If you’re running low on short story ideas, we have a few that might get you fired up and ready to write.
If you’re like most creatives, you tend to have more ideas than time. However, when it comes to finally sitting down to the business of writing, your mind can mirror that blank screen and suddenly, the throng of noisy ideas fall deafeningly quiet. It’s funny how that happens.
Audio Article – Short Story Ideas
How to Grow Your Own List of Short Story Ideas
We have a very creative and ideating family and have learned to immediately write down or record new ideas as they come up. Ideas come—and go—as fast as a spark, so we’ve learned from experience to write them down immediately. We use an Ideas Journal or an Ideas document that we pull up and add to as new ideas flicker into mind.
Write down every idea that comes your way. The more ideas you bring to life, the more ideas will come your way, so keep track of them and then work on the best ones.
“There’s always room for a story that can transport people to another place.”
~J.K. Rowling; author Harry Potter
How Long is a Short Story?
Short story lengths can be anywhere from 7,500 to 30k words and generally around 40-60 pages.
5 Short Story Ideas to Spark Your Own
1. A struggling musician unlocks a frequency that allows him/her to access other dimensions of reality. Plot possibilities:
- He/she is able to fix their financial situation.
- He/she discovers an entity there that must be found in the “real world”.
- He/she develops a new revolutionary music style the catapults their career.
2. Deep in the Amazon Rainforest, an archeologist discovers an ancient native tribe. Plot possibilities:
- The native tribe helps the archeologist learn the cure to a disease spreading through the world.
- The natives hold the archeologist captive for months.
- S/he figures out a way to escape
- S/he helps the natives and becomes their friend/hero
- S/he observes some of the highly advanced technologies the natives
3. Someone who is falsely accused of terrorist crimes against their country escapes a maximum security prison. Plot possibilities:
- S/he has to prove their innocence before getting recaptured.
- S/he is really a deep-cover spy who needed to get into the prison as part of their cover.
- Leads a revolution amongst prisoners against an oppressive regime
4. NASA discovers an advanced civilization on Pluto. Plot possibilities:
- A few people from this advanced civilization help NASA move our Earth technology and energy forward.
- NASA learns the civilization is Atlantis, the lost city from Earth.
- The Plutonians know earth’s destiny because theirs is closely entwined.
5. An underwater alien civilization in a separate galaxy has discovered a portal in a cave on their planet that leads to Earth. Plot possibilities:
- This alien is able to open a portal network between planets and galaxies in the universe.
- A government agency captures the alien.
- This story could also be told from the perspective of an earthing who discovers the alien.
6. If Galileo were alive today and had all our 21st-century technology, who would he be? What problems would he solve?
7. Earth in the year 3029 is a paradise. The long-awaited “Zombie Apocolypse” never happened. How has humanity evolved? What are we focused on? What struggles do we face? What goals are we working towards?
8. Take your favorite planet, build a functioning world, civilization, and story around it. 50 Points to Gryffindor if you agree that Pluto is a planet. 20 Points for Slytherin if you’re willful about Universal facts.
9. What came first: The chicken or the egg? Okay, so it’s a cliched question… but it’s interesting to contemplate and make a case for. To elaborate on this might elicit some surprising leanings and discoveries!
10. Premise: Aliens already walk amongst us and are a current species that we all know about (but not human). Prompt: What species are they? And what plot twist helps the humans discover they are also aliens?
11. Write a boy meets girl type of story but with a twist: They’re both telepathic empaths that are from two separate dimensions. And both are on different secret missions and meet on the dimension of Earth that humans occupy.
Mystery Short Story Ideas
- A man walks out of an isolated, small log cabin and sees a mechanical owl with large yellow eyes staring right at him.
Fantasy Short Story Ideas
- A little girl taps a stone on a chimney and is transported to another world
We have LOTS more ideas in the works to share, but didn’t want to delay publishing this, so we’ll keep adding to it.
You’re invited to submit your short story ideas and/or short stories for consideration for publishing in this article or website. We’ll be sure to reply to every email, and also to let you know if yours gets published. If you have a website or social page we’d be glad to link that to your name here too
We hope at least one of this help you generate ideas for your next short story! If you write any of these or have ideas to add to this list, please email us. You can also find other short story ideas in this journal prompts article.
Hey! I’m Devani, a multi-passionate creator who enjoys honing the craft of writing (mostly;)), photography, cooking, podcasting, learning about business, and growing brands. I co-host the iCreateDaily Podcast with LeAura Alderson (my mom), and co-own the iCreateDaily brand. I hope through the content and products we produce, you will be inspired to start, sustain, and succeed in your goals.
My non-business and artistic hobbies include: enjoying a good movie, discovering obscure but epic music, obsessing over The Beatles, and developing fictional stories in my head. My Maltese dog, Caspian, provides an insane amount of creative inspiration by just being his adorable self. #HeWokeUpLikeThat. 😉
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