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WRITER'S BLOCK-BUSTERS

Sometimes, writers get stuck and just thinking about writing creates so much mental and emotional stress that every word is effort.

This is writer's block.  

 

It's okay, writer's block is normal; every writer suffers this torture at some point. If you're looking to break free of this stressful time, or even if you're  bored or lacking inspiration, check out the block-buster prompts below.

Most of the prompts on this page can inspire a range of prose genres and poetry styles. We set the series prompts aside for those who enjoy creating longer works. 

 

This page is open to any writer with a free Writer's Workout membership. Anyone may use these prompts for their own purposes. 

Please credit The Writer's Workout if one of our prompts inspired a piece you publish. 

Better Writer subscribers may submit their creations as their monthly feedback option.

We will update this page as often as possible. 

Good luck, writer!

Prose and Poetry

These prompts are in no particular order. You'll find suggestions below each prompt to push you creatively; prose suggestions focus on strengthening the Core Concepts while poetry suggestions target emotional expression. 

 

If something you publish was inspired by a Writer's Workout prompt, please credit our nonprofit organization to help spread the word about this amazing resource.

Your character’s new home is haunted.

  Prose: focus on horror tropes

  Poetry: show fear 

Your character finds a magical item in an ordinary place.

  Prose: focus on description

  Poetry: show wonder

Your group of adventurers splits up.

  Prose: focus on fantasy tropes

  Poetry: show anxiety

Your character explains their family tree to a non-relative.

  Prose: focus on a backstory

  Poetry: show nostalgia

  Add a frenemy

 

Your character cooks a special dish.

  Prose: focus on show, don't tell

  Poetry: show joy

Your character explores the world from someone else’s point of view.

  Prose: focus on out-of-body perspective

  Poetry: show compassion

  Explore the body-swap trope

Your character takes something that doesn’t belong to them.

  Prose: focus on description

  Poetry: show thrill

Your character is forced to move homes.

  Prose: focus on description

  Poetry: show despair 

 

Your character is on the hunt for something specific. 

  Prose: focus on perspective 

  Poetry: show longing 


 

Your character explains the story behind their nickname.

  Prose: focus on backstory 

  Poetry: show nostalgia


 

Your character goes back in time to undo a mistake but makes the future much worse.

  Prose: focus on cohesion

  Poetry: show defeat 


 

A secret society seeks new members.

  Prose: focus on thriller tropes 

  Poetry: show anticipation

  Add the symbols hidden in plain sight trope


 

Your character creates a companion for themselves.

  Prose: focus on dialogue 

  Poetry: show inner peace

 

Your character is immortal and witnessing the final moments of the universe.

  Prose: focus on character development 

  Poetry: show loss


 

Your character is falsely accused.

  Prose: focus on dialogue

  Poetry: show fear

 

Your character finds or receives a family heirloom with special properties.

  Prose: focus on backstory

  Poetry: show surprise

 

Your character creates an elaborate lie to avoid punishment.

  Prose: focus on cohesion 

  Poetry: show smug

 

Your character finds themselves living the same day over again.

  Prose: focus on foreshadowing 

  Poetry: show confusion

  Add the frozen clock trope


 

Your character loses themselves in something they love.

  Prose: focus on pacing 

  Poetry: show love

 

Your character attempts to become a costumed superhero.

  Prose: focus on thriller tropes

  Poetry: show anticipation

  Add a rural setting

Your character must learn a new skill in a short amount of time.

  Prose: focus on character development

  Poetry: show stress

 

Someone from your character’s past delivers an important message.

  Prose: focus on backstory

  Poetry: show surprise

 

Your character wakes up on the opposite side of the world.

  Prose: focus on cohesion

  Poetry: show wonder

 

Write a story about an ordinary trip turning into a fantastic adventure.

  Prose: focus on pacing

  Poetry: show curiosity

 

Your character duels an opponent to the death.

  Prose: focus on pacing

  Poetry: show pride


 

Your character makes their last creative work.

  Prose: focus on character development

  Poetry: show reminiscence

 

Your character gets a raise at work but it’s less than they feel they deserve.

  Prose: focus on perspective

  Poetry: show anger

 

Your character fixes something they broke.

  Prose: focus on cohesion

  Poetry: show panic

 

What happened outside the frame when the photographer snapped the shot?

  Prose: focus on show, don’t tell

  Poetry: show surprise

 

Your character writes a letter to someone they know. 

  Prose: focus on perspective

  Poetry: show awe

 

Your character dies but the afterlife doesn’t live up to the hype.

  Prose: focus on description

  Poetry: show frustration

 

Write a story about a tree.

  Prose: focus on description 

  Poetry: show peace

 

Two of your character’s friends are fighting.

  Prose: focus on pacing

  Poetry: show annoyance

 

Your character discovers a strength they didn’t know they had.

  Prose: focus on character development

  Poetry: show empowerment

  Add the antihero character archetype


 

Your character has a huge ego and falls from grace.

  Prose: focus on show, don’t tell

  Poetry: show sorrow

 

Your character finds a strange object.

  Prose: focus on foreshadowing

  Poetry: show curiosity

 

After years apart, you character is reintroduced to someone from their past.

  Prose: focus on dialogue

  Poetry: show nostalgia

 

Your character wins a very large prize.

  Prose: focus on foreshadowing

  Poetry: show shock

 

Your character finds out they can become invisible.

  Prose: focus on show, don't tell 

  Poetry: show wonder

 

Your character starts a new job. 

  Prose: focus on dialogue

  Poetry: show intimidation

  Add a high-level responsibility position

Novellas

Series Prompts: novellas

If longer works are more your speed, check out these novella-length prompt series. Each prompt in the series is designed to inspire a scene or small section of a longer work. The prompts fit together in various orders to create a unique story each time. 

Links open a Google Doc; genre definitions are just suggestions. 

Series 1: Drama

Series 2: Noir

Series 3: Romance

Looking for even more prompt series? Click here.

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