50 Fantasy Writing Prompts and Fantasy Plot Ideas

mysterious cave | 50 Fantasy Writing Prompts and Fantasy Plot Ideas #how to plot a fantasy novel #epic fantasy story ideas #epic fantasy writing prompts #fantasy plot generator #dark fantasy story ideas #fantasy story ideas #long story ideas

I get a lot of questions about how to plot a fantasy novel, so I thought this list of fantasy story ideas would come in handy. It’s basically a fantasy plot generator in list form!

Most of these are epic fantasy writing prompts, but depending on how you handle them, some of them could be used for paranormal romance, urban fantasy, or dark fantasy story ideas as well. I imagined them as long story ideas, but you might find inspiration for a short story, too.


A writer could take any of these fantasy writing prompts and master plots in countless different directions. After all, the Earthsea trilogy, Harry Potter, The Name of the Wind, and The Magicians are all about schools of magic, and they’re all imaginative and quite different from one another.

A few of these are rooted in history, fairy tales, or real-life occurrences. They could give you inspiration for a small detail in a novel or a whole story.

Be sure to pin or bookmark the list for future reference! And if you’re also interested in writing scifi, check out the companion list of 50 Plot Ideas and Writing Prompts for Science Fiction.


50 FANTASY WRITING PROMPTS and plot ideas! Get them for free on bryndonovan.com! | image of magical windows, lights


1. A counterfeiter’s coins or a forger’s fake works of art have magical properties.


2. A neglected god or goddess attempts to reclaim his or her former glory.


3. People are spontaneously combusting.


4. People are committing surprising acts in their sleep.


5. This might cure the current plague—if it can be found.


6. A smuggler, mercenary, or thief takes down or helps take down an oppressive ruler or regime.


7. An attempt to rescue a friend, family member, or lover will put a larger mission or cause in jeopardy.


8. A peasant girl, who may be good or evil, believes that a divine figure in a vision told her to lead an army to victory.


9. The ones who live in the bottom of the ocean come to the surface.


10. Someone can bring a person back to life by taking his or her place in the underworld.


11. A musician can kill or resurrect people with his or her music.


12. A warrior defects to the other side in hopes of a speedier resolution.


13. Anything becomes true if enough people believe in it deeply enough.


14. A person has been turned into an object by magic.


15. To open the door, a person must use a key whittled out of one of his or her own bones.


16. A person doesn’t know why he or she has stopped aging.


17. After an archaeologist digs up a treasure, the original owner shows up to take it back.


18. Two allies or two factions of the same army are tricked into attacking one another.


19. Miners discover stone spheres with strange markings.


20. Soldiers take souvenirs from their fallen enemies, which proves to be their downfall.


21. A woman or a group of women plot an escape or revolt against a forced marriage or a whole system of forced marriage.


22, His magical powers don’t work when he’s drunk.

23. Flowers from this garden are the most precious commodities in the realm…for a very good reason.

24. For this race of beings, the sense of smell is more important than vision or hearing.

25. The crops really do wither unless there’s a sacrifice.

26. She made a noble sacrifice, and now, as a ghost, she resents it.

27. They live on an island in the middle of a lava lake. It has advantages and disadvantages.

28. The bite of a particular animal may kill you, or it may give you new powers.


29. For this society, battle is a religious observance.


30. This is the most pitiful excuse for a castle in all the land.


31. This so-called magical sword has turned out to be a piece of junk.


32. A beautiful unmanned ship sails itself into the harbor.


33. The crowd of evil spirits flying into the village looks like a flock of birds.


34. So many birds or butterflies migrate across this land that for days, it darkens the skies.


35. The land has been cursed to permanent darkness, daytime, fog, wind, or lightning strikes.


36. The changeling thought she was human, but now she’s been returned to her own kind.




37. At this auction, people are bidding a lot more than money.


38. The queen’s twin sister was supposed to have been drowned at birth.


39. The artist gives people tattoos that determine their fates.


40. The muse inspires artists, writers, and musicians to great work, but when she leaves them, they become so despondent they sometimes die.


41. A worker learns that the tower they are building will serve a much different purpose than what they were all told.


42. Each person’s spirit is connected to a particular tree in the forest.


43. This supernatural horse race will decide their people’s fate.


44. He’s been hiding in the catacombs for years.


45. The archeologist finds a fossil of a creature assumed to be mythical.


46. Lightning strikes a person and leaves mysterious words or a map burned onto her or his skin.


47. A spirit possesses a human or animal body and is then unable to get out of it.


48. The river has a spirit of its own.


49. The king ran away and is living under an assumed name.


50. They fought long and hard to bring this new king to the throne, and it turns out he’s totally incompetent.


I hope you like the list! My list of mythical creatures and beings might also be a good fantasy plot generator.

And if you want more story ideas, please check out my book 5,000 Writing PromptsIt has 100 more fantasy writing prompts in addition to the ones on this list, plus hundreds of other master plots by genre, dialogue and character prompts, and much more.



If you don’t want to miss future writing posts, make sure to subscribe to the blog — you can sign up below. Thanks so much for reading, and happy writing!

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56 thoughts on “50 Fantasy Writing Prompts and Fantasy Plot Ideas”

    1. Go ahead. Take any few minutes you have. You don’t need whole hours set aside. Write on the train, in your coffee break, when the kids are having a nap, plot your story while walking the dog or at the gym.
      Write in longhand in a notebook if you’ve not got your computer with you. Just go ahead and do it. You’ll be surprised where you can find a few minutes.

  1. I love this!

    I just wrote a scene involving spontaneous human combustion the other day. Researching it was sure hair-raising and gruesome.

      1. Hello ms. Author, I was looking for an idea for a trait and a plot for a story Ive re written 3 times, and then I saw 11. It was pretty similar to my story In a way that only in my story, the music creates a road of some sort and guide the character somehow, I had some ither ideas, but this ine seemed more interesting. So, I was wondering if maybe you can suggest a way that could be useful and just maybe, it sparks something in me.. thx:))

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  5. #22 gave me a fun character idea, only I switched it around.
    Instead of his powers not working when he’s drunk, it turns out that the more drunk he is, the more potent his powers. But, being drunk, he’s a lot worse at using them

  6. Hi Bryn! Thanks for compiling this list. I really love it. I’m featuring five of these prompts on my instagram account (tizzlovesrowdy) to round out my “100-hours in 3 months” first draft challenge. I started on Dec 5th during NaNo and wanted to keep the momentum going. I’m saving your site. Great job! =)

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  8. This was extremely useful! I am in the midst of a large writers’ block, and this has given me some inspiration. I appreciate it!

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  11. Thank you so much, there are so many handy plots I can use for my books. I love num. 10. Thank you. You helpen me so much. (I’m 11)

  12. I’m not certain I’ll ever finish it, but you’ve inspired a story I’ve been waiting to write. When I was 13, I made a character I loved. I drew her all over my homework and tests. When I first started tinkering with writing, I wanted to write her story and could never think of anything. The prompt involving magic and the old stone in a cave finally gave it hold. You see, I’ve been wanting to create a comic with her for years and now I think I might finally do it. Than you very much for what may have just been a list of prompts to you, but a world to me.

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  14. I’m here because I need a plot for a fantasy RPG game I’m making, and this was actually pretty helpful (not that I didn’t expect it to be :D). Thanks!! Now I just need to make a character… hmm.

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  16. I did a review of my Wolf series and I used several of your prompts, (without knowing,) as parts of the story. My point is more than one idea can be used in the telling of a story. Here is a list of your prompts used and how I used them.

    Someone can bring a person back to life by taking his or her place in the underworld. // The staff of life Wolf is bound to will kill him if he tries to heal someone who has passed.
    A person has been turned into an object by magic.// Sir Whisperblade sacrifices herself to start the growth of the new first tree.
    Miners discover stone spheres with strange markings. // Archeologists discover funerary pots one of which has an image of a female warrior.
    A woman or a group of women plot an escape or revolt against a forced marriage or a whole system of forced marriage. // Grace offers to take the place of a woman in a forced marriage but plans to defeat her new husband.
    They live on an island in the middle of a lava lake. It has advantages and disadvantages. // The Kaniwa tribe lives in isolation in the Amazon, but are threatened by gold prospectors.
    The bite of a particular animal may kill you, or it may give you new powers. // Touching the First Tree will either turn you into a part of it or give you a staff of life.
    An artist gives people tattoos that determine their fates. // Tattoos are given by tribal tradition and have a deep effect on the tattooed, who join the tribe or affects their perception in the modern world.

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  18. This is incredible, because 7 of these prompts are things I’ve already written in two of my stories xD I’m vibing with this entire list tbh. Thank you for writing it!

  19. Hi I have a book I want to write but I don’t know what should happen next so far it’s about a girl who falls into a hole in the sand at Kryptonite lake and ends up in a rebellion hideout for the fantasy creatures she had only read about in books. She is friends with a wolf and the wolf kenigh saw her fall down the hole and followed her but a centaur attempts to shot him but not before she jumps in front of the arrow she then realizes she is imune to the type of silver the arrow was made out of the rebellion (I need a name for it) believes she found their hideout for a purpose and that she has some special talent to help them like their newest member a human boy she noticed when she first came .I don’t know what should happen next or the reason for rebellion I want it to be unlike any other book and have lots of action and plot twists.Can anyone help me or give me advice about this ?

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