Writing a nonfiction essay prompts

  • 08.04.2019

Write a story about a dimly lit street at 3 am. Your character strolls by like they have many nights before after a long shift at the bar. Once inside, the direction of their entire life changes. Write about how nothing has ever really been difficult for your main character. Then a social worker shows up at their door with a six-year-old child — the same child that was adopted six years prior.

Turns out, raising a six-year-old is very, very difficult. Your main character has worked their entire life to make their dreams of curing cancer a reality. But when it seems like a cure is within reach, a suspicious fire burns all of their research…or so it seemed. Write about a character who survived an accident that killed one of their siblings. Thank goodness they make a new friend.

Write about purple glasses. Black hair. Polka dot shoes. Your main character has seen this person on the subway every day for two years. When they notice their absence for a week straight, they decide to find out who they are. Your character lines up at the bank very early in the morning, dreading another day of mind-numbing work ahead at their corporate job.

A gentleman in a grey suit with white hair greets them and engages in some small talk. Then, out of nowhere, he hands your character a gun, takes a few steps back, and fires a couple of rounds into the ceiling. Their home is littered with candles, a lighter is never more than a foot from them, and bonfires are a nightly occurrence.

Addiction of any kind can be a very dangerous thing. Write a story about how your character sees balloons — hundreds of them — floating toward the sky from miles away. They go to investigate the cause and end up really regretting that decision. They get pulled into something that could change their life forever. After growing increasingly desperate, they answer an ad for a personal assistant position.

They think they smell…weird. But they work there now and will have to get used to it. They throw on their white coat and enter the building. The psychiatric ward always smells the worst; like wet stone and rotting wood mixed with subpar antiseptics. Your main character starts to hear voices shortly after experiencing a trauma. Write about how children are the future. They have the power to right our wrongs and start anew. Your main character befriends an orphaned child and learns more from them than they realized was possible.

How to Write in the Contemporary genre: I personally believe contemporary can be one of the hardest genres to write because you have the least wiggle room when it comes to creativity.

All the characters should sound different from one another, their vernacular should make sense for their background, and the writer should read it out loud. Work on understanding real people. People love reading about love! Here are 30 romance writing prompts for you: Write about how your character has gone through life believing that love is a choice. Their decision? To never get involved because love can only lead to pain and hardship.

But after an argument with a stranger, their view of love, and life itself, is changed. For your main character, that seems obvious. Write about a character who is up for a big promotion within their company. But when an outsider is hired instead, they lose it, focusing all their energy on bringing this newcomer down.

Write a book about how a character and their significant other have been together since childhood. Write about how a package is mailed to your main character. Memories and confessions of love are penned within those letters.

Write a story about how arranged marriages are the standard. In fact, nobody marries for love. Write about how your main character lives in a society of slavery. When your character is sold for the 8th time in their short 20 years, then end up at one of the top houses — and become a personal servant to the next leader of their settlement.

Write a story about how cheating is wrong. In fact, cheating and betrayal of any kind in any relationship are punishable by life in prison and even death in extreme cases. Write about how your character started going blind at the age of six.

Your main character has seen the same person at the bus stop every day for what seems like over a year. They also bump into them frequently at coffee shops, grocery stores, and even restaurants. Finally, they decide to introduce themselves to the person who Fate seems to be pushing their way.

It had been 10 years since your character last saw their biggest crush. How they both ended up in the same city away from their hometowns makes no sense to them. A waft of something flowery washes over your main character as they jog down the street.

They turn and follow the scent to someone dancing in the middle of the street to no music while reading a book. Write a book. After an injury leaves them exposed, an unlikely ally of a rivaling clan saves their life. Reading minds might seem like an advantage in the dating world. But when your character can hear every single thought someone has about them, it quickly reduces their chances at finding love. Write a. But when they get interrupted by the weird kid at school, they have to set some ground rules for its use.

Your main character did — and they grew up to marry their childhood sweetheart. But after an unexpected death, your character is forced to live without their true love. Oh…and they have a one-year-old to take care of on top of it. Write a book about how your character waited two weeks for their date to call.

She knows those rules. They decide to go for it and spend 6 weeks in paradise with complete strangers. And once you do, you can never settle for anything less ever again.

But when your best friend turns out to be the complete opposite of how you thought, a relationship can get tricky. Your character is on the lookout for a new best friend.

Now their roommate is hardly on their mind. In an ancient world, your character is getting ready for a life partner ceremony. Write about how two old bicycles are embedded in a tree — grown into it from years of being chained to it. Upon further inspection, your character finds a bottle in one of the baskets and in that bottle, a letter. They attempt to return the letter to its owner to find someone else entirely. Others will move kingdoms. Write a romance about how falling in love is dangerous — especially for your character, who must stay focused if they want to rule someday.

If only she would notice your character. Write about what happens when your very particular character meets the least likely person to ever be a good match for them. Falling in love is never easy. And worse…they enjoy it. Write about a character who decides to take a vacation for themselves to a secluded little town in order to figure out what to do with their life after college.

People read romance to be invested, to feel something real. The great thing about this genre is that you can get really creative and really dark.

Here are our 30 horror and thriller writing prompts: Write a book about how your main character is home alone, just like most nights. This time, however, a new neighbor pays them a visit. Once a week, on the same day, at the same time.

A year-old time capsule is about to be opened, so of course, they go, just like most of the town. When a deceased human hand with a sinister note attached to it is the only thing in the capsule, questions start to buzz. The first being, who is the person who wrote the note? Write about how your main character suffers from a condition that gives them periodic blackouts for seemingly no reason. The only thing they can seem to remember from before each blackout is a bike.

A red bike with a white basket and muddy tires. Write a thriller about how odd and unexplainable events are said to happen in a certain seaside town.

Your main character takes it upon themselves to visit in an effort to see just how accurate the sightings are. What they find is beyond anything they imagined. Write a story about how your main character and a couple of friends take a boat trip to a tiny, vacant, off-limits island for a night of celebration.

Write a story about how your main character gets into an accident. When they wake up next to a mutilated body in an unrecognizable place, they start to worry. A new town, a new job, a new life. The lure of a mysterious person will never get old. Write about a dare. They venture into that basement from the outside with confidence…only to discover two kids and a decaying body chained up.

Write a horror about how your character gets a new job in a restaurant as a waiter. The tight-knit family running the place welcomes them with open arms…and then invites them to take part in what really happens when they close at night. Your character thinks they must be the last person left on Earth. After a devastating disease swept over the entire world, they wander aimlessly. Then they come across a town that seems unchanged, inhabiting seemingly normal people.

When they go to buy another, the owner recommends a very specific book. Your character is walking home midday when they hear an usual sound coming from an ordinary house in the suburbs. They soon forget about it for the rest of the day. Thinking nothing of it, they toss them in the garbage…only for them to reappear the next morning. After hitting it off, they go out on a date that ends very poorly for one of them. They said not to visit the museum at night.

They said strange things might happen. They seem better than ever…until your character discovers their method of staying clean; a new addiction has taken its place.

Write a thriller novel about how your character wakes up to a door slamming. A single gardening glove is in their place on the bed. Write about how your character gets up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night and is alarmed to see their dad standing in the hallway. Without a word, his eyes start to bleed.

But after witnessing them limping into their home, covered in something dark at 4 am, your character has questions. Getting close to them might be the only way to find out their secret. Write about how all the pictures of your character and their sister go missing from their home…one by one. Your character wakes up one morning and all the candles in their house are lit.

It soon becomes increasingly clear that they might not witness it in its entirety. Write about how the school gym is filled. Click To Tweet How to write horror and thriller: Scaring people so much so that they sweat while simply reading is a difficult task. You really have to focus on the structure of your writing in order to create that reaction.

We always want to figure out what happened. But that can be difficult to create from nothing. Here are 30 mystery creative writing prompts: Write a mystery about how your character is 16 and just learned they were the last person to see their crush the night they were murdered.

But when they come forward with these details, they become the new main suspect. That is, until one is discovered with a freshly removed human scalp on the dashboard. Describe this object in great detail, and what it has meant to generations of your family. Lee Gutkind and Annie Dillard have created a fantastic repository of classics.

Start with the end, then backpedal to the middle, then tell the beginning, and then fill in the rest of the gaps. Write about your favorite trip or journey, and how that high level of happiness was eventually threatened. Look at some photographs of your childhood. Look at the pictures of your old room, the clothes you wore, and the places you had been. Try to remember a friend from that time period, and describe the first memory of a time when they pressured you or made you uncomfortable or angry.

Take a small, boring moment that happened today and write as much as you can about it. Eventually connect this small, boring detail with the grand narrative of your life, your bigger purpose and intentions. Recall an individual that you particularly hated. Describe their cruelty to you, and try to write yourself into an understanding of why they might have done it.

Write about the situation surrounding that letter, and why it was so important. Who fought over the name? What was the significance of that name? What happened to the animal or thing you named?

Dramatize the physical danger of the natural event as well as the tension between you and the people you were with. Tell the story of the most important person that has shaped your town and its culture you might have to do some research.

How do you find good creative nonfiction stories? Scientists have wondered for years how nature and nurture plays into the development of human minds and their choices. Explore where you and your siblings are today and the choices that brought you there. Would you like to trade places with your sibling? Would you be happy living in their shoes?

How have your personal choices differed over the years? Write a single, three-paragraph scene when your sexual desire was thwarted by yourself or someone else. Did someone challenge you, or if you only felt guilty by yourself, how did you change your behavior afterwards?

Explore an addiction you had or currently have. If you quit, tell the story of how you quit. What do you see? Write it down. What do you feel? What emotions or thoughts run through your head?

Open your eyes and write that down, running with it. Then look around you again, noticing what you see. Write down what you notice. Repeat as needed! Daydream a list of emotional memories that the abstraction calls up in you.

Write a paragraph focusing on one of those memories. Grab onto one of them and make that the focus of your second paragraph, moving forward or backward in time.

In the third paragraph, concentrate on a particular object, person, place, or thing that comes from one of your memories. This object will be the title of your or-fewer word essay.

Describe the object. Put it into action. Gather the details that will lead to your final paragraph. In this last paragraph, let the object grow into a metaphor for the intense emotional meaning rising in the essay. Find a fact with which to open the essay. Add a sentence to the beginning. Find a way to reference or suggest that fact at the end. Place: Close your eyes, and imagine, in detail, a place you know well.

It should a regular place but a place that is important to you. What do you see before you? Opening your eyes, pick three specific elements from what you see, and describe them in detail but without lingering.

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Revisit a special birthday from when you were younger. Write a book about an ancient society where your character hears a voice within their own mind. Did you ever move past that fear or anxiety? That is, until one is discovered with a freshly removed human scalp on the dashboard. Who do you think is right? Your character is on the lookout for a new best friend. You then shoot them both, to the shock and horror of your archenemisis. Write a thriller novel about how your character wakes up to a door slamming.

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All prompts copyright me, ! What emotion are you feeling? Open your eyes. Write down your emotion. If more bubbles up as you write, go with it.
Writing a nonfiction essay prompts
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What would you want to say? Now, with only a short adulthood left to live, your character must ensure nobody else learns of this secret. Black hair. But they work there now and will have to get used to it. Try writing in segments, though you do not have to, using asterisks or song lyrics or words or anything or nothing to separate the sections. Cyber information is being used to frame innocents in extreme crime cases.
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The only problem is that your main character was born the natural way…with every emotion intact. They just graduated high school and are off to a very good college to get their degree in something reliable. But when they come forward with these details, they become the new main suspect.


Write about how your main character was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Work on understanding real people. Write about your character who lives in a world where the outdoors is plagued with natural disasters daily.


Would you like to trade places with your sibling? Your character is of a very noble household and can barely sleep each night. The possibilities with a fantasy world are nearly endless. Scientists have created a man-made atmosphere around the planet of Mars in order to make it completely livable.


One day the town wakes to find it pulverized, reduced to nothing but dust and sand.