Story Ideas - Creative Writing Prompts

Looking for story ideas? The suggestions on this page will help you come up with great stories. At the bottom of the page, you'll find links to hundreds of other creative writing prompts.

1) False Appearances

Here's an easy way to get fiction writing ideas. Just complete this magic phrase: "... was/were not what it/he/she seemed."


  • The new secretary was not what she seemed.
  • Their marriage was not what it seemed.
  • The job offer was not what it seemed.
  • The adoption agency was not what it seemed.
  • The gray house on the corner was not what it seemed.
  • Those lights in the sky were not what they seemed.
  • The hotel was not what it seemed.
Readers love mysteries, surprises, and intrigue. By letting them know that something or someone is not what he/she/it seems, you magically create the potential for all three.

Have lots of fun deciding how to use that potential.

2) Regrets

Another phrase that will help you produce stories is: "If only I/he/she/they had/hadn't..."


  • If only I hadn't left her alone that night ...
  • If only she had taken the rumors seriously...
  • If only he hadn't dropped that lottery ticket...
  • If only she hadn't stepped into that elevator with him...
  • If only I had listened to my instincts...
  • If only she hadn't picked up that locket...
  • If only he had brought a weapon...
  • If only she hadn't tried to kiss him...
These "If only... had/hadn't" sentences suggest that something has gone seriously wrong. And trouble is what makes stories interesting.

You can make the reader turn pages to find out how the character got into trouble in the first place. And readers will turn pages to see if the character gets out of trouble again.

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