Story Starters and Ideas for Creative Writing

Here, you'll find ideas for creative writing that you can use for your own short stories, novels, or dramatic scripts. If you are taking the CWN free online writing courses, these story starters are especially recommended for the section on writing dialogue.

Ideas for creative writing - story starters with a focus on: writing dialogue.

1) Creative writing ideas - the wrong lie

A husband catches his wife in a lie and suspects she is cheating on him. She isn't cheating, but she has a new job that she doesn't want him to know about. (Suggestion: As preparation, write character profiles for both the husband and the wife so that you have a clear idea of who they both are.) The husband confronts the wife about her lie. Write the conversation.

2) Creative writing ideas - explain that baby

Your character kidnaps a baby. (What is the motive?) Your character's husband/wife, discovers your character changing diapers in the living room, and wants to know what's going on. Write the conversation. What happens next?

3) Creative writing ideas - testing the waters

Two people are on a date. Each thinks he or she might be in love with the other one. But each is afraid of getting hurt, so he or she wants to find out the other one's feelings before revealing his or her own. Write a conversation in which both are trying to get the other person to say how he/she sees the relationship going. By the end of the conversation, have at least one of them decide that he or she is no longer interested.

4) Creative writing ideas - taking sides

This story takes place at a restaurant. Three acquaintances have gone out to dinner together. Person A has just left his/her wife and family. Person B supports this decision. Person C thinks this was criminally irresponsible. write the conversation. (Suggestion: try giving each character the voice of a different person that you actually know. For example, Person A might talk like one of your coworkers, and Person B might talk like your brother or sister. Choose people who are very different from each other. Then try to express each one's unique voice so clearly that you don't need to tell the reader which character said which sentence, that the reader can "hear" the difference between who says what.)

5) Creative writing ideas - bus ride

The story takes place on a long bus ride between two cities. Two strangers are sharing a seat. Each one secretly hopes to get something from the other. For example: one of them wants a job or money or a place to stay in the city where they're headed. The other one wants love or a one-night stand. Neither of them mentions directly what he or she wants. They pretend to make casual small-talk, but each one is actually trying to manipulate the conversation in order to reach his or her secret goal. Write the conversation.

6) Creative writing ideas - young decorator

Parents comes home from a trip and discover that their teenager has redecorated the house while they were gone. The teenager tries to convince the parents that this was a good idea. One of the parents is partially convinced; the other one isn't. Write the conversation.

7) Creative writing ideas - dangerous suggestion

A man suggests to his girlfriend that she get cosmetic surgery. Write the conversation.

8) Creative writing ideas - reluctant roommate

Friend A thinks it would be great to share an apartment with Friend B. Friend B would rather die but wants to get out of this without hurting Friend A's feelings.

More ideas for creative writing

What would you like to do next?

Click here to see more story starters.

Click here for suggestions about where to find more ideas for creative writing.

Click here to find out about free CWN writing courses.

Click here for a list of CWN pages with creative writing prompts.

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