60 Narrative Writing Prompts for Crafting Captivating Stories

Relay Publishing
7 min readNov 3, 2023

As a writer, it’s not uncommon to stare at a blank page, struggling to develop ideas. Sound familiar? You need some narrative writing prompts to kickstart your next narrative writing unit.

Whether you’re a seasoned author or just starting out, narrative writing prompts can be a powerful tool in unleashing your creativity and crafting captivating narratives.

In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of using writing prompts for personal narratives, the different types of personal narratives, and some narrative writing prompts for crafting compelling stories.

The Power of Writing Prompts for Narrative Writing

Writing prompts are an excellent way to kickstart your creativity and get your inventive juices flowing. They provide a starting point for your writing and can help you overcome writer’s block.

Writing prompts can be anything from a single word or phrase to full sentences or paragraphs. Teachers often give their students photographs or articles from the New York Times, a blog post, or personal journals to get the ideas flowing.

Narrative writing prompts can help spark your imagination and get you thinking about new and exciting ideas.

Benefits of Using Narrative Writing Prompts for Personal Narratives

There are several benefits to using writing prompts to explore stories or personal narratives.

First and foremost, they help overcome writer’s block. A narrative writing prompt provides a great starting point, helping you get your thoughts down on paper.

But writing prompts aren’t just for school — they help you explore new topics that you may not have otherwise considered. Writing prompts push you out of your comfort zone, helping you grow as a writer.

What is Narrative Writing?

Narrative writing is a literary form of writing that tells a story. It can be fiction or non-fiction and is often used to convey personal experiences or emotions.

Narrative writing skills often rely on:

  • Plot — the sequence of events you choose to relay — not just what happened, but the structure of how you tell the story.
  • Character development — exploring a character’s feelings and the process of how they change from the beginning of the story through to the end.
  • Setting — the locations accommodating your story, from a family home or middle school to a workplace or even another world.

Types of Personal Narratives

There are many different types of personal narratives, each with unique characteristics.

Some common types of personal narratives include:

  • Memoirs — a form of personal narrative that focuses on a specific period or event in the author’s life
  • Autobiographies — a comprehensive form of personal narrative that covers the author’s entire life
  • Personal essays — shorter pieces of writing that focus on a specific topic or theme
  • Creative non-fiction — a blend of facts and storytelling that aims to engage and entertain the reader.

How to start a narrative essay

To start a narrative essay, you should begin by choosing a topic you want to write about. This could be personal narrative writing from experience, a story from your imagination, or a real-life event that you found interesting.

Once you’ve chosen your topic, start outlining your essay. A good outline will help you organize your thoughts and ensure that your writing flows smoothly from one idea to the next.

The components of a narrative essay (H3)

Your introduction should set the scene and introduce the reader to the characters and the setting. You should also include a thesis statement summarizing your essay’s main point.

The body of your essay should include a series of events that build towards a climax, and the conclusion should tie everything together and leave the reader with a sense of closure.

Remember to use descriptive language and sensory details to bring your story to life and engage the reader.

Top 10 Creative Writing Prompts for Crafting Captivating Narratives

Some writing exercises:

Write a story about:

  1. A time when you faced a difficult decision and how you came to make the choice you did.
  2. A world where all technology has stopped working. Write a story about how people adapt to this new reality.
  3. A teacher who discovers a hidden talent they never knew they had.
  4. A person who must confront their biggest fear.
  5. A practice manager who goes on a journey of self-discovery.
  6. A teacher who must come to terms with a difficult loss or change over one school year.
  7. A person who discovers a secret that changes their life forever.
  8. A woman who must choose between their own happiness and the happiness of someone they love.
  9. A man who learns an important lesson from a stranger.
  10. A group of students who must overcome a seemingly impossible obstacle.
  11. A child who discovers they have a superpower.
  12. A young boy who goes on a journey to find their missing parent.
  13. Characters who must navigate a new school and make friends amongst the hostile students.
  14. A loner stranded on a deserted island.
  15. A child who discovers a hidden room in their house.
  16. A lawyer who is falsely accused of a crime.
  17. An athlete determined to win a sports championship.
  18. A person who falls in love with their unobtainable best friend.
  19. A tall man who is forced to confront their fear of heights.
  20. A cat who time travels to a different era.
  21. A mother who becomes a detective to solve a mystery.
  22. A college student trying to complete an assignment while being haunted by a ghost.
  23. A disabled person who becomes a superhero to save their city.
  24. A shop assistant who must navigate a dystopian society.
  25. A shy child who must overcome their fear of public speaking.
  26. A parent who is chosen to go on a space mission.
  27. A group of children lost in the wilderness.
  28. A young girl who must protect their family from danger.
  29. A grandmother who is secretly a mermaid.
  30. A librarian who is a time traveler trying to prevent a disaster.
  31. An only child who is the sole survivor of a plane crash.
  32. A vampire teacher trying to fit in with his human students and the staff.
  33. A racist who is stranded in a foreign country.
  34. A beloved aunt who is a spy trying to save the world.
  35. A prince who is kidnapped and held for ransom.
  36. A musician trying to make it big despite having no talent.
  37. A detective trying to solve a case after the trail has gone cold.
  38. A nun who is on a mission to save endangered animals.
  39. A time traveler trying to change history to bring his family back from the dead.
  40. A magician trying to master their powers without killing anyone else.
  41. A treasure hunter searching for lost artifacts in Nazi Germany.
  42. A scientist trying to save the world from a deadly virus.
  43. A ninja trying to save their village from building developers.
  44. A chef trying to win a cooking competition against the odds.
  45. A journalist trying to uncover a conspiracy that could kill him.
  46. An astronaut trying to survive on a space station with low oxygen supplies.
  47. A firefighter trying to save a burning building, only to discover he has saved his childhood bully.
  48. A soldier trying to survive in a war zone in a conflict he doesn’t understand.
  49. A superhero trying to save the world from a villain, even though the villain is his father.
  50. A teacher trying to inspire their students in a war zone in the space of a single school day.
  51. A lawyer trying to win a cat-and-mouse case.
  52. A pilot trying to land a damaged plane with their favorite sports team as passengers.
  53. The sole survivor of a natural disaster.
  54. A ghost trying to solve their own murder, using a found box of letters written by the murderer.
  55. A race car driver trying to win a championship they should never have been entered for.
  56. A park ranger is trying to protect the environment even though a local business is trying to stop him.
  57. A diver exploring the ocean depths discovers a mysterious vessel.
  58. A musician trying to overcome stage fright after a traumatic performance.
  59. A camp counselor trying to keep their campers safe in an angry storm.
  60. Describe a world in which only students can rule the country.

Using Writing Prompts to Overcome Writer’s Block

Writing prompts help you overcome writer’s block. If you’re feeling stuck or uninspired, a good writing prompt can spark the writing process.

When using writing prompt ideas, let your thoughts flow freely — don’t worry about grammar or structure. That all comes later.

Let your prompt suggest a main character. List examples of words that come to mind from the prompt — have fun and don’t think about the ending.

The goal is to get your inspiration down on paper and worry about editing later.

Sharing Your Personal Narrative with Others

Once you’ve crafted your personal narrative, it can be a powerful tool for connecting with others.

Sharing your story with others can help you build empathy, understanding, and connection. It can also be a way to inspire and motivate others who may be going through similar experiences.

Relay Publishing loves a great story!

We’re always on the lookout for writers with original stories to tell. We’ve published hundreds of books, many of which are on the bestseller lists.

So, whether you’re a master of personal narrative writing or looking for paid ghostwriting opportunities, get in touch.

We can’t wait to hear from you!

Harry Wallett is the Founder and Managing Director of Relay Publishing. Combining his entrepreneurial background with a love of great stories, Harry founded Relay in 2013 as a fresh way to create books and for writers to earn a living from their work. Since then, Relay has sold 3+ million copies and worked with 100s of writers on bestselling titles such as Defending Innocence, The Alveria Dragon Akademy Series and Rancher’s Family Christmas. Harry oversees the creative direction of the company, and works to develop a supportive collaborative environment for the Relay team to thrive within in order to fulfill our mission to create unputdownable books.

Republished with permission from Relay Publishing

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Relay Publishing

Relay has founded a collaborative environment for literary creatives to exercise their skillset and develop their craft across a multitude of fiction genres.