Surreal writing prompts and story ideas might just be what you need when you’re low on inspirations. Throw the rules of physics out the window, the hell with logics and cause-effect because, sometimes, it’s fun just to write without having all those things limiting us, where imagination is the only ceiling.
Read on for prompts like a beekeeper who’s convinced that his bees are colonizing his brain, to a sorority member who breaks down in the face of peer pressure and begins suspecting that her clique is setting her up for a sinister prank!
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- What is Surrealist Fiction, Really?
- Surrealistic Writing Prompts
- More Ideas?
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What is Surrealist Fiction, Really?
Surrealism in literature, as explained in this article, connects the conscious and unconscious minds and frees us to explore art away from conventional restrictions, so that we can zoom in on the bare essentials of our own humanity.
At the onset of this movement, the founder asserted that surrealism was, beyond all else, a revolutionary movement, associated with political causes like communism and anarchism. Some modern examples of surrealist stories in recent pop culture include the movies Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Mulholland Drive.
Elements of Surrealist Fiction
Surrealist fiction blurs the line between reality and the subconscious, imaginary, fantasy or dreams. Often involves irrational and conflicting elements, the use of an omniscient narrator in the story may sometimes clarify what really happens in the narrative.
Here are some elements of surrealistic stories:
– Is an expression of the philosophical movement of the author with the work itself being of a secondary importance.
– Aiming to reconcile the previously incompatible states of dream and reality into an absolute reality, a super-reality, or surreality.
– Often feature surprising twists, unexpected juxtaposition, and non-sequitur.
Surrealistic Writing Prompts
Without further ado! Here are some surreal writing prompts to get your inspiration flowing. (Please note that the genders in these writing prompts are just placeholders and are not meant to enforce any hurtful stereotypes or offend anyone.)
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1. Write about a beekeeper whose wife is unfaithful. He’s convinced that his bees are slowly occupying his brain by entering through his ears, but he happily lets them stay.
2. Write about a war veteran (or a traumatized individual) tries to readjust to normal life, but it’s with the help of his/her goldfish, who often talks to him/her.
3. Write about the life of three generations of drug dealers, however, it’s told from the perspective of the family’s longest-living pet, a giant turtle kept in a pond in the middle of the estate.
4. Write about a teenager who’s bitten by a spider, to the dismay of his/her parents, but he/she’s convinced that it turns her into a superhero.
5. When a bored teenager makes a wish to swap places with her dog, somehow, the wish is granted. Then, after occupying the body of her beloved pet, her mind begins a downward spiral into that of an animal.
1. Beauty and the Beast is actually one woman’s delusion as she becomes the kidnapping victim of a vicious serial-killer.
2. A shipwrecked businesswoman convinces herself that the people who finds her are not who they say they are, but rather, a group of flesh-eating merpeople.
3. When they’re dissatisfied with a heavenly life filled with sweet calm, Adam and Eve team up with the serpent to leave the tranquility of Eden. Who’s corrupting who?
4. An elderly woman whose husband just died is so lonely that she befriends not one, not two, but seven demons who regularly come to see her, who are actually the seven stages of grief.
5. An elderly man who lives alone is so old that he permanently loses his sight. When a portal opens in his living room straight into the gates of the Underworld, he mistakes Cerberus as a stray dog and begins befriending it.
(The last three posts above are cross-posts of the prompts I wrote in Deep Dark Fantasy Ideas. Feel free to check it out!)
More Surrealistic Writing Prompts
1. When he’s convinced that the zombie apocalypse has started, a lonely white-collar worker shuts himself inside of a bunker.
2. After losing a gardening competition, a gardener begins talking to her houseplants.
3. When an obsession with a video game has proven to be too much, a nerd starts to blur the lines between the game and reality.
4. An astronaut experiencing engine failure begins hallucinating due to lack of oxygen, their mind beginning to make up a group of aliens invading the ship. But is it really hallucination or is it reality?
5. A famous motivational speaker is, at the end, revealed to be a patient in a psychiatric ward.
6. An elderly person whose cranky outlook in life has started to affect her well-being has swapped bodies with her toddler granddaughter.
7. A sorority member breaks down in the face of peer pressure and begins suspecting that her clique is setting her up for a sinister prank involving her major crush. But when said crush turns up dead, who’s to blame?
8. A person who lives in an idyllic island and befriends all sorts of animals is revealed to be an administrator in a mental health facility. The revelation itself means that the administrator is also a mentally-unstable person.
9. When bullied by her friends, a girl from a broken home recruits the creatures that live under her bed to exact revenge on them.
Here are some picture-based surreal prompts, because, a picture speaks a thousand words! Below are some image prompts as well as some prompt ideas to accompany each.
(Please click on the image for more information.)
1. A bullied person starts to imagine that he has an alternate life up in the moon, and when he finally has had enough of his bullies, he orders the moon to come crashing on Earth as a punishment for those who has wronged him.
2. A child believes that she has a friend whose house is up in the moon, who’s ready to whisk her away at a moment’s notice whenever her homework is too hard, or her parents start to ignore her in favor of her newborn baby sister.
(Please click on the image for more information.)
1. A 18-year old who has an unrequited feeling for her much older tutor begins coughing up rose petals because she has the Hanahaki Disease. (It’s a fictional disease where flowers grow in the lungs of a person with unrequited feelings for someone. It’s painful and victims begin with coughing up a few petals until the final stage, where they cough up entire flowers, leading to their ultimate demise.)
2. Or write about someone who desecrates nature when going on a hike. As a punishment, the fairies who witness the atrocity decide to turn them into a plant.
There they are, some surreal story ideas that hopefully will spark your inspiration!
Furthermore, here are some other posts that you might find interesting:
Or browse our Story Ideas & Writing Prompts category for more ideas!
Until next time!