Screenwriting Blog
Posted on by Victoria Lucia

20 Short Story Ideas to Get You Writing Right Away

20 Short Story Ideas to Get You Writing Right Away

Sometimes you want to write just to exercise the muscle, but you don’t know what to write about. Maybe you want to write about something small to take your mind off of what you’re currently working on. Maybe you’re trying to get in the habit of writing every day, but you need help getting started. Today, I’ve come up with 20 short story ideas to help you get over the hump of trying to come up with new screenplay ideas! Everybody needs something to jumpstart their writing once in a while, and maybe one of these prompts will be just the thing to get your fingers typing.

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Screenwriting Story Ideas by Genre

Romantic Comedy Story Ideas:

  • Your main character is in the library. They’re supposed to be studying, but they find their mind drifting to something embarrassing. They sit up straight in their chair and think, “Yikes. Sorry to any telepaths listening in.” They focus back on their book when someone approaches, sitting across from them. “That’s okay. I thought it was funny.” Genre: Rom-Com

Comedy Story Ideas:

  • It’s the zombie apocalypse, and something’s happened that nobody prepared for: The zombies talk, and they have a lot to say.

  • A ten-year-old boy sits alone in a diner. He’s reading a newspaper and drinking a coffee. Someone approaches him.

  • The historical figure of your choice wakes up in 2021.

  • Things come to a head when two rival pizza restaurants are both mistakenly invited to cater a town event.

  • Two moms sit on a mall bench looking defeated on Black Friday. They start to talk.

  • A hero is called to action by a talking tree; the tree says they’re the only person who can save the world. But the hero has a job and student loans to pay off. What kind of salary does saving the world offer?

Romance Story Ideas:

  • Two beauty pageant contestants find themselves caring less about the competition as they make a meaningful connection.

Drama Story Ideas:

  • Astronauts on an experimental space station become cut off from mission control. They must work together to make the best of things.

  • A woman meets her biological mother for the first time. It doesn’t go as expected.

  • Two siblings reunite for a cup of coffee. One of them just got out of rehab.

  • A fairytale type of princess rescues herself.

  • A young man discovers the virtues of a slower pace to life when he sees something unexpected on a bike ride that he otherwise wouldn't have noticed if he had whizzed by in his car.

Action Story Ideas:

  • A mailman witnesses a porch pirate stealing a package. He goes after them.

  • A fairytale type of princess rescues herself.

Thriller Story Ideas:

  • A woman is talking on the phone distractedly walking down a busy sidewalk. She bumps into someone. When she looks up to apologize, she sees a woman looking exactly like her staring back at her, surprised.

Mystery Story Ideas:

  • A couple is flipping a house for the first time. They discover something surprising.

  • One by one, everyone goes missing at a family reunion.

  • Two women have a fun night partying on a cruise ship. The next morning, only one woman wakes up in their cabin; the other has vanished.

Horror Story Ideas:

  • There really is something living under a child’s bed, but no one believes them.

Any Genre Story Ideas:

  • In the hospital, two patients strike up an unlikely conversation.

Did any of these ideas inspire you to write? I hope so! Getting started is hard, so hopefully, these prompts can take some of the pressure off and let you get back to writing quickly.

We’ll update this list as we come across new, great story ideas! Let your imagination wander. Happy writing!

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