Free Creative Writing Prompts #3: Death

During my senior year of high school, an old wrestling buddy of mine overdosed on heroin and passed away. He had been clean for a few months and it was a huge shock to everybody who knew him. I had been to funerals before, but this was the first one in which the deceased was the same age as myself.

When I returned home, I felt like being outside and alone. I started kicking around the soccer ball and having a conversation with my dead friend. I didn’t really think he was there but he sort of was. At least, wherever he was, he probably had a chance of hearing me.

As is the usual case with me, it took television to make a point really hit home. Last year, my girlfriend and I developed an obsession with the HBO series “Six Feet Under." I had never seen a show that touched upon death in such a realistic way. The characters had conversations like mine on a regular basis. But what really hit me was a message I’ve heard since college.

“You must come to terms with the fact that some day you will die."

Everyone and everything dies (at least physically). It is part of the natural cycle of things and everybody has his or her own thoughts about it. Your thoughts on death majorly affect the way you live your life. The following twenty free creative writing prompts deal with death and the way you feel about it.

Caution: These free creative writing prompts may cause you to come to terms with death :).

Seriously though, if completed with an open mind and a willingness to give yourself the gift, these prompts can open you up to a wide range of emotions to write from. Try them. Try one! Really try it. You may be surprised with what you get out of it.

Here are twenty free creative writing prompts about death:

1. You have just walked up to the open casket of your favorite grandparent. How does it make you feel?

2. Your best friend has just been in a horrible accident and is on life support, possibly for the rest of his or her life. Your friend has appointed you to be the person who pulls the plug for his or her Do Not Resuscitate order. Describe your feelings.

3. Your grandmother just passed away and she personally left you $100,000. Do you do something in her memory or spend it on yourself? Start the story from the reading of the will.

4. While waiting for a train, a large man in a hooded sweatshirt asks you for change. You give him a dollar and you walk to the far side of the platform. He follows and then pulls a gun on you. Start from there.

5. Your partner has died in a sudden accident and you have to deliver the main eulogy. Detail your process of creating this eulogy while grieving.

6. You are watching your own viewing from the back of the room. Who eulogizes you and what do they say? (Thanks to Stephen Covey for the inspiration for this!)

7. Your favorite pet is ailing incredibly. The vet says that he could survive up to one more year but in increasingly worse pain. He suggests putting the pet down. Describe what you do.

8. The plane you are flying in begins to lose cabin pressure rapidly. You are told to prepare for emergency landing procedure. What do you do?

9. You have been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Describe your first week after finding this out.

10. Your friend or spouse is in the third trimester of pregnancy. Due to complications, she must choose between the baby and herself. She is leaning towards choosing the baby. How do you advise her?

11. You see a little boy wander into the middle of a busy intersection. What do you do?

12. Your father has told you that he is in incredible pain and that he wants you to help him kill himself. What do you say or do?

13. You see a homeless man lying by the side of a building. You are not sure if he is dead or sleeping. Go from there.

14. You are the witness of a group beating that is in progress. What do you see? What do you do?

15. You wake up to find yourself bleeding profusely and you aren’t sure from where. You will definitely need medical attention. Describe your next few hours.

16. You are in an extremely heated argument with your partner. He or she goes tumbling down the stairs. Your partner is not moving or responding. Describe the next few hours.

17. You have just been informed that the discomfort you felt earlier in the day was a mild heart attack. What will you do to change your lifestyle?

18. Your father has just passed away. Describe dealing with your mother.

19. Your elderly grandmother has been trying to complete an extensive family scrapbook for years, but she has become too frail. You decide to help her out. Describe the process of creating this work with your grandmother. (Thanks Amy!)

20. You are on your deathbed, surrounded by your loved ones. They are attentively waiting what may be your final words. Describe the scene, what you say, and the last precious moments of life.

If you are looking for something a little more light-hearted, try these free creative writing prompts about love. If this is your thing, have at it :).

Related Articles to Free Creative Writing Prompts #3
Free Creative Writing Exercises #2: Relaxation
Free Creative Writing Prompts from the Heart, Part 1
Creative Writing Tips #1: Substitution

Done with Prompts about Death? Go back to Creative Writing Prompts. 

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Written by Bryan Cohen

Bryan Cohen is the author of more than 30 books, many of which focus on creative writing and blasting through that pesky writer's block. His books have sold more than 20,000 copies. You can find him on and Facebook.
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