More Writing Ideas
Write something that begins:
"I'm waiting for my mirror."
Imagine the secret, undiscovered
life of the moon. Write the story of some of it.
Write about: a little black
box; a sandbox; a cereal box.
Write about the three most
dangerous things about shaking hands.
Think of something that you
have recently purchased. Are you pleased with it? Or is it unsatisfying
in some way? Write a letter to the store or manufacturer telling
them what you think of their product. Make some solid suggestions
about what might improve the product. Or detail the ways this
product has been a wonderful addition to your life.
Pretend you are an old person
or write about an old person you know, or imagine one.
Write about a plan you have
for the distant or immediate future.
Describe a tree in the wind,
a mechanical toy, or a cat seeing a movement in the grass.
Invent a monster and describe
it. Tell where it lives, what it eats, how it passes time, and
What causes hypocrisy in school?
in sports? in families?
Visualize a place you really
love, be there, see the details. Write about it. It could be
a corner of your bedroom, a tree you sat under, a table at McDonald's,
a place by a river. What colors, smells, sounds are there. What
Why should "People"
be put on the endangered species list?
Write a minibiography or autobiography
using single words only, no phrases or sentences. (Born. Empty.
Birthday. Four. Vague. Birthday. Five. Clearer. House. Pond.
Hill. Kindergarten. Rhythm Band. Sand...and so on.)
Write a story or poem that
begins or ends with: "Our bodies contain about 9.5 pints
Write in different places
- in a laundromat where you can pick up the rhythm of the washing
machines. Write at busstops, in the cafeteria, in the gym during
a game. Write what is going on around you or within you.
Write a story in which butterflies
and pencils play an important role.
Write about a person who will
not agree that "Wishing things away is not effective."
Write a letter for Amnesty
organization which is dedicated to protecting human rights throughout
the world - one project is to write letters to governments that
are torturing prisoners or holding them illegally) See Br. Tom
Describe in detail a movement
you have seen. For example, a kid walking down the street or
a basketball player shooting a foul shot or a teacher turning
around to write on the blackboard.
Write a short play with impossible
character in a weird situation: biblical, comic strip, TV anchorpersons,
school administrators, government officials.
Write about the most wonderful
things that have happened to you in a doctor's office.
Write an inaugural address
for the next president, or for anyone assuming any office or
position (king of the hobos, mayor of nerdville, lord of the
What do families from the
moon do on weekends?
Write about leaving. Approach
it any way you want. Write about your divorce, leaving the house
this morning, a death, a loss.
Write about a homeless, hungry
dog; country roads; or someone who is shy.
Do you agree or disagree that
being a parent does not make one a parent?
What caused your last headache?
What uniforms or emblems have
you worn in your life?
Write about covering for someone,
a muddy road, or becoming 18.
Write about the night: a place
at night, a moon dance, a nocturnal animal, or the dark night
of someone's soul.
Write a defense of some person
or action that was publicly criticized but which you approve
Write a letter that can't
be delivered. Write to an object (a broken pen, a window, your
shoes), a body part (your hair, your fingernails). Then have
the thing write back.
At night at home alone, what
do you believe is in your closet?
Walk through a graveyard meeting
the people beneath the stones. Talk with them - or just listen.
What do you do that makes
you different from most other people?
Describe one of these situations:
going home, sticking together, a showdown, blocking the view,
biting the dust, flying off the handle.
Aristotle said: "All
paid employments absorb and degrade the mind." Do you agree
or disagree? Explain by writing an essay or telling a story.
Write a sports story entitled
What makes you want to fire
a shotgun at your television?
Are you a packrat? What kinds
of things do you hoard? What do you do with these things?
Explain why it's always the
old lady's fault.
Write a real or imaginary
diary entry focusing on fear, hope or regret.
Have you ever been ditched
by your friends? Have you ever ditched one of them? Tell the
If you were one inch tall,
what are some things you would do that you can't do now?
If you had only one last message
to leave to the handful of people who are most important to you,
what would it be in 25 words or less?
Describe how to fish the old
way, how ants fight, or how not to use the microwave.
Are the adults you know happy
in their work? Describe and/or interview someone who is happy
or dissatisfied with his/her work.
Why do some people think that
it pays to be ignorant? Does it? Can it?
What is it that adults just
don't get about being a kid or a
Tell the story of a time when
you were very confused.
Write about a time when someone's
encouragement taught you confidence.
What are the three most dangerous
things about birthdays?
Describe the way you feel
most of the time? Are you in charge of this feeling or does it
seem to be in charge of you?
Think forward to your own
middle and later adult years. What will you be like? Will you
be able to accept your physical decline? How easy or difficult
has this been for older adults you have known?
Argue for or against easy
As in school.
Write a letter to a city's
tourist and information bureau...or visit a city's official website.
Plan a week's vacation there. Where will you stay? Where will
you eat? How will you get there? What will it all cost? Etc.?
OR tell the story of an imaginary visit to that place. Use lots
of interesting detail.
What happens to you when you
see a cop? Do you get an instant mini-heart attack? seethe with
rage? roll over and beg? what?
Write a story or personal
essay based on this quote: "Often the test of courage is
not to die but to live."
How much privacy should teenagers
have? How much do they need?
Will you become a parent?
When? Why? Tell the story.
Write about a good friend
who isn't a friend anymore.
Tell a story about a lesson
from an expert, flirting, or getting cut.
Write about something you
believed in once but don't believe in now.
An old man who could be your
grandfather (or great-grandfather) is standing out in the sun.
You see him look down into the gravel at his feet; then he looks
up into the tangled branches of a tree. He pauses, then he notices
you and says ____________. Continue the story.
Write about how to undo something
or how to forget something.
Imagine that you are suddenly
a stranger in your own life - no one knows you, but they talk
about you. What do they seem to know about you? What could you
tell them that they don't know?
A eulogy is a speech of praise
for someone who has died. Write a eulogy for someone in your
family, living or dead. Write a eulogy for yourself.
What bugs you about Madonna,
Bill Cosby, Michael Jackson, or some other celebrity?
When you were a child, did
you torture small animals and/or bugs? How do you feel about
it now? Tell the story.
Write about a time when you
defended what you loved.
Describe the perfect day.
Use a zillion details. Make it a possible day - not a dream day.
What nasty tricks have you
played on people? What nasty tricks have been played on you?
Write what a person finds
in a note that has been crumpled up and thrown in the trash.
Then tell the story of what it means.
What do you think about a
married couple's choice not to have children? Don't write about
this if all you can say is "I don't care; it's their decision."
Write about cages. Do you
have any? What's in them? Are you in a cage? How can you tell?
Is a cage a good thing? A bad thing?
Imagine that there are voices
muttering or screaming or whispering or whining in your head.
What are they saying?
Tell the story of a time when
you learned something from your father or your mother.
Write about the streets of
your city? Write about one street of your city.
Write a recipe for friendship,
love, or healing a broken heart.
If you were suddenly changed
into a nonhuman thing, what would it be? What would you do?
Try to write like "Weird
Al". Pick a popular song and rewrite the lyrics to make
fun of it.
Write an objective description
of someone in this class as if you were preparing a WANTED poster
to be hung in a public place.
Imagine the small world (its
people and creatures) that exists inside your left shoe.
What would it mean to you
if, some day, your marriage ended in divorce?
Write a warrior's code.
Try to explain why spectator
sports are so popular in America.
Do sins really exist? How
can you tell one way or the other?
Imagine and write a conversation
between yourself and the sun as you wake up in the morning -
or as it sets.
What did you do the last time
money was burning a hole in your pocket?
What textures or noises make
your skin crawl? Write a story or poem using one or as many as
you can think of.
Is today's youth more screwed
up than previous generations? In what ways will your children
be screwed up?
Describe the interesting people
you meet somewhere in particular.
Create a mythical character
- not an all-powerful super-hero but an everyday spirit of the
gas pump, parking lot, study hall, stinky locker, etc. Give this
character some special abilities, but keep him/her/it connected
to the earth and your realities. Make it a poem or a story. Write
from the spirit's point of view. Or not.
Do you wish you were someone
else? Who would you be? Why?
If your feet have imagination,
how would you know? How would they show it? What about your fingers,
your hair, your spine, your stomach?
Write about the three most
fearsome things that face the United States,
Write a piece that begins:
The old drunk at the table bent his head to answer his own question.
Write a poem in which maybe
every line begins with the phrase "Don't they..." for
Don't they realize that I
am a small gray bird?
Don't they ever save anything for tomorrow?
Don't they look like small birds huddled against the wind which
is the indifference of the world?
Write a story entitled "A
Dog's Devotion." This story could be for children or it
could be a horror story, a mystery, a love story, or a ...
Have you ever had a psychic
experience or seen a UFO?
What does pain do to a person's
Write about the joys, frustrations,
pains of using a computer.
Who do you think will be or
should be the first female president of the U.S. or the first
African American/Asian/Hispanic/Native American president? Explain.
Describe something close up
and then far away.
Choose a specific section
or statement from the school's student handbook, and argue with
it. Why should it be changed or eliminated?
Choose the stupidest one of
these writing ideas and explain why you hate it so much.
Write a found poem. Look around
for some sentences or phrases that already exist: on a cereal
box, newspaper, magazine textbook, etc. or something you have
heard someone say. Write them down as if they were a poem.
Tell about a lonely boy, a
robber, and a dog.
Take something you feel strongly
about - positive or negative - and write about it as though you
love it. Go as far as you can. Then write as if you hate it.
Go as far as you can. Then write as if you have no feelings about
it at all.
Of all the things you have
done in your life, which is the one you would most like to undo?
Which is the one that makes you happiest to remember?
Why have you lost all of your
friends? Where will your new ones come from?
Write a story that illustrates
the three most dangerous things about photographs.
Write about the way fat people
are represented in the movies; compare this to the ways fat people
are in real life.
When is nothing better than