Story Ideas About Mistakes and More...

Below are some story ideas about mistakes. At the bottom of the page, you'll find links to writing prompts on a variety of topics.

1) Your character accidentally takes her husband's/wife's phone to work instead of his/her own. A text message comes through on the phone which appears to be a message from a lover. Is your character's husband/wife having an affair? Your character decides to find out. Pretending to be his/her husband/wife, your character sends a message back, proposing a meeting...

2) Your character is excited to be invited to a costume party where Chris will be too. For years, your character has loved Chris from afar, but she hopes that this party will provide an opportunity for them to get closer. When she arrives at the party, her eyes instantly go to a tall man dressed as a medieval knight whom she recognizes as Chris. The fact that they're both wearing masks makes her feel less shy, and she approaches him and starts a conversation. They spend the whole evening talking and dancing, and finally make a date for the following weekend. As she's leaving the party, she's shocked to find Chris sitting on the front porch, dressed as Elvis Presley. Who is the man she spent the evening with?

3) Your character lends his car to a friend, who then crashes it and dies. The police find that the brakes have been cut. Did someone attempt to murder your character and end up killing the wrong person? While the police suspect your character of murdering his friend, your character fears that someone else is trying to murder HIM. But who, and why?

4) One evening, your character's doorbell rings. A woman is standing at the door who looks very familiar, although at first your character can't recall who she is. Then your character realizes that she met this woman in the maternity ward seven years ago when they were both giving birth. The woman says that she's discovered a mistake was made in the hospital, and she was given the wrong baby. She saw a picture of your character's son on Facebook and noticed that he looks exactly like her own husband. She thinks her baby was switched with your character's and wants to have genetic tests done to find out for sure. She talks as if they could just fix the mistake by switching the children back. But your character's son is seven years old now, and your character loves him...


Story ideas about windows

1) Your character looks out his/her window and sees a light blinking on and off in one of the neighboring houses. The following night, your character sees the same thing. It looks like some kind of code...

2) Your character wakes up and is frightened to see a face peering in his/her window. "Let me in," the person gasps. "They're going to get me!"

3) Your character goes to look out his/her window, and his/her usual view has been mysteriously replaced by an unfamiliar landscape...

4) Every night, your character looks out his/her window and sees his/her neighbor standing in his/her own window. Your character finds this neighbor extremely attractive. Is the neighbor standing there on purpose, knowing that your character is watching? Or would s/he feel embarrassed if your character tried to speak or signal to him/her?

5) A pigeon lands on your character's windowsill, and your character sees that it has a note attached to its leg...


Story ideas about surprising revelations

1) While in the process of planning an elaborate wedding, your character suddenly realizes that he isn't in love with his fiancée -- he is in love with his future mother-in-law.

2) Your character suddenly develops the ability to hear other people's thoughts.

3) Your character is the only survivor of a house fire which killed his/her entire family. At first, your character, who suffered a head injury, remembers nothing that happened on the night of the fire. But, gradually, fragmented memories begin to return to your character, memories that suggest that your character set the fire intentionally, although your character doesn't understand why s/he would have done such a thing...

4) Your character learns that s/he was kidnapped as a baby by the couple s/he had always believed were his/her parents.

5) A fortuneteller informs your character that s/he has an important destiny. S/he gives your character several tasks to fulfill.


Summertime story ideas

1) The Summer Romance. On a summer holiday, your character flirts with an attractive stranger. Your character is already in a relationship and doesn't take this flirtation seriously, but the stranger does -- very, very seriously. After your character returns home, this person tracks your character down. And then they refuse to leave your character alone...

2) The Summer Job. Your character is grateful to get a summer job at a local shop -- they really need the money! But when merchandise starts disappearing from the shop, your character worries that the boss will think they are the thief...

3) The Summer Camp. Your character goes to summer camp (either as a camper or a counselor -- you decide). The first evening, your character is amused to hear a story that the camp is haunted. But then events pass that make them wonder if it's just a story after all....

4) The Summer Vacation. Your character is on vacation at... (you can choose some place where you'd like to be on vacation!). The hotel is lovely, but the walls are paper thin! The first night, your character overhears a conversation that makes them think the guest in the next room may be in trouble...


More summertime story ideas

1) The Summer Trip. Your character's spouse claims he's going to a business trip in Chicago. But your character discovers an email confirming his reservation at a fancy Paris hotel. Your character decides to book a room for herself at the same hotel and find out what her spouse is up to.

2) The Summer Job. After your character takes a summer job at a pizzeria, multiple customers who received pizza deliveries die of arsenic poisoning. The investigation uncovers that pizzas made by your character contained arsenic. Your character is now suspected of murder. What complicates your character's situation even further is that one of the victims turns out to be your character's ex.

3) Summer Sports. While scuba diving, your character encounters the ghost of a drowned girl. The ghost has a message, and a mission, for your character.

4) The Summer Romance.  After a painful breakup, your character goes on vacation alone and meets an attractive stranger who has also recently come out of a relationship. There is powerful chemistry between your character and this stranger, but as things progress between them, wounds from both of their past relationships begin to cause problems. And then, unexpectedly, your character's ex shows up at your character's hotel wanting to get back together. Your character doesn't know whether to return with the ex or to pursue the new romance.


Sizzling hot story prompts

1) A nurse attends a patient who, delirious with fever, reveals the details of a murder. No one else in the hospital takes the patient seriously, but the next day the nurse begins to investigate and everything the patient said appears to be true. The patient, whose fever has abated, now claims to have no knowledge of the things he said...

2) Write a steamy love story about two people who meet on a small, uninhabited island which they each decided to visit after reading a book that mentions a treasure hidden somewhere on the island...

3) Your character questions their marriage after a house fire where your character's spouse seemed more concerned about saving the family pet then about saving your character...

4) It's too hot to sleep indoors, so your character sleeps outside on the roof of their apartment building. In the middle of your night, your character is visited there by someone who might be an attractive new neighbor, or might be a ghost...


Story ideas about summer vacations

1) By a terrible coincidence, your character is seated on a plane behind their ex and their ex's new lover. The ex and the lover enter into a loud argument, and your character has such strong opinions that they find it impossible not to get involved...

2) On a fishing trip, your character's hook catches on something much more interesting than a fish...

3) Due to a mix-up at a hotel, your character is assigned the same room as another guest. The room has two beds, and there are no other rooms available, so your character and the stranger agree to share. Your character immediately feels attracted to this stranger, but also quickly develops the feeling that this person is hiding something...

4) As adults, your character and their siblings decide to revisit a vacation spot where they used to go as children. It is your character's first time back in many years, and the setting stirs up memories of an event that your character had completely forgotten. The event is so surprising or disturbing that your character questions whether these memories are real. Your character wants to ask the siblings but is also afraid of how they might respond...

5) Your character is a housekeeper at a hotel who is sent to clean up a mess that looks suspiciously like a crime scene. Your character's manager brushes off your character's concerns and refuses to call the police. Your character decides to take matters into their own hands...


Story ideas about professions

1) A fortuneteller reads a customer's cards. The card suggest that the customer is a dangerous person who is a mortal threat to the fortuneteller. The fortuneteller lies to the customer and then tries to come up with a plan to save their own life...

2) J. has been lying to their parents about many aspects of their life. When the parents announce they're coming to visit, J. hires your character, an unemployed actor, to play the role of J.'s spouse and convince their parents that all the lies are true. But the job becomes complicated in ways your character hadn't bargained for...

3) Your character has accepted a job as a ghostwriter for W., who wants to write a spy thriller. But the more your character discusses the novel's plot with W., the more your character suspects that W. might be an actual spy working for a foreign government...

4) When a marriage counselor falls in love with one of their client's, they are tempted to sabotage the client's marriage instead of trying to save it...

5) Your character's a physicist who may have discovered a way to alter the space-time continuum and edit events that happened in the past. Your character's colleagues warn your character that messing with the past could have disastrous effects on the present. But your character is reluctant to give up the project -- especially because there's a particular mistake in their own past that they desperately want to fix...


More story ideas

1) Your character has a parrot that can repeat words that it hears. Lately, it has picked up some disturbing language. It sounds as if it's threatening your character! Who has been teaching it these phrases?

2) Your character is having dinner with her best friend Kate and Kate's boyfriend James. At one point, when Kate is out of the room, James tries forcefully to kiss your character, who pushes him away just before Kate returns. Later that evening, Kate announces that she and James are engaged to be married. Your character doesn't know what to do. She feels as if she should warn Kate, but she's afraid Kate will never forgive her for destroying her happiness. At the end of the evening, James proposes that the three of them should spend the weekend together at his family's beach house. "What a great idea!" Kate says...

3) The bus drops off your young character and his friends at summer camp. They walk up the drive to the cabins and find them deserted. The main lodge is empty too. No one seems to be here at all...

4) Walking past the windows of a café, your character is startled to see his/her former boyfriend/girlfriend Chris. But that's impossible! Chris died several years ago -- at least, that's what your character had believed...

5) During a pandemic, your character decides to shelter in place with a new friend. But, after just one day of isolation together, your character begins to see a side of this friend that s/he'd never expected...

6) After your character breaks up with his/her romantic partner, your character's beloved pet goes missing. Your character suspects the ex of having kidnapped the pet, but the ex claims to know nothing about the pet's whereabouts. Your character will do whatever it takes to get the pet back...

7) In a dystopian future, reading and writing are outlawed. Your character forms a secret literary society...

8) Your young character is taken into a new foster home. The foster parents explain to your character that s/he reminds them of their own son/daughter who died years ago. They put your character in the dead child's bedroom and encourage your character to wear the dead child's clothes. Sometimes they even call your character by the dead child's name. Your character has a creepy feeling that they want him/her to BE the child who died...

9) When a relationship counselor falls in love with one of her clients, she begins hoping that the client's marriage will fail. During their therapy sessions, she's tempted to sabotage the marriage...


Story ideas- next steps

If you join our free e-mail group, we'll send you story ideas and writing tips by e-mail. Here are some more pages with writing prompts:

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