Prompts for Short Stories

This month’s theme is short stories. I loved reading them and writing them! My prompts for short stories provide inspiration by asking who, what, when, where, how, and why questions.

Today’s prompt is a setting. Answering the questions below gives me the beginning of a story.

What?–A well-kept room in an old family mansion

Where?–A small midwestern town.

When?–A dusty, hot August afternoon.

Who?— An elderly woman, who lives alone in the house, and a young woman, who cleans her house.

Why?–The young woman knows a mystery surrounds the elderly woman’s family and has found something in the attic that might be connected to it.

How?–The young woman shows the elderly woman the object and tells her what she thinks it has to do with the mystery.

For another setting prompt, click here. How does the photo inspire you to answer the questions?

4 thoughts on “Prompts for Short Stories

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  1. Great idea! I always wonder how you design short stories. Here’s my thought (but I obviously need lots more practice at this technique!):
    What: a poached animal is found just outside the window
    Where: a hunting lodge/bed and breakfast in the Wyoming foothills
    When: a week after hunting season ends
    Who: the manager, the guide, and the secretary
    Why: the game warden arrives after discovering that a tracked animal died so close to the building
    How: there’s only one guest left, and he’s been aching for the bull elk for 3 years, but his day job is a conservationist – would he go this far?

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