vintage story notebook with pen and glasses and a retro camera
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Top 25 Ideas for Short Story

Sometimes you want to write a story. You have energy, motivation, the right frame of mind, but the right idea for short story or the right topic remains out of your reach. You get stuck in a state where you are throwing the net in your sub-consciousness and trying to catch the right fish, but the catch always eludes you.

If you are stuck in such a cycle, you are not alone. The best way to overcome this condition is to read a book, a story, or a poem, listen to some music, or even take a walk if nothing else works.

Wonderful ideas for short stories are hard to find, and sometimes nothing seems inspiring, and you lose your motivation. Here I have some short story ideas that might jog your inspiration.

Random Story Ideas

  1. Tell the story of a scar you (or your character) got in a war far from home.
  2. A man deeply in love falls into depression when his fiance breaks with him.
  3. The deepest fear of an artist holds him back from completing his masterpiece.
  4. A highly successful, confident woman bumps into her soul mate and loses her all her confidence.
  5. A couple is about to leave a city tomorrow. Their things are packed. But something happens at their hotel that makes them question if going is the right decision.
  6. Your protagonist wakes up in his nemesis' body. 

Fantasy Plot Ideas

  1. Giants are just a part of myth and folktales. It is told that giant humanoid creatures, 150 to 200 meters in height, inhabited Earth millions of years ago. They lived long. A hundred times longer than the average human life span. One of them is yet alive and sleeping for thousands of years in the remotest part of the Alps. He wakes up, and all hell breaks loose. 
  2. Your protagonist is suffering from a terminal disease and is in a hospital. He regrets how he wasted his entire life. He loses consciousness and finds himself in a world where he is worshiped as a God.
  3. A hero from legends is resurrected thousands of years after his death. He is expected to lead the World, but he is bored and one day escapes his palace to wander with a team of troubadours. 
  4. A group of warrior witches organizes a tea party after they are expelled from their coven for inappropriate behavior.
  5. A just and good king finds his kingdom in the middle of chaos. Whatever he does go awry. Enemies surround him, inside and out. One day a strange man in foreign clothes comes to meet him and offer his services. He is at once repelled and intrigued by the stranger. So he places him in his service. 
  6. A farmer finds an arrow with strange symbols that always finds its mark. His fortune suddenly changes for good. Then the war starts and he is enlisted as a foot soldier.
  7. A sword made of a slab of stone is found in an old tomb. Considered a useless but pretty item It is hung in the main hall of the king’s castle. But the sword is much more. It is as sharp and deadly as a sword can be. And it is more than a sword. It is a key to another world.
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Science fiction Short Story Ideas

  1. A young prodigy finds a space ship.
  2. A team of scientists has successfully teleported an orange. It reappears in halves.
  3. You are a scientist working on a top-secret project for the government. One day you find yourself locked in your laboratory. You try to go through the emergency-exit and suddenly find yourself in an underground facility full of aliens.
  4. The world is on the verge of disaster. All the world knows it. Scientists and thinkers from all over the world discuss how to avert the disaster. A crank genius who was never meant to be in the conference proposes and convinces them that the best way to avert the disaster is to keep the anxiety levels and tension low in the society. Because the threat reacts to human emotions.
  5. Your protagonist wakes up in Egypt some four thousand years in the past.
  6. Your protagonist finds an old game console in a junk shop. He tinkers with it and it turns on. When he plays the game, he goes backward in time. If he loses, he is again in the beginning. 
  7. Humans have built a spaceship that can travel faster than the speed of light. A group of engineers, scientists, and soldiers are ordered to go to the nearest stars. They find an entire civilization that is far advanced than their own.
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Mystery Short Story Ideas

  1. A man lives in a maze of long shrubs alone. Food and water come to him every day and he is unable to know from where. He has spent years trapped in there until one day he finds a message written on mud under a thick bush. Why is he trapped in these bushes? Who is he and who has trapped him?
  2. A flood swept away an entire city, leaving only a pawn shop in an alley and its strange secret.
  3. An actor wins an award for his acting and brings the trophy home. The next day when he wakes up, he has completely transformed into the character he depicted in the film. At first, he finds nothing wrong with himself, but slowly a part of his mind tells him that something is wrong. 
  4. An old man finds a ghost of a young woman who promises to make him young if he does her bidding. He does as she asks and does not understand what he is getting into.
  5. Your character always cleans his room every day. But for the last couple of days, his study table is always dirty. He thinks about it but forgets it. He keeps throwing whatever he finds on the table in the dustbin. One day he finds something written on a scrap of paper he is about to throw, and his interest is piqued. He unfolds it to find an incomplete story written on the side.
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Everything starts with an idea; if you have the right idea, you can accomplish anything. Story writing is no different. All it requires is time, motivation, and an inspiring topic. Here are some other sources you can check for more short story ideas:

  1. Top 100 Short Story Ideas
  2. 200+ Short Story Ideas
  3. 301 Short Story Ideas

Thank you for reading! If you have any other ideas you'd like to share, feel free to comment below!

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