Creative Story Ideas to Inspire You (Updated in 2023)

creative story ideas

Looking for creative story ideas to spark the imagination? You’ve come to the right place! Here’s a bunch of creative story ideas for adults, middle-schoolers, high school students, NaNoWriMo warriors, or any seasoned writers!

Star Wars, but underwater. Dragons who live in outer space. A phlebotomist who turns out to be a vampire. A sushi chef’s friendship with a body sushi model. Read on for more!

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Creative Story Ideas

In this day and age of Internet and fast spreading information, is it still possible to come up with a creative story idea? Absolutely! Consider this: there are only 12 notes in an octave, and yet people keep coming up with new songs every minute of the day! defines creative as “having the quality or power of creating; resulting from originality of thought, expression, etc.; originative; productive (usually followed by of).”

While the old adage rings true that there’s nothing new or original under the sun, a slight tweak and an ample imagination is all it takes to create a refreshingly original, creative story idea.

What’s more, there’s an ingredient that’s guaranteed to add something unique to the story: your voice. Your unique voice has the power to breathe a fresh life into an old trope or rejuvenate a tired cliché!

How to Come Up with Creative Story Ideas

Without further ado, let’s dive into some juicy, creative story ideas to jog your imagination.

Please note that the genders in these starters are just placeholders and are not meant to enforce any hurtful stereotypes nor offend anyone.

Subvert Well-Known Tropes

Subversion of old tropes and clichés are always fun and guaranteed to catch your readers off guard, so here are some creative story ideas which subvert tropes and common clichés.

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1. Pirates are famous as the masters of the sea. So, what kind of story can you tell about a pirate who can’t swim, or a pirate who’s prone to seasickness? (Originally appeared in my post Thrilling Pirate Writing Prompts.)

2. Horror story doesn’t always have to be set in scary places. Write about the spirit of a jilted bride who haunts a bright and cheerful wedding venue or a sunny vacation spot. Or an eldritch creature that lurks in a hospital’s newborn ward to prey on newborn babies. (Originally appeared in my post Horror Setting Ideas: An Imaginative List.)

3. Dragons are famous for breathing out fire, but what about dragons who spew out water or cough up precious stones or poisonous gas? Or a dragon that hoard babies instead of riches? Or dragons that live in outer space? (Originally appeared in my post Dragon Story Ideas.)

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4. In almost all famous works, the captain of a pirate ship is a pirate. So what kind of story can you tell about the captain of a pirate ship who’s not a pirate? Here are a few ideas: The captainship of a pirate vessel is determined by a cursed pendant that’s passed from one captain to the next, until an extraordinary incident occurs and the pendant is in the possession of a mermaid.

5. Or, a pirate captain kidnapped a physician to treat himself and his injured crews before he suddenly passed away. As it turns out, unbeknownst to the physician, the captain has entrusted with the captainship of the vessel to him. (Originally appeared in my post Thrilling Pirate Writing Prompts.)

6. Write about a werewolf who decides to be a vegetarian, or a werewolf that changes into an elephant when the full moon is over, or better yet, write about a were-elephant! (Originally appeared in my post Funny Writing Prompts for Kids.)

Lean into the Clichés

While it’s fun to subvert well-known tropes, taking a cliché into an extreme might just do the trick to inspire you for new, creative story ideas! Hence, here are some story ideas that lean hard into tired clichés.

1. Dragons like to hoard treasures, so write about a dragon who nests inside of a bank vault. Or small and stealthy dragons, the reason for the mysterious disappearances of all the coins and shiny trinkets in the house. (Originally appeared in my post Funny Writing Prompts for Kids.)

2. Werewolves are famous for their keen sense of smell, so write about a werewolf who provides service as a professional tracker, from missing things to missing people to missing pets. Too bad he’s so easily distracted by bouncing balls. (Originally appeared in my post Werewolf Story Ideas and Prompts.)

3. Nymphs and fairies love green, natural sceneries, so write about nymphs and fairies who migrate to public parks due to deforestation. (Originally appeared in my post Urban Fantasy Writing Prompts.)

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4. Who knows the ocean better than its inhabitants? Write about merpeople who offer underwater tours to humans. (Originally appeared in my post Alluring Mermaid Story Prompts and Ideas.)

5. Witches and vampires are long time enemies. Write about a man who’s hiding the fact that he’s a vampire from his fiancée, whereas, said fiancée is hiding from him the fact that she’s a witch.

Mix Genres Up

Write outside of the box and incorporate a variety of elements from genres that are outside of the one you’re working on. Or do a gender swap or role swap. Or change up the setting. Here are some creative story ideas that comes from mixing things up!

1. Taking inspiration from Little Women, write about five boys and their struggle in a new settlement on Mars.

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2. A vampire mermaid who lives on human’s fresh blood, because, why not?

3. The three little pigs are the villain, while the wolf is a victim of slander.

4. Star Wars, but underwater.

Unusual Jobs, or Unusual Places

Characters with unusual jobs may tell unusual but interesting stories, don’t you agree? So are unusual places. Here are some creative story ideas spurred by unusual jobs as well as unusual places!

(Originally appeared in my post How Characters Meet: 25 Non-Cheesy Meet Cute Ideas)

1. A nurse/phlebotomist meets an antsy first-time blood donator, but the nurse turns out to be a vampire.

2. The mascots of the two rival teams (who are for some reasons forbidden from taking their masks off throughout the game) bump into each other due to the gigantic costume restricting not only their sights but also movements. Then, the two hit it off despite reservation from each team.

3. A hired clown at a child’s masquerade birthday party creates a great connection with an adult guest. When the party ends and the masks come off, do they turn out to be rivals at work, or childhood frenemies, or others?

4. Separated by glass windows and suspended hundreds of meters in the air, a window cleaner strikes a conversation with a high-rise apartment dweller who’s confined to her apartment unit due to an illness.

5. A sushi chef tries to comfort a nervous body sushi model (nyotaimori) on her first day at work.


There they are, some creative story ideas that hopefully will get your inspiration going! For more story ideas and prompts, please browse our Story Ideas & Writing Prompts category!

Have any question or feedback? Feel free to contact me here. Until next time!

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