or child a hundred times to stop doing a particular thing. They’ve promised to stop. They’re still doing it.
Someone eats food off his plate without asking.
Someone makes a cruel joke or insensitive remark.
Someone cuts ahead of her in line.
Someone defaces his property or damages his vehicle.
Someone interrupts her repeatedly.
Someone asks him too many personal questions.
A sick person coughs or sneezes on her.
Fantasy Plot Ideas and Writing Prompts:
A counterfeiter’s coins or a forger’s fake works of art have magical properties.
A neglected god or goddess attempts to reclaim his or her former glory.
People are spontaneously combusting.
People are committing surprising acts in their sleep.
This might cure the current plague—if it can be found.
A smuggler, mercenary, or thief takes down or helps take down an oppressive ruler or regime.
An attempt to rescue a friend, family member, or lover will put a larger mission or cause in jeopardy.
A peasant girl, who may be good or evil, believes that a divine figure in a vision told her to lead an army to victory.
The ones who live in the bottom of the ocean come to the surface.
Someone can bring a person back to life by taking his or her place in the underworld.
A musician can kill or resurrect people with his or her music.
Anything becomes true if enough people believe in it deeply enough.
A person has been turned into an object by magic.
To open the door, a person must use a key whittled out of one of his or her own bones
A person doesn’t know why he or she has stopped aging.
After an archaeologist digs up a treasure, the original owner shows up to take it back.
Two allies or two factions of the same army are tricked into attacking one another.
Miners discover stone spheres with strange markings.
Soldiers take souvenirs from their fallen enemies, which proves to be their downfall.
A woman or a group of women plot an escape or revolt against a forced marriage or a whole system of forced marriage.
His magical powers don’t work when he’s drunk.
The flowers from this garden are the most precious commodities in the realm… for a very good reason.
For this race of beings, the sense of smell is more important than vision or hearing.
The crops really do wither unless there’s a sacrifice.
She made a noble sacrifice, and now, as a ghost, she resents it.
They live on an island in the middle of a lava lake. It has advantages and disadvantages.
The bite of a particular animal may kill you, or it may give you new powers.
For this society, battle is a religious observance.
This is the most pitiful excuse for a castle in all the land.
This so-called magical sword has turned out to be a piece of junk.
A beautiful unmanned ship sails itself into the harbor.
The crowd of evil spirits flying into the village looks like a flock of birds.
So many birds or butterflies migrate across this land that for days, it darkens the skies.
The land has been cursed to permanent darkness, daytime, fog, wind, or lightning strikes.
At this auction, people are bidding a lot more than money.
The queen’s twin sister was supposed to have been drowned at birth.
An artist gives people tattoos that determine their fates.
This muse inspires artists, writers, and musicians to great work, but when she leaves them, they become so despondent they sometimes die.
A worker learns that the tower they are building will serve a much different purpose than what they were all told.
Each person’s spirit is connected to a particular tree in the forest.
This supernatural horse race will decide their people’s fate.
He’s been hiding in the catacombs for years.
The archeologist finds a fossil of a creature assumed to be mythical.
Lightning strikes a person and leaves mysterious words or a map burned onto her or his skin.
A spirit possesses a human or animal body and is then unable to get out of it.
The river has a spirit of its own.
The king ran away and is living under an assumed name.
They fought long and hard to bring this new king to the throne, and it turns out he’s totally incompetent.
Plot Ideas from Victorian and Regency Novels:
A man who was framed for a crime he didn’t commit escapes prison, makes a fortune in another country, and returns in disguise to get vengeance on his enemies. (Count of Monte Cristo, Alexander Dumas.)
An orphan boy falls in love with his foster sister. As an adult, he’s still obsessed with her even though she’s married to somebody else. (Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë.)
Members of a club decide to each travel to a different place and then report what they learn back to the group. (The Pickwick Papers, Charles Dickens.)
A rich man proposes to a young employee of his only to learn that she’s already secretly married to his son. (Vanity Fair, William Thackeray.)
A man searching for a sea monster meets a guy with a fantastic submarine and they explore the ocean depths together. (Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, Jules Verne.)
A guy falls in love with a woman who spurns him. Later, he gets a job and then realizes she owns the business. (Far From the Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy.)
In the future, humankind has evolved into two separate species. (The Time Machine, H.G. Wells.)
A woman who’s new in town believes the owner of a local business is unfair to his employees, but later she falls in love with him. (North and South, Elizabeth Gaskell.) (There is a fantastic miniseries of this one!)
A young man steals money from her father in order to leave the country and elope with her boyfriend against her father’s wishes, but then her fiancé gambles the money away. (The Way We Live Now, Anthony Trollope.)
A man is found dead in a room with a word written in blood on the wall, but there are no wounds on the corpse. (A Study in Scarlet, Arthur Conan Doyle. This is the first of the Sherlock Holmes stories, when he and John Watson are just becoming friends.)
A man believes a woman he loves is having an affair, but she’s actually meeting with her brother. (The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, Anne Brontë.)
A man arranges for the abduction of his recently orphaned teenage nephew because the kid is the rightful heir to a family estate. (Kidnapped, Robert Louis Stevenson.)
A poor child falls asleep in a stream and becomes a magical water creature. (The Water Babies, Charles Kingsley. When I was a kid, this book blew my mind.)
A woman refuses two marriage proposals from good guys and marries a foreigner who winds up being mean to her. Much later, one of her former suitors takes an interest in her daughter, while the other one tells her he’s still interested in her. (Portrait of a Lady, Henry James.)
A boy fakes his own death, runs away from home, and teams up with another runaway for adventure. (Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain.)
A mistreated animal comes into a better situation. (Black Beauty, Anna Sewell.)
On his deathbed, a father leaves his son a mysterious artifact with an equally mysterious message inside. (Little Dorrit, Charles Dickens.)
A young man falls in love with the girl next door, but she rejects him because she sees him as a brother. Later, when he’s on vacation, he crosses paths with the girl’s sister, and those two fall in love. (Little Women, Louisa May Alcott.)
A cynical slacker redeems himself by trading places with a great guy who’s been imprisoned and dying in his place. (A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens. Sydney Carton is one of my literary crushes.)
A rich man runs over and kills a poor child in the street, but he shows no remorse. Later, he is murdered in his bed. (Also A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens.)
A woman is caught in a love triangle between her fiancé and her fiancé’s father. (The Brothers Karamazov, Fyodor Dostoyevsky.)
A man desperately seeks money to pay what he owes to his fiancée so that he can leave her and run off with the woman he really loves. He then finds out that the woman he really loves has taken up with a former boyfriend again. (Also The Brothers Karamazov, Fyodor Dostoyevsky.)
A person never ages due to a sinister spell. (The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde.)
A girl follows an animal guide to a strange new world. (Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll.)
Facing the facts of his mortality, his unpopularity, and his worthless existence, a man makes a drastic change for the better. (A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens.)
A man forgives his wife and his wife’s lover for having an affair. His wife’s lover is so embarrassed he attempts suicide, but fails. The adulterers then run away together. (Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy.)
A young woman teaching at a school abroad develops relationships with both the schoolmaster and a rich doctor. (Villette, Charlotte Brontë.)
A respectable man has a secret and horrible past: he sold his wife and baby daughter. (The Mayor of Casterbridge, Thomas Hardy.)
A bitter old man gets robbed and becomes the foster father for a little girl. (Silas Marner, George Eliot.)
A woman marries an old man who has no interest in her, but becomes friends with an interesting guy her own age. When the woman’s elderly husband dies, he leaves a note in his will that she can’t inherit anything if she marries the younger guy she’s friends with. (Middlemarch, George Eliot.)
A woman only realizes she’s in love with her good friend after another woman falls in love with him. (Emma, Jane Austen.)
Nobody knows that this beautiful young bride faked her own death, abandoned her child, and assumed a new identity in order to find a wealthy husband. (Lady Audley’s Secret, Mary Elizabeth Braddon.)
Aliens attack a country on planet Earth and crush its human army, but then they all die of some alien disease. (The War of the Worlds, H.G. Wells.)
An orphan becomes a criminal’s apprentice. (Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens.)
A woman gets news that the man she was once in love with has gotten married to girlfriend. Later, she learns she was mistaken – the man’s girlfriend dumped him to marry his brother instead. (Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen.)
A young woman is heartbroken when the dashing and charming man she loves ignores her and then breaks up with her. After she recovers from a dangerous illness, she receives attentions from a man who’s loved her all along. (Also Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen.)
After discovering that his grandmother was a fairy, a young man’s room turns into an enchanted wood in Fairy Land. (Phantasies, a Faerie Romance for Men and Women, by George McDonald.)
The statue of a woman comes alive. She runs away, and man searches for her. (Also Phantastes, a Faerie Romance for Men and Women, by George McDonald.)
A woman is punished and ostracized for adultery while her husband, in disguise, seeks revenge on her lover. (The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne.)
In a remote location, a scientist creates grotesque human hybrids. (The Island of Dr. Moreau, H.G. Wells.)
A young man manages to pick fights with three different guys in one afternoon, but they all wind up being friends. (The Three Musketeers, Alexander Dumas.)
A young man impersonating someone else has a romantic rendezvous with a rich woman. In doing so, he learns a secret about her that leads her to try to get him killed. (Also The Three Musketeers, Alexander Dumas.)
A man makes a large bet with his friends that he can travel a large distance in a short time frame. (Around the World in Eighty Days, Jules Verne.)
A mild-mannered teacher at a school snaps and beats up an abusive headmaster. (The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, Charles Dickens.)
A man is in love with a woman who’s marrying some rich and selfish old man who’s offered to pay off her father’s debt in return. (Also The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, Charles Dickens.)
A young woman falls in love with her employer only to learn that he’s married to a woman he keeps locked up. (Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë.)
A man falls in love with a woman, but she’s pretty mad at him because she found out he talked another guy into breaking up with her sister. (Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen.)
A mischievous boy develops a huge crush on a girl at school, but he keeps messing things up with her. (The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Mark Twain.)
A boy secretly witnesses a murder and is scared to tell anyone, even when the wrong man is blamed for it. (Also The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Mark Twain.)
A relentlessly cheerful man’s good nature is tested when he moves to a dangerous and difficult new place. (Martin Chuzzlewit, Charles Dickens.)
This one is pretty self-explanatory. Below, you’ll find a few structured characters to bring to life in your own, unique way.
A child with a third eye… literally
Twins who can outrun death
A single mother who doubles as a superhero
A teenage girl with hair that won’t stop growing
A man with a bottomless stomach
A strict, religious family that sells their belongings to travel
A gay man with supernatural abilities
A child diagnosed with a brand-new, highly contagious disease
A grandfather whose memory sharpens as he ages
An adopted child who wins the lottery for his family
A runner determined to race on every continent
A mad scientist with a soft spot for foster animals
A musical theater cast that turns into a murder squad
A transgender-only roller derby crew
A couple that works as a private investigator duo
A pilot who emergency lands on a carnivorous island
A nudist who is constantly cold
A pair of brothers who compete for a coveted ballet role
A crazy aunt with time traveling abilities
A hunter who converts to vegetarianism
Looking to get your characters talking? Throw them into the conversation(s) below! Let the magic happen.
“You alienated everyone you loved. And now? You’re all alone.”
“Where did you get all of these guns?”
“If I could eat cotton candy for every meal, I would.”
“How do you tell your husband you don’t love him anymore?”
“Are you sure you can trust her with the truth?”
“Why is there blood all over the kitchen floor?”
“Over there! They’re firing from the capital!”
“If you listen closely enough, you can hear the sound of people falling apart.”
“Without the boy, this entire operation means nothing.”
“The sound of your chewing makes me want to throw this pot at your head.”
“When you join the cavalry, keep your aim on keeping the peace.”
“Why join a dance competition when we can create our own?”
“Without this money, I can’t afford my daughter’s education. What can I do?”
“Hey, hey, hey, it’s Johnny on the Early Show!”
“Don’t say it. If you say it out loud, we can’t come back from that.”
“Life isn’t random. It never has been, and now, you can bet it never will be.”
“What’s the point of a search party that doesn’t actually search?”
“Will you please just listen? You can’t cook your way through the country.”
“Sleep tight. Beware of mice.”
“Do you see that cloud? It looks like it’s keeping a secret.”
We’ve got characters and conversations, so now, it’s time to write a story. Mix and match the above characters to the below scenarios. Get creative!
The shoe factory runs out of glass slippers, so Cinderella goes barefoot.
A group of tourists find themselves on a murder island.
A road trip lands a family of four into an unexpected heist.
Your character humiliates herself on live television. How?
To protect the world from the apocalypse, a team of angels comes to Earth.
A mysterious illness that robs people of speech runs rampant.
A teenage boy discovers he can’t die. The first thing he does is _____.
In the future, music no longer exists. Until an ancient piano is discovered.
The world is overrun by poisonous snakes and the only thing that can save it is _____.
There are only ten minutes left in the world. What does your character do?
You’re standing in a forest, when suddenly a _____ falls out of the sky.
A man born without a soul has to seek shelter in a seminary.
A city that literally never sleeps slowly descends into chaos.
Scientists discover the moon is falling closer to Earth and want to build a bridge.
The last human sense is discovered, and it makes humans _____.
World peace is established, but it’s only a temporary fix for a contagion outbreak.
Superheroes fight to the death in a battle to protect the last mortal on Earth.
After an EMP blast, a pair of strangers band together to save humanity.
A college student starts a charity as a reaction to her guilt from _____.
The fairy court rules that all humans should be eliminated by _______.
START YOUR STORY PROMPTS
Need an opening line? I’ve got them below for you. Below are a few statements to kick your story into gear.
Once upon a time there was a world without sound and people without heartbeats.
The rain poured down on their backs like bricks breaking from their mortar.
There had never been a girl like ______ in all of his forty-two years of life.
You don’t get to Heaven with a heart of sins, but that didn’t stop him.
She stepped onto the airplane with a passport, no plan, and six months to find them.
People who tell you not to judge are the people with the worse secrets. I should know.
It started on the day the trees died. Not a single one left standing.
What kind of person starts a war for no reason?
They could smell the blood before they reached the door. He was already gone.
Ice covered the floor of the museum, but it was barely June.
What would you do if you could never see your family again?
Fix the problem before it needs a solution, I say.
It was the kind of day that made you want to live on purpose.
When you’re wild, the only person who can break you is yourself.
“You act like I tried to hurt you.”
My mother always told be that you need strength to survive. She failed to tell me why.
I knew he was watching me. I knew he was always there.
The life of books was the only life that ever made sense to her.
He was a millionaire, but he was also a liar.
There was a dream. There was my life. There was my death. I woke up, and it was real.
Are you up for the challenge? I’ve created a few one word prompts to inspire your scenes. Use the prompts below to add something totally fresh and new to your story.