Have you ever wanted to write a story, but didn't know how to begin? Use a prompt to start getting words on the page. Our goal is to create and maintain writing momentum—but you may need a tiny push to get moving on your practice.
Consider this your push. In this post, I'm sharing my best short story ideas with you, and you have my full permission (and encouragement) to use them as you will.
I'm going to share these by genre, so expect a few weeks of prompts. I can't wait to see how you use them.
Twenty Fantasy Story Ideas
- A dragon drops in for the opening day celebration of a new local health food store (let's call it Hale Feeds). P. S: No one knew dragons were real.
- There's a snail orchestra. They decide to put on a concert for the gardener who has (unwittingly) fed them for years.
- Bored high school wizards decide to throw a party to celebrate tomorrow's graduation. Nothing could possibly go wrong.
- Weddings are stressful. They're especially tricky when one family is magical and the other hates spells, and both mothers want to control the celebration.
- A bored housewife wakes one day to find all her dishes are singing Hey, Jude. (Alternatively, if you want to make this a darker story, have them sing The Sound of Silence.)
- A witch living secretly in suburbia casts a spell to speed up the laundry, but it backfires—just in time for trick-or-treaters to deal with dancing underwear.
- Capitol Hill wakes one day to find thousands of fairies protesting for better media representation. Unfortunately, no one can understand what they're saying.
- A fed-up genie, sick of being over-sexualized and paid in wishes, throws a magical tantrum which turns everyone in the world into the opposite gender.
- One bright morning in May, all domestic pets start talking.
- Eating food turns one's skin the same color as one's last ingested item, which makes cheating on diets a challenge of strategy as well as taste.
- Giants are REALLY into reality TV, and one day stomp down from their hidden mountain homes to convince Hollywood to create a show about them.
- Mythological creatures, tired of being portrayed as Caucasian gym rats, confront their creators on a popular combative talk show.
- Tinnitus is actually the result of pissed-off pixies, who haven't been properly fed in a couple of centuries (hint: it involves sugar and rum).
- Tomorrow morning, all kings, queens, dictators, presidents, and politicians are suddenly replaced by talking dogs.
- What would you do if every tree you passed began whispering your name?
- Medieval Italy's most powerful wizard presents a challenge to his pupils: they must compete to prepare a delicious meal without using any magic at all.
- “Life got you down? Become a Centaur…today!”
- Mermaids attempt to install a democratic form of government, but the cephalopods are causing trouble.
- A young Fey prince runs away from responsibility to start a career as a street musician. (I admit I've used this one already, and it's wicked fun.)
- Boot-wearing cats are the secret rulers of the world. The twist: their superiority is being challenged by a rising cabal of top-hatted stoats.
Want to read more about writing a great short story? Check out our guide here.
Click here to download the free book idea worksheet.
Do any of these prompts tickle your storytelling bones? Let us know in the comments.
It's time to play with story prompts! Take fifteen minutes and develop one of these story ideas into at least one scene. Don't edit yourself! Set your imagination free, then post your results in the practice box below. Don't forget to leave feedback for other writers!
Enter your practice here:
Best-Selling author Ruthanne Reid has led a convention panel on world-building, taught courses on plot and character development, and was keynote speaker for The Write Practice 2021 Spring Retreat.
Author of two series with five books and fifty short stories, Ruthanne has lived in her head since childhood, when she wrote her first story about a pony princess and a genocidal snake-kingdom, using up her mom’s red typewriter ribbon.
When she isn’t reading, writing, or reading about writing, Ruthanne enjoys old cartoons with her husband and two cats, and dreams of living on an island beach far, far away.
P.S. Red is still her favorite color.