Story starters diagram

Story Starters To Get You Writing

There’s nothing worse than hitting a dry spot when it comes to writing creatively. It happens to everyone; one week you can be outputting work like crazy, the next…nothing. Sometimes you’ve got to find new ideas to help get back in the saddle. I know I do, anyway! That’s why in this post, I’ve compiled a huge list of story starters. Hopefully, there will be an idea or theme in here that can help you break that writer’s block.

Story starters don’t have to be used right at the start of your story either. You can implement these as themes or ideas at any point through your writing. Sometimes it’s just a case of finding the right idea to kickstart the flow of words again. If you’re looking for more inspiration, make sure you check out my worldbuilding checklist and character building resources too.

Ready for some ideas? Let’s jump straight in with some food for thought then!

Story starters to get you writing

  • I remember what my name used to be, before all this.
  • The notification blinked on and off, urging him/her to read it.
  • The chances of it coming to me were one in a million, and yet here I was, holding it in my hand.
  • The mist closed in as the night grew cold. The sound of footsteps made the hairs on the back of his/her neck stand on end.
  • An empty library, the perfect place for a seance.
  • “Yes!” I cried, sliding the ring onto my finger. It was then that I started to feel it, a strange sensation, like I’d never be able to take it off…
  • The webcam stared at her, black and hollow. If only she’d known who was watching at the other end.
  • It all started when the local stray cat wandered into their garden, holding a dead bird in its mouth.
  • “What are you?”
  • This is the story of how I met my end.

More ideas

  • Moving to a new town is always daunting. Moving halfway across the world is something else entirely.
  • The sunlight burned my eyes as I stepped out into the new world.
  • Radio static was all he could hear as he desperately tried to find silence in amongst the chaos.
  • Outside, sirens blared as the sound of shrill cries and screams peppered the air.
  • As they made contact with the ground, he/she felt something snap in her arm.
  • “Your loss,” sighed the woman, “but you’ll be back…I can tell what you’re about.”
  • How do you live a life when you’re incapable of happiness?
  • I met her on a hot day in ’97. I should’ve known nothing would ever be the same again.
  • The townsfolk had warned us not to go into those woods. They’d told us it was dangerous. Only know do I know just how dangerous it really was.
  • The dampness of the fog that morning made her skin feel clammy.
Story starters to get you writing

Extra story starters

  • In the void of space, all is silent and obsidian.
  • No one had ever taught me how to use a weapon. I guess you learn quickly when its you or them.
  • Peering over the edge of the ship, he/she could see the hunger in the depths below.
  • The door closed behind me as I crept out of the bathroom, hoping no one could see the state of my clothes.
  • The smoke alarm started to wail as the first flames from the living room curtains began to lick the ceiling.
  • “Put that thing down!”
  • The crowd was moving towards me slowly, seemingly growing in number as they drew ever closer.
  • “Tell us about a situation where you’ve had to handle conflict,” asked the interviewer.
  • On this, the most revered night of the year, something truly foul must take place.
  • One jewel. That’s all I stole. One tiny, nondescript jewel I never thought they’d miss. I was wrong.

Try one of these

  • “Jump! There’s no time!”
  • The cabin looked cosy and peaceful, nestled up in the hills, far away from the stresses of the modern world.
  • As my foot landed squarely in a puddle of mud, I knew I’d made it home.
  • They say that all the best stories have a grain of truth in them.
  • The window shattered as the grenade broke through it, sending shards of glass through the air to pierce the veil of panic.
  • “Excuse me, have you seen a small dog around here?”
  • The corridor seemed to extend forever in front of me, pitch black aside from the dim green light emitted by the emergency exit signs at the end of it.
  • It took ten years to find my killer. Once I did, he/she had no idea what was headed their way.
  • “If you’ll just step into the booth, we’ll begin the tests.”
  • The coronation day had finally arrived. The dawn of a new age, that’s what they were calling it. So why didn’t it feel that way to me?

Or maybe one of these

  • A growl rumbled from deep within the cave. Already regretting it, I stepped inside. Only the light of my torch could help me at this point, but what choice did I have?
  • Deep in the forest, a secret lies buried. Many have tried to unearth this treasure, only to meet their doom.
  • It was then, on the seventh day of the siege, that the white flag was finally raised. We knew there was little else we could do, so with our lives in the enemy’s hands, we surrendered ourselves.
  • “Can you crack it?” he/she whispered as I frantically rattled the keyboard. “I don’t know, give me a minute,” I hissed back, secretly hoping that the password would click into my brain before she realised I was lying.
  • Monsters are real, you know. They’re everywhere, you just never know who is one, and who isn’t.
  • They were my favourite shoes. No one had ever known why, but to me, they were more than footwear. They were my way out, my mode of transport. My escape from the real world.
  • The phone rang again. Another withheld number. It wasn’t going to stop until I answered; something I hated the idea of with every fibre of my being.
  • “What’s your problem?” the tall one asked. If only you knew, he thought.
  • In the far reaches of the universe, the chaos-dwellers spin their stories. By the time their twisted tales reath the Earth, they’ve evolved into tiny little lies. They’re the worst kind, for people use them freely and with little thought for the conequences.
  • Have you ever wanted to know what life is like after your world’s been destroyed?

Ready to get writing?

So there you go, fifty (I think) story starters to get your creative writing juices flowing again! If you find lists like this helpful at all, please let me know in the comments and I’ll make them a regular thing. Make sure you also check out a few of these writing prompts, in case there aren’t enough to go on here!

I’d love to hear about your writing problems or any resources you think you’d find useful. I’ll be happy to try and create some more if they’re a help to you. Writer’s block is something I struggle with quite often, so if there’s anything I can do to help you with yours, do let me know.

If you’ve found this post helpful then please do give it a share, it really helps me. As always, you can catch up with me over on Twitter, and don’t forget to check out some of my other creative writing posts on the blog too.

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