Get a Story Started

Okay, so below are some short prompts to inspire you. When starting a story you need a setting and some good characters, but I never really think about that. I start with whatever crosses my mind, and let my characters guide me. This is just my personal process, but you can try out thinking of the plot and characters etc. first, or whatever you feel more comfortable with. Who knows, maybe you’ll try both ways. It doesn’t hurt.

You can start with something like this: She crossed the station, puffs of smoke blocking her view every now and then, and the occasional whistle filling her ears from a bright red train dashing by as if it had somewhere worth being. Where anyone would need to go around here was beyond her…

You can start with dialogue, “I can’t believe you!” Jane fumed. She slammed a frying pan of eggs down hard onto the stove, causing blue sparks to fly up into the air. Peter flinched. “I didn’t try to break it!” he insisted. “Well you could have been more careful. What do I tell your mother when she get’s home? ‘Oh, I was just making your kid breakfast and the next thing I knew, while I wasn’t looking he BROKE THE FRONT DOOR DOWN’… Come to think of it, how did that even happen?” She asked, confused. The seven–year–old suddenly found a great interest in his shoes.

You can start something with description The house was tall, its weathered wood splintering in protest at being lived in. It had a green front door with peeling paint, and a few spider webs dangling from the windowframes. There was a front porch (if it could even be called that) which was half there and half–way down the river (a long story for a later time) and Riley felt that even the pine trees felt sorry for her right now. If only they were staying in their other cousins’ house this summer. The one with the tire swing, and the cousins she’d actually met.

Basically, you can start a story however you want to. Thoughts, action, narrator, dialogue, setting, description, flashback; whatever you want.

The beginning is one of my favorite parts to write. As well as taking a look at where and who is in your story (and remember, it’s probably best not to introduce every single character in the beginning) and maybe a little of what it’s going to be about. (Or maybe a lot of what it’s going to be about. Just try not to “give things away”.)

Also, in the beginning you get to choose your point of view. Meaning first, second, or third person. Or maybe stream of consciousness or omniscient. Maybe you’ll find your story alternates in what character tells the story every other chapter. Or maybe different parts will change points in time. There are so many options of what you can do, but they’re a fun thing; don’t get overwhelmed by them. You’ll have so many stories in which to try things out. Don’t rush it (trying to do them all), and don’t spend a bunch of time thinking over what everything will be. (Again, unless that’s easier for you.)

I seem to recall promising some short prompts, so here are some things to get you going. Choose one (or more I suppose, if you want) and start writing. If you’d rather just write without a prompt, that’s okay too. But in any case, begin!

Please Note: On this particular day, I wasn’t really in the prompt–making mood, so these are all from 100 Themes Challenge Writing Prompts (Although they said it originally came from somewhere on DeviantArt.)

1. Introduction
2. Complicated
3. Making History
4. Rivalry
5. Unbreakable
6. Obsession
7. Eternity
8. Gateway
9. Death
10. Opportunities
11. 33%
12. Dead Wrong
13. Running Away
14. Judgment
15. Seeking Solace
16. Excuses
17. Vengeance
18. Love
19. Tears
20. My Inspiration
21. Never Again
22. Online
23. Failure
24. Rebirth
25. Breaking Away
26. Forever and a day
27. Lost and Found
28. Light
29. Dark
30. Faith
31. Colors
32. Exploration
33. Seeing Red
34. Shades of Grey
35. Forgotten
36. Dreamer
37. Mist
38. Burning
39. Out of Time
40. Knowing How
41. Fork in the road
42. Start
43. Nature’s Fury
44. At Peace
45. Heart Song
46. Reflection
47. Perfection
48. Everyday Magic
49. Umbrella
50. Party
51. Troubling Thoughts
52. Stirring of the Wind
53. Future
54. Health and Healing
55. Separation
56. Everything For You
57. Slow Down
58. Heartfelt Apology
59. Challenged
60. Exhaustion
61. Accuracy
62. Irregular Orbit
63. Cold Embrace
64. Frost
65. A Moment in Time
66. Dangerous Territory
67. Boundaries
68. Unsettling Revelations
69. Shattered
70. Bitter Silence
71. The True You
72. Pretense
73. Patience
74. Midnight
75. Shadows
76. Summer Haze
77. Memories
78. Change in the Weather
79. Illogical
80. Only Human
81. A Place to Belong
82. Advantage
83. Breakfast
84. Echoes
85. Falling
86. Picking up the Pieces
87. Gunshot
88. Possession
89. Twilight
90. Nowhere and Nothing
91. Answers
92. Innocence
93. Simplicity
94. Reality
95. Acceptance
96. Lesson
97. Enthusiasm
98. Game
99. Friendship
100. Endings

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