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You love writing fiction. Having the power to dream up characters and plot twists is not only creatively fulfilling, but it’s downright fun, too.
There’s only one problem: Sometimes, you find yourself all out of ideas for a story. The page remains sadly blank, the cursor taunting you as it blinks over and over in the same spot at the beginning of the page.
Here’s the good news: There are great resources out there to help you come up with some good ideas for a story. And while you could look up the world wide web’s very best story idea generator, here’s the better news: We’ve provided a list of 57 story ideas, so you don’t even have to leave this page. (You’re welcome!)
- What Makes a Good Story Idea?
- Story Ideas
- Dystopian Story Ideas
- Funny Story Ideas
- Holiday Story Ideas (Including Christmas Story Ideas)
- Love and Romance Story Ideas
- Magical Realism Story Ideas
- Murder Mystery Story Ideas
- Other Mystery Story Ideas
- Scary Story Ideas
- Sci Fi Story Ideas
- Story Ideas for Teenagers
- Vampire Story Ideas
- Other Realistic Fiction Story Ideas
Classes in Writing
- Writing Character-Driven Short Stories
- Writing Fiction: 5 Exercises to Craft a Compelling Plot
- Writing for Expression: How to Make Your Words More Artful and Lyrical
- The Writer’s Toolkit: 6 Steps to a Successful Writing Habit
- Creative Writing Essentials: Writing Stand-Out Opening Scenes
- Writing Fiction: 4 Exercises to Discover and Write Your Story
Before we dive into that coveted list of story ideas, let’s talk about what makes story ideas good. This question often trips up both current and aspiring writers. They’re so convinced that their idea isn’t a good one, they don’t even try to write it.
But it’s really, truly, not that complicated. Because here’s the thing: Almost any idea can turn into a good story, as long as it has two main components: a clear story arc and intriguing characters. (Keep in mind that your original story idea could be just a sentence long—a simple premise that you build the story arc and characters around.)
A Clear Story Arc
At first glance, each and every story may seem pretty different. But if you take a really good look at them, you’ll find that most follow this structure to some extent.
- Introduction: This is where you provide the reader with vital context, such as who the main characters are, where the story is set, and maybe a brief teaser into what’s going to happen. Don’t give too much away, but make sure the reader isn’t floundering and confused as they journey through the rest of the story.
- Rising action: Let’s say you’re writing a murder mystery. In the rising action section of the story, the main character would discover the victim, start looking for clues, and perhaps identify a few suspects and follow a few dead-end tips. Here, the tension should be building—the murderer could be revealed at any second. The desired effect is that the reader won’t want to put your story down because they need to know what happened, and they need to know now!
- Climax: This is the part of the story where it all comes to a head. After uncovering the final clue, the reader finally knows exactly who the killer is, and anxiously follows along with the main character as they chase down the murderer and catch him.
- Falling action: This section could also be referred to as “the aftermath of the climax.” Here, you may share more details about the killer’s motive, the punishment he received after being caught, and how others in the town are dealing with the entire ordeal.
- Resolution: It’s time to wrap it up. The murderer is in jail, people feel safe to walk the streets again, and, each year, the town runs a race in memory of the victim. If you’ve decided that this is just the first story of a series, this is where you’d reveal that the murderer’s yet-to-be-discovered accomplice is still lurking around the corner and waiting to strike again (insert evil laugh).
Readers want someone to fight for. That means you have to have at least one likeable character. Because if you present your readers with a bunch of characters who are dull or just plain awful, they won’t care what happens to them, and they may be tempted to put the story down without making it to the end.
Here’s an important note, though: Likeable doesn’t mean perfect. Your characters should have flaws. They should make mistakes, and you shouldn’t be afraid to make them do things readers won’t like. However, most of them should also have redeeming qualities, too. For instance, Dan may be obnoxious on the soccer field, always elbowing his opponents and faking injuries, but he also walks his little sister to school every morning and gets dinner ready before his mom gets home from work. The point isn’t perfection; it’s to create someone who’s relatable, someone who your readers believe could really exist (within the realm of the genre you choose).
Of course, there’s quite the obvious caveat when it comes to redeeming characters. Typically, evil villains are just plain evil. (Cruella de Vil makes a living out of killing puppies—and enjoys it. There’s no coming back from that.) Just make sure you balance the story out with characters who aren’t purely malevolent.
At last! The treasure trove of good fiction story ideas. We’ve put together a wide variety of ideas for a story—romantic story ideas, horror story ideas, science fiction story ideas, vampire story ideas, and more.
- The only land left above water is the continent of Australia, and its inhabitants—which includes those who fled there on boats from around the world—must build a new society.
- Time is running out for Planet Earth. Luckily, humans have set up a place to live on Mars. The only problem is, only 10% of the population can go. How will they decide?
- The surface of the Earth becomes too hot to live on, so humans have to start living underground in large habitats—but then the temperature starts rising there, too.
- A remote island in the middle of the Arctic Ocean somehow completely avoided the effects of climate change, but its residents have to follow a bunch of odd rules.
- A tale of Diane’s dating life, told through the perspective of her cat, Jenkins.
- A group of college mascots competes in an array of strange events to earn the uncreative but coveted title of “Best College Mascot.”
- Carly’s dad is running for Senate, but she really doesn’t want him to. So, she pulls a series of silly, unsuccessful pranks to bring down his candidacy.
- Barry anonymously runs “The Excuse Machine,” a side job in which he develops bizarre excuses for people who don’t want to do something but don’t know how to get out of it.
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- Lydia sets out to make her company the leading candy seller for Halloween. Little did she know how vicious other candy sellers would be.
- Mark starts a Christmas tree decorating business to support his family—and quickly becomes the most sought-after designer in the country.
- When Santa Claus unexpectedly quits, the head elf has to find someone new to take his place.
- For the first time in almost ten years, Julia’s entire family has decided to spend all eight days of Hanukkah together, putting seven very different people in a very small house.
- Shawna has only one goal this year: to ruin Valentine’s Day for everyone around her.
- A third grade teacher falls in love with the school’s guidance counselor.
- Alex devises an elaborate scavenger hunt to propose to his boyfriend.
- Do opposites really attract? Kate, who works at an animal rescue center, meets her soulmate—then discovers that he never wants a pet in his life.
- An Olympic gymnast stars on a reality TV show called Going for Gold—in Love.
- An investigative reporter falls in love with one of the people she’s been investigating.
- Her whole life, Jenny has used her telekinesis to fight bullies. She’s never met anyone else with this gift—until now.
- Almost every woman in Clara’s family can see into the future. For years, they’ve hidden their talent from the world, adeptly wielding it to get what they want in life.
- A mysterious spirit accompanies Elijah on a road trip across the country.
- Elena is one of the fastest runners on her college track team—but only when she’s wearing a certain pair of shoes.
- A golden ring with a ruby stone protects Gemma from harm. And then she loses it.
- After being out at sea overnight, the captain of a cruise ship is found dead—and it definitely wasn’t from natural causes.
- The town baker knew something he shouldn’t have known, so somebody killed him.
- Mary thought she was joining a book club, but it turns out the group was brought together to solve a murder.
- Everywhere Joe goes, someone ends up dead. But he swears he isn’t the murderer.
- When Shonda arrives at work one morning, she finds the entire office building missing.
- All the animals at the zoo are nowhere to be found, and they’ve left almost no trace.
- Liam’s apartment was broken into, but nothing was stolen. There’s just a note on the wall that says, “You have 27 hours to deliver the package.” He has no idea what it means.
- Jenna starts receiving anonymous notes about a hidden treasure.
- A newlywed couple moves into a new home and starts receiving threatening phone calls.
- While building a new house, the construction team finds two bodies buried in the plot.
- Lorraine discovers a serial killer living in her basement—and she’s his next target.
- A young boy becomes possessed, and his father tries to drive out the evil spirit.
- Every time Allison looks in the mirror, she sees a new face staring back at her.
- Mike’s grandfather won’t stop talking to him. But his grandfather has been dead for three years.
- An unidentified monster attacks people in a small mountain town, whose residents come together to capture it.
- After a science experiment went wrong, Penny can suddenly read other people’s minds. It’s a blessing and a curse.
- When John comes home from college to surprise his parents, he discovers that his dad is really a bionic man.
- After a meteor hits the planet, humans still exist, but cats are in charge.
- A private investigator is hired to find all of the aliens living in a small town.
- While fixing the space station, an astronaut discovers a glowing teal rock that has the potential to change his life—and the entire world.
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- The high school’s budget has been cut and only one of the following teams can remain: basketball or baseball. Each team must prove why they should be the one to stay.
- A group of teenage superheroes has to save their city from an evil mayor.
- Someone needs to be the new school mascot, and the competition is fierce.
- During their senior year of high school, best friends Emily and Laura fight to see who will become their class valedictorian.
- A vampire becomes the next President of the United States.
- A group of vampires builds a villa in the Appalachian Mountains, and some locals fight to kick them out.
- Jerry the vampire is on a quest to prove that some vampires (like him!) are good.
- Louis meets the love of his life—then finds out he’s a vampire.
- Elizabeth gets a letter in the mail inviting her to apply for a “vampire-in-training” school.
- A world in which vampires are the reigning species and humans are the outsiders.
- After growing up together, two best friends learn how to remain close, even though they take very different paths in life.
- In his quest to become the youngest partner at his law firm, Kareem learns some very important lessons about life.
- After a career-ending injury, a professional soccer player has to learn how to reinvent her life.
- Right after high school, Kendra moves to Los Angeles to pursue a songwriting career.
We hope these ideas for a story give you the inspiration you need to break through writer’s block. If you’re still feeling hesitant, view this as your final nudge to just pick one of the story ideas above and get writing!
Remember: It doesn’t have to be perfect the first time (or ever)—have fun with it! We can’t wait to see what you write.
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