I found a page of forty writing prompts while looking through old papers from school. I’ve included them here in an effort to spark some creativity. Feel free to combine ideas or only use certain parts. You can also change them around. For example, instead of having a man come home from work, you could have a teenager come home from school.
Good luck with your writing and comment if you would like to share any of your own ideas!
1. A teen ducks into a dress shop to escape a sudden downpour and finds himself/herself in the middle of a heated debate between the employees.
2. While digging in a cereal box for the toy surprise, a child makes a grisly discovery.
3. While digging in a cereal box for the toy surprise, a child finds an emerald.
4. A mother of three teens discovers that someone has stolen money from the “lunch-money jar.”
5. A young girl sees a lion walk past her bedroom window and disappear into the nearby woods.
6. A secretary opens a file cabinet drawer in her office and discovers a shoebox full of cash.
7. A young couple, flying home from their honeymoon in Jamaica, sits next to a young man, whom they think is sleeping.
8. While vacationing at a dude ranch, a wealthy business tycoon’s daughter falls in love with a young cowboy who lies to her about his past.
9. Two teens attend the grand opening of a large warehouse store, accidentally get locked in for the night, and witness a robbery.
10. As two teenagers sit on the front porch of a house, a car with tinted windows pulls up. The doors open, and two men in black suits get out and start walking toward them.
11. Two teenagers are rowing across a lake when they discover an artificial leg and a clown suit floating in the water.
12. While on a camping trip, a little boy strays from his family and happens upon a man digging a large hole in the woods.
13. During his summer job in Aruba, arranging expeditions, a young college student notices that seven people boarded a small boat for a tour around the islands, but when the boat returns to the dock, only six people remain on the boat.
14. A woman purchases an old cookbook in a used bookstore and discovers a note tucked inside its pages.
15. An elderly couple awakens one morning to find all of their furniture mysteriously piled in the middle of their living room.
16. An old saying takes on a new meaning when a woman sees, literally, “what the cat dragged in.”
17. The family pet, actually a rare breed of housecat, goes missing. Two days later, the owners receive a ransom note.
18. During the State Fair opening ceremonies, a prize-winning pig is kidnapped.
19. Three neighborhood children watch quietly as a long black car rolls to a stop in front of an abandoned house.
20. A zookeeper arrives at work to find that three of the most valuable – and dangerous – animals in his area are missing.
21. While her husband is away on a business trip, a woman hears someone approach her front door and insert a key into the lock.
22. A group of salesmen on their way to a company seminar decide to stop and investigate a strange-looking suitcase on the side of the road.
23. A young woman dies in a car accident, and her grief-stricken parents are shocked by what they find while cleaning out her apartment.
24. While reading the front page of the local paper, a teen spots a picture of someone he/she knows, and beneath it is a story that takes his/her breath away.
25. While the baby naps, a nanny for a well-to-do couple begins nosing around her employers’ desk drawers.
26. As they explore their newly purchased home, a young married couple finds a locked chest under the stairs.
27. A man returns home from work one day to find his house totally empty.
28. A trash collector discovers something extraordinary in the back of his truck.
29. A teenager orders lunch from a fast food restaurant and discovers something odd in the bag.
30. A family member disappears while vacationing on a cruise ship.
31. After the death of his grandfather, a young man goes through all that remains of the old man’s possessions. One item – a lock box – is stuffed full of faded yellow letters. They are written in French, which is odd, as the young man’s grandfather was Irish.
32. A young woman who has just spent several hours studying at a coffeehouse notices someone is watching her.
33. A morning after a heavy snowfall, a single man sees a set of footprints leading away from his house.
34. A carpenter discovers an important historic document while gutting an old farmhouse.
35. A woman, digging in her garden, discovers a sealed ancient box.
36. Two cross country skiers come across an isolated cabin. The front door is open, a hot meal is on the dining room table, and a car is in the driveway, but no one appears to be home.
37. Two children come home to find a strange man asleep in their father’s easy chair.
38. A woman finds a strange laptop computer set up in her living room. Beside it sits a handwritten list of instructions.
39. While on a cruise, a man and his wife spot several dead whales beached along the coast.
40. While at the zoo with his father, a young boy notices a cage with bars that have been pried open.