STORY INSTITUTE - WRITING IDEAS



Are you an author in search of a short story idea? Are you a poet looking for a muse or inspiration from which to draw out your verse? Check out our idea pages before or after you write. Move the switch to either Story Ideas or Poem Ideas. Enjoy!

  • Story Ideas
  • Poem Ideas

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Where do your stories shine through? Every author has a bright spot. Find yours and share it. #storyon #storytelling


Story Idea - Weather Controlled

What if the groundhog was actually the controller of the weather instead of just the predictor of a shortened Winter? What if the groundhog had an extensive series of tunnels that were used to influence the direction of the clouds, the strength of the wind, the flow of the rain upon a dryer earth? What if…what if…

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Story Idea - Away to Nature

The tall creature lingered into view. The young couple sat on their hotel balcony and watched the long tongue wrapped itself around a nearby tree, slowly stripping off the green leaving only the remnants of a darker, brownish color-coated in saliva. The man and woman embrace and watch this simple act of nature. They came here to get away…away from the city life, away from the chaos, away from the “technological advances.” They came here to hide. They came here to be together.

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Story Idea - Gifts Shared at a New Home

Small, feathered creatures make their way into a new pond. In order to feel welcome, they bring a few gifts for their new neighbors. Each treasure is specially selected for each new friend. The ducks listen to each story and find out who represents each prize.

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Story Idea - Mysterious Delivery

The day was not cloudy and the night was as dark as usual. Nothing out of the ordinary was happening. Of course, that is how it usually works out, isn’t it…the truck of new bamboo arrived at the zoo…yes, bamboo, and yes, the zoo. The exhibits needed some new foliage and the pandas needed some additional food. As the keepers open the truck and begin to inspect the cargo, they hear rustling toward the back of the truck. Slowly the make their way toward the sounds. As the reach they back, flashlight shining the way, a small furry creature creeps out from behind the tall stalks. He is black and white looking bear, who is wearing an illuminated, green collar and seems to be smiling at the crew.

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Story Idea - Horse of a New Color

Have you ever thought that the horse of a different color could be real? What if the wish of one little girl helped make this fantasy more of a reality? What if the horse changed colors depending on the mood it was in? What if? What if? That is what the 6 year old little girl kept asking her daddy after taking a few riding lessons.

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Story Idea - Storms Rising

The wind shifts and the rain pelts the dry earth below. The sky darkens and the winds increase in intensity. The calming drips of a slow rain as it provides tasty water to the thirsty verdant terrain. It was light just a few moments ago. There were no cars on the road. Now, a parking lot rests on the pavement and darkness scatters among the residents of this small town.

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Story Idea - Rain Games

Do you remember the fun neighborhood games that you used to play when you were younger? Were you one of those young ones who ran around in your swimsuit with a towel on your neck as you flew around the houses? Did you wait for the rain to add to your superpowers? This story is about childhood adventures in the rain.

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Story Idea - Camping Within the Story

Camping can be fun and adventurous. The musty smell of the nylon tent; the warm, damp feeling inside the sleeping bags; the random, rather mysterious eruptions of sounds as nature’s night lights sparkle in the clearer, midnight blue backdrop. The beauty and wonder of the outdoors dissipates as voices of little ones fear and fret about the darkness and the critters they saw peering through the trees before they entered the tent.

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Story Idea - Riding the Waves

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The waves have been around since the oceans were formed. They carry water from one spot to the next. They push along boats, seaweed, and many other species who rely on the depths to move them from one location to the next. Could it also be the need for transportation that causes waves in the first place?

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Poem Idea - Crackling Campfire

The crackle of the wood as flames strike the wood. The smell of greener logs emitting a film as they are tossed into the growing blaze. The light gray specks floating around randomly within the smoke and the sparks. The sights and sounds of a campfire excite little ones and provide memories and paths to new visions for adults.

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Poem Idea - Seashells

No two seashells are alike, yet they group themselves in the same places. They float and they sink. They migrate and are migrated. Some are flatter than others. Some are smooth and others posses ripples and ridges. Many have various colors that allow them to sparkle in the sunlight and catch your eye as you stroll down the beach. A few others are dull in nature and blend into the glistening sand.

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Poem Idea - Tortoise not Turtle

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Tortoises are classified as slow and tired looking. For those that know the beast, they can be described as calm, complacent, wise-looking. The hard shell protects the softer insides from predators, but it is not the enormously comfortable home we may desire. It creeps along 0.13 mph, but does it get to where it is going?

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Poem Idea - Giraffes Around

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Giraffes are tall creatures who blend in well with the surroundings they choose. They reach up into the tall realms of the leafy residents of their community and enjoy a meal or light snack. With feet the size of a standard dinner plate, they can achieve speeds of up to 30 mph as they sprint with a very unique gait.

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Poem Idea - Swamp Life

The swamp is a mysterious place that provides a home and shelter to many life forms. From frogs to alligators and mosquitoes to bats, each call this murky place their home. Dark waters provide shelter and nourishment to these creatures. Some have bulging eyes on the top of their heads to better see the slumping environment. Some meander aimlessly looking for the next place on which to land. The swamp provides much to a different world of wild life.

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Poem Idea - Ducks or Daffodils

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Ducks or daffodils…daffodils or ducks…Really think about the focus of certain sitings within a scene. Composing a poem about a single item may provide focus and direction. In this case, you single item is the complete picture. You are standing outside a restaurant and what comes waddling along, but a mother duck and her little ones. Their colors blend into the woodchips which line the bed of the daffodils.

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Poem Idea - Giant Pandas

An enormous black and white, cuddly-looking bear rests amongst tall bamboo stalks and its rocky surroundings. The giant panda may look cute, but its large teeth and incredibly strong jaws make it more dangerous than your night-time teddy bear. The zoos are becoming one of the few places you can find these creatures. The giant panda uses a pseudo thumb which helps them grasp their favorite meal.

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Poem Idea - Horse of a Similar Color

Horses are majestic creatures admired for their perseverance and taken advantage of for their shear strength. They stand shoulders above most humans and run like the wind…OK, maybe not exactly like the wind, but get caught down wind from them and you will reflect on another strong creature.

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Poem Idea - Cat Reflections

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Cats are creatures who have been a part of domestic life for a long, long time. With calming purrs, soft fur, glowing eyes, and at times, a self-centered personality, these felines provide a companion to many generations. From the little fur ball of a kitten to the back-arching adult alley cat, these creatures are a part of many lives.

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Poem Idea - Dog Connection

Dogs are great companions and closer to us than we would like to admit sometimes. The soft fur, the floppy or pointy ears, the panting, the growling, the cold nose. All of these connect with our canine pals. Are you thinking about the puppy you got when you were young? Are you reflecting on the neighbor’s pooch? Either way, focus on the connections he brings.

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Short Story Ideas - Story Institute short story ideas, story topics, and novel development.

Poem Ideas - Story Institute poetry ideas, poetry topics, and verses for all ages.