Writing Prompts #2

Writing Prompts #2

A Lesson by Jodi Eaton

These are prompts you may choose for your journal freewrites done in class.


Go out to dinner with a friend, and as soon as you get home, write in that person’s voice, beginning with something the person said.

What’s stored in your closet?

The toy you most treasured.

The next sound you hear and what caused it.

Pick a country, and imagine we’ve been at war with it for fourteen years. Write a love story set in that world.

A soldier is about to embark upon a mission that she knows will kill her.

Write from the perspective of a historical figure like Franklin Roosevelt, Marilyn Monroe, or Jack the Ripper.

There are often three reasons for something: the reason we tell others, the reason we tell ourselves, and the real reason. Write about the war among the three.

You’re having lunch with a friend. Your friend gets a call in the middle of the meal. Write just your friend’s part of the conversation.

Describe one of your bad habits and why you secretly get joy out of it.

A child needs to do one thing over and over to calm himself down when the adults get angry. What does he do? How did he learn it?

Start a story with the line, “When I confronted him, he denied that he’d ever said it.”

A tree from the point of view of one of its leaves

What nobody ever said to you

The car your father drove

Your bedroom from the point of view of a stranger forced to occupy it for a week

You are a private investigator. You’ve been following a cheating husband for a month. Write the report to your client—an emotionally unstable wife—telling her what you did and what you’ve learned.

You wake up by the side of the road lying next to a bicycle, with no memory and no wallet. What happens in the next hour?

Write a story that starts with a piece of gossip.

What your desk thinks about at night

A kid in your grade whom you don’t know very well shows up at your house one day to tell you something important. What does he look like? What does he say?

What would you shoplift

Her secret obsession

You bring someone back from the dead. Who is it?

You get to be any singer you choose and sing one song in a live concert.

Write stage directions for an actor that insult him or her personally all along the way.

The first time you were worried that you had come off sounding racist

Think of an object that describes you. Describe it.

Make a case for your favorite fruit.

Write an anonymous letter to a stranger detailing the things you’ve learned about life.

An e-mail that you inadvertently sent to someone who wasn’t supposed to see it.

The most troubling phone call you hope you never receive

Set something on fire.

What is the place or object from your childhood that you most think about when you think about home?

Describe a room in your house.

The first lie you were caught in.

Where you wish you were

The carpenter who brought candy

Your favorite piece of playground equipment

You track down an old boyfriend/girlfriend.

You realize you have inadvertently become a stalker.

You have a dream that you’ve murdered someone. Who is it, how and why did the murder happen, and what happens afterward?

Ten years from now, you meet up with an old friend you haven’t seen in a decade. Write the conversation you have.

The person in your life you’re most jealous of.

You are a serial killer. What TV shows are on your DVR list? Why?

The one thing you’re most ashamed of

A guilty pleasure



What you’ve kept

Who people think you are, compared to who you know you are

Put two characters, each of whom wants something from the other, in a room together. Neither of them is allowed to ask for it straight out. Give them five minutes with only dialogue to get what they want.

Write two prayers for your character: one to be said in private, one to be said in public.

You are lost in a foreign country. You can’t find anyone who speaks English. How do you react, and how do you find your own way?

Make a scene with a character exhibiting really bad behavior.

What you used to do that you don’t do anymore.

The people who will live in your house after you move out.

The corpse you saw in the undertaker’s window.

Write down the names of a person who haunts you from the grave,

A person who fascinated you, and a person you don’t understand. Put them together in a scene.

The kill fee

The person your mother always warned you about

Irresistible temptation

Start a story with: ‘This is what she wants most in the world.”

After the above prompt, try this: “She is lying. This is what she wants most in the world.”

Find a short story you haven’t yet read. Read the first two-thirds. Then pick up the story where it leaves off, and write its end.

Finish the sentence that begins “What I’ve always wanted to say is…”

What would you buy from the SkyMall catalog? Why?

What does writer’s block feel like?

Find a world map or globe, close your eyes, pick a spot. Write about a person arriving there for the first time.

What were you doing this time last year

An unexpected gift

Set your alarm for 3am, wake up, and write the first thing that comes to mind.

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Added on February 10, 2014
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Jodi Eaton
Jodi Eaton

Worthington, OH