Scrambling for a writing idea or just looking to shake things up? Try the following unusual writing prompts the next time you need creative inspiration.
1. Reinvent History
Can you twist history?
If your character lived in ancient Rome, she would have changed the way they______?
Or reinvent an old classic. Why is the Sherlock TV show starring Benedict Cumberbatch so entertaining? The writers retold the same story of Sherlock and Dr. Watson but added a modern twist, even turning Watson into a blogger.
In what interesting and unique ways can you reshape history? Do this well, and your story will write itself.
2. Be an Alien in Your City
Pretend you are an alien sent from a remote planet. You’ve just arrived on earth on a mission to observe and report back on the inhabitants.
Take a trip into the nearest big city. As an alien tourist, what do you think of this world? Jot down your ideas in a notebook or on your phone.
3. AI Gone Wrong
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is certain to factor into our future work and everyday lives.
Personally, I’m excited about the rise of AI personal assistants. Google Assistant allows us to find help and automate online research. Amazon Echo was the top selling new technology device in the 2016 holiday season. Expect Apple and Google to step up with similar products.
Write about what would happen if you received an AI personal assistant as a gift and things went horribly wrong. What if your robot VA stole from you or tried to assume your life?
4. Invent a New Word
What if you could create a new word that would make it into the genre in which you write? How fun would that be? Tolkien invented new languages, and words like hobbit and orc have influenced generations of writers.
While achieving Tolkienesque heights may not be realistic for 99% of us, can you add something to your genre for which others will remember you?
Consider it a challenge and have fun.
5. Build a Fictional World Where You Are In Charge
The concept of world-building can be intimidating for writers of fantasy or science-fiction. I know it scares me to think about it.
Try making it more fun by appointing yourself CWB (Chief World-Builder). You are completely in charge. Everyone in your world must bow to you and kiss your feet. Now, have some fun.
What rules would you have in your world? Would you want everything to be perfect, or a little quirky?
6. Write a Story Inspired by a Ted Talk
There are a ridiculous number of inspiring lectures on ted.com on every topic imaginable. Browse their home page and find a talk on a subject about which you know nothing.
Listen to a different talk every day for a week. At the end of your week, choose a talk and use the subject in a new story.
What if an entomologist gave the talk? Perhaps your new main character spent years studying the mating habits of fireflies. Wouldn’t that make for an interesting backstory? How does the firefly research impact his or her own relationships?
7. Think Like a Kid
What did you want to be when you were little? How far away did you end up from your childhood aspiration?
Chances are you may have had many phases where you wanted to be an astronaut, movie star, or firefighter. I went through a phase where I wanted to be a lady wrestler circa 1980s GLOW.
What if your character could go back in time and become anything? Or what if there was a parallel universe where you are living a completely different life. What would happen if you ran into your “twin” somehow? That would be an interesting conversation!
Did you enjoy these writing prompts? Check out my book 100 Awesome Ideas for Authors: Have Fun with Your Writing and Sell More Books for more writing ideas like this.
Will Write For Food photo credit: howtostartablogonline.net/content-writer-photo