My master plots list called 50 Romance Plot Ideas is one of my most popular posts of all time, and I’ve gotten so much positive feedback for the plot ideas for stories and writing prompts in my book Master Lists for Writers. Since I have a lot of readers who write fantasy novels, I thought I’d do a list of idea starters for them.

Some things on this list are more general plot ideas for fantasy novels, and some are more specific writing prompts or “plot bunnies.” A writer could take any of them 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. You might find some ideas here for urban fantasy, or paranormal romance as well. If you like it, pin or bookmark it for future reference!

If you’re also interested in writing scifi, check out the companion list of 50 Plot Ideas and Writing Prompts for Science Fiction.


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


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


  1. People are spontaneously combusting.


  1. People are committing surprising acts in their sleep.


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


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


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


  1. 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.




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


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


  1. 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.


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


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


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


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


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


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


  1. Miners discover stone spheres with strange markings.


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


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


  1. 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. - from 50 FANTASY WRITING PROMPTS, BRYNDONOVAN.COM #novel master plots #story ideas #NaNoWriMo


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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




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


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


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



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


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


  1. An artist gives people tattoos that determine their fates.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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




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


  1. The river has a spirit of its own.


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


  1. 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 inspiration, please check out my book Master Lists for Writers! It has plot ideas, lists of descriptions (to help you with “show don’t tell”), character traits, and more.




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