Writing Ideas

Argue for or against: Private schools are better in most ways than public schools.


Why do men wear ties? Come up with 10 or 20 imaginative reasons for this odd sartorial behavior. Put them together in a essay.


If you had to bet everything you have on whether there is a God or whether there isn't, which side would get your money and why?


In the 1960s Pete Townsend sang about his generation: "People try to put us down just because we get around." Write about your generation. What do people say about you? What do you say about yourselves?


Trace the history of someone found alone and injured at the side of the road.


Write a treatment for a TV pilot or a movie. This should include a paragraph each on the setting, the regular characters, and the direction of the plot.


Write about chocolate, reunions, or dancing.


Write about sneezing. How is it done? How should it be done? When and where? Do you have any recipes for the production or prevention of sneezes?


Write about someone who is just a number.


Tell a story that shows how you learned the difference between love and infatuation.


"A man's home is his castle." Criticize this idea.


Write about someone who wears a mask.


Describe going home, sticking together, blocking the view, biting the dust, or flying off the handle.


If your pen had thunder and lightning in it, what would it say? What could you do with it?


Who do you love most in the world? Describe that person in great detail. Tell a story about that person.


Write about your last, best, or worst ride on a rollercoaster.


Write a poem about how machines are becoming more human and humans more mechanical. Or write about humans from a machine's point of view.


Write a poem in which you pay total attention to someone's black or blond hair, the color green, a flower, or early evening light.


Write a stage setting for a play.


What are the benefits and dangers of daydreaming?


Dreams can enlighten the present or point to the future. Have you had a dream which did either?


"Right now someone you love is out in the cold." This is from an old Van Halen video. Create a list of as many "right now" statements as you can. Make them specific, wise, crazy, serious, or goofy. Will they become a poem?


How could writing be like performing an intricate guitar solo?


Why do teenagers love to dance and fear to dance?


What name would you give to a rock group you have created? Why? What kind of rock would they play? Where would they play it?


Do you have a visible scar? Tell the story, fictional or factual.


Pick two people from literature, history, or the current news and bring them together in a place you know well. Write this as a story or as the dialogue in a play.


Write a story that begins with a student asking a teacher a question...and the teacher gives a surprising (shocking?) answer.


What might historians 500 years from now conclude about us from our clothing?


Sometimes it's difficult to relate to family members, to say what we mean. Write a letter to a family member and tell him or her the things you've always really wanted to say for some time.


Where does the light go when the switch is turned off? Be creative.


When was the last time you cried? Why?


Write about something first as a great adventure and then as a horrifying nightmare.


Mohammed (570-632) said, "The ink of the scholar is more sacred than the blood of the martyr." Discuss, argue with, or defend this or its opposite.


Write an imaginary Dear Abby letter - and a reply to that letter.


Write an amazing story that could be illustrated as a children's book. Imagine the pictures in this book even if you can't actually draw them.


Write about the most unusual old person that you know. Would you like to be like this person when you are her/his age?


Tell about what triggers anger in you or someone else.


Write about the virtues of distrust. In what ways is distrust a positive attitude. Tell your story of distrusting and how it paid off.


What is the history behind your name? How do you feel about it? Did you ever use an alternate name? Do you have a secret, powerful mane that no one else knows?


There are many "firsts" connected with infancy: first haircut, first tooth, first steps, first pair of shoes, etc. What "firsts" from your own life do you remember? What "firsts" occured today?


Create you own mad, impossible invention complete with illustrations and detailed instructions on its operation.


You've been given the power to speak animal language. Which animal would you speak with? What would you ask? How would you be answered?


Lying. Why do people lie? Why do people make excuses? Write about your own experience with this.


If you weren't so busy watching yourself, what would you do?


Write about a game or the games you used to play as a child.


Write about the smallest town you have ever visited or lived in.


How is life like (not like) a football (basketball, soccer) game?


What about joining? Should people do it? Have you done it? What are its bad points? How could it hurt someone? What are its good points?


What is the best movie you have ever seen? Why did you like it? Did it change you in any way? What way?


Is it possible to be a teenager and a nonconformist at the same time?


Do the lyrics of rock and roll love songs speak and reveal the truth of relationships, or do they hide the truth, covering it up with (mostly) male fantasies and romantic cliches?


How do plants connect you to people and place? Is it the tree in your yard that you moved from your birthplace? The cactus you nurture that your great-grandmother once cared for? Or is it that special tree in your neighborhood or the forest near your home that always reminds you who and where you are?


What happens to you when you watch television?


Write a description of the person sitting next to you, but don't tell him or her you're doing it until you're done. Then show it to him/her.


Discuss the animals that nobody loves. Why are some animals more "lovable" than others?


Write about two children and the stars - or about one child and the ocean.


Do you agree or disagree with George Farquhar when he says, "There are secrets in all families"? Are family secrets necessary? Do families hide more than they should from the rest of the world? Use these questions as the starting point for a piece of fiction or a poem.


Have you ever had a psychic experience or seen a UFO?


What experience have you had with gang stuff? Do you think gangs are really as big a problem as people say they are?


Write a story for a child which could be titled "A Dog's Devotion", and/or write a story for a teenager which could be titled "A Dog's Devotion".


Write about a hoax, a place of honor, or a sudden change.


Write about your neighborhood at a specific time of day.


React to this statement: A man can't know what it's like to be a mother. Write a story that illustrates your reaction.


Have you ever had a teacher who thought that students were important? How could you tell? Tell a story that illustrates this quality in a teacher.