Updated: Feb 16

Dark fantasy is a rapidly growing subgenre that has captured the imagination of many writers, new and old. It combines the escapist appeal of traditional fantasy and pairs it with darker themes and horror elements. If that sounds like your sort of thing, get started with the dark fantasy writing prompts below!


There is no wrong way to use writing prompts! However, I suggest selecting your favorite and sitting down to free write for fifteen minutes.


What ideas do these visual creative writing prompts spark? Share your ideas and short fiction with our friendly, welcoming community in the comments below.




Dark Fantasy Writing Prompt #1

The Hunter

Photo By: Harrison Haines


Design Your Own:

What ideas does this photo prompt?


OR


Try This:

It takes a black heart and a steady hand to slay the things that go bump in the night. The challenge is not becoming worse than the monsters you destroy.



Dark Fantasy Writing Prompt #2

Will you follow me on this dark path?


Photo by: Emre Kuzu

Design Your Own Prompt:

What ideas does this visual creative writing prompt spark?


OR


Try This:

A hand with blackened nails and cracking skin reached out from the shadows. "Follow me," the apparition hissed.




Dark Fantasy Writing Prompt #3

Chosen


Design Your Own Prompt:

What ideas does this photo prompt?


OR


Try This:

"When black rain falls from a dark night sky, the curse will be awakened. Its devastation will reign for a thousand years. Are you ready, sister?"




Dark Fantasy Writing Prompt #4

Black Heart

Photo by: Danielle Reese


Design Your Own Prompt:

What ideas does this photo prompt?


OR


Try This:

Despite all I have been through, all I have done, I still fear his name.




Dark Fantasy Writing Prompt #5

Silence

Photo by: Isabella Mariana


Design Your Own Prompt:

What ideas does this photo prompt?


OR


Try This:

When the Faerie Queen demands silence, it falls. No matter the cost.




Looking for more plot ideas?

Check out my book, 365 Awesome Story Prompts. You'll find even more fantasy prompts there, plus bonus setting and character inspiration lists. If you prefer a print version with a little space to jot notes and brainstorm, try 365 Awesome Story Prompts: Journal Edition.


You can also sign-up for my newsletter and get prompts sent directly to your inbox! You'll also get my book, 100 Awesome Story Prompts, for free.




Updated: Feb 10

Hi Everyone! Welcome back for the fourth installment in the YA author interview series. This week I'm chatting with S. Breaker, author of the Selfless series. If you're enjoying reading these interviews, be sure to join my newsletter to get updates. Also, a free book in every newsletter! Join here.


Evelina: Hi Sara! Thanks for joining us on the blog today :) Tell us a little bit about yourself.


Sara: Hi! My name is Sara. I live in New Zealand (AKA Middle Earth) with my husband and my five-year-old twin boys. I’m an indie author writing teen/YA sci-fi and fantasy books under my pen name: S. Breaker.


I write easy-reading, feel-good stories for young adults, as well as adults who still feel like they’re young adults. I’m deeply committed to happy endings because I think everyone needs an escape—specifically, one that leaves you feeling so good, you’ll be virtually bulletproof from the harshness of reality for the rest of the day.


Evelina: Lovely! I feel like YA grew a little darker with the dystopian trend, so I am excited to see more feel-good stories coming out to diversify the genre. (Don't get me wrong. I loved the Hunger Games and Divergent, too.) I also love the way you phrased that--"young adults, as well as adults who still feel like they’re young adults." What drew you to writing YA?


Sara: I love reading YA. It’s the first genre I’d ever read in. While I do occasionally read other kinds of books now too, my state of mind always tends to lean toward quirky, offbeat stories and I think to some degree, I just never grew up. I’ve always wanted to write serious sci-fi, but somehow my characters keep being funny on me. I like books that are easy to read, and the language that YA books use appeals to me more than books geared for other audiences. So this has made an impact on my style of writing as well.


Evelina: How many books have you written?


Sara: I’ve written 6 science fiction & fantasy books so far. I have an epic fantasy romance series with heavy mech robots, swords, and magic, entitled “The Secret of the Phoenix”. My recently completed “Selfless” series is a steampunk fantasy/sci-fi trilogy about parallel worlds and mistaken identities. And I’m currently working on a new epic fantasy/fae trilogy. I actually do write contemporary romance as well, so I have another few books under that genre.


Evelina: Awesome. That's a great backlist! When you sit down to write, are you completely digitalized, old school (ink pens, stationary, etc.), or somewhere in between?


Sara: Right now, I’m completely digitalized. I almost cannot write without my laptop. I used to be old school—ballpoints and notebooks. But nowadays, aside from trying to avoid full-on carpal tunnel syndrome, my handwriting speed is nowhere near fast enough to keep up with how fast I come up with words. I still write paper notes sometimes for “emergency” ideas. But when it comes to story notes, I’ve also come to rely on my Samsung Note phone because it has a notepad application and a stylus. And I’d be less likely to lose that note as opposed to if it was written on a Post-it.


Evelina: I hear you on the carpal tunnel. Office ergonomics really matter for those of us at a desk all day! Do you have any writing rituals? Do you like to listen to music, sit at the kitchen table, summon the powers of darkness, etc?


Sara: I should get a desk. Right now, I sit on the couch with my laptop. It’s not the best situation and it’s horrible for my posture. But this is how I’ve been writing. When I’m on a roll, I’ll always have music in the background playing. I almost always will have created a Spotify playlist or a YouTube soundtrack specific for the book I’m writing. The only time I won’t have music on is when I’m trying to figure out a plot hole or a complex problem with the story.


Evelina: Speaking of plot holes and story complexities, how many unpublished and half-finished books do you have? LOL


Sara: I think every author out there will have a dozen or more half-finished books stashed somewhere. Right now, I’m in the middle of about four substantially half-finished books that I’m hoping to get published in the next year. Some authors have schedules and a strict process. I’m still new enough to this that I can only so far write what I feel like writing at the time so I’ll hop from one project to the next. I’m trying to get better at focusing. Fingers crossed!


Evelina: Out of all your characters, which is your favorite?


Sara: In my “Selfless” series, I have a character called Eleanor. She’s the notorious genius scientist that my main character Laney (her parallel world look-alike) is mistaken to be. Eleanor basically drives most of the conflict by making sweeping decisions that trigger the cascade of consequences everyone else must survive through. But she’s the sort of genius who will do both bad things and good things—all in the name of science. She’s both a hero and a villain.


Evelina: Since you're a sci-fi author, I've gotta ask...If you had to choose, Doctor Who, Star Trek, or Star Wars?


Sara: It’s so hard to choose! Haha. But if I must choose, I pick Star Trek (though not the more recent ones). I enjoy the original, TNG, and Voyager series. Star Trek for me is a very idealistic and positive view of the future and the world. And I like happy endings! Star Trek basically manages to tackle even the most complex issues with an almost guaranteed satisfactory conclusion. I feel like it’s a stark contrast to the real world especially now and it always keeps me hopeful. It’s a great escape!


Evelina: TNG is one of my favorites, too. They tackle so many big philosophical questions while still maintaining humor and an uplifting vibe. When you're not watching Star Trek, what are you reading?


Sara: I’ve only just finished reading Sarah J. Maas’ ACOTAR series. It’s quite dark. Definitely darker than I would ever write, but her world building and storylines are amazing!


Evelina: I've actually never read the ACOTAR series, but I've heard great things in YA fan circles. Gotta add it to my TBR.


Before we wrap up, can you tell our readers about your upcoming book/series?


Sara: Here’s a short blurb: “Mistaken for her imperiled, notorious genius alternate self, Laney's accidental trip to a parallel world could very quickly turn very deadly.


I recently completed my YA Steampunk Fantasy/Sci-fi series "Selfless." The series is about a teenage girl who goes to a parallel world and gets mistaken for her genius scientist “alternate self” whose life is in danger.


I think it’s a bit different from anything already out there because of its tone. I wanted to create a compelling dystopian world with conflict and danger while maintaining an overarching atmosphere of levity and hope. It’s a fast-paced adventure with some steampunk influences and a bit of romance, fun and quirky, but is still packed with substance.


My goal was to write a science fiction book series that’s entertaining and easy to read. If people get that, they’ll love this.


A preview e-book of my series starter Book 1: “Save Yourself” is FREE to download here:

https://mybookcave.com/d/b453ec39



Website: https://www.amazon.com/author/breakers

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/sara-breaker

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sbreakerwrites

Purchase Link: https://amzn.to/3gJjkyk


Thanks so much to S. Breaker for joining us today! Check out her links above to purchase the Selfless series. If you enjoyed this blog post, join my newsletter and be the first to learn about new interviews. Also, get a free book in every newsletter! Just click here. No spam. Ever.

Updated: Feb 10

Hi Everyone! Welcome back for the third installment in the YA author interview series. This week I'm chatting with R.L. Medina. If you're enjoying reading these as much as I am enjoying writing them, be sure to join my newsletter and get updates. Also, a free book in every newsletter. Join here.


Hi R.L.! Why don't you tell us a little bit about yourself to get the ball rolling!


R.L.: Hey! I write under the pen name of R. L. Medina and I’ve been writing stories since I was eight. I’m obsessed with all things Fantasy and Sci-fi and write stories in those genres. I’m also a mom to a very busy (somewhat) feral four-year-old and have just started homeschooling. Coffee and tea help me survive. When I’m not writing or keeping my son entertained, I’m busy cooking, cleaning, reading, Netflix binging, and taking photos for my bookstagram.


Evelina: It sounds like you have a full plate! How many caffeine-fueled books have you written so far? 😂☕


R.L.: Seven


Evelina: And what are you working on now?


R.L.: I just released my first Paranormal Romance. Order is the first book of a suspenseful post-apocalyptic and epic paranormal romance series. In the story, the world has been cursed and left to the teen witches, vampires (who are technically immortal teens), werewolves, and humans. It centers on two kick ass girls, a witch queen, and a werewolf alpha, who are fighting to survive in a collapsed society that’s turned into chaos. Forbidden romance, overcoming prejudices, and fighting for equality are big themes in the story.


Evelina: Sounds good. I love a world brimming with magic and a book with a heart of gold. Since you mentioned teens, what made you choose the YA genre?


R.L.: I just love the discovery that comes with that age. Also the drama. I love all the teen angst and drama.


Evelina: That's such a good answer. I like the discovery element too. Everything is new and often overwhelming...hence the drama, I guess! What are you reading right now?


R.L.: The Dark Wood by Sydney Maan


Evelina: If you could drop into any fantasy world (television, movies, books, games) for a visit, where would you go? And why?


R.L.: Oooh. That’s a hard one. I love so many. I think I’d have to choose Hogwarts though. I feel like there’s so much more to explore there that we didn’t see in the books.


Evelina: Follow-up question.... Doctor Who, Star Trek, or Star Wars?


R.L.: I love them all, but Doctor Who has my heart.


Evelina: Yass!! I love Doctor Who. I've watched since the beginning of the reboot and have seen a few of the original series episodes too. If I had to pick a favorite, it would be Matt Smith.


Pulitzer Prize winning author John Cheever wrote mostly in his underwear. What are your writing rituals? Do you like to listen to music, sit at the kitchen table, summon the powers of darkness, etc?


R.L.: I usually write on my bed since it’s the only space for no distractions I have with a house full of people. I get my water and coffee or tea, my glasses, notebooks and laptop, and I play my “coffee and chill” playlist on Spotify. And I keep all my clothes on.


Evelina: Out of all your characters, which is your favorite?


R.L.: I love so many of them. I think my current favorite is McKenzie. She’s flawed and super relatable to me.


Evelina: Okay! Before I hit you guys with all the linkage, I wanna drop an excerpt from R.L. Medina' s work.


Hor-ri-fic. I glared at the high collared, boxy dress Tía Teresa laid out for me. Apparently she didn’t find my goth style appropriate for a funeral. Ironic. Grabbing the dress, I shoved it in the back of my closet. At least she got the color right.

Black.

The color of my hair inherited by a mother I’d never known. My wardrobe was made up of various shades of it—jet, obsidian, onyx, etc. One red dress stood out among the others like a rose smothered in shadow. I swore I’d never wear it.

Tonight, I would. For Papi.

He couldn’t see it now, but I would wear it all the same. Pulling it off the hanger, I forced down the wave of sorrow threatening to rise. Tears wouldn’t bring my father back. Life pushed on, dragging me along with it.

I held the dress up to myself. It was soft, flowy, and dark like the color of the wine, we so proudly produced, and the flower Mama and I were named after.

A knock on my door startled me. “Rosita, que tú haces?” came my tía’s voice.

I rolled my eyes. Contemplating burning your fugly abuelita dress, I wanted to tell her.

“Getting ready,” I replied instead.

Her heavy sigh made me bristle. Three days since she’d arrived, and she still didn’t get it. Pushing me only made me more stubborn and orders, yeah—I didn’t follow them.

Como hablarle a la pared—like talking to a wall, Papi used to say.

“You need help?” she asked in her accented English.

“No.”

Maybe she would stop trying to get me to speak Spanish. It felt wrong to speak it without Papi. The fact that I’d never hear the deep timbre of his voice again made my chest ache.

Steeling myself, I shed my giant tee and pulled the dress over my head. I stood before my floor length mirror and smoothed out the red fabric. Its low cut, high waist, and softness were at odds with my cropped cut hair and athletic frame. I didn’t really know what kind of woman my mom had been, but from the pictures I’d seen, I didn’t inherit her stern face nor her love for ridiculous gowns.

“Rosita?” Tía Teresa’s voice broke my thoughts.

I stiffened. “Rose.”

A clucking sound came from outside the door—her disapproval of my untraditional nickname. I didn’t care. Only Papi could call me his little rose, and now he was dead.

I never wanted to hear Rosita again.

Too lazy to make the trip into the bathroom, I dipped my fingers into an old cup of water and combed them through my hair. Dipping them again, I wiped the smudged black eyeliner off from under my eyes and grabbed my liquid pen from my shelf to reapply more. Black lipstick next and some black velvety flats for my feet, then I was ready.

“Rosi—”

I thrust the door open and cut her off.




Learn More About R.L Medina:

All of their books are free on Kindle Unlimited!

Website: www.rlmedina.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19326066.R_L_Medina

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/r-l-medina

Purchase Link: https://amzn.to/3f7vz7b





If you enjoyed this blog post, join my newsletter and be the first to learn about new interviews. Also, get a free book in every newsletter! Just click here. No spam. Ever.

Until Next Time!

Evelina

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