The imagination is one of the most underused tools in language learning, but it can help you progress in your English journey by leaps and bounds. Creative writing is one of the best ways to activate your imagination in a way that helps you expand your English. But I’m sure you’ve had the same experience I’ve had. You’ve looked at an empty page for minutes on end, not knowing where to start. I’m here to help with 10 creative writing ideas inspired by birds. If you don’t like one of these writing prompts, that’s ok. Skip it, and move on to another one! With 10 writing prompts to choose from, hopefully one of them will be the creative writing idea that you need today.
Birds are wonderful, quirky creatures, and if they inspire you with any more creative writing ideas, please share with us in the comments! I’m sure your fellow English learners will thank you!
Bird Writing Prompt 1: LIGHT AS A FEATHER
Have you spent much time with the thesaurus lately? It’s a great place to build your vocabulary!
This writing prompt challenges you to use the thesaurus to help yourself make a list of at least 20 adjectives that could describe feathers. Then, I ask you to choose five of those adjectives and use them in a poem about a mountain.
My goal with this writing prompt is to help you practice playing with words. Feathers are light, and they float on the wind. Mountains are rooted to the ground. This writing prompt aims to help you think beyond the literal definitions of the words you’ve gathered and start to think about how you might use them figuratively or creatively.
Maybe you choose to personify the mountain and use your adjectives to describe the mountain’s personality. Perhaps you discover that one of your adjectives has multiple definitions, and you use one of its other definitions in your poem. It might be that your poem contains a dialogue, and the adjectives appear in the dialogue. Be creative, and stretch your mind!
Related: Using Adjectives in English
Bird Writing Prompt 2: HOME SWEET HOME
In your native language, can you mimic a newscaster? How about a security guard telling someone to leave the premises? A snob? An inquisitive child?
It’s probably pretty easy for you to change your voice and your vocabulary to imitate these different types of people in your native language. They each have typical ways of speaking, typical vocabulary they might use. But I bet that’s much harder for you to do in English.
This creative writing topic aims to get you thinking that way in English. I know you can imitate the tone of a magazine article like this in your native language. Try to do it now in English.
For an extra challenge, after you write your article, go and read some articles like this in English. Takes notes on the paragraph length, the structure of the article, and any words you notice. Then go back to your article and see if you want to make any changes.
Related: Cozy English Synonyms for ‘Cuddle’
Bird Writing Prompt 3: WHAT EGGS ARE THESE?
I love adventure stories and the discoveries people make on long treks through unusual terrains.
I tried to make this a writing prompt that could take you in many different directions. What will your character do? What will happen next?
Bird Writing Prompt 4: PUFFINS IN LOVE
I will always associate puffins with love because my husband and I saw puffins on our honeymoon. Early one more, we found ourselves alone in the mist with hundreds of puffins. It was one of the more magical moments of my life.
In this writing prompt, I ask you to write a ballad. You don’t need to be strict about the ballad form—you don’t need to worry about syllable stress, for example—although you can be if you like. Focus more on the story that unfolds in your ballad.
People called minstrels used to perform ballads in the Middle Ages. For an extra challenge, I dare you to put on a pair of tights and recite your ballad to an English-speaking friend. What words and events do you emphasize when you’re “performing” your ballad? What rhythm do you adopt as you speak?
What is a MINSTREL?
Bird Writing Prompt 5: STARS, STRIPES, AND SQUAWKS
Sometimes, creative writing is an excellent outlet for our political opinions. Instead of writing something earnest from your own point of view, try writing this monologue from an eagle’s point of view. How is it different than expressing your opinions in your own voice? This could also be an exercise in empathy. Instead of having the eagle reflect your own opinions, write from the opposite point of view!
Your monologue can be thoughtful, comedic, frightened, proud, approving, or disapproving. Don’t be restricted by your preconceptions of what a monologue is. Have fun with it!
What's a PRECONCEPTION?
Bird Writing Prompt 6: THE FURTIVE GULL
Most of us have memories of sneaking away to do something we weren’t supposed to do at some point in our lives. This creative writing prompt asks you to imagine that type of experience from the point of view of a seagull.
If you’re stuck, take your writing journal to a local park or a city square. Watch the birds, and let them inspire you.
Bird Writing Prompt 7: BIRDS AT BREAKFAST
Have you ever thought about all the things that go on around your home when you’re gone? Oftentimes, ordinary thoughts like that can be great starting points for developing creative writing ideas!
Bird Writing Prompt 8: POOF, YOU’RE A BIRD!
Literature is filled with stories of people who transform into animals. This writing prompt asks you to write a story about being transformed into a bird.
Bird Writing Prompt 9: THOSE DARN BIRDS
What types of things do people despise? Do different types of people despise different types of things?
What does DESPISE mean?
As you respond to this creative writing prompt, think about two things. First, why have you grown to hate your local bird population? Second, what does that say about you? You might choose to write from the point of view of a likeable character, but you might also find it interesting to write from the point of view of someone unlikeable.
Bird Writing Prompt 10: AN ODD SPECIES, TO BE SURE
You’ve arrived at the final creative writing idea of this post! Once more, I ask you to imagine that you’re a bird. How does that affect how you see humans?
As in Writing Prompt 2, this prompt encourages you to think about the specific style that a lecture might have. Think about it in your native language first before you begin writing. How will you structure your lecture? What points will you include? How will you keep the audience’s interest?
After you’ve finished writing, try watching one of these popular TED Talks. Take notes on how the speaker delivers their lecture. Do you like any of the language they use? How do they begin the talk? How do they end it? Revisit your own lecture and see if there is anything you’d like to adjust.