Posted on

Word prompts for creative writing

One Word Prompts for Writers of All Ages

Whether your students are beginning writers or seasoned journalling pros, sometimes everyone could use a little extra inspiration. Of course, there are plenty of ways to jumpstart creativity, but we’ll always be partial to the new ideas that stem from writing prompts!

Writing prompts come in all forms, but they can sometimes be as simple as even a single word. One word prompts truly have the power to showcase creativity, as they inspire each student to interpret and reflect in their own unique way.

This brand new list of 100 one word prompts is designed to give writers of all ages a fresh creative start. Since each prompt is just a single word, students will naturally come up with individualized ways of approaching the topic—particularly with prompts such as the words “present” or “space” that can have multiple meanings. Encourage your students to simply begin writing and to go along in any direction that feels inspiring in the moment!

One word prompts are all about starting with something small and experiencing the wonder of where you find yourself in the end. Use these one word prompts whenever your students need a fresh creative journey.

100 One Word Prompts for Writers of All Ages

  1. Friend
  2. Space
  3. Sunshine
  4. Present
  5. Smile
  6. Love
  7. Tomorrow
  8. Nourish
  9. Ball
  10. Cost
  11. Winter
  12. Beauty
  13. Rain
  14. Happiness
  15. Camp
  16. Direction
  17. Age
  18. Friday
  19. Royal
  20. Hunger
  21. Loss
  22. Tree
  23. Mirror
  24. Empty
  25. Money
  26. Hair
  27. Inspire
  28. Door
  29. Excess
  30. Luck
  31. Intelligence
  32. Gratitude
  33. Water
  34. Beginning
  35. Responsibility
  36. Animal
  37. Country
  38. Assignment
  39. Special
  40. Mystery
  41. Hero
  42. Dreaming
  43. Boredom
  44. News
  45. Rebel
  46. Glitter
  47. Blue
  48. Parents
  49. Train
  50. Candle
  51. Strength
  52. Goodbye
  53. Surprise
  54. Game
  55. Eyes
  56. Doctor
  57. Quiet
  58. Promise
  59. Excitement
  60. Answers
  61. Glass
  62. Internet
  63. September
  64. Dance
  65. Myth
  66. Hands
  67. Sweet
  68. Light
  69. Afraid
  70. Ring
  71. Secrets
  72. Perseverance
  73. Neighbor
  74. Climb
  75. Star
  76. Healthy
  77. Laughter
  78. Forgiveness
  79. Experiment
  80. Admire
  81. Cliches
  82. Relax
  83. Marketing
  84. Home
  85. Time
  86. Rainbow
  87. Chaos
  88. Pancakes
  89. Travel
  90. Missing
  91. Jealousy
  92. Discovery
  93. Empathy
  94. Respect
  95. Energy
  96. Water
  97. Fight
  98. Art
  99. Sacrifice
  100. Growth

Writing Prompts: Why Use Them?

People of all ages who write creatively and keep journals use writing prompts as fuel to get their creative juices flowing.

Writing prompts are unique, fun, or inspiring words, thoughts, or pictures that help writers formulate ideas. They can be in the form of a single word, a sentence, or a paragraph—or even a photo or piece of art that inspires new and engaging thoughts to write about. Best of all, writing prompts can be found anywhere: the dictionary, TV ads, newspapers, magazines, photos, or on the Internet.

As we explored in the one word prompts listed above, a single word has the power to spark new ideas for a student to explore in writing. And you never know what may result from that one single word—perhaps a few paragraphs, a short story, or even an entire novel!

The word “star” is a wonderful example of an effective one word prompt because it can be interpreted in so many different ways.

For instance, one writer may choose to explore what it means to wish upon a star and have that wish come true instantly. Another writer may be inspired to write about stardust streaking across the cosmos at stellar light speed. And yet another writer may choose to write about movie stars or music stars and imagine what it would be like to be one. The writing ideas that can be generated from a single word are truly endless.

Purposes of Writing Prompts

The first purpose of writing prompts is that they give the writer an idea to expound upon. Some writers, when given a blank page, are at a loss as to what to write. Their minds may go blank and they may even experience writer’s block. With a one word prompt or a fresh story starter, the writer’s creative mind engages and her creative wheels begin to spin.

Another fabulous purpose for writing prompts is that a writer may create some really great material. Imagine an idea that started with a word or a phrase but in the end becomes a masterpiece. This is entirely possible! With good writing prompts, a writer’s mind flows with ideas, and many people find it amazing how much inspiration writing prompts produce.

A third purpose to writing prompts is that they support the habit of exploring new ideas in one’s writing. This exploration of new thoughts and ideas becomes a sort of exercise for the mind. It flexes your writing muscles, strengthens your imagination, and develops your writing skills.

Many writing groups, creative writing classes, and English teachers use writing prompts as a means to motivate and inspire students—and to expose them to new ideas that they may never have thought of if left to their own devices. And of course, many websites (including ours!) exist to share writing prompts and boost creativity through this wonderful medium. We suggest you explore them…we think you’ll be glad you did!

Related Links & Resources

Until next time, write on…

If you enjoyed these One Word Prompts for Writers of All Ages,
please share them on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Pinterest.
I appreciate it!

Sincerely,
Jill
journalbuddies.com
creator and curator

365 Of The Best Daily One-Word Writing Prompts

Sometimes, when it comes to writing prompts, less is more.

Otherwise, why would you be here looking for one-word topics to write about?

One solitary word can contain a universe of ideas — even small words like “if” and “or.”

So, why not keep it simple this coming year with a daily word prompt?

Who can tell what a full year of using word prompts can do for your development as a writer?

There’s only one way to find out.

And while we’re encouraging you to try, it seems only fitting to share what this practice has done for other writers.

Why Use One-Word Writing Prompts?

One-word prompts give you so much freedom in deciding what to write about. For one thing, a single word can have multiple literal meanings. And besides those, each word has various connotations, depending on its usage and the connections you make in your own mind.

That’s what we mean when we say one word can contain a multitude of ideas. But it might still help to spell out the benefits of using one-word prompts like the ones in this list:

  • Smaller, less specific prompts = more flexibility
  • One word is sort of like a Rorschach test; write whatever comes to mind.
  • One word can generate a network of different story ideas.
  • One word doesn’t take long to read and is easier to remember.
  • One-word prompts erase the “I don’t know anything about that” excuse.

Each word on the list below is open to various interpretations, even if you don’t have personal experience with it. Read the word aloud or let it echo in your mind, and see what comes up.

How to Use One-Word Prompts

Here are some ideas on how to use these one-word prompts:

  • Write each word on a slip of paper and draw one from a jar each day.
  • Draw two or three for an extra challenge, or
  • Keep the same word for multiple days, writing something different each day.
  • Place your memorized word under a candle and light it before you begin.
  • Do a free association exercise with an index card mindmap before starting.
  • If you’re stumped, do a quick image search of your word.

You can easily incorporate any rituals you prefer for your writing time, whether that involves a Pomodoro timer, your favorite hoodie, a particular kind of music, or anything else.

365 One-Word Writing Prompts (One for Every Day)

Think of the following list as your own one-word prompt generator. With one word per day, you’re all set for a year of inspired writing. Read each word and take a moment to call forth your ideas before you choose one and start freewriting.

Cheeseburger
Moon
Rising
Truffles
Succulents
Candles
Tarot
Nightgown
Crystal
Oily
Sparkle
Glimmer
Jagged
Smooth
Jarring
Melody
Flame
Lantern
Ghost
Evening
Alone
Arrow
Misunderstanding
Tragedy
Unforgotten
Unforgiven
Odd
Heat
Chill
Cloudy
Unkempt
Musty
Cartwheels
Merry-go-round
Swings
Cotton candy
Ferris wheel
Stray
Road
Found
Lost
Invisible
Unnatural
Beauty
Deformity
Unity
Discord
Conspiracy
Anarchy
Extremism
Racism
Fear
Insecurity
Blindness
Clairvoyance
Prophecy
Clairaudience
Pride
Ritual
Loyalty
Betrayal
Hidden
Calm
Worry
Rational
Clicking
Gurgling
Ticking
Thump
Bell
Sand
Wind
Chime
Whisper
Chirp
Spinning
Swirl
Opening
Everyone
Closing
Bracelet
Locket
Moth
Torch
Worm
Spider
Cave
Phosphorescence
Pendant
Wax
Bees
Time
Preservation
Harvest
Hibernation
Chrysalis
Neophyte
Docent
Museum
Maximum
Speed
Locked
Game
Watch
Train
Sofa
Rain
Icy
Coma
Truck
Nightfall
Helicopter
Aliens
Sacrifice
Grid
Window
Walls
Purchase
Debt
Roadtrip
Gasoline
Chandelier
Cloves
Potatoes
Strawberries
Mint
Teapot
Candelabra
Watering
Deodorant
Singing
Traveling
Constrictive
Promised
Quiet
Eleven
Muddy
Floating
Vigilant
Different
Disturbance
Snack
Pet
Rocket
Tower
Chess
Apples
Spoon
Frantic
Kaleidoscope
Reflection
Toast
Glasses
Carving
Removal
Slippers
Following
Musical
Forfeit
Duel
Relentless

More Related Articles

Paranoid
Green
Leverage
Loser
Disarm
Banished
Fussy
Luck
Voyage
Acceptance
Offensive
River
Mob
Ashamed
Letters
Illegal
Lying
Homework
Decline
Threat
Impulsive
Tyrant
Sleep
Surrender
Curtain
Healing
Irony
Kleptomania
Waste
Convict
Karma
Space
Purification
Profanity
Birthday
Vanity
Uninformed
Shaking
Predatory
Hypocrite
Protocol
Flickering
Hoarse
Gasping
Calling
Crying
Grasping
Reach
Tiny
Helpless
Unseen
Vacant
Climbing
Immature
Skeleton
Remains
Hopeless
Sliding
Gravity
Bounce
Agitator
Runes
Name-cards
Sigil
Protest
Imprint
Cutting
Wage
Nowhere
Stranger
Autumn
Feast
Winter
Famine
Student
Mentor
Balance
Scales
Family
Alienation
Blame
Denial
Telephone
Laundry
Sidewalk
Market
Altar
Innocence
Sanctuary
Violation
Unexpected
Trust
Escape
Warning
Alarm
Catalyst
Unfamiliar
Supplements
Secret
Gate
Crescent
Mystical
Magic
Imaginary
Rage
Anguish
Solitary
Scented
Refreshing
Alignment
Cleansed
Resuscitation
Amnesia
Swallow
Dizzy
Exhausted
Fizzy
Recipe
Underground
Grounded
Autistic
Disoriented
Festival
Sauerkraut
Hinterland
Wasteland
Zombie
Pickpocket
Rags
Polish
Illusion
Miraculous
Melting
Citrus
Jasmine
Curling
Sled
Refraction
Mail
Matches
Trickster
Nautical
Equestrian
Vegetarian
Carbon
Chlorophyll
Random
Frolic
Equity
Nocturnal
Midlife
Saintly
Mischief
Complaint
Manager
Patient
Qualified
Indigenous
Extortion
Prescience
Cybernetic
Roundabout
Flotation
Funeral
Homage
Stovetop
Hearth
Cauldron
Nest
Piemaker
Elf
Forest
Pace
Planner
Map
Painting
Waiting
Conduit
Hose
Portrait
Platform
Hinge
Tissues
Markers
Pills
Stain
Toadstool
Wilt
Croutons
Embarrassed
Takeaway
Scrooge
Secluded
Feral
Flippant
Fracture
Crate
Slippery
Forgetful
Alleviate
Krampus
Nasal
Door
Boat

Ready to use these one-word writing prompts?

Now you’re all set for a whole year of using a single word each day to start a new and potentially life-changing story idea. If you’re thinking, “Well, I’m gonna need a new notebook or journal just for this,” we’re not about to discourage that.

But don’t forget, as you read another word from the list, to express gratitude for your creative mind, for your writing tools, and for the time you have to devote to your craft.

With the words “Thank you” as part of your everyday writing routine, you’ll never lack for inspiration.

102 One Word Writing Prompts

Whatever you believe helps you to be creative and write a story that takes the reader on a journey, let’s give it a helping hand – through just a single word.

Let’s use one single word to spark the imagination, and let creativity take over.

One word not enough to trigger your creative writing?

Ok, fine. How about 102 in quick succession?!

I’ll eat my hat if that doesn’t activate your neurons enough to get a concept for a story bubbling to the surface.

How to use one word prompts?

Creativity has few rules.

And nowhere is that more evident than with writing.

Maybe you want to create short story after short story. Perhaps you’re working on your novel and want to try and give each new chapter an overarching theme.

Whether you’re creating your own work of fiction, creatively challenging yourself, or encouraging students to get writing, making use of the prompts below should be helpful to you.

I’d love to hear your short stories that you’ve written following reading these!

102 One Word Writing Prompts:

  1. secret
  2. underground
  3. unbelievable
  4. magical
  5. miracle
  6. explode
  7. doubt
  8. freedom
  9. honest
  10. delighted
  11. tickled
  12. inspired
  13. brave
  14. grateful
  15. calm
  16. smiling
  17. silence
  18. lonely
  19. juggernaut
  20. quirky
  21. zeppelin
  22. eternity
  23. wonky
  24. uncanny
  25. serene
  26. karma
  27. freezing
  28. roar
  29. past
  30. future
  31. whisper
  32. danger
  33. swimming
  34. laughter
  35. mountain
  36. moon
  37. stars
  38. frost
  39. night
  40. launch
  41. explore
  42. farm
  43. never
  44. guilt
  45. excitement
  46. frayed
  47. tension
  48. tent
  49. falling
  50. bounced
  51. connected
  52. thrilled
  53. hungry
  54. creative
  55. dive
  56. discovery
  57. sailing
  58. rich
  59. invent
  60. idea
  61. rhythm
  62. virtual
  63. alarm
  64. tune
  65. reality
  66. action
  67. endless
  68. energy
  69. glowing
  70. storm
  71. perform
  72. stench
  73. electric
  74. found
  75. vision
  76. jungle
  77. leap
  78. tunnel
  79. trouble
  80. progress
  81. famous
  82. pushing
  83. greatest
  84. melting
  85. fearless
  86. escape
  87. soaring
  88. button
  89. instinct
  90. travel
  91. leaving
  92. grow
  93. artist
  94. amazing
  95. dream
  96. woke
  97. circus
  98. stunt
  99. warmth
  100. vines
  101. build
  102. opportunity

Looking for a one word prompt generator?

Well you’re in luck. I’m making one for you all to use, so keep a look out for that. I’ll update this as soon as it’s released.

I’m still deciding how much complexity to build into it – ironic given the number of words involved. But I think I’ll keep it nice and random to keep your ideas flowing – the brain seems to love that and create plots out of thin air from a series of prompts!

You might like to jump on our newsletter to keep informed about new tools and resources we’ve published (all for you to use free!).

Want more prompts?

Well, you’re in luck! WE have plenty more where that came from, just check out our writing prompts section for hundreds more!

Download 20 Picture Prompts Free!

We’ve made a stack of inspiring picture prompts for you and your class to use. Download all 20 high resolution PDFs in one pack right now – only shared with our Secret Library community!

Teaching Tools

Make use of all our free teaching tools!

We release new easy to use reading, writing, assessment and mathematics tools each week!