7 Awesome Writing Prompt Resources! #AuthorToolboxBlogHop

Welcome to the last Author Toolbox post of 2019!

Previously I’ve written about writer’s block, and how free-writing to random prompts can help break it. But where do you find these mysterious prompts? This month I’ll share my favourite writing prompt resources. For anyone doing Nanowrimo, they may help if you get stuck!

7 awesome writing prompt resources: Author toolbox blog hop

1) Random Word Generators:

Does what it says on the tin. There are websites, like Random Word.com, which provide a random new word with each refresh.

Example word, Random Word Generator: Illuminism
Like ‘illuminism’: belief in an inward spiritual light!

There’s a definition below the word too: Not only is it a great way to get writing prompts, it also helps you learn new words!

2) Story Cubes:

Story cubes are great fun. Each dice has 6 pictures on it, and there are 9 dice in a set. Roll all 9, and pick 3 dice for the beginning of your story, 3 for the middle, and 3 for the end. If you’re stuck they’re a great way to think of new stories or directions for your plot.

Story cubes writing prompt ideas
Story cubes: The moon, a magnifying glass, a torch, a lock, a speech bubble, an envelope, a phone, a key, and a footprint.

There are also free mobile apps. Story Dice is pretty good, and the adverts aren’t too intrusive!

3) Hashtag Games on Twitter:

There are so many writing prompt hashtag games on Twitter. Luckily Mica lists them daily @writevent, so I don’t have to keep track of them all!

Many hashtag games provide one word writing prompts: I run #sunscribbles, where writers share lines related to the weekly theme. I’ve been running it for three years, and it’s becoming a challenge to think of unique prompts. Ah well, I can always re-use ‘dragon’!

4) Random Plot Generators:

Some random plot generators give you a basic plot idea. Random Plot Generator goes one step further. If you’re stuck, you can enter 3 character names and the site will generate ideas for what should happen to them. The results are hilarious, but some may inspire you:

random plot ideas fanfic flash arrow
I chose Iris, Oliver and Barry from the Flash and Arrow. I’m still laughing about the ‘reveal that Iris West is just a brain in a jar’ prompt!

Writing Exercises is also a very good site. It has random scenario, plot, and first line generators to name a few, but the website doesn’t always work. I dare you to write your Nanowrimo project based entirely on randomly generated plots!

5) People:

Ask friends for writing prompts. Get them to describe their favourite place or thing and use it in a story. Talk through your plot with them and see what they think should happen next.

You don’t even have to ask anyone: Sometimes lurking in the corners of coffee shops listening to other people’s conversations is the best way to find inspiration!

6) Use Books:

Flip to a random page in a book and pick the first word you notice. If one word isn’t enough, choose 3 or 4 until you get a spark of inspiration.

I experimented with three books: Fullmetal Alchemist gave me ‘Residents,’ ‘Feral,’ and ‘Bet.’ The Stone Rose, my favourite Doctor Who book, gave me ‘Abandoned,’ ‘Launch,’ and ‘Dead,’ and Psych gave me ‘Museum,’ ‘Wisdom,’ and ‘Sword.’ The last three words are the most appealing as I can relate them to my work in progress!

Books used in writing prompt exercise Dr Who Psych Fullmetal Alchemist
I seem to have a lot of books based on TV shows!

Warning: This technique is dangerous. You may end up reading for hours instead of writing!

7) Pictures:

Go to Pixabay and look at the first few images on the home page. Write a story based on one or more of them. At the time of writing my images were:

pixabay images writing prompts
The Eiffel tower, a spooky forest, a dog at the beach, a leaf, mountains, skyscrapers, and a woman in a field who reminds me of Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz!

You could also use holiday or family photos, and tell the stories of the people or places in them!

scales divider copy

Thanks for Reading!

I love writing prompts and hope these ideas are useful 🙂 What are your favourite writing prompt resources? Do you play hashtag games? Chat in the comments!

This post is part of the Author Toolbox Blog Hop, hosted by Raimey Gallant. To read more posts from the hop, click here, or on the image below:


Last month I wrote about setting reasonable goals. If you’re thinking of doing Nanowrimo, take a look: I thought about it, but decided 50000 words in a month isn’t a reasonable goal for me. Good luck to anyone participating though 🙂

More of my Toolbox posts: Writing for Ourselves.
Work experience in Publishing at Penguin Books.
Lessons in Storytelling from TV and Film.

Next week I’m writing the first of two short stories this month!


  1. Ooh, I gotta get me some story cubes. Another fun thing you can do is make your own “story jars”. Just fill empty jars (or tuppaware boxes) with scraps of paper with prompts written on them. One jar can be full of character types, another jar can have plot ideas and another can have settings. Dip into each jar as much as you like and marvel at the random elements that get thrown together 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post. I’m familiar with story cubes but as of yet haven’t used them for writing prompts. I do try to participate daily on Twitter hashtag prompt games listed by @writevent. I found they also help with editing and cutting the fat in my sentences.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love it. I don’t use writing prompts all that much, but I did find NaNo’s prompt feature pretty helpful when I felt my inspiration was lacking. I’ll have to check out your #SunScribbles. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hey Louise! So excited to read this, but just wanted to mention in the meanwhile that you have a different toolbox featured on your main page, and some participants may accidentally click into that one. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great tips, Louise. I’m very visual so the images are a great source of inspiration for me. But the story cubes sound pretty cool too. I’ll have to try that. I have tried random plot generators, but I get such weird suggestions that I don’t find them useful. Hey, whatever works! Happy Writing!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Love this! And writing prompts are helpful. I like the Twitter ones. Yours is awesome.
    Prompt – dragon:
    Peculiarexus, the dino #dragon, came to Louise and said, “Louise is awesome!” Then he flew around, smiling as he did. 🙂

    SunScribbles is great!

    Haha the Plot Generator is awesome. Where do you enter the character names in Random Plot Generator? It has a box for pen name and whether I started the story. But, it didn’t have a box for character name.

    Ooh people are a great resource. Didn’t think of the eavesdropping on convo thing lol. How do you listen in on convos without seeming like a spy? lol. 🙂

    Haha I like the book idea too. Though I may end up reading for hours as you warned lol.

    And I love the pic idea. Pixabay is wonderful. :).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks 🙂 I’m going to use dragon on #sunscribbles some time next year so save your best Peculiarexus lines 😀

      For Random Plot Generator, click on ‘Write me some prompts’ and it takes you to the screen to enter character names.

      Pretend to be reading or drinking coffee and people don’t tend to notice you’re listening in. Just don’t make eye contact 😀


  7. That dice game sounds like a fun way to get prompts. I wasn’t aware of these places. Thanks for sharing. Every Wednesday on FB group for life storytellers I give a prompt. It’s supposed to spark a memory for participants so they can add to their life stories. Thanks for sharing.
    JQ Rose

    Liked by 1 person

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