40 Writing Prompts Based on Songs

Writing Prompts Based on Songs

We’ve all been there: staring at a blank page, willing the muse to descend and bless us with a brilliant idea.

But what if I told you the answer might be hiding in your favorite playlist?

Yep, you heard right.

Songs can be treasure troves of inspiration, bursting with emotions, stories, and unexpected twists.

So, crank up the volume, grab your notebook, and let’s get those creative juices flowing with some song-based writing prompts!

Writing Prompts Based on Songs

  1. Inspired by “Imagine” by John Lennon: Imagine a world where the concepts of countries, possessions, and religion do not exist. In this world, peace and unity are the cornerstones of society. Write a story from the perspective of someone who discovers an old history book detailing our current world and struggles to comprehend the divisions and conflicts that once existed. How does this discovery change their view of their own utopian society?

  2. Based on “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen: Write a story that mirrors the surreal and operatic progression of “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Your protagonist should experience a rollercoaster of events, starting with a significant personal mistake, leading through a fantastical journey of self-discovery, and culminating in a dramatic resolution. Ensure that each phase of the story reflects a different genre, just like the song’s varying styles.

  3. Inspired by “Hotel California” by The Eagles: Create a narrative about a traveler who stumbles upon a mysterious hotel that seems stuck in time. The hotel and its guests appear normal at first, but the protagonist slowly uncovers its secrets and strange occurrences. However, leaving the hotel is not as easy as it seems. Explore the themes of entrapment and illusion versus reality.

  4. Drawing from “Firework” by Katy Perry: Craft a story about a character who feels insignificant and unnoticed in their daily life. Throughout the narrative, they undergo experiences that lead them to discover their inner strength and unique talents. This journey should culminate in an event where they truly shine, like a firework.

  5. Based on “A Thousand Miles” by Vanessa Carlton: Write about two characters separated by a great distance, either physically or metaphorically. Despite the obstacles, they are determined to bridge this gap. Their journey to find each other should be filled with challenges, self-discovery, and growth. Focus on the emotional and physical journey that symbolizes their commitment and love.

  6. Inspired by “Stairway to Heaven” by Led Zeppelin: Create a fantasy story where your protagonist discovers a mystical stairway rumored to lead to a realm of enlightenment and wisdom. As they ascend, they encounter various guardians and challenges that test their morals and desires. The climax should reveal the true nature of what lies at the top of the stairway.

  7. Drawing from “Rolling in the Deep” by Adele: This narrative should focus on betrayal and the journey of recovery and empowerment that follows. Your protagonist experiences a deep betrayal from someone they trusted, leading to a tumultuous period in their life. Through this struggle, they find inner strength and resilience. The story should conclude with a powerful moment of overcoming and reclaiming control over their life.

  8. Based on “Shape of You” by Ed Sheeran: Write a romantic story where the main characters are drawn to each other through their passions and hobbies, rather than traditional means of attraction. Their relationship develops through shared experiences and deep conversations, illustrating that love can form in the most unexpected ways. Highlight how their unique connection shapes their love story.

  9. Inspired by “Purple Rain” by Prince: Imagine a world where rain falls in vibrant colors, each color affecting the mood and thoughts of the people it touches. Your protagonist lives in a town where the rarest and most mysterious is the purple rain, which brings deep introspection and change. Write about a period when the purple rain falls, altering the course of your character’s life. Explore how this colorful phenomenon impacts relationships, decisions, and the community’s future.

  10. Based on “Yesterday” by The Beatles: Create a narrative where your character wakes up in a reality where a significant event in their past didn’t happen. This change should be something deeply personal and pivotal to their life’s trajectory. As they navigate this altered reality, they grapple with whether this new world is better or worse. Focus on the theme of how one moment can change everything in a person’s life.

  11. Drawing from “Like a Rolling Stone” by Bob Dylan: Write a story about a character who has lost everything — wealth, status, and comfort. Forced to start from scratch, they must navigate a world they once looked down upon. This journey of hardship teaches them about resilience, humility, and the real meaning of success. Their transformation is a testament to the human spirit’s ability to adapt and grow.

  12. Inspired by “I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston: Craft a tale of deep love and sacrifice where your protagonist must let go of someone they deeply care about for the greater good. This could be a romantic relationship, a family bond, or a profound friendship. Delve into the complexities of a love that transcends personal desire and embraces selflessness.

  13. Based on “Sweet Child O’ Mine” by Guns N’ Roses: Write a story that captures the innocence and hope of childhood through the eyes of an adult character reminiscing about a pivotal childhood relationship or experience. This could be a childhood sweetheart, a best friend, or a significant event that shaped their life. The narrative should explore the lasting impact of childhood moments and relationships on our adult lives.

  14. Inspired by “Lose Yourself” by Eminem: Center your story around a character who has one shot, one opportunity, to seize everything they ever wanted. Set in a high-stakes environment, your character must overcome personal demons, external pressures, and significant obstacles to reach their goal. This prompt should emphasize the themes of determination, sacrifice, and the pursuit of dreams.

  15. Drawing from “Billie Jean” by Michael Jackson: Create a suspenseful narrative where your protagonist is entangled in a complex situation involving deceit, fame, and a mysterious stranger. The story should weave through various twists and turns, challenging the reader to discern truth from illusion. The climax should unveil a surprising truth that reshapes the protagonist’s understanding of their situation.

  16. Based on “Heroes” by David Bowie: Write a story set in a time of conflict or upheaval, where your protagonists are two unlikely individuals who find solace and understanding in each other. Their relationship defies the norms and expectations of the society around them. Against the backdrop of turmoil, they create their own small world of hope and love. Focus on how, even in the darkest of times, human connection and love can offer a beacon of hope.

  17. Inspired by “Under Pressure” by Queen and David Bowie: Develop a story set in a high-pressure situation, such as a critical mission in space, a surgical room, or during a pivotal sports game. The main character must not only manage the external pressure of the situation but also their own internal struggles and the dynamics within their team. The climax should reveal how pressure shapes and transforms individuals and relationships.

  18. Based on “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond: Create a heartwarming narrative around a small town’s local legend, an enigmatic and benevolent figure named Caroline. She has mysteriously impacted the lives of the townspeople for generations. The protagonist, a newcomer or a skeptical local, decides to uncover the truth behind Caroline’s story, leading to surprising discoveries about the town’s history and his own life. Explore themes of community, mystery, and the impact of a single life on many.

  19. Drawing from “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana: Write a story set in the early ’90s, capturing the spirit of youth rebellion and angst. The main characters are a group of teenagers grappling with the expectations and pressures of impending adulthood while trying to carve out their own identities. Focus on the raw energy and emotional turbulence of this transitional life stage.

  20. Inspired by “Like a Prayer” by Madonna: Craft a narrative where the protagonist experiences a spiritual awakening or a significant moment of epiphany in an unexpected place or situation. This moment should challenge their existing beliefs and propel them on a journey of self-discovery and transformation. Explore how spirituality and personal beliefs can shape and redefine one’s life path.

  21. Based on “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars: Set your story in a vibrant cityscape that never sleeps. Your main character is a charismatic individual with a flair for the dramatic and an infectious zest for life. Through a series of lively and colorful events, they bring together a diverse group of people, changing the city’s rhythm. Highlight the power of music, dance, and charisma in transforming urban life.

  22. Inspired by “Someone Like You” by Adele: Write a poignant story about love lost and the journey towards healing and acceptance. The protagonist, after a significant period, encounters their former love, who has moved on. This meeting should be a turning point, leading them to new understandings about love, loss, and personal growth. Delve into the bittersweet reality of moving on from a past love.

  23. Drawing from “Viva La Vida” by Coldplay: Create a narrative focusing on a fallen leader, once powerful and revered, now dethroned and forgotten. This character reflects on their rise and fall, contemplating the fleeting nature of power and glory. As they navigate their new, ordinary life, they learn about true leadership and humility. The story should explore the themes of power, legacy, and redemption.

  24. Based on “Don’t Stop Believin'” by Journey: Center your story around a group of people from various walks of life who find themselves sharing a journey, literal or metaphorical. Each character has their own dreams and challenges. Despite their differences and the obstacles they face, they find common ground and support in each other. Focus on the theme of maintaining hope and belief in the face of adversity.

  25. Inspired by “Shape of My Heart” by Sting: Craft a story about a professional gambler or a person skilled in reading others, who has always used their talents for personal gain. However, a chance encounter leads them to use their skills for a greater cause, changing their perspective on life. Explore themes of redemption and the search for true meaning beyond superficial success.

  26. Based on “Can’t Help Falling in Love” by Elvis Presley: Write a romantic tale where the protagonists come from very different backgrounds or circumstances, making their love seem improbable or forbidden. Despite the odds, they find themselves irresistibly drawn to each other. Focus on how love can transcend societal boundaries and personal differences.

  27. Drawing from “In the Air Tonight” by Phil Collins: Create a suspenseful narrative revolving around a character who has been waiting years for a significant event or confrontation. This event, deeply personal and loaded with emotional baggage, finally unfolds one night, leading to unexpected revelations. The story should build a tense atmosphere, leading to a cathartic resolution.

  28. Inspired by “Born to Run” by Bruce Springsteen: Set your story in a small town where the main character dreams of a bigger, more exciting life elsewhere. Fueled by ambition and the desire for escape, they make a daring decision that sets them on a life-changing adventure. Explore the themes of aspiration, escape, and the quest for personal freedom.

  29. Based on “Creep” by Radiohead: Write about an individual who feels like an outcast in their social or professional environment. This character struggles with feelings of inadequacy and the desire to be accepted. The narrative should delve into their inner world and the journey towards self-acceptance. Highlight the universal struggle of fitting in and the value of embracing one’s true self.

  30. Inspired by “Dancing Queen” by ABBA: Set your story in the vibrant atmosphere of the 1970s disco scene. The protagonist, a regular at a popular discotheque, finds joy and liberation on the dance floor. Use this setting to explore themes of freedom, identity, and the power of music and dance to unite people. The story should capture the essence of youth and the timeless spirit of dance.

  31. Drawing from “Fast Car” by Tracy Chapman: Center your narrative around a character who sees a chance to escape their challenging life circumstances through an unexpected opportunity. This opportunity, symbolized by a ‘fast car,’ represents hope and the possibility of a better life. The story should delve into the complexities of escaping poverty and the power of dreams.

  32. Based on “Wonderwall” by Oasis: Write a story about a character who has been an unwavering source of support and strength for someone else, akin to being their “wonderwall.” Explore the dynamics of this relationship, the sacrifices made, and the impact it has on both lives. Focus on the themes of support, sacrifice, and the deeper meanings of love and friendship.

  33. Inspired by “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac: Write a narrative about a character facing a significant life transition that prompts them to reflect on the changes they’ve experienced. This could be a physical move, a career change, or a shift in a personal relationship. As they grapple with the fear and uncertainty of change, they learn valuable lessons about growth and resilience. Focus on the emotional journey that accompanies major life changes.

  34. Based on “Clocks” by Coldplay: Craft a story set in a world where time can be manipulated. The protagonist discovers a mysterious clock with the power to alter time but soon learns that changing the past or future comes with unforeseen consequences. This narrative should explore the ethical and emotional complexities of tampering with time. Delve into the consequences of trying to control or change time.

  35. Drawing from “Zombie” by The Cranberries: Create a story set against the backdrop of a war-torn region, following a character who is directly impacted by the conflict. This character grapples with the loss, trauma, and the dehumanizing effects of war. Through their eyes, examine the profound and lasting impact of conflict on individuals and communities. Highlight the human cost of war and the struggle for peace and understanding.

  36. Inspired by “Walking on Sunshine” by Katrina and The Waves: Write an uplifting story about a character who experiences a sudden turn of good fortune or happiness after a prolonged period of struggles. This change in luck could come from an unexpected source and transforms their life in joyful and surprising ways. Focus on the theme of newfound happiness and the rejuvenating power of positive change.

  37. Based on “Africa” by Toto: Develop a narrative about a character who embarks on a journey to a land vastly different from their own, driven by a deep longing or a quest for something they believe is missing in their life. As they immerse themselves in this new environment, they encounter challenges, make discoveries, and undergo significant personal growth. Explore themes of adventure, self-discovery, and the allure of the unknown.

  38. Inspired by “Take on Me” by a-ha: Imagine a story where the protagonist suddenly finds themselves able to shift between the real world and a different, more fantastical reality. This alternate world offers escape and wonder but also brings unforeseen dangers and challenges. The narrative should examine the allure and risks of escapism.

  39. Drawing from “Somebody to Love” by Queen: Center your story around a character who is desperately seeking connection and a sense of belonging in a world where they feel increasingly isolated. This journey for love and understanding leads them through various experiences, teaching them about the complexities of human relationships and self-acceptance. Focus on the universal human desire for connection and love.

  40. Based on “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” by Cyndi Lauper: Set your narrative in the mid-1980s, following a group of young women as they navigate the societal expectations of that era. These women seek to break free from traditional roles, aspiring for independence, fun, and self-expression. The story should capture the spirit of rebellion and the pursuit of happiness on their own terms.
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