100 Themes Challenge Writing Prompts

A list of prompts has been floating around on the internet – I was told it originated on DeviantART – and after having successfully used the prompts, I share them with you.  You pick a list (I have two right here) and write something for each theme.  Poems, drabbles, short stories, journal entries, anything. A group of us from Holy Worlds are using the list to outline an entire novel to be written for NaNoWriMo. I just finished my outline today. 😀 You would be shocked to find how easy it is to create an entire, round, detailed plot just by using each theme to create a scene.


The Original List
1. Introduction
2. Complicated
3. Making History
4. Rivalry
5. Unbreakable
6. Obsession
7. Eternity
8. Gateway
9. Death
10. Opportunities
11. 33%
12. Dead Wrong
13. Running Away
14. Judgment
15. Seeking Solace
16. Excuses
17. Vengeance
18. Love
19. Tears
20. My Inspiration
21. Never Again
22. Online
23. Failure
24. Rebirth
25. Breaking Away
26. Forever and a day
27. Lost and Found
28. Light
29. Dark
30. Faith
31. Colors
32. Exploration
33. Seeing Red
34. Shades of Grey
35. Forgotten
36. Dreamer
37. Mist
38. Burning
39. Out of Time
40. Knowing How
41. Fork in the road
42. Start
43. Nature’s Fury
44. At Peace
45. Heart Song
46. Reflection
47. Perfection
48. Everyday Magic
49. Umbrella
50. Party
51. Troubling Thoughts
52. Stirring of the Wind
53. Future
54. Health and Healing
55. Separation
56. Everything For You
57. Slow Down
58. Heartfelt Apology
59. Challenged
60. Exhaustion
61. Accuracy
62. Irregular Orbit
63. Cold Embrace
64. Frost
65. A Moment in Time
66. Dangerous Territory
67. Boundaries
68. Unsettling Revelations
69. Shattered
70. Bitter Silence
71. The True You
72. Pretense
73. Patience
74. Midnight
75. Shadows
76. Summer Haze
77. Memories
78. Change in the Weather
79. Illogical
80. Only Human
81. A Place to Belong
82. Advantage
83. Breakfast
84. Echoes
85. Falling
86. Picking up the Pieces
87. Gunshot
88. Possession
89. Twilight
90. Nowhere and Nothing
91. Answers
92. Innocence
93. Simplicity
94. Reality
95. Acceptance
96. Lesson
97. Enthusiasm
98. Game
99. Friendship
100. Endings


Find your key emotion; this may be all you need to know to find your short story. ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Emotions List
1. Birth
2. Enthusiasm
3. Love
4. Hate
5. Triumph
6. Feel
7. Wrecked
8. Soft
9. Cold
10. Without
11. Inspiration
12. You
13. Confused
14. Affection
15. Joy
16. Horror
17. Acceptance
18. Sympathy
19. Holding
20. Defeated
21. Pride
22. Knife
23. Overwhelmed
24. Depressed
25. Adoration
26. Worship
27. Zeal
28. Light
29. Exhaustion
30. Obsession
31. Rage
32. Empty
33. Anger
34. Fury
35. Delight
36. Submission
37. Infatuation
38. Anticipation
39. Pessimistic
40. Jolly
41. Grasping
42. Agitation
43. Calm
44. Astonished
45. Loneliness
46. Lust
47. Longing
48. Tender
49. Hard
50. Rebirth
51. Amused
52. Broken
53. Abused
54. Tranquil
55. Composed
56. Glad
57. Stress
58. Serenity
59. Colorful
60. Coping
61. Boisterous
62. Placid
63. Tired
64. Bliss
65. Neglect
66. Fine
67. Question
68. Energetic
69. Noble
70. Disgust
71. Lively
72. Power
73. Pity
74. Humiliation
75. Satisfied
76. Thankful
77. Hyper
78. Goosebumps
79. Worthless
80. Remorse
81. Degraded
82. Revenge
83. Fulfilled
84. Shame
85. Graceful
86. Shining
87. Content
88. Feelings
89. Pleased
90. Relief
91. I
92. Zest
93. Tears
94. Building
95. Optimistic
96. Thrilled
97. Dealing
98. Reflect
99. Embarrassment
100. Death


Do you take the challenge?


About Kathrine Roid

I'm an science fiction and fantasy author living in Texas with an undead parakeet and teleporting cat. Think about that for a moment.

Posted on September 25, 2011, in Creative Writing Prompts and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 47 Comments.

  1. Ah, 100 themes! The memories! I started doing this with prose, once, and only got a few themes in. Then I did it with poetry, to better results. (I skipped around a lot, depending on my mood, but I probably did 30 or 40 of them.)

    Doing an entire novel based upon them sounds AWESOME! I’d never thought of that before. It would give each scene a mood or purpose… keep you motivated and on track…. do you have a link to the challenge/subsequent discussions?

    I’d like to start doing those again, and hopefully get all the way through this time. Poetry or prose, though, I’m not sure.

    • I think the lists are easier to finish is you do them in order. That way you don’t have “when I’m in the mood” as an excuse. 😉 Maybe you should try that this time, if your goal is to finish.

      Originally I thought doing a novel around the 100 Themes was crazy, but it’s working so well that I just might do it again. We’ll see if I have the gumption to finish this project first. (Which depends on a lot on how motivated I am for NaNoWriMo this year.)

      I can’t believe I haven’t told you about Holy Worlds yet, Aloha! *smacks self* Here’s the link to the challenge thread: http://www.holyworlds.org/fantasy/viewtopic.php?f=34&t=4198 And here’s the link to Holy Worlds’s homepage: http://holyworlds.com The community on HW is amazing.

  2. I’m using the first list to write drabbles (100 word short stories), one a day. 😀 Sadly, what with being busy and all, I’ve not been able to keep up with that. I’m only up to number twelve. All the same, I plan to someday turn the second list into drawings. Aren’t I crazy? XD

    (there, Mousie, is that a good comment from your loyal Cat? 😉 )

    • And the drabbles you write are good. 😀 But I’ve been bad at keeping you on track, so it’s my fault you haven’t been doing one a day. 😉

      You’re not crazy! Not crazy at all! *shall remember to bug you about drawings*

  3. Aloha! *hugs*

    I’m not doing the 100 Themes Challenge. Maybe for my January novel!

  4. 😀 I’m gonna do 100 drabbles on the second list. Whooooo~

  5. Hi!
    This list is really nice, and I enjoy how rounded it is.
    I was really interested to see the “You” and “I” under the emotions section, which triggered some pretty intense inspiration, so thank you!
    I don’t think I’ll use this as a novel outline, or a challenge, but they certainly got me thinking.
    Thank you, again. ❤

  6. I’m a bit confused with the emotion challenge, which is what I plan to do and most likely post them on my tumblr or wordpress blog, what exactly do these mean?:

    6. Feel
    12. You
    22. Knife
    28. Light
    91. I

    I don’t quite understand them, they seem a bit odd.

  7. hello, there.. just stranded here when blog walking (if it can be called ‘stranded’ haha)
    that seems interesting! may i take a part too? (i think this comment is a bit late, haha)

    anyway, may i make a short stoy (such a flash fiction or drabble) from that?

    and, anyway, nice share!

    • Faricha, welcome to my desert island. Enjoy your strandation. 😉 I never ran a group exercise over these. I merely posted the prompt lists for all who want to use them for writing exercises. By all means, jump in! And may I encourage you to stick through the whole list – constant writing is critical to learning how to write.

  8. Reblogged this on hamsteryucha and commented:
    Wanna try something different? Heheh. {Mostly Recommended}

  9. Thanks so much for this! I’ve been struggling with developing a plot, but somehow this gave me so many more ideas! Now I’m on a roll… LIFESAVER!!

  10. I love randomly stumbling across gems like these. Thanks for posting these lists! Perfect for a quick drabble before bedtime 😉 Your posts are very insightful and informative. I’d love to see more from you!

  11. I will do the original list. I am brazilian, so I will write in portuguese. 🙂

  12. If I were to use these in any sort of online posting, would you want me to credit you in the story or provide a link back to this page for other people?

    • It isn’t my list. It has been floating about the internet in various forms for a while and it would be a headache trying to find the original source. So no credit is due; however, I’d love for other people to be able to benefit from the list as well so a link is always welcome!

  13. Reblogged this on More Than Words.

  14. Reblogged this on WELCOME TO THE LAIR and commented:
    Yo ho ho, this looks fun! I’m already starting on #1 of the original list and I can’t wait to get started on writing again 😀

  15. I’m going to use this for a drabble series! I’m actually going to try and do it in less than a week. Crazy?

  16. Reblogged this on Erlebnisse and commented:
    Will be trying this over vacation. 🙂

  17. Reblogged this on Letters for the Soul and commented:

  18. This sounds fun! I might try using it to write a novel.

  19. Hello, I’m Sophia Marsella from Indonesia (13 y.o) ^^)b

    Acctually, I am very interested in following this challenge. Hahaha, I don’t know if I can do this or not. But I think I wanna try this challenge ^^”.

    Hm, I think I will choose the second list and posted the story in Bahasa. Of course, because I’m Indonesian, hahaha

  20. I’ll do the original list~ I’m an Indonesian, then I will write using bahasa.
    well, it was so late, but its interest me :3

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