New year. New decade. I hope yours is off to a good start. Here are some new prompts to jumpstart your 2020 writing.

  1. Write a story about an animal who’s too smart for its own good. Bonus points if there are no humans in your story.

  2. An anthropologist arrives on a distant alien planet to study its developing society. How do they avoid getting in trouble with the cruel and xenophobic authorities?

  3. Due to political shuffling, a group of mercenaries are fired, and the new lord (or whatever political title this character has) refuses to give them the money they’ve earned. Understandably angry, the mercenaries seek revenge. How do they plan to get it?

  4. A cancer survivor (or a survivor of another serious, lengthy illness) comes home after the final round of successful treatment. The survivor is getting back into the swing of normal life, yet odd things happen whenever they venture into town. What are these odd things? How does the family react?

  5. Two nations locked in a bitter war finally agree to peace talks. A bard of mixed heritage talks their way into the event. What is the bard’s aim? How do their songs ease the tension among the dignitaries?

If you use any of these prompts, please share your story or a link to your story in the comments below.