How to use Reddit for writing prompts

JULY 8, 2021

It’s often quoted that writing often is the key to writing well. Whether you’re writing professionally or as a hobby, having a word count target and showing up every day are key to writing success. Whether you choose to write towards your Work In Progress, or if you just want a writing exercise to get your creative juices flowing, Reddit is a fantastic place to help get inspired. 

How do you find writing prompts on Reddit?

Next time you sit down to write, and would like to use Reddit as inspiration, visit the subreddit r/WritingPrompts. Here you’ll find the largest subreddit on the platform, with over 15 million members, totally dedicated to writing prompts. 

Those who prefer even simpler prompts which allow for even more creative freedom, can also check out r/SimplePrompts

The benefit of using Reddit writing prompts.

Reddit writing prompts can help provide a burst of inspiration when you’re lacking creativity. Writer’s block is real and with increasingly busy lives it’s easy to stop writing altogether unless we find ways to create even when we don’t feel like it.Reddit writing prompts help with exactly that. With so many to choose from you can scroll through until you find one you connect with and then use it as a starting point for a writing exercise or even a part of your work in progress. 

How to use Reddit writing prompts

Using Reddit writing prompts is easy. Once you’ve visited r/WritingPrompts you can sort the prompts by when they were submitted and their popularity using the filter at the top. 

There are a few different prompts available. To find a prompt that suits you, scroll down to the Flair Filter and browse which categories are available. Below we share a few of the options you can choose from.

Writing Prompts

These are the default writing prompts you might find on Reddit with no restrictions except for those of the subreddit itself. This prompt is the most popular in the entire subreddit. We share some of our favourites below. 

Simple Prompts

The Simple Prompt section on Reddit is similar to the Writing Prompt section except the prompt title must be 100 characters or less. This typically means that the prompt is less specific which gives authors more creative freedom over the writing. Here’s an example of a simple prompt which gives lots of freedom to decide how the story goes. 

Image Prompt

Some people prefer images to spark their creativity. By filtering by Image Prompt you can find a selection of images to kickstart your creative ideas.

Established Universe

These are writing prompts that are based on existing fiction. They typically reference existing fictional worlds and characters such as Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, or other novels/films. The following is an example of one: 

Dumbledore’s plan backfires completely. After enduring years of abuse, Harry Potter lashes out, killing the entire Dursley family, setting him on the path to becoming one of history’s most terrible dark wizards.”

Constrained Writing

These are writing prompts with very specific requirements that pose a challenge. They might include limited word counts, specific words/language that must be used, or a very specific writing restraint you need to use.  Some of our favourite examples include:

Write a story with no characters. [Writing Prompt]

Write a story with same first and end line, and have the middle change the meaning [Writing Prompt]

Top 14 Writing Prompts on Reddit

We’ve scoured Reddit to find out top 14 writing prompts. We’ve chosen this list based on how unique and creative the writing prompts are and how much freedom they give you, the writer, in interpreting them:

1) “You’re a hitman leading a double life. Things go well until you get your next target; yourself.” [Writing Prompt]

2) “So this is it huh? The end of the world….it’s a lot quieter than I thought” [Writing Prompt]

3) “A woman has been dating guy after guy, but it never seems to work out. She’s unaware that she’s actually been dating the same guy over and over; a shapeshifter who’s fallen for her, and is certain he’s going to get it right this time.” [Writing Prompt]

4) “Superpowers are able to be purchased in stores. You decide to look through the bargain bin.” [Writing Prompt]

5) “You are the first Necronaut, the first living human to enter the afterlife.” [Writing Prompt]

6) “You’ve joined a society of assassins, but not as a killer. You’re working in Marketing.” [Writing Prompt]

7) “Due to overpopulation issues, anyone above the age of 60 is legally allowed to be murdered.” [Writing Prompt]

8) Everyone has heard about “fallen angels”, but what about “risen demons”? [Writing Prompt]

9) “Every time you go to sleep you wake up in a new world, you’re trying desperately to stay awake.” [Writing Prompt]

10) “You lost your sight – along with everyone else on Earth – in The Great Blinding. Two years later, without warning, your sight returns. As you look around, you realise that every available wall, floor and surface has been painted with the same message – Don’t Tell Them You Can See.” [Writing Prompt]

11) “Humans once wielded formidable magical power but with over 7 billion of us on the planet now Mana has spread far to thinly to have any effect. When hostile aliens reduces humanity to a mere fraction the survivors discover an old power has begun to reawaken once again.” [Writing Prompt]

12) “Your ability to see people’s age in years as an invisible number above their heads has made you the perfect bouncer. One day you see a four digit number.” [Writing Prompt]

13) “You are an immortal. She is a time traveler. You keep running into each other.” [Writing Prompt]

14) “When the world’s most beloved superhero died defending them, the people mourned. Little did they know, the hero’s secret identity was an organ donor, and people who received one of the hero’s organs are starting to exhibit some of the same powers.” [Writing Prompt]

Using Reddit Writing Prompts to become a better writer

Next time you’re looking for inspiration, you can turn to Reddit to find a suitable writing prompt. A lot of users choose to share their contribution directly on Reddit to get feedback and comments from other users, too.  

If you want to take your writing even more seriously, you can check out other subreddits for writers to learn more about the craft of writing and get feedback on your work.

Here are some of our favourites:

r/Writing – for discussions on the writing craft.

r/Writers – a space for all writers, non-fiction and fiction, to share resources, ask questions and seek help. 

r/WritingHub – this one is smaller than the other two and feels a bit more intimate. They have daily themes for writing posts and even a Discord channel.