Realistic fiction has always been my favorite genre to write in. I love the feeling of conjuring up worlds and characters so vivid that you can almost reach out and touch them. It’s truly an experience like no other. If you’ve landed here, it’s likely because you share my passion for creating realistic fiction but you’re struggling to get inspired or you’re uncertain about what direction to take in your writing. 

If that sounds like you, then you’ve come to the right place! I always had a hard time coming up with great stories that felt “right”. But what I’ve learned throughout my years of writing is that waiting for inspiration is the fastest way to STAY stuck. As writers, a blank page truly is our number one enemy. So, instead of waiting for perfect ideas to appear out of thin air, I started creating stories using prompts.

Writing prompts are a great way to get that initial spark of creativity and then let your imagination take it from there! Below, you will find ideas for fictional stories suitable for a lot of different genres. So without further ado, here are 78 realistic fiction writing ideas to inspire your next story!

Table of Contents

Creative Writing Prompts for Short Stories

Aftermath: Write about a woman who is recovering from the aftermath of an abusive relationship with her ex-husband.

Forgiveness: A man learns to forgive himself for his past. 

Learning to love: A little boy learns how to love through his stepfather. 

Stranded: A woman is left stranded in a hotel. 

Third Wheel: A group of 3 friends go out for drinks and one of them feels left out. 

Lies and deceit: Write about a relationship where both partners are cheating and lying about it. 

Shelter: Write about a homeless person who finds shelter for the night. 

Young and Sick: Write about a young adult who finds out they have a neurological disease. 

First Love: Write about a young teen who gets a crush for the first time. 

Muse: An old man admires his beautiful wife and decides to learn how to paint just so she can see herself through his eyes. 

Jealousy: Write about a young teenage girl who is jealous of her best friend. 

Anxiety: Write about a man struggling with his social anxiety. 

Love isn’t always enough: Write about a couple who love each other deeply but have to break up due to their values not aligning.

Heaven: A young man has a near-death experience and swears he saw heaven but no one believes him. 

Your Eyes: A woman gives birth to a daughter who looks just like her deceased grandmother.

Baptized: An inmate who found god gets baptized as soon as he is released from jail. 

Lost: A sailor is lost at sea during a storm. He writes a letter to his family, puts it in a bottle, and throws it into the ocean hoping that someone will find it. He ends up drowning. 

Darkness: Write about a man who tries to become a better person but his dark past always seems to catch up to him. 

Happy for the first time: A lonely young adult decides to move to a foreign country and experiences true happiness for the first time. 

Fake Smile: Write the story of a teen who has difficulty feeling emotions so he learns to act them out so he can fit in with his peers. 

Best Friends: Write a story about how two strangers became best friends within an hour. 

Real Life: A man who has been living in a mental hospital all of his life is finally able to live freely on his own. Describe his thoughts and feelings as he experiences life on his own for the first time. 

Next Time I will: Write a story about a character who never keeps their promises. One day, one of their loved ones dies and your character’s number one regret is not keeping their word. 

The second person: Write a story about a character who’s in a loving relationship but slowly starts to fall in love with a second person. 

The Right Path: Write a story about a character struggling to decipher between what’s right and wrong and questioning their morals. 

Plot Ideas for Novels

Make it home: Write a story about a character who is completely lost in a foreign country and tries everything to get back home. 

Missing piece: Write about a young adult who finds out that their family has been keeping an important secret from them for a very long time. 

Cloudy Mind: A young teenage boy who has seemingly been healthy his whole life starts to experience symptoms of psychosis but doesn’t tell anyone. 

Dreamer: Write about a character who wants to pursue a dream that seems impossible and ridiculous to everyone else. Do they end up succeeding? 

Lover’s Song: A young boy falls in love with a girl who is bullied at school. He grows up to become a famous singer and writes a hit song about her. 

I want to love you: A young man writes a beautiful love letter for his deceased wife. Because of this letter, his writing career blossomed. Even though he has always wanted to be a writer, he feels torn because his fame is built off of the death of his lover. 

Losing game: Write about an older athlete who becomes jealous and bitter when a younger player joins the team and starts to overshadow him.  

Bending the Rules: Write a story about a group of young innovative scientists who bend the rules constantly. One day, whilst trying out a dangerous experiment, they make a groundbreaking discovery.  

Dried tears: Write a story about a character who is trying to escape their traumatic past and is slowly healing from their childhood wounds. 

I want to be happy: Write a story about an old man diagnosed with a fatal disease. He realizes that, all his life, he has never felt true happiness or pursued his passions. So he writes down a bucket list of things he wants to do before he dies. 

The bargain: A character makes a stupid bargain as a teenager and years later it comes back to bite him in the ass. 

Story of a small town: Write a story about a small mysterious town. Who lives there? What are some of the town’s hidden secrets? 

Judge me: Write your story about a character who gets judged for being weird and eccentric but ends up being successful because of it. 

I’ll never let you go: A woman who had an abortion in her teens is reunited with her child years later and tries to develop a relationship with them. Even though she has no idea how to be a mother, she promises to always be there for them. 

Never fall in love: A cynical and bitter middle-aged man who has never been in love starts to develop feelings for someone for the first time.  

Dig my grave:  Write a story about a character who dies and narrates the events and choices they made in their life that led them to an early grave. 

Second Chance: A character is given a second chance at creating the life they always dreamed of. 

Late-night thoughts: Whilst cleaning out their attic, a character finds a series of mysterious letters written by a stranger. In the letters, the stranger confesses all of his deepest darkest secrets. After reading them, the character tries to figure out who these letters belong to. 

Pieces of my Soul: Write about a character who lives in poverty but needs to take care of their sibling. So to survive, they have to do unspeakable things and slowly start to lose themselves in the process. 

Long Distance: Write about a character that falls deeply in love with someone they meet whilst traveling abroad. How does the relationship progress? Do these characters end up making things work despite the long distance or do they break up because of it?

Piece of Art: A young struggling artist goes through a traumatic experience and decides to illustrate his pain in his art.

True Story: Write a story about a character who went through something so insane and crazy that no one believes that it’s a true story. 

Small Business: A young woman tries to start a small business and encounters multiple obstacles along the way. 

Fairy Tale: Write a story about a couple who had a fairy tale life that turned into a nightmare. 

Last Time: Write a story about a character who keeps having the same dream about the last time they saw a loved one. 

Superior Officers: A young man finally achieves his dream of becoming a police officer but quickly realizes that his coworkers are not good people. He finds out that most of them don’t respect citizens because they believe they’re superior. 

Birth Parents: Write a story about an adopted character trying to uncover who her birth parents were. When she finally uncovers their identity, the truth shocks her. 

Own Lives: After a traumatic accident, a character wakes up with no memory of their past life as an FBI agent. 

High School Drama: A group of close friends go camping together. When they come back from the trip, their group completely falls apart. In your story, uncover the mystery of what happened and how each relationship disintegrated. 

Graphic Arts: An aspiring graphic arts major is bullied by their professor. They decide to drop out of school and end up becoming the most successful graphic artist in their town. 

Creative Ideas for Believable Characters

The old bartender: Write about an old bartender who works in the pub of a small town. What’s their backstory? Who were they when they were younger and how did they end up here? 

Main character: Write about an insecure man who sees himself as the side character in everyone else’s life.

An introvert’s story: Write about a character who is extremely introverted and struggles to find their place in a world where being loud and outspoken is praised. 

The young woman: Write about a mysterious young woman with a dark past.

The man who couldn’t love: Write about a man who could feel every single emotion except for romantic love but desperately wanted to experience it. 

The Girl with Scars: Write about a character who has huge scars on their face and body. Where do those scars come from? 

The Lonely Mother: Write about a mother who experiences loneliness after all her children move out. How does she regain her sense of self?

The Brave Young Soldier: Write about a soldier who is braver than the rest and always puts himself on the line to help others. What’s his backstory? Why does he have so much courage when others seem to lack it? 

Leader: Write about a character who’s a natural-born leader. 

The selfish college student: Write about a College student who is known to have very selfish tendencies. What are their reasons?

The gamer: Write about a character who loves gaming to the point of obsession. 

Daddy’s Little Girl: Write about a rich girl who grew up spoiled by her father and never learned how to respect others’ boundaries or take no for an answer. 

The smart one: Write about a character who is extremely intelligent yet misunderstood.

Friendly: Write about a character who is friendly to a fault and unfortunately gets taken advantage of because of it. 

Ambition: Write about a character who is so ambitious that they will do almost anything to get what they want, including throwing others under the bus. 

Insomnia: Write about a character who often has vivid nightmares. They are afraid of falling asleep and develop extreme insomnia.

Dancer: Write about a character who aspires to become a professional dancer. 

The Fighter with a Heart of Gold: Write about a character who has been through some difficult times and does not have the best luck in life. However, even though they’ve been through a lot, they still have a heart of gold. 

Plain: Write about a character who struggles to come to terms with the fact that they are very average in every aspect of life. 

Wild card: Write about a character who’s charming and extremely quirky. They have weird habits and an odd way of thinking that intrigues everyone around them. 

Faith: Write about a character who questions their religious beliefs and struggles to form new ones. 

Calculating: Write about a character who is extremely cold and calculating. Were they always like this? If not, what made them become this cold?

The Boy Who Was Obsessed with Fiction: Write about a character whose obsession with science fiction and fantasy constantly gets him in trouble.

Good writing develops through consistency. So, using writing prompts regularly to get inspired can help you get over writer’s block, develop better writing skills, and become a more skilled writer over time. I hope these realistic fiction story ideas helped you write amazing short stories, plots, and fictional characters! Let me know down below which one was your favorite and please feel free to write some of your own ideas. 

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