Story Starters

cartoon owl reading a book illustrating an article and creative writing with free story startersStory starters can help you with one of the biggest problems a writer has to face – getting started.

Motivating ourselves to sit down in a quiet place with just our thoughts for company can be very challenging,


There are betters ways of meeting the challenge of getting started than staring at a blank screen waiting for inspiration.

Waiting for inspiration never works but using story starters means you can start right away.

First try organizing your writing life.

Making appointments with yourself in your diary and keeping those appointments religiously is one of the best ways to start the writing habit.

You are teaching yourself winning habits by doing this.

You’ll soon find that if you keep these appointments and show up at the page on a regular basis you will reap the rewards.

If you have a problem finding time to write try these time management tips.

Unsuccessful writers are those who think they can just write now and again and still produce a great piece of writing.

Successful writing takes times and practice.

Successful writers are those who are true to themselves and respect their emerging talent by writing, writing and more writing.

How do we face the blank page?


Story starters, exercises and prompts are all part of the same thing – they are pieces of information, maybe one or two sentences, or a paragraph, designed specifically to help you find an opening into a story.

If you want to try some more detailed creative writing exercises click right here now.

These starters or prompts stimulate your brain, get you thinking and allow your imagination to find the story you want to write.

sky reflected in a Galway lake illustrating an article about creative writing with free story startersThe best story starters are visual. They allow you to paint a picture in your mind.

I have seen students literally gasp as they realize that they are not only writing without stopping to think, but their words are flowing freely, without pause – because they used a story starter.

The best thing about using a story starter to get you writing is that you can ditch it quite easily and simply try another one if it is not working out.


Write without stopping to think. Just write whatever comes to mind and follow your imagination.

  1. He looked into the distance. There was smoke coming out of a chimney.

  2. The envelope looked as though it had been in the post for years. The writing was faded.

  3. She looked down into the sea. The seagulls were just white dots from that height.

  4. He picked up the key and slipped it into his pocket, sure nobody had seen him.

  5. She was changing. There was no doubt about that.

  6. A tidy garden and a freshly painted door made the house look welcoming and cared for.

  7. There was doubt in her face. He could see she didn’t trust him.

  8. In panic she ran towards the road, dropping her bag on the way.

  9. The sudden movement of the bus jolted her awake. She wasn’t sure where she was.

  10. He bent over to catch his breath and stretch his back. At that moment he decided to face it. He was tired of running.

  11. She reached into the box. Everything depended on the number she picked out.

  12.  There seemed to be a small building in the field to his left. Grey and crumbling bricks dotted the garden. The broken door told a story.

I hope you had fun with these story starters. If you did click here to try more.

Remember that writing is not like school where the teacher set the subject of an essay and you had to write about it whether you liked it or not.

You don’t have to write to please others – this is all about writing to please you.

So don’t slog away at something that you are not enjoying.

Find something that makes you really want to sit down and write, and more importantly find yourself a story that compels to return to it.

Lastly, I know I am repeating myself, but please remember the importance of writing regularly.

If you really are really serious about being a writer then you must write as often as you can because as far as I know the writing fairy is all booked up!

Best of luck with your writing.


P.S. I love encouraging others to write and all the information, exercises and tips on this site are provided free of charge.

All I ask in return is that you like, share, or comment. Let me know how you are getting on with your writing. I love hearing from writers and I always reply to comments.


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2 Responses to Story Starters

  1. Yakira Edwards September 18, 2014 at 2:52 pm #

    That was helpful. Thx!!

    • Grace September 25, 2014 at 6:42 pm #

      You are welcome – best of luck with your work.

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