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20 Writing Prompts That Don't Stink

By Lily Iatridis  April 14, 2016

_EMAIL 20 Writing Prompts That Don't StinkSpring is fully upon us, and it’s time for a new batch of writing prompts! 

The truth is, using the same prompts year after year gets boring. But the source I'm about to share is anything but that!

This writer's prompts are sassy, funny, unique, and appropriate for teens.

Her site is called Writing Prompts That Don’t Suck (WPTDS) at http://awesomewritingprompts.tumblr.com/ . With over 600 writing prompts available, I recommend that you bookmark this resource and use it!

Steph, the creator of WPTDS, developed several styles of writing prompts. I've included a brief description of each type and examples from WPTDS for your use.

Once you get the hang of these, you and your kids can have a lot of fun using her structure to create your own unique prompts!

Supply story starters and/or endings as a writing prompt.

1) Start your story with: Jenna stared wistfully at the carton of strawberry ice cream behind the glass.

End your story with: She knew Dave would never forgive her for such delicious cruelty, but she was OK with that.

Name a person, place, and thing that must go in your story.

2) In this case, use these particular nouns: a former tennis star, a roller rink, a haunted organ.

3) Use these three nouns: a snarky introvert, the basement of a pizza place, a mysterious piece of metal.

4) Write about this person, place, and thing: a record store cashier with latent superpowers, an abandoned movie theater, and a mysterious item that fell from space.

5) Use these three items in your story: a high-powered CEO who is hiding his identity as a vampire, a grungy ‘50s-themed diner, a bottle filled with blue liquid.

6) Use these three items in your story: a bucket filled with a mysterious pink substance, an unopened letter, an elderly white horse.

Offer multiple choices for an interesting lead character.

7) Write a story about a reality show star who turns out to be an a) android, b) from the future, c) an evil twin, or d) all of the above.

Pick an unconventional setting for a story.

8) Write a story that takes place entirely on a ski lift, and it needs to have at least one science fiction element.

9) Write about a meeting in a corporate office that goes horribly, horribly wrong. Be sure to include something supernatural or really weird.

10) Write a horror-romance-comedy that takes place at a backyard cookout.

List a collection of unusual words to be used in a story of kids' own creation.

11) Time travel, kittens, an expired library card, foreign currency, a saloon, muzak.

12) Aptitude, slog, manifest, persnickety, capsule, lovesick, teaspoon.

13) Analog, scintilla, jostle, smarten, congregation, indecorous.

14) Powwow, yurt, opposable, grim, pragmatic, sanctimony, tremolo.

15) Smug, substantial, meddle, slink, ethereal, artisanal, convolute.

Fill in the blank of a sentence and write a story around that sentence.

16) Lana thought one___ was enough, but apparently Jen had other ideas.

Create a title and instruct kids to write a story around it.

17) Title: “Strange Times at the Cupcake Pagoda.”

Tell kids to combine two genres of writing and create a story from there.

18) Write a story that is both an action/adventure and a comedy of errors.

Give them a genre, a person, and a problem to frame any story they want.

19) Genre: tragicomedy.
Person: a psychic pizza-delivery woman.
Problem: there’s a funeral, but the casket is empty.

20) Genre: family saga.
Person: an art museum docent.
Problem: items around town keep disappearing and reappearing and only one person seems to be noticing.

Have fun with these!

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