The internet is so full of creative writing prompts for adults, that it can be a little overwhelming to choose.
Maybe you’re a new, aspiring writer, and you’re not sure where to get started. Perhaps you’re a seasoned writer looking for inspiration for a short story, novel, or even a micro fictional piece. Or, maybe you’re leading a creative writing class, and searching for the perfect starting point for a new exercise.
Whatever your goals and aspirations, searching for the right writing prompt can be exciting and daunting. It will always be hit and miss when searching for the right inspiration. That’s why, I’ve developed 10 creative writing prompts for adults that will get your imagination going.
Remember, you don’t have to stick to these prompts 100%. You can take bits and pieces that you like, and let the rest go. The point of creative writing prompts is to get your juices flowing and your fingers typing!
Creative Writing Prompt #1: City Surviving
Just imagine, the hustle and bustle of passersby on the sidewalks in the lively city of Manhattan, New York. I want you to create a character that is on a time crunch. They are in a hurry to get where they need to be, but everything is going wrong.
The subway is delayed, there are tons of pedestrians out on the street, traffic is backed up, and cars are butted up against one another.
It’s a wintery day and the wind is blistering cold. What is your character late for? Why are they late? How will they react to the challenges of getting to where they need to be?
Creative Writing Prompt #2: Rollaway Murder
Let’s take a step back into the wild west. Your character is a villain. The year is 1825 and the villain is using the train system to murder specific people of wealth. In setting the stage, the night is dark, and the passengers are getting ready for bed. They’re each slowly getting up out of their seats to go into their cabins to rest.
What is the backstory of your villain? Is there anything they’re doing effectively to keep from getting caught? Who are they murdering and why? Are the murders local to just one location or are they widespread throughout the west?
Creative Writing Prompt #3: Study Abroad Gone Wrong
This creative writing prompt will encourage you to do some research. I want you to choose a country you desperately want to visit, and search for the colleges within that country that seem interesting.
For this prompt, your character is either entering college for the first time, or returning to college after a long break. They are very excited but super nervous about traveling abroad. It’s something they’ve never done before, and they’re worried they won’t fit in.
What goes wrong when they land? How are they treated by others around them? Is there a language barrier?
What challenges do they overcome and how do they grow from their experiences? Do they stay and persevere, or do they fly back home as soon as they can?
Creative Writing Prompt #4: Accidental Love
Imagine you and your best friend made a pact to never fall in love. This was years prior to becoming adults. Your bond is deep, and every relationship you each have fails.
Do you fall in love with your best friend? Does your best friend love you as a friend or is it more meaningful than that? Maybe you pretend there are no feelings at all?
What happens in the future? Does the relationship diminish, or does it become accidental love?
Creative Writing Prompt #5: City of the Sea
It’s the biggest cruise of the year. Royal Caribbean International is doing a world tour and you were invited to write a story about your experience on the cruise. However, there’s a major storm that creeps up and drops over top of the Symphony of the Seas cruise ship.
Will there be another Titanic type situation? Does the ship flip over or will it sink? What happens, if anything at all?
Creative Writing Prompt #6: Science Experiment Win
Your character is a scientist experimenting with robotic things. The goal is to create the world’s first self-thinking robot that can move on its own without aid.
Is this goal successful? If so, what does the robot do? Does it stay and listen to the scientist or does it leave and wreak havoc among the city?
Creative Writing Prompt #7: Travel by Error
In setting the scene, your character is on their way to Hawaii. They arrive late to the airport and barely catch their flight. Here’s the catch, they get on the wrong plane and are headed to South Korea. They don’t realize they are headed to the wrong place until after the plane lifted off.
What will they do? Will they stay in South Korea for Vacation or try to catch a flight back home?
Creative Writing Prompt #8: Loneliness by Desire
For this prompt, I want you to test yourself with using foreshadowing and flashback. Your character has chosen to live deep in the woods due to something that happened in their past.
What was it that happened? They are in hiding and have the desire to not be found. Who are they hiding from? Experiment with scenes that happen in the present and in the past.
Creative Writing Prompt #9: A Game with a Deadly Twist
Your character was invited to a party where the playing of a game is the main event of the evening. With no idea how to play the game, you find out it is deadlier than you ever could have imagined.
What happens next? Who are the other characters who have been invited to this party? How do they relate to each other, and what goes wrong?
Creative Writing Prompt #10: 2030 Dystopian Paradise
The year is 2030. Society has changed. Government has been reworked and rewritten. Everything has been burnt to the ground through unrest and bombings.
In this post-apocalyptic era, your character is trying to survive and overthrow the new ruler of the dystopian society.
Let These Creative Writing Prompts Sweep You Away
When you sit down to write, or to lead a writing group, let these creative writing prompts inspire you. Most importantly, be curious to see where they’ll take you.
Remember, a creative writing prompt isn’t a time for judgement. Try not to judge your work as you go, but instead, use these prompts to generate material. You can use the results of your creative writing as a springboard for a longer piece, go back and comb through your work to find hidden gems buried in your first draft.
These creative writing prompts for adults are designed to help you unlock your creative potential; whether you’re writing a journal, leading a writing group, or starting your next novel.