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The best fantasy writing prompts

Writing fantasy comes with the privilege of being only limited by your own imagination: the worlds, characters, and plots you can develop are endless. And while that’s exciting, it can also come with the challenge of too many options; is your hero going to be a wizard or a warlock? A dwarf or a gnome? A halfling with a human father, and a with mother? Will they live in the heart of a secret ancient citadel, or a crumbling house in the shadowy forest? Do they have the power to fly, or to manipulate dreams? Is their nemesis an undead monster, or a giant beast? Is the story set on our earth, or on another world entirely? 

With so many possible fantasy story ideas, how do you pick just one to focus on? Hopefully, browsing through our fantasy writing prompts will give you that lightbulb moment and help you settle on that magic premise.

Here are our top ten fantasy writing prompts:

  • Write a fairy tale about an outsider trying to fit in.
  • Write about a mischievous pixie or trickster god.
  • A day in the life of a genie who annoyingly keeps getting summoned by inept humans.
  • Write a short story about the star-crossed love between an orc and an elf.
  • Your garden is being infested by a particularly troublesome family of gnomes.
  • You stumble into a dragon-fighting ring. What happens next?
  • Contrary to popular belief, dragons are actually very kind and generous, and faeries are mean-spirited bullies.
  • You’ve been raised all your life to fulfill a prophecy, only for the seer to realize they were mistaken — you have no great destiny after all. What do you do now?
  • You're immortal and married to someone who is mortal. You've decided today is the day to come clean.
  • You brought a bag of salt with you on your wanderings, because salt was said to protect from what comes out at night.

We’re not just stopping at helping you find the right fantasy plot idea to write about. Here are some resources to help you craft a fantastic short story, or whatever type of fantasy writing you’re interested in :

  • 13 Kick-Ass Tips For Writing Fantasy From Professional Fantasy Editors (blog post) — Whether you’re writing a novel or a shooter work, this post contains invaluable advice for creating a story your readers will love.
  • 14 Popular Fantasy Tropes — And How to Make Them Feel New Again (blog post) — All genre fiction relies on tried-and-true tropes, and fantasy is no exception. But just because there are hundreds of stories about a knight’s quest to slay the dragon threatening their kingdom doesn’t mean you can’t write your own! From the Chosen One to the world that never progresses, we teach you what these tropes are and how to give them new life in your own writing.
  • Fantasy Story Title Generator — Alongside our prompts, this can be a great way to bust through writer's block. Why not start with a name, and work backward?
  • The Ultimate Worldbuilding Guide (free resource) — To plot every detail, from the geography of a country to the color of your new mythical race’s eyes, try out our worldbuilding guide. Its questions will prompt you to think deeply about the world you’re creating, and come up with the kind of textural detail you need to bring a setting to life.
  • Character profile template (free resource) — Whether your story is about a princess or a troll, creating characters your readers will love requires serious planning. So try out our character profile template, to explore your character’s lives and backstories in detail.

Want more help learning how to write a fantasy short story? Check out How to Write a Short Story That Gets Published — a free, ten-day course guiding you through the process of short story writing by Laura Mae Isaacman, a full-time editor who runs a book editing company in Brooklyn.

Ready to start writing? Check out Reedsy’s weekly short story contest, for the chance of winning $250, plus potential publication in our literary magazine, Prompted! You can also check out our list of writing contests or our directory of literary magazines for more opportunities to submit your story.


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