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AU Writing Prompts

If you’ve spent any time on the internet as a writer, you’ve probably run into the concept of an AU prompt. An AU prompt is an “alternative universe” idea of a current work of fiction (and sometimes nonfiction). It has been seen a lot in the fanfiction world (which I’ll defend at a later time).

I’ve seen so many creative people put together lists upon lists of AUs. Some for a whole month of writing or drawing in this alternative universe, and I’ve found that I’ve daydreamed my own characters living this alternative life. It’s a great character study and a great writing prompt idea for this week.

So buckle up and put your fanfic writing helmets on, and write fanfic for your own creations. You can explore forbidden romances, character growth, and alternatives you might not have thought of.

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Some of these scenarios are less AU and more just very unique. If you’re writing a futuristic spy novel, you probably won’t have your characters spend time in a domestic AU setting. Explore these scenarios and create your own.

  • Fantasy college AU with your main characters being freshmen in a world were magic is common
  • Reverse AU where your villain is the good guy and vise versa
  • Arrange marriage AU but it’s your MC and the villain!
  • The classic being forced to share a bed AU that can either get steamy or get dangerous
  • Getting stuck in the elevator AU with enemies to lovers trope
  • Favorite book AU where you drop your characters into a scene of your favorite novel
  • Gender swap AU with your characters being a different gender than you originally planned…how different are they?
  • Domestic life AU with scenes that include washing dishes or working a standard 9-5
  • The absolutely classic coffee shop AU…who is working and who is the person with the crush on the barista?
  • Fake dating AU with a futuristic twist

Song Inspiration

I’m about to both change my normal format, and put my music taste on blast. Instead of doing word selections that challenge you to put all the words into your story, I thought I’d do song inspiration. The topic of AU is so broad I couldn’t think of what words to put in, so why not be inspired by a song. Write a short story or scene based on one of the songs below. Or pick a song of your own. I challenge you to put your own music list on shuffle and write the third random song.

  • Say You Love Me by Jessie Ware
  • Might Not Like Me by Brynn Elliot
  • Kinda Complicated by Scott Helman
  • Fixed by New Hope Club
  • Wanna Be by Betty Who
  • Before Leaving by Gradient Layer
  • Hell No by Ingrid Michaelson
  • Glory Days by Bruce Springsteen
  • We’re Not Gonna Take It by Twisted Sister

I could probably go on for days but I tried to find different songs from love to loss to life. I might do some more song inspired prompts in the future. Let me know if you like them better than the word challenges. I think it’s a good mix up to the normal prompt posts I create.

Let me know in the comments below if you use any of the prompts…or any of your favorite AUs. Have you written AUs in the past? Were you an avid fanfiction reader? I’d love to hear from you.

Until next week!

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