40 really awful writing prompts that no writer should use

Writer’s block can be frustrating. When some writers don’t know what to write they turn to writing prompts, little stubs that can be used as a starting point for their own ideas. Since I haven’t made a 40 item list in a while I decided to help all the frustrated writers out there by making a list of 40 writing prompts.

WARNING: These are really awful writing prompts. They will not help you. Do not use them under any circumstances. (You can find serious writing prompts here.)

40 really awful writing prompts

  1.  Write a story set on another planet exactly like our own. Call that planet “Earth.”
  2. Tell the story of a man who must decide whether he wants fries with that.
  3. I am thinking of a number between one and ten. What is it?
  4. Describe purple from the first person viewpoint of purple.
  5. Tell the story of an aardvark that is possessed by the devil.
  6. Tell the story of a six-inch ruler that is possessed by the devil.
  7. Tell the story of a single raspberry that is possessed by the devil.
  8. A man awakes to find that all his socks are gone.
  9. Think about the play Hamlet. Write something good like that.
  10. Describe your most recent bowel movement. Use all your senses.
  11. Grab the nearest book. Open it to a random page. Close your eyes and point to a word. Write a story using only that word.
  12. Write a grocery list in iambic pentameter.
  13. Image that the object closest to your left hand contains JFK’s soul.
  14. What if showers were what made you dirty?
  15. A man makes a sandwich. Describe what happens next.
  16. Write about your earliest memory but describe it as though it is happening right now with you at your current age.
  17. Write a story consisting only of adjectives and exclamation points.
  18. A girl duck has a maze-like vagina to avoid getting pregnant when a boy duck rapes her with his bendable, corkscrew-like penis. (You do not need to write about this. I just wanted to make sure you knew that nature includes some fucked up shit.)
  19. Pretend you are a writer with a really great idea. Write that idea.
  20. Write the story of a writer whose characters come to life and interact with her.
  21. Write a love letter to your favorite toenail.
  22. Begin with the line: Let me start at the beginning.
  23. End with the line: And that was all.
  24. Incorporate the line: You had me at Jell-O.
  25. Write a story that includes this line: Inevitably the incongruity exacerbated Her Excellency.
  26. The musical Cats but with electric eels.
  27. Write a story set in a world where windows are opaque and walls are transparent.
  28. What if a mime were actually trapped in an invisible box, it was shrinking, and no one would help him?
  29. Write a story about Kurt Cobain rising from the dead to attend a Josh Groban concert and eat a cronut.
  30. Rearrange the words in Green Eggs and Ham to tell a story that doesn’t rhyme.
  31. A woman watches a lot of television. It is her only interest.
  32. A couple has a misunderstanding. Hilarity ensues.
  33. Two people with the same name are constantly getting each others’ mail. Hilarity ensues.
  34. Due to a technical mishap a talking pickle is elected president. Hilarity ensues.
  35. Something happens. Hilarity ensues.
  36. What if spiders only had seven legs?
  37. What if all Target stores were underwater like Atlantis?
  38. Write what you know.
  39. Write about how other mothers are inadequate.
  40. Write a list of really awful writing prompts.

If you ignore my prior warning and choose to write something based on any of these really awful writing prompts please let me know so that I can laugh at you. (Unless of course you manage to turn one of these really awful writing prompts into something brilliant. Then let me know so that I can sue you for my share of the royalties.)

RELATED POST: 30 writing prompts that don’t tell you what to write

UPDATE: A reader actually used some of these writing prompts and lived to share a story called “Pickles & Cobain.”

If you like short (sometimes very short) fiction check out my Fiction Friday series.

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