Quick Story Starters

puppy-peering-over-laptopI have always found it helpful to use a story starter or some other form of creative writing exercise when faced with a blank page. So I made up a list of some of my favourites. Take a look at these and choose one.

All you have to do is relax, write for ten minutes and stop. If you feel compelled to keep writing that is fantastic – the exercise is working for you so keep on writing. If you are not compelled, choose another story starter and again try it for another ten minutes. When you do these, or other exercises always write freely, without worrying about what others may think – this is just for you and all writers need practice – lots and lots of practice – so go ahead, get comfortable and get going.


She was running faster than she thought possible.

The sun set over the rooftops.

It was more than just another place on a map, it was where everything happened.

She heard tapping on the window.

The fire had gone out and the air was cold and damp.

She placed it in her pocket, turned and ran.

He pulled the rope slowly, not sure what would happen next.

The man had seen better days that was for sure. His nose was bent, his eyes bore old bruises and he had forgotten how to smile.

The dancing went on longer than it should but then the music showed no signs of stopping either.

The edge of the carpet was pulled back. He bent down to look.

It wasn’t far now. She had walked for hours.

The sea was the darkest blue and so was the boat. He didn’t want to get in but he had no choice.

The tall building seemed to sway but she knew that must be an illusion. Buildings didn’t move.

The cows gathered at the top of the field. They knew what he was going to do.

The train was packed. She would have to stand all the way.

The plaster crumbled around the window.

The man whistled so cheerfully you’d never guess he had a corpse in his suitcase.

The colour green reminded him of home.

She went slowly along the corridor, trying to find the source of the noise.

It might take a while to finish the task but she knew it had to be done. Unpleasant tasks always have to be done.

The owl swooped down and took the mouse, just as she knew it would.

His eyes were brown with a tiny fleck of gold at the edge.


A great habit for a beginner would be to try a different story starter every day and compare the results after you have tried them all. This will not only teach you great writing habits but trying all these different ideas will help you find the type of ideas that suits your individual style of writing.

You’ve nothing to lose by trying – only ten minutes.

Best wishes


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9 Responses to Quick Story Starters

  1. Lia Butterworth June 4, 2014 at 9:03 pm #

    Um hi my name is Lia and I am an inspired writer and book worm, I’ve read many books in my life and yet I still struggle to find the right words to start my stories. Soooooooooooooo I just want to say thanks for this, I also belong to a creative writing group and I cannot w8 to c what they imaginee from these amazing starters XD

    • Grace June 4, 2014 at 9:56 pm #

      Hi Lia,
      It is lovely to hear from you. You are so welcome and I hope the exercises help you get going with your stories. Sometimes it’s just a matter of trying different ones to find the exercise that lights your creative fires.
      Best of luck with your writing and please come back and let me know how you are getting on.

  2. Wendy Higham September 16, 2014 at 8:16 pm #

    Thank you for such great ideas. I run a children’s writing group and these will be amazing to help with their writing.

    Best wishes,
    Wendy x

    • Grace September 16, 2014 at 8:45 pm #

      Thanks Wendy, its lovely to hear from you. I would love to hear how the children in your writing group get on so I hope you’ll come back.
      Best of luck

  3. Karen Liedel October 1, 2014 at 7:15 pm #

    I shall write 10 minutes everyday. I need to schedule the time each day.
    Thank you for this guidance.

  4. Ice Tigress January 5, 2015 at 11:00 am #

    ‘The dancing went on longer than it should but then the music showed no signs of stopping either.’

    This just melted the last of my writer’s block; this starter fits in perfectly with a novel I would like to write. Thank you!

    P.S. Don’t worry, I will reword it so as not to plagiarise 🙂

    • Grace January 9, 2015 at 11:56 am #

      Glad to hear that old Writer’s block has melted away.
      Best wishes


  5. Ana October 21, 2015 at 11:58 pm #

    Thanks for this. I’ve been looking for some good sentences to get me started, and “His eyes were brown with a tiny fleck of gold at the edge” was exactly what I needed to get started on a story that needed a good opening.

    • Grace October 22, 2015 at 12:52 pm #

      Hi Ana, so pleased to hear this. I’d love to know how your story turns out – keep in touch and best of luck with it.

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