The Write Practice

Top 100 Short Story Ideas

by Joe Bunting | 128 comments

Do you want to write but just need a great story idea? Or perhaps you have too many ideas and can’t choose the best one? Well, good news. We’ve got you covered.

Below are one hundred short story ideas for all your favorite genres. You can use them as a book idea, as writing prompts for writing contests , for stories to publish in literary magazines , or just for fun!

Use these 100 story ideas to get your creative writing started now.

Editor’s note: This is a recurring guide, regularly updated with ideas and information.

100 Top Short Story Ideas

If you're in a hurry, here's my 10 best story ideas in brief, or scroll down for the full version.

Top 10 Story Ideas

  • Tell the story of a scar.
  • A group of children discover a dead body.
  • A young prodigy becomes orphaned.
  • A middle-aged woman discovers a ghost.
  • A woman who is deeply in love is crushed when her fiancé breaks up with her.
  • A talented young man's deepest fear is holding his life back. 
  • A poor young boy or girl comes into an unexpected fortune.
  • A shy, young woman unexpectedly bumps into her soulmate.
  • A long journey is interrupted by a disaster.
  • A young couple run into the path of a psychopath.

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Why Creative Writing Prompts Are Helpful

Below, you'll find our best creative writing prompts and plot ideas for every genre, but first, why do we use prompts? Is it just a waste of time, or can they actually help you? Here are three reasons we  love writing prompts at The Write Practice:

1. Practice the Language!

Even for those of us who are native English speakers, we're all on a language journey to go from beginners to skilled writers. To make progress on this language journey, you have to practice, and at The Write Practice, believe it or not, we're really into practice! Creative writing prompts are easy, fun ways to practice.

Use the prompts below to practice your storytelling and use of language. The more you practice, the better of a writer you'll become.

2. When you have no ideas and are stuck.

Sometimes, you want to write, but you can't think up any ideas. You could either just sit there, staring at a blank page, or you could find a few ideas to help you get started. Even better if the list of ideas is curated from our best plot ideas over the last decade that we've been publishing lessons, writing exercises, and prompts.

Use the story ideas below to get your writing started. Then when your creativity is warmed up, you'll start to come up with your own ideas!

3. To develop your own ideas.

Maybe you do have an idea already, but you're not sure it's good. Or maybe you feel like it's just missing some small piece to make it better. By reading other ideas, and incorporating your favorites into your   story, you can fill your plot holes and generate creative ideas of your own.

Use the story ideas below to develop your own ideas.

4. They're fun!

Thousands of writers use the prompts below every month, some at home, some in classrooms, and even a few pros at their writing “office.” Why? Because writing prompts can be fun. They get your creativity started, help you come up with new ideas of your own, and often take your writing in new, unexpected directions.

Use the plot ideas to have more fun with writing!

How to Write a Story

One last thing before we get to the 100 story ideas, let’s talk about how to write a great short story . (Already know how to write a great story? No problem. Just skip down to the ideas below.)

  • First, read stories. If you’ve never read a story, you’re going to have a hard time writing one. Where do you find great stories? There are a lot of places, but check out our list of  46 Literary Magazines  we’ve curated over here .
  • Write your story in a single sitting. Write the first draft of your story in as short a time as possible, and if you’re writing a short story , try to write it in one sitting. Trust me, this works. Everyone hates being interrupted when they’re telling compelling stories. Use that to your advantage and don’t stop writing until you’ve finished telling yours.
  • Read your draft. Read your story through once, without changing anything. This will give you a sense of what work it needs going forward.
  • Write a premise. After reading your first draft, get your head around the main idea behind your story by summarizing your story in a one sentence premise. Your premise should contain four things: a character, a goal, a situation, and a special sauce. Not sure what that means or how to actually do that? Here’s a full premise writing guide .
  • Write, edit, write, and edit. Good writing is rewriting. Use your second draft to fill in the plot holes and cut out the extraneous scenes and characters you discovered when you read the first draft in step #2. Then, polish up your final draft on the next round of edits.
  • Submit! Real writers don’t keep their writing all to themselves. They share it. Submit your story to a literary magazine , an anthology series , enter it into a writing contest , or even share it with a small group of friends. And if it gets rejected, don’t feel bad. You’ll be in good company.

Want to know more? Learn more about how to write a great short story here .

Our 100 Best Short Story Ideas, Plot Ideas, and Creative Writing Prompts

Ready to get writing? Here are our 100 best short story ideas to kickstart your writing. Enjoy!

10 Best General Short Story Ideas

Our first batch of plot ideas are for any kind of story, whether a spy thriller or a memoir of your personal life story. Here are the best story ideas:

  • Tell the story of a scar, whether a physical scar or emotional one. To be a writer, said Stephen King, “The only requirement is the ability to  remember every scar .”
  • A group of children discover a dead body. Good writers don’t turn away from death, which is, after all, the  universal human experience. Instead, they look it directly into its dark face and describe what they see on the page.
  • A young prodigy becomes orphaned. Orphans are uniquely vulnerable, and as such, they have the most potential for growth.
  • A middle-aged woman discovers a ghost. What do Edgar Allen Poe, Ron Weasley, King Saul from the Bible, Odysseus, and Ebenezer Scrooge have in common? They all encountered ghosts!
  • A woman who is deeply in love is crushed when her fiancé breaks up with her. “In life every ending is just a new beginning,” says Dakota Fanning’s character in Uptown Girls.
  • A talented young man’s deepest fear is holding his life back. Your character’s biggest fear is your story’s secret weapon. Don’t run from it, write about it.
  • A poor young boy or girl comes into an unexpected fortune. Not all fortunes are good. Sometimes discovering a fortune will destroy your life.
  • A shy, young woman unexpectedly bumps into her soulmate (literally bumps into him). In film, this is called the “meet cute,” when the hero bumps into the heroine in the coffee shop or the department store or the hallway, knocking her books to the floor, and forcing them into conversation.
  • A long journey is interrupted by a disaster. Who hasn’t been longing to get to a destination only to be delayed by something unexpected? This is the plot of  Gravity ,  The Odyssey , and even  Lord of the Rings .
  • A young couple run into the path of a psychopath. Monsters, whether people who do monstrous things or scaly beasts or a monster of a natural disaster, reveal what’s really inside a person. Let your character fall into the path of a monster and see how they handle themselves.

Now that you have an idea, learn exactly what to do with it.  Check out my new book The Write Structure which helps writers take their ideas and write books readers love. Click to check out  The Write Structure  here.

More Short Story Ideas Based on Genre

Need more ideas? Here are ideas based on whichever literary genre you write. Use them as character inspiration, to start your own story, or borrow pieces to generate your own ideas. The only rule is, have fun writing!

By the way,  for more story writing tips for each these plot types, check out our full guide to the 10 types of stories here .

10 Thriller Story Ideas

A thriller is any story that “thrills” the reader—i.e., gets adrenaline pumping, the heart racing, and the emotions piqued.

Thrillers come in all shapes and forms, dipping freely into other genres. In other words, expect the unexpected!

Here are a few of my favorite thriller story ideas :

Rosa Rivera-Ortiz is an up-and-coming lawyer in a San Diego firm. Held back by her ethnicity and her gender, she works twice as hard as her colleagues, and she’s as surprised as anyone when she’s requested specifically for a high-profile case. Bron Welty, an A-list actor and action star, has been arrested for the murder of his live-in housekeeper. The cop heading the case is older, ex-military, a veteran of more than one war, and an occasional sufferer of PTSD. Rosa’s hired to defend the movie star; and it seems like an easy win until she uncovers some secrets that not only make her believe her client is guilty, but may be one of the worst serial killers in the past two decades… and he knows she found out .

It’s the Cold War. Sergei, a double-agent for the CIA working in Berlin, is about to retire when he’s given one final mission: he’s been asked to “defect” to the USSR to help find and assassinate a suspected double-agent for the Kremlin. Sergei is highly trusted, and he’s given to understand that this mission is need-to-know only between him and very few superior officers. But as he falls deeper into the folds of the Iron Curtain, he begins to suspect that his superior officer might just be the mole, and the mark Sergei’s been sent to kill is on the cusp of exposing the leak.

It is 1800. A lighthouse on a barren cliff in Canada. Two lighthouse keepers, German immigrants, are alone for the winter and effectively cut off from the rest of the world until the ice thaws. Both Wilhelm and Matthias are settled in for the long haul with warm clothes, canned goods, and matches a-plenty. Then Wilhelm starts hearing voices. His personal belongings disappear from where he’d placed them, only to reappear in strange spots—like the catwalk, or dangling beneath the spiral stair knotted in brown twine. Matthias begs innocence. Little by little, Wilhelm grows convinced that Matthias is trying to convince him (Wilhelm) to kill himself. Is the insanity real, or is this really Matthias’ doing? And if it is real, what will he do to defend himself? There are so many months until the thaw. 

thriller story ideas

20 Mystery Story Ideas

Enjoy a good whodunit? Then you’ll love these mystery story ideas .

Here are a few of my favorites:

Ever hear the phrase, “It is not who fired the shot but who paid for the bullet?” This is a philosophy Tomoe Gozen lives by. Brave and clever, Tomoe follows clues until she learns who ordered the murder: Emperor Antoku himself. But why would the emperor of Japan want to kill a lowly soldier?

Mystery writer Dan Rodriguez takes the subway every day. Every day, nothing happens. He wears earbuds and a hoodie; he’s ignored, and he ignores. Then one evening, on his way home from a stressful meeting with his publisher, Dan is startled out of his funk when a frantic Middle-Eastern man knocks him over at a dead run, then races up the stairs—pursued by several other thugs. The Middle-Eastern man is shot; and Dan discovers a mysterious package in the front pocket of his hoodie. What’s inside, and what does he need to do to survive the answer?

A headless corpse is found in a freshly-dug grave in Arkansas. The local police chief, Arley Socket, has never had to deal with more than missing gas cans and treed cats. His exploration of this weird murder digs up a mystery older than the 100-year-old town of Jericho that harkens all the way back to a European blood-feud.

story ideas

20 Romance Story Ideas

Ready to write a love story? Or perhaps you want to create a subplot with a secondary character? We've got ideas for you!

Hint: When it comes to romance, a sense of humor is always a good idea. Have fun! Here are a few of my favorite love story ideas :

She’s a cop. He’s the owner of a jewelry store. A sudden rash of break-ins brings her to his store over and over and over again, until it becomes obvious that he might be tripping the alarm on purpose—just to see her. That’s illegal—but she’s kind of falling for him, too. Write the moment she realizes she has to do something about this crazy illicit courtship.

Colorado Animal Rescue has never been more challenging than after that zoo caught on fire. Sally Cougar (no jokes on the name, or she’ll kill you) tracks down three missing tiger cubs, only to find they’ve been adopted by millionaire Bryce Champion. Thanks to an antiquated law on the books, he legally has the right to keep them. It’s going to take everything Sally has to get those tiger cubs back.

He’s a museum curator with a fetish for perfection. No one’s ever gotten close to him; how could they? They’re never as perfect as the portraits, the sculptures, the art that never changes. Then one day, an intern is hired on—a young, messy, disorganized intern, whose hair and desk are in a constant state of disarray. The curator is going half-mad with this walking embodiment of chaos; so why can’t the he stand the thought of the intern leaving at the end of their assistantship?

20 romance story ideas

20 Sci-Fi Story Ideas

From the minimum-wage-earning, ancient-artifact-hunting time traveller to the space-exploring, sentient dinosaurs, these sci-fi writing prompts will get you set loose your inner nerd.

Here are a few of my favorite sci-fi ideas :

In a future society, neural implants translate music into physical pleasure, and earphones (“jacking in”) are now the drug of choice. Write either from the perspective of a music addict, OR the Sonforce agent (sonance + enforcer) who has the job of cracking down.

It’s the year 5000. Our planet was wrecked in the great Crisis of 3500, and remaining human civilization survives only in a half dozen giant domed cities. There are two unbreakable rules: strict adherence to Life Quality (recycling doesn’t even begin to cover these laws), and a complete ban on reproduction (only the “worthy” are permitted to create new humans). Write from the perspective of a young woman who just discovered she’s been chosen to reproduce—but she has no interest in being a mother.

So yeah, ancient Egypt really was “all that” after all, and the pyramids turn out to be fully functional spaceships (the limestone was to preserve the electronics hidden inside). Write from the perspective of the tourist exploring the ancient society who accidentally turns one on.

sci-fi story ideas

20 Fantasy Story Ideas

Need a dose of sword-in-the-stone, hero and/or heroine packed coming-of-age glory?  We love fantasy stories!

Here are a few of my favorite fantasy story ideas:

Bored teenaged wizards throwing a graduation celebration.

Uncomfortable wedding preparation between a magic wielding family tree and those more on the Muggle side of things.

A fairy prince who decides to abandon his responsibilities to become a street musician.

Just try to not have fun writing (or even just reading!) these fantasy writing prompts.

fantasy story ideas

The Secret to Choosing the Best Story Idea

Stories, more than any other artistic expression, have the power to make people care. Stories have the ability to change people’s lives.

But to write a great story, a life-changing story, don’t just write about what your characters did, said, and saw. Ask yourself, “Where do I fit in to this story? What is my personal connection to this story?”

Robert Frost said this:

If you can connect your personal story to the story you’re writing, you will not only be more motivated to finish your story, you might just be able to change the lives of your readers.

Next Step: Write Your Best Story

No matter how good your idea, writing a story or a book can be a long difficult process. How do you create an outline, come up with a great plot, and then actually  finish  it?

My new book  The Write Structure  will help. You'll learn how to take your idea and structure a strong plot around it. Then you'll be guided through the exact process I've used to write dozens of short stories and over fifteen books.

You can learn more about   The Write Structure  and get your copy here.

Have a great short story idea?  We'd love to hear it. Share it in the comments !

Choose one of these ideas and write a short story in one sitting (aim for 1,000 words or less!). When you're finished, share your story in the practice box below (or our latest writing contest ) for feedback from the community. And if you share, please be sure to comment on a few stories by other writers.

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Joe Bunting

Joe Bunting is an author and the leader of The Write Practice community. He is also the author of the new book Crowdsourcing Paris , a real life adventure story set in France. It was a #1 New Release on Amazon. Follow him on Instagram (@jhbunting).

Want best-seller coaching? Book Joe here.

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WSJ Bestselling author, founder of The Write Practice, and book coach with 14+ years experience. Joe Bunting specializes in working with Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, How To, Literary Fiction, Memoir, Mystery, Nonfiction, Science Fiction, and Self Help books. Sound like a good fit for you?

128 Comments

Bruno Coriolano

“No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise for the writer, no surprise for the reader.” —Robert Frost

Joe Bunting

Great quote, right?

nolan

i like porn

Your site is just awesome!

EndlessExposition

My latest project has been working on a TV-format screenplay. In TV writing, there are B storylines, which are plot lines that span the course of a season (or several seasons). Each episode, however, has an A storyline, which is the plot of the events in that particular episode. Each A storyline is essentially a short story, and churning them out is surprisingly difficult! Lately I’ve been outlining episodes for my own story. I’ve just completed one that I particularly like, and would love to hear what you all think!

The Vampire Cat

The episode opens with Leiko telling the rest of the crew The Dream of Akinosuke. She finishes the story and they all head off to bed. Leiko walks Shannon to her room. On the way, Shannon asks Leiko if the events of the story were the main character’s dreams or if they were real. Leiko replies that for the Japanese the line between dreams and reality is very thin. They say goodnight and part ways.

The next day, the crew touches down on planet Lorraine. Their mission is to rob an auction house of a valuable piece of art if their client is not able to purchase it. They attend the auction. The client is outbid, so that night they return to the auction house to steal the sculpture. While looking for it, Leiko uncovers a dimension hopping machine, which she assumes to be a piece of junk. The crew is surprised by the auction house’s guards. Shannon is shot in the fight. Leiko tries to help her, but is intercepted by a guard. They fight, and Leiko falls inside the dimension hopping machine. She falls against a lever. The doors to the machine close and it begins spinning very fast. Leiko is thrown to the floor and the impact knocks her unconscious.

When she awakes, Leiko is no longer in the machine or the auction house. She is in a 16th century Japanese barracks, surrounded by soldiers. Furthermore, she is dressed like them and they address her as Soda. When she catches a glimpse of her reflection, she realizes to everyone else she looks like a Japanese man. Unsure if she is dreaming or not, Leiko decides to play along. She hears from the other soldiers that the prince of the region is seriously ill, and thinks maybe with her advanced medical knowledge she can help. She sneaks into the castle to see him. On the way, she passes a group of court ladies. The most beautiful of them smiles at Leiko and her eyes flash yellow. Leiko shakes it off, assuming she must be seeing things. She reaches the prince’s room and is shocked to find Shannon lying close to death, surrounded by attendants. She is discovered and thrown out, but she begs to be told what’s happened to the prince, and is informed he has a mystery sickness no doctor can diagnose. It is feared he will die. The prince’s attendants suggest that if she is so worried about her sovereign, she should pray for his health. Before she leaves, she uses to her dagger to look at Shannon’s reflection, and sees that her reflection is in fact that of the prince. Leiko feels the whole situation is somehow strangely familiar, but unable to put her finger on why, she decides there is nothing for it but to follow the attendants’ advice.

That night she goes to the holy quarter and bathes at the well before praying to the statue of Buddha for the prince’s/Shannon’s recovery. A voice calls to her, and she looks up to see a figure in a window above her. The figure asks her to come up. Leiko goes into the building and finds a priest who introduces himself as Ruiten and tells her he has been brought to the castle to find the source of the prince’s illness and asks for her help. Leiko finally realizes why this all seems familiar to her – she is in the story of The Vampire Cat of Nabeshima, playing the part of the young soldier Ito Soda. She makes a conjecture: the dimension hopping machine really worked and has brought her to the spirit world. Shannon, after being shot, is dying, and her spirit has taken the place of the prince in the story. If Leiko saves the prince, she saves Shannon. Ruiten agrees that this may be possible. Leiko agrees to help him. Knowing how the story goes, she now has a hunch as to what is causing the prince’s sickness.

Leiko goes back to the castle, and straight to the house of the court ladies. She digs under the verandah and finds exactly what she thought she would – the body of the beautiful lady, with puncture wounds in her throat.

The next day, Ruiten obtains permission for Leiko to keep watch over the prince with his attendants. That night, all the attendants fall asleep. Leiko keeps herself awake by stabbing herself in the leg. Later in the night, the beautiful lady comes to the room. She says her name is O Toyo, and she is the prince’s favorite companion. Under Leiko’s watchful eye, she cannot harm the prince, so she leaves.

The next morning, Leiko goes to confront the false O Toyo. They fight. Before Leiko can kill her, the false O Toyo shifts to her true form – a demonic black cat – and escapes the castle. Ruiten sends soldiers after her. Just then, there’s a scream from the prince’s room. Leiko and Ruiten rush from to the room and are told the prince is dead. Leiko pushes her way to the bed and, taking Shannon in her arms, pleads with her to wake up. In course of this, Leiko realizes she’s in love with her friend. Suddenly Shannon opens her eyes and says Leiko’s name.

Leiko wakes up in the med bay of the Perseus, surrounded by the crew. Shannon is in the bed next to her, weak but alive. Leiko gets up to tend to her. Shannon asks if one of the crew was holding her, because she could have sworn she felt like she was lying in someone’s arms. Kaya jokes that she must have been having a good dream. Leiko remarks that maybe it was something more.

This is great! Seriously, I really enjoyed it. Now you have to write it! 🙂

Chineomohhamad

Hey Sunny! Loving this website

Abaneish

Opps that was my grandma 🙂 But she right

Evolet Yvaine

Do you know of any Romance magazines that offer short story romances or literary magazines dedicated to just romance? Just curious.

I’m not familiar with any, but try googling “romance literary magazines” or “romance short stories” and I’m sure you’ll find some. Reply back if you find any that are particularly promising.

John Doe

I just want to say, there are so many good stories on this website. This show the amount that you have helped all these people, maybe one day I will add myself to those people, thank you.

Elle

http://www.writersdigest.com/writing-articles/by-writing-genre/romance-by-writing-genre/romance_markets

Nada ahmed

بدأت تمطر ورأيت الناس يسرعون للإختباء من قطراته فابتسمت لذكرى جميلة عبرت خاطرى ..تذكرت امى عندما كانت ترقص تحت المطر بفستانها الوردى..الهى كم كنت أعشق هذا الفستان عليها..كان يناسب بشرتها الفاتحة ونحولة جسدها .جذبتنى من يدى يومها واخذنا ندور فى حلقات لا تبدء ولا تنتهى. شعرت ببرودة يديها تصعق يداى وبرودة المطر تبلل وجهى أحسست وبالسعادة تغمرنى لانك اخيرا بجانبى واخيرا تبتسمين اشتقتك يا اماه ..أشتقت لتفاصيلك وابتسامتك. أشتقت لمعنى وجودك جانبى ..المطر يهطل، أعلم أنك لو كنت الأن معى لجذبتينى ورسمنا بأقدامنا دوائر حتى تبتل عظامنا ..سأرقص لك فقط وسأبتسم لك فقط. بدأت عيون الناس تتجه نحوى ..تستنكر فعلتى ولكنى لا أفعل شئ.انا فقط أخبر أمى إنى بخير وأنى أشتاقها..ولكن للمطر طعم غريب يا أمى. له طعم ألم فراقك ،طعم الحياة بدونك ؛هو المطر وهى الحياة ولكن طعمهما مؤلمين يا أمى

LaCresha Lawson

I’m writing a “Thriller.” I’m very excited. A short story. Thank you. Right on time as usual!

Fun! Good luck LaCresha.

rosie

I’m wondering about “the sagging middle” in story structure right now. I’m happy with my beginning and ending, but the middle isn’t as dynamic as I want it to be. Does anyone have any experiences or advice about this? (It’s a 25 000 word story that’s due for a competition in about four months.)

Hey Rosie. We have a few resources on that. First check out our structure and plot cheatsheet: https://thewritepractice.com/plot-structure . Then, a great guest post on story structure with a hole in it: https://thewritepractice.com/story-hole . And I always recommend Save the Cat, which is a book for screenwriters, but is also very helpful for story structure in general: http://amzn.to/1TNpv2F . Highly recommend it.

Eliese

The story grid is a good site and podcast for story structure. 🙂

But longer than 15 min but here it is.

I rub my fingers into the soft fuzz on the big brown chair. I can make designs if I move my fingers up or down. A dot makes one eye. Then another. A line for a smile finishes my chair picture. ‘Why would Daddy take money and blow it into the wind?’ I wonder as I draw.

A wet spot lands by the mouth, making the brown turn dark. I try to wipe it away, but the face disappears instead. I lay back in the chair, bumping my twin brother and making the dim room spin. My pink and orange stripe shirt is soft as I wipe my eyes. James’s tears fall to the chair like rain, his mouth open like one of the squishy balls we play with. His cry is loud. I join the noise.

Mommy’s hair, as dark as the wet spot on our chair, poofs around her face. Her green eyes seem small with her eyebrows close together. Teeth and gums show as Mommy screams like a roaring lion. Daddy points a finger at her nose. He looks so big. He yells, trying to be louder than her. James and I try to cry louder than them. Maybe they will hear us. Maybe they will stop.

Mommy lets out one last angry scream and tries to push Daddy away. A long red line comes on his arm. Red water comes out of it. Daddy’s eyes widen. His face turns red. He grabs Mommy by her arms, lifts her, and pushes her to the door like a rhinoceros. The wood breaks as they go through.

The noise has stopped, except for sirens in the distance. I curl into a ball in the chair, James’s knee sticking into my back, and close my eyes.

James and I get to sleep in the same bed tonight. It’s strange having Daddy read and tuck us in by himself, but he tells us Mommy will be home soon. I still don’t understand why she went to jail. I thought jail was for bad guys, but Daddy says everything will be ok.

The lights go out bringing shadow monsters. I hug my brother.

Bit longer than 15 minutes, but here it is

‘Scars’

The noise has stopped, except for sirens in the distance. I curl into a ball in the chair, James’ knee sticking into my back, and close my eyes.

Ghost

This was so good! You have a really good writing style!

Tom

“The wall, he decided, will always be there”

He awoke, or at least it seemed he did, for he could not tell if he had been dreaming or if he were dreaming now. He pushed the woollen, scratchy blanket away from his body. There were no sheets, and his skin stuck to the plastic mattress that smelled of others sweat and urine. After prying his flesh from the tenacious bedding, he managed to sit up. He was more tired than he had remembered. He was still dirty and thirsty and his eyes hurt as they squinted in the dim hazy light. He drew his legs up to his chest and wrapped his arms around them. For long moments, he sat that way fearing punishment for doing anything that might be wrong.

Eventually, however, his eyes grew accustomed to the shadowy light and he began to see things. Across from him he could see a wall. He wondered how long the wall had been there. The question struck him as absurd. The wall he decided would always be there. In this confusion, he meditated on the hardness before him until a thought of beauty entered his mind and the nakedness upset him. “There are no pictures…it has no pictures hanging from it.” Lacking the courage, or cowardice, to look away he continued staring blankly until his sight improved still further and he found something within the wall that excited him. “I forgot…about…colour…I can see the colour now!” He tried to give the colour a name. “Dirty…” he thought. “Filth.” he said out loud. “It is a filthy colour.” he whispered silently to himself.

Quickly, the excitement left him and he began to grow tired of looking at the wall, even the colour began to bore him. The boredom gave him a sense of courage and he became bold. He decided to explore. Cautiously he moved his eyes to the right where he saw…a corner, Then the head began to turn to follow the lead of the eyes. They continued past the corner until they gazed upon something he recognized.

He hated what he saw, the familiar object that hid in the shadows…the thing that kept him here. He glared at it, but the closed and bolted door remained unmoved. It was then that he turned back to the wall he had grown to know and the boredom…he had grown to love.

Justin

incredible first sentence!

Marie Ryan

Incredible first sentence and incredible last sentence. Shivers up my spine. Thank you.

jakey the snakey

3 words…. copy and paste

Camellia G

Omg how why are people so good at writing stuff?!?!?

abigail

idek!?!?!!! i’m a freshman in high school and i can’t even write a simple short story.

TerriblyTerrific

Give it time…

Brianna

This was a wonderful read ^_^ Short and enticingly written. Drew me in right away with that first bit, and especially the way it was all tied together by that first sentence. Lovely!

Mihau

I know it’s been two years but it’s still very good and still deserves praise. I like this trippy atmosphere, you managed to convey it very nicely.

Bridget at Now Novel

Some great story ideas here. You could even combine some of them in interesting, tenuous ways for a multi-location epic.

Thanks Bridget! Absolutely. And there’s nothing I love more than a good epic.

George McNeese

These are great ideas. I like the idea of prompts. Though sometimes, I get stuck when I write from a prompt. And sometimes, I’m not able to write a story in one sitting. I have to think about how I want the story to play out. I might have done it once, and they were pretty short. But most of the time, it takes a couple of sessions. That’s how I’m wired, I suppose.

Trinity

Ten years of therapy, about a million different types of pills and three psychiatrists have helped me enough to write this. I was eleven when it happened, my older sister, Quinn, was almost sixteen, and my best friend was ten. I’ll never forget it… I doubt anyone ever will.

It was a warm summer day, early June, my best friend, Harper was over and we were playing in the backyard. We were laughing and singing along to a song that I couldn’t tell you the name of now. It was the middle of a normal day, but that’s what they always think just before everything goes wrong. Well, anyways,Harper and I amused ourselves doing everything and nothing for a while before we decided that we wanted to go to upstairs and bug Quinn, who we thought was doing her online drivers ed. courses. We raced up to her room, giggling like the little girls we were. When we got to her room, Harper grabbed the doorknob and tried to fling the door open, but it was locked. That should have been my first sign that something was wrong, Quinn never locked her door, we weren’t allowed to. We yelled, laughing, “Let us in! Let us in!” We giggled and knocking on her door again and again. There was no response, so I remember grabbing the key my parents always had, it opened all of the doors to me and my sibling’s bedrooms… I wish I would’ve known what I know now. I wish I wouldn’t have opened that door.

That day was the last happy day for a long time. I remember everything clearly, the breeze ruffling my short hair, the sound of Harper screaming the lyrics to our favorite song at the top of her lungs. I especially remember the thing that has haunted me for the past ten years. I remember my sister’s lifeless body lying in a pool of her own blood on her bed. I remember the look on her face being more peaceful than I’ve ever seen it. I remember screaming as I stared at the image of Quinn, her wrists bleeding and her skin pale. I remember the sound of Harper frantically dialing 911 and I remember the ambulance arriving. I remember the paramedics calling my parents and hearing my mom’s piercing scream from the phone. I remember the paramedics forcing me out of Quinn’s room, while I kicked and screamed at them, begging them to let me stay with my sister. It was the last time I saw her face. I remember collapsing in my dad’s arms. That was the first time I heard him cry, it wouldn’t be the last.

She was already dead when the ambulance got there. Suicide, they said, she killed herself. It took a long time to convince myself that it wasn’t my fault. If I had only went to see her sooner I could’ve saved her. The funeral was closed casket and everyone cried. I didn’t. I couldn’t. I was too numb. I don’t remember much of the funeral, it was just a blur of black and navy blue, with the occasional apology thrown in there. I never got why everyone apologized, it wouldn’t bring her back.

I was just a little girl and there I was with my childhood torn away from me. I was a younger sister and then I was an only child. A piece of me has been missing from me ever since that die and I doubt I’ll ever get it back again.

Caleb Pratt

This was based on the boy or gets an unexpected fortune. I flushed out the typos, but its okay. Check it out! 😀 Caleb Pratt

Mistaken Divinity

My bar drinks of the wooded timberland were one of the most profound expeditions in my walk into becoming a god. I cupped the glass of cool bud light, and sipped it up at the mini bar table. I rested my hand on the wooden counter top, my fans and companions gambling each other on some high level daredevil match.

“Hey, Lexan, where you at,” I turned to see my friend Rodriguez. Fun man to have around with. He was had long grey hair, even for a guy. I pushed off the table and stood straight. I kept my hand in my pocket.

“You have a lot of realty in the new diversion your causing. Sherman hasn’t even sighted any more Divine Partakers, let alone, any Christian circumspect.”

“I know I know, but… we are, what they are… except the for the grace,” Rodriguez said.

“Right,” I narrow my eyes down towards the ground. I didn’t want to hear what he had to say about us Mormons being what the Christian Community isn’t. I mean, there almost all extinct, if not a hundred percent. We are the erected believers… who are in sure denial of the forthcoming of any later day saints.

“So where is your ceremonial magic been taking you,” Rodriguez said. “Anyhow I could help in the cemetery on Route 430?”

“Uhh… I mean… yeah unless you have a cloak and a specialized dagger. I’d have to get you one of those. You’ll be all dressed like a Celtic.”

We laughed.

Rodriguez was a good friend of mine. Much older though. I was in my teen years and he was in his fifties.

“Man, Lexan, you need to grow a beard. Your seventeen years old… yet you look like you’ve graduated college. What happened to your power to manipulate appearance? Funny… its a shame Christians don’t have this kind of power… even heathens can’t do anything we can.”

“Yeah I can tell Rodge. Tell me, why haven’t you been practicing your divinity? You seem a little out of shape to be wrestling with angles and demons….”

“Well I… yeah I mean, sure. Lets say I’m kind of in a predicament.”

“What…?”

I lay my back against the counter.

“Well, down on Armenia Rd. there was a cross fight between me and some other foe. Not sure what to suspect of him, but the “man-woman” was between two others working for her, or he… I don’t know.”

I rest my chin on my thumb and index finger. I realize and hear there are other phenomena of some other cultist group here in Sherman. Our cult is wacky on its own. Though I don’t know what to think of this “he-she man” thing….”

Escee Noah

BZZZZZ! BZZZZZ!

‘I heard you! Shut up!’

‘Enough, you asshole!’

WHACK! Pieces of metal and plastic shattered on the wall.

“I can’t do this anymore,” she muttered softly as she fights her every being not to shed a tear. Alas, she lost once again.

It’s been days since she last saw light. The shadows on the walls seemed permanently etched. Her sanctuary once filled with love, lust, and happiness, now wreaks with despair, anguish, and palpable desperation.

‘How did I get here?’ she thought. The same desperate thought she’s been clutching onto for days. Or maybe weeks? Months? Years?

It doesn’t matter. To Emma, time no longer exists with this unrelenting pain.

Once in a while, the light would sneak through the thick, heavy curtains. And Emma would almost succumb to a hint of a smile until it haunts her again.

His resilient hands on her supple breasts. His soft lips caressing her neck and slender sternum. His sturdy chest against her trembling body. His whole palpitating manhood devouring her salacious being. Every ridges of Paul haunt her. Now, it all has to be distant memories. Unshakeable, soul crushing memories.

After what seemed like a lifetime of horizontal desolation, she finally mustered some strength to sit at the edge of her bed. She slowly opened her bulging eyes, and finally saw the mess she was in. Rotting pieces of food in cardboard boxes, sea of crumpled tissue strewn with nauseating piles of laundry, and dismantled pieces of her once chirpy alarm clock scattered all over her dingy floor.

As she moved her gazed from the floor, she noticed the dent on her pristine white wall. She couldn’t help but stare. ‘That dent will be there for a long time,’ she thought.

With a throbbing grunt, Emma slowly stood up and shuffled towards her once chirpy alarm clock. She picked up the pieces and followed the faint light peeking through her bathroom door. As she turned the door knob, more tears rolled down her cheeks. It was excruciating, but this time it was different. The door closed and the room was dark once again.

Miss.Bridget

“His resilient hands on her supple breasts. His soft lips caressing her neck and slender sternum. His sturdy chest against her trembling body. His whole palpitating manhood devouring her salacious being. Every ridges of Paul haunt her. Now, it all has to be distant memories. Unshakeable, soul crushing memories.”

Stella

He had left his Gameboy behind. There was nothing to do without it, nothing to do but kick his feet and stare at the dull blank walls. Even annoying Di-Di had lost its colour. He didn’t care what Ma or Papa said. He had to get his Gameboy back.

He pushed into the room. Ah Boy, wait outside ah. Don’t come in! Papa had seemed firm, but he was old enough now to know how to get out of trouble. He would run to Ma, hide behind her legs, maybe tearfully declare that he would run away from home because Papa was so mean. Anyway, Papa seemed so busy with Ah Gong nowadays. He wouldn’t bother to cane a little boy like him.

Where had everyone gone? He couldn’t have been in the corridor for so long. The room that was once packed full of relatives was empty. It was only Ah Gong left in the hospital bed.

Immediately he noticed that the mask over Ah Gong’s nose and mouth was gone. Who had removed it? Without the strange alien-octopus-thing perched on his face, Ah Gong looked like the grandfather he remembered. He moved closer to get a better look.

As he approached the bed he realized the mask was lying on the chair. The inside was stained with a rustlike substance he did not recognize. He held up the mask to the light, and rubbed the stain with a cautious index finger. A powder came off in his hand. With a shiver of disgust he realized it was dried blood.

“Di-Di!” He didn’t know if he was terrified or excited. Where was his brother? Ma had always rushed to daub up any blood in their house – whether from Di-Di falling when learning to ride his bicycle, Di-Di scratching him during one of their many fights, Papa tripping over a wire and later needing stitches in his forehead. He couldn’t pass up this golden opportunity to share with his brother: the chance to investigate blood without an adult present.

The Gameboy lay in the room, forgotten.

Wrote on ‘a group of children discover a dead body’. In case it wasn’t obvious.

Dejon Dequonihjuan

“I do like llamas very much,” said Charleston, “In fact, they even have names.” “You are one freaky man, Charleston.” stated Larry

Aaroc

Very well said!!

Iflis Richenstar

Jeremy Reynolds had a party one day. He decided it would be a special theme. Deez Nutz, he decided would be a fitting title for a beach party.

rainbowcliffords

*I am only 14 so please, don’t mind me if there are any mistakes. I am still in the process of learning, but I tried really hard*

He could write. He could write and he knew it. No one else knew. He’d never show them his pieces; his collection of fantasies and mysteries. He wanted his friends to know. No, he wanted the world to know. But he was fearful. He was fearful of his stories failing, of him failing.

Abram had written many short stories and novels, all of them printed in manuscript and hidden in a black lock-box under his bed. He was unmarried, for he didn’t need any other love than that of his trusty typewriter and parchment. Writing was frowned upon, in his country. Books were burned. Even the classics. They were all burned in a pile on the streets.

He wouldn’t risk it. He didn’t want that fate for his books. He worked to hard. He spent too much time revising and perfecting the novel; there was no way he would let them die.

Sighing, Abram cracked his knuckles and stood. He yawned and walked over to his bed, where he bent down and grabbed the lock-box from beneath the bed. Abram had kept the key underneath the mattress, in case anyone were to find this box that contained all of his treasured secrets.

He opened the box he hadn’t opened in many years. Removing the pieces of parchment, he sat on floor, listening for the sounds of Nazi vehicles who somehow sensed the unpublished books. But none came. There was only silence, which, to Abram’s surprise, seemed to grow stronger as each second passed.

Before he knew it, Abram had been sitting on his hard floor for hours, thinking. Thinking about what he knew not. He just knew he was thinking.

Abram stood slowly; carefully as if he was trying not to disrupt the dust that covered the dark floor. Walking over to his desk, he left his lock-box open; something he’d never done in the years past. He sat and placed some more parchment into the typewriter and began writing, or typing, you could say. But this time, something was different. Abram wasn’t writing just for fun, he was writing for purpose. This time, he thought, this time, I will be published and my work may fuel the world. And with that, he revealed his talent to the world.

malberga

Thank you so much!!

Samurai

much thanks <3

LAIE AKANA

I’m sorry I’m late but I just wanted to say this story is fantastic! Soon enough this will become a book! I’m from Hawaii and all I do is write and draw all day… Keep up the work and never give up! God bless and aloha!

Pranaydiya Verma

Yours was the best story that I read on this page…

thank you!!!

Very empowering!!! I was also around your age when I started writing on this site.

Anyways, that short story was so full of meaning. We just happened to be doing an essay on the value of literature in English class so this really fit in nicely for me with that. Lovely! 🙂

oh thank you sooo much!! I greatly appreciate it!!

LilianGardner

I enjoyed your story. Thank you for sharing. I especially liked how Abram developed his talent, and despite the fear of having his manuscripts destroyed, he decided to publish his work. Well done and well told.

Jonathan

I have noticed some tiny grammatical mistakes in your Story and correct it for you as I know that this short Story has potential to go very far. Here is the corrected version: He could write. He could write, and he knew it. No one else knew. He’d never show them his pieces; his collection of fantasies and mysteries. He wanted his friends to know. No, he wanted the world to know. But he was fearful. He was fearful of his stories failing, of him failing.

Abram had written many short stories and novels, all of them printed in manuscript and hidden in a black lock-box under his bed. He was unmarried, for he didn’t need any other love than that of his trusty typewriter and parchment. Writing was frowned upon, in his country. Books were burnt. Even the classics. They were all burned in a pile on the streets.

He wouldn’t risk it. He didn’t want that fate for his books. He worked too hard. He spent too much time revising and perfecting the novel; there was no way he would let them die.

He opened the box he hadn’t opened in many years. Removing the pieces of parchment, he sat on the floor, listening for the sounds of Nazi vehicles who somehow sensed the unpublished books. But none came. There was only silence, which, to Abram’s surprise, seemed to grow stronger as each second passed.

Abram stood slowly; carefully as if he was trying not to disrupt the dust that covered the dark floor. Walking over to his desk, he left his lock-box open; something he’d never done in the years past. He sat and placed some more parchment into the typewriter and began writing, or typing, you could say. But this time, something was different. Abram wasn’t writing just for fun, he was writing for a purpose. This time, he thought, this time, I will be published, and my work may fuel the world. And with that, he revealed his talent to the world.

I hope my effort has helped!

Is it OK if I put this on a website I’m making. It will get me money I need to have. You said your only 14, 9 months ago, so you could be 15, well I’m only 12. I need to learn to save up and this will help me. Everything I said here is true, please help me. Also, this is a great story and that is why I chose your to be on my website.

3am_moon_and_stars

dude thats like literally directly stealing someone’s work for money that only goes to you. Just write your own story instead of stealing someone else’s.

Admit it. I am probably some dude who can’t even make a website, well I am, so don’t worry.

This is the story I am working on now. I wrote it a long time ago, but I am upgrading it now. Changing all the errors, making the vocabulary more sophisticated:

In a valley close to a river where melt-water splashed and where rhododendrons and roses bloomed, where linnets flew with doves above the clustered trees, lay a cave, mostly hidden by the immense pines and the crag. In the cave, out of reach from the sunlight, was a portal. The portal’s frame was the darkest shade of gold, with glowing orange lines carved into it. Glowing flecks of bright blue glow in the darkness of the cave. The portal lay un opened, but the frame still glowed in the shadows of the sombre cave.

In a desert of torturing, immense heat, where scorching light, too blistering to be called sunlight, burns the dehydrated ground, was a tunnel, buried under the sand. In the tunnel there was an ever-growing fortress of burnt leaves and sand with over-boiled water dripping the top. This is all that remained of the desert, nothing could survive in the world above, nothing except from the portal. The fortress was built around the portal; the portal was the darkest shade of black, with red around the rims of the frame.

The sound of water hitting the cold tiles that topped the floor brought a sense of entertainment to the girl sat in the small room covered in a mixture of scars and bruises, awaiting the next blow of the hammer upon her fragile body which shivered in the night air and soft breeze which entered via the half barricaded window. Again and again, almost as if it was a cruel rhythm the metal tool came down, never missing a hit, always landing upon her chest. The storm brewing outside was bad enough without the maniac and his hammer. These are soft blows for a man of his build, she thought, she was certain he intended to make this last all night long. She wanted to struggle, to scream! But the leather bindings made it impossible, who cares anyway, she thought, no one near this basement would care.

The sticky taste of iron filled her mouth, blood. Her body started to shudder, shock. By this point the inmate hitting had dropped the hammer and injected another load of hydrocodone, such a waste of such an effective pain killer. At last she tried to struggle, but even with the drugs numbing the sharp pain shooting trough her body she still couldn’t gain the strength to fuel her ineffective hope of escaping the inmate, after all, even if she did escape, in a mass breakout like this? She could die in a more demanding way.

With my free hand I felt the imperfections, holes, scratches, patches of long since dry blood that covered thee wooden operation table I lay on. How old was it? Thirty years? Forty? Who cares, it had to be old to be in the basement of Twin Rivers Asylum. This psychiatric institution had housed many atrocities, after all, Nazis built this asylum, catered the inmates…put them to work. We are only barely off the English channel; here in Channel Island’s Twin rivers asylum we have many an inmates. Young and old, French and British, they are all welcome here, hell, we have a Swedish inmate, talks to himself all day and night, his names Toby Buchman, we call him Toby-Talkative, how very fitting being his nurse I should die by his hand…

Ouch, be gentler Toby. Even through my drugged up husk of a body I felt that one. I and the staff thought you were joking when you said you were very strong, looks like you weren’t joking…

For such a shrivelled blotch of bones you have surprisingly good and when it comes to instrument of torture, your quite strong, why wouldn’t you be? Killing young women is why your here, Toby, you are one hell of a sociopath, brilliant mind, you’re like a more sadistic Hannibal Lecter minus eating his victims after all, I’m so helpless you could take a couple of bites out of me as I lie here, in the dark basement…

Fun fact, a goldfish’s attention span is three seconds, the average lunar eclipse takes 11 minutes to pass, and a wooden hospital bed from 19th century takes an average of 63 hits to break trough, 54 if you incorporate a body which weighs approximately 130lbs, and guess how much I weigh.

Suddenly I heard the wood buckle under the next hit a glorious hit as well as my straps loosening. Come on Toby, you brilliant old sociopath, you can do it, one more well made hit could send me free. What could go wrong? Toby stood motionless on the spot for a moment later Toby took another blow. I couldn’t breathe. The pain was so intense I felt every cell in my body explode in a chain reaction. The pain was so intense that it felt like a piece of heated iron had been pressed onto my skin. Despite that, a strange sort of calm fell over me: I was dying. I wasn’t coming back from this. Part of me thought, All right. Make it count. I wobbled on one foot about to run to the door, but unfortunately Toby kicked me at the wall. He was so strong, I thought All froze the leaves on the trees didn’t clatter, Toby didn’t stink anymore, Then it was gone all the memories of life returning to me. Then it all went away, my life was It was the end, nothing could stop that now…

I awoke in a bed, in a white room with a marble floor and a silver carpet at the foot of the bed; the wall behind her was a fancy, white wallpaper, decorated to look like a real wall. The wall on the left of the bed and in front of the bed were normal and white, on the right of the bed was a window, now covered, with a beige curtain. In the bed- where the girl lay were multiple cushions, all lay side by side at the top of the bed; the blanket covering her was soft and light. On the sides of the bed were two bed-side cabinets, one with a lamp and the other one with a vase, holding tulips and rhododendrons, on books by her favourite author, many she didn’t recognise. Promptly, she got up noticing there was a small, white table- shaped as a cylinder, with a transparent glass top; also noticing the chair behind it too. The chair was a traditional, leather armchair with four small metal legs holding it up. Then she turned to the door. It was white made, smooth and made out of oak, with a metal handle, a small, square keyhole under it.

As soon as I placed my hand on the door handle, it flew open with a tall, handsome man in the way with bright blue hair shaped as a fire and red eyes. “Welcome, Kayla to Valhalla. Where are you off so fast” he shouted with glee. “I was going out,” Kyla said trembling on the spot. “I didn’t think this is where I should be.” “In this hotel we are all dedicated to make you feel like home, for you will be staying here for the rest of your life. Sorry for my wrong vocabulary, you are already dead. For the rest of the time you need to practice.” “What !?” she yelled. “Are you saying I’m dead” “Yes I am,” the man asked confused.”May I introduce you to your new home”

So the two walked through what seemed to be a endless tour, but eventually came to an end. “And this is the dining room where you have dinner… Here is your breakfast room you can freely come here and invite friends if you are feeling lonely…” “So you are saying this is the place where all people go if they are an extremex and if they died they come here and become an extraextremex” “Yes,” said he.”And also that you are our leader because you can see what specie people are also take away their powers if needed.” “Can I take away the powers of sociopaths or weaken them with my mind beams whatever things.”

“Yes, you can but if you do that you will be weakened too. Also that is a high level trick, you are not high level- no offense” “Offense taken,” said Kayla, with her head down. So they continued on their tour and went walking through all the different floors and introducing Kyla to all the different people and members of staff. On they went about the limits of people and a lot of different stuff. After time, they started her training.

“Focus on me, ” Blaze was explaining to her how to see what specie he was.”Do not think of anything else. Not the colour of my nose, not what room we are in just on me the thoughts and memories of me. Now listen to the sound of my voice. You should be in a universe of darkness; are you?” “Yes I see black in the background and there are flying things in it.” “Yes those are my thoughts.” “I can also see images swirling around” “Those are memories” “I can also feel heat and cold environment when I move around. Are those your emotions” “Yes, the heat is happiness and the cold is anxiety or sadness. Now let’s focus on the specie part. To determine if I’m an Extraextremex, a normal Extremex or even an Oigreog. If I am an Extraextremex then you will not feel motion. If I was an Extremex then you would sense tingling and if I am an Oigreog then you’ll sense shaking. Which one do you sense?” “I sense tingling and shaking so you are one of the Oigreog in the times when Extremex where starting to populate the world. This that means you are an Exremog or an Exoiig” “I am an Exoiig. I have not died yet.” “But how are you here?” “Because I was the first Exoiig alive. I made this place” “But how?” “I used my powers to do it. That is why all the walls are shades of red, orange and yellow.” “Why didn’t you make mine a different colour.” “Because I need to keep track of what specie everyone is. I used Conjuration and Mysticism to make sure that every specie got the same shade of red or whatever.” They blabbered on about what it was like when Oigreog ruled the world, what Black Magic could do and how to control Extraextremex powers…

Kayla went to bed with the thoughts of how the world was made and how it transformed into this planet, when at the start it was billions of monsters – the Oigreog – fought and then somehow transformed into normal people who never fought in their lives. She also didn’t understand how there was only one person who had the power to see what specie one was… She woke with her hair curled up covering her face.

Once she tossed the hair off her face she noticed there was a book on her bed-side cabinet beside the lamp. When she picked it up, she noticed it was a book called “The Arts of Necromancy and Enchantments”. She soon noticed it was the book Blaze used to learn Black Magic. She was filled with a mixture of joy and shock. Then the door flew open. A small brown-haired boy was standing in the way. “Hi,” he said, holding a hand out to shake, “I am Logan, someone from you floor” “Hi,” Kayla said, shaking his hand, “I’m Kayla, an Extraextremex” “Do you want to go and have breakfast” “I guess so” said Kayla.

In the hallway, my neighbours were starting to emerge. Thomas Jefferson Jr looked about my age. He had short curly hair, a lanky frame and a rifle slung over one shoulder. His blue wool coat had brass buttons and chevrons on the sleeve – a U.S. Army Civil War uniform, I guessed. He nodded and smiled. ‘How you doing?’

‘Um, dead, apparently,’ I said. He laughed. ‘Yeah. You’ll get used to it. Call me T.J.’ ‘Kayla,’ I said. ‘Come on.’ Logan pulled me along.

We passed a girl who must’ve been Mallory Keen. She had frizzy red hair, green eyes and a serrated knife, which she was shaking in the face of a six-foot-seven guy outside the door marked X.

‘Again with the pig’s head?’ Mallory Keen spoke in a faint Irish brogue. ‘X, do you think I want to see a severed pig’s head every time I step out of my front door?’

‘I could not eat any more,’ X rumbled. ‘The pig head does not fit in my refrigerator.’ Personally, I would not have antagonized the guy. He was built like a bomb-containment chamber. If you happened to have a live grenade, I was pretty sure you could safely dispose of it simply by asking X to swallow it. His skin was the colour of a shark’s belly, rippling with muscles and stippled with warts. There were so many welts on his face it was hard to tell which one was his nose. We walked past, X and Mallory too busy arguing to pay us any attention.

We entered a small elevator and the doors closed, making the elevator sound. “One question: How does everyone get here.” “People called Collectors fly around the world collecting souls of dead Extremex. I am a Collectors.”

‘And you?’ I asked. ‘How did you become a Collector? Did you die a noble death?’ She laughed. ‘Not yet. I’m still among the living.’ ‘How does that work exactly?’ ‘Well, I live a double life. Tonight, I’ll escort you to dinner. Then I have to rush home and finish my calculus homework.’ ‘You’re not joking, are you?’ ‘I never joke about calculus homework.’ The elevator doors opened. We stepped into a room the size of a concert arena. My mouth dropped. ‘Holy –’ ‘Welcome,’ Logan said, ‘to the Feast Hall of the Slain.’

Rows of long tables, like a stadium, curved downward from the nosebleed section. In the center of the room, instead of a basketball court, a tree rose taller than the Statue of Liberty. Its lowest branches were maybe a hundred feet up. Its canopy spread over the entire hall, scraping against the domed ceiling and sprouting through a massive opening at the top. Above, stars glittered in the night sky.

Eh

What’s supposed to be your point? If you are receiving money from something YOU DO NOT OWN then it is obviously theft. YOU DO NOT PUT SOMEONE ELSES WORK ON YOUR OWN WEBSITE AND USE THAT MONEY FOR YOURSELF. That is just pathetic, really. I hope you honestly realise what your doing here, because its seriously stupid.

niggy

kys nigga my bitch loves the cocaine nigga gucci gang nigga iwill fuck your bith tongiht nigga, drose out nigga fag nigga

stupid

I am very disappointed that there is not 100 of the story idea selection

Marlene Samuels

I’m glad to see Joe’s book, Let’s Write a Short Story! is still availalbe and going strong! I purchased it as soon as it was published, still refer to it quite regularly to remind myself of some important but often over-looked elements of short story. Although my work has been published a number of times, we’re never too experienced to learn and to be reminded of what makes for a great story.

A short story idea: When I was very young, one of my best friends learned she had been adopted. We all know that people really can and do say some incredibly stupid things to children. Because my mother had very blond hair and blue eyes and both my hair and eyes are dark brown, strangers often said to me,”And just whose little girl are you?” I began to wonder whether I, too, was adopted and my parents simply weren’t telling me. What if, as an adult who never questioned your origins, you learned you had been adopted. Conversely, because I myself DO have an adopted child, what if you were told you were adopted but in fact, learned you were not. Write a short story!

Jayden

here’s my story

Uncle joe was talking to his 5 year old nephew jane about how he’s getting old and how she’s going to have to start doing all the chores in the house joe is a little challenged in his life because he was bullied and doesn’t know how to control his anger. he gets in an argument with jane and Joe felt anger go through his mind his temper over flows and he got so mad he started hitting her. 2 years later she was still helping around as Jane’s face would turn red and she would start throwing tempers and joe would hit her. Over the years her fachel expiration started to change form because of all the hitting. Joe heard a scream of dying devastating noise outside and went to go see what it was he lifted up a bucket and under it was the phone book. Since he had anger issues he decided to call the evil scientist and ask him to fix bullying once and for all after he went to the evil scientist house something went wrong he came back as the demon he unlocked his nephew’s room there she was. she was crying.Jane slowly turned around she was mad crazy. He ordered her to clean the dishes. Since she was so mad crazy she didn’t listen to him and she smacked him across the face the Demons face turned red he felt like someone pierced him with a needle he got so mad that he trapped her in the mirror. She was screaming for help but it just circulated around in the mirror as she was she was trapped there another duplicate appeared it was a boy. He said his name was michael. He was 7 years old the evil demon erased the kids memories and put them in a microchip. Then he put him on the streets. Someone had found him and brought him home and He had been with his new parents for years.He was great at figuring anything out a after a while he found out about his uncle Joe. Since he was so good at researching things he even found directions to his uncle’s house so he decided to go on an adventure to find his uncle joe/the Demon once he found uncle Joe he wasn’t at all happy.

Joe hit Michael and he fell to the ground and fainted .when he was just slightly awake he found a microchip it said Michael’s memories michael picked it up Joe was coming towards him with a knife

Michael woke up right away and put the microchip to his chest if he dies Jane will vanish for ever Joe stabbed Michael in the chest.luckily the microchip blocked the knife from stabbing him and the microchip went into his chest it felt like a rainbow bursting through his skin the light went into his eyes and he got his memories back. He knew everything he knew that his clone was abused and everything he was ready to sacrifice himself for his clone so he ran inside the house and did bloody jane spinning around in circles and said bloody jane bloody jane bloody jane.

He trapped himself in the mirror and Bloody Jane was back Jane through her self out of the house and went to Joe in and punched him on the floor and they had a sword fight and Joe died and bloody Jane turned into the evil bloody demon.

(I like to write with comic characters (Peter Parker, ect.) so here we go… Based on the scars short story idea)

“Where did these come from?” I flinched and hurried to cover my back and arms up. “They’re old… They don’t hurt anymore…” I frowned, remembering the pain from each one of the marks that stained my skin forever. “That’s not what I asked…” I flinched as he slid the thin jacket off my shoulders to get a better look at them. I didn’t meet his eyes as he traced over them. Long and thin lines from knives. Round ones from cigars or cigarettes. Jagged ones from glass. The giant one that curled from just below my neck, all the way around my body before stopping at my right hip. I remembered the pain from each one, the cause of each one, the people who caused each and every one of them… “Pete, It’s a really long story…” We had been dating for about a month and I didn’t want to scare him away with my sob story. “I want to know.” His voice was soft as he had me sit on the bed facing him. I looked at him for a while, trying to sort my thoughts out. We had been friends since we were six, but I had hidden everything from him. He had no clue, and I wish he still wouldn’t… I took a deep breath and began to tell the story. “I’ve kept this from everyone… Please let me tell the whole story before you ask questions or leave me. I wouldn’t blame you if you did…” “Go ahead, I’ll let you finish. But I promise, I won’t leave you.” He grabbed my hand and gave it a reassuring squeeze. “We’ll see… It began when I was six. My parents weren’t the best as you know… They weren’t home much. Mom went out drinking until she was hammered, Dad went out on “business” calls. He would leave almost every night, coming home with perfume on him. Mom didn’t want to believe it. She was in denial, believed that he still loved her as he did in the past… She would come home smashed and would start sobbing. I tried to help as much as I could, but I didn’t know much. I would let her hug me, and would do my best to comfort her. I learned fast that I needed to take care of her. She would wake up with a hangover and the best I could do was give her one of my favorite juice pouches and a cookie. She would start crying again and tell me that I was such a good girl. Remember when I missed school for a week?” “Yeah, the teacher said you were really sick.” “Dad and mom got into a fight. They were screaming at each other, I didn’t know what to do… I ran away from home, I went to my cousin’s house. I got to stay there the week even though he called mom. When I got home, Dad was gone and mom was passed out on the couch surrounded by empty cans of alcohol. Dad never came back after that, and mom got increasingly depressed. I didn’t know what was happening, Dad wouldn’t come home, mom was sad, I learned how to do things for myself quick because I had to support myself and mom. When I turned seven the nice elderly woman from next door began to teach me how to cook, and clean. I would make her little crafts to sell in her shop as a “payment” for the lessons. Mom barely noticed I was gone for an hour afterschool. She tried to be there for me, she would ask me how my day was, and would constantly give me hugs. I thought life was going good, that everything would be okay. Then when I was eight, everything went downhill…” He squeezed my hand slightly. “Dad came back to the house. He… He said nasty things to mom. I didn’t understand that well back then but as I grew older I understood what he said to her. He.. broke her… She wouldn’t talk anymore, refused to eat, refused to drink… After I came home from the sleepover at your house, I saw her… She, She was hanging from the ceiling, tears running down her face.” Pete looked horrified, pulling me into a hug as I continued. “The elderly woman heard my scream, and rushed over to see me staring at my mother screaming and sobbing. She called the cops, quickly getting her to the ground, checking her pulse. I was taken to the woman’s home, the police announced her dead and found a letter…” “I knew she passed but didn’t know what happened exactly…” Pete’s voice was quiet. “Dad got custody over me. He didn’t like the fact that I looked like mom. He… He did things. He let his ‘friends’ do things. I was nine at the time, and he sold me to his ‘friend’ for the night. Gave him 10 bucks to have his way with me. I tried to fight back but…” Pete looked livid. “I felt sick, the bad thing is that I couldn’t feel anything. I was numb, emotionally and physically. You and the others were the only ones that made me feel something… It continued until I was twelve, I had tried to fight but it was pointless. One day, Dad had enough of it. He slapped me, kicked me, cut me, burned me… He let his ‘friends’ have their way with me. The reason I began to miss more and more school was because of him. I got lucky sometimes and was able to sneak out and see you. He would add a new mark to the collection each time. Then when I was fifteen, he got drunk. He.. Had his way with me, then threatened to kill me if I said anything. Aunt May was the one to notice, the one day I came over she saw a glimpse of them… I confided in her, I didn’t want you to know because you would look at me differently. Or give up on me and that would have killed me… Dad found out when May called the cops on him. He was not happy, the longest scar was his attempt to kill me. The police did a search, and the court plead him guilty. I was in the hospital that month I missed school… My cousin got custody of me, then the accident happened, and I got my abilities. That’s pretty much it… I guess you’ll be leaving then?” I lowered my head, waiting for the rejection. “I told you. I’ll never leave you. I love you too much to do that. I’m glad you told me…” He pulled me into a tight hug, kissing the top of my head. “Really?” I teared up a bit. “Really.” He held me as I cried. I really felt loved for once in my life… All I know is that it felt good to get that off my chest. “I don’t care about the marks. Because these scars make you look even more beautiful to me.”

Sharmi

( I have no idea if I did this right and I’m quite sure I might have made few mistakes but it’s worth a try)

Sometimes there are instances when you can see your own life flashing before your eyes and it gets you thinking ” Is this where I want to be? Is this the place I still want to be in another 5 years?”

I had a minor problem, a fault perhaps. I was surely and indefinitely addicted to Alcohol. Don’t get me wrong it was not that type of addiction where one would kill for a bottle of beer or something far more stronger that leaves that burning sensation down your throat and a sting behind your eyelids. It was a addiction where when I didn’t know what to do-how to react- specifically, I turned to my new found companion. It didn’t shout back at me, didn’t call me names, didn’t say that I was a worthless mistake.

Infact it welcomed me with open arms and I embraced the feeling of not caring. Sure it was a great weight off my shoulders just to forget everything for a moment and just…… be. But then I’d wake up regretting every single thing I did the night before. Trust me that plus having a blasting headache ? not the best hangover tonic.

Now here I am in front of my car trying to think yet failing since I can’t even think straight to even start thinking about thinking.

That’s when I feel it. something poking at the back of my head. A shadow looming behind me.

”Leave the keys on the ground and turn away without a second glance and you won’t get hurt.” His vice was rough and he reeked of old garbage and dried up voldka.

There I see it again. All The time I’ve spent wasting away drinking without actually doing what my 21 year old self was supposed to be doing.

I took my parents money for granted and had the time of my life. A Audi sports car, expensive designer clothes, latest IPhone, all the girls I could ever imagine. And yet I felt hollow. An empty nutshell disguised as a perfect fruit.

This is the moment I change that. This is the moment the fight back. I’m not going to whole away anymore. I won’t be that worthless mistake any more. I am Rane Alexander after all and I won’t let a label define me. I’m going to get past this hazy fog and I’ll see the horizon again.

So I turned back and grabbed the man by his arm and sling him over hard sending the gun skidding across the dim lit parking lot.

” Not today” I breathed.

Nice…well done. I thought the ending was empowering…

Emma Palmer

Standing Still

I would like to tell you a story about a girl. There was nothing special about her at all-she was simply a girl. Every day she lived in pain. She lived in her shared room feeling so alone. Everything was white: the walls, the beds, the furniture. There was no creativity in the room, no evidence of the girl’s individuality-no posters, no color, nothing. Although, she did have one orange throw pillow that she didn’t want nor like. She hated the bland, bland room. Until she was forced to live in this room she saw white as a symbol of purity, harmony, and peace. Now she saw white as a toxic color, something that wasn’t even really a color at all, something that was devoid of emotion. Every day the girl took a shower in an attempt to wash away her skin that had been tainted by the room, but that simple act of cleansing soon became tiresome and it eventually stopped working. The girl felt dirty, impure, and alone. She was afraid-so afraid. She was afraid of being alone in her shared room in a shared house of seven people. She was afraid of not being heard, of not being able to speak. She didn’t know how she felt and she didn’t know how to express it. One day, the girl stepped into her shower, and stared at the white walls and the white floors and the white curtain and the whiteness of it all and she felt numb. She felt as if the blandness of her room and of her life had finally driven her emotionless. She stood there, feeling every singular drop of water sting her skin as if she was on fire and she felt nothing. Nothing-the absence of anything-shouldn’t feel as if the world was being torn apart around her, it shouldn’t feel as though everyone and everything were pitted against her, and yet this is the way the girl felt. She forgot that she was in the shower, where she was supposed to feel refreshed and cleansed, and she forgot herself. She leaned her head against the shower wall she wondered why the walls looked as if they were in so much pain. It was as if the very walls around her were feeling just as she felt. She stood and she thought. She wondered how long she would be able to stand there, with her head resting on a cold, hard surface. She stood in the shower too long, she stood there until the hot water turned cold and even past that. She stood there until she felt as though the pain building up inside her couldn’t take it any longer. And then, she moved. She placed one hand against the tile wall and she pushed, testing her strength-the wall remained still. She thought about how meaningless her life was and how she couldn’t possibly do anything important or memorable and she felt selfish. She felt selfish for wanting to be important. She felt as though all of her thoughts were not her own and that society had simply conditioned her to think them and she felt nothing. She felt trapped. She had nowhere to go, nowhere to be, no friends to run to, nothing. She felt alone. Her worst fear was unfolding as she began to panic. She thrashed in the shower as she desperately gasped for air, feeling nothing. Maybe she should stop gasping for air, maybe she should just give up. But no, she had to keep fighting. She turned and she turned the dreaded water off and it stopped. Just like that, it stopped, and she felt nothing yet again. She stood there, water dripping down her body, and she thought. She thought about how many mistakes she made and how many lies she’d told. She regretted everything. She wanted to stop feeling. She wanted to undo all of her wrongdoings and she wished she could fix the people she’d broken. She wished so desperately to fix herself. She stopped, she told herself to snap out of it and she felt nothing. She turned and she pulled back the bland, white curtain. She slowly took a step and then another. She stood right outside the shower and let herself feel the cold, rigid air on her skin because feeling something was better than nothing, right? She grabbed a towel and wrapped it around herself to shield her small, fragile body from the cold. She stood there outside of the shower, and she felt vulnerable. She felt neglected. She felt as if nobody cared at all. She truly thought that she had no one. She sat down on the cold tile bathroom floor and she felt defeated. She felt as if she could no longer go one. She stared at the water dripping from the faucet and she thought about how easy it would be to corrupt these white walls with her own blood just as they had tainted her with pain and sorrow and misery. She sat for what felt like hours and she thought. She realized that she couldn’t do what she so desperately wanted to do because she was just too afraid. She thought about spilling her own blood, just to leave at least a little bit of herself in that lonely room that would never truly be hers. She came so close-oh so close-to giving up, but then she remembered. She remembered a person and how that person made her feel. She remembered a smile like no other. She remembered arms that held her so tight and close that she actually felt safe. She remembered a face, a gorgeous face, that lit up the moment its eyes layed on her. She remembered feeling loved, so she stood up, turned to the door, walked into the white room, and the girl lived on to see another day, another sunrise, and another beautiful moment.

And I have a secret-that girl, that terrible terrible girl, is me.

I have a blog and have uploaded 190 articles and short stories averaging 1000-1400 words. 70% were political. My writing is purely a hobby although I did send one story to a publisher and they wrote that they liked it but being an unknown author I would be required to contribute £2,500 towards the cost of publishing this children’s picture book which was 800 words long. Is this normal?.

So far I have had 43,000 hits worldwide on my blog I am now writing fiction for girls aged between 12-17 and children’s picture books..

I have a blog and have uploaded 190 articles and short stories averaging 1000-1400 words. 70% were political. My writing is purely a hobby although I did send one story to a publisher and they wrote that they liked it but being an unknown author I would be required to contribute £2,500 towards the cost of publishing this children’s picture book which was 800 words long.

IS THIS NORMAL?.

Miss.Bridgit

Is this normal ?

I will get up off the chair and head for the PC, I will type two lines. At this stage they are nothing but the release of vague reflections triggered by my imagination. I may not use them but they have to escape the clutter and disarray of my thoughts and be planted like a seedling. Those two lines on a blank screen when germinated can blossom into an article, a story or a book; the blank computer screen is not unlike the painter’s blank palette waiting for the first glimmer of his/her artistry. A line of text can do the same, although it need not even be a line of text, one word can suffice.

The first line read “It was the evening of the annual Concert and Dance at……….. ” I turned the Pee Cee off and I went to bed. The next day the story took root and blossomed… ….

I will get up off the chair and head for the PC, I will type two lines. At this stage they are nothing but the release of vague reflections triggered by my imagination. I may not use them but they have to escape the clutter and disarray of my thoughts and be planted like a seedling.

Those two lines on a blank screen when germinated can blossom into an article, a story or a book; the blank computer screen is not unlike the painter’s blank palette waiting for the first glimmer of his/her artistry. A line of text can do the same, although it need not even be a line of text, one word can suffice.

The first line read “It was the evening of the annual Concert and Dance at the Denham College” I turned the Pee Cee off and I went to bed. The next day the story took root and blossomed… ….

Those two lines on a blank screen when germinated can blossom into an article, a story or a book; the blank computer screen is not unlike the painter’s blank palette waiting for the first glimmer of his/her artistry. A line of text can do the same, although it need not even be a line of text, one word can suffice. The first line read “It was the evening of the annual Concert and Dance at the Denham College.

I turned the Pee Cee off and I went to bed. The next day the story took root and blossomed… ….

Dori Acuff

Here a poem…

Roses are red Violets are blue I love you Do you love me?

Times I sit and think of you In hope as you think of me Your smile just makes me melt As I know my makes you melt.

I know you think I’m silly But you love me for it.

I hope this puts a smile on your face As it does my as I wrote it.

The sky is blue, the grass is green and the sun is warm just like my heart that beats for you. You make me smile more then the beautiful flowers that bloom under the warmth of spring and you put a sparkle in my eyes more then the stars shine in the night sky. You light my path better then a full moon in a clear night sky.

You are beautiful and I love you too.

It lights up my heart to see the words I write to you. I never thought I would ever meet someone like you. I have told you things happen for a reason and so they do. I want spend every waking moment to show you how I feel. My heart belongs to the moat amazing woman I know. Baby, that is you. I know here lately I’ve been hard to love but I promise things will get better. You are my rock and sanitary you keep me going when I think I can’t. I love u with all my heart, mind, body and soul. You’re my FOREVER. Just one more thing to say.

Don’t give up on me because I will make all your dreams come true in one way or another. I will love you until I take my last breath. Just keep on loving me for I know I am you’re Forever Love…..

That is the biggest poem I’ve ever seen

Arikateku

Merp, I like this

Chris Jones

Beware: Bad language. These are two dispicible people being told honestly.

————-

Stew bent down and grabbed the dead man’s feet. “Because they’re faggots, that’s why. Why you care?”

Phil bent over and grabbed the dead man’s shoulders. “I just don’t think we should generalize people like that. That’s all.”

“One. Two. Three. Up.” They lifted the dead man off the pavement and shuffled over to the trunk of their Volkswagen. “I don’t give a fuck what you don’t think, they’re still dick-suckers. On three again. One. Two. Three.” They tossed the man into the trunk. Stew grabbed the dead man’s legs and contorted them in such a way that his fat ass fit inside, then he tossed a sheet over the body and slammed the trunk shut. “Queers, Phil. God ain’t got no love for a man sucking off another man.”

Phil was wiping his hands with a kerchief. When he was done he stuffed it back in his back pocket. The left one. “Maybe God doesn’t care, neither? Maybe we’re the ones, as a society, making a bigger deal out of it than it really is.”

Stew licked his thumb and rubbed it on his left tail light, smearing a dot of blood and making it worse. “Gimme’ a rag, would ya’?” Phil fetched a rag out of the backseat of the VW and tossed it to Stew. He spit on the rag and then wiped the taillight raw. “It’s in the fuckin’ bible, man. God said a man and a woman, not a man and a man. Now, don’t get me wrong, I got no problem with women dating women. I mean, come on, it’s sexy as hell. But two guys wagging their weiner’s in each other’s faces? Fucking gross.”

Phil stuck a cigarette between his lips and lit it, closing his eyes and inhaling. He opened his eyes and exhaled. A kid on a bike rode by, tossing a newspaper wrapped in a blue bag on the edge of the driveway. Phil watched the boy as he pedaled away, dumping papers on every driveway down the street. “Maybe the bible does say that,” he said, turning back to Stew. “Why’s it our business, though? Long as they keep it between them, how’s it hurting you?”

“It’s the principle of the motherfuckin’ thing,” Stew said, tossing the rag to Phil.

Phil sidestepped out of the way and let the rag fall to the ground. “Fuck off, dude. I don’t want his fucking blood on my new suit.”

“Well at least put it in the trash.” Stew wiped his hands down his pants, at which Phil cringed, then walked over and opened the driver side door. “We gotta meet Don in half an hour and we’re runnin’ late. Let’s go.”

“Stop for a taco?” Phil asked, bending over and grabbing the rag between two fingers.

“Sure. I’m starving.”

I Tried This is what i have so far…:

Isra Sonnet liked the quiet. Which was why she wished she were back home with her parents back in California, her cousin Eric was snoring very loud on the top bunk of the beds. She tried to block out the noise, but he seemed to be getting louder, and louder with each snort. Having enough of this, Isra grabbed her pillow and climbed up with it.

Holding steady onto the ledge of the bed, she smacked him with it. Hard.

Waking up with a start Eric looked at Isra annoyed.

“What is wrong with you? I was trying to sleep!” He flings the pillow on by his face,to the floor.

“You’re loud enough to wake the dead. Stop snoring like an old man.”

“If you’re so mad about it go sleep somewhere else…” Eric says drifting back to sleep, too tired to argue.

Sighing Isra climbed back down to her bunk bed. She knew it wouldn’t be long before Eric would start snoring again. Gathering her pillow from the floor and the blanket from her bed, she walked out of the room closing the door behind her.

Now, it was quite dark in the house. Though, Isra knew her way around the house from memory. She was careful to go down the stairs, and not to make too much noise to wake Eric’s parents.

In the living room Isra made herself comfortable on one of the couches. Placing her pillow down and wrapping herself in the warmth of her blanket comforted her. She sighed in relief. Now she could finally sleep.

Arianna

I really like it. It’s very detailed in my opinion. I’ve read a book like that called… “Wish”. I want to publish all six of my books when I get older. I’M ONLY NINE so maybe when i’m in my 20’s

isabelle

dont worry about your age. you can be just as good as any other writer. i am only twelve and i am almost finished writing my book that i am hoping to publish. go for your dreams, dont let your age stop you.

Erin J Scorgie

I’m 16 and have published my first book, best experience of my life, I am very close to publishing my 2nd book and sooo excited! Don’t worry about your age, the younger the better I say! You go girl and good luck with your writing career. You are a very gifted young lady! Xx

Kawiria

If you want to publish your books, why not now? There isn’t a law against young authors. I’m not much older than you, but my book is being published this year. All you need is the money to publish–that’s the REAL hard part for a younger writer.

DumDumDeeDoooo

Hey, don’t worry, I’m eleven and I deeply enjoy writing, and I’m looking to get a book published very soon. There’s no law forbading youngsters from getting books published… In fact, becoming a young author is one of the VERY BEST things you could do to benefit you in the future.

Quiet_Kitten

Yea I’m 11 and I’m gonna start writing stories on an app called Wattpad

Rachel Sanpaka

It’s a great way to get feed back and to start sharing your stories.

Arigato

The temperature was searing. Tara squinted her eyes as wavy lines of heat danced in the distance. Michael shuffled out of the taxi behind her and bent to drop 30 pesos in the driver’s expectant hand. “Why did we have to come all the way to Acapulco just to get our teeth cleaned?” Tara whined like a child dreading the dentist. “We’re not just getting our teeth cleaned”, Michael explained, “I need 4 crowns, you could use some fillings, and dental work is so much cheaper in Mexico. Plus, it’ll be like a vacation as soon as we’re finished. I have 3 days of the most romantic stuff planned for us, just wait.” Tara smiled at the thought of what Michael’s idea of “romantic stuff” could be. It was 9:15 am Thursday, if all went to plan, they would be partying on the beach Friday night. The shop they had been dropped off in front of was a modest, stucco covered building with one dark window bearing a small sign that read “Dentista”. They were 45 minutes early for their appointments but hopefully that meant they would be done sooner. 30 minutes and 16 pages of paperwork later, they were ushered down a brightly lit corridor to a room containing an x-ray machine. Once finished there, they were led to adjoining rooms. Each contained nothing more than a large, green dental chair, procedure light, and metal rolling cart filled with shiny, sharp instruments. “The dentist will be right in,” said the plump assistant in a thick Mexican accent. Since the office saw so many tourists, the staff all spoke in English, and this reassured Tara that it wasn’t so bad after all. She was looking up at a poster of an aquarium filled with fish that was taped to the ceiling when the dentist strode in. He was tall, about 6 feet, with dark hair, dark eyes, and a brilliantly white smile. While peering at her x-ray films, he rattled off a list of work that she needed, and she agreed, not really understanding just wanting to get it over with. The plump assistant appeared and placed a mask over Tara’s nose and mouth as she crooned, “To make you comfortable!” The last thing she noticed before she lost consciousness was the poodle print scrubs the assistant was wearing. Tara woke up being shaken by Michael. “Come on let’s go, I’ve been finished for an hour.” She groggily sat up and placed her hand to her warm, swollen cheek. The assistant was back, handing Michael prescriptions for pain killers and giving him instructions not to eat for 2 hours. They stepped outside into the bright sun and began walking slowly towards the nearest intersection where they could hail a cab. After a short taxi ride they arrived at Hotel Catedral, a quaint, boutique inn on the outskirts of the city. The room was cramped, but clean, and after a quick shower, they both laid down and quickly fell asleep. The next 2 days were spent drinking, lounging on the beach, and making love. Tara awoke late Sunday morning and started packing. While she would miss relaxing on the beach, she couldn’t wait to get back home to her apartment. Her stomach had been bothering her on and off throughout the trip and she thought it may have been the water she was drinking. They took a taxi to the airport and the trip home was uneventful except for a few severe stomach pains Tara had on the flight. She took a few more pain pills and they eased up enough for her to take a nap. They barely had time to walk through the door when Tara felt a sudden urge and bolted to the bathroom. “Are you okay?” Michael called from the hall. “Fine, just gimme a minute!” Tara snapped, and Michael went in to the living room and laid down on the couch. When Tara had finished in the bathroom, she stood up and saw something strange in the toilet. It looked like what appeared to be several small balloons floating in the water. “What the…” Tara stared confused, and called for Michael to come into the bathroom. He popped his head in the door and looked at her questioningly. She pointed to the toilet and he shook his head as if to say, “I’m not going in there.” Tara walked to the sink and grabbed a pair of tweezers sitting near the mirror. When she reached towards the toilet, Michael yelped, “What are you doing?!” “Shush, hold on!” she said. She pulled back the tweezers and pinched in the end was one of the balloons. She carried it to the sink and quickly rinsed it off. Michael came closer and said, “That came out of you?” ‘Yeah, gimme something to cut it open.” He produced his pocket knife and she proceeded to make a small slice down the center of the balloon. A white powdery substance spilled from the cut. “Oh my god, it looks like drugs! Tara exclaimed. “How did this get inside me? It must have been the dentist! I told you we shouldn’t have went down there for dental work! What are we gonna do?” “Maybe we should go to the emergency room and get checked out? Michael suggested. “Ok but we should just say our stomachs are hurting and not say anything about the drugs. We don’t want them thinking it’s ours and taking us to jail.” After spending 4 hours in the ER, a CAT scan and bloodwork, the couple was assured that they were in perfect health and probably ate something bad. They headed home, relieved there were no more foreign objects in their bodies but worried about what to do about the dentist. “He can’t get away with this, said Tara excitedly, he probably does this to tourists all the time!” “But if we call the police and tell them our story, they might think we’re involved somehow,” said Michael. They arrived back at their small Austin apartment and decided to eat some dinner and think the matter over some more without rushing to alert the police. After all they were safe at home and had no plans on leaving the country any time soon. Maybe they could just put this whole thing behind them like a bad dream. A crazy story to tell the grandkids. Once the dishes for dinner had been washed and Tara was settling down on the sofa next to Michael, a knock sounded at the door. “Who could that be? “Michael asked. He got up, slowly walked to the door, and peeped through the eyehole. On the other side of the door were 3 well-dressed Latino men. The one standing closest to door was dressed in black pants and jacket with a tucked-in turquoise shirt. He spoke first. “We know you’re in there and you have something that belongs to our boss.”

Crystal Fresneda

I wrote two stories so far Murderous Twins (Mystery) and Pregnant at 18 (Drama n Romance) total words for both 27000

Christine

THANK YOU FOR THIS. I LOVE TO WRITE AND I NEEDED INSPIRATION!!!

Husnain sheikh

My First Story.. I woke up late that morning, too excited to sleep at first and then I don’t remember when I dozed off to sleep early morning. Bright sunlight hit my half open eyes and I jumped off from the bed. It was 8:00 am already.

“Mama … why didn’t you wake me up? Has he left already?” Mother smiled “Its Sunday! Didn’t felt like waking you up from deep sleep you were in, besides you must have been dreaming, there was beautiful smile on your face. And don’t worry Papa won’t go without you.”

I was super relived and ran to hall, where my dad was ready, waiting for me. “We are going to City, right?” He simply nodded and smiled “Now get ready else we will miss the bus”

I ran to bathroom for shower and within seconds was out and in front of mirror combing my hairs. “Dry them properly, your hairs are wet, you’ll catch cold”

But here I was holding my dad’s hand and pulling him out of the door. We took bus from the bus stop and were on our way to City.

Finally the day had arrived when I was going to get my first Bicycle. It all started when my dad promised to get me Bicycle if I score good marks in final exam next year. All my friends had their own bicycle. Even my juniors had their own.

I patiently waited for one year to get my dream bike.

On the result day I was very nervous. When there was announcement that I stood first in 5th C, I jumped up in air and almost snatched my report card from our class Teachers hands.

I was telling everybody on my way back that I was going to get bicycle, since I stood first in class. After reaching home I told mom about the result and she was very happy. Then dad came back from work in the evening, he was very happy to hear about my results and patted on my back.

“So you are going to get me Bicycle” I said with glimmer in my eyes. “Let’s see” he simply said taking off his shoes

I was almost broken in tears to hear those words. He had not said no but neither did he say yes. I broke down “this is not fair, you promised”.

Next day, mom broke the news to me that finally I am going to get my Bike this Sunday.

Squeezing sound of halting break of bus brought me back to present. “We have reached, Lets go” said dad.

We reached the Big Bicycle store in Gol market. There were so many bikes, I just couldn’t take my eyes off. I picked the one with Marron color. Salesman explained the features to me. I looked at dad expectantly, he nodded and I hugged him.

Dad went in to meet the shop manager, I waited outside to see my bike being assembled by the worker. I saw dad having conversation with the shop owner. I don’t know what was wrong but dad came out.

“Let’s go now we will come next week, and take this Bike home” dad said with his fingers in my hairs. I couldn’t believe my ears. After waiting for almost a year I am getting my bike and now he is saying to wait for one more week.

I threw his hand away in disgust and ran away to hug my bike and started crying. Dad tried to convince me that He had assumed the Price of Bicycle to be lot less. And now he doesn’t have enough cash to buy this bike.

But I refused to budge down. I was so much carried away by anger, I couldn’t see the nervous face of my father. It must have been really awkward for him to face this situation.

“Okay. Let me see what can be done!” he went in. I waited outside partly sobbing and partly smiling.

Few moments later dad came out smiling. I knew he had bought the bike and we were going to be taking it home today. This was happiest day of my life.

It took me few years to understand that my dad had sold his ring that day to fulfill my wish!

Marsha McCroden

This is what I’ve got so far:

Capt. Lee asked for interrogation volunteers. The Interrogation Rooms were full and there weren’t enough interrogators. Lt. Jones volunteered. She told him thee was a suspect in Interrogation room D. Should be easy — a straight-up homicide. Just tape the confession.

Entering IR D, he saw an inconspicuous middle-aged man. Inconspicuous? Maybe 100 years ago.

Lt. Jones introduced himself and sat down. He sat down and said he was there to get the man’s side of the story. Then he turned on the recorder. The man looked at him with amusement. “Do you really want my confession” he asked. Jones said he needed the man’s name and address first. “All right. I am Daniel Alan James, address 132321 Atlantic Avenue, Plot D3.”

Jones looked up sharply. “That’s a cemetery. Your real address please.” I get the nuts, he thought.

“I am not ‘pulling your leg’ as you so quaintly think. That is my address.”

“As to my confession. In 1869 in Palm Beach, I burgled May Palmer’s house I got a sackful of jewelry. I also hacked off her head. Sternly he looked at Jones. “You kept that back. He acted like that fact should have been publusged,, like he wanted credit for it.

“In 1920, in Miami Beach, I attended a speakeasy. I abducted a somewhat plump girl, Cynthia Handel, and eventually disposed her of in the Dismal Swamp.” Chuckling, he continued. You could say the alligators had a fine meal that night.

In 1936, Cleveland, Ohio. I presume you’ve heard of the Torso Murders there? The Mad Butcher of Kingsbury Run? It was never solved. Poor Eliot Ness — he wanted so badly to be Mayor of Cleveland and not just Safety Director. That case would have given him the Mayor’s office. I denied him that.””I

Above the gables of the orphanage roof, a tremulous, gentle sound began to keen. It began quietly, as oh so fragile a thing. I held my breath where I had awakened in my bed to keep from drowning it out- the sound of a human singing through a violin.

I knew exactly who it was that sang. She had come in just that day, eyes wide, mouth closed, and a violin case clutched to her chest like it was the only thing she had left in the world. I was older than her and so in a different dormitory, but still the sound found its way, sorrowfully, lovingly, through the still night air.

The sound of it made me want to cry, as it stirred in me a pain I’d long ago learned to shove away, the origin of which was the only thing that me and the little virtuoso child shared. It unfurled itself deep within me, reaching out for the sound as it grew, grew louder and more powerful as the beginning upset turned to something more violent, something filled with righteous indignation at what had happened to her… to… to me. Tears welled up in my eyes and I curled into my pillow as I fought the onslaught of emotions. The anger, the injustice, the harrowing *grief*. It all slashed and dove and resonated through the air- through my soul. I curled around the reopened wound, feeling the unreleased cry of pain inside of me. But the tears still fell. They were like rain.

Suddenly the vibrancy in the tone fell flat. The last ringing note was undulating through the air, twisting with fading passion, as a quieter, stiller strain took its place. Dispirited and exhausted, the muted notes struggled to find me, and I imagined them getting lost. It was both a relief and a loss as I felt the raw emotions drain away. It felt… hollow. It was like how I usually felt only much, much worse, the sheer weight of it making it a pain all its own, although it signified the absence of it. It was a rock I couldn’t push off my chest, or a vacuum inside of me. It *hurt*.

Still, my eyes dried as I listened to the dispassionate, lilting notes. They bumped into each other with pattern but no passion. The lack of colour in it compared to everything else the little violin girl had played almost made me want to cry again- for her this time, instead of me. I wanted to comfort her. To tell her that she could find a family here again… even if it wasn’t the same.

But then- then something magical happened. I heard something in a note shift. Just ever so slightly, regaining some of its lost fullness. My heart jumped against my rib cage at it, like a baby bird too eager to be out of the nest. The sound broadened and deepened, spinning and growing to an unimaginable size and intensity, filled with such thought and memory as one can only know inside themselves. I couldn’t imagine that something of such monumental size was coming from such a tiny person and her instrument- no, her partner. Her friend. It had to be her friend to join her in all this.

The graceful creature grew and grew on when I thought it could grow more. Time had lost all meaning to me as it tapered and streamlined itself into something lighter- losing its weight and despair- but not its memory. That stayed. I could feel it within me, too- the warmth that was spreading through the song. It touched at my fingers and toes, the tip of my nose, and the center of my belly. I let out a breath as the weight- the vacuum, whatever it was- released, no longer afraid of it or drowning out the soaring melody that cozied into the corners of the resting place of me and so many others that had experienced what this other child was experiencing right now.

But I knew, as the music carried on through the night, a peaceful balance between love and light and sorrow, that she was going to be just fine. We were all going to be just fine.

zainab

This inspired me so i tried it came up with this so far

Things have been difficult lately. Even breathing seems to take a lot of effort. But grief often shuts people down. And everything seems to blur out. You must be wondering what broke me? Nothing just the same old heartbreak that broke souls in every time period.

That night I made my way Aden’s house. We had been dating for almost four years. He had asked me to marry him a week ago and I had to ask my parents if they accepted they’re daughter to get married at 21. To my surprise my parents had said yes and I was on my way to blow Aden’s mind with the amazing news. I rang his doorbell several times even though I knew where they key to the door was kept but manners were still important. After fifteen minutes of standing out the door my mind started exploding with thoughts I shouldn’t be thinking about. Aden’s car was still parked in the garage which meant that he was still home. I rushed to get the keys from under a plant pot and opened the door. Aden’s house was a mess but Aden was a clean freak. I made my way to Aden’s room and gently opened the door to see my whole world crashing in front of me.

Aden lay in bed with another women pressed to his side as they slept. No words, no tears just an apology. Just two words “ I’m sorry “ and I ran down the stairs, across the street and away from the person I had given my everything.

You see every person leaves a mark behind. But Aden , Aden left behind the deepest scars.

Mark Robson

(please don’t judge, I’m only 12. And btw I’m a girl. I’m using my dad’s account)

It’s dark. My own shadows drown me. This is nothing new to me though, I’m not shocked or scared. Just lonely. Nothing to look forward to I’ll thing myself sitting and think, hoping. I don’t know how long this lasts, seconds, minutes, hours. I can’t sense the time passing, I don’t fully understand it. I don’t know how I got here or when I’ll leave. My life feels like it has no meaning. But yet, somehow I feel like I’m waiting for something, this longing for something to happen. But at this moment in time…I’m not really sure. I must have had more than this life, I must have lived in something different, color, happiness, friends, family….love…maybe, or is that me dreaming?

Have I lost my mind completely now. Maybe I’m not even here, In this darkness. Am I just mad? Why am I even asking…I’ll never get an answer. Sitting here hoping dreaming will do me no good! I must fight back. I’m not sure what I’m fighting for but if I do have a motive to fight then it must be worth it. Without thinking I lunge into the dark clouds. Fighting, not with any weapons but just by my longing for whatever is outside this lonely cage. The chains of my fear and uncertainty tug at my arms pulling me back but using all my force I shake them off and continue forward through the endless darkness…This place must end. There must be an ending for me, more than this dark realm. I jump forward, ready to scream as I hit the floor but I don’t have to. I didn’t fall…Am I..floating?

No, I don’t feel like I’m standing. I feel something on my hand but I can’t see what it is or even move to shake it off. Then I suddenly realize. The thought that I’ll no longer be lonely, this thing I feel, it’s a person. These thoughts, my feelings they allow me to take control. I slowly open my eyes. It all shoots my at once colour…light! I’m lying down on a bed, a hospital bed. My memories come soaring back. I look over to my right hand and see the lady holding it, in shock, but smiling brightly. It’s my mother! And in what seems like the longest time ever…I smile.

Courtnie

Clark stood at the window and watch as the first snow started to fall. He thought back to when he was a little boy and how he loved to go outside and play in the snow. The snowmen him and his sister would build, the snowball fights him and his friends would have. Then his smile changed to a sad face. He remember the last first snow fall that happen when he was a kid. That was the last time he was happy about seeing the snow. Clark’s father Ernest was at the local convenience store, when two mask men came in to rob the place. One of the robbers told Ernest to give him his wallet. He did but a long noise from the back of the store in scared the robber that he jumped and the gun he had pointed at Clark’s father went off and shot him in the chest.

Clark was home in the bed, but he jumped up out of his sleep, he felt that something was wrong. He got out the bed and went looking for his mother. When he got to the end of the hall he saw his mother at the door talking to some police. She turned when she heard the floor Creek. ” Clark honey, what are you doing up”? His mother asked with blood soaking red eyes . ” mother is everything alright? ” with every step he took closer to his mother he knew that what ever reason the police was at his house it wasn’t good. Every since that Dreadful night Clark, the night his dad was killed, he has hated the snow. It always seems to remind him of that night. It’s like all the good times he had in the snow was replace by the death of his dad, his hero, the man he wanted to grow up and be. They never did find the guys that robbed that convenience store.

Pradeep

Conceited Conflict

Simon did not die…

The inviting aroma of freshly brewed coffee had been enough to persuade him to walk straight into the little beach-side shack without as much as a second thought. He had made a mental note to thank Danny–his colleague and friend–for suggesting the place for a quick getaway.

People close to Simon knew that he savored these small pleasures of life: a peaceful evening relaxing at the beach, the blushing horizon as the sun set for the day, the scents of the tropical sea, the areca nut trees swaying to the music of the breeze, the waves at the shallow end lightly caressing his feet, the warm texture of the sand slipping away beneath his toes, children running around flying colorful kites… cocoa-rich dark chocolates, and fresh coffee.

And why not? After all, he thought, what was life without these? Nothing but a stressful grind, it was. To fight the distressing official battles day in and day out. To struggle to defeat the unethical schemes of the back-stabbing lot who lurked among colleagues and friends. To come back home to the nagging demands of a materialistic spouse. All that did nothing good for the soul.

It was late evening when Simon had walked toward the shack. When he got closer, he had noticed two men standing engulfed by the dark shadows behind the shack. Although he could not discern their features, and they were speaking only in whispers, their body language had betrayed the fact that they had been exchanging an agitated conversation.

As Simon was about to enter the shack, one of the men thrust a wad of money into the other’s hand. The other man briefly regarded the bundle before stuffing it into his trouser pocket.

A drug deal, likely–Simon had thought–or some other such shady business. How could these people come to such spectacular and peaceful places and engage in such disreputable and squalid acts? What a disgusting lot!

He had shaken his head to clear his thoughts, and inhaled deeply as he entered the shack. Freshly brewed coffee! He had smiled as he sat at a small, round, plastic table in a corner. All other concerns would have to wait for half an hour, at least.

Outside, unknown to Simon, the deal had been concluded. The men had followed up by exchanging a small vial of some sort. Then one of them had raised the hood of his jacket over his head and walked away swiftly without turning back, with his hands in his pockets. The other man had vanished into the darker shadows behind the shack.

The next afternoon…

Although–when it concerned professional life–Danny lacked severely in the department of moral and ethical values, he was regarded in their circles as a gem when it concerned friendship. He had rushed to the hospital at once when Simon’s wife had called. Dysentery–she had told him, repeating the doctor’s diagnosis–perhaps acute food poisoning. Very severe symptoms. Quite unbearable. Must have been something he ate yesterday.

Danny had stayed on at the hospital with Simon’s wife to lend her moral and emotional support. He wanted to make sure–he had said–that she got all the help she needed; he wanted to make sure that Simon recovered all right.

The third evening…

Simon rested motionless on a bed at St Sebastian Hospital. Motionless. Still. He wasn’t even breathing. He was finally free of all suffering.

Epilogue 1…

Normally, convincing a chemist and obtaining the required substance might have been the biggest challenge. On this occasion, however, a well-maintained friendship with a pharmaceutical assistant had proved quite rewarding.

The rest was simple to plan and execute. Simple did not mean without risk, but in this case the desired reward would be sufficient compensation for the risk.

The dosage would be just right. The doctor would have only the patient’s symptoms to go on, which would be easily mistaken for those of common diseases such as food poisoning or dysentery.

It would all be over even before anyone suspected foul play. Even if other signs did manifest afterwards, there was no incriminating evidence.

Epilogue 2…

Simon had felt the first signs of fatigue when he was almost half way back home from his getaway spot. He had believed that the nausea was caused by travel-sickness. Later that night his condition had become worse, and next morning he had tried home remedies for diarrhea. By afternoon, he had started discharging blood, and had to be hospitalized immediately.

Danny had stood by his bed in the hospital, looking in his weak eyes, holding his hand reassuringly. Behind those heavy eyelids, in those weak eyes about to close, Danny had seen a faint spark of realization. The reality of the deal he had witnessed behind the coffee shack had dawned on Simon. I wish you understood, my friend–Danny had thought–that it was nothing personal, that everything is fair in professional rivalry. In any case, it was too late now. There was no turning back.

Don’t strain yourself trying to talk–Danny had said–Just close your eyes, let go and relax.

— End —

(I’m only 12 so don’t judge me, I tried :D)

I’m alone. I’m surrounded by darkness. I’m lonely, I have no-one except silence to keep me company. I’m not sure how long I’ve been here…Minutes, hours….days? They mean nothing to me, I don’t know how time passes and why it matters. I’m too close to giving up. Surely my life must mean something. I can’t have been made to just be nothing, to exist only feeling, loneliness and fear. The fear of being forgotten, by this world, by myself. If I’m not already.

There must be meaning for me, something bugger, better. It’s all I want, all I ever dream about. A life with meaning, color, happiness…family. But that’s just a dream. That can’t be real, I have no memories out of this place why would I be suddenly be gifted such happiness. Is this it? I am going mad? Have I been here so long just lost my mind? No. That can’t be. I can’t give up, I must try….try escape this realm of darkness. I stand up, shaking slightly. No, I must be strong! I run forward, not sure where I’m going. Not sure if this place even ends.

I start hearing voices, they’re speaking to me… “stay…strong…everything’s going to be ok” I hear the voice saying. It was comforting, gentle and kind sounded. It sounds familiar….I run faster, using all of strength. I race through the darkness, wind smacking my face until I come to what looks like the edge. It was a drop, so deep I couldn’t see the bottom. Without thinking, using all my desire, the want to be somewhere with meaning and happiness I lunge forward and jump.

I…I didn’t fall. I’m alive, I think. I don’t feel like I’m standing. Wait, am I floating? No, don’t be silly. I’m…lying. I feel something touch my hand but I don’t have strength to even shake it off. I can’t see anything…Then suddenly reality hits me. I slowly open my eyes…It all hits me at once: Color, sound, people. I look over to my right hand to see who was holding it. She was crying but smiling at the same time. It was mother. And for the first time in what seemed like forever, I smiled.

Lykke

“I’m borrowing one of your geese.”

Asta jumped in her seat by the fireplace, woken from her accidental nap. She whirled in her seet to see Jeppa, the slightly unhinged neighbour, filling the doorframe. He looked like any regular farmer, brown coveralls and pipe dangling from the side of his mouth, but sported a permanent wide-eyed stare that made the children (and everyone else) wary of him. Asta had half a mind to go back to sleep and let Jeppa be Jeppa, but curiousity got the best of her.

“Pardon?” She asked, slowly getting up, her arthritis crackling in her knees. “You’re borrowing what?”

“I’m borrowing one of your geese,” He repeated, unblinking. Then he turned on the spot, as if the conversation was over and done with.

“But why?” Asta exclaimed, hopping after him on stiff legs into the front yard. Three of her large, snowy geese were drowsily waddling through the hole in her white fence as Jeppa marched over and seized one of them by the neck. The other two hurried into a nearby hedgerow, abandoning their brother to fate. Jeppa stood there for a moment and admired the view over Asta’s fields, completely obvious to the furious flapping and hissing of the goose.

“What are you doing? Let go of him!” Asta cried, but Jeppa remained blissfully ignorant to the chaos he created.

“Beautiful day, isn’t it?” Jeppa sighed happily, still unblinking. Then, remembering why he was strangling a goose, he heaved it up under one arm and took off towards his own rickety cottage a few hundred yards down the gravel road.

“Wait!” Asta cried, limping after him. When she finally caught up to him he was crawling up a worn ladder propped against his roof, hissing goose tucked into his armpit as if it was nothing more than the daily newspaper.

Finding her best old-angry-crone voice, she howled; “Jeppa! Get down this instant! What on earth are you doing with Herman?”

This seemed to reach the decision centre in Jeppa’s head, and he stopped on the topmost rung. He stared at the wobbly chimney for a moment, as if pondering its existence, before replying. “I can’t afford a chimney sweep,” he commented simply. Then, with both hands, he heaved the goose up in one fluent motion and dumped it into the chimney. The hissing and flapping increased in volume, projected into the open air by the narrow chimney, until it became unbearable to listen to. Then it stopped. The goose must have fallen into his fireplace.

Asta’s mouth fell open. She sat down on her bum like a baffled toddler.

“Are you alright there? You look like you saw a ghost!” Jeppa chuckled obliviously as he descended from the roof and moved to let the goose out of his kitchen. The moment the door opened, a great, fluffy black thing scuttled out and down the road, hisses and quacks flying about it like the soot covering it.

“That,” Asta said, her voice quivering, “was my prized competition goose, Herman.”

Jeppa finally seemed to realise the extent of his actions. Wringing his hands he inched towards the door, hoping to use it for protection when she exploded, which she was bound to do.

“Isn’t… isn’t there a competition for black geese, perhaps?” Jeppa asked, hopefully unblinking.

Sebastian Halifax

Most short story ideas I have are too big write in just one sitting. The first one I wrote took months. It’s why I can’t write flash fiction.

I’m trying to write Flash Fiction. I love the challenge. It’s amazing how you can cut out redundant word from each editing. Try it, Sebastian. It’s good practice.

Edlyn

Okay, here goes: Persephone, Persephone Akeldama. She was a beautiful girl, slender waist, flowing blonde locks, petite figure. This quiet girl was often referred to by her fellow students as the “perfect doll”, due to her stunning looks and the love she received from the teachers. In a the darker half of this world, her nickname was not much different. The flawless puppet, she was called. Flawless because of her swift assassinations, and puppet because of her emotionless features. No one in school knew her profession, and no one in the dark world knew her real age, or even what she looked like. She was a complete mystery to both sides, only this was known about her: She is a prodigy. Of course, “Prodigy” meaning different things in either sides of the world. There was a large gap between prodigy killer and prodigy student. Not many assassins are born into their jobs, Persephone being an exception. At three, she was already trained to fight, and at the early age of twelve, she was already a well known assassin. due to her quick learning, her parents payed even more attention to her, punishing her whenever her actions did not fit into the range of perfection, training her more than any twelve year old should ever have to endure. And of course, making her kill. One by one, Persephone’s emotions died, every person she killed, every order she received. She carried them out with swift and deadly accuracy, losing all her innocence. Her purity was lost long ago.

So she found nothing wrong with killing her parents.

Persephone never loved anyone, because she was a killing machine, exactly how her parents had designed her. Her mothers last words: I’m so proud. Her fathers? :I’ve trained you well. A now orphaned Persephone felt no remorse, no guilt, no grief. Only a small pang of loneliness.

And that was the last emotion she would ever feel.

Ummmm, I got the juices flowing, just need my writing to flow……in the right direction.

Sapphire Emmaton

So I combined all 10 of the “general ideas” into one premise. I think this is more the premise of a collection now… Oh well. Here’s the premise (or the rough draft)

As a child, Kell, a painting prodigy, discovers her parents’ dead bodies, leaving her emotionally scarred. Later in life, she clings to her boyfriends for moral support, which leads to many failed relationships. Her Fiance and colleague breaks up with her because he needs to spend more time on his work, even though it crushes both of them. Kell doesn’t look when she’s walking down the street, sobbing, and she bumps into her rich soulmate, Neil. They have a whirlwind romance, which ends up with their marriage. On their honeymoon, though, Kell’s mother’s ghost confronts her and warns her to delay the journey. Kell and Neil go anyways. A hurricane strikes, and the couple is stranded with a phycopath who just so happen to be Kell’s parents’ murderer. The couple doesn’t make it out alive.

I know that’s pretty dark, especially for a 17-year-old. It’s also not that great. But hey, I hope it gave you an idea or two! Happy writing!

Emily Cummings

You should really think about turning this into a novel! You’ve got quite the imagination.

Maude Kate Potgieter Bester

The last laugh Kate Bester

“What? Oh heavens no! When?” Faye dragged the pink sweatband back from her forehead and shook her shoulder length blonde hair off her neck. She had just returned from the gym when the house phone rang.

“…sometime last night, peacefully. She had to go sometime, Faye.” Debbie’s longsuffering voice was irritating.

Faye sighed and shifted the weight from one shapely leg to the other. She crossed one ankle over the other and stared at her Reebok trainers. She bit her tongue before she could blurt out what came into her mind – why now? She had a very special and important occasion coming up and serious shopping to do!

“Mom was nearly eighty, you know Faye, but death is always unexpected, I know,” Debbie went on. Was she imagining it or was there a touch of accusation in Debbie’s voice? Deborah, her older sister, had never married. Instead, she stayed with Mom after Dad passed on ten years ago and took charge of the rambling old house in George. Come to think of it, when Debbie gave up nursing, moving in with Mom was the natural thing to do.

Faye had to muster all the self-control that she could to sound genuine and concerned. It was Mother after all…

“When is the funeral, then? Do you want me to come and help you with the arrangements?” she kept her voice low and even in case Debbie thought she was serious about the offer to help.

“No thanks, Faye, everything is fine. Mom had everything in place as usual. It will be a cremation of course…”

Debbie’s voice trailed off and Faye could just about suppress the groan that escaped from her chest before she said goodbye to her sister. She sank down in the closest, huge, overstuffed chair after she had put down the receiver. Of course. That is Mother. Well, was she corrected herself. Nothing ordinary or conventional. A cremation no less, so that all her old hippie friends could attend in their colourful rags and long hair and chant and blow their flutes and shake their tambourines. Faye had to admit to herself that a cremation at least would be better than embalmment. Her mother was quite capable of having them roll her in the scales of the boophone bulb like the Khoisan did with their dead.

Faye groaned again. She must be in shock otherwise why wasn’t she crying. Crying? No, she’d done enough crying after the second divorce in eight years. The last one was particularly messy but this time she stuck to her guns and got the house and a stiff alimony. Not that it’s about the money, which is never enough anyway, but one has to keep up appearances. She had spent a fortune on refurbishing the gazebo next to the pool. Oh gosh yes, and she must still pay for the embroidered voile curtains around the patio. And for the plant containers and cane furniture from Bali…

Faye sighed as she levered her challenged limbs from the chair. She will have a warm shower and then make her calls. Damn! Now she will have to drive all the way to George. She smiled. Yes, she will have to. Because of Mother’s pendant. She had to have it. Must be worth a small fortune by now…

That pendant was given to her mother by a very grateful Indian businessman. Mother had met him on a plane to Mumbai all those years ago when she travelled to India to see for herself what mysteries lay behind the lotus curtain. She ended up in his luxurious home and taught the whole family to speak English while she enjoyed every facet of that exquisite culture. If memory doesn’t fail her, the pendant has a top quality eleven carat flawless ruby, enhanced by… a shiver of delight passed through Faye’s body despite the warm gush of water.

At the garage to fill up and prepare the vehicle for the trip, she remembered how bored she was on weekends as a child. They travelled endless dusty roads, slept in tents, either sweating or freezing. Her botanist parents would be off in the veld , ooohing or aaahing, clicking their tongues and cameras. Deborah would be whooping somewhere in a shallow river. In her tent, her feet against the anchor pole, Faye swore she would never live this way. She would have money and everything it could buy. These bunny-hugging weirdo’s – her family – may enjoy the outdoors but she despised the smell of citronella candles, morning coffee and tinned food. Not to mention the squatting behind a bush when nature called. Ugh!

At nine o’clock the next morning, Faye was over the Overberg Pass and heading for Caledon. She would stop for tea at the Blue Crane and buy some of her mother’s favourite dried herbs. Yes, some buchu and lavender and rosemary. She’ll keep them on her lap during the cremation service and speeches to soothe her mind. Afterwards she will let them join her mother’s body to nirvana…

It was exactly twenty past one when she saw the huge pine trees and the red brick house behind it. The garden was a botanist’s dream. Like her mother exactly – colourful, mysterious, exciting and completely unusual. Faye’s eyes followed the garden path up to the porch. Handfuls of laurel tied with raffia or beads or leather thongs garnished the pathway from the gate to the porch and around the open door’s frame where fairy lights twinkled.

She opened the car door and slid off the seat. The manicured feet in the Blahnik sandals stepped together neatly on the tarmac as she automatically pressed the remote lock. Gingerly she approached the garden path and as daintily as possible made her way to the house.

Then it hit her. This wasn’t a welcome for her. The laurel symbolized Apollo’s way to remember his Daphne! Daphne didn’t want to marry Apollo and begged her father, Perenaeus, to hide her. He promptly turned her into a laurel tree. From then on Apollo worshipped the tree, hugged it, spoke to it and let all heroes and kings wear a laurel wreath on the head as adornment. This was for Mother.

Suddenly, there was her sister. Oh heavens, clad in a flowing caftan, pearls, beads, feathers and leather thong sandals, she could’ve been Mother!

Quickly Faye went over and folded her sister in her arms. While her sister was yoga-breathing against her shoulder, she took in the room behind. She smiled to herself . Ostrich feather boas were draped over the window frames, door frames and thrown over the backs of chairs. Huge black and white photographs of ostriches in all poses adorned the walls. Ostrich eggs and paraphernalia were displayed everywhere. This was a shrine to the ostrich as Nieuw-Bethesda was to the owl…

She let go of Debbie and cleared her throat. She took a deep breath, “Debs, what are we going to do with all this stuff ?” she hoped her chicanery would go undetected. Back in her mind there was an image of Mother’s ostrich leather handbags, shoes and purses she had collected before it became export posh. Her heart went on a gallop from excitement and anticipation.

At last they were alone. They cleared away the last few cups and plates. In the kitchen, Faye poured two large tumblers of Merlot for her and her sister.

“Sis, if you’re up to it, we can go through Mom’s things and decide what to do about some of it.”

“Of course, my dear.” Faye gulped.

Then the pendant was in the palm of her hand. This was a testing moment. She wanted to hang it around her neck immediately but thought it would seem callous. She let the heavy gold chain slide sensuously through her fingers while the ruby’s red eye winked at her.

“You have it, Faye, it’s too ostentatious for me. Mom also never wore it for that reason.”

“And these, Sis.” Debbie was on all fours in front of a deep drawer. She was pulling out ostrich leather gloves in every colour, handbags, clutch bags, more boas. They lay on the Kelim carpet like offerings to a queen. Faye stared and stared. “Oh yes!” her mind sang.

After breakfast the next day, Faye took her leave of Debbie who promised to visit as soon as everything was tied up and settled. When she was passing Mossel Bay, she started to relax and fingered the pendant at her throat. A warm glow filled her and she stretched to see it again in the rear mirror. It was an exquisite piece! She still felt surprised at how nonchalant Debbie was.

She decided to stop for refreshments outside Swellendam. She enjoyed stretching her legs in the shade of the old trees and watching the goats, chickens and ostriches they kept there for entertainment. She parked in the shade of a huge oak tree and went to the restaurant. She carried her fruit juice over to the enclosure on the lawn. A billy goat came towards her. Behind him a young ostrich craned its neck. A sheep, two lambs and a kid trotted up. Faye leaned forward.

She shrieked, jumped back and feverishly fumbling at her throat, she saw it

Ostriches also like jewellery.

Evangelin

I have not written a very long piece. It a quite short story. So…here it is…

Sydney woke up with a start, as beads of sweat adorned her furrowed brows. Next to her was her twin sister, Tanya, sleeping peaceful as Sydney had been a couple of moments before. She looked around as if searching for something or someone. Sydney almost dismissed the episode and went back to sleep when she heard it again, this time, even evident. The sound that had woken her up from her slumber. The sound that made her shiver and was even vexing than the sound of nails on chalkboard.

And then, it stopped. She looked around her for the source of what she heard. She decided to get some fresh air and walked out of the room she shared with her twin.

As she walked to the porch, she glanced at her reflection in the mirror. She couldn’t put her finger on what was wrong but she knew something was. She leaned in to get a closer look at her reflection when something hit her head and she fainted. When she regained her consciousness, she looked around her. She was in the porch and it was dawn. She went back into her house when she glanced at the mirror again. She could see her mother, her sister and her father. They all looked around as if searching for someone. What she couldn’t understand was why she couldn’t see her reflection in the mirror. Then, realization struck her like a ton of bricks. She was in the other side. Of the mirror.

Then the ending credits rolled in. Though it was just a trailer, it was well shot. Everyone couldn’t wait to see the full movie. We congratulated our friend, Mills, who had shot the film and went to hang out at her place.

Cortney Swar

Wonderful ideas. Thanks for inspiration.

Alia Moore

*I’ve been wanting to write for a long time but never really got the push until right now. Sorry if it’s bad, it’s my first short and I’m 14* “One, two, three. Perfect, now I can go…” I quietly say to myself. I have something called Pure-O. Some people think that it’s worse than “normal OCD”. The others think that it’s completely unreal and it’s made up. What people don’t know about me is that I have Pure-O and it’s completely real and my life revolves around it. I make sure that people don’t find out about it because I am considered “ popular and high-status” where I live. “ Happy, good thoughts. Nothing bad.” I think to myself. “They won’t find out….hopefully. I am Claire Williams who has the best makeup and the straightest hair. Not the Crazy Williams girl that broke down in front of everyone because her presentation wasn’t how she planned it.” I think. Then the flashbacks swoop in and fill my brain. “Hi my name is Claire Williams and I am doing my presentation on the Economic Downfall of 2008…” I pause and look around. I see people snicker and talking. The teacher is just looking at me and gesturing for me to continue. I get scared and forget everything that I worked so hard to memorize. “Umm. I’m sorry ma’am, I can’t finish.” I tell my Economics teacher. When I try to move and collect everything, I can’t move. “No no no no no this can’t be happening. I can’t be having a panic attack at school.” I think to myself. I feel tears well up into my eyes. They slowly fall down my face and I taste the warm salty fluid. I suddenly tense up and can’t breath. Because no one knows about my condition, no one can help me. “Look! Williams is going crazy! Crazy Williams.” I hear people snicker from the back and the attack gets worse. I hear something new in my flashback…. It sounds almost as a ringing. I realize the bell is ringing for the students to get to class. I come back to reality and hope for the best on my first day of Senior year. I mean after all, it’s just school. Nothing bad could happen right?

Helen Kudatsky

PEN-082a 694w Anne Frank, Bella and Me by Helen Kudatsky

At nine, I bought my mom, Bella, a birthday gift on June 12th, a magenta lipstick for 19c. I was so proud. First present I ever purchased. She made me return it; It was too extravagant, and besides, she said, “every day is my birthday.” I cried. I knew her secret though. although a proper Jewish woman, sometimes she longed to be a gypsy.

Now, 60 years later, I’m reading “The Diary of a Young Girl” by Anne Frank, here in the home where I live. Though nursed, I’m often blue that I can’t dance or paint anymore. But I love to read and write, and my friend, Julie, the librarian, kindly brought me Anne’s book, which I am now devouring.

Anne was an eloquent writer, describing her schoolmates and boyfriends. She began the diary at 13, disclosing her first period, having a special secret and becoming a woman. I too began to menstruate at 13, pondering the mystery. It’s horrid to imagine eight people in 1944, crammed into the Secret Annexe, handling eating, sleeping, hygiene and trying to stay alive, while whispering and tiptoeing to avoid discovery by the Gestapo.

To maintain normalcy, the adults set up a plan. The children continued their studies: Dutch, French, English, history, geography and art. Although Anne liked most subjects, she found algebra notably loathsome. I’m in that club too.

Her people have become my friends and family: Anne Frank herself, Edith, her Mummy, Otto, her beloved father, Margot, her sister, and the others hiding with them: the VanDaans, their son, Peter who was first, her friend, then later, her crush and confidant, Dr. Albert Dussel, the dentist and Moortjie, the cat. Four of Otto’s devoted employees provided food, supplies and world news, which kept them alive and boosted their morale.

After the war, Miep, a helper, found Anne’s diary in the demolished remains and rubble of the annexe. She gave it to Otto, the sole survivor of the group. He was stunned by Anne’s maturity and the breadth of her feelings. The Diary has been published in 67 languages, portrayed on stage and screen, and is considered one of the most moving accounts of the Holocaust.

For those of us beholding atrocity, Anne Frank is a beacon: humorous, inquisitive, forgiving, cheerful. Sometimes moody, though, she was nicknamed “the incurable chatterbox.” as she’d quarrel with others in the Secret Annexe they occupied for their 25 months in hiding.

My mom, Bella, shared a birthday with Anne Frank, June 12th, but didn’t know of it until years after Anne’s death. Bella lived to be 95. She loved reading as much as Anne did, and she wrote poetry and stories, but didn‘t start until middle-age. Anne, 15, died in March 1945, just two weeks before the war’s end, when she would have been liberated. In two years of hiding, Anne was devoted to writing in the diary, at times prosaic, sometimes distraught, frequently terrifying, but often funny, spiritual and uplifting.

If the war had only ended sooner, I imagine the writing that Anne could have produced and I envision Bella meeting her. Bella, born in 1913, Anne in 1929, 16 years her junior, they could have been aunt and niece; I see them sharing a Shabbat dinner, singing a Hanukah song; I picture them speaking one of their languages. They believed in the same things. Finally, I dream of them proudly sharing their writings, a mystery, a story of love and longing, a poem, and of course, on June 12th, their mutual birthday.

I dream of them walking hand in hand, pale wrinkled fingers holding a smooth teenaged palm. They come to a table set before them, on it matzoh brei with applesauce, a plate of potato latkes with sour cream. There are apples and honey, wine and rugalech. Bella and Anne eat heartily and shout for joy, no longer whispering or tiptoeing, no longer afraid to be Jewish women writers, no longer afraid at all.

PEN-082a-Anne Frank, Bella and Me.wps by Helen Kudatsky w:09/03/17 ei 09/19/17 694 wds 08 mn 99 Park St.#104 Brookline,MA 02446 C-617-939-3387 e-m: [email protected]

Luke Johnson

My story plot is of the fantasy/adventure type.

In the fictional town of Surron, Colorado (which is surrounded by high mountainsides from every angle, a tragedy occurs on September 5, 1963. Six-year old Robert “Bert” Aruson witnesses his drunken, abusive father murder his mother with a broken beer bottle. Advancing on him, the father sleeps on another discarded bottle and trips, impaling himself on the bottle with which he killed his wife. Robert runs off into the forest to escape his father to look of help, unaware of his father’s death. With his parents living far back into the woods, he ends becoming lost and spending the night in the forest. A mother bear, Dewa, with two cubs of her own, the boy Gemape and girl Biha, discover the young boy and adopt him into their family, christening him with the new name Nuun. Ten years later in 1973, Nuun has led a happy existence with his loving and supportive new family, having even made new friends like the crow Hai and the mouse Naeene. He even prevented unnecessary violence between his family and a wolf pack led by Dande and Gupa. Any hunters that come into the forest have their weapons stolen and permanently disposed of in the night by Nuun. By this time, Nuun and his actions have become something of an urban legend in Surron. Back in that town, the mayor Aaron Burdon (who resides upon a hill overlooking the town) runs the town, though he views it with contempt due to one incident. His younger brother, Reagan, was beaten by thugs hoping to steal money off of his rich person, leaving him with brain damage. Despite this, the townspeople started treating him and his brother differently afterwards, cruelly even. This has caused his hatred to ferment over the years until he comes up with a plan to destroy the town’s population with explosives at the upcoming July 4 picnic. His wealth and power make the workers unable to resist him, as they will become jobless should he imprisoned. “Nuun” comes across one of Burdon’s worksites and almost steals workers lunchbox, but is chased away. News soon spreads through the town and Nuun finds his happy life in danger of being shattered once again unless he can have assistance from friends both human and animal.

Luba

Nikita This is the story of me, Nikita, an orphaned girl, who didn’t know anything about her family. I was kept in the orphanage with a bunch of other girls. Ms.Keeper, the owner of the orphanage doesn’t tell anyone anything about themselves or their family. I didn’t know anything about myself, but everyone knew that in Ms.Keepers room there was a filing cabinet with documents of the real stories of our lives. Nobody ever dared to go in there though. Ms.Keeper looked like she was somewhere in the 30’s, she had grey hair, bags under her brown eyes, a slim body and a huge pimple on her long nose. She was not married. I have brown hair, brown eyes, freckles and a healthy, slim body.

I always thought of running away. I felt like I was in that orphanage forever. I remember growing up in there since I was a child and now that I’m 17 years old, I’m still here, hoping to find my family. But that, I thought was too unrealistic. I was sitting in an orphanage, hoping to find my family. No, I wanted to DO something to find my family. The only thing that held me back was Ms.Keeper and the thought that I really had no family. Ms.Keeper was always afraid of one of the girls running away, that’s why she made some workers put a stronger fence around the orphanage property. Ms.Keeper was also afraid of talking to the government. I thought so because the government will shut down her orphanage. One time, I overheard Ms.Keeper talking on the phone to the government and they said that it was illegal to not show the orphans their identity and who they are, but Ms.Keeper ignored them and kept talking about something else. Also, at 18 years old, you are free to leave the orphanage and become independent. I just turned 17. No one else was my age except another girl, aged 14 and all the rest were smaller than her. There was once a girl named Gabby who was the only person who was older than me. Just last year, she turned 18 and was supposed to go. On her birthday, Ms.Keeper made an announcement at the last moment that Gabby was leaving right now and is right by the door. Every girl ran out to give her hugs and goodbyes. Ms.Keeper didn’t even move. She didn’t even say bye. It was so cruel of her. We didn’t have a birthday cake with Gabby because Ms.Keeper threw her out the door on her birthday!

Everyday, Ms.Keeper lets us go outside for one hour, three times a day. We ate mostly sandwiches and drank water and sometimes juice. We also had some snacks, which were mostly fruits. We did school during the day too but this wasn’t real school. Ms.Keeper taught us everything. Ms.Keeper also bought us a TV, which was in the dining room. We mostly had everything we needed, except a family.

One day, when Ms.Keeper let us go outside, I was lying on the grass by myself at the farthest point from the orphanage. Then all of a sudden I heard someone coming. I looked up but saw no one. When I turned around, I saw a boy, looked like he was 15. He had brown hair, blue eyes and was tall. He said “hi” to me and I said “hi” back. We talked to each other for awhile until Ms.Keeper called us in. I really hoped that Ms.Keeper didn’t see me talk to that boy because she would punish me.

For the next three days, I talked to that boy over the fence every recess. He told me about his life and it really surprised me. He said he had a house as big as the whole orphanage (the orphanage is as big as a hotel). He said he had his mom and dad living with him, that he has money, any kind of drink, and lots of junk food. He played video games everyday and watched TV and also he quit school. His mom and dad don’t care about what he does as long as he’s home by midnight! When he told me this, I started thinking, is every life out there like his? What is everyone’s else’s life like? I couldn’t sleep that night or any other night after that day.

Soon, we became friends and he asked if the orphanage was boring. I didn’t even know what to say because it was alright living in the orphanage but compared to his life, it was nothing. I didn’t say anything and he asked if I wanted to run away to his house. I, of course, was surprised and didn’t say anything for awhile but then I said I would think about it. Ms.Keeper called us inside, and I don’t know why but she never caught me talking to him. Ms.Keeper usually stands by the door of the orphanage, looking into the field of how we are playing. I was farthest away from her so maybe she doesn’t see so well.

After those days, I couldn’t sleep because I kept thinking of running away. But how was I supposed to run away? If I got caught, I would be punished and I would have to be a slave to everyone, washing dishes, sweeping, and cleaning. Besides, I couldn’t run away because we all slept in rooms with four people to each room. Our room was the farthest away from the exit. I would have to tip-toe (at night?!?) through the whole orphanage just to get to the exit. No, I couldn’t do it. I was too scared. But that boy kept assuring me that everything will be okay.

I talked it over with the boy and I decided to run away with him at night, at 11pm because he had to be home by 12pm. By 8pm, all the girls in the orphanage would be sleeping, but Ms.Keeper stays up till 10pm, listening to classical music in her favourite rocking chair. As not to wake Ms.Keeper, the boy suggested that he would come to my window at night and I would climb over. Our room was on the lowest level – level one- so it was the closest to the ground. It was supposed to happen in two days from then. I was very nervous and scared, and I kept looking at Ms.Keeper if she had any suspicions, but it didn’t look like it.

It was the day of the run. I packed all my stuff, which wasn’t really much. I put all my clothes in my pockets (it fit perfectly). I was wide awake that night, listening till Ms.Keeper turned off her classical music and went to bed. It was perfectly silent. You could hear every single breath of the girls. My tummy had a trillion butterflies in it and I couldn’t stop my heavy breathing. At 11pm, there was a quiet knock at my window and I knocked back. That was our signal for letting each other know we were ready. I then looked at everyone in the room. They were sound asleep. I opened the window and it’s super squeaky. I waited a moment to see if anyone woke up, but no one moved. I climbed over the window to the boy. I closed the window with a loud squeak and started running with the boy to wherever my feet let me go. It was a dark night and only the half-lit moon was our source of light. The boy led me through streets and streets of houses until we came to a huge house. It was so pretty. It looked like the orphanage but it had no spiderwebs. It was clean and super nice. It looked like they were rich to have all those diamond stuff on the door.

They boy opened the door and the light hurt my eyes. It was so bright in there, so big. The stairs were curved, like I only saw in fairy tales, and there was his mom standing in the doorway. She first smiled, but when she saw me, she made a confused face and came closer. I was so scared. What would his mom do? Did he tell his mom about me? My brain threw me a thousand questions to answer of which I didn’t know the answers for. The lady came closer and asked the boy slowly who I was. He told his mom that I was a friend from the orphanage. His mom got angry, her face started to turn red and she started to talk louder. She started saying that I’m filthy and that she doesn’t want to see me ever again and to get out off this house. I looked at the boy. He started to cry. I tear went down his cheek. He begged his mom to let her stay for the night but his mom didn’t budge. The boy’s mom shut the door on me and I was outside in the cold.

All of this was for nothing. This meet we had. All the recesses we talked, all the nights I didn’t sleep, and I couldn’t go back to the orphanage now. I was alone. I didn’t even know where to go. I got off the boys lawn and I sat down on the sidewalk, crying and I realized I didn’t even know what the boy’s name was! Suddenly, I heard a door open. I looked back to see if it was the boy’s mom. No, it wasn’t. I looked around and saw that the boy’s neighbor has opened the door and was calling me. The person at the door was a grandma. She told me to come in. I stood up and came inside. She told me that she heard the neighbors talking loudly so she went to see what the commotion was about. She asked me if I wanted to eat but I refused. She sent me to bed, not knowing anything about me. She was so kind to me. She sent me upstairs where I had my own room. I fell asleep very fast, and I slept till lunch the next day. I forgot all about the orphanage and went downstairs to meet my hero. She was making breakfast for me. We sat down at the table and she told me her name ( Grandma Laura ) and I told her all about my life. Every single thing. When I came to the part about the orphanage, her eyes widened.

Grandma Laura told me that many many years ago, she was the owner of the orphanage! The government fired her because they thought she wasn’t suitable for the job. When she went away, she made photocopies of the documents of the girls and kept them because the girls were so precious to her that she couldn’t just leave them. Grandma Laura stood up and went upstairs to go get them. When she came back down, she had a whole ton of documents! She found one by the name of Nikita.

That morning changed my life. She let me read my own document. It figures out that my real mom died while having me. My dad was still alive. My dad’s name was Walter Eggons. The grandma’s eyes widened when I told her the name of my dad. She told me that that was her husband! So Grandma Laura was my mom? She didn’t die? But Grandma told me the whole story. My dad, Walter, first married a lady named Agnes, and they had a baby named Nikita ( that was me) and during childbirth, Agnes died, but I lived. Later, my dad could no longer care after me so he dropped me off at the orphanage when I was 1 year’s old. For my dad, that was a hard decision. He had to work but he couldn’t leave me at home and there was no one to look after me. After my dad’s wife died, he married Laura. Laura was sitting in front of me, tears in her eyes and on her cheeks. She then told me the saddest news- my dad died of cancer a couple months ago. I started choking back sobs, and then tears. Grandma Laura was the only family I had. She was my stepmother.

It has been seven years since that happened and right now I am sitting with tears in my eyes, telling you this. I live with my stepmom and my husband, Jeffrey. Turns out that after that day, I lived with my stepmom for a couple months but then the boy’s mom found out that I was still in this neighborhood. The boy was so happy to hear that, and he told me his name- Jeffrey Jones. We soon joined our friendship together and a couple months later, we were married. Also,he wasn’t 15 years old, like I thought, he was 17.

-Written by Nikita Eggons-Jones

Nora

I hope you like this so far tell me what to improve on.

Gunnvor is the daugter of a powerful samurai but that is only thing that they have in common. Her father is a ruthless man who fights for war, on the other hand Gunnvor fights for humanity, no one can see her true colors because they want to believe she wants bloodshed as well like her father. She hates their thoughts, imprisoned in her fathers hand, the only way to escape, is for some one, like her, to save her in the outside.

As she swoon her sword with grace she sliced the broom like heads off. Her father and mother were observing her progress as a warrior, when she was do she went to her parents and bowed. She left leaving them behind a cold chill settled on them, the mother knew why the father ignored. Gunnvor loved to walk in the town down below her house, all the people were Good-hearted and kind in every way. She sometimes is jealous of the children for having such free lives. But she does not listen to her selfish conscience, she walked across the flower bridge as a gentle men suddenly bumped into her. “Oh sorry about that I didn’t see you,” Gunnvor quickly got up embarrassed for fall. She looked up and saw man that was strong but kind, she then noticed that he didn’t recognized him, he look like he was from another country. She then suddenly pulled her sword pointed it near his neck. the man was taken aback, he looked shocked and then said ” Yes did I say some thing offensive.”

“your not from here are you,” She moved a little closer, her sword started to dig into skin. “Yea I’m just traveling, I came from the neighboring kingdom, I thought they were in good terms…..right?” He backed away a little from the sword cutting his neck. Gunnvor then lowered her sword slowly, The man rubbed his neck just to find that it is bleeding “by the way what is your name,” she sheathed her sword in it’s case. “My name is gunnvor,” He quickly whipped his head to her “What the, Gunnvor, the daugter of the samurai.”

“Yes.” she turned and started to walk away and stop slightly turned her head ” And you,”

“Uh my name is Cota.” he said then Gunnvor walked away, when she arrived at home she swept past her father to her bed room. That night she could not stop thinking of Cota, she thought how strange he was dressed and the way he looked. The next how ever her father again trained gunnvor, the train this time was diffrent, he was pushing her to far.

Many days have past and Gunnvor noticed that Cota was spotted many times near her house. Then when she training with her father which was basically torture, Cota came up to her father ” You will stop hurting her,” He said slowly and manically. However he was not moved “My wife has convinced you to protect her,”

“No I came In my own accord.” The father then spun and grabbed his sword and pointed to cota. “Well then can fight me,”

“We”l see,” cota grabbed his sword and the two fought, they fought for a few hours and the father was vanquished. Cota then went to Gunnvor and asked her hand in marriage.

Luba Lishchenko

Nikita This is the story of me, Nikita, an orphaned girl, who didn’t know anything about her family. I was kept in the orphanage with a bunch of other girls. Ms.Keeper, the owner of the orphanage doesn’t tell anyone anything about themselves or their family. I didn’t know anything about myself, but everyone knew that in Ms.Keepers room there was a filing cabinet with documents of the real stories of our lives. Nobody ever dared to go in there though. Ms.Keeper looked like she was somewhere in the 30’s, she had grey hair, bags under her brown eyes, a slim body and a huge pimple on her long nose. She was not married. I have brown hair, brown eyes, freckles and a healthy, slim body. I always thought of running away. I felt like I was in that orphanage forever. I remember growing up in there since I was a child and now that I’m 17 years old, I’m still here, hoping to find my family. But that, I thought was too unrealistic. I was sitting in an orphanage, hoping to find my family. No, I wanted to DO something to find my family. The only thing that held me back was Ms.Keeper and the thought that I really had no family. Ms.Keeper was always afraid of one of the girls running away, that’s why she made some workers put a stronger fence around the orphanage property. Ms.Keeper was also afraid of talking to the government. I thought so because the government will shut down her orphanage. One time, I overheard Ms.Keeper talking on the phone to the government and they said that it was illegal to not show the orphans their identity and who they are, but Ms.Keeper ignored them and kept talking about something else. Also, at 18 years old, you are free to leave the orphanage and become independent. I just turned 17. No one else was my age except another girl, aged 14 and all the rest were smaller than her. There was once a girl named Gabby who was the only person who was older than me. Just last year, she turned 18 and was supposed to go. On her birthday, Ms.Keeper made an announcement at the last moment that Gabby was leaving right now and is right by the door. Every girl ran out to give her hugs and goodbyes. Ms.Keeper didn’t even move. She didn’t even say bye. It was so cruel of her. We didn’t have a birthday cake with Gabby because Ms.Keeper threw her out the door on her birthday! Everyday, Ms.Keeper lets us go outside for one hour, three times a day. We ate mostly sandwiches and drank water and sometimes juice. We also had some snacks, which were mostly fruits. We did school during the day too but this wasn’t real school. Ms.Keeper taught us everything. Ms.Keeper also bought us a TV, which was in the dining room. We mostly had everything we needed, except a family. One day, when Ms.Keeper let us go outside, I was lying on the grass by myself at the farthest point from the orphanage. Then all of a sudden I heard someone coming. I looked up but saw no one. When I turned around, I saw a boy, looked like he was 15. He had brown hair, blue eyes and was tall. He said “hi” to me and I said “hi” back. We talked to each other for awhile until Ms.Keeper called us in. I really hoped that Ms.Keeper didn’t see me talk to that boy because she would punish me. For the next three days, I talked to that boy over the fence every recess. He told me about his life and it really surprised me. He said he had a house as big as the whole orphanage (the orphanage is as big as a hotel). He said he had his mom and dad living with him, that he has money, any kind of drink, and lots of junk food. He played video games everyday and watched TV and also he quit school. His mom and dad don’t care about what he does as long as he’s home by midnight! When he told me this, I started thinking, is every life out there like his? What is everyone’s else’s life like? I couldn’t sleep that night or any other night after that day. Soon, we became friends and he asked if the orphanage was boring. I didn’t even know what to say because it was alright living in the orphanage but compared to his life, it was nothing. I didn’t say anything and he asked if I wanted to run away to his house. I, of course, was surprised and didn’t say anything for awhile but then I said I would think about it. Ms.Keeper called us inside, and I don’t know why but she never caught me talking to him. Ms.Keeper usually stands by the door of the orphanage, looking into the field of how we are playing. I was farthest away from her so maybe she doesn’t see so well. After those days, I couldn’t sleep because I kept thinking of running away. But how was I supposed to run away? If I got caught, I would be punished and I would have to be a slave to everyone, washing dishes, sweeping, and cleaning. Besides, I couldn’t run away because we all slept in rooms with four people to each room. Our room was the farthest away from the exit. I would have to tip-toe (at night?!?) through the whole orphanage just to get to the exit. No, I couldn’t do it. I was too scared. But that boy kept assuring me that everything will be okay. I talked it over with the boy and I decided to run away with him at night, at 11pm because he had to be home by 12pm. By 8pm, all the girls in the orphanage would be sleeping, but Ms.Keeper stays up till 10pm, listening to classical music in her favourite rocking chair. As not to wake Ms.Keeper, the boy suggested that he would come to my window at night and I would climb over. Our room was on the lowest level – level one- so it was the closest to the ground. It was supposed to happen in two days from then. I was very nervous and scared, and I kept looking at Ms.Keeper if she had any suspicions, but it didn’t look like it. It was the day of the run. I packed all my stuff, which wasn’t really much. I put all my clothes in my pockets (it fit perfectly). I was wide awake that night, listening till Ms.Keeper turned off her classical music and went to bed. It was perfectly silent. You could hear every single breath of the girls. My tummy had a trillion butterflies in it and I couldn’t stop my heavy breathing. At 11pm, there was a quiet knock at my window and I knocked back. That was our signal for letting each other know we were ready. I then looked at everyone in the room. They were sound asleep. I opened the window and it’s super squeaky. I waited a moment to see if anyone woke up, but no one moved. I climbed over the window to the boy. I closed the window with a loud squeak and started running with the boy to wherever my feet let me go. It was a dark night and only the half-lit moon was our source of light. The boy led me through streets and streets of houses until we came to a huge house. It was so pretty. It looked like the orphanage but it had no spiderwebs. It was clean and super nice. It looked like they were rich to have all those diamond stuff on the door. They boy opened the door and the light hurt my eyes. It was so bright in there, so big. The stairs were curved, like I only saw in fairy tales, and there was his mom standing in the doorway. She first smiled, but when she saw me, she made a confused face and came closer. I was so scared. What would his mom do? Did he tell his mom about me? My brain threw me a thousand questions to answer of which I didn’t know the answers for. The lady came closer and asked the boy slowly who I was. He told his mom that I was a friend from the orphanage. His mom got angry, her face started to turn red and she started to talk louder. She started saying that I’m filthy and that she doesn’t want to see me ever again and to get out off this house. I looked at the boy. He started to cry. I tear went down his cheek. He begged his mom to let her stay for the night but his mom didn’t budge. The boy’s mom shut the door on me and I was outside in the cold. All of this was for nothing. This meet we had. All the recesses we talked, all the nights I didn’t sleep, and I couldn’t go back to the orphanage now. I was alone. I didn’t even know where to go. I got off the boys lawn and I sat down on the sidewalk, crying and I realized I didn’t even know what the boy’s name was! Suddenly, I heard a door open. I looked back to see if it was the boy’s mom. No, it wasn’t. I looked around and saw that the boy’s neighbor has opened the door and was calling me. The person at the door was a grandma. She told me to come in. I stood up and came inside. She told me that she heard the neighbors talking loudly so she went to see what the commotion was about. She asked me if I wanted to eat but I refused. She sent me to bed, not knowing anything about me. She was so kind to me. She sent me upstairs where I had my own room. I fell asleep very fast, and I slept till lunch the next day. I forgot all about the orphanage and went downstairs to meet my hero. She was making breakfast for me. We sat down at the table and she told me her name ( Grandma Laura ) and I told her all about my life. Every single thing. When I came to the part about the orphanage, her eyes widened. Grandma Laura told me that many many years ago, she was the owner of the orphanage! The government fired her because they thought she wasn’t suitable for the job. When she went away, she made photocopies of the documents of the girls and kept them because the girls were so precious to her that she couldn’t just leave them. Grandma Laura stood up and went upstairs to go get them. When she came back down, she had a whole ton of documents! She found one by the name of Nikita. That morning changed my life. She let me read my own document. It figures out that my real mom died while having me. My dad was still alive. My dad’s name was Walter Eggons. The grandma’s eyes widened when I told her the name of my dad. She told me that that was her husband! So Grandma Laura was my mom? She didn’t die? But Grandma told me the whole story. My dad, Walter, first married a lady named Agnes, and they had a baby named Nikita ( that was me) and during childbirth, Agnes died, but I lived. Later, my dad could no longer care after me so he dropped me off at the orphanage when I was 1 year’s old. For my dad, that was a hard decision. He had to work but he couldn’t leave me at home and there was no one to look after me. After my dad’s wife died, he married Laura. Laura was sitting in front of me, tears in her eyes and on her cheeks. She then told me the saddest news- my dad died of cancer a couple months ago. I started choking back sobs, and then tears. Grandma Laura was the only family I had. She was my stepmother. It has been seven years since that happened and right now I am sitting with tears in my eyes, telling you this. I live with my stepmom and my husband, Jeffrey. Turns out that after that day, I lived with my stepmom for a couple months but then the boy’s mom found out that I was still in this neighborhood. The boy was so happy to hear that, and he told me his name- Jeffrey Jones. We soon joined our friendship together and a couple months later, we were married. Also,he wasn’t 15 years old, like I thought, he was 17. -Written by Nikita Eggons-Jones

Retarted Stuff

Yoyoyo its generikb here and today we are playing roller coaster tycoon

John Smith

Anyone got ideas for a short story titled as Leornard’s Fatal Oversight. In need of help asap.

Mary M

Ugh, this is getting do frustrating! I thought to myself as I struggled through the streets. My ankles kept twisting every time I slipped. Heels are so not comfy. I shouldn’t have worn them. As if my struggle wasn’t enough, people were pushing me as they passed me by. I was being shoved left and right amidst the bustling sidewalks of New York. Feeling fed up, I decided to lean onto a nearby store to regain my balance. What an awful idea it was. Unfortunately, I have miscalculated the distance between me and the store and I ended up leaning on thin air. I tried to right my footing before it was too late but I ended up tripping on my own feet. With a loud oomph I slammed into a passerby. Papers went flying around us as we both fell to the ground.

“Oh my gosh! I am so sorry.” I tried to hurriedly stand up but I ended flat on the ground again. “I didn’t mean to! I was just trying to lean on the wall to regain my balance since it’s the first time to wear heels, and oh my god, it is very hard and painful.”

The person nodded quietly and started gathering the papers. I got to my knees and tried to help. “I was supposed to be looking smart for today’s meeting, but I don’t think it’s been working out so well. I bet I look as smart as a baboon’s butt.” I heard the person chuckle but I went on with my rant, “I also bet that I am a total mess; I don’t how will I meet everyone at work this way. Oh man! They sure will give me an earful of criticism!” I didn’t realize I had been holding on to the few papers I collected while he tried to pull them from my grasp. “Oh, I am so sorry, once again,” I said still holding on to the papers while I got up, “I didn’t realize I was holding on to the documents…it’s not like I’ve read them; I’m just guessing they were documents as your suit looks neat and yeah.” I tugged gently on the lapel of the suit and finally raised my eyes to his face. My eyes probably widened as I saw him for the first time. To cut it short, he was hot! Like smoking salmon hot; or more like hot chili pepper that Indians eat hot! Now I’ll give all the details, I know you want them…I would want them if I was listening to one of my friends telling me such a story. Anyways, he stood a good foot or so taller than me. He had light brown hair styled backwards. His angular, defined jaw was covered with a five o’clock shadow. Bright hazel eyes shone with amusement as a slight smile covered his lips. “I don’t usually talk to strangers as much as I do. God! I’m coming off as talkative! I am not usually the talkative type; I seriously don’t know what is wrong with me today. And whoa, you look handsome,” my eyes widened in shock as he raised both eyebrows, “Did I say that out loud? Oh my god, I said that out loud. I didn’t mean to say that…I don’t mean you’re not handsome, because you’re one hell of a man; I just mean…Ugh! Now I’m coming off as a weird man-gazing half-crazed stalker. That is if I’m not fully crazed. I don’t think I’m making any sense…I should probably get going.” I went to turn around when I felt a tug onto something I’m holding to. With a confused look I looked to my hands and found the stack of papers. With a not so faint blush, I handed him the papers, “I’m sorry again.” I threw my hand behind my shoulder pointing in the opposite direction, “I should probably get going,” I said with a sheepish smile. I turned to leave again, but I was stopped…again. He cleared his throat, “I think you’re forgetting something.” “Um…no, I think I’m,” I turned his way to find him holding my bag. I awkwardly stepped to take it and said, “Thanks. I’ll see you around, not that I know where you are…I’ll just get going.” I took my bag and headed off in the opposite direction before I could embarrass myself any further. As I waited for the subway, I recalled what just happened and face palmed. I took the short ride to the office to compose myself. I was in for a surprise once I entered the meeting room, though. The man I bumped into was standing at the head of the table. “Good morning everyone, before starting today’s meeting, I would like to introduce you to the company’s new CEO…” Well, I wasn’t expecting this. I sat rigidly on the chair once we were told to. “Good morning everyone, I am Nathaniel and I am looking forwards to working with everyone on this team,” he said with a smile on his face. “Mr. Nathaniel, I would like you to meet our best employee, Ms. Felicity Brown.”My boss pointed my way and I wish he hadn’t. Nathaniel’s eyes found mine. They were filled with amusement. Oh this was going to be a long day.

And this, kids, is how I met your father.

Joseph West

A great (and family friendly) writing site is http://www.storybird.com

I might write a story about a girl who was born a princess but all her family died on a ship except her aunt and cousin…she gets taken to an orphanage and everyone else thinks she died too and she gets adopted a few Years later she goes to school and everyone is talking about her…one days she finds out that… oh u want to know well I’ll probs write a story about it on wattpad so u can look for it, it will be called…A princess???

Dianelwnz

Four new members have a look at couch on top of Crestwood center ship

high school graduation sports activitiestrail Softballand therefore Swimmingbeach ball Tennismales adolescent girls info Field HS HS WrestlingCollege Pro Submit ScoresSubmit

WRIGHT TWP. In all perhaps had to be the most significant reorganization matching presented among Luzerne regional 11 institutions zones, Crestwood school panel swore located in four sign ups compared to the ne member, repairing incumbents which are either of them missing in action unique reelection tenders belonging to the primary or elected to get not to research another phase.

wayne Brogna, Stacey Haddix, Kimberly Spath and thus Lauren McCurdy got been sworn appearing in thursday night. The four bought conducted completely considering that the to produce enhancement community. really earning incumbent from a big part that do survived habitual grievance in past times two very long time came anna Hollock Bibla, which will garnered your ex first four year terms the particular snowboard. you become a member of in 2017 because of profitable an exclusive two year sitting.

The aboard had been proven a good solid director in just cost Jones deleted the primary. He extended in the direction this quite get-together ahead departing the barrier. But contact considering his or place for year isn an exciting new face. really 5 4 election with all four rookies in opposition of, james Costello vice president in the past year came branded president.

following the meeting, Brogna documented can lone even talk to gain themselves even so that he fully Costello ran into finished loads of dubious ballots the actual game board during the last two growth cycles. he explained he’s talked containing Costello together n’ your own questions that can the pup, but admitted no sign ups may possibly well most try out the us president job, if he or she. so which he wasn safe voting for Costello.

barry Boone is unanimously specified as vice chairman, Maureen McGovern came chosen assistant, and after that Brogna been recently branded as treasurer.

all of the reconstituted block have their first finding for normal establishment votes arrange for Dec. 19, Five days right after the contract over curious law firms in order to post proposals on a structured feasibility study, sense my blackboard can have to be able to merit a legal contract.

Four newbies your day Crestwood their school panel accept the promise of health care office at some stage in thurs reorganization talking. right between lead are actually Stacy Haddix, Kimberly Spath, Lauren McCurdy and as a consequence randy Brogna. 17 public speaking.

while prompt wednesday authorities chairman paul Belusko should become aware of if will probably be at center arena this booked careers class a better or at site of the event thus more people beautiful vietnamese women may easily give priority to.

Belusko proclaimed she will be polling an additional four authorities musicians in email’s over the past weekend on recommendation mayor choose George light brown undertaken especially during tuesday night time seeing replace the to and time production for the.

looking to you can keep them respond back to me made by the following thursday, Belusko considered that Friday.

maybe authorities decides to transfer an appointment it provides a week in order to place and with seating rather than a unique fourth area chambers.

was regarded as thinking that it is recently doing open talking long before the performance visit someplace (home buyers and thus local authority or council) may questionthings just to associated with us transfer to the author’s your job session. which unfortunately whatever i thinking about, Belusko claims.

you will most likely plumbing service in sunday night-time show results demonstrations that when local authority or council could not vote on awaiting the law. comments together with inquires are allowed even though council monday date the general public get togethers. timetabled start.

village owner david Gazenski suggested it authorities call on which direction to start.

over council if that they move this approach to a different store, Gazenski alleged.

nearly as Belusko may reaching out to authorities, so too will white because of main receiving area for the mans professional recommendation.

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104 Of The Best Short Story Ideas And Prompts To Grab Your Readers

So, you want to write a short story — and not just a mildly entertaining short story but one your readers can’t put down until they’ve finished it.

You want a story that gets reactions like “Wow!” and “How did you do that?” and “Do you have more like this?”

What writer doesn’t want that kind of reaction, right?

And since short stories are short, you have less time to wait for your readers’ reactions — but you also have less time to grab their attention.

That’s why a great topic is worth its weight in gold when it comes to writing these little gems.

Even with the challenges inherent to short story writing, you’ll most likely finish a short story in far less time than you would a novel.

So, you’ll get to explore more story topics in less time than if you were writing longer works.

But how do you generate short story ideas that are worth the time you’ll invest in crafting a short story your readers will love?

If you’ve been writing for long enough, you already know good story ideas are everywhere, and you might even have some in mind as you read this.

But which of those ideas should be on your shortlist for story writing projects?

And if you don’t have any great ideas at the moment, where do you get some?

Short Story Idea Generator (how to generate story ideas)

Short story writing exercises, generating story ideas with the short story formula, timeless themes and emotional impact, 35 short story ideas, 69 short story writing prompts.

When it comes to generating new story ideas, you can take more than one approach. You might try these three:

man typing on laptop short story ideas

  • Writing exercises
  • Writing prompts
  • The Short Story Formula

Think of your school days when your English teacher assigned an essay or invited you to write a paragraph in answer to a question.

Maybe all you had to do was write one complete sentence. Or maybe your teacher wanted a haiku — or a rhyming couplet.

School isn’t the only place for writing exercises , though. If you’ve ever joined a creative writing group, your leader may have encouraged you to spend some time each day freewriting or writing a character sketch .

The purpose of writing exercises is to practice writing — or to practice a specific kind of writing (voice journaling, essays, persuasive ad copy, song lyrics, etc.).

So, whether it’s NaNoWriMo, Twitter’s #VSS (Very Short Story) challenge, or writing sprints, the more time you invest in these exercises, and the more you open yourself up to constructive criticism, the more quickly your writing will improve.

The most effective writing prompts and writing exercises make use of themes with a history of captivating and inspiring others. Because of this, either one might lead you to a story idea that you can hardly wait to explore.

Take one (or more) of those popular themes and combine them with a context that is both unique and relatable, and you have the formula for a compelling story idea.

Story writing ideas are generally more fully developed than writing prompts. It’s not unusual, for example, to begin with a writing prompt , develop it into a story idea, and then write the actual story.

And don’t beat yourself up if the first idea that comes to mind is a cliché. You’re human, and familiar ideas are the easiest to think of. Nothing wrong with that. The first idea is like a first draft , in that it gives you something to start with.

And don’t be afraid to mix it up — literally. Take one idea, mix it up with another, and play with it for a while. Who knows how you might juice up your story idea without even trying?

The best fiction story ideas make use of timeless themes. You’ll find one or more of the ten themes that follow in most stories that have been written, read, and shared over the centuries.

  • The End of a Relationship
  • Rags to Riches
  • Scars / Wounds
  • Ghosts / the Paranormal
  • Deepest Fears
  • A Soulmate Encounter
  • A Journey Interrupted
  • Monsters (human or otherwise)

The story idea itself — in its simplest form — doesn’t have to be original, and in fact, it shouldn’t be. But the way you embody and develop that idea should surprise your readers and evoke an emotional response in them.

It’s that emotional impact that makes your story not only worth finishing but memorable.

Short story ideas will look different from novel ideas, though — mainly because short stories have to make a big impact with fewer words. And because of this, the most powerful short stories have what James Scott Bell describes as the “one shattering moment.”

In his book, How to Write Short Stories and Use Them to Further Your Writing Career, Bell describes that moment as “something that happens to a character, an emotional blast which they cannot ignore. It changes them, in a large or a subtle way — in a way that cannot be ignored.”

Any one of the popular themes listed above could you give your main character a shattering moment that would change that character’s life or perspective.

woman typing on laptop short story ideas

Take a look at the following creative story ideas, many of which combine two or more of the popular themes listed, and feel free to modify any of them to create your next unputdownable short story.

1. Your character’s loved one has died , and he learns while going through that loved one’s belongings that the latter had a terrible secret that unnervingly correlates to your character’s deepest fear.

The rest of the story explores your character’s reaction to this discovery and how it affects his/her relationships and decision-making.

2. Your character has married the man she saw as her “soulmate.” During their honeymoon, he shows her his list of goals for their first five years together, and they have their first real argument over one of those goals — which requires something of her that she never agreed to.

She has a sudden memory of their first date and of the moment when she first decided he was the one, but she sees it now from his perspective, and it changes everything.

3. Your orphaned character inherits a house and moves in to find that it’s already occupied — by the spirits of the character’s long-deceased parents, who aren’t at all like the people other relatives have described.

4. Your character is having trouble getting past his anger over the wounds inflicted by those who raised him and by those with whom he had one failed relationship after the next.

woman at laptop looking out window Short Story Ideas

After losing his job, he goes on a journey to change the direction of his life, but that journey is interrupted by the death of one of his parents — the one who hurt him the most.

5. Your character is widely regarded as a monster and doesn’t deny or hide from that designation.

When his closest confidante gets fed up with him, tells him off, and leaves the company they founded together, your character finds himself disoriented by grief and does something different.

6. Your character is content with her life but suddenly inherits a large sum of money and a palatial estate on the east coast.

She sees the inheritance as proof that the Law of Attraction works, and she invites family and a few close friends to move with her and share the wealth. On the first night of their stay, someone dies.

7. Your character’s snake-loving neighbor has just been found in the belly of her pet boa constrictor (who she swore was a better “snuggler” than her ex).

The ex shows up and is angry when he finds out that your neighbor left the house and everything in it to your character. He threatens to ruin her life if she doesn’t turn the house over to him.

8. Your character meets his/her soulmate on a flight that almost doesn’t make it to its destination; both of them respond to emergencies on the plane (one as a cop and the other as a doctor).

Once at the airport, your character learns that this soulmate is already in a relationship with a well-known philanthropist. But your character notices something odd and calls the philanthropist out.

9. Your character’s best friend just announced the end of a relationship, and your character is surprised to find this friend in a celebratory state of mind (rather than heartbroken).

Your character then finds out the disturbing reason for the friend’s manic behavior.

10. One of your character’s siblings is getting married, and during wedding preparations, your character learns something she was never meant to know. This discovery changes her relationships with everyone.

11. The happy couple living next door to your character has died in a horrific accident, and when the parents show up for the funeral, you find out why the couple always changed the subject whenever you asked them about their families.

12. Your character starts receiving messages from someone who knows his/her deepest fears and intends to exploit them. At the same time, your character is discovering a latent ability that relates to those fears but might also help him overcome them. Or they might change him into something the messenger never saw coming.

13. Your character meets a soulmate at a community grief counseling group meeting and learns that this soulmate also attends AA meetings (like your mc) — though with a different group and with a friend who doesn’t particularly like your main character.

The surprising reason comes out when your character goes on a first date with this soulmate. The soulmate’s friend swears he/she knows your mc from a different reality — which he/she visits in dreams.

14. Your character breaks free of a painful relationship and embarks on a journey to discover what she’s capable of. After volunteering at a nursing home — reading to vision-impaired residents and writing letters for them — she agrees to personally deliver one of those letters to the resident’s estranged son.

15. After avoiding close relationships because of deep scars from his childhood, your main character learns something about one of his parents that changes everything for him. He then has an opportunity to take a step off his accustomed path.

16. Your character has been married for 19 years before her spouse — after a weekend that reminds her of when they met and why she married him — hands her divorce papers.

17. Your character is making a list of reasons to break up with her boyfriend of two years when the latter comes home early and tells her he’s won the lottery jackpot.

18. Your character is a locally famous writer whose hero story ideas come from his freewheeling lifestyle and insatiable curiosity about others.

One day, out of boredom, he offers a homeless man $100 to propose to the first woman he takes a fancy to, while he watches from a safe distance. The proposal goes terrifyingly wrong.

19. Your character has just lost a child by miscarriage , and when she comes home, her married life has changed. Her husband, who was always the more talkative of the two, spends their time together quietly grieving in his own way.

Your character, on the other hand, becomes more outgoing and starts spending more time (and money) on her appearance.

20. Your young adult character finds himself suddenly orphaned when his parents die in a plane crash. The funeral is the beginning of a dramatic shift in his perspective and in the choices he makes.

He breaks off a relationship with a woman his parents adored, he quits the lucrative job that he hates, and he leaves the country.

21. Your character has just learned that his spouse has been cheating on him, and he confronts her when she gets home that night.

She reveals that what he saw as proof of her infidelity was something completely innocent — but that she’s already decided to make a permanent and dramatic end to their marriage.

22. The only child of your character is diagnosed with a fatal illness, and your character doesn’t know how to deal with the worry and dread that now consumes her.

Her doctor suggests one anti-anxiety med after another, and her husband and his family urge her to try one — for her husband’s and her son’s sakes. She goes into a fugue state with the experimental drug she tries, and she wakes up to the consequences.

23. Your character’s new glasses — created as a free gift from an old friend with unusual connections — reveal more than the physical objects in his field of vision.

After looking at a coworker and seeing the latter’s death just hours before it happens, he goes to replace the glasses with a plain pair from a local chain. Then he catches his full-length reflection in a window.

24. Your character wakes up alone in an unfamiliar place and is told by everyone he encounters that the life he thought he’d lived for the past six years — with a wife and three kids and with the job that barely paid the bills — must have been a dream.

He’s actually stunningly wealthy, treated with respect by everyone he meets, and desired by more than one woman. So, why is there a picture of him with his nonexistent family on his desk?

25. A year ago, your character met someone who offered her the power to transform the interior of her home to anything she wants — in exchange for a DNA sample from her only child, who is a gifted storyteller.

During the year after she accepted the offer, her home becomes everything she wants it to be, but her son stops telling stories, and one day she finds out why.

26. Your character makes drastic changes to his diet and adopts new habits that alienate him from his usual circle of friends but lead him to a new one.

He then wins a large sum of money from a scratch ticket that an estranged friend (a compulsive gambler) slipped under his door.

27. Your character has returned from a successful quest to find his home empty, with no sign of his loved ones other than a note left on the refrigerator.

Not only does he now have no one with whom to share his victory, but what he learns calls that very victory into question.

28. Your character has spent eleven years living with the consequences of a vow she has taken. When she forges a new friendship with a counselor, she learns something about herself that scares her and makes her avoid the counselor, for his own sake.

Keenly aware of her own vulnerability, she brands herself to ward off unwelcome attention.

29. Your character, after 15 years of living in a house chosen mainly to fit her spouse’s preferences, sees an ad for an apartment in town that represents the life she gave up to make her husband happy.

After hearing him complain about his life and their house for one too many times, she goes to look at this apartment and finds it has almost everything she wants. The apartment manager, a well-dressed woman close to her own age, hears your character’s last name and appears shaken by it.

30. Your character splurges on a new rug for her living room floor — the kind of rug she’s coveted for years — and her S.O. criticizes it and later “accidentally” spills his drink on it.

The final straw is his suggestion that she wait ‘til it dries and return it to the store for a refund or exchange it for something more practical.

31. Your character has recently broken free from a cult that had drawn him in when he was vulnerable from a family tragedy. His new support system — a group of other cult survivors — is having varying degrees of difficulty re-entering society and repairing damaged relationships.

Your character meets with them one evening at their accustomed café table and confronts a server whose off-handed comment provokes him. What begins as a calm request for respectful treatment escalates as other members of the group chime in and the server’s manager gets involved.

32. Your character has joined a church and finds herself under the tutelage of a church member who leans toward the traditionalist end of the spectrum and who regards her as the daughter he never had.

When he decides to renounce the church’s leadership and join an extreme traditionalist group, she backs away from him — after explaining to him why she won’t do the same. His behavior toward her changes and she makes a change of her own.

33. Your character is so desperate for money that he does something he never would have done otherwise. He doesn’t get caught, but he doesn’t get away with it, either. Consumed by guilt, he undergoes a penance of his choosing, which spirals out of control.

34. Your character walks into a tourist shop and buys a homemade “tonic” freshly mixed by the owner, after tasting and enjoying an innocuous sample in the same flavor. The tonic changes him in a way he can’t ignore or undo.

35. Your character inherits an old music shop with a secret back room where his uncle kept a few instruments that can make even someone like him — who has never played an instrument — a virtuoso in seconds. He takes the piano to his apartment and learns why his uncle (in a letter he’d written before his death) had warned him not to — and why his uncle kept the door to that secret room locked.

With writing prompts , you get a launching pad of sorts: a question, an idea, a provocative quote, or something that inspires a reaction — specifically a written one. Maybe that reaction is an argument, or maybe it’s an impassioned defense of an idea.

Whatever it is, the purpose here is to take that prompt and use it to generate a written response in one form or another. The aim of writing prompts for short stories is to get you started on a new short story .

The prompt could be as simple as a word or as detailed as a character sketch or an elevator pitch. It could even be a picture or a song. It could be an observation you make while (discreetly) people-watching.

We’ve create 69 short story writing prompts that flesh out an idea more thoroughly, giving you a good headstart for your story.

1. You get a new job, and your new boss approaches you on the first day with an invitation to the “After Hours Club.” He tells you it’s no big deal if you decline, but you get a strong impression that it would be.

2. One day, on the way home from work, your new car takes over and drives you to a remote area, stopping beside other cars in a clearing underneath a new moon. You wake up underneath a full moon and drive yourself home. But much has changed in your absence — and so have you.

3. You bake pies for a local bakery, and when a celebrity comes to town and tastes your locally famous turtle pie, he invites you to go on tour with him — to a movie set somewhere in Europe — to be his personal pie maker. You say yes.

4. You buy a single rose from a street vendor, and it lasts a week, then two weeks, then three, and then a full month. Only then does someone point out to you that previously healthy people in the neighborhood have been falling ill and dying at an abnormal rate.

5. It’s time for your 10-year-old daughter to make her First Confession, but when her turn comes to go into the confessional, she panics and won’t be persuaded to go in.

6. You’re stranded in a small village down a winding road from Burgos (Spain) on a Sunday. A stranger comes by on a motorcycle and goes to fetch a taxi for you. You’re waiting at the bus station when he tells you he knows you’re meant to replace his recently deceased wife.

7. The bartender brings you your first Irish coffee in what looks like a candy dish. Halfway through, you notice the whole cafe seems to be floating, and since you can’t put the rest into a to-go cup (alas), you pay your tab and head out. You think you’re doing fine until your key doesn’t work in the front door of your apartment building. Someone else kindly lets you in, and you recognize him as the bartender from that cafe.

8. You’re exploring an old Spanish town, and you realize someone is following you. You turn and find an old woman who asks if you’ll help her find her hotel. You help her, and she invites you in, telling you she has a son who shares your interest in all things Tolkien. You’re not in a hurry to get back to your hotel room, so you go up with her.

9. Your fingers don’t respond to you the way they used to, and you’ve been having other difficulties. You go see your doctor, and they run some tests to check for neurological diseases but don’t find anything. They think it’s probably stress-related. Your life has been stressful lately, and it doesn’t help that your new roommate has been acting strangely toward you.

10. You wake up with your heart racing, but you don’t remember why. You almost never remember your dreams but often wake up covered in sweat with your heart pounding. You’re tired of having to shower every morning and feeling sick for the rest of the day, so you decide to undergo hypnosis, hoping to find out what’s going on.

11. Your neighbors have been up to some strange shenanigans lately, and their lights are on well into the wee hours of the morning. You’d like to know why, but every neighbor you’ve talked to who have gone over there to ask about it has, later on, told you that nothing suspicious is going on and that those neighbors are “very spiritual, and so, so nice!”

12. The street lamps that light up your cul de sac have gone dark, and you’re outside waiting for your spouse to get home when something large and dark brushes past you, almost knocking you off balance. Then a man appears and asks, “Have you seen my cat?”

13. Someone has broken into your house while you were away and has taken all the religious articles out of it — every statue, every picture, and every holy water bottle. The thief left everything else alone.

14. You move into an apartment that used to be a hoarder’s paradise, and your manager gives you permission to paint the walls a different color and add some new flooring. You get to work removing the kitchen’s linoleum floor and find something you never expected.

15. You joined a wine delivery service, and the delivery person is every bit as charming as the labels on the posh wine he brings to you each week. When you lose your job and cancel the service, the wine keeps coming.

16. You buy a pound of gourmet coffee beans at a local food festival, and as you’re sipping the first cup from the first pot you’ve brewed, you have a vision, which feels as real as though it were actually happening to you. When the vision ends, you’re still in your kitchen, holding your cup. You take another sip.

17. You’re about ready to gather up all the ceramic village pieces that have been cluttering up your living room and toss them in the trash bin, but your spouse, who knows you hate them, insists you should try selling them on eBay, instead. That’s when the fight starts.

18. You buy a new pair of Bluetooth earbuds that are supposed to enhance your listening experience. You plug them in and use them while watching a movie, and suddenly, you’re there on the scene, about to get flattened (or eaten) by a dinosaur.

19. You need a new toilet, and someone shows up at the door (as though sent by heaven) to sell you a toilet that will flush down ANYTHING. Oddly enough, it doesn’t even need to be hooked up to your septic system. “All you have to do is remove and empty the dust tray at the base every evening, reinsert it for the next day’s flushes, and voila!”

20. You buy a new keyboard , and after typing a few sentences of a new story, it starts typing on its own, and you watch in surprise as it types out a new short story. You submit it to a contest you’ve never won and win first prize. You start thinking you’ll never have trouble paying the rent again! Then you accidentally spill wine on the keyboard, and even stranger things start happening.

Related:  55 Funny Writing Prompts To Inspire Your Inner Comedian

21. Your famous stew recipe has won an award. You go to collect it (a cash prize), and meet the next runner-up, who believes she should have won the first prize instead with her three-bean salad. She warns you not to spend the money, because she will prove you won unfairly. You go home and find a bowl of three-bean salad and a note.

22. You suggest at the breakfast table one morning that you might actually have too many books, and your SO seizes upon this and offers to help you thin out your collection. After breaking up with him, you cull a few volumes for donation and run into the author of one of them.

23. Your first issue of Real Simple magazine has finally arrived, but something has come with it — something you can’t see but that makes your life anything but simpler.

24. A girl scout comes to the door selling cookies, and you tell her you already bought some from her at the table outside your grocery store, and you’ve spent enough for the year. Suddenly, all the food in your house (including the canned food) becomes moldy or rotten. And every bit of food that passes your threshold becomes inedible.

25. You buy a new whiteboard to help you keep track of your writing assignments, but you wake up one morning, and new items have somehow been added to your list. And the new titles have a sinister edge to them. You live alone.

26. You buy a new poster that looks exactly like the TARDIS door, and you put it up on your bedroom wall. One night, right at midnight (you’re up working at your computer), the door opens and you walk through it.

27. You buy a CD with music that’s supposed to help you write more creatively and also lose weight more easily. You start playing it during your writing time, and sure enough, the words flow without effort, and you love what you’ve written. You also start losing ten pounds a week, and soon you can’t afford to lose another ten, but you’ve come to depend on that music CD.

28. You’re a carpenter who has joined a construction team to build a new development of 3,000+ square foot houses. All is going well until someone on the team discovers something buried in the lot for the third house. The foreman removes it and tells everyone to get back to work, but you have a bad feeling. And you’re right to have it.

29. Your boss announces they’re having a potluck and you’re all expected to show up and bring something. He also tells you it has to be homemade. You tell him you can’t cook, but he tells you, “Well, learn, then!” Strangely enough, you do, and you create an entree that has everyone’s mouth-watering when you open the lid at the potluck. But your boss is conspicuously absent.

30. You wake up in the middle of the night and rush to the bathroom, where you empty your stomach of everything you ate that day. Something else comes out, and it’s moving.

31. You stop at a coffee shop while making stops to apply for a new job, and the barista tells you the new bed and breakfast is looking for someone to handle their advertising. You apply, are accepted, and agree to start immediately. But the owner, who openly admires your bicycle, offers you a room at the B&B, so you’ll be more accessible.

32. You have way too much time on your hands since your latest project has earned you enough to more than double your previous year’s salary, and you’re taking a sabbatical. You see an ad for an opportunity to spend a month at a castle in Wales, with full room and board and a bicycle for exploring the countryside. You call the agent and book a flight.

33. One night, as you’re coming back from the bathroom, you see a bright light and follow it to see that your front window is wide open and bugs are swarming in and out. You rush to close it but then you see the view from it — which is not your usual view of the front yard. You see something you want to investigate.

34. Sometimes, people stare when you pull out an index card and start scribbling furiously onto it, but you don’t care. Then someone accuses you of writing something about him and, pulling out a gun, demands you hand the card over to him.

35. You’re starting a new job, and one of your co-workers tells you it’s up to the new guy to keep the coffee pot full for his first week. While you’re brewing the latest refill, muttering to yourself about how little you’re getting done that day, one of your co-workers starts choking and accuses you of trying to poison her.

36. Your home-brewed ale is the talk of the neighborhood, but your next-door neighbor frequently buys up your newest batch. You start imposing limits. He then starts telling other neighbors that your secret is adding pee from your pet guinea pigs, “But it’s cool, because urine is sterile. And that guinea pig pee really adds something!”

37. You inherit a lighthouse from your deceased uncle — along with the small living quarters attached to it. You move right in, looking forward to the solitude. But whenever you’re up at the top scanning the surface of the ocean, you see things that can’t possibly be there. And one of them sees you — and comes to visit.

38. You stop at the local nursery and pick up a new houseplant — a tiny, adorable succulent. The cashier looks nervous as she rings you up. “That plant isn’t normal. If you want to pick another one, I would totally understand.” She’s nodding with wide eyes as she says this, clearly hoping you’ll agree.

39. You live in a studio apartment. Your boss comes to bring you soup when you call in sick and sees the quilt on your bed, which you won at a raffle. “That’s the quilt my mom made!” she says. “She told me someone stole it.”

40. You take your kids trick-or-treating, and you go to your boss’s neighborhood (your boss suggested it). Most houses gave out full-sized candy bars, but one gave out treasure maps, and your kids want to find their treasures before you leave the neighborhood.

41. Someone offers you a chance to win a million dollars just by visiting his website and typing in your address. “I don’t need your checking account info. It’s not safe to give that to just anyone. I’ll just mail the check to you,”he writes.

42. You wonder what it would be like to be a famous actor, and someone, out of the blue, invites you to perform in his movie as an extra — “and, who knows, maybe something more… prominent.”

43. You get a call from the principal’s office that your daughter has been involved in a bullying incident. Someone was bullying her, and she punched him. There were witnesses, and the principal reminds you of their zero-tolerance policy for physical violence…

44. You get a call from the principal’s office that your son has been acting out toward his classmates (who, according to what he’s told you, have been behaving aggressively toward him) and had brought a weapon to school to protect himself. They’ve confiscated the weapon (a paring knife) and have called the police.

45. Your kid has an IEP, and the Special Ed staff at the school always sound so caring and professional at the meetings you attend with them. But your son tells you they behave very differently toward him. The principal assures you that she knows the staff would never do what your son has accused them of doing. She suggests your son may be lying.

46. Your young daughter notices that one of your trees is “sick,” and she goes to visit the tree, talks to it, leans against it, and tells it to please get better. It responds by growing stronger and larger, spreading its branches out and downward to create a sort of cave for your daughter to rest in when she wants to be alone. It becomes her haven.

47. You wake up one morning and start loading your excess possessions into boxes and bags and hauling it off to Goodwill to donate it. That’s when you find the tiny cameras hidden in the bathroom, and bugs hidden in every room.

48. Your favorite coffee mug has broken, and you’re in mourning. The mug you just bought as your “second” just doesn’t feel the same in your hand, but it surprises you by magically refilling your drink with every sip — and keeping it hot for you.

49. The moth on your ceiling doesn’t bother you — much. But every time you look, it’s there. And you wonder why it never leaves. When you finally get a step ladder to get a closer look at it, you can hardly believe what you’re seeing.

50. Your neighbors on the home office side of your house have never been friendly, but one day, the wife comes over with a pie and tells you she made it herself and that she’s tired of being cooped up in the house with no one but her husband to talk to. You look over and see the outline of her husband in an upstairs window.

51. Tired of getting hair in your face, you take an electric hair-trimmer and run it all over your head with the one-inch attachment. You look at the results with satisfaction.

52. Your spouse, who has never done or said a romantic thing since your honeymoon, suddenly comes home with an expensive bouquet and a travel brochure for a place you’ve always wanted to visit. Later on, someone delivers the car you’ve always wanted, and your husband unconvincingly feigns surprise. You ask him if he won the lottery, but he shakes his head and says, “This is way better. You’ll see.”

53. You’re out in your backyard and stumble over something, which turns out to be a small brick half-buried in the grass. You see initials etched into the brick, along with a crudely-shaped heart. You wonder what — or whom — might be buried beneath. Soon, you find other markers like it, and you wonder how you failed to notice them before.

54. Your neighbor invites you over to her house, and you see that every wall has a cross painted on it with crude, hurried strokes. You ask why, and she nervously clears her throat and says, “This place needs them.”

55. You watch an infomercial and order a new face cream, hoping it will restore a youthful look to your face. It does more than that.

56. Your teenage son gets a job and, on his first day, he encounters a rude customer. Unaccustomed to responding with calmness and diplomacy, he lashes out at the customer and gets himself fired. Instead of calling home for a ride, though, he takes a walk through town and runs into the same customer holding up a cardboard sign.

57. You put your headphones on when you start on your writing project, and, at some point, an unfamiliar voice interrupts your playlist to tell you he likes what you’ve written so far. And he thinks you’d get along great.

58. Your spouse starts trying different paint samples on walls all over the house, and you don’t like any of the colors; they’re either too bright or too dark. One day, you paint patches of a pale green-gray that you like next to his acid-bright or dark color patches, and he tells you it’s boring, and that he’s painting the house his way.

59. Someone keeps writing fortune-cookie phrases on your new whiteboard at work, and it’s irritating you. You ask around, and no one knows who keeps writing the messages. Then, one of the predictions comes true.

60. You look out the window while you’re working and you see one neighbor attacking his spouse, knocking her down and then kicking her. You call 9-1-1, but later on, the wife comes over and says, “I know it was you who called. And you’ve made everything worse!”

61. Every time you look outside and see the wind in the trees, you take a deep breath and feel calmer. When the air is still, you feel as though the whole world is holding its breath and that something bad is about to happen. So, when it’s calm outside, you picture wind in the trees and take a deep breath.

62. You see movement in the corner of your eye and whenever you look, you see a huge, black dog in the neighbor’s yard, running back and forth. This time, though, he runs into your yard and starts barking at your front door.

63. Your eight-year-old son gets up and immediately goes for his Kindle Fire to play Minecraft. You’ve found some educational apps you want him to try, so you’ve installed them on his Kindle. He comes to you a few minutes later and says, “This app is telling me to do things I’m not supposed to do.”

64. You try a new recipe for a potluck, hoping it will wow your boss and coworkers, but it turns out terrible, and you end up rushing to a restaurant for something to bring before arriving (late) to find out everyone has already eaten the entree you were most looking forward to trying. When the cops show up later to ask why everyone is violently ill except you, you tell them everything you know.

65. You take your teenage son to his orientation for a new job, and when you come back to pick him up an hour later, you find out no one has seen him — though you saw him walk in the door before you drove off.

66. You’re living in a world where everyone is born with a birthmark that matches that of their soulmate. But you are born without one.

67. You and your best friend are in a terrible car accident, and you both die. Your friend, however, has a very different account of what he saw on the other side.

68. You’re born with the ability to mentally manipulate DNA. You started with plants and moved on to your pets, who now have unique abilities. For the past few years, you’ve been hacking your own DNA.

69. You were raised in the deep South where manners and feigned politeness were a thin veneer covering your family’s questionable history and lingering dysfunction.

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Did you find these short story ideas and prompts useful?

I hope your mind is buzzing with an idea you can’t wait to start playing with. Keep this article handy, so you can return to it when you’re looking for a new short story idea. You don’t have to follow any of them verbatim; take one and change the details however you like to make the idea your own.

Just don’t forget the “one shattering moment” for your character — and the importance of making an emotional impact on your reader. You make this impact as much with dialogue as with description and the structure of your story. Make it all count.

And when it comes time to edit, cut everything that dampens the impact of your story. Your readers will love you for it!

If you found value from this list of short story prompts, please share it and encourage others to pass it on to support and inspire as many fellow writers out there as possible. Why not even invite them to share their new short stories with you after they’ve written them?

And may your creative energy and goodwill infuse everything else you do today.

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Writers.com

The short story is a fiction writer’s laboratory: here is where you can experiment with characters, plots, and ideas without the heavy lifting of writing a novel. Learning how to write a short story is essential to mastering the art of storytelling . With far fewer words to worry about, storytellers can make many more mistakes—and strokes of genius!—through experimentation and the fun of fiction writing.

Nonetheless, the art of writing short stories is not easy to master. How do you tell a complete story in so few words? What does a story need to have in order to be successful? Whether you’re struggling with how to write a short story outline, or how to fully develop a character in so few words, this guide is your starting point.

Famous authors like Virginia Woolf, Haruki Murakami, and Agatha Christie have used the short story form to play with ideas before turning those stories into novels. Whether you want to master the elements of fiction, experiment with novel ideas, or simply have fun with storytelling, here’s everything you need on how to write a short story step by step.

The Core Elements of a Short Story

There’s no secret formula to writing a short story. However, a good short story will have most or all of the following elements:

  • A protagonist with a certain desire or need. It is essential for the protagonist to want something they don’t have, otherwise they will not drive the story forward.
  • A clear dilemma. We don’t need much backstory to see how the dilemma started; we’re primarily concerned with how the protagonist resolves it.
  • A decision. What does the protagonist do to resolve their dilemma?
  • A climax. In Freytag’s Pyramid , the climax of a story is when the tension reaches its peak, and the reader discovers the outcome of the protagonist’s decision(s).
  • An outcome. How does the climax change the protagonist? Are they a different person? Do they have a different philosophy or outlook on life?

Of course, short stories also utilize the elements of fiction , such as a setting , plot , and point of view . It helps to study these elements and to understand their intricacies. But, when it comes to laying down the skeleton of a short story, the above elements are what you need to get started.

Note: a short story rarely, if ever, has subplots. The focus should be entirely on a single, central storyline. Subplots will either pull focus away from the main story, or else push the story into the territory of novellas and novels.

The shorter the story is, the fewer of these elements are essentials. If you’re interested in writing short-short stories, check out our guide on how to write flash fiction .

How to Write a Short Story Outline

Some writers are “pantsers”—they “write by the seat of their pants,” making things up on the go with little more than an idea for a story. Other writers are “plotters,” meaning they decide the story’s structure in advance of writing it.

You don’t need a short story outline to write a good short story. But, if you’d like to give yourself some scaffolding before putting words on the page, this article answers the question of how to write a short story outline:

https://writers.com/how-to-write-a-story-outline

How to Write a Short Story Step by Step

There are many ways to approach the short story craft, but this method is tried-and-tested for writers of all levels. Here’s how to write a short story step by step.

1. Start With an Idea

Often, generating an idea is the hardest part. You want to write, but what will you write about?

What’s more, it’s easy to start coming up with ideas and then dismissing them. You want to tell an authentic, original story, but everything you come up with has already been written, it seems.

Here are a few tips:

  • Originality presents itself in your storytelling, not in your ideas. For example, the premise of both Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Ostrovsky’s The Snow Maiden are very similar: two men and two women, in intertwining love triangles, sort out their feelings for each other amidst mischievous forest spirits, love potions, and friendship drama. The way each story is written makes them very distinct from one another, to the point where, unless it’s pointed out to you, you might not even notice the similarities.
  • An idea is not a final draft. You will find that exploring the possibilities of your story will generate something far different than the idea you started out with. This is a good thing—it means you made the story your own!
  • Experiment with genres and tropes. Even if you want to write literary fiction , pay attention to the narrative structures that drive genre stories, and practice your storytelling using those structures. Again, you will naturally make the story your own simply by playing with ideas.

If you’re struggling simply to find ideas, try out this prompt generator , or pull prompts from this Twitter .

2. Outline, OR Conceive Your Characters

If you plan to outline, do so once you’ve generated an idea. You can learn about how to write a short story outline earlier in this article.

If you don’t plan to outline, you should at least start with a character or characters. Certainly, you need a protagonist, but you should also think about any characters that aid or inhibit your protagonist’s journey.

When thinking about character development, ask the following questions:

  • What is my character’s background? Where do they come from, how did they get here, where do they want to be?
  • What does your character desire the most? This can be both material or conceptual, like “fitting in” or “being loved.”
  • What is your character’s fatal flaw? In other words, what limitation prevents the protagonist from achieving their desire? Often, this flaw is a blind spot that directly counters their desire. For example, self hatred stands in the way of a protagonist searching for love.
  • How does your character think and speak? Think of examples, both fictional and in the real world, who might resemble your character.

In short stories, there are rarely more characters than a protagonist, an antagonist (if relevant), and a small group of supporting characters. The more characters you include, the longer your story will be. Focus on making only one or two characters complex: it is absolutely okay to have the rest of the cast be flat characters that move the story along.

Learn more about character development here:

https://writers.com/character-development-definition

3. Write Scenes Around Conflict

Once you have an outline or some characters, start building scenes around conflict. Every part of your story, including the opening sentence, should in some way relate to the protagonist’s conflict.

Conflict is the lifeblood of storytelling: without it, the reader doesn’t have a clear reason to keep reading. Loveable characters are not enough, as the story has to give the reader something to root for.

Take, for example, Edgar Allan Poe’s classic short story The Cask of Amontillado . We start at the conflict: the narrator has been slighted by Fortunato, and plans to exact revenge. Every scene in the story builds tension and follows the protagonist as he exacts this revenge.

In your story, start writing scenes around conflict, and make sure each paragraph and piece of dialogue relates, in some way, to your protagonist’s unmet desires.

4. Write Your First Draft

The scenes you build around conflict will eventually be stitched into a complete story. Make sure as the story progresses that each scene heightens the story’s tension, and that this tension remains unbroken until the climax resolves whether or not your protagonist meets their desires.

Don’t stress too hard on writing a perfect story. Rather, take Anne Lamott’s advice, and “write a shitty first draft.” The goal is not to pen a complete story at first draft; rather, it’s to set ideas down on paper. You are simply, as Shannon Hale suggests, “shoveling sand into a box so that later [you] can build castles.”

5. Step Away, Breathe, Revise

Whenever Stephen King finishes a novel, he puts it in a drawer and doesn’t think about it for 6 weeks. With short stories, you probably don’t need to take as long of a break. But, the idea itself is true: when you’ve finished your first draft, set it aside for a while. Let yourself come back to the story with fresh eyes, so that you can confidently revise, revise, revise .

In revision, you want to make sure each word has an essential place in the story, that each scene ramps up tension, and that each character is clearly defined. The culmination of these elements allows a story to explore complex themes and ideas, giving the reader something to think about after the story has ended.

6. Compare Against Our Short Story Checklist

Does your story have everything it needs to succeed? Compare it against this short story checklist, as written by our instructor Rosemary Tantra Bensko.

Below is a collection of practical short story writing tips by Writers.com instructor Rosemary Tantra Bensko . Each paragraph is its own checklist item: a core element of short story writing advice to follow unless you have clear reasons to the contrary. We hope it’s a helpful resource in your own writing.

Update 9/1/2020: We’ve now made a summary of Rosemary’s short story checklist available as a PDF download . Enjoy!

good things to write a story about

Click to download

How to Write a Short Story: Length and Setting

Your short story is 1000 to 7500 words in length.

The story takes place in one time period, not spread out or with gaps other than to drive someplace, sleep, etc. If there are those gaps, there is a space between the paragraphs, the new paragraph beginning flush left, to indicate a new scene.

Each scene takes place in one location, or in continual transit, such as driving a truck or flying in a plane.

How to Write a Short Story: Point of View

Unless it’s a very lengthy Romance story, in which there may be two Point of View (POV) characters, there is one POV character. If we are told what any character secretly thinks, it will only be the POV character. The degree to which we are privy to the unexpressed thoughts, memories and hopes of the POV character remains consistent throughout the story.

You avoid head-hopping by only having one POV character per scene, even in a Romance. You avoid straying into even brief moments of telling us what other characters think other than the POV character. You use words like “apparently,” “obviously,” or “supposedly” to suggest how non-POV-characters think rather than stating it.

How to Write a Short Story: Protagonist, Antagonist, Motivation

Your short story has one clear protagonist who is usually the character changing most.

Your story has a clear antagonist, who generally makes the protagonist change by thwarting his goals.

(Possible exception to the two short story writing tips above: In some types of Mystery and Action stories, particularly in a series, etc., the protagonist doesn’t necessarily grow personally, but instead his change relates to understanding the antagonist enough to arrest or kill him.)

The protagonist changes with an Arc arising out of how he is stuck in his Flaw at the beginning of the story, which makes the reader bond with him as a human, and feel the pain of his problems he causes himself. (Or if it’s the non-personal growth type plot: he’s presented at the beginning of the story with a high-stakes problem that requires him to prevent or punish a crime.)

The protagonist usually is shown to Want something, because that’s what people normally do, defining their personalities and behavior patterns, pushing them onward from day to day. This may be obvious from the beginning of the story, though it may not become heightened until the Inciting Incident , which happens near the beginning of Act 1. The Want is usually something the reader sort of wants the character to succeed in, while at the same time, knows the Want is not in his authentic best interests. This mixed feeling in the reader creates tension.

The protagonist is usually shown to Need something valid and beneficial, but at first, he doesn’t recognize it, admit it, honor it, integrate it with his Want, or let the Want go so he can achieve the Need instead. Ideally, the Want and Need can be combined in a satisfying way toward the end for the sake of continuity of forward momentum of victoriously achieving the goals set out from the beginning. It’s the encounters with the antagonist that forcibly teach the protagonist to prioritize his Needs correctly and overcome his Flaw so he can defeat the obstacles put in his path.

The protagonist in a personal growth plot needs to change his Flaw/Want but like most people, doesn’t automatically do that when faced with the problem. He tries the easy way, which doesn’t work. Only when the Crisis takes him to a low point does he boldly change enough to become victorious over himself and the external situation. What he learns becomes the Theme.

Each scene shows its main character’s goal at its beginning, which aligns in a significant way with the protagonist’s overall goal for the story. The scene has a “charge,” showing either progress toward the goal or regression away from the goal by the ending. Most scenes end with a negative charge, because a story is about not obtaining one’s goals easily, until the end, in which the scene/s end with a positive charge.

The protagonist’s goal of the story becomes triggered until the Inciting Incident near the beginning, when something happens to shake up his life. This is the only major thing in the story that is allowed to be a random event that occurs to him.

How to Write a Short Story: Characters

Your characters speak differently from one another, and their dialogue suggests subtext, what they are really thinking but not saying: subtle passive-aggressive jibes, their underlying emotions, etc.

Your characters are not illustrative of ideas and beliefs you are pushing for, but come across as real people.

How to Write a Short Story: Prose

Your language is succinct, fresh and exciting, specific, colorful, avoiding clichés and platitudes. Sentence structures vary. In Genre stories, the language is simple, the symbolism is direct, and words are well-known, and sentences are relatively short. In Literary stories, you are freer to use more sophisticated ideas, words, sentence structures and underlying metaphors and implied motifs.

How to Write a Short Story: Story Structure

Your plot elements occur in the proper places according to classical Act Structure so the reader feels he has vicariously gone through a harrowing trial with the protagonist and won, raising his sense of hope and possibility. Literary short stories may be more subtle, with lower stakes, experimenting beyond classical structures like the Hero’s Journey. They can be more like vignettes sometimes, or even slice-of-life, though these types are hard to place in publications.

In Genre stories, all the questions are answered, threads are tied up, problems are solved, though the results of carnage may be spread over the landscape. In Literary short stories, you are free to explore uncertainty, ambiguity, and inchoate, realistic endings that suggest multiple interpretations, and unresolved issues.

Some Literary stories may be nonrealistic, such as with Surrealism, Absurdism, New Wave Fabulism, Weird and Magical Realism . If this is what you write, they still need their own internal logic and they should not be bewildering as to the what the reader is meant to experience, whether it’s a nuanced, unnameable mood or a trip into the subconscious.

Literary stories may also go beyond any label other than Experimental. For example, a story could be a list of To Do items on a paper held by a magnet to a refrigerator for the housemate to read. The person writing the list may grow more passive-aggressive and manipulative as the list grows, and we learn about the relationship between the housemates through the implied threats and cajoling.

How to Write a Short Story: Capturing Reader Interest

Your short story is suspenseful, meaning readers hope the protagonist will achieve his best goal, his Need, by the Climax battle against the antagonist.

Your story entertains. This is especially necessary for Genre short stories.

The story captivates readers at the very beginning with a Hook, which can be a puzzling mystery to solve, an amazing character’s or narrator’s Voice, an astounding location, humor, a startling image, or a world the reader wants to become immersed in.

Expository prose (telling, like an essay) takes up very, very little space in your short story, and it does not appear near the beginning. The story is in Narrative format instead, in which one action follows the next. You’ve removed every unnecessary instance of Expository prose and replaced it with showing Narrative. Distancing words like “used to,” “he would often,” “over the years, he,” “each morning, he” indicate that you are reporting on a lengthy time period, summing it up, rather than sticking to Narrative format, in which immediacy makes the story engaging.

You’ve earned the right to include Expository Backstory by making the reader yearn for knowing what happened in the past to solve a mystery. This can’t possibly happen at the beginning, obviously. Expository Backstory does not take place in the first pages of your story.

Your reader cares what happens and there are high stakes (especially important in Genre stories). Your reader worries until the end, when the protagonist survives, succeeds in his quest to help the community, gets the girl, solves or prevents the crime, achieves new scientific developments, takes over rule of his realm, etc.

Every sentence is compelling enough to urge the reader to read the next one—because he really, really wants to—instead of doing something else he could be doing. Your story is not going to be assigned to people to analyze in school like the ones you studied, so you have found a way from the beginning to intrigue strangers to want to spend their time with your words.

Where to Read and Submit Short Stories

Whether you’re looking for inspiration or want to publish your own stories, you’ll find great literary journals for writers of all backgrounds at this article:

https://writers.com/short-story-submissions

Learn How to Write a Short Story at Writers.com

The short story takes an hour to learn and a lifetime to master. Learn how to write a short story with Writers.com. Our upcoming fiction courses will give you the ropes to tell authentic, original short stories that captivate and entrance your readers.

' src=

Rosemary – Is there any chance you could add a little something to your checklist? I’d love to know the best places to submit our short stories for publication. Thanks so much.

' src=

Hi, Kim Hanson,

Some good places to find publications specific to your story are NewPages, Poets and Writers, Duotrope, and The Submission Grinder.

' src=

“ In Genre stories, all the questions are answered, threads are tied up, problems are solved, though the results of carnage may be spread over the landscape.”

Not just no but NO.

See for example the work of MacArthur Fellow Kelly Link.

[…] How to Write a Short Story: The Short Story Checklist […]

' src=

Thank you for these directions and tips. It’s very encouraging to someone like me, just NOW taking up writing.

[…] Writers.com. A great intro to writing. https://writers.com/how-to-write-a-short-story […]

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30 Things to Write About For a Story

You rack your brain for things to write about for a story, but it just doesn't happen. Here are a few ideas to get the creative juices flowing. 

Every writer has been there. You sit down to write and nothing comes to mind. You rack your brain for things to write about for a story, but it just doesn’t happen. This can be a real roadblock when you’re in the middle of writing a story. So what do you do when you’re stuck? Here are a few ideas to get the creative juices flowing. 

1. Write about a character’s backstory. What made them who they are today? Why do they do the things they do?

2. Write about a different perspective of an event that was already written about. This could be from another character’s point of view, or even from an outsider’s view.

3. Write about a what-if scenario. What if the character made a different choice? What if the event had turned out differently?

4. Write about a memory. This could be a happy memory or a painful one. It could be from the character’s childhood or something that happened more recently.

5. Write about an impossible situation. This could be something like a character being stuck in a place with no way out or having to do something they’re terrified of.

6. Write about a challenge the character has to face. This could be an external challenge, like saving the world from destruction, or an internal challenge, like overcoming a fear.

7. Write about a journey the character goes on. This could be a physical journey to a far-off land or an internal journey of self-discovery.

8. Write about a secret the character is keeping. This could be something they’re ashamed of, or something they’re afraid will be discovered.

9. Write about a relationship the character has. This could be a romantic relationship, a platonic friendship, or a familial bond.

10. Write about a battle the character is fighting. This could be an external battle, like a war, or an internal battle, like a fight against addiction.

11. Write about a change the character is going through. This could be a major life change, like starting a new job, or a small change, like learning to let go of something.

12. Write about a loss the character has suffered. This could be the loss of a loved one, the loss of something they cherish, or the loss of something they once had.

13. Write about a fear the character has. This could be a rational fear, like being afraid of heights, or irrational fear, like being afraid of the dark.

14. Write about a hope the character has. This could be a hope for the future or a hope for something in the present.

15. Write about a dream the character has. This could be a literal dream or a figurative one.

16. Write about an ambition the character has. This could be a long-term goal, like becoming president, or a short-term goal, like winning a race.

17. Write about a regret the character has. This could be a regret from the past, or regret about the present.

18. Write about a memory the character can’t forget. This could be a happy memory that they cherish or a painful memory that haunts them.

19. Write about an event that changed the character’s life. This could be something positive, like winning the lottery, or something negative, like being in a car accident.

20. Write about a lesson the character has learned. This could be a life lesson, like the importance of family, or a more trivial lesson, like never to trust a snake.

21. Write about a place the character has been. This could be a real place, like Paris, or a fictional place, like Wonderland.

22. Write about an object that is important to the character. This could be something with sentimental value, like a family heirloom, or something with practical value, like a weapon.

23. Write about a hobby the character has. This could be something they enjoy doing for fun, like playing the guitar or something they do to relax, like gardening.

24. Write about a talent the character has. This could be something they’re naturally good at, like singing, or something they’ve worked hard to achieve, like being a master chef.

25. Write about an achievement the character is proud of. This could be something big, like winning a gold medal, or something small, like finally learning to ride a bike.

26. Write about a time the character was embarrassed. This could be something that happened recently or something that happened long ago.

27. Write about a time the character was disappointed. This could be because they didn’t get what they wanted, or because they realized something they wanted was impossible.

28. Write about a time the character was surprised. This could be because something good happened, or because something bad happened.

29. Write about a time the character was happy. This could be because something they’ve been waiting for finally happened, or because they had a great day.

30. Write about a time the character was sad. This could be because something they care about is ending, or because they’re going through a tough time.

Things to Write About in a Journal

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Willow Tenny

When it comes to writing, Willow Tenny is a true pro. She has a wealth of experience in SEO copywriting and creative writing, and she knows exactly what it takes to produce quality content. On her blog, Willow Writes, Willow shares top writing strategies with both beginners and experienced writers.

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From the ancient Pagan tradition to modern popular culture, the phrase "So Mote it Be" has been used for centuries with various meanings and intentions

So Mote It Be: A deeper look into the meaning and usage of this phrase.

Keep reading for some helpful advice on how to write in 3rd person about yourself.

How to Write in 3rd Person About Yourself

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This blog post will explain how to write a personal narrative by exploring how to craft engaging personal narratives, drawing on your own experiences and emotions.

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301 Short Story Ideas Guaranteed to Kick Your Writing into High Gear

Tonya Thompson

With shorter attention spans and increasingly hectic lives, it's no wonder readers love short stories now as much as ever. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button , The Shawshank Redemption , Minority Report , and Brokeback Mountain —even Hollywood has taken a renewed interest in short stories.

Below are 301 short story prompts and starters to help you become inspired, get past writer's block and explore the fascinating process of writing in a genre that Stephen King famously once compared to a kiss in the dark from a stranger.

Please feel free to use any of these ideas to spark your next creative project. You don't have to credit us, but it would be much appreciated if you do! A simple link to ServiceScape is the best way to do that.

Need more writing prompts? Check out our writing prompt videos below or try out our Writing Prompt Generator .

660 Narrated Science Fiction Writing Prompts

  • A group of hunters are on a hunt. Their dress and actions are completely primitive until the end when they change back into suits and leave the area in modern vehicles.
  • Weather patterns across the globe suddenly shift, causing natural law to go haywire. A family tries to make sense of it while getting to safety.
  • A flood swept away an entire town, leaving only the library and its strange secret.
  • Your main character is evicted from their home and forced to call in some favors. Although, those favors take him/her on a wild ride they never expected.
  • The night before an important social function, your main character is tasked with saving the world.
  • Your main character's boat is sinking in the middle of the ocean and he/she only has 1 hour to make a raft from parts of the vessel.
  • Your main character joins the communist regime and leads the party to glorious victory over the capitalist bourgeoisie funded by your antagonist's Super-PAC.
  • Your main character has a change of heart and partners up with your antagonist, joining their evil organization and proving a much more capable evil overlord than your antagonist could ever hope to be.
  • Your character's things are packed up and they are ready to leave town tomorrow. Before they say goodbye to their town, they decide to stop by at their favorite bar just to say goodbye. Something that happens at the bar makes them question whether or not leaving is the right decision.
  • When your character is hanging out at their favorite coffee shop, they notice someone loitering outside. As your character leaves, they see a black SUV pull up and a very handsome man gets out. The loiterer goes to lunge for the man, but your character instinctively decides to jump on him, blocking him from attacking the unsuspecting man. It turns out that the handsome man is the governor of the state. What happens next?
  • Two giant fingers reach down and pluck your main character away from what they were just doing, and unceremoniously deposit them on a pirate ship.
  • Your main character finds an abandoned car, keys still inside, parked outside their home.
  • Your protagonist is a corporate CEO who suddenly must hunt and forage his own food.
  • Your characters are trapped in a structure that constantly shifts and changes. How do they find their way out?

Sci-fi, Fantasy, and Supernatural

  • Your main character wakes up in the body of the person he/she most despises.
  • An outdoor music festival receives strange, otherworldly visitors who decide to take the stage for their own performance.
  • A man wakes up to discover he can no longer hear but can see things he's never seen before.
  • A man and his dog go to the dog park to play and the dog finds a bone with strange carvings on it that reacts to the environment in unexpected ways.
  • A group of high school friends cross paths 10 years after graduation to catch up, only to learn that one in their midst has developed special, superhuman powers.
  • A secondary character stumbles upon a talking blade, and they begin behaving suspiciously.
  • Your character wakes one morning and finds that they are physically stronger, faster, and have greater reflexes than when they went to sleep. Each time they sleep, they become stronger.
  • As if losing everything she owned in the tornado wasn't enough, Lila learned that she'd been laid off from her job. And that's when she started noticing the monsters.
  • A tertiary character is revealed to be "The chosen one," and your main character must help them to succeed in fulfilling their destiny.
  • The antagonist dies, but the story doesn't end.
  • Your main character is given a suit that protects them from danger—unfortunately it has a different threshold for safety than seems ideal.
  • A character in your story becomes aware that they are in a story.
  • our character wakes up deaf and mute but sees more colors than he or she knew was possible.
  • Your main character finds that time has slowed for them. Each year they age only several weeks, and slowly those nearest them are beginning to take notice.
  • Your main character makes a pact with an alien visitor to trade bodies for the day to tour around unnoticed.
  • Your main character wakes up in an unrecognizable city that is at least 100 years more advanced in technology than we are today.
  • Lightning strikes your main character and he/she wakes up in the hospital with a small black goblin perched on their shoulder, which no one else can see.
  • The sun goes out, replaced by building-sized lights in the sky over each major city. Across the world, beams of light descend from the sky, and each points toward your main character.
  • A secondary character is visited by aliens. They are told that they have been chosen as a representative of humanity amongst the interstellar accord. They need your main character's advice.
  • Your main character has a theme song which plays for ten seconds every time they enter a room.
  • Your protagonist is visited by a comic book hero who needs their help.
  • Your character cannot wake from a series of back-to-back dreams that feel like he or she is awake.
  • All rhinos have gone extinct except for two, and your main character has been granted guardianship of the last two of their kind.
  • Your character notices a weird growth on their arm one morning. They brush it off as a weird bump or scratch—until it turns into something else entirely.
  • Your character has always thought of their parents in a certain way, but here lately they're doing something unusual that changes your character's opinion of them.
  • Your main character is the owner of a variety store and an invisible car crashes through the wall, driven by an invisible person.
  • Your antagonist and protagonist meet in the afterlife, hundreds of thousands of years after your story takes place.
  • Your antagonist and protagonist get freaky-Friday-ed. When they wake up, each is in the other's body.
  • Your main character is suddenly invisible, but they don't know how long it will last.
  • Your main character wakes up, in high school again, and finds that they are late for an important test.
  • Your main character is granted a single wish, but must be careful, because the genie granting the wish will attempt to misinterpret any wish they make.
  • Your main character finds himself/herself in the video game they were playing.
  • Your main character is the leader of a random group of apocalypse survivors who must now forage for food.
  • A cell phone is found locked inside a cabinet in a home recently purchased by newlyweds. On it is a recorded message from their future children. What does the message say and how did it get there?
  • Your main character and the three people standing closest to them, are thrown backwards in time three hundred years.
  • Your protagonist can see the future and doesn't want to leave his/her home.
  • Your main character discovers that they are a wizard, and that this means they will have to leave their family to learn how to safely practice magic, in a school they have never heard of.
  • Suddenly, your main character can hear the thoughts of everyone who is wearing the same color shirt as they are.
  • Your protagonist dies. The story doesn't end.
  • Your main character is really a guardian angel in human form.
  • Your protagonist meets a man claiming to be God. He/she doesn't believe the man, but then miracles ensue.
  • Two adult sisters discuss a fateful night when they were teenagers and ran away from home, only to encounter a pack of vampires waiting to take them in.
  • A family comes together for Christmas, only to discover that they have somehow switched bodies and perspectives over the course of the meal.
  • A man or woman wakes up as his/her dog or cat and it's breakfast time.
  • Two writers discover they've written the exact same text, word for word, 1,000 miles apart from each other.
  • A parent and child encounter their ancestor, who has been dead for centuries, and they go on a walk through the city/the woods.
  • A lost Incan treasure is found in the basement of a school in Ohio. How did it get there? And more importantly, how is it glowing?
  • Your main character suddenly loses his ability to see but can hear things he hadn't heard before.
  • .It's 2050 and most of America has become one large city except for a small area in the middle of the country, considered uninhabitable by most people except for a few. Who are they and how do they survive?

Romance and Drama

  • A secondary character starts their own business and enlists your main character to help it succeed but falls in love instead.
  • Your antagonist wins over your main character's best friend, convincing that friend of their good intentions.
  • Your main character gets a new job, working at the evil corporation run by your antagonist—but the work they would be doing could really help people.
  • Your main character and their best friend find themselves in a love triangle with your antagonist.
  • A couple is having an argument at the table beside your character at a restaurant. Although they are trying to avoid eye contact, your character realizes that one of them is the ex that the other never quite got over.
  • A tertiary character is seriously stressing out, and your protagonist feels the need to reach out to them with a kind gesture. It does the opposite of help.
  • Your character is talked into going to their romantic interest's mother's dance recital, and their romantic interest doesn't show up.
  • Your character is at a friend's house for a dinner party. Suddenly, someone they absolutely despise walks in. What do they do now?
  • Your character's boyfriend of five years surprises them with an engagement ring at a dinner with their whole family. They pause for a minute before they answer him. But if he knew their secret, there is no way he would be proposing right now. The whole room is waiting for the response.
  • Your character gets matched up with a famous person on Tinder. What happens on their date?
  • Your character's friend introduces them to someone at a party. It turns out that your character and the other person actually know each other quite well. However, neither of them acknowledges this fact. The friend steps away. What do they say to each other now?
  • Your character's mom seems really tense when they are out to dinner with her one evening. They ask her what's wrong. "I have something to tell you," she says gravely.
  • Write a story about a father and son reuniting for the first time in 20 years. Why did they go so long without talking? What finally brought them together?
  • Your main character's romantic interest finds one day that they are much more interested in your antagonist.
  • Suddenly, a tertiary character confesses their love for your protagonist, getting down on one knee and producing a ring. But your protagonist loves someone else.
  • One night when your character is at a bar with all of their friends, a mysteriously charming stranger starts talking to them. They are instantly captivated by their every word. They ask for your character's number, but there's just one (major) problem.

Mystery and Horror

  • A writer's manuscript contains words he didn't write…ghostwriting in its truest form. But who is his co-author and what does the ghost want?
  • Your main character comes home to find that their family is missing.
  • Your character wakes up covered with strange tattoos and can't remember how he/she got them.
  • Your protagonist awoke from a nightmare to find an object from his/her dream laying on the pillow.
  • Two cousins hitchhike along a deserted country road, following a stream of black smoke to an abandoned house, where there is no one tending the steadily burning fire.
  • Your main character wakes up in the trunk of a car, their head throbbing.
  • An escaped convict leaves behind evidence of his innocence for the search party to find.
  • Your protagonist wakes up aged considerably, after a Rip Van Winkle-esque 20-year nap, and his friends don't believe his story.
  • There's no way out of the concert hall but the concert-goers tried to find it anyway. Behind them, the snarling monster prowled.
  • Lost in the woods, two teens encounter a witch-like woman who offers them all they've ever wanted in exchange for one small thing—their baby sister.
  • Your main character discovers a long-lost sibling who is down on their luck.
  • Your main character is given an important heirloom, an item passed down for generations in their family. But it is cursed.
  • Your main character finds a black mahogany door in their basement, shut tight with chains.
  • One night while your character is camping in the woods with their family, there's a loud noise from inside the tent. At first everyone thinks it's an animal, but this sounds like nothing they've ever heard before.
  • Your main character has a conversation with a ghost from their past, either literally or figuratively.
  • Your main character goes broke drinking and gambling and wakes up the next morning with a small white rabbit perched on their chest, possibly stolen from the magic act they saw the night before.
  • Your main character wakes up on a rooftop, in their underwear.
  • Your main character inherits a vast fortune, but they must stay in a creepy old house for an entire night in order to earn it.
  • Your main character sells their soul and seems to have all of their problems solved, only to find out that the devil is a blood relation, and there are no catches.
  • Your main character wakes up to find that ¾ of the world's population has suddenly disappeared without a trace.
  • Two adopted twin sisters embark on a journey to find their birth father, only to find that he's been close to them all along.
  • Your main character's dog goes missing in the night, and they aren't the only one missing a pet. After some sleuthing they discover that a friend has become a werewolf, and that their best friend is the cause of the missing animals.
  • Your main character wakes up wearing a strange ring which glows with sparks of blue electricity.
  • People find that if they don't concentrate on keeping their soul attached to their body, it begins to separate. Without continuous concentration, everyone becomes ghosts of themselves.
  • Your character discovers that there's something really mysterious happening at the neighborhood park. Your character finally works up the nerve to go down there one evening, and what they find is even more peculiar than what they originally thought.
  • Your main character is trapped in a dream that is quickly becoming a nightmare.
  • After a particularly grueling day at work, your character groggily returns to work the next morning. The secretary, who your character has said hello to every morning for about five years, suddenly has no idea who they are. When they tell her their name, she responds: "No one by that name has ever worked here."
  • Your character wakes up one morning in what looks to be a hospital. They try to move, but it appears they are strapped into the bed. A nurse suddenly enters the room and calls them by the wrong name. What happened to them? What happens next?
  • The doorbell rings. No one is there, but a mysterious package was left behind. Your character opens it up and find something inside that's very unexpected.
  • Write about a scenario where a character does something terrible and gets away with it completely.
  • Your character's sibling is wanted for a serious crime. They swear that they didn't do it, but your character is not so sure.
  • A ghost of your antagonist's great-great-great-grandmother visits your protagonist, warning him to stay away from her great-great-great-grandchild.
  • On your character's walk to work, they notice that the streets are suspiciously empty. Brushing it off, they finally get to their office. There's no one inside at all. They walk around searching for someone, anyone to ask what's happening. They find no one and nothing.
  • A child draws scenes that end up happening exactly as he/she draws them. His/her parents try to understand what is happening.
  • Your main character has been knocked unconscious, and another character from your story needs to step up and take their place.
  • At the library one afternoon doing some research, your character notices an unusual photograph. Your character is immediately captivated by it. What's in the photograph?
  • Your character's grandma recently passed away. In her will, she left your character something very strange.
  • Your main character has just come face to face with their worst enemy, and they are monologuing.
  • Your antagonist has finally won, accomplishing their greatest feat. Now what?
  • Your antagonist and protagonist swap places for a day.
  • Your antagonist and protagonists are placed in the same dorm room at university. Hilarity ensues.
  • It turns out your antagonist was right the whole time, and now your protagonist has some explaining to do.
  • Your main character or antagonist wins the lottery, a jackpot of 3.4 million dollars. But he/she doesn't want it.
  • Your main character is contemplating suicide until a stranger stops him/her.
  • The king dies, and your antagonist's best friend becomes the new ruling monarch. The catch is, they don't seem too bad, other than the fact that your antagonist keeps whispering in their ear.
  • Your protagonist is incredibly late for their next scheduled meeting, and he or she just keeps running into obstacles which stall them further.
  • Your character's birthday wish that they made when they were blowing out the candles actually comes true. What is it? Is it everything that they hoped for?
  • Your character's home is a little worse for wear. It seems like everything is broken and your character has no more money to invest in this money pit. In the garage, they see an old can of gasoline. Would they do the unthinkable? What is going through their mind right now?
  • Your character's family has a lot of traditions. They go along with them, except for one. If their parents knew your character broke this rule, they would likely disown them. What is it? What would your character do if they found out?
  • Your character is a pretty shy, introspective person. One day they wake up and realize that they are saying everything that they think. They can't control the words that are coming out of their mouth at all. While this is helpful when they are trying to talk to friends and acquaintances at work, it really starts to get them into trouble.
  • Your character is a member of a family that has always feuded with their neighbors over trivial issues, and now must ask his/her neighbors for help in an emergency. How do the neighbors respond?

Story Starters

  • The place where the world stopped was not so strange, but the vertigo was overwhelming. The girl could not decide whether or not it would be wise to jump.
  • The gear turned, interlaced with another, and another. His eyes traced the inner workings of the machine to the place where the light shone.
  • Static played between the cracks of the monitor, the spark and hiss of the television muffled as the living room filled with water.
  • The hand was pale, as if circulation had long stopped; and the ring upon the creature's finger seemed to glow with a spark of interior fire.
  • They say that when you die in a dream, you die in real life. I can tell you that isn't true; because I died in a dream, and what happened to me was much stranger than that.
  • The girl spun, dragged by the momentum of her backpack, tilting from one foot to the next so that her balance was tenuous, her motions growing wilder.
  • The face in the mirror was not his own. It was handsomer, his eyes more vibrant, his skin clearer. He frowned, uncertain, but his reflection smiled.
  • Once upon a time, in a night with no stars and no moon, there was a shadow in the darkness.
  • Bright blue water held the stars' reflections, until she dove beneath the surface. Then for a long moment the lake was still, until I began to grow nervous. When she finally returned, she held aloft over her head the star which had hung in the North, the wish-making star.
  • It was, as the wave of mud descended, sprayed by the wheels of a yellow taxi – it was that moment which made that day the worst of her life.
  • Again, try again. Concentrate now, it will not come easily.
  • Strange, to see her here. She seemed out of place. Not the soft out-of-place, like an uncle entertaining unfamiliar nieces and nephews, but the hard of out-of-place which drew every eye in the room.
  • It was a trick of the fingers, and a twist of the wrist, which changed the shape of the shifting cloak. One moment the garment was a heavy green wool, and the next it was black satin, suitable for the night's entertainments.
  • I have been many things: a pawn, a dancer, a master of the blade; but none of these in the way you might think, and none of them for less than a moment.
  • The torch hissed as he plunged it into the river and let the current sweep the light away. Then he was alone in the dark with the red-ember eyes.
  • Like a dream she had drifted from the room, and like a dream she seemed unreal, and like a dream she was gone.
  • The pencil was now stuck in the ceiling, the glob of green hanging precariously from it; and before I could dash across the room, or throw the stapler again to dislodge it, Mr. Smythe reentered the classroom.
  • The lower level was waist-deep already, flooding from a number of breaches along the starboard hull. Younger crewmen were wading through the water in search of bailing buckets. Older crewmates were racing toward the ladders, offering prayers beneath their breath.
  • The river was home to a great many, and together they drifted along it. It was never fast, never sudden, but always full to brimming of fish, and always clean to drink.
  • The sphere was some metal he had never seen before, like steel but with a faint blue hue. It stood out nearly three feet from the earth; and where it was exposed to the air, lightning struck it repeatedly, illuminating his surroundings with each strike.
  • The woman swung her scythe with the steady clockwork motion of a pendulum.
  • Frost spread across the ground. Slowly at first, with the lingering laziness of autumn, but then with greater fervor; and the creature flew along behind it as it spread across the field.
  • Doom blanketed the town, like silence might have on a more peaceful night.
  • Typical, he thought. Another throwaway evening. Not a soul in town, and not a sound to be heard; but that night was anything but typical.
  • She didn't blink. Not when he made faces, or when he screamed; not when he brought out the joke about the garden gnomes, or the one about the flea circus. She didn't even blink when he resorted to the feather, or when he made a motion like he might poke her in the eye.
  • His favorite color had always been blue. Not because it was depressing or anything – it wasn't – but because it seemed to soak in the light, and then give some of it back. Like black, he thought, but less dead, less drab.
  • The ballet slipper would not fit, and that would never do. Only moments now, before they knocked on her dressing room door, and her sister's slipper would not slide onto her foot.
  • You aren't supposed to have conversations through the wall of the changing rooms, especially not the fancy kind where a woman waits outside to ask if everything fits just right. And yet, here she was, knee deep in the most awkward conversation she could imagine.
  • There was no gravity here, and so she floated, waiting to come close enough to something solid that she could push off from it, and toward the exit.
  • They say bleach for blood but the odor is too strong. Best to take it out with hydrogen peroxide. Then again, it looks strange buying thirty bottles of hydrogen peroxide at three in the morning, so I settle for a couple gallons of bleach.
  • The doctor looked up from the manila folder in his hands and said, "Your test results are positive."
  • Just as she settled into the backseat with her suitcase and carry-on bag, an oncoming headlight illuminated the driver's face and she realized this wasn't her Uber driver. He was the man they'd been showing on the news the last few days.
  • As the doctor handed the newborn bundle to her, she gasped.
  • As she threw her head back to soak up the flowering spring trees, she saw her ex-husband watching her from across the street. How could he have known she was here?
  • The young girl was maybe 5 or 6 but there was something about her that chilled me to the bone.
  • She might never get the chance to be alone with him again. Her husband was across the country; he'd never find out, so why not?
  • "Is this your handwriting?" the policeman asked with a scowl.

Story Starters

  • I could have been anything—a doctor, lawyer, architect. Instead, I became a carney.
  • When he saw the state troopers standing on his front stoop, he thought they must have the wrong house. But when the troopers took off their hats and one of them asked, "Are you James Cooper?" he couldn't find the strength to answer.
  • "I knew you'd come back to me," she whispered. "It's been a lifetime but I knew you'd come back."
  • The doctor emerged from the double doors and said, "There were some unexpected complications."
  • This was the moment he'd been training for. He strapped on his helmet and got in position.
  • She continued running, but as the trail of blood got thicker and the splattered drops got closer together, she started following the blood instead of the greenway path. She had to find the source of all this blood. Was it animal blood... or human?
  • When he looked around, he froze. He'd been here before. This was the same place where he kept getting stuck in his dreams. Would he be able to find his way out in waking life?
  • She shut off the kitchen light and turned to go upstairs to bed, unaware that two sets of eyes were watching her every move.
  • He frantically searched his lab, but he found no sign of the invisibility potion. How could someone have stolen it before he even got the chance to use it?
  • As she listened to him snore on the pillow next to her, she wondered how much longer she could stay married to him. She prayed he would die in his sleep or get hit by a car. Then her eyes fell on the pillow at the foot of the bed.
  • "Mr. Dempsey, they're not both going to make it. We can save your wife or the baby, but we can't save both. You need to let us know your decision in the next two minutes, or we may lose them both."
  • "Are you sure you want to do this?" the man asked as he positioned the needle over her heart.
  • Nothing had grown in that patch of grass for 50 years. It had been a barren dirt patch ever since that stranger had conjured a fire bolt and scorched the ground. But Tommy definitely saw a green sprout growing in the middle of the barren square. What was it, and how could it produce life in a place that nothing else could?
  • The car rattled as if she'd gone over a speed bump, but she knew there were no speed bumps on this road. She looked in her rear view mirror and thought she saw blonde hair… and maybe a human form on the road. She wondered if she should turn back. Had anyone seen her?
  • "If you walk out that door right now, I don't ever want to see your face in my home again," his mother said.
  • "I will get my money back one way or another," he growled, as he pinned her arms beneath her back.
  • "The price of freedom depends on what you're willing to pay. Tell me, sir: how much is your freedom worth to you?
  • She fumbled in her purse for her keys, but her hands were clumsy with fear. Just as her fingers grazed the familiar key fob, a sweaty hand grabbed her shoulder.
  • He'd seen her. She could tell by the smirk on his lips. She pushed through the thick crowd in hopes of making it to the exit before he blocked her way.
  • She glared at the thick bracelet on her bicep. Why did her parents make such a big deal about never taking off? It was heavy and not even stylish. She found clasp and fiddled with it for a moment. Surely her parents were exaggerating about all the awful things that would happen to her if she ever took this off.
  • He extended his hand to her and said, "Hi, I'm Finkel Wolfson." She looked at his outstretched hand as if it was crawling with spiders and roaches. "Oh, I've heard about you," she said with a sniff. Finkel panicked. He was 3000 miles away from home; how could she have heard about him?
  • "One of us has to try it," Amir said as he pointed to the lumpy, unfamiliar fruit on the tree in front of them. If we don't, we'll starve to death. Death by poison seems worth the risk in case it's edible, doesn't it?"
  • The night winds rustled as the door to the old woman's home slowly opened.
  • She laughed when he told her the news. It was exactly what she expected and she knew the lie was over.
  • He glanced in his rearview mirror and saw that the blue sedan was still following him.
  • She stepped off the elevator with a sense of purpose. This time, she would succeed.
  • He flicked the stub of his cigarette onto the pile and walked away without a second look.
  • Just as they got to the edge of town, the car started making a terrible clunking sound.
  • "What's that smell?"
  • He rolled down his window and called out, "Hey—do you want a ride?"
  • "You better get down to the station. It happened again."
  • The dog raced toward her with such intensity that she didn't have time to get out of his way.
  • "I don't think you're capable of love."
  • He picked up the glowing rock and inspected it. Where had it come from, and how had it ended up in his backyard?
  • By the time Johnny got home, thousands of sheets of paper had piled up on the floor beside the printer, each with only one sentence printed in bold type: "I am coming for you, and there's nothing you can do."
  • "How could you have married him? You promised you'd wait for me."
  • "I've lost him," she screamed, but none of us knew what she'd lost.
  • For a moment, time slowed, and the sound of the approaching storm was all that we could hear.
  • "Look out!" he shouted.
  • I'd never last long in the slammer. I get all frantic when I'm in tight spaces, start tryin' to climb the walls and such.
  • Tears filled her eyes as she scanned the list a second time. She didn't make the team.
  • "I'm pregnant."
  • He watched her leave, knowing that she only locked the flimsy doorknob behind her. He had at least two hours before she'd be back home.
  • "Where am I?"
  • "What happened to you?" She asked.
  • There are three things you never mess with if you know what's good for you: heroin, border patrol, and the Valdez cartel.
  • She fell to the floor when she heard the first explosion. She didn't know if she should try to escape or try to hide.
  • "We're sending you to live with another family. It's for your own safety."
  • As she watched this hulking, hairy animal lope across her backyard, she wondered what two creatures collaborated to make this tremendous beast, and what was it looking for?
  • "She hasn't spoken a word since the accident. Our friend said that you might be able to help her."
  • "Don't lie to me. I already know the truth."
  • As he walked away, his smile grew from a smirk to an all-out grin.
  • "Why is all of Daddy's stuff in the front yard?"
  • He counted his register drawer again. How could he be short $2500?
  • The teacher looked at his gaping shoes and tattered clothes and knew she had to find out what was really going on at home or this kid would end up in the system. She called him up to her desk and asked, "Do you want to help me on a project this weekend?"
  • If he hurried, he might be able to get back to work before anyone found out what he had done.
  • "Do you have experience with demons?" she whispered from under the table.
  • "This medicine numbs the pain, but it will also permanently numb your ability to feel pleasure. Do you want it?"
  • "Mr. Whipple, we've just learned that your wife is an undercover agent with the Russian government. We need your help apprehending her."
  • Once she'd confirmed that no one was looking, she ducked into the unmarked building.
  • When she walked outside the next morning, she realized his curse must have worked.
  • He pulled his hat low over his brow and tried to blend in with the crowd, hoping no one would realize who he was.
  • He was inside the video game! But wait—if he was in here... who had the controls?
  • She bent down to pick up the strange-looking shell from the sand, but as soon as her hand touched it, the earth started to shake.
  • He opened the letter and sunk to his knees in the middle of the driveway.
  • "What are we going to do once the last of this food is gone?" he asked.
  • She looked closer and realized that this tree was growing dollar bills instead of leaves and quarters instead of acorns.
  • There is never a better time to say "I'm sorry" than when karma is kicking you good.
  • When the pigeon swooped down in front of her, she realized it had a note attached to its right leg.
  • "I'll need to speak to at least three of your ex-girlfriends to check your references before I'll go on a date with you."
  • "Mommy, there's a ghost in my room!"
  • Something wasn't right. No one seemed to recognize her. No one even really seemed to see her. Could he have erased her existence?
  • They had never been this high before. As she reached for the next rock outcropping, she wondered if it was actually close enough to reach, or if she was about to fall into the canyon.
  • "This is something we don't usually show visitors," the museum docent whispered as she unlocked the door marked "DANGER!"
  • He looked both ways before crossing the street, not realizing that he had just made the worst decision of his life.
  • "How did you get that scar?"
  • He muttered a few extra spells as he stirred the potion. He couldn't risk it malfunctioning this time.
  • Every person on the street and in the mall looked identical. They were all wearing red shirts and blue shorts, and every single one was a man with light skin and short brown hair. What had happened, and how was she the only one who was still different?
  • "You don't understand," she said, looking at him sadly. "I am not who you think I am."
  • All the lights in the city went out and they knew the monsters were surrounding them.
  • "If you take one step closer, it'll be the last step you ever take," he said, pointing the weapon at the strange figure in front of him. But his threat was useless, since the creature had no feet.
  • There, nestled within the grove of trees, was the thing he'd been waiting for since he was 12 years old.
  • "Who's there?" Her words bounced off of the metal walls of shipping containers when she awoke. But there was only the echo of her own voice to answer her.
  • They were lost in the woods and they knew it, although this time was different. This time, they were hunted.
  • Looking into the fire was the wrong thing to do. He found he couldn't drag his stare away.
  • It wasn't until my father pushed me off the cliff that I believed he was telling the truth.
  • The sign hit them like an inanimate object.
  • The pumpkin would not stop growing, despite the application of the second potion. The witch had lied.
  • All four tires were on the ground, but I had started floating toward the surface.
  • Smoke leaked from the exhaust pipes of the Mustang as the plane began to descend. She looked into the jungle below, dreading the impact.
  • Picture us, standing against the world, armed to the teeth, walking out into that blizzard.
  • If romance is dead, then I suppose there are none to blame but the hopeless romantics. It was a boy, not too long ago, that taught me romance – real romance—isn't something hopeless, or unenergetic like stale poetry, or futile like canned compliments.
  • It's impossible to tell really, just how many times I've come back.
  • When a pet passes away, the moment is strangely dense. That moment as I held the shoebox was the longest of my young life, but there were harder times to come.
  • The girl crept past the open door, listening with piqued interests for clues revealed in the voices beyond it.
  • Thunder does not crash like a wave, but ripples outward like a pebble tossed into a pond. When the lightning struck, I was the first to hear that thunder.
  • Heroes wear masks for all kinds of reasons. I wear the mask so they can't see the grey at my temples or the weariness of age in my eyes.
  • The sun never shone like it did that day. It baked my skin until I felt I might burn in the shade, but I never did. Nothing went wrong that day.
  • The paper tore once, twice, three times. I shredded it and scattered it to the wind.
  • Ma always told me not to climb so high. Always lookin' out for me 'cause I ain't look out for myself. Too bad Ma ain't here now.
  • They think they know me, but they don't really. I hunt only at night and only when I know I have the advantage over my prey.
  • City slicker like myself doesn't have a wit of business in the country. They knew it. I knew it. Not a one of us in that room was happy I'd purchased the land.
  • Here's the thing about family. Family sticks together, but it's almost never roses and sunshine. Family sticks together when you have nothing; so when you have it all, well, things get complicated in a different way.
  • It wasn't my idea to paint the damn cow, it was Johnny's; but I suppose I'm to blame for going along with it.
  • Stars spin real slow. So slow you can't see it, unless you have the time and the resources to take a really close look.
  • I can't say I ever much liked gym class. I've never seen the point of running unless you were being chased. But I'm running now, aren't I? I guess I'm glad I never skipped gym.
  • It's been a few years since the guns got off the street, and the drugs. Didn't happen all at once, but it did happen fast. Not sure I like it.
  • My dad raised me believing that time is money. Now that money is time though, I'm not sure anything he taught me means what I thought it would.
  • I realized that something was wrong when I thought "I'm getting married," instead of "I'm getting married to John."
  • It wasn't a happy winter, but it wasn't so sad either, considering.
  • "Blood is thicker than water," we all heard that. What people don't do is say it out full: "The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb," which, (if you ask me, which you didn't) means almost the opposite.
  • Never thought I'd dance on his grave, not really.
  • Clouds parted that night, while I was bending picking weeds in the dark—fool thing to do—and the moon shone down on my garden.
  • There are dreamers like me, but none as vivid, and none who know the clouds and sunshine of my mind as I do.
  • You can't sing—can't really sing—a happy song when you are sad; but I know now that you can sing a sad song, and fill that song with life, when you are happy.
  • All it took was one step into the water and I knew I was home.
  • If love stories begin with wonder and end with tragedy, this isn't really a love story.
  • She looked out the window and saw moving shadows, as far as the eye could see, and was thankful at least for the light from the window on the house on the hill.
  • "I'm falling for you," he said. But he knew that look and he regretted it immediately.
  • Give me five minutes and I'll turn that girl's silly smile into a look of shock.
  • At dawn, we were swallowed up by the darkness, but it didn't matter, really. We had waited for it all night long.
  • If loss were a taste, you'd spit it out as soon as you were able to. But it isn't. It's a sound and a cry and it goes on forever.
  • That night in September, the body count was almost as high as the temperature.
  • ."They're not even normal," the little girl whispered. "Look Ma', those men have gills for ears."
  • She closed her eyes and remembered the flowers in her mother's yard and how red the roses grew.
  • There was nothing left to say but "I love you" as they stood together and watched the world burn.
  • "Mamma, there's someone here to see you." I knew from the sound of my daughter's scared voice who that someone was.
  • Lost in a wonderland of sorts, I wandered the home's slanted hallways until I found the right room.
  • "There he is," she shouted. "I told you he…..!" But before I could turn to look, she screamed and fell silent.
  • The explosion could be seen for miles around, but only two people saw it.
  • She couldn't identify the lifeforms standing across from her but she knew they weren't human. She also knew they weren't friendly.
  • "Here, put on this mask," she said. "They can't know who you really are."
  • It took 15 days and 11 hours to reach the mountain range on foot, but there it was in front of us, big as we knew it would be.
  • "I don't know how you handle this type of thing on Earth," she spat, "but here on Mars, we don't let killers run free."

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Have your short story edited to perfection

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How to Write a Good Story (11 Tips from an Actual Writer)

  • Write Interesting, Believable Characters
  • Include Various Types of Conflict
  • Keep a Consistent Throughline
  • Use a Script Writing Software
  • Raise the Stakes for Your Characters
  • Include a Memorable Ending
  • Use Dialogue Effectively
  • Use Strong Descriptions (“Show, Don’t Tell”)
  • A Good Story Needs Tension and Suspense
  • A Good Story Needs Well-Timed Pacing
  • Edit, Edit, Edit!

Everyone has a story to tell. Whether it’s a funny anecdote from your life or an epic tale of heroism and adventure, storytelling is a fundamental human activity. It’s how we share information and experiences with each other, and it’s one of the best ways to entertain and engage an audience.

good things to write a story about

This article teaches you how to write a good story, no matter your skill level.

Whether you want to write a novel, a screenplay , or just a good old-fashioned short story , there are some universal elements that all good stories need.

Let’s get started with 11 tips to help you write a good story:

1. Write Interesting, Believable Characters

Good stories require relatable characters that readers will remember long after they finish the book. There are a few key things to keep in mind when creating characters that will make your story stand out.

  • First, give your main character a memorable introduction, and in doing so you’ll ensure a good beginning for your story as well. Remember that one’s actions say more about them than their words, so always try to show, rather than tell. An active character who shows their qualities – good or bad – from the outset is far more memorable and dynamic than one who just stands there and talks.
  • Second, give your main characters unique qualities and flaws that will make them complex and interesting characters. No one wants to read about a perfect person – we all have our quirks and vulnerabilities, and your characters should too.
  • Third, ensure your character(s) undergo some kind of development or change throughout the story. We grow and learn from our experiences, and your characters should also.
  • Fourth, be consistent with your characterizations – if you establish early on that your protagonist is shy and introverted, don’t have them boldly approaching strangers in later scenes.

These tips will ensure that you create memorable characters with flaws and dimensions, not just one-dimensional caricatures. Your readers should be able to relate to your character’s life and feel invested in their journey.

Before you start writing your screenplay or novel, make sure to use screenwriting software or novel-writing software programs to ensure that your work adheres to industry standards in terms of format and appearance.

good things to write a story about

2. Include Various Types of Conflict

All interesting stories need conflict. Without it, there is no drama, tension, or sense of forward momentum. Conflict drives change, and change drives story.

The conflict can be internal, such as a character struggling with a difficult decision, or external, such as a character facing an obstacle. Remember, external conflicts are easier to tackle than inner struggles, as they typically don’t require any inner change on the part of the character.

True change comes from within.

What is important is that the conflict feels real and believable, and that it has a meaningful impact on both the character and the story. So make sure that you create obstacles for your characters to overcome so that they have to struggle and grow in order to succeed.

3. Keep a Consistent Throughline

One of the most important aspects of writing a good story is making sure that there is a throughline – the central question or problem that your story is trying to answer. From the opening lines in the beginning to the closing image at the end, you must keep it in mind.

Without a throughline, your story will likely wander and lose focus, leaving readers confused and uninterested.

There are a few ways to ensure your throughline is clear and compelling.

  • First, ensure the throughline is introduced early in the story. This will help to ensure that readers are aware of the central conflict from the beginning and will be more invested in seeing how it plays out.
  • Additionally, be sure to maintain focus on the throughline throughout the course of the story. Every scene and every event should relate back to the throughline in some way, helping to move the story forward and keep readers engaged.

When thinking about the central problem in your story, consider:

  • Who is the main character of your story?
  • What does this character want?
  • What are they trying to achieve?
  • What obstacles will they have to overcome?
  • What inner flaws hold them back?

Your story should be focused on your character’s journey to reach their goal. 

4. Use a Script Writing Software

Using a scriptwriting software like Celtx can be a helpful way for screenwriters to improve their screenwriting skills. Scriptwriting software provides a standardized format for writing scripts which makes it easier for industry professionals to read and understand a writer’s work.

Additionally, most scriptwriting software has built-in script breakdown features, which can help writers analyze and understand the structure of their script. These types of features can help writers identify areas where their script may be weak and make necessary changes to improve it.

Scriptwriting software like Celtx also allows users to export their scripts in various industry-standard formats, such as PDFs, making it easier for writers to share their work with others.

A script writing software like Celtx can be an excellent tool for beginners to improve their screenwriting skills and create professional-looking scripts. It can save time, improve organization and increase the chances of getting your work read by industry professionals. Try Celtx Now For Free.

5. Raise the Stakes for Your Characters

When you write stories, one of the key elements is to keep upping the stakes for your characters.

This means that as the story progresses during the rising action , the challenges and obstacles your characters face should become more and more difficult. This will hook readers, as they’ll want to see how your characters will manage to overcome these increasingly complex challenges.

There are a few ways you can do this.

  • One is to have the stakes increase in terms of the personal costs for your characters – for instance, if they’re originally trying to achieve something that would benefit themselves, you could raise the stakes so that failing to achieve their goal would also have negative consequences for other characters.
  • Another way to up the stakes is to increase the physical dangers or threats your characters face. This could be anything from adding more dangerous opponents to raising the stakes so that failure would mean death or severe injury.

And remember that the point of highest stakes and excitement needs to be at the climax of the story when the central conflict is settled once and for all. Everything the character has gone through and all the lessons learned since the inciting incident must apply in this final moment. A truly effective climax is one where the character and audience both genuinely don’t know if the protagonist will succeed. That can only be achieved with rising stakes and difficulty.

As you raise the stakes for your main character, think about:

  • What happens if your character fails?
  • What is at stake if they succeed?
  • What is the character willing to trade or give up to reach their goal?
  • The higher the stakes, the more suspenseful and exciting your story will be! 

Whatever approach you take, remember that giving your main characters many obstacles during the rising action is essential for writing a good story.

6. Include a Memorable Ending

Creating a memorable ending is one of the most important aspects of the story-writing process. A good beginning is important, but the ending should also be definitive and satisfying, providing a sense of closure for the reader.

To achieve this, the ending must be well-planned and executed with precision.

First, identify the story’s climax – this is the point at which the conflict is resolved, and the tension is released. The central throughline is addressed here, and good or bad, the central conflict comes to an end.

good things to write a story about

Then, start winding down the story, tying up loose ends and wrapping up plot threads. The pacing should slow down at this point as the story builds toward its resolution. This is commonly referred to as the falling action section of your story.

Falling action ties up all loose ends and plot holes and shows us how the hero’s world has changed, for better or worse, as a result of their undertaking the challenge in the first place.

This allows you to write an ending that feels earned and satisfying. The ending should be emotive and resonate with your audience. Whether it is happy or sad, it should evoke a strong reaction in the reader.

This is what people will remember long after they’ve finished reading or watching your story, so make it count! Don’t cop out with a cheap or predictable ending; make it earned and satisfying. If done well, a good ending will leave the reader with a lasting impression of your story.

7. Use Dialogue Effectively

Good dialogue is an essential element of any story. It can convey a character’s personality, advance the plot, and provide information to the reader. Here are some tips to help you write dialogue that will keep your readers engaged:

  • Make sure your dialogue sounds natural. Avoid stilted or overly formal speech. Your characters should sound like real people talking to each other.
  • Use dialect and colloquialisms sparingly. While they can add color to your dialogue, too much can be difficult for readers to follow.
  • Keep your dialogue brief. Long blocks of uninterrupted speech can be tedious to read. Instead, break up your dialogue with action or description, and save the speeches for when they matter the most.
  • Be aware of pacing. The rhythm of your dialogue should match the pace of your story. If your story is fast-paced, your dialogue should be as well.
  • Avoid exposition dumps and on-the-nose speeches; let your dialogue move the plot forward while also revealing character personality traits. The best dialogue is loaded with subtext.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your dialogue will be a powerful tool that will help you tell a great story.

8. Use Strong Descriptions (“Show, Don’t Tell”)

Anyone who has taken a creative writing class has likely heard the advice, “show, don’t tell.” This means that good description is key to writing a good story.

A good writer makes the readers care about their characters through their actions, which are as important, if not more so, than a character’s thoughts and words. Readers want to be able to visualize the characters and setting, and this can only be done with well-written descriptions.

This does not mean that every detail needs to be spelled out; in fact, too much description can be just as bad as too little. The goal is to provide just enough information to allow the reader to create a mental image without overwhelming them with unnecessary details.

The description sets the scene and allows the reader to visualize what’s happening in their minds. Be specific and evocative with your language so that the reader feels like they’re right there in the thick of things alongside your characters. 

Rather than just telling the reader what’s happening, show them through action and dialogue. This will help them feel like they’re experiencing the story firsthand rather than just being told about it secondhand. 

The best way to achieve this balance is to focus on the senses. What does the character see, smell, hear, taste, and feel? Done well, readers feel and experience the world along with the characters.

By painting a vivid picture using all five senses – in addition to what characters think, remember, fear, and dream of – writers can create unforgettable stories that will stay with readers long after they’ve finished the last page.

9. A Good Story Needs Tension and Suspense

A good story needs tension and suspense in order to keep the reader engaged.

One way to create tension is by introducing conflict early on in the story. This can be done by having the protagonist face off against an antagonist or by having them come up against a challenging situation. It is also effective for character development, as early conflict gives us insight into the character’s flaws and how they need to change for the better in order to succeed later.

Another way to create tension is by building up to the climax, which should be a pivotal moment in the story that changes the course of events. This can be done by withholding information, gradually revealing information about the characters or the plot, or by raising the stakes throughout the course of the story.

Remember, tension and suspense are not about revealing information but withholding it until the last possible moment.

” There is no terror in the bang, only in the anticipation of it. “ Alfred Hitchcock

By creating tension and suspense, writers can keep their readers hooked from beginning to end.

10. A Good Story Needs Well-Timed Pacing

Pacing is how fast or slow your action unfolds.

A well-paced story will have moments of high action balanced with slower moments of reflection or character development. If everything happens too quickly, readers may get overwhelmed or lose interest; if things are happening too slowly, they may get bored. Finding the right balance of action and reflection will keep readers invested in both the memorable characters and plot. 

As noted in this article from the Nevada Film Office, there are a few key elements that can help to ensure great pacing in a story.

  • The plot should be carefully structured so that each scene leads logically to the next, even when taking into account surprises and unexpected developments.
  • The pacing should be varied throughout the story, with some faster-paced sections to break up the monotony and some slower-paced sections to allow for moments of reflection.
  • The dialogue should be sharp and snappy, without any unnecessary pauses or meandering conversations.
  • Your story should always be moving forward; there should never be a scene or chapter that feels like it could be cut without affecting the rest of the story. Every element of your story should serve a purpose and advance the plot in some way. 

11. Edit, Edit, Edit!

Once you’ve finished writing, put your work away for at least 24 hours; as this will give you some much-needed distance from your work so that you can come back to it with fresh eyes. Then, go through your work with a fine-tooth comb and get rid of anything that isn’t absolutely essential. A good story is one that has been thoroughly edited; don’t try to publish something before it’s ready. 

After you’ve done your best to edit your work, the best way to further improve your story is to get someone else to read it and give you their constructive feedback. Doesn’t matter if they’re a family member, friend, or professional editor – just so long as they’re willing to be critical and you are open to addressing shortcomings. You need to know what’s wrong with your story so you can fix it.

Remember, the editing process needs to address technical aspects, such as formatting, spelling, grammar, and so on, as well as aspects of the story itself, such as plot, characters, dialogue, pacing, and theme. Using film production software programs (such as Celtx) can help you keep track of these aspects of filmmaking.

Once you’ve made the necessary changes, it’s time to get feedback again. Repeat this process until you’re sure your story is the best it can be. Only then should you think about submitting it to producers, executive producers , agents , screenplay competitions, or posting it to script-sharing sites. Remember, the competition is fierce, so make sure your story is the best it can be before you send it out into the world.

Common Questions About Writing a Great Story

What are the steps to write a good story.

There is no single formula for writing a good story, but there are a few important elements that should always be considered. First, it is important to choose an engaging subject matter that will captivate the reader’s attention. Next, the story should have a strong narrative arc that builds tension and keeps the reader interested. Finally, the story should be populated with well-developed characters who feel real and relatable.

What are the 7 Elements of a Story?

A story has seven elements: characters, plot, setting, conflict, resolution, theme, and point of view. Characters refer to the people (or animals) who populate the story, and their character development. Plot is the sequence of events that take place. Setting is the time and place of the story. Conflict is the problem that needs to be resolved. Resolution is the solution to the conflict. Theme is the underlying message of the story. Point of view is the perspective from which the story is told. All seven elements are essential to a successful story.

What are the 5 Characteristics of a Good Story?

A good story should have the following five characteristics: plot, conflict, character, setting, and theme. Plot is the sequence of events that make up the story. Conflict is the struggle that the protagonist must overcome. Characters are the people who populate the story. Setting is the time and place in which the story takes place. Theme is the central idea or message of the story. A well-crafted story will have all of these elements working together from the opening line, in order to create a cohesive and engaging tale.

Writing a good story takes time, effort, and revision; there’s no such thing as a perfect first draft (no matter what anyone tells you).

By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to writing a great story that will engage and entertain readers from beginning to end!

good things to write a story about

Neil Chase is a story and writing coach, award-winning screenwriter, actor, and author of the horror-western novel, Iron Dogs.  Neil has won over 100 international awards for his writing and filmmaking, including the prestigious FilmMaker’s International Screenwriting Grand Prize Award & the ScreamFest Best Screenplay Award. His directorial-debut feature film, Spin The Wheel, is currently in post-production. Neil believes that all writers have the potential to create great work. His passion is helping writers find their voice and develop their skills so that they can create stories that are both entertaining and meaningful. If you’re ready to take your writing to the next level, check out his website for tips and inspiration!

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Writing From the Heart

One of the easiest ways to write a terrific story is to write about what you know. You can use prompts below to help you harness your own life and background to come up with story ideas that are easy to develop.

Story Ideas

  • Look into your family tree. Is there anybody nobody knows anything about? Make up an explanation.
  • What is the least convenient personal habit for a detective? Write about that detective.
  • Think about your most offbeat friend. What if he/she had to fill a conventional and important role such as running the country
  • What was the last thing you lost that never turned up? Write a story describing a sinister reason for its disappearance.
  • Think about the last good decision you made. What would have happened if you'd made the wrong choice?
  • Think about the more prudish person you know. Now sit him/her next to somebody behaving inappropriately on a train.
  • Imagine you stumble upon a letter that was never sent. What was in it and why?
  • Look at the last message you sent. What might have happened if you'd accidentally sent it to the wrong person?
  • Think of a wish. Now imagine the granting of the wish has unexpected consequences.
  • Look at the front page of your local paper. Could there be a conspiracy behind the main headline?
  • You're on a jury and you distrust one of your fellow jurors. Why?
  • Think of a celebrity you dislike. Now imagine your Sunday lunch if a member of your family brought him/her as a date.
  • Look through your photographs until you find one with a stranger in the background. Write a fictional account of his/her five minutes leading up to the taking of the photograph.

Types of Story

According to Christopher Booker, there are seven types of story

Overcoming the Monster

Rags to riches.

A protagonist is in some way misfortune, usually financially. Throughout the story, he/she acquires things such as power, wealth or a love interest.

The protagonist sets out to acquire an object or get to a location, facing many obstacles and temptations along the way.

Voyage and Return

The protagonist goes to a strange land and, after overcoming the threats it poses to him or her, returns with experience.

A humorous character faces conflict that becomes more and more confusing, but is at last made plain in a single clarifying event.

The protagonist is a hero who makes a mistake that brings about his/her downfall, evoking sympathy.

An important event forces the main character to change his/her ways, often making him/her a better person.

Although some plot types lend themselves more to some genres than others, genre is a different dimension to plot, and some plots may span across several genres.

Some examples:

Crime stories usually involve a flawed detective who has to defeat a monster (criminal). Often, the detective will fail to stop the criminal before another crime is committed (tragedy) before growing as a person (rebirth) and sometimes overcoming a personal barrier.

Ripe for misunderstandings, many romance stories are also comedies. A popular trope is for a character to believe that his/her love interest is out of their league and we watch the character move from rags (single and lonely) to dating their most desired mate (riches). Alternatively, we see a character who's genuinely flawed (often a commitment phobic) changed into a better person by love.

Fantasy is a great genre for exploring quests, such as finding a magical item or rescuing a Princess. A voyage allows for rich world building.

Infinite random story ideas story idea generator / what to write / fiction inspiration / novel ideas / elevator pitch

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How to Write a Story: 10 Tips for Writing Stories

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Hannah Yang

how to write a story

Everyone has a story to tell.

It might be a real-world story that changed your life, like a meaningful experience you had when you were a child.

Or it might be a fictional story spun entirely from your own imagination, like a fantasy novel or a rom-com screenplay.

No matter what kinds of stories you’re hoping to write, there are certain storytelling principles that can help you communicate your tale in a powerful and convincing way.

In this article, we’ll give you our top ten tips for how to write a story that resonates with readers.

What Is a Story?

10 tips for how to write a story that resonates, conclusion on how to write a story.

We all know what a story is. After all, we encounter stories every day.

We consume stories in books, movies, newspapers, advertisements, and songs. We hear real-world stories from our friends, family members, and coworkers.

The dictionary definition of a story is “an account of imaginary or real people and events.” But we all know there’s more to it than that.

One particularly powerful definition is from John Truby’s book The Anatomy of Story. Truby writes, “A speaker tells a listener what someone did to get what he wanted and why.”

From this definition, you can see that stories are fundamentally driven by their characters. A laundry list of events that happened doesn’t really feel like a story—the chain of events only becomes a story when you understand the “why” that caused those events.

When we consume stories, we learn about how different people handle different circumstances. Stories can entertain us, teach us, and help us relate to new ideas and experiences.

Different Types of Stories

There are so many different types of stories, and they can be classified in several different ways. Here are a few examples:

  • Fiction vs nonfiction: Some stories are made up while others are based on real-world events
  • Format: Stories can be told in different formats, such as novels, short stories, flash fiction, plays, movies, songs, television shows, and more
  • Genre: Stories can be classified by genre, such as romance, mystery, science fiction, fantasy, horror, and more
  • Style: Stories can have many different styles, such as realist, romantic, or modernist
  • Point of view: Stories can be told from different points of view, such as first person (told from the perspective of a character in the story) or third person (told from the perspective of an outside observer)

One story can belong to several different categories at the same time. For example, a true crime TV show counts as nonfiction, belongs to the crime genre, and fits the TV show format.

Now that we’ve discussed what a story is, it’s time to learn how to write a good one. Here are our top ten tips for writing a great story.

Tip 1: Start with an Idea that Excites You

If you’re not excited about your story idea, no one else will be, either.

Besides, it’s much easier to write a good story if you’re passionate about your story ideas. The story writing process often takes several months or even several years, so you need enough motivation to keep you going.

When you have an initial idea, make it even stronger by emphasizing the parts of it that excite you.

Which parts of the story idea hook you in? Is it the character arc of someone who has to learn an important lesson? Is it a beautiful or unique setting? Is it an intense or thrilling conflict?

At the same time, look for any aspects of the idea that don’t excite you so you can strengthen or remove them. Can you make the conflict more exciting? Can you choose a more interesting setting?

The more excited you feel when you start writing, the more likely you’ll be able to finish the writing process with a story that you love.

Tip 2: Know Your Audience

Your favorite movie might not be your grandma’s favorite movie.

That doesn’t necessarily mean that either you or your grandma have bad taste in movies—it just means that different stories appeal to different audiences. In fact, it’s impossible to find a story that everyone in the world likes.

When you’re telling a story, it’s important to figure out your target audience and what they want to see.

How old is your ideal reader? What topics and philosophical questions do they find interesting? How long is their attention span? Which novels, films, and TV shows do they enjoy?

Knowing the audience you’re writing for can help you make the right choices, such as deciding what tone to use and how long to make your story.

Tip 3: Develop Your Characters

Character development is essential in fiction writing.

Take the time to think about your characters’ personalities, motivations, goals, and fears. You need readers to relate to your characters and to feel invested in what happens to them.

You should know what each character wants and why they desire it before you even begin to write the first draft. What is it that each character desires most in the world? What do they fear the most?

Remember that each character sees themselves as the main character of their own story, even if they’re just a side character in the story you’re writing. Make sure they all have their own goals and motivations, and keep those goals in mind as you’re writing the story.

Tip 4: Establish a High-Stakes Conflict

A good story needs conflict to create tension and keep the reader engaged.

Many amateur writers assume that the word “conflict” refers to bad things happening to the main character, but conflict is actually much more specific than that. You can’t just throw in a bad hair day and call it conflict.

The real meaning of conflict is any obstacle that the main character faces while trying to achieve their goals.

For example, if there are no goals involved, a bad hair day is just a bad hair day. But if the main character is a fashion model trying to land a lucrative modeling job, and they need their hair to look good in order to get the job, then the bad hair day becomes a real conflict.

If your conflict doesn’t feel interesting enough, you can raise the stakes. Maybe the character needs to get the modeling job so she can afford to pay for her dad’s heart surgery. Now, the bad hair day matters much more than it did before because her dad’s life could be at risk if she fails.

The higher the stakes are, the stronger the conflict will be, and the more invested the reader will feel.

There are seven types of conflict: character vs character, character vs self, character vs society, character vs fate, character vs nature, character vs supernatural, and character vs technology.

Tip 5: Choose a Compelling Setting

The setting of your story can help you create the right atmosphere.

On a large scale, your setting might refer to the country your characters live in and the decade the story is set in.

On a smaller scale, your setting might refer to the specific apartment your character lives in and the time of day a scene takes place.

The more unique you can make your setting, the more interesting the rest of the story will become. For example, a conversation that happens in a coffeeshop in the middle of the afternoon might feel more interesting if it takes place in a cemetery at night, even if it’s the exact same conversation.

You can even treat the setting as a character in its own right. For example, in horror stories that include a haunted house, the house often acts as an antagonist with its own desires and goals.

Tip 6: Show, Don’t Tell

The renowned Russian novelist Anton Chekhov once said: “Don’t tell me the moon is shining. Show me the glint of light on broken glass.”

If you “tell” someone about what’s happening in your story, they’ll simply understand a summary of the story.

On the other hand, if you “show” someone the story through actions, sensations, and other descriptive language, they’ll feel like they experienced that event alongside the characters.

Showing has a lot of benefits. It can engross your readers, convey more depth, and make your story feel more immersive.

If you’re not sure how to follow the “show, don’t tell” rule, start by trying to use all five senses when describing your scene. What is the main character seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, and touching?

ProWritingAid’s Sensory Report can help you make sure you’re using all five senses in your writing. The tool highlights words that relate to the senses, such as “bitter” for taste or “silence” for sound, so you can see how well you’re “showing” instead of “telling.”

ProWritingAid detecting sensory words

Tip 7: Learn Story Structure

Different formats of stories have different structures. For example, many plays, films, and novels follow a three-act structure that suggests placing specific plot points, or “story beats,” at specific points in the story.

If you’re writing a short story, on the other hand, you have much less room, so you don’t need to hit a lot of different story beats to create a story arc. Most of the time, you only need two major story beats: the inciting incident and the climax.

You don’t necessarily need to create a story outline in advance if you don’t enjoy the outlining process. However, you do need to understand how to create a satisfying story arc.

A great way to start learning story structure is by studying three-act structure, because it’s a simple option that follows your intuitive understanding of a story’s beginning, middle, and end.

Tip 8: Explore a Thematic Question

Many stories raise interesting philosophical questions.

You can explore your theme through your protagonist’s character arc by having them struggle with that question throughout the movie.

For example, the protagonist of the movie Whiplash is Miles Teller, an aspiring jazz musician at a prestigious music conservatory. Miles struggles with the question of whether the pursuit of greatness is worth sacrificing his happiness.

You can also explore themes by having different characters in your story represent different answers to a thematic question.

In Whiplash , the maestro of Miles’ jazz band abuses his students both physically and emotionally to try to make them great. Meanwhile, Miles’ father is an engineer who seems content with living a boring, unremarkable life, and discourages Miles from pushing himself too hard.

You can use themes to make your story resonate more deeply with readers.

Tip 9: Use Subtext to Add Depth

Subtext refers to a hidden or less obvious meaning within your creative work, rather than what’s announced explicitly on the page.

In real life, we rarely say exactly what we mean. All our interactions have subtext underneath the surface.

For example, you might say, “I’m fine” when what you really mean is, “I’m extremely annoyed, but I’m too polite to say so.” Or you might say, “I’m fine” when what you really mean is, “I’m a little sad, but I don’t want to talk about it right now.”

The same should be true for the characters in your stories. Think about what they’re leaving unsaid, and try to convey that through subtextual clues like body language and emotional tells.

Using subtext can help add depth to your story and make your writing feel more nuanced and realistic.

Tip 10: Edit and Revise Your Work

A good story often requires multiple drafts and revisions to get it just right. Don’t be afraid to cut or change things that aren’t working.

You can ask friends and writing partners for feedback on your story to see if they have suggestions for how to revise.

A grammar checker can also help you revise your story more efficiently. You can use ProWritingAid to catch mistakes, improve your sentence structure, search for clichés, and more.

There you have it—our top ten tips for writing a great story, whether it’s a novel, a screenplay, or something else entirely.

Check out our article on how to start writing a book if you need more ideas.

Good luck, and happy writing!

good things to write a story about

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Hannah Yang is a speculative fiction writer who writes about all things strange and surreal. Her work has appeared in Analog Science Fiction, Apex Magazine, The Dark, and elsewhere, and two of her stories have been finalists for the Locus Award. Her favorite hobbies include watercolor painting, playing guitar, and rock climbing. You can follow her work on hannahyang.com, or subscribe to her newsletter for publication updates.

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Last updated on Oct 29, 2023

How to Write a Short Story in 9 Simple Steps

This post is written by UK writer Robert Grossmith. His short stories have been widely anthologized, including in The Time Out Book of London Short Stories , The Best of Best Short Stories , and The Penguin Book of First World War Stories . You  can collaborate with him on your own short stories here on Reedsy .  

The joy of writing short stories is, in many ways, tied to its limitations.  Developing characters, conflict, and a premise within a few pages is a thrilling challenge that many writers relish — even after they've "graduated" to long-form fiction.

In this article, I’ll take you through the process of writing a short story, from idea conception to the final draft.

How to write a short story:

1. Know what a short story is versus a novel

2. pick a simple, central premise, 3. build a small but distinct cast of characters, 4. begin writing close to the end, 5. shut out your internal editor, 6. finish the first draft, 7. edit the short story, 8. share the story with beta readers, 9. submit the short story to publications.

But first, let’s talk about what makes a short story different from a novel. 

The simple answer to this question, of course, is that the short story is shorter than the novel, usually coming in at between, say, 1,000-15,000 words. Any shorter and you’re into flash fiction territory. Any longer and you’re approaching novella length . 

As far as other features are concerned, it’s easier to define the short story by what it lacks compared to the novel . For example, the short story usually has:

  • fewer characters than a novel
  • a single point of view, either first person or third person
  • a single storyline without subplots
  • less in the way of back story or exposition than a novel

If backstory is needed at all, it should come late in the story and be kept to a minimum.

It’s worth remembering too that some of the best short stories consist of a single dramatic episode in the form of a vignette or epiphany.

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A short story can begin life in all sorts of ways.

It may be suggested by a simple but powerful image that imprints itself on the mind. It may derive from the contemplation of a particular character type — someone you know perhaps — that you’re keen to understand and explore. It may arise out of a memorable incident in your own life.

good things to write a story about

For example:

  • Kafka began “The Metamorphosis” with the intuition that a premise in which the protagonist wakes one morning to find he’s been transformed into a giant insect would allow him to explore questions about human relationships and the human condition.
  • Herman Melville’s “Bartleby the Scrivener” takes the basic idea of a lowly clerk who decides he will no longer do anything he doesn’t personally wish to do, and turns it into a multi-layered tale capable of a variety of interpretations.

When I look back on some of my own short stories, I find a similar dynamic at work: a simple originating idea slowly expands to become something more nuanced and less formulaic. 

So how do you find this “first heartbeat” of your own short story? Here are several ways to do so. 

Experiment with writing prompts

Eagle-eyed readers will notice that the story premises mentioned above actually have a great deal in common with writing prompts like the ones put forward each week in Reedsy’s short story competition . Try it out! These prompts are often themed in a way that’s designed to narrow the focus for the writer so that one isn’t confronted with a completely blank canvas.

good things to write a story about

Turn to the originals

Take a story or novel you admire and think about how you might rework it, changing a key element. (“Pride and Prejudice and Vampires” is perhaps an extreme product of this exercise.) It doesn’t matter that your proposed reworking will probably never amount to more than a skimpy mental reimagining — it may well throw up collateral narrative possibilities along the way.

Keep a notebook

Finally, keep a notebook in which to jot down stray observations and story ideas whenever they occur to you. Again, most of what you write will be stuff you never return to, and it may even fail to make sense when you reread it. But lurking among the dross may be that one rough diamond that makes all the rest worthwhile. 

Like I mentioned earlier, short stories usually contain far fewer characters than novels. Readers also need to know far less about the characters in a short story than we do in a novel (sometimes it’s the lack of information about a particular character in a story that adds to the mystery surrounding them, making them more compelling).

good things to write a story about

Yet it remains the case that creating memorable characters should be one of your principal goals. Think of your own family, friends and colleagues. Do you ever get them confused with one another? Probably not. 

Your dramatis personae should be just as easily distinguishable from one another, either through their appearance, behavior, speech patterns, or some other unique trait. If you find yourself struggling, a character profile template like the one you can download for free below is particularly helpful in this stage of writing.   

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  • “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman features a cast of two: the narrator and her husband. How does Gilman give her narrator uniquely identifying features?
  • “The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe features a cast of three: the narrator, the old man, and the police. How does Poe use speech patterns in dialogue and within the text itself to convey important information about the narrator?
  • “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” by Flannery O’Connor is perhaps an exception: its cast of characters amounts to a whopping (for a short story) nine. How does she introduce each character? In what way does she make each character, in particular The Misfit, distinct?

good things to write a story about

He’s right: avoid the preliminary exposition or extended scene-setting. Begin your story by plunging straight into the heart of the action. What most readers want from a story is drama and conflict, and this is often best achieved by beginning in media res . You have no time to waste in a short story. The first sentence of your story is crucial, and needs to grab the reader’s attention to make them want to read on. 

One way to do this is to write an opening sentence that makes the reader ask questions. For example, Kingsley Amis once said, tongue-in-cheek, that in the future he would only read novels that began with the words: “A shot rang out.”

This simple sentence is actually quite telling. It introduces the stakes: there’s an immediate element of physical danger, and therefore jeopardy for someone. But it also raises questions that the reader will want answered. Who fired the shot? Who or what were they aiming at, and why? Where is this happening?

We read fiction for the most part to get answers to questions. For example, if you begin your story with a character who behaves in an unexpected way, the reader will want to know why he or she is behaving like this. What motivates their unusual behavior? Do they know that what they’re doing or saying is odd? Do they perhaps have something to hide? Can we trust this character? 

As the author, you can answer these questions later (that is, answer them dramatically rather than through exposition). But since we’re speaking of the beginning of a story, at the moment it’s enough simply to deliver an opening sentence that piques the reader’s curiosity, raises questions, and keeps them reading.

“Anything goes” should be your maxim when embarking on your first draft. 

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How to Craft a Killer Short Story

From pacing to character development, master the elements of short fiction.

By that, I mean: kill the editor in your head and give your imagination free rein. Remember, you’re beginning with a blank page. Anything you put down will be an improvement on what’s currently there, which is nothing. And there’s a prescription for any obstacle you might encounter at this stage of writing. 

  • Worried that you’re overwriting? Don’t worry. It’s easier to cut material in later drafts once you’ve sketched out the whole story. 
  • Got stuck, but know what happens later? Leave a gap. There’s no necessity to write the story sequentially. You can always come back and fill in the gap once the rest of the story is complete. 
  • Have a half-developed scene that’s hard for you to get onto the page? Write it in note form for the time being. You might find that it relieves the pressure of having to write in complete sentences from the get-go.

Most of my stories were begun with no idea of their eventual destination, but merely an approximate direction of travel. To put it another way, I’m a ‘pantser’ (flying by the seat of my pants, making it up as I go along) rather than a planner. There is, of course, no right way to write your first draft. What matters is that you have a first draft on your hands at the end of the day. 

It’s hard to overstate the importance of the ending of a short story : it can rescue an inferior story or ruin an otherwise superior one. 

If you’re a planner, you will already know the broad outlines of the ending. If you’re a pantser like me, you won’t — though you’ll hope that a number of possible endings will have occurred to you in the course of writing and rewriting the story! 

In both cases, keep in mind that what you’re after is an ending that’s true to the internal logic of the story without being obvious or predictable. What you want to avoid is an ending that evokes one of two reactions:

  • “Is that it?” aka “The author has failed to resolve the questions raised by the story.”
  • “WTF!” aka “This ending is simply confusing.”

Like Truman Capote said, “Good writing is rewriting.”

Once you have a first draft, the real work begins. This is when you move things around, tightening the nuts and bolts of the piece to make sure it holds together and resembles the shape it took in your mind when you first conceived it. 

In most cases, this means reading through your first draft again (and again). In this stage of editing , think to yourself:

  • Which narrative threads are already in place?
  • Which may need to be added or developed further?
  • Which need to perhaps be eliminated altogether?

good things to write a story about

All that’s left afterward is the final polish . Here’s where you interrogate every word, every sentence, to make sure it’s earned its place in the story:

  • Is that really what I mean?
  • Could I have said that better?
  • Have I used that word correctly?
  • Is that sentence too long?
  • Have I removed any clichés? 

Trust me: this can be the most satisfying part of the writing process. The heavy lifting is done, the walls have been painted, the furniture is in place. All you have to do now is hang a few pictures, plump the cushions and put some flowers in a vase.

Eventually, you may reach a point where you’ve reread and rewritten your story so many times that you simply can’t bear to look at it again. If this happens, put the story aside and try to forget about it.

When you do finally return to it, weeks or even months later, you’ll probably be surprised at how the intervening period has allowed you to see the story with a fresh pair of eyes. And whereas it might have felt like removing one of your own internal organs to cut such a sentence or paragraph before, now it feels like a liberation. 

The story, you can see, is better as a result. It was only your bloated appendix you removed, not a vital organ.

It’s at this point that you should call on the services of beta readers if you have them. This can be a daunting prospect: what if the response is less enthusiastic than you’re hoping for? But think about it this way: if you’re expecting complete strangers to read and enjoy your story, then you shouldn’t be afraid of trying it out first on a more sympathetic audience. 

This is also why I’d suggest delaying this stage of the writing process until you feel sure your story is complete. It’s one thing to ask a friend to read and comment on your new story. It’s quite another thing to return to them sometime later with, “I’ve made some changes to the story — would you mind reading it again?”

good things to write a story about

So how do you know your story’s really finished? This is a question that people have put to me. My reply tends to be: I know the story’s finished when I can’t see how to make it any better.

This is when you can finally put down your pencil (or keyboard), rest content with your work for a few days, then submit it so that people can read your work. And you can start with this directory of literary magazines once you're at this step. 

The truth is, in my experience, there’s actually no such thing as a final draft. Even after you’ve submitted your story somewhere — and even if you’re lucky enough to have it accepted — there will probably be the odd word here or there that you’d like to change. 

Don’t worry about this. Large-scale changes are probably out of the question at this stage, but a sympathetic editor should be willing to implement any small changes right up to the time of publication. 

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What Makes a Good Story? 15 Elements Your Story Needs (and 3 to Avoid!)

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by Fija Callaghan

Reading a great story can feel a little bit like falling in love. You lose track of time, you hurtle headfirst towards a new adventure, and you start seeing a whole new world ahead of you. When a story is written particularly well, you forget that you’re even reading at all.

But even though we know when a novel or short story has us by the throat, it can be challenging to understand which elements are working and how to apply them to our own writing. What makes a story “good”? Why do some stories stay with us long after the book is closed, while others leave us feeling unsatisfied?

We’ll guide you through everything you need to know about getting the most out of your own story, as well as some pitfalls to avoid.

What makes a good story?

Good stories not only explore nuanced themes and make good use of literary devices , but they also feel natural and organic to the reader, so that every plot point and character choice feels like an inevitable result of the events and choices that have come before. When the reader reaches the ending, they should feel as though the story couldn’t have ended any other way.

A bad story, by contrast, often feels forced. You can sense the author’s hand guiding the characters around like puppets, and strikes of good and bad luck appearing in order to further the plot.

One of the great unsung tricks to develop your writer’s eye is to read some bad stories and try to puzzle out what, exactly, makes them that way. Instead of simply casting them aside because you don’t like them, ask yourself: at what point did I lose interest in these characters? Was there anything that didn’t make sense to me, or that didn’t feel authentic to the story? What would I do differently if I were writing this myself?

We’ll help you answer these questions with our useful story elements below.

What makes a good short story?

A short story is all about searing honesty and compression. With less space to explore than the novel form, a short story generally covers a finite period of time and one character’s singular experience. Like any successful story, however, it should have the basic key elements: characters, setting, plot, conflict, and a memorable voice.

A good short story, whether “literary” or fantastical, will concisely reveal an empathetic truth about the human condition. It uses a microcosmic experience to raise big questions for the reader and convey a powerful message.

For more advice on creating a big impact in a small space, be sure to check out our lesson on writing effective flash fiction !

Successful short stories are all about conveying big ideas in a limited space.

What makes a good novel?

Unlike a short story, the novel form is all about complex, dramatic journeys in which the main character grows, erodes, or changes their perspective over time. A great novel will have a strong, compelling opening, a fully realized world, and layers of conflict that push the protagonist to their limits.

A novel also allows for subplots, in which supporting characters face their own conflicts and dramatic arcs. Subplots give the writer a chance to enhance their novel’s overall message, or theme.

The best novels will have vibrant, lifelike settings and a protagonist whom you want to follow across their entire journey.

12 essential elements of a good story

Let’s take a closer look at each of these story elements and why they’re so important, so you can start writing a powerful novel or short story of your own.

1. A compelling hook

Your story’s “hook” is its trademark selling point that makes a reader want to pull your book off the shelves and take it home and love it forever. It makes a promise to the reader that they’re in for a very special experience.

For example, your story’s hook might be that your protagonist finds himself stranded on a struggling lifeboat with a ferocious man-eating tiger (this would be The Life of Pi , by Yann Martel). Or, maybe your protagonist decides to open a decadent, sensual chocolate shop in the middle of a conservative, religious French village ( Chocolat , by Joanne Harris).

Compare these to something like “Two people meet at a party and fall in love.” It doesn’t make your story stand out from the crowd, nor does it challenge you creatively. However, “Two people meet while being held hostage during a robbery and fall in love” might give you a bit more to work with.

2. A strong voice

Often what draws us into a compelling story is the writer’s strong, confident narrative voice . Think about writers like Ernest Hemingway, Jane Austen, Raymond Chandler, Douglas Adams, or Angela Carter; they all have distinctive styles that characterize their work.

Right from the opening lines, the reader should get a sense of this narrative voice. It should make them feel like they’re in the presence of a confident, engaging storyteller, and want to read on.

3. A good beginning

While some good stories may take a while to find their rhythm, you can’t count on a reader (or a publisher, or a literary agent) to offer up their patience and attention for nothing. The most successful stories hook their readers from the very first page. This is why agents will often say that the opening pages are the most important part of any manuscript.

To hold a reader’s attention immediately, try opening your story in medias res (or in the midst of the action), rather than opening with a lot of preamblatory exposition.

4. Memorable characters

Writing a compelling story is inextricably linked to engaging character development . The main characters should feel lifelike to the reader, and they should have strengths and weaknesses that we recognize as being innately human—even if your characters aren’t human in the narrowest sense of the word.

Character development is particularly important in a longer work like a novel, especially if the novel covers a substantial amount of time. The protagonist should face unprecedented conflict, learn something new about the world along their journey, and ultimately emerge the better for it (or worse, if your story is a tragedy).

Don’t neglect your secondary or tertiary characters , either. This space is endlessly useful for creating characters that really hook readers’ attention. If you consider large ensemble storylines like the Harry Potter series or Buffy the Vampire Slayer , the most interesting, memorable characters are often the ones hanging out along the sidelines and making a statement in their own ways.

5. A vivid setting

A powerful, well-developed setting is what really brings a good story to life. Even a bad story can be made palatable if the setting is awesome enough. Often what draws readers to a new book is the promise of living in a thrilling, beautiful, treacherous world.

Think ancient, magical libraries, the gritty urbanism of Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett, the cottagecore countryside of English cozy mysteries, the dark majesty of Mirkwood Forest, the glitter and sensuality of a circus tent, or the brine and sea spray of a swashbuckling adventure.

Don’t forget that setting also informs the way your characters behave and the choices they make. In this way, your story’s world is interconnected with everything that happens along the way.

Remember that setting affects every choice your main character makes.

6. The right point of view

As you experiment with writing stories, you’ll find that some fall more naturally into one point-of-view style than the others. The basic points of view (or PoVs) writers use are first person, second person, third person, and fourth person. Each of these has something different to offer, with its own benefits and drawbacks.

If you find that something in your story isn’t quite working in the way it should, try changing up its PoV. When your story is told in the right way through the right voice, it will naturally settle into place.

7. A confident structure

Good writers know that stories work best when they follow an instinctive narrative structure like the three-act structure , the five-act structure , or Freytag’s pyramid . Readers won’t always know this—at least not cognitively, not by name—but they are able to recognize when the pacing of a novel is off. This usually happens because of a staggering structure.

This doesn’t mean you can’t upend or invert your story’s structure by putting the end at the beginning or intercutting two parallel narratives in a creative way. But these choices should be made from an informed, confident architectural perspective rather than from sloppiness or lack of craftsmanship.

(Reminder: Picasso painted realism for years before he painted weird cubic surrealist stuff.)

8. Multilayered conflict

Conflict is what gets a story on its feet and propels it forward. A good writer can find ways to blend external conflict —or problems that arise due to outside forces—with internal conflict —or problems that arise from within.

You can create conflict in a number of ways, from having your main characters come to loggerheads over irreconcilable ideas, to having them face a destructive natural force like a hurricane, to having your protagonist overcome a moral or ethical quandary within. You can even write a story with all three of these!

Without conflict, your characters are just shlupping around living their ordinary life—there’s no story .

9. Action and reaction

From conflict comes a shifting dynamic of action and reaction. One of the common elements of a weak story is the way a character doesn’t take on any personal agency over the course of the plot. Instead, they passively let situations wash over them, waiting for the storm to pass.

While the inciting incident of a story is usually an external event that causes your character to react , there should immediately be a countering action —your characters make a choice or put some new pivotal moment into motion. The first half of a novel will generally include more reacting (this section is called the rising action), while the second half will include more acting .

A good story has a balance of action and reaction, with the character taking actionable steps to move the story forward (for better and for worse).

Conflict and tension are two of the most important elements in a great story.

10. Tension and suspense

Even though “suspense” is its own genre, any type of story can benefit from moments of seat-edge tension. In a romance, this might be something like “Is he going to be brave enough to tell her the truth about his feelings? Or will she marry the rich loser who’s secretly cheating on her?” In a fantasy, this might be “Will the heroes reach safety before the bloodthirsty beasties catch up with them?” And of course genres like mystery, thriller, and action-adventure are laden with heartstopping suspense.

These moments are essential when it comes to holding the reader’s attention and keeping them turning the page. To make your writing even more powerful, look for ways to enhance the tension in your story’s key turning points.

11. Atmosphere

Atmosphere is the overall sensation a reader gets from reading your work. This is created largely through a story’s setting, mood, and tone . Victorian gothic novels are famous for their distinctive atmospheres; a lighthearted contemporary romance novel or a sci-fi eco-thriller would have very different atmospheres to offer the reader.

A well-developed atmosphere that uses all five senses is one of the best tools for keeping readers engaged with the world of your story. It elevates a story from a chain of narrative events to a true experience.

12. A powerful theme

Theme is the core message behind any narrative work. It’s the underlying idea that gives a story meaning and makes it matter to the reader. Stories will almost always have a theme regardless of whether or not the writer put it there on purpose; they emerge naturally out of the character development and conflict which the characters face. However, a writer can use a range of literary devices to enhance the theme even more.

An insightful theme can elevate a narrative into a powerful social or interpersonal idea. Some potential themes might be the strength of the community, the value of being true to oneself, or the concept of “found family” vs. blood family.

13. A dramatic question

A dramatic question is the overarching throughline that gives a story a sense of unity and completion. We’re putting it near the end of this list because your story’s dramatic question may not become clear until a bit later in your writing process. Then, you can use it to enhance the earlier section of your story through revision.

Dramatic questions can be things like, “Will the two star-crossed lovers overcome their family’s rivalry and live happily ever after?” Or, “Will the hero overcome their self-doubt to become the leader their village needs?” Everything that happens in your story should go towards answering this question one way or the other. Once the question has been answered definitively, the story has reached its ending.

Which brings us to…!

14. A satisfying ending

The right ending can make or break a narrative. If an ending is muddled, confused, or unsatisfying, readers aren’t going to remember the rich characterization or the concise worldbuilding. They’re going to remember reaching the end and thinking, “Well that wasn’t what I was hoping for.” Don’t be that writer.

Endings, whether of full-length novels or short stories, should feel like a natural culmination of every choice the characters have made. Even if you’re creating a startling twist ending (such as you’ll often find in murder mysteries and psychological thrillers), the reader should be able to look back over what they’ve read and think, “Ah of course, it all makes perfect sense now.”

Avoid an overly predictable ending, but also avoid an ending that comes flying out of left field.

Some writers like to start with the end in mind, while others discover it as they go. You can do whichever works for you as long as the ending answers your story’s dramatic question and wraps up your characters’ journeys in a satisfying way.

15. Honesty and truth

Finally, the element that separates an emotionally resonant story from a lackluster story is verisimilitude , or authenticity and truth. Your audience should see aspects of your character’s life echoed in their own lives—the feelings one goes through at milestone moments, the fears and hopes that are innate to the human condition.

This is important to all genres of literature, but especially to fantasy and science fiction. This is because when the reader is immersed in fantastical worlds filled with barely imagined beings, the honesty and humanity of the characters is what will impact them most. Not everyone will understand what it’s like to be left adrift on a distant space station by a mutineering crew, but they’ll probably be able to empathize with the feeling of being abandoned by people they thought they could trust.

To get the most out of your story, look for ways to hone in on the universality of being, even in the most unlikely places.

3 Traps that can drag down a good story

Now that we understand a bit more about what makes a good story, what are some pitfalls to avoid? Here are some common mistakes new writers struggle with that can unravel some of your rockstar storytelling efforts.

1. Stilted dialogue

Dialogue is one of the trickiest skills for a new writer to master. When dialogue feels unrealistic, overly expository, or forced, it can pull a reader out of the world of your story.

To avoid stilted dialogue, try reading your characters’ speech out loud to see if it sounds authentic. You can also practice by copying down conversations you overhear in places like cafés, parks, and other public gathering places. This will help develop your ear for natural speech rhythms. Pay attention to what people say, what they’re not saying, and where their dialogue and body language contradict.

2. Distracting grammatical errors

It can be challenging for a reader, and even more so for a literary agent or publisher, to fully immerse in a story that’s riddled with typographical errors, poor spelling, and grammatical mistakes. This might include things like head hopping (unintentionally moving from one character’s perspective to another), or accidentally fluctuating between first-person and third-person point of view.

A single spelling mistake won’t sink a promising manuscript, but a lot of careless or uninformed errors will create a distracting obstacle between you and the reader. (This is why it’s always a great idea to get constructive feedback from beta readers and writing groups !)

3. Poor narrative structure

As we saw briefly earlier in this article, successful stories follow a strong story structure. Even if we’re not aware of it on a cognitive level, readers feel when a story is beginning to drag on too much (because your first act is going on too long when you’re second act should have already begun), or when too much is happening all at once so that the pacing feels erratic . This is especially apparent in film and TV.

Using a predetermined narrative structure doesn’t mean your story will be formulaic or rote. It means that it will naturally fall into the patterns and rhythms our minds have come to expect from good storytelling. When these patterns are broken, we instinctively recognize that something in the story isn’t working the way it should.

Write your very best story possible

Writing a good story isn’t insurmountable, but it does take some practice, inspiration, and hard work. The trick is to keep your reader engaged from the very first line to the last page. Make every single character and scene in your story count, so that your words make the reader look up at the world in a new way.

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  • Writing Prompts

150+ Story Starters: Creative Sentences To Start A Story

The most important thing about writing is finding a good idea . You have to have a great idea to write a story. You have to be able to see the whole picture before you can start to write it. Sometimes, you might need help with that. Story starters are a great way to get the story rolling. You can use them to kick off a story, start a character in a story or even start a scene in a story.

When you start writing a story, you need to have a hook. A hook can be a character or a plot device. It can also be a setting, something like “A young man came into a bar with a horse.” or a setting like “It was the summer of 1969, and there were no cell phones.” The first sentence of a story is often the hook. It can also be a premise or a situation, such as, “A strange old man in a black cloak was sitting on the train platform.”

Story starters are a way to quickly get the story going. They give the reader a place to start reading your story. Some story starters are obvious, and some are not. The best story starters are the ones that give the reader a glimpse into the story. They can be a part of a story or a part of a scene. They can be a way to show the reader the mood of a story. If you want to start a story, you can use a simple sentence. You can also use a question or an inspirational quote. In this post, we have listed over 150 story starters to get your story started with a bang! A great way to use these story starters is at the start of the Finish The Story game .

If you want more story starters, check out this video on some creative story starter sentences to use in your stories:

150+ Creative Story Starters

Here is a list of good sentences to start a story with:

  • I’ve read about a million stories about princesses but never thought I could ever be one.
  • There was once a man who was very old, but he was wise. He lived for a very long time, and he was very happy.
  • What is the difference between a man and a cat? A cat has nine lives.
  • In the middle of the night, a boy is running through the woods.
  • It is the end of the world.
  • He knew he was not allowed to look into the eyes of the princess, but he couldn’t help himself.
  • The year is 1893. A young boy was running away from home.
  • What if the Forest was actually a magical portal to another dimension, the Forest was a portal to the Otherworld?
  • In the Forest, you will find a vast number of magical beings of all sorts. 
  • It was the middle of the night, and the forest was quiet. No bugs or animals disturbed the silence. There were no birds, no chirping. 
  • If you wish to stay in the Forest, you will need to follow these rules: No one shall leave the Forest. No one shall enter. No one shall take anything from the Forest.
  • “It was a terrible day,” said the old man in a raspy voice.
  • A cat is flying through the air, higher and higher, when it happens, and the cat doesn’t know how it got there, how it got to be in the sky.
  • I was lying in the woods, and I was daydreaming.
  • The Earth is a world of wonders. 
  • The fairy is the most amazing creature I have ever met.
  • A young girl was sitting on a tree stump at the edge of a river when she noticed a magical tree growing in the water.
  • My dancing rat is dressed in a jacket, a tie and glasses, which make him look like a person. 
  • In the darkness of the night, I am alone, but I know that I am not. 
  • Owls are the oldest, and most intelligent, of all birds.
  • My name is Reyna, and I am a fox. 
  • The woman was drowning.
  • One day, he was walking in the forest.
  • It was a dark and stormy night…
  • There was a young girl who could not sleep…
  • A boy in a black cape rode on a white horse…
  • A crazy old man in a black cloak was sitting in the middle of the street…
  • The sun was setting on a beautiful summer day…
  • The dog was restless…”
  • There was a young boy in a brown coat…
  • I met a young man in the woods…
  • In the middle of a dark forest…
  • The young girl was at home with her family…
  • There was a young man who was sitting on a …
  • A young man came into a bar with a horse…
  • I have had a lot of bad dreams…
  • He was a man who wanted to be king…
  • It was the summer of 1969, and there were no cell phones.
  • I know what you’re thinking. But no, I don’t want to be a vegetarian. The worst part is I don’t like the taste.
  • She looked at the boy and decided to ask him why he wasn’t eating. She didn’t want to look mean, but she was going to ask him anyway.
  • The song played on the radio, as Samual wiped away his tears.
  • This was the part when everything was about to go downhill. But it didn’t…
  • “Why make life harder for yourself?” asked Claire, as she bit into her apple.
  • She made a promise to herself that she would never do it.
  • I was able to escape.
  • I was reading a book when the accident happened.
  • “I can’t stand up for people who lie and cheat.” I cried.
  • You look at me and I feel beautiful.
  • I know what I want to be when I grow up.
  • We didn’t have much money. But we knew how to throw a good party.
  • The wind blew on the silent streets of London.
  • What do you get when you cross an angry bee and my sister?
  • The flight was slow and bumpy. I was half asleep when the captain announced we were going down.
  • At the far end of the city was a river that was overgrown with weeds. 
  • It was a quiet night in the middle of a busy week.
  • One afternoon, I was eating a sandwich in the park when I spotted a stranger.
  • In the late afternoon, a few students sat on the lawn reading.
  • The fireflies were dancing in the twilight as the sunset.
  • In the early evening, the children played in the park.
  • The sun was setting and the moon was rising.
  • A crowd gathered in the square as the band played.
  • The top of the water tower shone in the moonlight.
  • The light in the living room was on, but the light in the kitchen was off.
  •  When I was a little boy, I used to make up stories about the adventures of these amazing animals, creatures, and so on. 
  • All of the sudden, I realized I was standing in the middle of an open field surrounded by nothing but wildflowers, and the only thing I remembered about it was that I’d never seen a tree before.
  • It’s the kind of thing that’s only happened to me once before in my life, but it’s so cool to see it.
  • They gave him a little wave as they drove away.
  • The car had left the parking lot, and a few hours later we arrived home.
  • They were going to play a game of bingo.
  • He’d made up his mind to do it. He’d have to tell her soon, though. He was waiting for a moment when they were alone and he could say it without feeling like an idiot. But when that moment came, he couldn’t think of anything to say.
  • Jamie always wanted to own a plane, but his parents were a little tight on the budget. So he’d been saving up to buy one of his own. 
  • The night was getting colder, and the wind was blowing in from the west.
  • The doctor stared down at the small, withered corpse.
  • She’d never been in the woods before, but she wasn’t afraid.
  • The kids were having a great time in the playground.
  • The police caught the thieves red-handed.
  • The world needs a hero more than ever.
  • Mother always said, “Be good and nice things will happen…”
  • There is a difference between what you see and what you think you see.
  • The sun was low in the sky and the air was warm.
  • “It’s time to go home,” she said, “I’m getting a headache.”
  • It was a cold winter’s day, and the snow had come early.
  • I found a wounded bird in my garden.
  • “You should have seen the look on my face.”
  • He opened the door and stepped back.
  • My father used to say, “All good things come to an end.”
  • The problem with fast cars is that they break so easily.
  • “What do you think of this one?” asked Mindy.
  • “If I asked you to do something, would you do it?” asked Jacob.
  • I was surprised to see her on the bus.
  • I was never the most popular one in my class.
  • We had a bad fight that day.
  • The coffee machine had stopped working, so I went to the kitchen to make myself a cup of tea.
  • It was a muggy night, and the air-conditioning unit was so loud it hurt my ears.
  • I had a sleepless night because I couldn’t get my head to turn off.
  • I woke up at dawn and heard a horrible noise.
  • I was so tired I didn’t know if I’d be able to sleep that night.
  • I put on the light and looked at myself in the mirror.
  • I decided to go in, but the door was locked.
  • A man in a red sweater stood staring at a little kitten as if it was on fire.
  • “It’s so beautiful,” he said, “I’m going to take a picture.”
  • “I think we’re lost,” he said, “It’s all your fault.”
  • It’s hard to imagine what a better life might be like
  • He was a tall, lanky man, with a long face, a nose like a pin, and a thin, sandy moustache.
  • He had a face like a lion’s and an eye like a hawk’s.
  • The man was so broad and strong that it was as if a mountain had been folded up and carried in his belly.
  • I opened the door. I didn’t see her, but I knew she was there.
  • I walked down the street. I couldn’t help feeling a little guilty.
  • I arrived at my parents’ home at 8:00 AM.
  • The nurse had been very helpful.
  • On the table was an array of desserts.
  • I had just finished putting the last of my books in the trunk.
  • A car horn honked, startling me.
  • The kitchen was full of pots and pans.
  • There are too many things to remember.
  • The world was my oyster. I was born with a silver spoon in my mouth.
  •  “My grandfather was a World War II veteran. He was a decorated hero who’d earned himself a Silver Star, a Bronze Star, and a Purple Heart.
  • Beneath the menacing, skeletal shadow of the mountain, a hermit sat on his ledge. His gnarled hands folded on his gnarled knees. His eyes stared blankly into the fog. 
  • I heard a story about a dragon, who was said to be the size of a house, that lived on the top of the tallest mountain in the world.
  •  I was told a story about a man who found a golden treasure, which was buried in this very park.
  • He stood alone in the middle of a dark and silent room, his head cocked to one side, the brown locks of his hair, which were parted in the middle, falling down over his eyes.
  •  Growing up, I was the black sheep of the family. I had my father’s eyes, but my mother’s smile.
  • Once upon a time, there was a woman named Miss Muffett, and she lived in a big house with many rooms.
  • When I was a child, my mother told me that the water looked so bright because the sun was shining on it. I did not understand what she meant at the time.    
  •  The man in the boat took the water bottle and drank from it as he paddled away.
  • The man looked at the child with a mixture of pity and contempt.
  • An old man and his grandson sat in their garden. The old man told his grandson to dig a hole. 
  • An old woman was taking a walk on the beach. The tide was high and she had to wade through the water to get to the other side.
  • She looked up at the clock and saw that it was five minutes past seven.
  • The man looked up from the map he was studying. “How’s it going, mate?”
  • I was in my room on the third floor, staring out of the window.
  • A dark silhouette of a woman stood in the doorway.
  • The church bells began to ring.
  • The moon rose above the horizon.
  • A bright light shone over the road.
  • The night sky began to glow.
  • I could hear my mother cooking in the kitchen.
  • The fog began to roll in.
  • He came in late to the class and sat at the back.
  • A young boy picked up a penny and put it in his pocket.
  • He went to the bathroom and looked at his face in the mirror.
  • It was the age of wisdom and the age of foolishness. We once had everything and now we have nothing.
  • A young man died yesterday, and no one knows why.
  • The boy was a little boy. He was not yet a man. He lived in a house in a big city.
  • They had just returned from the theatre when the phone rang.
  • I walked up to the front of the store and noticed the neon sign was out.
  • I always wondered what happened to Mary.
  • I stopped to say hello and then walked on.
  • The boy’s mother didn’t want him to play outside…
  • The lights suddenly went out…
  • After 10 years in prison, he was finally out.
  • The raindrops pelted the window, which was set high up on the wall, and I could see it was a clear day outside.
  • My friend and I had just finished a large pizza, and we were about to open our second.
  • I love the smell of the ocean, but it never smells as good as it does when the waves are crashing.
  • They just stood there, staring at each other.
  • A party was in full swing until the music stopped.

For more ideas on how to start your story, check out these first-line writing prompts . Did you find this list of creative story starters useful? Let us know in the comments below!

150 Story Starters

Marty the wizard is the master of Imagine Forest. When he's not reading a ton of books or writing some of his own tales, he loves to be surrounded by the magical creatures that live in Imagine Forest. While living in his tree house he has devoted his time to helping children around the world with their writing skills and creativity.

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Wings Of Fire Writing Prompts

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good things to write a story about

If you’re looking to inspire your students’ writing and creativity, turn to these fun and exciting writing prompts. Perfect for overcoming writer’s block or even starting a brand-new short story in a different narrative, creative writing prompts can help students begin a new piece with confidence.

Plus, these story starters can also encourage students to explore different genres while honing their writing skills. There are a lot of ways you can use writing prompts in your classroom. Try: 

Reading a book in a genre, then having students use a story starter in that same genre. 

Starting off class with 10 minutes of writing, using one of the prompts below. If you'd like, you can ask a volunteer to share their story! Students may be surprised by the variety of stories that are written based on the same prompt. 

Using these prompts as an introduction to a creative writing unit. 

Providing fast finishers with a way to stay busy — and have fun. 

Using story starters to encourage students to write at home.

Adventure Story Starters 

Take inspiration from classics like Treasure Island and newer popular series like The Bad Guys to explore how to write thrilling adventure stories. And to encourage students to begin writing their own adventure-focused stories, share these creative story starters: 

You’re part of a pirate crew in search of a long-lost storied treasure trove. What is happening on the ship and where do you find the treasure? 

You get the chance to use a time machine to meet one historical figure of your choice. Who do you go meet, and what will you do to explore that time period?

You receive a fortune in a fortune cookie that changes the course of your life. What does the fortune say, and what happens when it comes true?

Get students excited about adventure stories with these great books: 

Fantasy Story Starters 

Have fans of dragons, unicorns, wizards, and other mythical creatures in class? Encourage them to give fantasy writing a shot. 

You’re on a quest through a hidden underground world that no one else has ever seen. What magical creatures do you come across? What do they look like, and how do they act? 

There is a witch who lives in a nearby legendary haunted house. She puts a hex on you that needed to be broken by the time the clock struck midnight the next night. What kind of hex is it, and how do you break it? 

You stumble into an enchanted forest. How did you find it, and what do you discover in it?

Check out these fun fantasy titles for more inspiration:

Sci-Fi Story Starters 

Kids interested in STEM concepts will love science fiction! Try these prompts to see how your students combine science with their wildest imaginations. 

  • You’re the first person to ever set foot on Mars. What is it like? What do you explore first? 
  • You and your friend have the same dream in the middle of the night about a prophecy that involves another dimension. What is the prophecy, and what is this other dimension? What do you and your friend have to do to reach and alter this dimension?
  • After NASA discovers a whole new world of giants in a nearby nebula, they send a team of scientists through a wormhole to study them. You are one of the scientists on board. What does the journey feel like? What do the giants look like in this world? 

Plus, find great kid-friendly sci-fi here:

Genre Scrambler Story Starters 

Have some fun with genre studies by combining them! Try these prompts to get started:

  • You are on an expedition in the Arctic and discover a new species of animals living in the harsh climate that no one has ever seen before. What kind of species is it, and what characteristics do they have? 
  • You’re walking home from school and notice that the front door of a neighbor’s house is wide open, and no one is in sight. The old man who normally lives there is nowhere to be found. Curious, you go into the house and find that everything is fake: the furniture, the food, the technology, etc. In fact, the whole property is made of plastic, even the grass and trees! What happened to the old man who lives here? Why does this house exist, and why is everything fake? 
  • You are a child living in the early 1800s in an unnamed country when an asteroid hits, releasing aliens that want to make contact with your leaders. What do these aliens want? How does everyone react?

Shop popular books of all genres that will inspire young writers below! You can find all books and activities at The Teacher Store .

Abbott Elementary's Season Three Suffered Post-Writer Strike, But Fans Haven't Abandoned The Series

Abbott Elementary was widely declared a hit, but viewers think the third season is terrible and have theories as to why.

  • Abbott Elementary offers a fresh yet familiar take on the struggles of public school teachers, gaining rave reviews for its realistic portrayal.
  • Season three faced challenges due to the WGA strike, resulting in a shorter episode count and changes to the storytelling format.
  • Fans still appreciate the show's unique blend of idiosyncratic and accessible storytelling, making it a beloved sitcom despite season three criticisms.

Abbott Elementary is the show people didn’t know they needed until it started airing. The quirky mockumentary follows the day-to-day life of an underfunded public school in West Philadelphia. At the center are a chirpy and anxiously positively-thinking teacher, Janine Teagues (played by show creator and comedian Quinta Brunson), her diverse colleagues, and an inept principal. The issues and solutions to problems the teachers face give people a reason to reflect on the realities of the education system.

Naturally, Abbott Elementary became a hit and fans wanted to know more about the sitcom . The show also won several awards for the first two seasons. However, not many fans love season three as they did the first two seasons.

Some fans attribute season three’s weak plot as a casualty due to the WGA strike. The strike was incorporated into the story but left Abbott Elementary with a time jump that may have affected viewer engagement. Ultimately, however, viewers still seem to love the show enough to keep it on the air.

Quinta Brunson in Abbott Elementary

Quinta Brunson: Everything We Know About The Emmy Award-Winning Creator Of Abbott Elementary

Fans think writers' strike caused abbott elementary season three's weak plot, the writing lull in season three was due to the wga strike shortening the creative process before production.

The writers’ strike in Hollywood started in May and continued through September 2023. Most productions were halted and that included preparations for coming seasons. To accommodate the delayed shooting of season three, Abbott Elementary decided to skip many things and got right into the central arc, using flashbacks to tell the story.

Abbott Elementary cast

Since Abbott Elementary follows the school calendar year, it decided to start the season from the current time of airing (February), not to go back to the start of the year (September). This move — in part due to the strike — affected season three, and fans discussed how the decision impacted season three of Abbott Elementary .

"Yes, the writing and production of this season were significantly impacted by the strike. They had to figure out ways to write around their plan to align the seasons with the school calendar year," a fan wrote.

"It wasn't written during the strike. It was written very quickly after the strike," another fan noted, which explained the omission of many steps and developing the season's arc.

Some fans were convinced that the season was waiting for something big to happen, but nothing kept happening.

"Honestly, I feel like I’m waiting for some sort of progression that I feel like isn’t happening," a fan stated, implying that season three did not have the overarching story that seasons one and two had."

"I think the problem is there's no "big" storyline that weaves through the episodes. Everything is solved in a 30-minute episode," another fan said.

The lack of an overarching plot like the previous episodes, especially when it came to Janine Teagues' (played by the talented Quinta Brunson) "situationship" with Gregory (played by Tyler James Williams), since (spoiler) it looked like they had closed that chapter at the beginning of season three, may have caused a slow response from viewers.

Another fan stated the quality drop in the story could be because it may not be enjoyable without being binge-watched. "I think this happens where people get into a show partway through or between seasons when they can binge it, and then when faced with the slow drip of a weekly release, it doesn’t hit the same."

Spoiler: Season three of Abbott Elementary started with some of the biggest changes so far. The first is Janine Teagues moving offices to the district and out of the classroom. She gets to go back to the school halls once or twice a week, but not as often. Therefore, her being the catalyst for most of the plot movement in the school is missing. Not that the other characters are not pulling their weight.

Brunson's efficacious character is missed, but the story moves on. And with season two having the biggest character developments for most of the cast, we saw them play out with the latest season. However, it took a while to get used to.

Sheryl Lee Ralph in Abbott Elementary

Emmy Winner Sheryl Lee Ralph's Career Before Abbott Elementary

Wga strike affected abbott elementary and its episode count, abbott elementary had to compromise on content due to the school calendar format they had already set up.

The WGA strike put a break in many studio productions. Abbott Elementary included. The writers' room for the show was supposed to open on May 1, 2023, the day before the WGA strike started.

Abbott Elementary cast standing outside by bus stop

With production due to the writers' and actors' strikes — taking half the year with it — adjustments were made to Abbot Elementary's season three . The first to be compromised was the episode count, with season three only getting 14 episodes, eight episodes less than the second season. The season also focuses on events in the latter half of the school calendar year, omitting the first half.

"It was a giant discussion at the start. Last year we really went by the school schedule. When we were airing was when we wanted the show to be taking place, and we hit Halloween and Christmas and everything like that. So this year, it felt like it would have been very odd to say the first day of school was February 7," Executive Producer, Justin Halpern, revealed.

"But we also wanted to get those new first-day-of-school vibes and see what was happening with the show. So we were like 'Alright, let’s see if we can do both.'"

Many ideas on how to start the season were raised, an obvious being the teachers also going on strike. However, that would have been 'on the nose.' And what people would most likely be staying away from is more strikes.

"That was, for obvious reasons, at the forefront of our minds, but then we thought it was a little bit too meta," Executive Producer Patrick Schumaker told Deadline .

"Also, having just gone through a five-month strike, we were like, ‘I don’t think I also want to write about that,'" Halpern added.

In the end, the writers settled on the idea that the school year hadn’t stopped at all. Instead, the cameras just hadn’t been around. The documentary crew had their camera equipment stolen, and it had taken them five months to save up enough money to buy new equipment. This is also a running tale of underfunding present in the sitcom.

"I think the notion of the camera equipment getting stolen felt too delicious to pass up, and it also felt like it’s something that very few mockumentaries could get away with but felt kind of in our world," Schumacker said.

Abbott Elementary Is Loved For Its Fresh But Familiar Story

Abbott elementary gets rave reviews for its realistic portrayal of the everyday struggles of public school teachers.

Abbott got great reviews when it started for being different, and yet similar . With a mockumentary format close to other sitcoms like The Office , Abbott Elementary distinguished itself early on . With a 99% score on Rotten Tomatoes, the sitcom has proven that show creator Quinta Brunson knew exactly what story she wanted to tell.

The cast of Abbott Elementary.jpeg

Brunson received much praise for hacking the sitcom genre and bringing success with a story about ordinary teachers . Her style of storytelling is what made Abbott Elementary a beloved show.

That's because she offers something different. "From the beginning, the show had a distinctive mix: it was idiosyncratic but accessible, familiar but fresh, warm but not sweaty. Its success was seen as a sign of hope for an old-school model of TV," The New Yorker wrote. Meanwhile, Brunson revealed she gets her inspiration from the quirky shows she watched growing up.

Quinta B. Abbott Elementary

Quinta Brunson Made Her Own Way With (And Before) Abbott Elementary

Additionally, what makes Abbott Elementary work, according to some fans, is the close realism the sitcom provides. It doesn’t go out of its way to present on-the-nose jokes that may make caricatures of real situations teachers in public schools face. Rather, it uses comedy to portray the bleak realities of these situations, taking a lighter approach to solving them.

That’s why some fans love the sitcom. "The plot lines are realistic; almost too blandly realistic. It’s relatable but not funny," a fan stated.

Many have shared this sentiment, pointing out that it provides entertainment without exactly coping with previous mockumentary formats of older sitcoms. It may be familiar, but it is still comedy gold.

Regardless of what people think, Abbott Elementary is definitely ticking all the right boxes of a great sitcom, joining other greats.

good things to write a story about

Playboy Alum Holly Madison Accuses Crystal Hefner of Copying Her Book

Originally appeared on E! Online

Holly Madison isn't feeling very playful toward Crystal Hefner .

The Down the Rabbit Hole: Curious Adventures and Cautionary Tales of a Former Playboy Bunny author called out the wife of late Playboy founder Hugh Hefner for copying her writing style in her own memoir, Only Say Good Things: Surviving Playboy and Finding Myself , which was released back in January.

"Anybody who's read my book that came out eight years ago and then read her book," Holly said during a March 26 episode of the podcast LadyGang , "tell me the narrative voice doesn't sound exactly the same. Drives me up a wall."

And while the 44-year-old admitted there would certainly be similarities between her 2015 bestseller and Crystal's work, seeing as they both had tumultuous relationships with Hugh and lived in the Playboy mansion, she said reading her story felt "like reading my own book."

"She weaves fairy tale references in and out just like I did and uses a lot of the same psychological catchphrases, and things like that," Holly continued. "I'm weirded out by it, especially since she had a ghost writer. Like, do your research and don't copy."

Secrets of Playboy Bombshells

And that's not to say Holly—who began reflecting on her experience at the mansion on her and fellow playmate Bridget Marquardt 's podcast, Girls Next Level , in 2022—isn't supportive of other playmates writing about their experience with the late magazine mogul from their perspectives. In fact, she shouted out her Girls Next Door costar Kendra Wilkinson with penning a memoir that felt totally original.

"If you take my book and Kendra's book, it's two completely different people even though we lived there at the same time," Holly said, "like it's two completely different voices—as it should be."

Noting that some of Crystal's publishing team helped with the release of her own memoir, she added, "You would have thought that it went through somebody reading it that would be like, 'That's a little bit too similar.'"

Though Holly wished she and Crystal could have just done "our own thing," she admitted it was comforting hearing that the 37-year-old—who was married to Hugh until his death in 2017—had experienced some of the same lows while living at the mansion.

"A lot of it's been very relieving for me to hear," Holly explained, "even before her book came out when she talks about feeling like she always felt like she had to walk on eggshells or always felt like she was going to have the rug pulled out from her under any moment."

E! News reached out to Crystal's rep for comment but has not heard back.

We independently selected these deals and products because we love them, and we think you might like them at these prices. E! has affiliate relationships, so we may get a commission if you purchase something through our links. Items are sold by the retailer, not E! .

Shop Now: Down the Rabbit Hole: Curious Adventures and Cautionary Tales of a Former Playboy Bunny by Holly Madison

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Serial Season 4

An illustration depicting life for workers and detainees at Guantánamo

“Serial” returns with a history of Guantánamo told by people who lived through key moments in Guantánamo’s evolution, who know things the rest of us don’t about what it’s like to be caught inside an improvised justice system.

Published March 21, 2024

Listen to and follow Serial Season 4

  • Apple Podcasts

good things to write a story about

Listen to the trailer for Serial Season 4: Guantánamo.

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Illustration of an American soldier barbecuing meat and holding a beer

“So, it felt very like college-like… Without it being… Obviously the next day wasn’t classes, it was Gitmo… ”

Poor baby raul, episode 1 — poor baby raul.

Illustration of a person standing on a beach in a blue uniform wearing a red head covering and sunglasses.

“I wanted to create a persona, a thing that was not human.”

The special project, episode 2 — the special project.

good things to write a story about

“Am I one of them? I mean, is he innocent? I don’t know!”

Ahmad the iguana feeder, episode 3 — ahmad the iguana feeder.

  • Episode 4 arrives April 11

About Serial Season 4

Right after Sept. 11, the United States created a brand-new criminal justice system at Guantánamo Bay. It was a prison and a court designed to deal with the people we had captured whom we suspected of being members of the Taliban or al Qaeda.

But to do what we wanted to do at Guantánamo — to interrogate detainees the way we wanted, to hold them indefinitely without charging them with a crime — we had to push aside the old, time-tested rules for detaining prisoners of war. And the consequences of that fell on ordinary people: thousands of military personnel, hundreds of prisoners, everybody scrambling through the same experiment.

There has been great journalism about the legal maneuvering to justify Guantánamo, and about the detainee abuse and the politics and policy. But “Serial” reporters Sarah Koenig and Dana Chivvis were after the inside stories, a picture of Guantánamo you could get only from the people who went through it. For years, though, all the best stories they heard about Guantánamo were off the record. But they stuck with it, figuring maybe once enough people were back in civilian life they’d be willing to tell those stories on the record. A couple of years ago, the “Serial” team started contacting people again: guards, interrogators, commanders, lawyers, chaplains, translators and former prisoners. More than a hundred people. And a remarkable number of them said: Okay, I’m ready. Here’s what happened.

“Serial” Season 4 is a history of Guantánamo told by people who lived through key moments in its evolution, who know things the rest of us don’t about what it’s like to be caught inside an improvised justice system.

headshot

  • Sofia degli Alessandri is an Italian composer based in London. Her music combines field recordings, synths, chamber instruments and electronic beats. She composes for film, television, dance and other media.
  • Hosts Sarah Koenig and Dana Chivvis Producer Jessica Weisberg Editor Julie Snyder Additional Reporting Cora Currier Fact Checking and Research Ben Phelan Additional Fact Checking Jessica Suriano Music supervision, sound design, and mixing Phoebe Wang Original score Sofia degli Alessandri Additional Editing David Kestenbaum, Jen Guerra, Alvin Melathe, Ellen Weiss and Ira Glass Contributing Editors Rozina Ali and Carol Rosenberg Assistant Producer Emma Grillo Translators and Interpreters Raza Sayibzada, Nael Hijjo, Atiq Rahin, Dana El-Issa, Bachar Alhalabi, and Omama Osman Art Direction Pablo Delcan Art Max Guther Standards Editor Susan Wessling Legal Review Al-Amyn Sumar and Maya Gandhi Reporting and Research Amir Khafagy and Sami Yousafazai Additional Production Daniel Guillemette and Katie Mingle Executive Assistant Mack Miller Supervising Producer Ndeye Thioubou Deputy Managing Editor Sam Dolnick
  • At the New York Times, thanks to Elizabeth Davis-Moorer, Nina Lassam, Susan Beachy, Kitty Bennett, Alain Delaquérière, Sheelagh McNeill, Kirsten Noyes, Jack Begg, Jeffrey Miranda, Colleen Wormsley, Peter Rentz, John-Michael Murphy, Jordan Cohen, Zoe Murphy, Pierre-Antoine Louis, Mahima Chablani, Kelly Doe, Anisha Muni, Kimmy Tsai, Victoria Kim, Ashka Gami, Brad Fisher, Maddy Masiello, Daniel Powell, Marion Lozano, Tug Wilson and Aisha Khan
  • Special thanks Katie Mingle, Jenelle Pifer, Alissa Shipp, Nadia Reiman, Anita Badejo, Katie Fuchs, Alison Beckman at the Center for Victims of Torture, Clive Stafford Smith, Alisa Dogramadzieva, Shuaib Almosawa, Mohamed Elfaki, Freshta Taeb, Edgar August, Esther Whitfield, Lauren Myerscough-Mueller, Mark Fallon, Pardiss Kebriaei, Steve Vladeck, Charlie Savage, Michelle Shephard, Bastian Berbner, John Goetz, Sarah Mirk and everyone involved in “Guantánamo Voices,” Peter Jan Honigsberg, Tim Golden, John Ryan, Stuart Couch, Shayana Kadidal, Ray Rivera, Steven Kleinman, Steve Wood and Lee Riffaterre

serial

Serial is a podcast from the creators of This American Life, hosted by Sarah Koenig. Serial tells one story — a true story — over the course of a season.

A high-school senior named Hae Min Lee disappeared one day after school in 1999, in Baltimore County, Maryland. A month later, her body was found in a city park. She'd been strangled. Her 17-year-old ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed, was arrested for the crime, and within a year, he was sentenced to life in prison.

In May 2014, a U.S. Special Operations team in a Black Hawk helicopter landed in the hills of Afghanistan. Waiting for them were more than a dozen Taliban fighters and a tall American, who looked pale and out of sorts: Bowe Bergdahl. Bergdahl, a U.S. soldier, had been a prisoner of the Taliban for nearly five years, and now he was going home. Learn more

“Serial” is heading back to court. This time, in Cleveland. Not for one extraordinary case; instead, Serial wanted to tackle the whole criminal justice system. To do that we figured we’d need to look at something different: ordinary cases. So we did. Inside these ordinary cases we found the troubling machinery of the criminal justice system on full display. Learn more

serial productions

Serial Productions makes narrative podcasts that have transformed the medium. From the powerful forces shaping our public schools to a mystery at the heart of a scandal that rocked Britain, Serial expands the boundaries of audio investigative storytelling. Learn more

Further Reading From The Times

The guantánamo docket, a closer look at what the u.s. lets you see of its war court at guantánamo bay, conditions at guantánamo are cruel and inhuman, u.n. investigation finds.

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Podcasts From The New York Times

The Daily:  The biggest stories, five days a week, including the indictment of Donald Trump , the implosion of Silicon Valley Bank  and the threat to abortion pills .

The Run-Up:  Astead W. Herndon grapples with the big ideas already animating the 2024 election by reporting from inside the political establishment .

Hard Fork:  Kevin Roose and Casey Newton make sense of the world of tech, including Google's Place in the A.I. Arms Race  and the arrival of GPT-4 .

Modern Love: Anna Martin unpacks the complicated love lives of real people, exploring topics like getting ghosted  and how to stop searching for the perfect partner .

Popcast:  A weekly conversation from Jon Caramanica and The Times’s music team, with roundtables on artists like Ice Spice , Taylor Swift  and  SZA .

From Opinion

The Ezra Klein Show:  Real conversations on the forces shaping the world, such as the increasing pace of A.I. development  and China's global influence .

First Person:  Lulu Garcia-Navarro explores intimate conversations about big ideas, like the experiences of a war reporter  and treating obesity as a disease.

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IMAGES

  1. How to Write a Short Story: 10 Steps

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  2. Story Ideas for Young Writers

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  3. 💐 Great things to write about. Good Things to Say to Someone in a

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  4. High Impact Story Writing Techniques for Exceptional Storytelling

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  6. Kid-friendly story writing for grades 1

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  2. things to write in ur Journal #cool #song #fun

  3. How to study Report, Story, Essay, Letter, Factual Description, Job application

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  5. Breaking Free from Common Plot Clichés: Embrace Spontaneity and Create Engaging Stories

  6. Do Good And It Will Come Back To You #lifelessons #motivation #motivationalspeech #wisdom #mindset

COMMENTS

  1. Top 100 Short Story Ideas

    The Lure of A New Story - Comma Grounds - […] But before you go, check out this list of Top 100 Short Story Ideas! […] How to Develop Story Ideas Into Amazing Stories - Books, Literature & Writing - […] love hearing the different ways writers develop story ideas into full length projects.

  2. 200+ Short Story Ideas… And How to Brainstorm Your Own!

    How to come up with short story ideas yourself. We get it: writing prompts are an excellent resource, but you want to know how to come up with your own story ideas, maybe even ideas for a book -length project. Here are four of our go-to tricks when thinking of interesting things to write about. 1) People-watch: Hands down, this our favourite ...

  3. 365 Story ideas to help you brainstorm

    81 Novel Story Ideas. A character believes she has committed a crime someone else knows she is innocent of. A hair stylist overhears something she shouldn't while cutting hair. A character wakes up knowing a new language, but forgets their mother tongue.

  4. Please Steal These Ideas! 30 Things to Write About

    17. The 'untold stories' of old photographs. Whether you scroll on your phone, pull the family albums down from the loft, or search through boxes at a flea market, looking at old photographs is a great way to stumble across the setting, characters, events, or emotions of your next great piece of writing. 18.

  5. 300+ Short Story Ideas & How to Start Your Story Off Right

    Write about flowers that only bloom at midnight on the tenth day of the month. Write a story about a dog and its friend, a mouse. Write a story that uses the words "happening," "case studies," and "sunglasses.". Write about how it feels to stub your toe, but from the perspective of the couch it was stubbed on.

  6. 104 Short Story Prompts (Genius Story Ideas For Writers)

    It could be an observation you make while (discreetly) people-watching. We've create 69 short story writing prompts that flesh out an idea more thoroughly, giving you a good headstart for your story. 1. You get a new job, and your new boss approaches you on the first day with an invitation to the "After Hours Club.".

  7. 175 Fiction Story Ideas To Help You Write A Story

    Thriller story ideas. 1. The Secret Behind the School's Walls: When strange noises start coming from the walls of an old school, a curious student decides to investigate, discovering hidden passages and rooms that hold dark secrets, putting their own life in danger. 2.

  8. 30+ Fiction Story Ideas to Stoke Your Creative Fires

    Here are over 30 great starting points to inspire your fiction writing. Our next novel writing master class starts in 07d 09h 59m 17s! Claim your spot! reedsy Connect. reedsy marketplace. ... Respond with your short story and you could win $250! Learn more about Reedsy. The word count limit is 1k - 3k words and the deadline is every Friday.

  9. How to Write a Story In 6 Steps: A Complete Step-By-Step Guide to

    Others work in pieces they arrange later, while others work from sentence to sentence. Whether you're writing a novel, novella, short story, or flash fiction, don't be afraid to try out different voices, and styles. Experiment with different story writing techniques, story ideas, and story structures. Keep what works for you and discard the ...

  10. How to Write a Short Story: The Short Story Checklist

    In your story, start writing scenes around conflict, and make sure each paragraph and piece of dialogue relates, in some way, to your protagonist's unmet desires. 4. Write Your First Draft. The scenes you build around conflict will eventually be stitched into a complete story.

  11. 30 Things to Write About For a Story

    20. Write about a lesson the character has learned. This could be a life lesson, like the importance of family, or a more trivial lesson, like never to trust a snake. 21. Write about a place the character has been. This could be a real place, like Paris, or a fictional place, like Wonderland. 22.

  12. 301 Short Story Ideas Guaranteed to Kick Your Writing ...

    The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Shawshank Redemption, Minority Report, and Brokeback Mountain —even Hollywood has taken a renewed interest in short stories. Below are 301 short story prompts and starters to help you become inspired, get past writer's block and explore the fascinating process of writing in a genre that Stephen King ...

  13. The 5 Essential Elements of a Good Story

    4. Prose: The sentence structure and word choices you implement in your writing are also key elements of your story. Deciding whether to write in the vernacular of a first-person narrator or in the more neutral voice of a third-person omniscient narrator is an important decision that will affect your prose. 5.

  14. How to Write a Good Story (11 Tips from an Actual Writer)

    Let's get started with 11 tips to help you write a good story: 1. Write Interesting, Believable Characters. Good stories require relatable characters that readers will remember long after they finish the book. There are a few key things to keep in mind when creating characters that will make your story stand out.

  15. Story Ideas

    Suits: the Quest, Voyage and Return, Overcoming the Monster. Fantasy is a great genre for exploring quests, such as finding a magical item or rescuing a Princess. A voyage allows for rich world building. Tumblr. Automatic story ideas generator tool. Choose some keywords and we will automatically create a list of story ideas in seconds.

  16. How to Write a Great Story in 5 Steps

    To be a story, the following five elements must be present: Setting. Plot. Conflict. Character. Theme. In our six-word example above, the reader is tasked with inferring most of these elements from the few words provided, like who the characters are and the conflict that led to the baby shoes being placed for sale.

  17. How to Write a Short Story: Step-by-Step Guide

    Short stories are to novels what TV episodes are to movies. Short stories are a form of narrative writing that has all the same elements as novels—plot, character development, point of view, story structure, theme—but are delivered in fewer words. For many writers, short stories are a less daunting way to dive into creative writing than attempting to write a novel.

  18. How to Write a Story: 10 Tips for Writing Stories

    Tip 4: Establish a High-Stakes Conflict. A good story needs conflict to create tension and keep the reader engaged. Many amateur writers assume that the word "conflict" refers to bad things happening to the main character, but conflict is actually much more specific than that.

  19. How to Write a Short Story: Your Ultimate Step-by Step Guide

    1 - You learn the skill of showing. Short story writers have a challenge that requires some patience to overcome, but it's worth it. When you only have a few pages to hook readers, paint a clear picture of the main character, and tell a story, you end up mastering the skill of showing instead of telling.

  20. How to Write a Short Story in 9 Simple Steps

    7. Edit the short story. Like Truman Capote said, "Good writing is rewriting." Once you have a first draft, the real work begins. This is when you move things around, tightening the nuts and bolts of the piece to make sure it holds together and resembles the shape it took in your mind when you first conceived it.

  21. What Makes a Good Story? 15 Elements Your Story Needs ...

    1. Stilted dialogue. Dialogue is one of the trickiest skills for a new writer to master. When dialogue feels unrealistic, overly expository, or forced, it can pull a reader out of the world of your story. To avoid stilted dialogue, try reading your characters' speech out loud to see if it sounds authentic.

  22. 150+ Story Starters: Creative Opening Lines (+Free Generator)

    The most important thing about writing is finding a good idea. You have to have a great idea to write a story. You have to be able to see the whole picture before you can start to write it. Sometimes, you might need help with that. Story starters are a great way to get the story rolling.

  23. Whimsical Story Starters to Get Kids Writing

    Adventure Story Starters. Take inspiration from classics like Treasure Island and newer popular series like The Bad Guys to explore how to write thrilling adventure stories. And to encourage students to begin writing their own adventure-focused stories, share these creative story starters: You're part of a pirate crew in search of a long-lost ...

  24. Donald Trump is selling a 'God Bless the USA' Bible for $60 : NPR

    Former President Donald Trump is bringing together church and state in a gilded package for his latest venture, a $60 "God Bless The USA" Bible complete with copies of the nation's founding ...

  25. Abbott Elementary's Third Season Tanked, But Fans Are ...

    However, not many fans love season three as they did the first two seasons. Some fans attribute season three's weak plot as a casualty due to the WGA strike. The strike was incorporated into the story but left Abbott Elementary with a time jump that may have affected viewer engagement. Ultimately, however, viewers still seem to love the show ...

  26. Playboy Alum Holly Madison Accuses Crystal Hefner of Copying Her Book

    Playboy alum Holly Madison called out the late Hugh Hefner's wife Crystal Hefner for copying her 2015 memoir's writing style in the new book, Only Say Good Things.

  27. Why some Christians are angry about Trump's 'God Bless the USA' Bible

    Former President Donald Trump is officially selling a patriotic copy of the Christian Bible themed to Lee Greenwood's famous song, "God Bless the USA.". "Happy Holy Week!". Trump ...

  28. 'Serial' Season 4: Guantánamo

    The first story she produced about Guantánamo, "Habeas Schmabeas," aired on "This American Life" in 2006. (Photograph by Sandy Honig) Dana Chivvis is the co-host of "Serial" Season 4.

  29. 100 Happy Easter Wishes, Greetings & Messages 2024

    3. Happy Easter! May this day be as special and beautiful as you. 4. May this Easter Sunday inspire you to new hope, happiness, prosperity and abundance, all received through God's divine grace ...