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Fantasy writing prompts: 200+ ideas to create magic

Looking for ideas to write epic or dark fantasy, academic (school-set) fantasy or the comic variety? Find 200-plus fantasy-writing prompts below for writing flash fiction, short stories or something longer:

Fantasy writing prompt categories

Use the table of contents below to jump to one of twenty fantasy writing prompt categories:

  1. Magical discovery
  2. Magical laws and rules
  3. Magical objects and talismans
  4. Spells, rituals and potions
  5. Magic in the real (primary) world
  6. Magical alternative worlds
  7. Fantastical or mythical creatures
  8. Curses and forbidden magic
  9. Prophecies and legends
  10. Witches and wizards
  11. Magic schools and teachings
  12. Enchanted and other magical places
  13. Time travel and other magical transport
  14. Swords and sorcery
  15. Riddles and trials
  16. Alchemy and transformation
  17. Unique cultures and societies
  18. Morally grey magic
  19. Magic’s constraints
  20. Heroic vs destructive fantasy characters

Explore the fantasy writing prompts below and get more insights into writing fantasy in our complete fantasy guide and hub.

Fantasy writing prompts on magical discovery

Magic takes many forms in fantasy literature, from spells, sorcery and enchantment to teleportation, telekinesis, and more.

Use these fantasy writing prompts to come up with scenes, story ideas, flash fiction exercises – whatever you want.

  1. Write a story where a person discovers they have magic powers only for a specific day each year (or once-off). What is the significance of this day? Why does it unlock their ability?
  2. The most famous witch, wizard or mage in the world discovers a new power that spells disaster. Write a comic fantasy (or dramatic/tragic take) on this scenario.
  3. A fledgling novice in spell craft discovers a place that amplifies the potency of their powers. Write a story exploring this place – how they use it, its origins, the significance of the discovery.
  4. Write a story in which a student accidentally turns their class into [insert objects/animals/transformation] and explore the ensuing chaos and restoration of order.
  5. Write a story in which a librarian discovers a book with magical properties in the stacks. What is the book and what does it empower them to change or do?
  6. During a camping trip, a group of friends discovers magical powers that change their lives forever. Write their story.
  7. Write a story about an overworked [insert profession here] who discovers they can become invisible at will (and the help and hindrance this brings].
  8. A baker/chef/jeweler/florist/funeral home operator discovers their wares/services have magical properties or powers. Explore the consequences.
  9. Write a story in which a lawyer discovers magical abilities that aid them in court unbeknownst to tough judges and juries.
  10. A child discovers they can breathe underwater and so they explore sunken ships around their coastal town as they get older, until they make a troubling discovery. Write their story.

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Prompts on magical laws and rules

In many fantasy stories and novels, magic has costs, rules, laws like our physics.

Explore these fantasy writing prompts on magical laws and rules for ideas and story starters:

  1. Write a story where a child discovers they have healing powers, yet they come with a terrible price. This means they must choose treatment recipients carefully. What are their criteria?
  2. Write a story where a character is ostracized from their magical community for using forbidden magic and joins a band of misfits.
  3. Write a story about a rule-keeper in a magical world who harbors a secret about their own potentially ruinous rule-breaking.
  4. Write a story where a new bill has been passed outlawing magic, and the unlikely group of magic-doers who band together to see it overturned.
  5. Write a story set in a world where there are five laws shapeshifters have to abide by, and the protagonist breaks all five with dire consequences.
  6. Tell a story about a world in which magic is allowed under three, non-negotiable conditions. What are they?
  7. Write about a magical world where a law forbids magicians from using their craft for personal gain, and a loophole the protagonist exploits.
  8. There is a cut-off age after which people in a magical world cannot awaken/unlock their magical powers. Write a story about a character rapidly approaching this cut-off, and something they urgently need magic to achieve.
  9. Using magic to alter someone’s appearance is a high-risk, illegal procedure. Write a story where someone is disfigured by magic gone wrong, and the ways this affects their life. How do they struggle or triumph?
  10. Write a story about a rebel who creates a new spell that has never been used before, and the unforeseen consequences that result.

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Magical objects and talismans

Fantasy literature is a warehouse of talismans, rings, and other magical objects.

Explore ten fun fantasy writing prompts incorporating enchanted or otherwise magical objects:

  1. Write a story about a magical pendant and three generations of women who hand it down (with the same caution).
  2. An antiques dealer unknowingly sells a young couple a cursed object. Write a story about how the item leads to precarious situations.
  3. Write a story in which a protagonist hangs a protective ward above their front door, and the hell that breaks loose when it is stolen (try a dark fantasy tone/mood).
  4. Write a story about a magical compass-like device that instead of showing north shows where to find [blank].
  5. Write a story about a key, the origins of which the protagonist doesn’t know until several pieces of a magical puzzle fall into place.
  6. Write a story about a jeweler who makes magical talismans, the essential component they run out of, and an intrepid quest to obtain more.
  7. A candle burns indefinitely and cannot be extinguished, until [insert event], which will signal [insert prophecy fulfilled]. Write the full story.
  8. A hat gives it’s wearer the magical ability to summon tulpas (clones) of others do their bidding. What happens when the hat falls into the possession of destructive figure?
  9. A ring that casts a protective shield around its wearer falters at a pivotal moment with serious consequences. Write the full story.
  10. Children spying on a visiting relative find a curious geometric object on their nightstand. It creates a portal to a terrifying other world. Write the story.

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Dr Seuss quote why fantasy is necessary

Spells, rituals and potion

Fantastical stories are full of rites and tinctures, magic spoken and decanted.

Use the following ten prompts to explore weaving magic in stories and resulting mysteries:

  1. Write a story where the protagonist gets the ingredients for an important spell wrong (and the havoc that ensues).
  2. A graduating class of mages must perform a ritual according to exact instructions to seal and fully realize their magic. Write a story about a class whose ceremony is disrupted, and the consequences in each of their lives due to not completing the necessary rites.
  3. An age-reversal spell as an unforeseen side effect. Write the full story.
  4. A forbidden spell lands a young magician in hot water (but attracts the attention of a group of magic rule-breakers who see a use for the protagonist in fulfilling their aims).
  5. A potion testing causes dramatic changes in a magician’s apprentice’s personality with troubling or hilarious consequences. Write the full story.
  6. A spell that is meant to bring a positive change to a town has the opposite effect. Explore the turning point and fallout.
  7. A magical system uses spells requiring [insert ability]. Write a story about a differently abled magician and the trials they face as they excel and overcome despite their peers’ advantages.
  8. Write a story about a powerful sleeping spell and the criminal who uses it.
  9. A truth spell backfires making the recipient reveal an uncomfortable truth that cannot be ignored. Write this story.
  10. A group of friends discovers a ritual that lets them swap bodies. Explore the hilarity or disaster that ensues.

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Magic in the real/primary world

‘Primary’ world fantasy stories situate magic in protagonists’ home settings (such as Earth). For example, in urban fantasy, magic unfolds in modern, regular cityscapes.

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Explore ten fantasy writing prompts for stories set in primary worlds:

  1. A young adult stumbles across a park in their city that they never knew existed where they have a mysterious conversation. It’s an abandoned lot when they next return. Write the story.
  2. A deep-sea diving expedition finds a magical world in the lowest sea trenches which changes everything they thought they knew (and inhabitants alert them to a pressing danger). Write the story.
  3. A barista in a small town’s favorite coffee shop discovers they can grant wishes like a genie. Write their story.
  4. A supercell storm has something mysterious at the root of the updraft its creating. Write about the magical phenomena behind the event.
  5. Tourists visiting a desert landmark uncover an ancient magic far more dangerous than the tropes of mummies’ curses they’ve heard. Write the story.
  6. An evasive stray [insert domesticated animal] in [insert city] may have magical powers (or it could just be freaky happenstance). Write the story.
  7. A mysterious graffiti artist becomes active in a bustling city, and wherever they strike, strange beings start appearing. Write the story.
  8. An urban planner comes up against an opposing magical force in a city that makes executing their plans a nightmare. Tell the story.
  9. A mysterious train with an unfamiliar number appears in a city’s underground system, somehow avoiding causing collisions. Write a story about the inter-dimensional beings who use this line.
  10. A writer discovers a typewriter in garage sale in their hood that brings to life whatever they write about with tragic/funny consequences.

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Magical alternative worlds

Secondary or alternative worlds in fantasy fiction transport characters (and readers) to mythical lands.

Try ten fantasy story prompts to explore portals and other magical passages:

  1. Catching the wrong bus by accident leads a middle-schooler to a school that resembles their own but is located in a secondary magical world. Write the story.
  2. A protagonist has recurring dreams where they hear a haunting piece of music. They hear the music in the real world right before stumbling into another magical one. Explore the music’s origins.
  3. Write a story in which a protagonist must choose between passing through a one-way portal to another world to right a wrong and seeing their friends and family again.
  4. Explore an invented fantasy world where there is no land and people have adapted to entirely aquatic life (and the myths they have about when there was land).
  5. Write a story where a secondary world has become inhabitable, and people live in settlements in the sky in the hope of returning to land one day.
  6. Write a story where planets are connected via a similar type of portal. Only a select few know of the portals and may pass through them. Some do good while others are more destructive.
  7. A character stumbles across a world where books and writing are taboo and have all (or almost all) been destroyed. What are the results?
  8. Write a fantasy story where the protagonist finds a secondary world where people can manipulate the weather, light, or other physical processes using magic.
  9. Write about a secondary world in which climate catastrophe has led to magical solutions for acquiring scarce resources or living in inhospitable terrain.
  10. Explore a city built on giant, roaming beast in another world, and what characters find when they venture beyond this known world.

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Fantastical or mythical creatures

Fantastical, mythical creatures abound in fantasy and its subgenres.

Explore fantasy writing prompts for venturing into the wild:

  1. Write a fantasy story about a phoenix-like creature that is reborn when it dies and the rare abilities being present during this process bestows.
  2. The inhabitants of a world where magic is dying out have heard of a mythical creature which they think will be the solution or salve. Tell this story.
  3. Write a story about a mythical creature that is rumored to exist, a character determined to find it, and the magic (or is it happenstance?) that surrounds their hunt.
  4. Write a story in which three mythical beasts appoint humans who live in three regions as their guardians, bestowing magic, and the conflict this scenario leads to.
  5. A small village is terrorized by a mythical creature that is rumored to dwell in the peaks of a tall mountain. There is a famed magician who is rumored to have tamed one. Write the story.
  6. A character is transformed into a mythical creature and must survive hostility from their community who mistakenly believe they are the creature behind their own disappearance. Write the story
  7. Write a story where a character develops the ability to communicate with animals who issue a grave warning.
  8. A family adopts a pet not realizing it is a mythical creature with magical powers. Write their story.
  9. A dragon slumbering beneath a populous city awakes after centuries of sleep. What happens next?
  10. A hunter befriends a magical, mythical creature while out on the hunt. They confront a shared foe. Write their story.

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Curses and forbidden magic

Curses and forbidden magic in fantasy literature often create renegade shadows and other troubles.

Try your hand at ten fantasy writing prompts on illicit and underground magic:

  1. Write a story about an apothecary who brews potions promising transformation and prosperity (but doesn’t warn patrons of their true price).
  2. A character is cursed to be unable to venture beyond a restricted area. Write about the unlikely ally who stumbles across them and how they help lift the curse.
  3. A forbidden spell can grant a wish yet requires an enormous sacrifice. Write a story about its user.
  4. A child is cursed to be aged during the day and their true age at night. Write this story.
  5. A townsperson’s unkindness to a stranger brings a tide of unceasing misfortune to a town. Explore how and why the curse resolves.
  6. A curse on a leader means they experience the suffering of every individual in their kingdom as if it were their own. Write their story.
  7. A forbidden book of spells falls into the wrong hands. Write a story in which three spells cause increasingly worse consequences.
  8. A character uses forbidden magic to impress someone. Write about the evil they unleash unwittingly on the world.
  9. A forbidden magic that enables a young girl to enter others’ dreams leaves her with a moral dilemma when it means she could stop bad events. Write the story.
  10. A community exiles a magician right before realizing they are the only one with the power to overcome a major threat. Write the story.

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Prophecies and legends

Fantasy and fairy tales alike are full of prophecies and legends, tales of deeds past and future.

Play with ten fantasy writing prompts on the clairvoyant and long-rumored:

  1. A prophecy foretells a true leader will be ascendant when [insert trial] is fulfilled. Write the story of a child who fulfils the prophecy and what happens next.
  2. A prophet is treated by their community as crazy and ostracized, but they are dumbfounded when magical events give veracity to their claims. Write the story.
  3. A prophecy predicts a leader will fall in a battle where the odds are vastly in their favor. Write the story of their defeat and the fantastical circumstances surrounding it.
  4. Legend tells of a strange house deep in the woods. Write about the character who sets off to find it and the magical events that transpire.
  5. A protagonist is prophesied to reunite three warring kingdoms. Tell their story and how they achieve this unlikely feat.
  6. A mistranslated prophecy leads to the formation of a dangerous magical cult. Write about the individual who unmasks the true, original meaning.
  7. A legend about the past or origin of a people turns out to have been a prediction of their future. Tell this story.
  8. A legend tells of a secret city, protected by magic, which holds a valuable solution to a major crisis in the main character’s homeland. Write about their quest to the mythical place.
  9. A direct descendent of a legendary magical hero struggles to live up to their name with their non-magical life (until something happens which changes everything).
  10. Write a story about a legend, the repetition of which feeds a powerful magic (or magical being), unbeknown to the tellers. What happens when they stop sharing the legend? Write that story.

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Witches and wizards

From the beloved ‘Worst Witch’ series to modern tales of broomsticks and black cats, witches and wizards are fantasy favorites.

Try these ten fantasy writing prompts for a cackle:

  1. A society of diabolical wizards/witches disguises themselves as social media influencers and encourage a dangerous new trend that feeds their powers.
  2. A witch invents a new type of magical broomstick that solves a huge issue for witches and wizards everywhere, then her business associate steals her prototype to pass off as their own. Tell the story.
  3. A witch or wizard’s familiar (e.g. a cat) has a secret they don’t know about to start. The revelation of said secret impacts their future. Write the story.
  4. Write a story where a home-schooled witch and wizard must overcome initial awkwardness and antipathy to overcome a common enemy.
  5. A witch wants to train the next generation of magical leaders but faces many kinds of opposition along the way. Write their story.
  6. A wizard left unable to speak in an accident must find a novel way to cast spells. Write their story.
  7. A renowned wizard or witch starts a magic school but everything goes wrong in an endless farce. Write this fantasy comedy of errors.
  8. A wizard is hopeless at the exact kind of magic their reputation rides on, secretly outsourcing. Write about what happens when their illusion crumbles.
  9. Write a story where a disgraced witch or wizard must restore their reputation by completing a nigh-impossible trial.
  10. A witch or wizard develops a potion granting immortality. They must take a chance on dying to test if it works, though. Write their story.

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Fantasy quote - why writers are like magicians

Magic schools and teachings

Magic schools are a big part of so-called ‘academic fantasies’.

Here are ten prompts to make school rule with wish and wonder (or find the frustrations in fantastical education):

  1. Write a story in which a magical school closes for business due to a scandal (and the tricky path to its reopening).
  2. A magical college runs out of funding. Tell the story of the magical ways it fundraises and is saved so that it may stay open.
  3. A magic school is run by a college of mages and witches instead of a lone principal. Write a story of the tricky politics and dynamics that result.
  4. A school for magic has its license taken away by a governing body’s pencil pushers on a technicality. Write about the magic teacher who fights to be able to teach their students and their student relationships.
  5. Write a story about a magic school for seniors who discover abilities late in life.
  6. Write a story about the ‘in’ group and the outsider misfits in a magic school and their conflicts and eventual truce.
  7. A magical academy hides a dark secret nobody wants to acknowledge. Write about the intrepid student who exposes it and the consequences.
  8. A magic school makes students swear by seven (surprising) tenets. what are they? Write this story.
  9. A magic school that abides by tradition competes with a disruptive new school that upends the old order. Write about a group of students from each school who compete in inter-school events.
  10. A magic school runs a foreign exchange program that makes students aware of the very different ways magic is practiced around the world. Write about two students who swap and their experiences.

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Enchanted and other magical places

Enchanted forests, castles and other magical settings in fantasy are full of secrets and wonder.

Explore ten fantasy story starters below that integrate setting into the magic:

  1. Write a story about an enchanted bookshop that helps patrons find the exact book they need for powerful transformation.
  2. An enchanted lake grants those who swim in it the ability to pause time. Write the story about three swimmers who use their power to very different ends.
  3. Write about a café where every order is served with a secret side of magical good luck, until the barista loses their mojo, and each order brings misfortune.
  4. Write about a graveyard enchanted to resurrect the departed buried in its bounds on a future date – the story starts at ten to midnight as the date approaches.
  5. An enchanted post office sends people not mail but individual magical abilities when they turn thirteen. Write this story.
  6. An enchanted hotel makes patrons dream their greatest regrets (and find peace in the process). Tell this story.
  7. Write about an enchanted place a character remembers from childhood and revisits to find it in the grip of a curse instead.
  8. Write about a river that flows in reverse and a magical ferry on it that takes passengers back in time.
  9. A group of travelers stumble upon an island where dreams and nightmares come true that is under the spell of a powerful sorcerer. Write this story.
  10. Write about an enchanted club where dancers get lost in the music, literally.

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Time travel and other magical transport

How will characters get around in your next fantasy story? Magic school buses, hippogriffs, something else?

Explore ten fantasy writing prompts and get aboard the inspiration train:

  1. Write a story about a magical ship and the equally magical sea it traverses.
  2. Write a story where a travel back (or forward) in time yields unintended, troublesome consequences.
  3. Write about the magical transport system in an underwater city and the anecdotes of its oldest driver.
  4. Write about a character whose magic weakens fractionally with every step, and the choices they must make between freedom and movement.
  5. Write a story about a magical submarine that can travel through sea and land and its ragtag crew.
  6. Write a story about a commercial flight that never landed and the magical destination its passengers reached instead.
  7. Write a fantasy story in which horses are not transportation but serve another, unexpected purpose.
  8. Write a story about a magician who can only travel through dreams and is trapped within a single block unless they find a dreamer.
  9. Write about a person who discovers a magic library where every book is a portal to a different world.
  10. A character is cursed to be a message in a bottle, until someone finds it and reads the note inside. Write about their travels and transformation back (and who they meet in the process).

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Swords and sorcery

Swords and sorcery are staples of fantasy fiction, particularly the epic fantasy subgenre.

Try your hand at ten fantasy prompts for swordplay and conjuring epic worlds:

  1. Write a story in which a knight must face off against a dangerous magic with only their physical skills and wits.
  2. Write a story about a magical sword, the secret property of which is the incapability to cause mortal injury.
  3. Write a story about a sword that possesses its wielder, making them do its bidding.
  4. A magical assassin crafts a blade from her own shadow that is faster than any other, at a terrible price. Write her story.
  5. Write a story about a sorcerer who wishes they were a knight and resents having to use magic but slowly gains appreciation of it.
  6. Siblings are destined to become a mage and a warrior, but swap roles and identities to stop a dangerous threat. Tell their story.
  7. Write about a sword which heals instead of harms, and three rival factions desperate to attain it.
  8. A swordsperson is gifted a magical blade that can transform into almost any object. Write the story of its loss and recovery.
  9. Write a story about a duel between sword-wielders whose swords have powerful sorceries amplifying their power, and the path to their final confrontation.
  10. Write about a blacksmith who makes magical swords, and the one weapon they wish they’d never made.

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Riddles and trials

Riddles and trials go back to many myths and legends. Think Oedipus and the sphinx, or the twelve tasks of Hercules.

Try fantasy writing prompts to tell stories where riddles and trials play a prominent part:

  1. Write a story in which the main character must solve a riddle that requires them to go to three different regions for each of the three-part answers.
  2. A magic initiate must undergo five trials of increasing complexity before they are permitted to use their powers. Write their story.
  3. A leader sets a riddle for their successor, believing nobody will crack it, yet a challenger solves it via magical means. Tell this story.
  4. Write about a secondary fantasy world where disputes are settled by solving riddles or trials instead of other means.
  5. A legendary healing item or weapon may only be retrieved upon solving a riddle that requires great learning. Write about a character who spends their life training for its retrieval.
  6. Write about a band of adventurers and the shared and individual trials they face, only to learn that magic was not what they thought it was.
  7. A book of riddles turns out to be a book of spells where saying the riddle aloud conjures things, unbeknown to the reader. Write the story of the one who finds it.
  8. A group of powerful magicians seeks someone to recruit to their order, but first they must solve a series of confounding riddles. Tell the story.
  9. Write a story about a thief who must solve a riddle to remove the magical protections where an important but dangerous artifact lies.
  10. Write about a physical puzzle, the solving of which unleashes a dark magic into the world.

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Alchemy and transformation

Transmuting one material into another or physical transformation are ancient traditions of myth- and legend-making.

Here are ten prompts to explore on magical metamorphoses:

  1. Write a story about a transfiguration spell that goes wrong, and the hybrid form the caster must now live with.
  2. An alchemist can make their own gold, but their greed leads to a serious conflict. Write the story.
  3. A sorcerer curses their nemesis to transform into something undesirable, but a mistake gives the other a totally unfair new advantage.
  4. Write a story where a character turns into an object by day and is only free at night, and the consequences of this recurring magical transformation.
  5. Write a story about a character who can meld forms with their pet and the adventures they have.
  6. At transfiguration school, a novice accidentally turns their best friend into an annoying animal. Write about their journey to transform back.
  7. A character finds a pair of glasses that shows things’ true form, and makes some startling discoveries. Write their story.
  8. Write a story about a jealous sibling who uses magic to swap bodies with their talented, popular sibling.
  9. Write about a mirror that turns anyone who looks in it into their worst fear.
  10. Write about a magic garden whose plans have transformative properties (but that can only be found under certain conditions).

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Unique cultures and societies

One part of fantasy world-building (especially if you are creating secondary worlds or writing epic fantasy) is coming up with unique cultures and societies.

Try these ten fantasy writing prompts to explore differences and similarities between peoples:

  1. Write about a character who travels to another land on an important quest (and the surprising discoveries they make about how magic practice differs from home).
  2. Write about a fantasy society in which magic is intrinsically linked to music-making.
  3. In a magical kingdom, magical ability determines rank and status. Write about a character who travels from this setting to a place where all magic is taboo.
  4. In a secondary world’s social system, magic has made gender divisions (though not anatomical sex) obsolete. Write about an Earth’s resident’s learning from their travels there.
  5. Write about a magical society that values silence above all things, and the chatterbox main character who must make their way there.
  6. Write about a society where magic has a demerit system and a person’s powers are taken away through a communal ritual after three strikes.
  7. Write about a civilization of elementals who work together to maintain balance, and the interloping main character who upsets said balance.
  8. Write about a magical society where spoken words manifest into physical form, and the dangers (real or perceived) of an ignorant outsider’s speech.
  9. A society living on a secondary world has no nouns. Write about a main character who travels there and how they learn to communicate.
  10. Write about a subterranean society in a fantasy world and the myths that it holds and shares about the land above.

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Morally grey magic

Dark spells, curses and other morally grey uses of magic remind us that power has very different effect according to intention and ethics.

Explore ten prompts for writing stories where magic creates moral quandaries and conundrums:

  1. A magician finds an elixir capable of solving a global health crisis. The only problem? Several ingredients are profane or taboo. Write their story.
  2. A mage attempts to use time travel to correct magical mistakes, but only compounds the problem. Tell their story.
  3. Write a story where a character uses magic to clone themselves, but issues of responsibility arise when the clones start creating clones.
  4. A witch has the power to control dreams, but little power to control the realities altered dreams bring about. Explore their story.
  5. A wizard creates a magical apprentice, only for the apprentice to grow worryingly beyond their power and capacity for control.
  6. Write a story in which a character who is able to switch bodies with others at will leaves a trail of complications and misunderstandings.
  7. Write a story about a use of magic for business success that exploits and ends up harming the inhabitants of a small town.
  8. A character who discovers the ability to grant wishes notices how their associates come to rely on them so much they lose their individual power and capability. Explore what they decide to do.
  9. A mage discovers the ability to resurrect extinct animals, yet their experiments threaten a delicate ecosystem. Explore this story idea.
  10. Write a story where a magic-doer uses their powers to punish wrongdoers, but their vision of right and wrong becomes increasingly distorted.

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Magic’s constraints

In any fantasy story, magic isn’t a cure-all to everything. Mortality and other risks and conflicts still exist.

Explore ten fantasy writing prompts that factor in the idea of a limit:

  1. Write a story in which a character can only use magic under certain special conditions (such as a preparatory spell or in a certain biome).
  2. Write a story where a character can heal others but acquires a reduced version of their wounds or sickness through magical transfer.
  3. A character’s magic has a small, accumulative, irreversible cost every time they use it. Explore the implications of this.
  4. Write a story where the protagonist can become invisible, but with each use the effect becomes more permanent and they grow translucent.
  5. Write a story where a character can conjure fire but cannot put out any flame without it causing self-injury.
  6. A character is only able to attend magic school if they deceive those closest to them. Write their story.
  7. Write about a world where every time a person uses magic, deadly creatures from another dimension are summoned irrevocably.
  8. Write a story where using magic drains color from the world.
  9. A novice magician can only use spells within a curfew-related period, yet major trouble strikes outside active magical hours.
  10. Write a story where any spell may only be used once before it becomes ineffective.

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Heroic vs destructive fantasy characters

The fantasy genre is full of heroes and villains – white witches, rapscallion ring-bearers.

Try these ten fantasy writing prompts to explore opposite poles of good and evil:

  1. Write a story where the heroic fantasy protagonist evolves to become a sequel’s villain due to the suffering they undergo.
  2. Write a story from the perspective of the villain who uses dark magic, and explore the good they wrongfully believe they’re doing.
  3. An antagonist steals a magician’s abilities and they strive to get them back, only to learn they now function more dangerously than ever.
  4. Write a fantasy story about a hero and villain who started out as childhood friends and how their choices led them down different paths.
  5. Write a fantasy story where magic gone wrong causes the hero and villain to swap bodies or other features.
  6. A hero discovers their mentor has secretly been in cahoots with the villain. Write the story of betrayal and the resulting conflict.
  7. Write a fantasy story about a hero who discovers they were cursed or otherwise manipulated to do wrong, and the conflict they can’t avoid to get their true self back.
  8. Write a story about a retired fantasy hero who must get back into action due to a new or reawakened foe.
  9. Write a comic fantasy about a hero who goes on a grand adventure, but like Don Quixote, the magic is mostly in their mind.
  10. Write a story where a villain is more popular than the hero due to charisma or powers of persuasion, and the hero must stand alone.

🗣️ Which is your favorite fantasy writing prompt of all the above? Have your own to contribute? Share it in the comments!

Explore daily writing prompts on literary devices to improve your general craft.

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By Jordan

Jordan is a writer, editor, community manager and product developer. He received his BA Honours in English Literature and his undergraduate in English Literature and Music from the University of Cape Town.

4 replies on “Fantasy writing prompts: 200+ ideas to create magic”

200 ideas and 7 ideas about how to use the ideas?! This is delicious. Now I have a Craft Challenge reference (with my personal twist, of course). As for my novel, I usually need more help with filters than ideas 😁 But these are like tiny idea-island getaways. Thanks!

Thank you for sharing your feedback, Margriet (I like the idea of ‘idea-island getaways’) 🙂

Got an idea:

A young knight is considered a champion among his/her people, but the sacrifices he/ she made to achieve the title have stained his/ her good name and he/ she feels like anything but a champion.

Great ideas on here and these will make for some interesting stories.

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