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Your creative writing needs improvement.
You might not like to face that truth, but it is indeed a truth. I’ll go into more detail about that in a little bit but every writer out there needs improvement.
And one of the best ways to get better at creative writing is to challenge yourself by completing writing exercises.
What is Creative Writing?
Creative writing is typically fiction or poetry that uses imagination, creativity, and innovation in order to tell a story through strong written visuals with an emotional impact. It’s often seen as the opposite of journalistic or academic writing.
When it comes to writing, there are many different types. As you already know, all writing does not read in the same way.
Creative writing uses senses and emotions in order to create a strong visual in the reader’s mind whereas other forms of writing typically only leave the reader with facts and information instead of emotional intrigue.
Creative Writing Topics
If you’re looking for a few creative writing topics to dive into (which you’ll need if you’re going to use some of our top writing exercises), we have exactly what you need.
These are our top creative writing prompts all compiled for you.
Just fill out the form below and your writing prompts will be delivered promptly!
What are the Elements of Creative Writing?
In order to get better at creative writing, you have to understand the elements of what makes it great in the first place.
You can’t build a car engine without understanding how each part plays a role, right?
That’s the same case with writing.
Here are the elements that make up creative writing and why each is just as important as the other.
Examples of Creative Writing
Since creative writing covers such a wide variety of writing, we wanted to break down the different types of creative writing out there to help you make sense of it. You may know that novels are considered creative writing, but what about memoirs?
We’ve compiled a list of the different creative writing types to help you see the difference within each, even though they’re all considered creative writing.
|Fiction||Novels/Novellas/Short Stories and more. This is creative writing involving characters, themes, plots, and imagination.|
|Plays||This creative writing type is acted out on stage with actors, sets, and an audience captivated by the plot and characters.|
|Poetry||Poetry is typically prose written elegantly with distinct messages and themes.|
|Movies/TV Shows||Actors are filmed on screen, which they read from the script. This script and the overall story is creative writing.|
|Memoirs||Memoirs are nonfiction composed of a creative and intriguing telling of one's life with clear messages and themes within.|
|Songs||Often sang and played to music, this form of creative writing focuses on lyrics combined with music in order to invoke emotion from the listeners.|
9 Creative Writing Exercises to Get Better
Writing is just like any other skill. You have to work at it in order to get better.
It’s also much like other skills because the more you do it, the stronger you become in it. That’s why exercising your creative writing skills is so important.
The best authors out there, including Stephen King, recommend writing something every single day. These writing exercises will help you accomplish that and improve your talent immensely.
#1 – Describe your day with creative writing
This is one of my favorite little exercises to keep my writing sharp and in shape.
Just like with missing gym sessions, the less you write, the more of that skill you lose. Hannah Lee Kidder, a very talented author and Youtuber, gave me this writing exercise and I have used it many times.
#2 – Description Depiction
If you’re someone who struggles with writing descriptions or you just want to get better in general, this exercise will help you do just that – and quickly.
In order to improve your descriptions, you have to write them with a specific intention.
With this exercise, the goal is to write your description with the goal of showing the reader as much as you can about your character without ever mentioning them at all.
#3 – Edit your old writing
Believe it or not, editing does count as writing and can actually sharpen those creative writing skill more than you think.
It can be a little scary to pull up a story you wrote last week or even two years ago and tear it apart. But that’s exactly what I want you to do.
Check out this video of me editing my old writing in order to replace weak verbs with stronger, better ones to get a taste of what this can look like and how it can help you get better.
#4 – Voice Variations
One of my favorite parts of writing is giving unique voices to each character. I believe that’s what truly brings them to live. Their dialogue as the power to pull readers in, or push them out of the book completely.
Obviously, you want the former.
During this exercise, your focus will be to pick 4 different emotional states and write dialogue and narrative of how your character feels and interprets those feelings.
#5 – Single Senses
Creating strong visuals is one of the most powerful ways to become a great creative writer. In fact, practicing this will help you craft books that really hook readers.
This exercise’s goal is to help you develop writing the senses in ways that not only make sense, but are also imaginative and unique.
#6 – Dialogue Destruction
During this exercise, you will learn a lot about how to shape a scene using entirely dialogue.
Now, this isn’t something you’ll always do in your writing, but it’s very important to know how to move a scene forward using dialogue if you need to.
This will also help you understand how to show and not tell in creative writing.
#7 – Tell the origin story of the Tooth Fairy
This writing exercise will really help you think creatively about something a large part of the world knows about.
However, you have to think of a very unique, interesting way of presenting this common idea. The purpose of this is to help you dig deeper within your own story and plot in order to come up with the very best, most unique ideas – because that is what will stand out in your book.
#8 – Thematic Attic
This is a fun one! The idea behind this creative writing exercise is to focus on interpreting themes through story.
Since all creative writing has an underlying theme behind it, it’s really important for you to be able to accurately depict that theme throughout the story you’re telling.
Otherwise, it can get lost. Not knowing the theme can often leave readers feeling unsatisfied – and rightfully so.
#9 – Break Language Barriers
This isn’t quite what you think it is. So no, we will not be creating new languages with this exercise.
Instead, we’ll be working on using unique language to describe very common, everyday occurrences and experiences.
One of the beauties of creative writing is that you have the power to change the way someone sees the world. You can make it more appealing and special to them – if you know how.
This exercise will help you develop the skill of using a unique narrative within your story.
Turn Your Creative Writing Idea into a Novel & PUBLISH!
Now that you’re more ready than ever to produce a high quality book, it’s time to take action.
You don’t want to miss out on all he has to offer because once you watch this, you’ll be able to put these creative writing exercises to use.
What are some creative writing exercises you use to get better? Drop your thoughts in the comments below!
Picture this: your imagination is a match…and you need to light it.
There are a number of different methods of setting a match ablaze. You can swipe it on the ground, against a rough surface, use your own nail, or even light it with another match that’s already burning.
But the best (and easiest) way? Striking it against the matchbox it came in. That’s what it’s for, after all.
Creative Writing Prompts are Your Matchbox
All you need is one writing prompt to light your imaginative fire and you can burn through a book idea, formulating the plot and all with just a single prompt. You can even write a powerful short story with a small prompt!
And that’s exactly what we’re here to help you with.
You know what you want to write about: life’s happenings, a tragedy in your life, a deep memoir, magic, advanced science, realistic contemporary stories, but you just can’t figure out how to go from the genre and an inkling of a character idea to a full-blown novel plot.
While writing prompts are amazing for pushing your creative boundaries and filling you with new book ideas – along with a hope that you can actually write an incredible book – they’re only good for that.
They don’t help you write, improve your writing, market, or publish the book. Rude, I know!
But that’s why we’re here.
200+ CREATIVE WRITING PROMPTS FOR FICTION BOOK IDEAS
If you’re ready to take the plunge and finally start writing a book like you’ve always talked about, we can help you get started.
Something to keep in mind that fiction writing is largely driven by voice, style, characters, and your plot.
These are 100% original, never-before-seen writing prompts you won’t find anywhere else.
But the ones listed in this article are just a small taste of what we really have to offer.
If you want to really let your imagination run wild, download our master list of over 200 original fiction ideas and writing prompts for a number of different genres!
But if you’re ready to start right now, here are a few to set the creative wheel of your imagination in motion so you can find your writing style and master your craft.
Fantasy Writing Prompts
Fantasy is all about magic, creatures, and abilities. The possibilities with a fantasy world are nearly endless.
You can literally make up anything you want. This is why fantasy is my preferred genre to write in.
Here are some original writing prompts for you:
#1 – A character finds an odd-looking egg in the forest. When they take it home, they never could have predicted what was inside it.
#2 – This character has always had the ability to change how they looked, and so they hid their true appearance behind attractive façades. Now, their abilities aren’t working, exposing what they truly look like.
#3 – The once peaceful water dwellers have suddenly declared war on a settlement that was its only true ally. Your character has no idea why and is thrust into the war against their will.
#4 – Magic is the norm. Some excel at it, some are only okay, and others are against it completely, despite being able to use it. Your main character is the latter.
#5 – Time has always been a constant in a world where reality can be warped and stretched. Then your character, through research and hard work, discovers you can even alter time.
#6 – Your character researches untouched societies as a living. While deep in the jungle on an assignment, they accidentally allow themselves to be seen by someone from the society, a big no-no. What that person is capable of is beyond the world your character knew existed.
#7 – Your character’s world is dying. The actual earth is sick and killing all the plants and probably life as they know it.
#8 – One of your characters has magic. The other wants nothing more than to have magic. How far is that one person willing to go to make that magic theirs?
Tips for Writing with Fantasy Book Ideas:
Fantasy is a wildly popular genre. There are countless fantasy worlds out there and that means you really have to focus on being unique within your world.
Here are a few ideas to do just that:
- Create 100% unique cultures
- Avoid these worldbuilding mistakes
- Develop slang for your world based on what’s popular/trending/makes sense with the time it takes place
- Do NOT use common phrases like “train of thought” if trains don’t exist in your world
- Use unique names
- Don’t forget about diversity!
- Opt for an unexpected and different journey and outcome (many fantasy novels follow a similar formula)
- Write what you want to read!
- Schedule your writing time and follow those deadlines if you really want to finish
Sci-Fi Writing Prompts
Are you one who loves advanced technology, diseases, and even space travel? If so, science fiction writing is right up your alley.
When it comes to creating new technologies and advanced societies, you really have to think outside the box.
Here are some sci-fi writing prompts to help you do that.
#1 – Your main character wakes up in a space pod alone…next to a ship so massive it’s actually carrying a planet beneath it. Your character has no memory from before they wake.
#2 – Your character lives in a world where every single person’s DNA is carefully genetically designed for something to help the community. Your main character despises what they were created for. This has never happened before.
#3 – Your character lives on a planet other than Earth. In fact, they don’t even know Earth exists. Well, they didn’t until some sort of advanced, technical probe crash-landed in their settlement, exposing the fact that they’re not alone. Now they have to decide what’s best for their settlement.
#4 – The world used to be plagued with war and famine and inhumanity. But after years and years of developing a technical system that is the center of and controls everything, it’s almost completely peaceful. Your character is the engineer keeping the system running and when they uncover how it works, they contemplate abandoning everything they know.
#5 – The newest advancement in virtual reality adds physical sense. Now your characters can even hook up with people through your phone, all while staying at home. But when a glitch alters the mechanisms, what was once pleasure becomes pain and the user gets trapped in a VR state.
#6 – They’ve been keeping your character alive for over 300 years because of a secret they know. When someone new finally learns the truth, reality becomes…confusing. Now, with only a short adulthood left to live, your character must ensure nobody else learns of this secret. But…well, news spreads fast.
#7 – They didn’t mean to, but in an attempt to build a time traveling machine, your character actually discovered alternate universes – and then accidentally trapped themselves there. Oh, and this alternate universe hasn’t discovered electricity yet.
#8 – Your character lives in an ancient society. When a shiny, unnatural looking contraption touches down and creatures emerge, everything they once knew changes.
Tips for Writing with Sci-Fi Book Ideas:
This genre is another very popular one, and for good reason. You can imagine a realistic, yet very different future than what we currently have.
But you also want to make sure to remember a few of these guidelines when creating your science fiction world:
- Decide if the story will take place in this world or a completely unique one
- Create realistic advanced technology that your characters would actually use
- Avoid modern-day slang unless the story takes place here
- Create your own slang. A great example of this is in Jenna Moreci’s sci-fi novel, EVE: The Awakening pictured below)
“Dynamic” is the slang the author created in this instance. It fits with the sci-fi world and further creates a sense of realism and it pulls the reader deeper into the world.
Dystopian Writing Prompts
As this genre gains more and more popularity, you may find yourself wondering what a certain post-apocalyptic world might look like.
Why not write about it?
Here are some creative writing prompts to help you form a dystopian society anyone will want to read about.
#1 – A character finds an odd-looking egg in the forest. When they take it home, they never could have predicted what was inside it.
#2 – Natural farming doesn’t exist anymore. Due to climate change, all food has to be manufactured in bulk and distributed. There is no flavor and is the same every day. Your character, who has spent their entire life in this world, takes a trip to the mountains far away from their home. There, they discover real plants, and on them, berries.
#3 – Nature extremists take over the government, stopping at nothing to ensure all man-made harm on the planet is eradicated. Your character ends up in their clutches, forced to do their bidding.
#4 – Due to climate change, wildfires have engulfed the large majority of living land. Your character is one of many attempting to board a ship set for a new in-ocean settlement. The problem? That settlement doesn’t actually exist.
#5 – After a devastating illness that rocked only the wildlife population over 200 years ago, a scientist created a virus that strengthens animal’s immune systems with the purpose of creating balance and stabilizing the wildlife population once again. The problem is that it worked too well and the wildlife has exceeded (and reduced) the world’s population
#6 – After a devastating storm that encompassed the entire world, the population has thinned significantly and your character, who lost all of their family but their youngest sibling, has to go up against the new “government” with a group of allies as they attempt to gain control over the living population of the world – in the worst way.
#7 – Over the course of a few hundred years, cases of depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses caused the death and destruction of generations. Then an airborne substance was created to balance all levels of each person so they’re created 100% equal in every way. Turns out, your character is immune to the substance.
#8 – The third World War is done and over with for many years now. It was the downfall of the world’s economic system. Now your main character must navigate a world where governments no longer exist, money is useless, and survival is the only objective. Oh, and they have a debilitating medical condition to look after, too.
Tips for Writing with Dystopian Book Ideas:
Dystopian novels are one of the biggest trends sweeping the literary world. With books like The Handmaid’s Tale stirring more post-apocalyptic stories, it’s easy to get stuck in the same mindset as many other dystopian novelists.
Here are a few things to keep in mind if you want to write dystopian:
- Think way outside of the box
- Use elements from your story’s past to form their present
- Paint a very clear picture of everyday life for your character from the very first page
- Get creative with the laws, culture, and customs
- Don’t just “go with the flow”: The Handmaid’s Tale is so popular largely due to the fact that it’s unique. Not many people would have thought of a world that was overrun by a religion – and that’s what makes it so tantalizing; it’s unexpected.
Contemporary Writing Prompts
Some people don’t necessarily want to escape from this world. In fact, they just want to escape from their own life for a little bit but prefer to read something realistic, something they can relate to.
Contemporary writing is all about forming connections with readers.
Here’s who you can do just that with these creative writing prompts for your contemporary world.
#1 – Your character has done everything they’re told. They just graduated high school and are off to a very good college to get their degree in something reliable. But when they get there, they realize there’s a whole world of opportunity they never knew existed. Now they have to maintain the façade of going to college even though they decided to pursue a different endeavor.
#2 – Your character answers the door to nothing but an intricate envelope on the ground; an invitation. After attending the secret underground event, they become a part of the biggest activist group out there…and nobody even knows who they are.
#3 – While on a hike with friends, your main character discovers a small tower buried beneath the ground. After some digging, they realize it’s filled with scrolls they can hardly make out. What they contain will change your character’s view of life forever.
#4 – Your main character has been living a very sheltered, very dangerous life. After the death of their overbearing father, they’re thrust into the real world – only to realize just how different their life really is from those around them.
#5 – Your main character gets called out of school/work by someone they don’t know for something they are clueless about. But for some reason, the person addressing them thinks they already know everything about it.
#6 – As an artist, your main character has it well. But when everything they’ve worked for is burned in a tragic fire, they have to start all over with nothing to their name and a roommate determined to hold them back.
#7 – Life for your main character has never been easy. After venturing in and out of foster homes, they’re finally an adult and on their own. When their birth mother reaches out to reconnect, they never could’ve predicted what’s kept her away for so long. Now your character has to decide between getting involved with their real mother or cutting ties forever.
#8 – Death is a natural part of life. Your main character has been feared it or been affected by it. But when their best friend goes missing and their body shows up in front of their house, your character makes it their mission to find out who’s responsible – even if it means breaking the law…a lot of laws.
Tips for Writing with Contemporary Book Ideas:
I personally believe contemporary can be one of the hardest genres to write because you have the least wiggle room when it comes to creativity.
Everything has to be realistic in today’s society.
- “Realistic dialogue is important. All the characters should sound different from one another, their vernacular should make sense for their background, and the writer should read it out loud.”
- “Tiny details are hella dope in descriptions. It should be so specific and vivid that when the reader finishes the story, they feel like they’ve lost a bit of reality.”
- “Imagining characters complexly is also important. Work on understanding real people. If you understand people and why they do what they do, you can understand characters and what they do”
- Create a conflict many can relate to or sympathize with
- Spend a lot of time on the character arc as many contemporary novels are primarily character-driven
Contemporary Writing Exercise From Hannah Lee Kidder: Sit in public and pick a random person, then write a completely made up story on them.
Romance Writing Prompts
Romance is the most popular book genre out there right now. People love reading about love!
But that doesn’t mean you can think of any love story and get to work.
We’ve got some strong writing prompts that can kickstart a love story worth spending hours reading.
#1 –Your character has gone through life believing that love is a choice. Their decision? To never get involved because love can only lead to pain and hardship. But after an argument with a stranger, their view of love, and life itself, is changed.
#2 – Marriage is just what happens when you’ve been with someone forever. For your main character, that seems obvious. But when they’re months away from their wedding and an old friend barges into their life unannounced, a wedding seems like the furthest thing from their desires.
#3 – Your main character is up for a big promotion within their company. They’ve put everything on hold for it – including their love life. But when an outsider is hired instead, they lose it, focusing all their energy on bringing this newcomer down. They just didn’t think about the fact that they might end up liking them.
#4 – Your main character and their significant other have been together since childhood. After a war between their people rips them away from each other, they’ll have to fight, manipulate, and fool in order to get each other back.
#5 – A package is mailed to your main character. It’s filled with what seems like hundreds of letters all to a single person. Memories and confessions of love are penned within those letters. Your main character feels drawn to the person on the other end and sets out to find them – and the letter’s true destination.
#6 – Arranged marriages are the standard. In fact, nobody marries for love. Love doesn’t even exist in your character’s world. But when they’re drawn to someone who’s already spoken for, they start to question everything they know about love.
#7 – Your main character lives in a society of slavery. If you’re not born in a certain family, you’re shipped off and sold. When your character is sold for the 8th time in their short 20 years, then end up at one of the top houses – and become a personal servant to the next leader of their settlement. Soon, they’re enthralled in a romance that could get them both killed…because he’s already promised to another…a very dangerous other.
#8 – Cheating is wrong. Your character’s society puts emphasis on loyalty above anything else. In fact, cheating and betrayal of any kind in any relationship are punishable by life in prison (and even death in extreme cases). So why does something that’s been illegal for as long as they can remember feel so right when your character meets someone new? Avoiding jail just became the most difficult part of your character’s life.
Tips for Writing with Romance Book Ideas:
Even though romance is an extremely popular genre doesn’t mean you can be lazy when it comes to the actual romance and creative writing prompts isn’t always enough to help you develop a full-blown romance.
People read romance to be invested, to feel something real.
That’s why you have to remember these tips when writing romance in your novels:
- NEVER romanticize abuse as “love” (AKA, a jealous boyfriend should never be praised for “loving your character more” because this is harmful to readers)
- Create real chemistry by giving your characters qualities that would actually foster a connection
- Avoid “insta-love” by giving your characters time to bond and get to know each other
- Look out for serious romance cliches and overused plot lines like love triangles, forbidden romances (these can be great if done uniquely!), and crazy exes
- Continuously up the stakes whenever the reader gets comfortable with the relationship
Horror/Thriller Writing Prompts
Because being terrified is entertaining to some people, horror and thriller books exist and are quite popular!
The great thing about this genre is that you can get really creative and really dark.
If you gravitate toward writing terrifying, anxiety-inducing stories, here are some creative writing prompts to get the twisted part of your mind moving:
#1 – Your main character is home alone, just like most nights. This time, however, a new neighbor pays them a visit. And it wasn’t for the last time.
#2 – Eight murders have taken place in your character’s town in the past 8 weeks. Once a week, on the same day, at the same time. When your character gets abducted after being out past the town’s new curfew, they have only 48 hours to discover why this is happening and how to get free…all while being tortured by the murderer.
#3 – It’s a day of celebration in your character’s hometown! A 100-year-old time capsule is about to be opened, so of course they go, just like most of the town. When a deceased human hand with a sinister note attached to it is the only thing in the capsule, questions start to buzz. The first being, who is the person who wrote the note? Oddly enough, the note is written in your main character’s handwriting…with their signature…dated 82 years before they were even born.
#4 – Your main character suffers from a condition that gives them periodic blackouts for seemingly no reason. The only thing they can seem to remember from before each blackout is a bike. A red bike with a white basket and muddy tires. One day, they see that very bike leaning up against their house but this time, they don’t blackout.
#5 – Odd and unexplainable events are said to happen in a certain seaside town. Your main character takes it upon themselves to visit in an effort to see just how accurate the sightings are. What they find is beyond anything they imagined. But now they can’t seem to escape the town.
#6 – Your main character and a couple friends take a boat trip to a tiny, vacant, off-limits island for a night of celebration. When the sun goes down, they realize just how occupied the island actually is…and there’s a reason it’s off-limits.
#7 – Your main character is in therapy because whenever they close their eyes at night, they see (very vividly) someone’s tragic death. Some say it’s just their twisted imagination, their new therapist thinks it is something much, much different…and dangerous.
#8 – Your main character gets into an accident. While they make a seemingly full recovery, something has just been off inside their head since the crash. When they wake up next to a mutilated body in an unrecognizable place, they start to worry.
Tips for Writing with Horror and Thriller Book Ideas:
Scaring people so much so that they sweat while simply reading is a difficult task. You really have to focus on the structure of your writing in order to create that reaction.
Here are a few things to remember if you write horror and thriller:
- Building anticipation will be your #1 focus
- Readers need to feel surprised and scared so dig deep and get twisted
- Plot twists are a must; never let your characters or readers see what’s coming
- Continuously up the stakes
- Focus on building deep sympathy for your character from the very beginning. This will make the stakes seem even higher and increase tension, just as Stephen King does in his infamous novel, IT, pictured below.
Mystery Writing Prompts
Human curiosity is what makes this genre so incredibly popular. We always want to figure out what happened. Mystery books are natural page-turners because we just aren’t satisfied until we find out what happened.
But that can be difficult to create from nothing.
Here are some great mystery creative writing prompts to get your mind spinning in unknown directions.
#1 – Your character is 16 and just learned they were the last person to see their crush the night they were murdered. But when they come forward with these details, they become the new main suspect. They’re determined to solve their crushes murder or risk going to jail for something they didn’t do.
#2 – Recently, there’s been a number of abandoned cars scattered throughout the city. Nobody knows where they’re coming from and there’s not a single personal item in them. That is, until one is discovered with a freshly removed human scalp on the dashboard.
#3 – For the past month, your character has received a number of disturbing and detailed drawings in their mailbox. After chalking it up to immature kid stunts, they try to forget about it. But when the drawings come to life in brutal, horrific ways, they’re the only person who knows of the drawings and therefore, knows what one will come next.
#4 – Your character gets a DNA test for fun – just to see where they really come from. After becoming obsessed with one little detail, they soon discover a number of their ancestors from all over the world were once located in a single, unpopulated place; a gathering of sorts.
#5 – Your character’s spouse nearly falls through the door, beaten nearly to requiring hospitalization. When an unknown but distinct brand marking is discovered between their shoulder blades, your character has to find out who they are and why they did it.
#6 – A single member of each noble family has been murdered every week for the past two months. Your character is of a very noble household and can barely sleep each night. So they decide to find out who is responsible.
#7 – Your character’s religion has a talisman as old as the religion itself. After it goes missing, all fingers point to the chief’s oldest child of 19 years, engaged to the healer’s oldest child. But they never could’ve done it. They were (romantically involved) with your main character when the theft occurred.
#8 – Your main character wakes up every morning feeling as though they didn’t get more than a couple hours of sleep. After sleep studies, medications, and trying everything available, nothing seems to work. They decide to videotape a night of sleep to determine if maybe they’re sleepwalking. Turns out, they are. Except they seem completely conscious. In fact, in the video, they approach the camera, smirk, and walk away with a wave before disappearing for nearly the entire night.
Tips for Writing with Mystery Book Ideas:
Mystery is a very difficult genre to write. You have to ensure that you don’t give away too much information so the readers don’t figure it out.
These are some of our tips for writing mystery books:
- Make readers think they know what will happen by planting false foreshadowing along with real hints
- Make the antagonist very likable
- Juxtapose tense scenes with mellow ones to increase tension
- Keep the story moving forward always
NON-FICTION WRITING PROMPTS FOR BOOK IDEAS
I bet I know you.
You’re the type of person who has dreamt of writing a book for however many years, only held back by the lack of ideas – or good ideas, rather.
Or maybe you’re the type who has tons of ideas but aren’t sure if they’re worth pursuing.
It’s hard. I get it. A book is a big commitment and one you might actually want to go through with. But without having a clear idea of what to write about, that dream can seem too far out of reach.
But I’m telling you, it’s not.
In fact, using writing prompts can help you free your mind from its current constraints so you can explore ideas you might not have otherwise thought of yourself – in addition to a number of other benefits.
If you know what you really want already, then this list of over 200 nonfiction writing prompts is ready for YOU!
Nonfiction Writing Prompts for Good Book Ideas
It’s one thing to use a writing prompt, it’s another to ensure that idea is actually a good one. We put together a list of tried-and-true writing prompts that can help you understand what’s most important to you and what you should pursue.
While reading these, note which ones cause you to pause and think – if only for a moment longer than the rest.
Those are the ideas to ponder and create a mind map for.
Here are a few writing prompts for a number of different broader categories that have proven to be prosperous.
Writing Prompts about Morals and Values
This is one of the top book ideas right now. Writing about your personal beliefs, how you came to them, and how they steer your life is something almost everyone can relate to.
And in a time where morality is being questioned time and time again by the media, it’s the best time to write on this topic.
Here are some writing prompts to get you thinking about how you can take this idea a step further.
- Write about a time when you were wrong and didn’t realize it for maybe years.
- Write about morals and how one discovers what truly matters to them.
- Write about the biggest value in your life.
- Write about the biggest problems in the world and how it impacts us every day.
- Write about problems in the world nobody is paying attention to.
- Write about a time your morals were compromised and how it affected your life.
- Write about a time your values were challenged and you had to face it.
- Write about the difference between a value and a moral.
- Write about societal values that actually negatively impact our lives.
- Write about morals that have inadvertently negative impacts.
Tips for Expanding on these Writing Prompts:
- Be honest but don’t force your ideas on someone else
- Use research and facts to back up your statements
- Give real-life accounts of your experiences
- Avoid adopting a “know-it-all” voice
Writing Prompts about Health and Wellness
This is another book topic that has seen a rise in sales and engagement over the past few years. Society is starting to focus on health and well-being more so than many other important life ventures and now is the time to write about it!
These are some great wellness writing prompts to get your mind moving in the right direction.
- Write about your struggle with an addiction of some kind and how you overcame it.
- Write about your journey to become healthy.
- Write about what being healthy inside and out means to you.
- Write about how others can overcome unhealthy habits.
- Write about the importance of mental health and wellness.
- Write about how to form healthy habits.
- Write about how to find the best exercise type for your needs.
- Write about the idea of self-care and what it means to you.
- Write about how to find health through personal reflection.
- Write about the technicalities of being “healthy.”
Tips for Expanding on these Writing Prompts:
- Always use facts and research with something as sensitive as health
- Talk about what has worked for you personally and why
- Feature advice from experts in the field
- Include actionable steps others can learn from
Writing Prompts about Love, Sex, and Relationships
This can be a tricky topic to write about because love is different for everyone.
Each relationship has different needs and trying to tell someone what their relationship needs can often cause issues if it’s not actually what their specific relationship can benefit from.
That being said, keeping your message broad enough to impact a lot of people while also hitting specific key points can make it easier.
These are writing prompts all about relationships and what they mean to you.
- Tell a story about how you see love.
- Write about sex and its importance in a relationship.
- Write about how to enjoy sex in every phase of life.
- Write about your idea of a successful relationship.
- Write about what it really takes to have a successful relationship.
- Write about how your friendships play a part in your relationships.
- Write about how self-doubt can affect your search for love.
- Write about how to love someone else in a way they need.
- Write about how to find what you truly enjoy in bed.
- Write about becoming open-minded with sex.
Tips for Expanding on these Writing Prompts:
- Never assume every single person loves and wants love the same way
- Tell personal, real-life stories to build relatability
- Keep your advice open-ended and always encourage communication
Writing Prompts about Childhood and Family
We all had a childhood and we all have a family – even if we’ve decided to adopt friends to be a part of our family.
That means everyone can relate to being a child and having a family.
That being said, it’s hard to decide on which direction you can take when writing about your childhood or family.
These are some writing prompts to help you pinpoint an angle.
- Write to your parents about all they’ve taught you about life, love, and happiness.
- Write to your family about what they mean to you.
- Write about parenthood and how it’s changed you.
- Write about your parents and what they taught you.
- Write about what your parents didn’t teach you and how it affected your life.
- Write about how not having parents impacted your life.
- Write about your childhood and how it shaped you.
- Write about what the definition of family truly means to you.
- Write about finding family in the least expected places.
- Write about discovering who you are within your family.
Tips for Expanding on these Writing Prompts:
- Family can be a sensitive subject so avoid hard “facts” about “all” families
- Make sure to include details about differences
- Tell stories others can easily relate to at the beginning
Writing Prompts about Happiness
Happiness is very subjective. We all have very different ideas about what true happiness is and how it comes about.
What you have to remember, though, is that everybody wants to be happy.
That means you have a very large audience ready to absorb your expertise and these writing prompts can help you identify what to write about.
- Write about the idea of wants versus needs in life.
- Write about work and finding happiness in your career.
- Write about not being happy in your career and how to conquer it.
- Write about finding success in your career.
- Write about finding success in every aspect of your life.
- Write about building a successful love life, family life, and career.
- Write about balancing a career and family life.
- Write about being open-minded in life.
- Write about what rewards you can reap from being kind.
- Write about what you can gain from being open-minded in every aspect of life.
Tips for Expanding on these Writing Prompts:
- Remember that your happiness is not what makes everyone else happy
- Focus on helping others find what makes them happy
- Talk about times you were unhappy frequently to drive the point home
Writing Prompts about Self-Esteem and Confidence
No matter who you are, you’ll experience moments of self-doubt and a lack of confidence.
Yes, even Beyonce has felt down about herself occasionally (though probably not often!).
The point is, writing about a lack of self-esteem and how to gain it is something everyone has experienced and therefore, everyone can relate to.
These writing prompts will help you pinpoint a specific angle to take when helping others find confidence.
- Write about accepting who you truly are and how it can change your life.
- Write about how to ignore societal expectations when they clash with who you are.
- Write about how to change your overall outlook to be more positive.
- Write about what it’s like to go from disliking yourself to truly loving yourself.
- Write about what it truly means to have complete confidence in yourself.
- Write about how to conquer inner demons in order to love yourself.
- Write about your journey to accepting your flaws and seeing them as strengths.
- Write about daily habits that will lead to overall confidence.
- Write about how bettering your health can increase the way you view yourself.
- Write about how physical appearance actually has little to do with confidence.
Tips for Expanding on these Writing Prompts:
- Be honest, real, and raw when writing about your experiences
- Offer different solutions even if they didn’t work for you personally
- Interview a psychology expert in order to further the book’s credibility
Writing Prompts about Faith
Faith is a very personal journey for people. Whether you’ve been a lifelong believer or have recently stumbled into something that has changed your life, others have been there.
And they’ll want to read about it.
These are some of the topics you can focus on when writing about your faith.
- Write about your faith and how you discovered its meaning.
- Write about how your faith changed your life.
- Write about how you learned to love yourself through your faith.
- Write about your journey from not having any faith to where you are now.
- Write a message to anybody who doesn’t think they have something to believe in.
- Write a book to the person who helped you discover your faith.
- Write about how your faith shapes your family.
- Write about overcoming questioning your faith.
- Write about the unexpected realities of having strong faith.
- Write about how your faith can steer your career and life.
Tips for Expanding on these Writing Prompts:
- This is a great time to be open and specific about your beliefs
- Avoid shaming others in an attempt to get your message across
- Tell deeply personal stories so others can relate
Writing Prompts about Personal Journeys
Everyone has a personal journey. No matter what you’ve been through, there is a lesson hidden within it.
You can use these writing prompts to not only discover more about yourself, but perhaps light the way for others to see and understand as well.
- Write about a moment in your life that changed the way you saw the world.
- Don’t censor yourself and write about what you believe the meaning of life is.
- Write about the biggest struggle you’ve faced in life.
- Write about your journey to finding yourself and all you’ve learned.
- Write about life lessons you believe everyone should learn.
- Write about how you got to where you are in life and where you’ll go from here.
- Write about a tragedy you, unfortunately, lived through and how it has shaped you.
- Write about an internal struggle of yours and how you were able to solve it.
- Write about your pet/s and what they mean to you.
- Write about how you were able to accomplish so much by a young age.
Tips for Expanding on these Writing Prompts:
- Don’t censor yourself
- Talk to a therapist or psychologist to better understand your own journey
- Bring your real-life experiences into play
Use These Writing Prompts to Start Your Book!
WHAT TO DO NEXT IF YOU’RE SERIOUS
Having the book idea isn’t all it takes to write a great book. You need the ins and outs of the process, how to start your outline, and even what to do in order to take this idea to a finished, published product.
Here’s what you can do right now to get started!
#1 – Download your FREE master list of writing prompts
We have two lists for you. Each is a list of over 200 unique writing prompts. You’ll recognize a few on the list from this blog post but many more you have not seen.
No matter which genre you want to write in or if you write fiction or nonfiction, these creative writing prompts can help you develop a book idea that can turn into a captivating, intriguing story.
#2 – Sign up for your FREE training
Now that you have the book ideas, you just need some training to take you a step further.
You don’t want to miss out on all he has to offer because once you watch this, you’ll be able to put these creative writing prompts to use.
#3 – Get started on your mindmap!
This will help you get started with the brainstorming process and before you know it, you’ll have a fully completed outline that’s ready for you to start writing!
Writing prompts can be very powerful ways to start a novel! How did you come up with your book idea and how much has it changed or grown from its conception?
Strong verbs are essential for great writing.
Not only do you need to know HOW to use powerful verbs, but having a strong verbs list at your disposal is invaluable. We’ll cover both for you.
I used to think writing a book was easy.
And in all honesty, writing has never been the most difficult thing in the world for me but when it comes to writing stories and crafting my writing in a way that compels others and pulls them in deeply, it’s been an uphill battle – before I discovered using strong verbs, that is.
I never struggled with putting my thoughts on paper or even coming up with the ideas.
My biggest hurdle was bringing the emotion I was trying to convey to life.
And as I delved deeper into the literary world, I quickly realized that using strong verbs is a must if you want to create something that leaves a lasting impact.
What is a strong verb?
Thanks to every English class growing up, you know a verb is a word used to describe an action, state, or occurrence.
But what’s the deal with strong verbs? It’s not like they can hit the gym and bulk up, right?
A strong verb is a better and more descriptive version of a basic verb that creates a stronger visual and can help create a mood (or vibe) for the scene.
So although you can use the basic verb and still tell the same story, you will create a deeper impact within the reader if you use a strong verb in its place.
Strong verbs only help your writing
I’ll be real with you here. Using strong verbs will definitely make your writing more intriguing and will increase the chances of someone buying (and loving!) your book.
BUT, they won’t help you know how to publish a book that sells.
And what’s the point of having incredible writing if you can’t publish it in a way that allows for the world to see it?
Well, that’s where we come in. No matter how great your book is, you still need to know how to put it all together, market it, and then self-publish in a way that generates sales.
If you want to get started on this, check out Chandler Bolt’s Free Webinar Training where he breaks down exactly what you need to go from blank page to published author in 90 days…or even less!
Save your spot and sign up because you don’t want to miss out on the start of your publishing dream!
Strong verbs VS weak verbs
What’s the real difference here? How can you tell the difference between a strong verb and a weak one?
Since you can’t exactly ask words to flex, you need another system to determine if your verbs are weak or not.
Here’s how we define strong verbs vs weak verbs:
Weak verbs are the “basic” forms of a specific action, like “walked” or “ran.”
Strong verbs are a specified form of a broader action, like “stomped” or “bolted.”
So the main thing you need to remember when it comes to strong verbs vs weak verbs is how specific it is.
How to use strong verbs in writing
Littering your writing with strong verbs won’t necessarily make it any better. In fact, if you overdo it, those verbs will have the opposite effect.
Instead of making your writing stronger, it can bring it down to an amateur level.
That being said, I created the video below in order to help you understand how to use strong verbs in your writing the right way.
Why use strong verbs for writing
Because your writing will be better overall. One of the best ways you can immediately make our writing stronger is by going through and crossing out each weak verb and replacing it with a better one.
Here’s how your writing will improve when you choose to use strong verbs.
#1 – Stronger visuals
One of the most important parts of any book is that your readers can get a precise visual. If they’re going through the chapters not fully picturing what’s happening, they won’t be fully invested.
And readers who aren’t invested don’t become fans. And they don’t leave reviews. And they don’t buy any other books you publish.
Strong verbs take a basic sentence and form a very specific image in the reader’s mind. Doing this throughout the entirety of your book will leave your readers feeling as if they just stepped out of an entirely different world.
And that’s exactly what you want.
Take these strong verb descriptions for example:
- She walked into the room, her cape trailing after her.
- She charged into the room, her cape billowing after her.
- She strutted into the room, her cape flowing after her.
Each of these sentences is extremely similar in what they tell you; a girl with a cape entered a room.
But changing the verbs from “walked” to “charged” to “strutted” alters the way in which she entered.
It tells you the how.
And knowing how an action takes place sets up far more than just the image for the reader. It tells them the mood the character’s in, increases suspense in some cases, and even creates anticipation for what’s to follow.
#2 – More impactful emotions
The goal of your book (and any book, really) is to make your reader feel something. You want to stir emotions in them.
That’s why they read books. That, and they want to be transported to a different world, which strong verbs are also used for.
But one of the main reasons to use strong verbs in writing is to create a more emotional impact.
When you want to create a strong reaction in your reader, no matter what type of reaction that is, you need to use strong verbs.
Here’s an example of creating more anxiety or anticipation in your readers:
- My heart was beating so fast I could hear it.
- My heart crashed against my ribs, echoing in my head.
Which sentence gives you a clearer picture of the anxiety that must be felt?
The second, right.
Because replacing “was beating fast” with “crashed against my ribs,” shows you just how hard my heart felt. And that’s the difference between a weak verb and a strong one.
#3 – Helps you show, not tell
By now you know just how important showing versus telling is in writing. And one powerful way to show more and tell less is to use strong verbs.
It forces you to think more about the visual you’re trying to show the reader instead of just telling them what happened.
Because showing creates a stronger emotional connection between the reader and your book, replacing weak verbs with more powerful ones will hook your readers.
For those of you who struggle with showing and not telling, focusing on using better verbs will help tremendously.
#4 – They reduce weak adverbs
When you’re writing, you may have a tendency to write sentences like, “I gripped the steering wheel firmly.” While this doesn’t look like a terrible sentence, it also doesn’t convey a very strong visual.
Whenever you have an adverb, you should replace it with a stronger verb. That’s all an adverb is. It gives your weak verb a boost but it doesn’t actually make your sentence any stronger.
Instead, replace “gripped firmly” with a powerful verb like “clenched” or “squeezed.”
“I clenched the steering wheel” is a much stronger sentence that gives a clearer visual.
Go through your writing and pick out some adverbs to replace. Your writing will be better because of it.
#5 – They make for more concise writing
Have you ever picked up a book that looked decent enough and even had an awesome title only to start reading and be turned off by how wordy and jumbled it is?
Strong verbs prevent this.
When you replace weak verbs and adverbs with a single stronger verb, you get rid of the excess writing that can make reading harder.
It also saves you a ton of time cutting words during the editing phase.
Because you’re using one word to create a strong visual, you won’t have to write more trying to describe how it looks to you. That strong verb does the job for you.
This also allows for easier, more fluid writing and reading.
Strong action verbs for better writing
I won’t lie. One of the most frustrating things to read is a book that lacks strong verbs in scenes that are meant to be full of action.
You’ll find this most often in fiction, but nonfiction books can be just as (if not more!) guilty of this. When you have a story that should leave the reader’s heart pounding but it doesn’t even raise their eyebrows, you have to do some digging to improve.
Here’s just a taste of how you can take your writing from “meh” to “wow!”
What to do Next
It’s not enough to just know what strong verbs are and how to use them. You actually have to put these tips to use in your own book and implement what you’ve learned.
Here’s what you can do right now to improve your writing and your book!
#1 – Watch our instructional editing video
Sometimes it’s hard to take what you’ve learned and actually implement it in your own writing. How do you know which words to replace and which are already good?
I put together a video teaching you how to edit your own writing when replacing basic verbs with stronger, better ones.
Make sure to check it out and even comment which part of the video was most helpful to you!
#2 – Create your own verb list!
Editing is made so much easier and faster when you don’t have to constantly look up words to replace your weak verbs.
And you know what? It’s something you can easily do in a short amount of time.
That’s right. We suggest putting together a list of strong verbs and which weak verbs they’re great for replacing. All you need to do is find the weak verb you want to replace and choose a more powerful word from your list that fits the mood you’re trying to convey.
|Weak Verb Example||Strong Verb Replacements|
#3 – Attend your FREE training
All of this advice is relatively useless without a plan for finishing, marketing, and self-publishing your book.
Make sure to sign up for your Free Webinar Training because publishing a book without help from someone who’s done it before (and became a 6-time bestseller) isn’t easy.
Chandler walks you through everything you need to get started and go from blank page to published author in 90 days…or even less if you already have a headstart with your writing.
Do you use strong verbs? What’s your #1 question regarding strong verbs and using them in your writing?
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