Fiction Writing Prompts & Ideas

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Fiction Writing Prompts & Ideas

30 Fiction Writing Prompts for Students— Though most students begin writing their own short stories from a very early age, there’s something particularly special about the fictional works that kids compose in middle school. The fiction writing prompts listed below are a fun way for middle-schoolers to become better writers and more creative thinkers!

Fiction Writing Ideas for Middle School StudentsTweens and young teens occupy a unique space in their writing that younger and older students sometimes struggle to reach—they can still easily tap into the free imagination typically associated with younger kids, but they also have some of the growing sophistication and subtlety that comes with age. This means they can write fictional stories that are fantastical and creative, but that also make logical sense and have clearly defined narrative structures.

With that in mind, we’ve put together 30 brand new fiction writing ideas especially for middle school students. 

These writing prompts are grouped into sets of five so that you can either select a singular story style for kids to focus on all week long or so that you can pick and choose individual prompts for your students to work on as needed.  As your students write, they’ll have to come up with creative ways of telling stories, empathize with characters in unfamiliar situations, and practice various types of writing. 

30 Fiction Writing Prompts

  1. Write a story that involves a car chase, an umbrella, and a barking dog.
  2. Write a story that involves a post office, a banana, and a baseball glove.
  3. Write a story that involves a birthday card, a tree, and a pepperoni pizza.
  4. Write a story that involves a flashlight, a pair of blue shoes, and a library card.
  5. Write a story that involves a bicycle, a computer, and an ice cream cone.
  6. Write a story about a girl who always gets into trouble—and what happens when people realize an incident wasn’t her fault.
  7. Write a story about a boy who dreams of becoming a famous singer—and what he does each day to work on getting there.
  8. Write a story about a class of sixth-grade students who discover a very big secret about their teacher—and what happens when the teacher finds out what they know.
  9. Write a story about a family that moves around frequently from place to place—and how all of the family members feel when they have to make another move.
  10. Write a story about two friends who make an unusual pact with one another.
  11. Write a story in the first person from the perspective of an old man reminiscing about his life.
  12. Write a story in the first person from the perspective of a parent with an unruly child.
  13. Write a story in the first person from the perspective of a babysitter heading out to his or her first gig.
  14. Write a story in the first person from the perspective of a racecar driver who only wants to go faster.
  15. Write a story in the first person from the perspective of a college student walking to his or her last class of the day.
  16. Write a story in which you are the main character and you imagine yourself setting sail on a two-week cruise.
  17. Write a story in which you are the main character and you imagine yourself working as a scientist to discover an important cure.
  18. Write a story in which you are the main character and you imagine yourself going to your senior prom.
  19. Write a story in which you are the main character and you imagine yourself speaking to a cheering crowd right after being elected to an important political position.
  20. Write a story in which you are the main character and you imagine yourself finding a valuable artifact buried in your backyard.
  21. Write a story in the third person about an astronaut who is traveling alone in space.
  22. Write a story in the third person about a family vacation gone horribly awry.
  23. Write a story in the third person about a rebellious teen who has some unique ideas.
  24. Write a story in the third person about a young genius who is just about to achieve his or her dream.
  25. Write a story in the third person about a football player who is heading to the Super Bowl.

Make up your own character.  Describe him or her in detail—what the character looks like, what the character does, what he or she likes to do for fun, and some of the important people in the character’s life.  Then, put the character into the following types of genres and write short stories in each one about him or her:

26. a comedic story

27. a mystery

28. a drama

29. a romance

30. an adventure

Teaching Fiction Writing to Kids

Learning to write fiction is an important part of any student’s education—which is why many classrooms have children begin writing their own stories from as early on as first grade.  Fiction helps kids explore their imaginations and the bounds of reality while also offering them an expansive playground from which they can hone their writing skills.

However, while young students may only need to focus on making up basic plots and characters and constructing a beginning, middle, and end, it’s important for older students to begin learning about the elements of the story and the various ways to construct a work of fiction.  Here we’ve compiled four essential things your middle school students should know as you begin teaching fiction writing.

Teaching Fiction Writing: Four Things Your Students Should Know Before Getting Started

1. Conflict is the Foundation of Story

No matter what genre your students are writing in or how advanced their writing skills are, one of the first things they should learn is that conflict is the foundation of the story.

Conflict adds tension, drama, and stakes to any story—and in fiction, it can come from any number of sources.  It may be a disagreement between two characters, a character’s struggle to accomplish some goal, or simply the uncertainty of what will happen next in the story… so long as the conflict is there, asking to be resolved.

2. Good Fiction is Based in Reality

Many young students have the misconception that they must make up every single detail in their fictional works—but in all actuality, this couldn’t be further from the truth!  Good fiction is based in reality and for many authors, that means borrowing characters and events and experiences from their own lives. 

Whether your students want to go totally wild and tell completely non-realistic stories or whether they prefer to write something that feels a little closer to home, they simply need to understand that readers connect best with stories that share universal truths and emotions—and these experiences will always be based in reality, no matter how outlandish the rest of the tale.

3. There are No Right or Wrong Ways to Tell a Story

As your students begin to feel more comfortable writing fictional works, you should also begin teaching them that there are no right or wrong ways to tell a story.  Many students don’t realize that there are options to storytelling beyond first-person and third-person—or, for instance, that things don’t always have to take place in chronological order.

Encourage your students to try out an alternate form of storytelling in their fiction writing, such as writing in the second person, telling a story out of order, or telling the same event from multiple perspectives.

4. Your Imagination is Your Only Limit

To truly help your students become comfortable in the realm of fiction writing, they also need to understand that imagination is their only limit. 

Writers have been exploring the boundaries of storytelling and communication for centuries, and over and over again they find the same thing: that fiction writing is a vast and endless ground where anything is truly possible.  When your students understand that no rules are to be placed on their creativity, they’ll be able to freely and fully tell the stories that most capture their imaginations.

Until next time, write on…

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Jill
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These fiction writing prompts for kids are a fun way for middle-schoolers to become better writers and more creative thinkers!

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