Specific experiences, incidences, or imaginations give the ideas for writing a short story. Many a time, writers run out of these sources of inspiration while feeling themselves exhausted. If you are one of these writers who need some fresh and bright ideas and your deadline is running out, the below story writing prompts will surely help you. Additionally, if you are being tormented by the blank Microsoft Word document “staring” at you because you have a writing block or undergo a creative slowdown, our prompts for short stories and the list of ideas will come in handy for you.
Here is the short story ideas’ list that will help trigger your imagination:
- An abandoned briefcase, a crowded airport, and a bomb squad.
- An ex-girlfriend, a wife, and Valentine’s Day.
- An innocent girl, a party invitation, and a cunning boy.
- A violent father, a secret diary, and suicide.
- The end of high school, a boyfriend, and a girlfriend.
- An insolent boss, resignation, and a new job.
- A new student, bullies, and a suspension.
- A horoscope, a planned wedding, and a breakup.
- A group of campers, fire, and loud screams.
- A street, peppermint, and a lady’s bag.
However, it might be difficult for some writers to patch up the related elements of short story ideas presented above. Therefore, we further simplify the task: see our elaborated short story writing prompts below.
- A housekeeper is cleaning her master’s room and finds a letter with the master’s long-hidden family secret.
- After a visit to butchery near the street corner, your character unpacks the meat and finds a kilogram of cocaine stuffed into it, and a note saying, “call the police and die; store the package and live”.
- A boss invites an employee and his wife to his house for dinner. During dinner, the boss insults the employee on several occasions. Later, the boss flirts with his employee’s wife.
- In the recent past, your character has been an alcohol addict. Lately, he has agreed to attend counseling sessions to control and stop his addiction. Recently, his best friend from college arrived in the town driven by the desire to relive some of their college experiences, which was characterized by partying and heavy alcohol consumption.
- Your character is from a staunch Catholic family. He has been having problems with his wife, and they have agreed to divorce. He plans to tell his parents of the occurrence, but he knows they will not accept the decision.
- A strange man approaches your character that he is from a modeling agency. He offers the character money so that she accompanies him to a hotel, where he will take her photos needed by his employer. Your character is suspicious of this man but agrees to go with him to a hotel because she needs the money.
- Your character suspects that his wife is cheating on him. He spies on her. Surprisingly, he finds that his wife spends most of her time in an elderly home.
- Your character is walking along a busy street in the afternoon. Suddenly, a man elbows her, snatches her purse, and runs away. She gets up and runs after the man. The pursuit ends in an abandoned, lonely warehouse.
- A mother is cleaning her teenage son’s bedroom. In the process, she finds a package of marijuana under his son’s bed. Later, when her son arrives home, she confronts him. Instead of being remorseful, the son smiles at her and hands her $2000. He asks her to keep her revelation secret because his activities will now pay the bills; put food on the table; and kick out their poverty.
- A man attends a garage sale. There, he purchases an antique urn that he intends to use to decorate his bookcase. Unfortunately, upon arrival at home, he discovers that the urn has the ashes of someone.
- A Christian missionary visits your character’s home. Your character welcomes the missionary because she is a believer too. Later, she goes into the kitchen to prepare tea and snacks for her missionary guest. 5 minutes later, when she comes back from the kitchen, she does not find her guest, and the expensive painting that hung on the wall is also missing.
- Your character catches his business rival cheating on his wife. Your character knows that his rival needs his wife for the survival of his business. Your character promises not to reveal his rival’s dirty secret in exchange for a favor.
- Your character, who has lived in New York City since birth, travels to London to visit his childhood friend, who had emigrated to London. One evening when walking with his friend along the streets of London, he bumps into a young man, who looks precisely like him. He and the man realize they are identical twins.
- Your character is an ambitious young woman who hopes to achieve success by moving to the city. She leaves her country home and decides to hitchhike to the city. She boards a truck, heading to the city, driven by a skinny hairy man. The man convinces her to stay with him while she tries to find her feet in the city.
- Your character is an orphan teenage mother. She has no job. She is finding it difficult to pay for her rent and bills. She is also finding it difficult to feed her child. Officers from the child support have come for her child. They need to put the child for adoption. The teenage mother does not want to be separated from her child.
- Your character and her boyfriend are walking along a street while holding each other’s hand. Suddenly, two scary men, carrying bats, appear in front of them. The men demand the couple to part with their cash, phones, and jewelry. Your character’s boyfriend takes to his heels leaving her all alone. Your character’s boyfriend behavior is likely to present problems in their relationship.
The short story ideas and the short story writing prompts presented above provide some useful insights for writing a short story. They make the development of plots easier for writers. Think of them, and you will surely find one that will inspire you. Remember, ideas can also act as a topic generator. You can develop a topic from any ideas chosen above.