Creative Writing Prompts And Ideas To Inspire Your Fantasy Writing
N J Simmonds (RONA shortlisted fantasy author and Jericho Writer’s Head of Community & Editorial Commissions) shares her 140 fantasy book ideas and writing prompts to help get your creativity going and transport you to another world.
These story prompts are divided into 7 different fantasy categories, with 20 suggestions for each:
- Historical Fantasy prompts
- MG Fantasy prompts
- YA Fantasy prompts
- Fairy-tale retelling inspiration
- Paranormal Fantasy ideas
- Magical Realism prompts
- High Fantasy ideas
And don’t forget, these are all just starting points, so feel free to add to these ideas or twist them up. Better yet why not pick two or three creative writing ideas and mix them together? See what crazy story you can come up with by combining some of the most dissimilar concepts and creating a plot from them.
Are you ready? Hold on tight, it’s time to see where my fantastical writing prompts are about to take you and your writing…
1. Historical Fantasy Prompts
Re-writing history can be fun (especially if you mix it up with a little magic and monsters!). So whether your book is a time-slip novel, your character is thrown back in time, or you’re imagining history completely differently just for the hell of it – remember to have fun and don’t hold back. Did you know Pride and Prejudice and Zombies was not only a successful book, but it was also made into a very entertaining film? There are no limits as to where you can take your ideas. Here are 20 to start you off.
- Henry The Eighth only pretended to kill and divorce his wives. The reality is that they weren’t human – and now they’re out for revenge.
- Jane Eyre (but vampires).
- We all know Egyptians didn’t build pyramids. But what if aliens did? And what if Hieroglyphics were their warning to us about what was to come?
- She’s a rich Victorian lady looking for a suitor – when she’s not prowling the streets at night looking for monsters.
- Amy has found the perfect man; the only problem is he’s just arrived from the year 1782.
- During a visit to a three-hundred-year-old stately home, Sam finds himself transported back in time and is mistaken for the master of the house.
- A distant relative of a Reiki healer was burned at the stake for being a witch. The two woman are linked by one very special family heirloom that is about to change everything.
- Emily and Hooper’s son keeps talking about his past lives. So many lives, all linked by one woman…his mother. Can his parents unravel the stories and stop the cycle?
- She can’t die and for two hundred years she’s been looking for the one other person the same as her. And then she finds him.
- The Great Gatsby (but zombies).
- Jack the Ripper was a werewolf. Only one woman knows how to make him human again, as long as he doesn’t find her first!
- Pick a famous battle in history, any battle, then add magic.
- Macbeth, except the entire story is from the point of view of the three witches.
- She’s just about to say I Do to the love of her life when a storm destroys the church. When she rises from the rubble her husband is no longer there, just one very handsome Roman soldier.
- A history scholar believes the Nazis were using dark magic. When he comes across Winston Churchill’s diaries, he has all the proof he needs. Except dark magic never dies.
- The only reason Sir Francis Drake was able to circumnavigate the globe and bring back so much stolen treasure was because of the dragons. But nobody knows that…until now.
- He’s an Elizabethan ghost, she’s a modern-day Tinder and coffee addict. It will never work. Will it?
- She told her husband she didn’t want to build their new home over an old graveyard. Now every room belongs to a different time.
- In 1867 someone nearly caught the Loch Ness Monster and went on to shape history. This is his story.
- Machu Pichu was built by magic. This is how it came to ruins.
2. MG Fantasy Prompts
Every child loves a magical story. Take a look at these fantasy prompts for children’s books and see if any of our ideas inspire your next Middle Grade novel. Writing fantasy kidlit didn’t do J K Rowling any harm, that’s for sure!
- Henry is scared to look under the bed, because he knows that’s where the monsters live. Then one day he looks and finds a portal to another world.
- Before he died, her Grandfather gives her a magical red stone. ‘Get this to Mannering,’ he says. ‘He will teach you how to use your powers.’ Those were his last words. What now?
- No one believes Kimmy when she says that the new teacher is an alien – that is until Miss eats the class hamster!
- Kate has never felt part of her family. Then one night she grows wings, and she realises exactly what she is.
- Tommy’s not looking forward to spending the weekend at his creepy Aunt’s house, but then his Mum takes the wrong turn in the woods and they arrive at a very magical place!
- Garden gnomes are not real – so why does Sally have a terrible issue keeping hers under control?
- What if a boy had tentacles instead of fingers?
- Every time Kayleigh wishes for cakes and candy, her wishes come true. Until the day everything and everyone she touches turns to sweets.
- The story of the monster in a child’s closet – from the point of view of the monster.
- Fairies have stolen Clara’s baby sister!
- Tilly lives in a world full of darkness…then one day, a boy arrives. A boy made of sunshine!
- Saee can step inside every painting she draws. Then one day she gets trapped!
- Everyone in Noah’s family has a magical power…except for him.
- Rosie loves her garden, but she had no idea of the magical creatures that lived there.
- Imagine a world with no parents…just robots!
- Strange objects keep appearing in Jeremy’s room. Then one day he discovers who’s been leaving them.
- Zara’s cat can talk, and she has something very important to tell her.
- It’s Christmas, but Santa has been replaced by three children in a trenchcoat. And they aren’t very nice children!
- Santa, the Easter Bunny and a Halloween ghost have all decided to swap jobs this year. This is not going to end well!
- When Sofia eats broccoli, something very magical happens…
3. YA Fantasy Prompts
Being a teenager is hard work, so is it any wonder so many of them choose to lose themselves in fantastical books? From books such asTo Kill a Kingdom and The Six of Crows, to Ready Player One and The Hunger Games – killer mermaids, fantastical worlds, and games that will kill you are all great fun when it comes to capturing the imagination of young adults.
- School is already tough as it is, but this school is even more of a challenge. Because in this school everyone but Toby is supernatural.
- Two sisters move into an old house. One of the rooms won’t open. When they finally get inside, they’re transported to a different world.
- Tom is really good at chemistry and Dan will do anything for a dare. But when Tom dares Dan to drink the new potion he’s made, the last thing they expect to happen is THAT!
- Rashid has always been told to stay out of the basement, but one night he disobeys his parents. The room is empty except for one strange key in the middle of the floor – a key that is glowing.
- Every 20 years all the teens of the kingdom are entered into a competition to become the next ruler. All they have to do is win a fight against a dragon…and not die.
- Tia’s dreams always come true. Literally. One night she starts dreaming about a very special boy. Now she just has to wait for him to enter her life.
- He can talk to animals, and she’s accidentally turned into one. The problem is, they both hate one another.
- They used to be the best of friends, until they discover who they were in a past life and what they did!
- Clare has a magical gift – she can bake emotions into cakes. Tomorrow is the school bake sale and things are about to get interesting.
- She’s a pirate, he’s a prince, and they both want the gold!
- People laugh at new girl Kit because she’s hairy, but what they don’t realise is that every full moon she turns into a werewolf. People better start behaving!
- Giant spiders live in the trees, scaly dragons live in the ocean, and sharks can fly. In this world nowhere is safe…but it’s this world Tariq has to cross to save his sister.
- Two warring families but only one kingdom. And to make things worse, both heirs to the throne have run away together.
- Romeo and Juliet – but in space.
- Teens hackers get more than they bargained for when they accidentally bring computer characters to life.
- Her best friend was murdered. Her best friend is now a ghost. Revenge has never been more fun!
- She made a big mistake and wishes to go back in time. On her birthday she does – but she didn’t expect to go THAT far back.
- When best friends swap bodies for a week, all hell breaks loose.
- Tim is in a coma. His family think he can’t hear them, but he can do more than that…he can float about and see what everyone is up to at all times. When he discovers a huge secret, he has to try and wake up before it’s too late!
- When Harry was seven, he kept a newt as a pet. Then it grew, and grew, and now (15 years later) he has a giant monster in his dad’s shed. Except the shed door is open…which means the monster has gone.
4. Fairy-Tale Retelling Inspiration
You can’t go wrong with a classic fairy-tale, but you CAN make them more current and fun. Fairy-tale retellings are huge in the book world (especially in self-publishing and YA) – so play around with old ideas and make them as outrageous as you want.
- Snow White stumbles upon a house where seven other people live. What they don’t know is that the girl they just took in is a serial killer.
- The three bears are not happy. It’s time for them to visit Goldilocks house.
- Rapunzel is stuck in the tower, but when she lets down her long hair for the prince she pulls him up to her instead. They’re both trapped. Now what?
- Sleeping Beauty isn’t asleep, she’s dead. The prince just bought a blood-thirsty zombie back to life.
- Cinderella doesn’t care about the ball, or the prince; she wants her father’s house back and she wants revenge!
- Tinkerbell loves Peter, Peter loves Wendy, but Wendy loves Tinkerbell. Someone’s heart is going to get broken.
- When Aladdin rubs the lamp it’s not a genie that comes out, it’s the last person he ever wanted to see!
- Puss doesn’t like boots…he likes stilettos.
- Ariel swaps her fin for legs. The only problem is that now the woman whose legs she has, has got her fin, and she needs Ariel’s help!
- She kissed the frog but instead of the frog turning into a prince, it turned into a princess.
- Everyone has heard of Snow White and Little Red Riding Hood – but what about the Pink and Green Sisters?
- Wendy kills Peter Pan and takes over Neverland.
- Goldilocks and Snow White are professionals when it comes to breaking into people’s homes. But this time they’ve met their match!
- Little Red Riding Hood, but from the point of view of the wolf…because it was her family who slaughtered everyone he ever cared about!
- Hansel and Gretel…except the children are evil and the old lady has no idea what’s coming.
- Beauty and the Beat. When a provincial girl from a small town stays in a mansion with a grumpy famous DJ, she soon learns that she has lots to teach him about compassion, community, and love.
- Jackie and the Bean Stalk. When Jackie climbs a giant plant in her garden she’s taken to another world. But this time she’s the giant!
- The Emperor’s New Clothes. Except it’s British politics.
- The Princess and the Peanut. The heir to the thrown has a peanut allergy. Who hid them in her bed and who killed her?
- She’s kissed so many frogs she’s not only given up looking for her prince, but she now has a skin infection. Luckily, her sexy doctor has the perfect cure.
5. Paranormal Fantasy
Paranormal fantasy generally involves monsters, ghosts, spooky happenings and, often, plenty of blood (think Twilight and The Picture of Dorian Grey), but that doesn’t mean it has to be scary or full of forbidden love and angst, it can also be humorous, fun and a little bit saucy. Check out these paranormal prompts and take your monsters to the next level.
- Don is hesitant about moving to an old creepy house that’s meant to be full of Victorian ghosts. So imagine his surprise when he discovers his new house IS haunted, but by a family who died only 20 years ago. A family with a secret.
- She used to be a vampire until she was bitten by a werewolf. Now she’s completely out of control.
- She killed her boyfriend…and now his ghost is going to kill her right back.
- This tooth fairy needs your teeth (and doesn’t care if they’re still attached).
- Banshees protect themselves by screaming, but this one has lost her voice. What will she do now the bad guys are nearing?
- They’ve fallen in love but are unable to touch one another because they’re both ghosts. But what if they were to jump in the body of two people who are alive?
- Zombies can’t run very fast – but robot zombies can!
- She doesn’t know she’s a witch until she accidentally puts everyone she cares about in mortal danger. Now she just needs to find the right spell to turn back time.
- He knows his boss isn’t human. Will he save the world…or join him?
- Her baby was playing in the park, then she crawled into a fairy ring and disappeared.
- Every day Rowan and Stan take a walk in the woods, until one day Stan walks away and returns with a different personality.
- She was recording something for work and left the voice recorder app running. When she plays it back, she’s shocked by what she hears.
- The children’s boarding school has a high fence. It’s not to protect the children from strangers, though, it’s to protect the public from them!
- His job is to collect nightmares and destroy them – but this time he’s decided to sell them to the highest bidder. Who is about to have their life ruined forever?
- She’s dead. No one can see her. Then one day a very special boy does.
- When Harriet’s Grandmother died she was gifted a ring, a ring that gives her the power to know when someone is lying. That’s when she discovers her entire life has been a lie – including her family, her friends, and her boyfriend!
- He hears voices. They tell him to do things. He says no. Then one day they start to control his body too.
- She’s a nurse working the night shift. But where have all the patients gone?
- He’s a security guard at an old shopping centre after hours. What the hell did he just see on the security camera?
- Cate loves how her boyfriend leaves her messages in the mist of the mirror. The only problem is he’s been dead for a year.
6. Magical Realism/Adult Fantasy Ideas
Fantasy doesn’t have to take place in another world or be full of scary monsters. Sometimes everyday life can be sprinkled with magic. From Chocolat to The Ten Thousand Doors of January, strange goings on set against the backdrop of very normal places can be a lot of fun to write (and read).
- It’s always hard coming to terms with new powers, but Katie has a particularly difficult time when she discovers hers at her 60th surprise birthday party.
- Clara wakes up one morning to find she has laid a large, pale blue egg overnight. The egg is warm and somehow eager, or expectant. She decides to keep it warm …
- The village was pretty and dated far back to Medieval times. The little village green had always had the same two stupid attractions: A wishing well and a large stone with a sword protruding. One moonlit night, Tom realises he can easily remove the sword.
- Alice used to have an imaginary friend as a child. And now he’s back.
- Words have power, but Rayanne had no idea just how much power her writing had over others.
- He first saw her when he was 18 and fell madly in love. Then he saw the same woman when he was 22, and now again at 30. Who is she, and why does she never age?
- “There’s one thing you need to know,” her mother always used to say. “If you try really hard, you can get people to do whatever you want them to. You will know when your magic comes in.” And she was right.
- As a child, as soon as the wind changed direction, they had to move on to the next place. She used to think her parents were restless travellers – then she discovered the real reason.
- These boots were made for walking…and now he can’t stop.
- They say bad pennies always keep coming back. But there’s something strange about this one.
- Her garden is full of flowers. Very special flowers. With each one she hands out, she’s changing the life of that lucky recipient.
- Every window in the house opens up to a different view.
- She loves being a dressmaker, just be careful what emotions she’s stitching into the clothes she’s making you.
- Ever since she was a little girl she loved to dance. Yet she had no idea she was the only one who could hear the music.
- One for sorrow, two for joy…every Magpie is her toy.
- ‘Sleep is for the lazy,’ her father used to say. ‘Real dreams live in the meadows during the witching hour.’
- She’s woken up in a strange bed, in a strange house, with no memory of the night before. All she remembers is what the fortune teller told her.
- Her husband has been having an affair. Luckily she has the ability to see into the future, and it’s not panning out as she imagined it would.
- She hears in colour, and she sees in taste. Life is very different for Molly Jones.
- The story of a magical painting has been passed down her family for centuries. Then one day she finds a painting hidden in the walls of their family property.
7. High Fantasy And Epic Fantasy Writing Prompts
High fantasy book ideas can be a lot trickier than your average fantasy inspiration because they involve in-depth world building and creating entire races of people out of your imagination. But you don’t have to stick to whatever worlds George R R Martin, Sarah J Mass, or J R R Tolkien created. Be inventive and have fun with it. After all, Terry Pratchett never held back from adding magic, humour and political justice to his Discworld books!
- Elves, Orcs and Wizards are meant to hate one another. But not these three. They have to keep their polyamorous love affair hidden from the rest of the kingdom.
- Unicorns aren’t horses, they’re giraffes. Have you ever tried flying on a giraffe?
- A spaceship crashes into an uninhabitable planet. Except it’s not empty and uninhabitable…everyone is hiding from something awful.
- A Wizard put a spell on the land. Everything and everyone will die in one month if the chosen one doesn’t bring back a leaf from the Tree of Plenty. What a shame five people believe they’re the chosen one.
- The Village of Imps is the lowliest of the land, until they discover they are the only ones who can keep the Trolls away.
- Three families. Two worlds. One throne.
- It’s a race against time to cross the ocean and rescue the princess from the island. But the sea is full of dangers…most of which have more than eight legs.
- In this world, the young are wise and the old are stupid. The only problem is the old are faster and stronger.
- Two worlds connected by one mirror. If the mirror cracks, all hell will break loose.
- Pirates and angels don’t normally mix. But then again, this isn’t a normal voyage.
- A magical crown, a key, and three sisters that will stop at nothing.
- In a world of evil Elves and kind Trolls, only the Dwarfs know how to bring peace to their land.
- At the grand feast of Dawn Day the King of Sentary declares his daughter is to wed a prince. The only problem is his daughter has just been turned into a crow.
- One spaceship, two planets, and three choices. What a shame he made the wrong one.
- Star Wars – but at sea.
- She loved reading her book about a magical land…until one day she fell into its pages and couldn’t get out.
- When her brother goes missing, she must cross the four Etheral Kingdoms with just a talking Ferret by her side.
- Life is hard for Sal because he lives in a land of giants, monsters and deadly creatures – and he’s just a slug.
- In a land of superheroes, the one who has no powers is the special one.
- She rides a dragon, he rides a unicorn, and they’re both racing to be the first to reach the crest of Mount Orndorf and find the golden chalice. The only thing they must not do is fall in love.
Fantasy Inspiration Is Everywhere
I hope you enjoyed dipping into these fantasy writing prompts and seeing what ideas they sparked in your fantasy writing. Why not take a look at our article on how to write fantasy characters for more ideas?
Other ways you can find fantasy inspiration include:
- Looking at old paintings and photos.
- Walking in nature.
- Looking at nature’s real beasts.
- Studying myths and legends.
- Watching fantasy and sci-fi films and giving those stories your own unique twist.
And remember, there’s no such thing as an original idea. Some of these concepts may have already been written, one way or another; but with a setting tweak, different characters, new motivations, and your own unique voice you can create a fantastical story that is brand new and will be enjoyed by your readers.
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