Short Story Starters

Okay – so you are trying to face a day of writing – but the ideas just won’t come.


It’s a frustrating feeling, knowing that you have to get a story written in the next two days and off to meet the magazine deadline or competition due date, but you have no ideas. The sinking feeling in the stomach makes the sinking of the Titanic seem like a hole ridden rubber duck in bath tub.

Sound familiar?

It’s a common feeling with too many writers. That’s where I come in. My most popular posts on this blog by far are the series I’ve called Short Story Starters. This is how it works: I give the first line or sentence or two of a story – you use that to get you started and before you know it, you have 200, 500 or even a thousand words and it’s taking over. Wonderful. Problem solved. Use any of the ideas here, adapt them to your own ideas, style, voice – whatever.

Short Story Starters

  1. “I’ve seen that face before.” Ken stared at the photo, trying to remember. That’s the thug who…
  2. Loretta knew she had one chance left. The butterflies were already dancing and the stomach churning threatened a further disaster of epic proportions. She gripped the pole tighter and…
  3. In the fog of trying to wake up Mickey was aware of someone else in his room. He tried to sit up but….
  4. ‘Neil? Are you there Neil?’ The voice was persistent and tinged with anxiety. ‘Are you in there?’ The knocking grew louder and Neil knew he had to respond, somehow. He….
  5. Paula had finished. With a smile of satisfaction she lightly brushed across her mouth with the back of her hand. ‘That was…
  6. The setting sun lit the vineyards stretched out across the valley. Rob watched as the golden glow deepened. He reached for…
  7. Susan hesitated. The door should have been locked. It gently swung open to reveal a…

Over to you. Time to get writing.

Good writing.

Conditions of use:

  • Feel free to use any of the story starters listed above. Change anything to suit your needs.
  • Give it your best shot.
  • Edit your work carefully before sending it off to a publisher or posting it on your blog.
  • Let me know in the comments section how it went.
  • If you publish your story on your web site or on your blog let me know so I can make a link to it for others to read.

2 Responses to “Short Story Starters”

  1. brandon says:

    Thanks a billion.
    this really helped me out.
    you are literally a life saver mate.