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Writing

6 Dramatic Story Writing Prompts to Jumpstart Your Creativity

Written by MasterClass

Last updated: Oct 2, 2020 • 2 min read

Ideas for an interesting story can come from any number of sources. Story ideas might come from real-life experiences, freewriting sessions, or creative writing exercises designed to generate great stories. Over the course of a writing career, you might find writing inspiration via a writing class or writers’ group. If you’re starting out in your writing career and dealing with writer’s block, though, fiction writing prompts can help get your creative juices flowing as you write your own stories.

Creative writing prompts come in many genre-specific forms—fantasy writing prompts, mystery writing prompts, romance writing prompts—but when it comes to stories that center on heightened drama, you aren’t constrained by genre.

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6 Dramatic Story Writing Prompts

Writing prompts aren’t for everyone, and once you develop your writing skills, you may find that you generate book ideas and premises for your own story through freewriting and journaling about your everyday life. That being said, fiction prompts and story starters are a great way to practice writing and generate more novel and short story ideas. Here is a list of prompts that you can use to practice dramatic story writing:

  1. A serial killer is terrorizing a local community. Write a dramatic thriller in which your main character is a straight-A high school student by day and an intrepid detective by night. Will she be able to crack the case before it’s too late?
  2. A world war destroys planet Earth. A spaceship is adrift in space with the last living human beings onboard. Will it be able to make it to an abandoned space colony on Mars? Or will it run out of fuel? Write a dystopian sci-fi drama exploring this premise.
  3. A prominent political candidate has ties to the mob. What do you do when you find out that your family members are organized criminals? Write a story where your main character is an upstanding politician running for the city council of a small New Jersey town. When revelations about his family’s past come back to haunt him, and how will he deal with the fallout?
  4. The president is a werewolf. The president must go to Camp David every full moon to hide the fact that he is a thousand-year-old werewolf and the leader of a secret cabal of werewolves in high ranking government positions. Write a dramatic science-fiction thriller about a young congressional aide who fights to reveal his secret before it’s too late.
  5. A natural disaster destroys the northeastern United States. A woman must travel through a desolate post-apocalyptic New York City to find her son.
  6. A podcast host tries to track down a lost love. Write a short story that begins with this first line: “‘And that was the last time I saw Peter,’ she said tearfully into the mic. ‘He stepped onto that plane and out of my life.’”

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