Ideas …

They’re the writer’s stock-in-trade.

We take the seed of an idea and transform it with our words into a world full of characters and events and other ideas. If we’ve done our job right, readers are left wanting more and full of their own ideas about what might come next.

But the muse is a cruel mistress because, while she’s sweet and beautiful and powerful when we hold her, all too often she refuses to take our call.

And so, left to our own devices, we hit the literary streets in search of our next story idea, our next fiction fix.

Modern writers have it easy in this respect because we live in the age of this humongous electronic idea generator we call the Internet. All across the web, people from all walks of life spew forth their thoughts on a daily basis, and we just need to swoop in and gather up the information.

If there is any one corner of the Internet that serves as a collective stream of consciousness, and therefore an endless supply of potential story ideas, it’s Twitter. According to David Sayce, we (humans) Tweeted about 200 billion times in 2016 alone!

There are even hashtags specifically designed to inspire our creativity: #WritingPrompt and #WritingPrompts, for example.

Those are the origins of this post, which is a compilation of 50 of the best #WritingPrompts from Twitter during the early parts of 2017. I’ve categorized them in a sort of genre-like structure so you can zero in on the type of inspiration you need.

If you like this type of collection, let me know and I’ll consider doing more in the future.

For now, though, let’s dig in, get inspired, and then go write!

Mind Games

This first set of prompts don’t really fall neatly into any one category, but they open up the possibility of all sorts of different stories. Take them in and let your mind wander. Then go write.






Dark Matter

Sometimes, nothing will slake your urge to … um … write a good horror story. And when you can’t think of one on your own, a few dark words from others can help. Twisted Tweets, anyone?











Science Fiction

For old-timers like me, Twitter seems to have flashed straight off the page of a science fiction novel and onto our computer screens. How else can you explain the fact that a middle-aged scribe in Indiana can type “at” George Takei (@GeorgeTakei)?

These Tweets, then, pay homage to these roots, prompting you toward your own SciFi masterpiece.












Life is hard and dark, at least sometimes. When your feeling down and the world looks bleak, maybe you just need a laugh. These prompts will help you come up with your own.







Image-ine That!

A picture is worth … well, it’s worth however many words the story you write about it yields. Many of these images defy categorization, but they all inspire a story as soon as you see them. Go write your.








Ahhhh, love! They say it makes the world go round, and romance stories definitely make millions of hearts go pitter-patter across the globe. If you’re ready to write your own heartfelt tale but don’t quite have a handle on your angle, you just might love these prompts.







History & Nostalgia

Modern life is hectic and complicated, and lots of folks long for simpler days. That helps explain the popularity of both historical fiction and nostalgia-based websites & throwback trends. Use these prompts to help you step back into the past and write about the “good ol’ days.”









Sometimes, ordinary everyday life can be just as interesting as any fantastical movie or book you can imagine. These prompts will help you open your eyes to the intricacies of the world around you and start on your own fascinating story.








Animals & Nature

A dog may be man’s best friend, but he can also be an author’s best ally when it comes to chasing down story ideas. These prompts call on our canine buds — as well as other parts of the natural world — to help you heed the call of the write.