Story Ideas About Habits

Looking for short story ideas? Below are some story starters about habits. We also have hundreds of other creative writing prompts on our website about every imaginable topic. You'll find links lower down on the page.

1) Your character has decided to murder his/her stepmother. You decide why -- your character feels that s/he has a good reason. The stepmother happens to be a compulsive nail-biter. Your character obtains some arsenic and buys a bottle of red nail polish...

2) Your character plays a sport professionally (you decide which sport). Your character has a lucky charm, an old coin that was a gift from his/her father, which s/he always touches before a game. Your character believes that this ritual is the secret of his/her athletic success. Your character has a big game coming up. An opponent that your character will be playing against hears about the lucky charm and steals it. Your character is sure that if s/he can't touch the charm before the game, s/he will lose badly. S/he needs to get it back. But how?

3) Your character's new boyfriend has a habit which drives her crazy. They'll be out to dinner or at a movie or alone in your character's apartment, and the boyfriend keeps texting on his phone. When your character complains about this behavior, the boyfriend says that an emergency has come up at work; however, your character's beginning to suspect he's seeing another woman. One night when the boyfriend falls asleep, your character slips the phone out of his jeans pocket to investigate. Most of the messages are to someone named P.T., and when your character opens one of them, she's surprised by what she finds. It's a photograph of her, your character, at a restaurant where she went with her boyfriend! The other messages contain more photographs of your character and reports on her actions and behavior. What is going on?

4) Your character is songwriter... or used to be. After some brief success, your character has had a long dry spell without inspiration when s/he just can't come up with a good melody. One day, a new neighbor moves into the apartment next door to your character's. This neighbor spends the whole day humming -- the wall between the apartments are paper-thin, and your character can hear her perfectly. The neighbor hums melodies that your character doesn't recognize, but they're catchy and appealing and they stick in your character's head. After a week of listening to the neighbor, your character meets her face-to-face for the first time. They take the elevator together; the neighbor, as usual, is humming. "What is that song?" your character asks. "Oh, it's not a real song," the neighbor responds. "It's just something that came to me." It suddenly occurs to your character that s/he's sitting on a gold-mine. If your character wrote down the neighbor's melodies, s/he's sure they would sell, and your character's song-writing career would be back on track. But that would be stealing, wouldn't it? The temptation is powerful...

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