200 Amazing Short Story Ideas for Creative Writing

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Writing a short story requires a lot of creativity and knowledge. At first, you should have a great short story idea to develop a plot. Usually, many people will find it difficult to come up with a unique idea for their short story. Right now, do you have to submit a short story for your creative writing assignment? Are you experiencing writer’s block and have no idea how to begin your short story? Cool! Especially to help you out, in this blog post, we have compiled a list of creative short story ideas in different genres.

If you want to break the block, then feel free to make use of the short story writing prompts listed below. The ideas suggested here would be useful for you to write short stories for creative writing assignments or competitions.

Additionally, for your better understanding, we have explained how to write an engaging short story. Also, we have shared some important tips for generating short story ideas or short essays on your own.

Continue reading this blog post and get excellent ideas for short story writing.

Short Story Ideas

What is a Short Story?

What is a short story? It is a brief form of prose fiction that is shorter than a novel. Often, short stories are written to communicate a moral, record a moment, or evoke a mood. In general, short stories majorly revolve around some common elements such as setting, characters, plot, themes, and conflict.

Basically, short stories come in different structures, styles, and sizes. But a traditional short story typically ranges between the word limit of 1000 words and 5000 words. It can also be longer than 10,000 words. However, some exceptions also exist for the word count.

As said earlier, short stories come in various styles or forms such as flash fiction and micro-fiction. The flash fiction stories will normally follow a word limit of between 500 and 1000 words. The micro-fiction stories are concise and will fall under 500 words.

Learn How to Write an Engaging Short Story

If you know how to write a short story, then you can effortlessly tune your mind and try to break the barriers that exist before you. As it is a shorter format of a story, many people think that it is easy to craft. But indeed it is not. Compressing your core idea into a shorter form and adding all the necessary elements needed for a long story into it is definitely not simple.

Remember, writing a short story is even more tedious than a novel or long story writing. However, having an idea of how to write a short story may help you to come up with great work. So, for your understanding, here, we have briefly shared the short story writing steps. While writing a short story, make sure to execute them in order.

  1. Think and identify a fascinating short story idea.
  2. Find out the structure and aim of your short story.
  3. For your short story, analyze and find out 5 common elements such as plot, characters, setting, conflict, and themes.
  4. Select a feeling or an emotion that you desire to evoke in your story.
  5. Organize all the ideas that you have gathered through analysis and craft a short story outline.
  6. With the help of the prepared short story outline, start writing the first draft of the short story.
  7. Write a catchy opening to grab your readers’ attention.
  8. Build the story with logical scenes and interesting dialogue.
  9. Sensibly conclude the story with a good climax.
  10. Revise and edit the draft multiple times until you get complete satisfaction.


Short Story Ideas

Tips for Generating Your Own Short Story Ideas

In the short story writing process, finding a short story idea is the first step. Basically, some writers will easily come up with an original short story idea on their own, while many people will find it difficult to generate a short story idea. In general, there is no standard definition for a ‘great story idea’. Your story idea will look great only in the way you present it because it’s like your research paper topic.

Most importantly, your short story idea should have valid answers to the following questions.

  1. Who is the primary character in your story?
  2. What is the ultimate aim of your main character?
  3. What stops the main character from achieving the goal?

Discussed below are a few interesting ways that you can follow to develop your own short story ideas without depending on others.

Think about the elements of fiction

If you are unable to think of what to write and where to start your story, then try to bring up a short story idea by taking into account the following elements of fiction.

Plot: The main events in the story.

Setting: The location where the story happens.

Characters: The persons in the story.

Theme: The subject of the story.

Point of View: From whose eyes the story is narrated?

Style: A particular way of narrating a story by framing words differently.

The fictional elements listed above will help you to create an exciting idea. Are you wondering how? Cool, it is actually simple. For your understanding, below we have explained a few examples.

First, design your main character with certain physical traits of your desire. Next, develop a plot around your main character in any specific setting. Remember, a story is considered to be good only if it has a proper structure that contains a catchy introduction, a serious conflict, and a convincing climax. Therefore, with the character you have designed, think about a conflict that stops your character from reaching its goal. Also, find compelling ways to handle that conflict. So, by following this way, you can come up with a great short story idea.

Similarly, you can stick to the same way and generate an idea for your short story by finding a setting first instead of the main character. Say, for instance, at first, spot a location for your short story and then having that premise in mind build a plot, characters, and conflict of your story.

Craft a short story that you desire to read

If your mind box is empty without any story idea, then imagine the story that you have always wanted to read. It is not necessary to bring up a revolutionary short story idea. A simple storyline that you desire to read is enough.

For example, if you love reading science fiction and mystery, then you can very well blend both these genres and come up with your own idea if you haven’t experienced any story of that type.

Take your own time, think deeply, and identify the story that you want this world to listen to or the story that you wish to read. Note that, thinking in this aspect would help you to find out an engaging short story idea for your creative writing task.

Improvise an existing story

You will end up in plagiarism issues if you write a story similar to the one that is already published. So, instead, you can view the already written story from a different viewpoint and develop a new short story idea.

Say, for instance, you can pick a less significant scene from your favorite novel and use it as an opening scene for your short story with mild modifications. Whenever you use an idea from others’ work try to modify the characters in it and add new elements to make the scene look original. Once you have found the opening for your short story, you can drive your imagination and develop the whole story.

Plagiarism is wrong but inspiration is acceptable. Just by making minor changes, you can write a new version of an old story. Whenever you collapse because of writer’s block, you can smartly use this way to find a short story idea on your own.

Find ideas from real-life

To identify a short story idea, you can look for events in your personal life. It is not mandatory to write your personal story or experiences. Instead, you can pick an idea from real-life events in news articles, situations you have seen, or events that have happened to the person you know.

Say for example, based on any historical event you can create a historical fiction.

Your imagination will help you derive more fascinating short story ideas. So, every time your ideas go out of stock, note down any real-life event that inspired you and give a new shade to that story by adding a new twist to present it as your own.

Take help from creative writing prompts

One of the best ways to escape from writer’s block is to let others start the story for you. For creative writing assignments, a lot of creative writing prompts are available on many online websites. You can refer to them all and choose any idea that impresses you.

In order to make your creative writing task easier, we have also added 200 short story writing prompts below. Without any hesitation, you can make use of those ideas for writing your short story.

Note that the short story ideas that you get from the web search are only for your inspiration. You should use your imagination and creative writing skills to develop that prompt into a gripping short story without plagiarism.


Short Story Ideas

List of Short Story Ideas on Various Genres

Here are some interesting short story ideas on various genres such as science fiction, horror, mystery, romance, and so on.

If you struggle to generate your own short story idea, then feel free to access the below-suggested list. From the whole list, you can very well select any creative writing prompt under your favorite genre.

Short Story Ideas – Include 3 Elements in the Story

  1. Aerobics, a secret diary, and something unpleasant under the bed.
  2. An antique, a torn letter, and a familiar-looking stranger.
  3. A taxi, an old enemy, and Valentine’s Day.
  4. A family secret, a string of pearls, and the desire for revenge.
  5. A sports car, a rope, and an obnoxious ex-girlfriend.
  6. A stolen ring, fear of spiders, and a sinister stranger.
  7. A magic trick, a shadow, and a missing friend.
  8. An ice storm, a bicycle, and a treasure map.
  9. An ex-girlfriend, binoculars, and a good-luck charm.
  10. A horoscope, a makeup kit, and a missing tooth.

Short Story Ideas for Kids

  1. Mysterious symbols are appearing all over the village. It is up to your main character to decrypt the code and find out the meaning of those symbols.
  2. While cleaning up your basement you find out a puzzling key that takes you to a new universe.
  3. You find a golden pen in a magic shop. Whatever you write with that pen turns true.
  4. Write a short story dedicated to your best friend.
  5. A computer hacker accidentally releases a deadly computer virus making all machines attack people.
  6. Craft a short story from the point of view of a young stray cat looking for her mother who is a house cat.
  7. You return home from school to find scattered papers all over your living room floor and your family is missing.
  8. Write a short tale from the point of view of an alien living on Mars.
  9. You look in the mirror and see nothing – not even a reflection of yourself.
  10. Write the story of Hansel and Gretel from the viewpoint of the witch who lives in the Gingerbread house.
  11. Your sister who you believed was dead thumps at your entryway.
  12. The spaceship of an Astronaut, who is studying life on the moon, breaks down, leaving him helpless on the moon.
  13. Write a short story devoted to your mother.
  14. After reading a cursed book, all your nightmares start becoming real.
  15. Write a brief tale inspired by a recent argument you had.

Also read: A Simple Guide on How to Write a Short Essay

Short Story Ideas for Middle School Students

  1. Prepare a short story about a mad scientist who has found a way to combine human DNA with animal DNA to create a superhuman.
  2. Your character has an amazing chance to take a ride on a spaceship to another planet in the galaxy.
  3. The primary character finds out how to travel through time. He decides to go.
  4. Craft a brief tale about a group of garden fairies being at war with the garden gnomes.
  5. Your character wakes up with the ability to talk to the family pet.
  6. One by one, students from your class are going missing. It’s up to you to find out the reason.
  7. Your main character follows a street cat and ends up in a world where cats rule the planet and humans are their pets.
  8. A girl is walking along the beach when she finds a hidden pathway.
  9. Create a short story about modern-day sleeping beauty.
  10. Your character gets trapped in a mysterious house.
  11. After visiting a magic shop and buying nothing, the shop owner curses you. Now, wherever you go, people keep laughing at you and you are unaware of the reason.
  12. The protagonist has to face the greatest fear in life.
  13. Your character awakens to find that they have turned into a character in their favorite book.
  14. A trip to the Amazon rainforest gets deadly when you and your team meet a group of warriors protecting the rainforest from outsiders.
  15. Your character creates an invention that changes the way the world works.

Short Story Ideas for High School Students

  1. Three strangers win a getaway vacation together.
  2. A war hero returns home and tries to make connections with old friends.
  3. Write a short story about a character who is the complete opposite of you.
  4. Your character is caught shoplifting. The shop owner says that she won’t call the police but instead demands a personal favor.
  5. Write a story about your favorite childhood fairytale that has come to life.
  6. You are babysitting two kids after school and it’s a spooky, stormy night. You hear a loud crash.
  7. A retired couple explores life in a foreign country without family.
  8. Write a story from the viewpoint of an animal at the local shelter.
  9. Your character changes jobs to have more time with his family. But his family doesn’t appear to be excited about having him around…
  10. An adopted child starts receiving tens of letters from people who claim they’re her parents.

Also read: Human Resources Research Topics and Ideas To Consider

Captivating Short Story Writing Prompts

  1. Write a story that starts with the sound of raindrops on a metal can.
  2. Prepare a funny story about a box of photos and the secrets they contain.
  3. Craft a story about what it’s like to interview people for a living.
  4. Write about a blogger who unintentionally reveals something major in their exploration.
  5. Narrate a story about a dog that lost its eyesight.
  6. Write about someone who’s afraid to feel the wind.
  7. Create a brief story about a character that can’t stop lying to those closest to them.
  8. Write a story from the viewpoint of a ghost at a funeral.
  9. Compose a story about a mystery room underneath an open field.
  10. Write about the lives of two hamsters as they escape from their cage.

Amazing Short Story Topics

  1. A middle-aged woman finds a ghost.
  2. A young couple runs into the path of a serial killer.
  3. Your character is content with her life but suddenly inherits a large sum of money and a beautiful estate on the east coast.
  4. A girl starts receiving messages from someone who knows her deepest fears and intends to exploit them.
  5. Tell the story of a scar.
  6. Your character has just lost a child by miscarriage, and when she comes home, her married life has changed.
  7. A young prodigy becomes orphaned.
  8. Your main character wakes up alone in an unfamiliar place.
  9. A group of children finds a dead body near their play area.
  10. Your orphaned character buys a house and moves in to find that it’s already occupied by the spirits of the character’s long-dead parents, who aren’t at all like the people other relatives have described.

Also read: Economics Essay Topics For Students To Choose From

Unique Creative Writing Prompts

  1. Write a story about a lie told over breakfast.
  2. Prepare a brief tale involving a camera and a pack of ice.
  3. Write a story from the viewpoint of a plant.
  4. Create a short story about a card game that turns out badly.
  5. Craft a story involving a song your character knows but doesn’t remember.
  6. Write a funny story about a man and his lost scarf.
  7. Narrate a story based on a lost bracelet.
  8. Write a short story about an orphan who can hear whispers.
  9. Develop a story about a guitar with a unique signature on the inside.
  10. Write a short story involving a rare book and two people fighting over it.

Interesting Short Story Ideas

  1. A dog witnesses a murder and struggles to alert the proper people in charge.
  2. Write a story from the viewpoint of a mouse.
  3. A character tries to stay cool in a conversation with the police.
  4. Write about two birds and their role in bank theft.
  5. A man on a business trip rents a child to be his son for the day.
  6. In a marketing company, a salesman finds it hard to meet his quota for the day.
  7. A hacker competes with another hacker to hack into a website.
  8. Write a short story involving three women and a stolen cane.
  9. Your main character tries to convince their friend to become vegan.
  10. A character who collects dolls notices one is missing from the shelf.

Excellent Short Story Starters

  1. “I don’t think you’re capable of love.”
  2. It’s impossible to tell really, just how many times I’ve come back.
  3. “Are you sure you need to do this?” the man asked as he positioned the needle over her heart.
  4. All four tires were on the ground, but I had begun floating toward the surface.
  5. “What’s that smell?”
  6. “Is this your handwriting?” the policeman asked with a scowl.
  7. “Are you sure you want to do this?” the man asked as he positioned the needle over her heart.
  8. “We’re sending you to live with another family. It’s for your own safety.”
  9. Tears filled her eyes as she scanned the list a second time. She didn’t make the team.
  10. The doctor emerged from the double doors and said, “There were some unexpected complications.”
  11. He opened the letter and sank to his knees in the middle of the driveway.
  12. “What are we going to do once the remainder of this food is gone?” he asked.
  13. “Do you have experience with demons?” she whispered from under the table.
  14. “Why is all of Daddy’s stuff in the front yard?”
  15. “Don’t lie to me. I already know the truth.”

Short Story Ideas on Science Fiction

  1. A scientist uncovers a secret doorway that leads to a life-changing future.
  2. A hacker with the ability to create holograms anywhere soon leaves police unable to tell real crimes from illusions.
  3. A new chemical weapon makes your whole Special Forces team invisible. The only person who can see you is your controller.
  4. Your primary character can see the future and doesn’t want to leave his/her home.
  5. The police chief of a small town is murdered by someone who claims to be an alien.
  6. Your future child pays you a visit and begs you, “Don’t go on the business trip,” without explaining why.
  7. Every day, you visit the same moment from your past.
  8. A neurologist invents a device that allows people to record and re-watch their dreams.
  9. Your main character is given a suit that protects them from danger. Unfortunately, it has a different threshold for safety than seems ideal.
  10. Write about a new planet that has life just like Earth.

Mystery and Horror Short Story Ideas

  1. Your main character has a conversation with a ghost from the past.
  2. The protagonist wakes up wearing a strange ring that glows with sparks of blue electricity.
  3. An escaped convict leaves behind evidence of his innocence for the search party to find.
  4. A character buys a new coat, only to find a mysterious message sewn into the lining of it.
  5. Write a mystery short story about what happened with a lamp and a missing tooth.
  6. The doorbell rings. No one is there, but a secretive bundle was left behind. Your character opens it up and finds something inside that’s much unexpected.
  7. Write a story about how one detective solved a mystery by using Instagram.
  8. A tennis player wakes up covered with strange tattoos and can’t remember how he got them.
  9. A girl is trapped in a dream that is quickly becoming a nightmare.
  10. Your primary character finds a black wooden door in the basement, shut tight with chains.
  11. Two friends are playing chess. One of them can read minds, the other one can see the future
  12. Amazon has invented time travel and introduced pre-emptive shipping. Today, you receive something completely unexpected from your future self
  13. Pick a genre of your choice and then write about a long walk home after work
  14. Your best friend from school is leaving town forever, and you haven’t told him your special feelings for him
  15. The night before an important social function, your main character is tasked with saving the world

Romance and Drama Short Story Ideas

  1. Express a romance told through a series of texts.
  2. Write an unrequited love story using situational irony.
  3. Narrate a love story that starts and ends in 24 hours.
  4. Craft a story that ends with a Happily Ever After note.
  5. Your main character and his best friend find themselves in a love triangle with the same girl.
  6. Write a romance about two old friends after they’ve been married, divorced, and moved back home.
  7. Your main character gets a new job, working at the evil corporation run by your antagonist the work they would be doing could really help people.
  8. The protagonist is at a friend’s house for a dinner party. Suddenly, someone they totally hate walks in. What do they do now?
  9. “Do you have a minute?” asks the stranger who was reading beside you on a park bench.
  10. A young boy working up the courage to ask his long-time crush to dance with him at the school dance.
  11. Your antagonist wins over your main character’s best friend, convincing that friend of their good intentions.
  12. Rewrite a popular romantic scene from the viewpoint of a bystander who has no idea what is going on.
  13. Your main character gets a new job, working at the evil corporation run by your antagonist—but the work they would be doing could really help people.
  14. Write a romance story that opens with a woman quickly throwing apples at the bread aisle in a grocery store.
  15. Your character gets matched up with a famous person on Tinder. What happens during their date?

Miscellaneous Short Story Topics

  1. Once upon a time, on a night with no stars and no moon, there was a shadow in the darkness.
  2. Your antagonist and protagonists are placed in the same dorm room at the university.
  3. You were waiting at a crosswalk when someone you didn’t know started waving from across the street.
  4. As the floor and the walls shake, you know there is only one way to survive.
  5. Your main character has been knocked unconscious, and another character from your story needs to step up and take their place.
  6. You are granted one wish. But you have to apply the wish for someone else.
  7. Write a story where your character is fighting against a family tradition.
  8. You got on the wrong bus and ended up in a remote town where things seemed a little odd.
  9. Develop a story where your character faces a deep fear.
  10. Write a story where your character finds out a rumor is circulating about them.
  11. A girl attempting to uncover the lore of their village
  12. A police officer confronts a mistake they made and hid while on the job
  13. A brother and sister uncover an old letter from their parents that makes them question everything about their family history
  14. A girl prepares for her first day of middle school with a new outfit and makeup her mom let her pick out for the first time
  15. A coffee date with your childhood crush that has gone terribly wrong

Also read: Innovative Proposal Essay Topics for Students

Innovative Short Story Ideas for Teens

  1. List the top five things you are most afraid will happen to you. Afterward, create a narrative in which one of these occurs to your character.
  2. Consider a significant issue that one of your friends had to deal with. Then compose a narrative in which your protagonist struggles with that issue.
  3. What is a terrible habit you have?
  4. Create a character with a far worse instance of the bad habit than you do. Create a narrative where your character gets into problems because of this behavior.
  5. Which of your strengths stands out the most?
  6. Create a character who lacks this ability. Make up a scenario where possessing this ability is crucial for your character. Describe your character’s actions. Pen the narrative.
  7. A party invitation, identical twins, and a locked closet.
  8. Peppermints, a broken watch, and an excessive hug.
  9. Exercise, a hidden journal, and an uncomfortable object under the bed.
  10. Binoculars, a good luck charm, and an ex-boyfriend.
  11. In the midst of a war, the women of a local town abandon their neighborhood only a week before their husbands and sons return
  12. A character discovers they have the ability to visit the past and future, but at the risk that they’ll lose something valuable
  13. In the midst of a plague-ridden Venice, an inspector begins a series of unethical experiments to find a cure
  14. A character that confronts his/her illogical but deeply real fear of being sucked down by the bathtub drain
  15. A character is told a deep family secret that they must protect until their death, no matter how much it torments them

Suspense Short Story Topics

  1. The body of the person your main character hates the most is the one in which they awaken.
  2. Strange, otherworldly guests arrive at an outdoor music festival and choose to perform on stage themselves.
  3. When a guy awakens, he finds that while he can no longer hear, he can see things for the first time.
  4. When a guy and his dog go to the dog park to play, the dog discovers an oddly carved bone that responds to its surroundings in surprising ways.
  5. Your main character must work with a secondary character who turns out to be “The Chosen One” in order for them to accomplish their destiny.
  6. A character in your story realizes that they are part of a narrative.
  7. Our protagonist awakens deaf but with more color than they ever imagined imaginable.
  8. Every time your main character walks into a room, their theme tune plays for 10 seconds.
  9. A comic book character comes to see your protagonist and asks for their assistance.
  10. Your character is unable to awaken from a string of consecutive nightmares that feel like they are happening right now.
  11. A pair of best friends realize they’re two corners of a love triangle — they both have feelings for the same person
  12. Instead of trying to get a man on the moon, every nation raced to be the first at the very bottom of the ocean
  13. You are home alone watching TV. A character dials a number on their phone. Your phone rings
  14. Write a story that draws from a moment in your life where you wish you’d made a different choice. Have your protagonist make that choice, and then see what happens
  15. A wand-maker goes to the forest ready to work, only to find a group of environmentalists camped out in front of their favorite hemlock tree

Awesome Short Story Prompts

  1. A flood swept away an entire town, leaving only the library and its strange secret.
  2. The antagonist dies, but the story doesn’t end.
  3. A parent and child encounter their ancestor, who has been dead for centuries, and they go on a walk through the city.
  4. Your main character discovers a long-lost sibling who is down on their luck.
  5. Your antagonist and protagonist swap places for a day.
  6. She shut off the kitchen light and turned to go upstairs to bed, unaware that two sets of eyes were watching her every move.
  7. “I’ve lost him,” she screamed, but none of us knew what she’d lost.
  8. Looking into the fire was the wrong thing to do. He found he couldn’t drag his stare away.
  9. “Mommy, there’s a ghost in my room!”
  10. A character in your story becomes aware that they are in a story.


From the list of 200 creative short story topics suggested in this blog, without any hesitation, pick any idea or prompt that inspires you. In case, you still haven’t identified any idea for short story writing, quickly reach out to us .

Jacob Smith Research Paper Topics Reading Time: 25 minutes

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