Whether you’ve been writing for years or starting to explore your creative side, it’s always great to be inspired.
There are many ways to get inspired – often, it just takes a quick look around you. Music, art, and other stories, writers, and their styles are there to inspire us.
This article will offer some simple but effective inspiration for your next story – one word writing prompts.
As you can probably guess, these prompts consist of only one word. That may sound too vague, but that’s just why these one-word prompts exist. They offer a basic idea, allowing each writer to craft their unique tale.
So if you’re looking for inspiration and a challenge in creative writing, read on. Below you will find 150 one-word writing prompts to spark an idea and get your creative juices flowing.
150 one-word writing prompts
Below you will find a list of over 150 writing prompts to help you get started.
There is no particular order to the words below, though with some imagination, you may be able to group two or three words to create unique prompts.
How to use one-word writing prompts
Single word writing prompts can be fun but also frustrating.
It’s up to you and the situation in which you use these prompts (are you a teacher in a high school, a writing workshop facilitator, or simply a writer looking for inspiration?).
If you find that sticking with just a single word is hard, use two. Use three even.
Keep it challenging by playing with the words – can you take two random words and use them in the same sentence or paragraph?
Can you open your story with one of these words and finish with another?
If you want an extra challenge:
- Write some of your favorite prompts on small pieces of paper and put them in a hat.
- Draw a random piece of paper from the hat, give yourself two minutes to think, and then put pen to paper.
- Start writing whatever comes to mind and watch your story unfold from there.
It’s also fun to ask some friends to join.
If you’ve friends who also like to write, make a game. Choose the same prompt, write your unique story, then share it with your friends afterward.
How to find inspiration as a writer
The one-word prompts above are a great way to get your creative juices flowing.
Working with one word offers a chance for you as a creative to call upon an idea, thought, or image that already exists in your mind. Two writers can use the same word prompt and write completely different stories.
One-word prompts are not the only source of inspiration you can find.
If you take a closer look, the world around you is filled with potential ideas and stories.
At first, it may seem complicated, especially if you don’t notice anything exciting in your environment.
However, if you un-focus your mind’s eye so it’s not clouded by judgment, labeling, or clichés, you may create just enough mental space for a rich idea to arrive.
This process works like a magic eye picture – the more you try, the less likely you will see the image.
The inspiration for your story is the image in the magic eye; it takes an open mind to see it.
Let yourself relax and let go of any self-judgment or criticism about your ability to create. The more you can let go, the more likely you find inspiration.
The world of art is also an incredibly fruitful source of inspiration.
Paintings, photographs, sculptures, and pieces of music have a profound effect on the imagination and have been sources of incredible inspiration for as long as humans have been telling stories.
Think you can write a story with a simple one-word prompt?
Take any of the words we’ve included above, or make your own list of one-word prompts from which to write.
There are many stories to be written using the one-word prompts we’ve offered but writing some of your own may help you get started.
In making a list of words, you may find several words that work together to clarify a potential storyline.
New ideas are always around the corner, even when you’re stuck on a story to write.
Look around, label what you see, and let your imagination run free.
Seasoned writers understand that inspiration can strike anytime and from even the most subtle stimulus.
So, pick a word, let it brew in your mind, then let your story flow onto the page.