writing prompts

5 Horror Writing Prompts

"So where do the ideas—the salable ideas—come from? They come from my nightmares. Not the night-time variety, as a rule, but the ones that hide just beyond the doorway that separates the conscious from the unconscious."

- Stephen King

Horror often gets a bad rap because people assume that it's only purpose is to terrify and shock readers. While that is true, that's not the primary focus. The point of horror is to allow a safe reflection of our own primal fears. We watch a slasher film, become terrified, but we also remember to lock the doors at night. It's important to keep this in mind when crafting your own terrifying tale.

Here's a few horror prompts to start with:

1.

Your character takes a short cut through a nearby cemetery to make it home before dark. On the way they hear a voice calling for help. Upon arriving at the source of the sound, they see that a grave has been dug up part way and a coffin is nailed shut. Someone inside is crying.

2.

After an intense battle with a strange disease, your character accepts the fact that they will die. However, it just so happens that a cure is discovered in the nick of time. What's the cure? Blood. Lots and lots of it.

3.

A group of characters are on a ghost tour in one of the supposedly most haunted places on Earth. In truth, no one in the group actually believes in ghosts - until they start to disappear one by one.

4.

A child psychiatrist has a particularly disturbing patient who won't stop drawing everyone around them in macabre death scenes; from drownings to suicides. While certainly bizarre, the strange hobby isn't exactly harmful - that is until the drawings suddenly play out in reality.

5.

Your character whips out their phone, takes a selfie, and then opens the picture gallery to admire what could be their next profile pic. That's when they see it; dozens and dozens of photos they don't remember taking. Each more disturbing than the last.

Did you know that I have a book of even more horror prompts? 1,001 of them to be exact! There are a host of different categories, from serial killers to cults. They are also completely different than the five prompts above.

Available in print, ebook, and soon to be audio. Check it out here!

5 Science Fiction Writing Prompts

"Individual science fiction stories may seem trivial as ever to the blinder critics and philosophers of today - but the core of science fiction, its essence, the concept around which it revolves, has become crucial to our salvation if we are to be saved at all."

- Isaac Asimov

Science fiction is a wonderful genre because it not only asks the question of why, but also concerns itself with humanity's future. Will it be positive or negative? When writing science fiction, whether hard or soft consider what technological, political, and social advancements might affect your characters and story.

Here are some prompts to help you get started.

1.

Your character is on an important peace mission. They must meet with the world dictator of a powerful planet whose people are prone to destruction. Linguists from all over the world have spent decades dissecting the language and your character has been taught it for the last three years. It's too bad that that they got some of it wrong. For instance, "peace" might inadvertently be replaced with "war."

2.

In the future, brain mapping can show a person's past, present, but also their future. People are paying top dollar to learn who they fall in love with, how they will die and so forth. After all, the future can be changed. What people don't realize, however, is that every aspect that is changed simply creates a new timeline. Soon it's all going to catch up with them.

3.

It is estimated that 99% of the world is now a cyborg of some sort. An unnamed character is the last of a dying (literally) breed. It comes as quite the shock, then, when they are threatened with deactivation

4.

Your character wakes up, strolls into the kitchen and then walks out the door of a 1700s saloon. Panicking, they run out of the door of the saloon and stumble into their living room. They run back into their kitchen and walk out into the mission control room of the space station. Their whole house has become a series of wormholes!

5.

The future is a dark and desolate place. 3/4 of the world's population has been destroyed along with most species on Earth. However, a small group of survivors remain. Amongst them, your character is foraging for food when they stumble into a deep hole in the ground. Not only do they manage to survive, but they happen across an entire ecosystem that has been protected. Including a new race of people!

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Did you know that I have a book of even more science fiction prompts? 1,001 of them to be exact! There are a host of different categories, from aliens to space exploration. They are also completely different than the five prompts above.

Available in print, ebook, and soon to be audio.

Check it out here!