105 Fantasy Writing Prompts To Stoke Your Creativity

You’ve just finished reading a fantasy novel, and while you hate that there’s no more to read, you’re so in love with the story and its characters, you marvel at the author’s power and imagination.

What must it be like to make readers feel the way you’re feeling right now?

With the generous supply of fantasy writing prompts in this post, maybe this is the year to find out.

Crafting Great Fantasy Story Ideas

Fantasy writing gives you the opportunity to create new worlds and realities.

Your cast of characters can be regular humans, mythical beings, magical beings, or a group that includes all three.

The most compelling stories in this genre make use of the hero’s journey in some form. Think of Tolkien’s Frodo and the Ring.

Or the teenage protagonist in Rick Riordan’s Greek mythology-inspired Percy Jackson series.

Pick up any well-written and well-loved fantasy novel, and chances are, the author adapted the hero’s journey to their main character’s fears, desires, and personal tests.

Related: 16 Best Self-Publishing Companies For Your Writing Business

Learn from your favorite authors how to do the same, but in a way that fits your unique voice.

  • Create something that will inspire as well as entertain your readers.
  • Draw them into a world where anything is possible.
  • Help readers believe their own power to change things when they’ve finished reading your book.

For these outcomes, you need a story idea that grabs hold of you and makes you feel the way you want your reader to feel.

Maybe you’ve dabbled in writing fantasy, but you’re having a hard time thinking up a story idea that really excites you. Here are some ways to develop your story:

  • Twist, combine, or modernize classic fantasy tropes – Put a fresh spin on familiar elements like magic schools, dark lords, mystical objects, etc.
  • Borrow from mythology and folklore – Mine creatures and stories from ancient myths for inspiration.
  • Build unique magic systems – Develop interesting rules, costs, and limits around magical abilities.
  • Create detailed worlds – Flesh out geography, history, cultures, religions, and more to set your stage.
  • Explore “what if” scenarios – How would society react if dragons appeared today or portals opened to demon realms?
  • Start with interesting characters – Let their motivations, backstories, and character arcs drive the plot.
  • Establish engaging quests – center your ideas around meaningful, challenging journeys and goals.
  • Outline primal conflicts – Pit opposing forces like good vs. evil, nature vs. industry, spirit vs technology, etc.

You want a story that will stand out in a way that still meets genre expectations.

You’re not looking to change the fantasy genre, after all. But you do want to create something that will have millions waiting impatiently for your next book.

What Are Some Common Fantasy Tropes?

Fantasy stories often utilize familiar elements and conventions referred to as tropes. These tropes help set the tone and audience expectations for the fantasy world. When used skillfully, tropes can provide satisfying dramatic arcs and scenarios. Overused without innovation, however, they can make a story feel derivative. Some of the most common fantasy tropes include:

  • The hero’s journey – An ordinary individual receives a call to adventure and gains powers through trials leading to a confrontation with evil. 
  • Dark lord – A malevolent being intent on domination, destruction, and power. Often incredibly powerful with minions and armies.
  • Magic mentor – A wizened magician or sage who guides the hero in developing their talents. 
  • Magical assistant – A helpful creature or object with magical powers that aid the hero.
  • Rising evil – An ancient being or army that was banished long ago now returns to threaten the world.
  • Hidden heir – A prophecy about a chosen one who will inherit special powers and a kingdom. 
  • Mystical worlds – Portals connect the main world to magical realms filled with unusual creatures.
  • Magical objects – Items imbued with magical powers like wands, swords, and amulets.
  • Chosen one – A child of destiny who is the subject of a prophecy to save the world. 
  • Corrupt rulers – Kings, lords, and rulers who abuse their power over their lands and people.
  • Secret royal bloodline – A character who discovers they have royal ancestors and is the rightful heir. 
  • Mystical races – Elves, dwarves, fairies, and other humanoid races with magical talents. 
  • Mythical beasts – Dragons, griffins, unicorns, and other creatures of myth and legend.
  • Spell books – Tomes of arcane knowledge unlocking magical powers.
  • Magic schools – Academies and mentors training characters in magical arts.
  • Dark forests – Sinister woodlands filled with monsters and mystical forces.

105 Fantasy Writing Prompts

Writing a fantasy novel (or short story) is much easier when you have a story in mind that makes you itch to sit down and write.

The more you work on it and flesh out your characters, the more excited you become — and the less likely you are to ditch your work in progress when the going gets tough.

And it will. Quests are like that. Here’s to finishing yours, anyway.

Dark Fantasy Writing Prompts

Dark fantasy incorporates darker and sometimes frightening themes in its storytelling. It often combines fantasy with horror, drawing the reader in by invoking their fears. Use the following fantasy plot prompts to explore darker story ideas in the fantasy genre.

1. Top Secret Opportunity. You find an ad describing the job you’ve always wanted, and the employer agrees to interview you in the basement of the abandoned library.

2. The Rune Pendant. Your best friend at college is a highly intuitive rune-caster, and people seek her out. One querent pays her with a magical pendant that changes both your lives.

3. The Dream Key. You receive notice that an estranged aunt has passed and left you the key to her hiding place, which she says she’ll reveal to you in a dream.

4. A Single Touch. You always wondered why your grandfather had so much influence over others. You were immune. And now, you’re his successor.

5. Queen of the Garden. Your mother is obsessed with her garden. When sickness keeps her in bed, you step up to help and find it well tended by elves.

Fantasy Writing Prompts

6. The Goddess Ring. Your partner breaks up with you, and while sitting dejected on the beach, you find a ring. When you slip it on your finger, it transforms your appearance.

7. One Minute of Memory. You trade one minute of memory every day for the power to transform any room in your home to match any image. Your family begins to fall apart.

8. Lost Time. You were told you wandered off as a child for a few minutes but later discover you were gone far longer than that. One person knows why, and he’s in prison. 

9. The Crystal Finder. A new crystal shop opens near your home, and you’re one of its first customers. You even accept their offer of a part-time job, working in the back for the “finder.”

10. The Rift in the Bookshop. Your favorite reading room at a local bookshop is off-limits, ever since a mysterious disappearance and strange energy readings. Your favorite books also go missing.

11. Will Work for a Cure. You’re scrambling to find a lucrative work-from-home job before you start kidney dialysis, and you reply to an ad that sounds too good to be true. One of the benefits is a cure.

12. The Memory Glass. You’re looking through the property of a departed aunt and find a mirror. You uncover it and see an altered reflection that revives a memory. Suddenly your dreams make sense.

13. Becoming Justice. Your country has been taken over by a narcissistic tyrant, and a powerful relative has offered you a role in his downfall — but not as a human. 

14. The Manor’s Keeper. Your new job has an unexpected and life-changing benefit: fully-paid lodgings in an opulent manor. Everything you want appears as if by magic. After a week, your body starts changing.

15. The Spy Diary. You accidentally leave your diary behind at a coffee shop, and after searching in vain, you find it on your doorstep with a note: “You’re exactly the person I need.”

16. The Lost Heiress. A new friend invites you over for a cup of the most delicious tea you’ve ever had. You wake up in a palatial room, attended by someone who says, “After centuries of searching, we finally found you.”

17. The Recluse and the Ghost. You get a job as a ghostwriter for a well-known author who has some unusual expectations — one of which involves you living in absolute isolation as well as luxury. Given your background and personality, it seems doable.

Urban Fantasy Writing Prompts

Urban fantasy is a subgenre of fantasy that takes place in an urban setting. While it doesn’t have to be dark, it often uses themes that correspond to the darker side of city life. The following fantasy story plot ideas can help you get into your characters’ heads. 

18. Alien Town. The lights go out in your neighborhood one night, and you wake up to see yourself and all your neighbors changed. And your new abilities terrify you.

19. Stopping Time. You’re a barista with a gift that could cost you your life, but could also help the people of your community to fight back against those in control.

20. The Ghost Clause. You move into your dream apartment and soon discover you’re not the only sentient being living there. Ghosts don’t pay rent, but this one leaves gifts.

21. Hiding in New York. The coworker who irritates you the most just asked you for a big favor. He’s not who or what he appears to be. And he knows what you are, too.

22. Prodigal Witch. You’ve moved back to the city of your birth, and your family is nervous around you after a surprise revelation from your parents. Your new boss knows all about it.

23. Night and Day Trading. A sudden illness in the family costs you your job, and you accept a job offer from a relative who knows about your hidden abilities and wants to use them.

24. Herbal Vision. You wander into a tea shop, in search of the perfect evening tea, and the owner recommends a blend that enables you to see mythical creatures in disguise.

25. Doppelganger. You walk into an antique shop looking for a gift for your antique-loving bestie and are immediately noticed by the shopkeeper’s mother, who leads you to the back for a peek at something.

26. Cottage Industry.  You move into a tiny but well-kept old house closer to downtown and you start receiving mysterious gifts on your doorstep. One note reads, “Check the attic.”

27. The Graveyard Connection. The trees surrounding your new home remind you of something — or rather someone. One touch of your hand on a trunk, and you’re face to face with him.

28. Witch for Hire. You’ve lost your job, food is running out, and bills are coming due. You make the call you never thought you’d make. Seconds later, she arrives with your assignment.

29. Tarot to the Stars. You’ve become a well-respected tarot reader, and even people in high places are taking notice. One of them makes you a tempting offer. Your next querent urges you to decline it and leave.

30. Poisonous Planet. Your doctor gives you terrible news, and you talk to your only remaining relative, who tells you of a stargate that can return you to a planet with an atmosphere better suited to your physiology.

Epic Fantasy Writing Prompts

Epic fantasy is a subgenre of fantasy set in an invented or parallel world. It’s similar to high fantasy but the stakes are higher. A greater evil threatens the world of the protagonist, and the hero’s journey is often a critical part of the story. 

31. Spirit Animal. During your stay in a residential treatment center for your eating disorder, you go to an animal shelter and meet a black cat, “Loki,” who is friendly only to you.

32. A Dog’s World. You adopt an older dog who had been abused by his former human, and in repayment, he leads you to a door — to his real home. Soon, it’ll be yours, too.

33. Forest of Souls. You go on a camping trip with your best friend’s family and wake up alone, surrounded by whispering trees. Everything beyond those trees is gone.

34. In a Different Life. After attending your grandmother’s funeral, you learn from a new acquaintance (with a young but familiar face) that the remains you buried were synthetic.

35. The Refuge Theater. You feed homeless visitors at your cafe, and one of them pays you with a movie ticket for an old theater — which is more than it seems.

36. Tree Spirit. On the eve of your birthday, you change into something that terrifies you. Your parents explain, telling you of a prophecy that involves you and every tree on earth.

37. Borrowed Past. You’re on your first airplane flight when one of the engines fails, and for some reason, you know exactly what to do to ensure the plane lands safely. Only one other person on the plane knows why.

38. Secret Guardian. An ominous letter arrives — along with one offering magical guardianship for you and the shop you inherited. More worlds than one are at stake.

39. Hybrid Alley. You run to the store and witness a crime involving what looks like a human with the face and ears of a cat. You intervene, saving her life, and she later invites you to join her on her mission.

40. Tarot Vision. A new shop owner comes to town and you win an open house drawing for a free tarot reading. You’re skeptical at first but that reading resets your life — and sets you on a dangerous path.

YA Fantasy Writing Prompts

YA fantasy is fantasy written for a young adult audience (12 to 18 years of age). Themes are often on the lighter side, but not always. The main difference is the age of the protagonist. With powerful storytelling, YA fantasy appeals to readers of all ages.

41. Breaking Time. Only when you meet someone you’re not supposed to fall in love with — and who knows how to time-travel — do you begin to really test your limits.

42. The Bucket List. You take your favorite uncle’s advice and create a bucket list. One by one, you cross each action item off, sometimes with hilarious results. The list changes you.

43. Political Unrest. Your home town is changing (not for the better) since the election of its new mayor, who sees you lead a protest at his office door. Something growls outside your bedroom window that night.

44. One Percent Problems. For your 16th birthday, you get the genetic upgrade of your choice, and your experimental choice gives you superpowers — and get the attention of some unusual new friends.

45. Change in the Air. Your family is chosen for a year-long stay at an outpost on a new Earth-like planet, but the people in charge don’t tell you how the atmosphere there will change you.

46. Nervous Memory. You’re at a mirror, and a sudden thought sends a chill into the back of your head. That’s when you notice your eyes change color — and you remember things, either from your life or someone else’s.

47. The Family Business.  Before dying, your mother tells you something about yourself she’d hoped you’d never need to know. Now only one person can help you prepare for the coming threat.

48. Designer Baby. You find out while researching for a term paper that you’re the result of a lab experiment. Now, you’re determined to find your creator, who has gone missing.

49. Visions in Bloom. Someone leaves flowers in your locker, and when they stay fresh for over a month, you get curious — especially when one sniff of the central bloom triggers a vision.

50. Accidental Superhero. A stupid dare leads you to a back of the local store wearing a superhero costume, which oddly enough helps prevent a crime and brands you with a new identity.

51. Alien Tech. You get your laptop fixed by a reclusive genius in town, and suddenly you’re able to connect to an “internet” that goes far beyond that of Earth’s.

Medieval Story Prompts

Medieval fantasy is fantasy based in the medieval era. Fantasy writing ideas include elements not typical of recorded history — including mythical beings, magic, etc. The following prompts act as medieval fantasy story starters. 

52. A Royal Pain. Thanks to your quick thinking during a crisis at the village market, you’ve been appointed as the bodyguard for the princess. The job proves more difficult than any mission you’ve ever had — but also more rewarding.

53. Twins at Odds. You and your twin princess find each other on opposite sides of the law. You don’t always get along, but when the king tells you to help set a trap for her — leading to her execution — you’re determined to find a way to help her instead.

54. Secret Fire. Being the love child of a favorite palace servant and a dragon shifter, your gifts don’t reveal themselves until the evening of a long-awaited ball, when a man twice your age tries to get you into a compromising situation. 

55. Ring of the Scribe. Your half-sibling has abilities that make you invisible around them. On your birthday, a favorite aunt gives you a ring that’s tied to a destiny kept secret from you. You put it on and strange things happen. But you can’t take it off. 

56. Motion Potion. As a witch in a magic-hating kingdom, being crippled is more than inconvenient. Your aunt teaches you a potion that lets you not only walk but dance better than anyone in the kingdom — just in time for the ball.

57. Forbidden Friendship. You’re a young royal in disguise who befriends a villager with a scarred face. The next day, he’s arrested for stealing something you gave to him. Saving his life will mean risking everything.

58. Vendetta Undercover.  Your ailing father has a serious grievance against the heir apparent and even named you accordingly. You set out to investigate on his behalf, securing a position in the castle. What you learn changes everything. 

59. Hidden World. You find a tree near home with a natural ladder leading up the giant trunk. You climb and find a hidden world of magical beings. You’re discovered and your survival depends on agreeing to a dangerous mission. 

60. Pickpocket Apprentice. You’re a poor villager who’s adept at pickpocketing, evading capture until a wizard catches you in the act and offers to teach you. The catch? His daughter suspects you and resents magic for what it cost her. 

61. Cave of Discoveries. You investigate a cave, finding a furnished area in the center open to the sky. A veiled woman reveals the secret community taking refuge there — and why the kingdom wants them dead. His “missing” daughter is among them. 

Mystical Worlds Fantasy Writing Prompts

62. Portal in the Attic: You discover a portal to a magical realm in your attic that only you can enter. What mysteries and creatures await you there?

63. Treehouse Village: You awake one morning to find a large village of treehouses that appeared overnight in your backyard forest. Who are these new neighbors?

64. The Cloud King: You befriend a lonely young cloud elemental who longs to return to his kingdom in the sky. Will you help him get back home?

65. Reverse Merfolk: You meet a mermaid who wishes to become human after saving you from drowning. To thank her, you must find a reversal spell.  

66. Sprite Messenger: An anxious sprite appears, pleading for help delivering an urgent message to the fairy queen before her realm closes in two days. 

67. The Diamond Cave: You discover a glittering cave full of massive uncut diamonds and the angry rock creatures that protect them. 

68. Wishing Well Wishes: A wishing well in the old forest grants your wish to be a fantasy creature. What will you be, and what adventures await you?

69. Gnome Homes: Your backyard is suddenly full of colorful tiny homes. You befriend the family of garden gnomes who moved in overnight.

70. The Ghost Ship: An abandoned pirate ship full of undead sailors and treasure appears on the beach after a storm. Do you dare to explore its secrets?

71. Pet Dragon Egg: You rescue a hot, abandoned egg from a roadside stand and are shocked when it hatches an infant dragon. 

72. Fairy Ring: You wake up tiny after sleeping in a fairy ring. The fairy queen tells you the only way back to normal size is to help them first.

73. The Willow’s Whispers: A wise old willow tree in your yard starts whispering to you. It tells you it holds ancient secrets but will only share them with a true friend.

74. Frozen in Crystal: You awaken to find yourself frozen inside a giant crystal deep underground, with a mysterious robed figure studying you.

75. The Forgotten Garden: You discover a forgotten garden where all the plants and trees are made of crystals that heal sickness. But its guardian wants something in return for the healing fruits you picked.

76. Door in the Forest: You discover a strange door standing alone in the middle of the forest. What fantastical sights await behind its entrance? 

77. Living Paintings: The figures in paintings around your strange new house blink at you and whisper pleas for help when you walk past them. 

78. Cloud City: You discover an empty, floating city of clouds and magical energy. As you explore, ghostly figures start to appear. 

79. Music of the Night: A haunting melody leads you to a glowing cave where a faerie kingdom appears only at night. But if you stay past sunrise, you can never leave.

80. The Shadow Market: You chance upon a magical black market in a dark alley where magical creatures and wizards trade mystical objects and secrets.

Hero’s Journey Fantasy Writing Prompts 

81. The Cursed Crown: You awaken telepathic powers after finding a lost king’s crown. The kingdom’s evil regent wants it back to maintain power. 

82. Atlantis Trident: You discover you can control water with a magical trident while swimming near ancient underwater ruins. Atlantis needs a new guardian to keep it safe from those who destroyed it.

83. Dragon Egg Rescue: You must journey to a fiery mountain to rescue the last dragon egg from a cult before they can harness the baby’s powers for evil. The parent dragons help you escape.

84. Seer Scroll: A dying mage gives you a scroll imbuing you with her visionary powers before a secret order of assassins catches up to you both. They want the power for themselves.

85. The Lost Child: A dying forest creature charges you to journey to the evil witch’s gingerbread cottage and rescue a stolen child with the power to heal the cursed land.

86. Grail of Immortality: Your quest for the secret to eternal life leads you to search for pieces of the long-lost Holy Grail before invading conquerors find it instead. 

87. Awakened Automatons: You must enlist the aid of self-aware ancient clockwork robots to fight off an alien invasion threatening humanity with extinction.

88. Curse of the Lycan: Bitten by a werewolf, you leave your village to learn from elder lycans how to use your new powers before the next full moon.

89. The Ghost Pirates’ Gold: You assemble a ragtag crew of mercenaries, mages, and fighters to journey to a dead undead pirate king’s island and plunder his vast cursed treasure before invaders find it first.     

90. Portal Jumpers: Born with the latent power to create teleportation portals, a shadowy interdimensional guild forces you to enhance your powers in their protection or face bounty hunters.

91. Celestial Unicorn: You bond with a wounded magical unicorn whose horn has celestial powers. Keeping it safe from poachers helps you unlock your dormant magical gifts on your journey back home together.     

92. Destiny’s Knights: You reluctantly take command of a disgraced order of peacekeeper knights during a civil war after raiders slay the elder knights, including your master. 

93. Sanctum of the Sages: Invasion looms unless you sneak into the tower sanctum of the secret circle of sages to convince them to finally use their arcane powers to defend your people.  

94. Feywild Troubles: A misguided wish trapped your village in the chaotic Feywild. The playful fey ruler gives you one year to undertake three impossible challenges in exchange for your freedom.

95. Kitchen Hero: A magical talking cookbook drags you from your mundane life into a fantastical cooking contest between kingdoms. Winning may prevent war, but losing seals your world’s fate.  

96. Destiny Calling: Nightmares plague you about a coming “foretold darkness” until a mysterious group of mages arrives at your monastery, claiming you are the fated hero and they are your prophesied protectors.

97. Ghost Tiger: The spirit of the last hunter from your isolated village visits to bestow you with the power to transform into a mystical ghost tiger. Master your new gifts before poachers find and slay the sacred beasts.  

98. Genie Wish Gone Wrong: A genie whose lamp you find grants your wish for adventure by transporting you to a strange new land and promptly vanishes. Can you find the trickster genie and convince him to send you home?

99. Giant Kingdom: Your archaeologist mother is trapped under a collapsed ruin in a strange, once-hidden kingdom of giants with technology powered by magical crystals. Their uneasy king agrees to help you rescue her if you secretly help them tap into the crystals’ power once more.

100. The Lost Temple: You are tasked with finding a lost ancient temple holding an artifact prophesied to bring your war-torn land ten years of peace if its mysterious powers can be awakened once more. You reluctantly recruit a talented but headstrong thief to help guide you past traps and tricks guarding it.

101. Tree of Life: You discover your family lineage, which gives you access to the powerful artifacts of your wood elf ancestors. Your search leads you to the mythical Divine Tree holding ancient secrets that an invading undead army also seeks.

102. Rebel Rising: You organize and train a peasant rebellion to siege your dictator king’s castle after raiders slay your family, and he refuses aid. A spy among your rebels offers guidance from within using secret passages she discovered as a servant.  

103. The Lost Caverns: Your mentor, the last dragon rider, entrusts his final dragon egg to you before dying in your arms. Raise the hatchling in the lost dragon caverns hidden below your village that only you know how to access while training to ride against an impending demon invasion.

104. Angel’s Gift: An angel appears in a dream to give you a magical feather as a sign you are chosen to end the blood curse plaguing your family’s magical lineage. You set off on your 18th birthday, meeting allies and enemies drawn to your awakened guardian angel.  

105. Legacy of the Lich: Your beloved mentor, one of the last good-hearted mages, reveals on her deathbed that she has slowly been transforming into a lich. She passes on her staff along with her dire quest to find a cure before her new dark powers consume her.

BONUS: List of Fantasy Plot Generators

If you have specific plot elements in mind, or if you just want more fantasy plot ideas thrown at you to get your creative mind humming, try one of the following links. Even the random ones can get you thinking of plot twists you hadn’t considered before.

  1. PlotGenerator.org.uk — Generates plot ideas based on your inputs.
  2. Reedsy Plot Generator — Generates random plot ideas with zero input.
  3. Fantasy Plot Generator — Generates random plot ideas for a male or female protagonist.
  4. Seventh Sanctum story generators — Provides links to multiple plot generators.
  5. Plot Generator at Rangen.com — Asks for a genre and detail level and generates random plot ideas.

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To New Beginnings

Now that you’ve had some time to look through these fantasy prompts, which ones stand out in your memory? Even if you change some of the details, I hope you find something that becomes the beginning of a story you’ll love writing.

Picture yourself within a year sharing the news about your finished fiction novel.

You’ll share snippets of it on social media, and fantasy lovers the world over will want to know when your book will go live.

And don’t think you’re in this alone, either. We’re here to help you every step of the way.

May you write the beginning of something that will linger in your readers’ imaginations for years to come.

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