Free Creative Writing Prompts #11: Shakespeare

I must admit, I was obsessed with Shakespeare in college. I only needed to take one semester of Shakespeare as part of my English major in college. I took three. Including: a semester abroad in Oxford, England. I was fortunate enough to travel to Stratford-upon-Avon (the birthplace) where the Royal Shakespeare Company puts up some fantastic productions. You can learn a whole lot about writing and acting by studying the works of William Shakespeare. Here are some free creative writing prompts that can help you to extract some writing ideas out of this extremely productive englishman :). 

Free Creative Writing Prompts: Shakespeare

1. Compose a sonnet to the love of your life. This person can be living, dead, with you, not with you, etc., it doesn't matter because it's a sonnet! Try using iambic pentameter and the rhyme schemes of the bard himself.

2. You have suddenly become transported into your favorite Shakespearian play and you are playing your favorite character. How do you interact in this new world and do you try to change your character's fate?

3. Two normal joe's in the present day are having a regular conversation. In blank verse! Make sure to use some good iambic pentameter on this one.

4. If Shakespeare were to write a play about your life, what would it be? A comedy, a tragedy, a romance, a history, or some combination? Explain your choice and try writing the first scene (doesn't need to be in blank verse, but you might as well try :) ).

5. You have stumbled on the missing link of Shakespearian evidence. You can prove if Shakespeare was in fact the writer of his own plays, if someone else wrote them, or if an entire set of different writers wrote them. Which is it, what is the evidence, and what do you do with it?

6. You are trying to convince someone to sleep with you from directly below his or her balcony. What do you say and how do you "proclaim your love?"

7. If you were to write over 30 different masterful plays, what would they be about? Write the titles of these world-changing plays, write a short description, and explain the critical reception of each of them.

8. Imagine you are part of one of those original Globe Theater audiences (in the late 16th, early 17th century). What is it like? How does it smell? Do you or any of them understand what's being said? :)

9. You have your choice of directing any Shakespearian play. The cast, set, and everything are already together, you just have to make it work. What do you choose and how do you go about it?

10. Adapt a Shakespearian plot into a story, play, or movie. It can be a loose adaptation (like the movie "10 Things I Hate About You") or something more exact. Pick one and begin to write a little bit of it (or write the entire thing). 

Shakespeare wrote over 35 plays and hundreds of sonnets. If you have trouble using these free creative writing prompts for inspiration, feel free to use any of Shakespeare's works to draw from. Even if you can't understand it, trust me, you will get something out of it. The bard's work has been adapted into television, hip hoperas, and Disney movies and it has unlimited potential. Use it. Happy writing! 

Bonus - Shakespeare comes over for dinner. What do you make him and what do you and your family/friends talk about with him? 

Related Articles
Free Creative Writing Prompts from the Heart, Part 1
Free Creative Writing Prompts #2: Love
Creative Writing Exercises #2: Relaxation

Done with this page? 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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