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Get in the Spirit: 40 Creative Christmas Writing Prompts for Screenwriters

Writing prompts can be a helpful tool for writers of all levels and can serve a variety of purposes. Here are some ways to use writing prompts effectively:

To get started: If you’re feeling stuck or uninspired, a writing prompt can be a great way to get your creative juices flowing and help you get started on a new writing project.

To practice writing: Regular writing practice can help you improve your skills and build confidence. Use writing prompts as a way to challenge yourself and try out new techniques or styles.

To overcome writer’s block: If you’re experiencing writer’s block, a writing prompt can help you break through the mental block and get writing again.

To explore new ideas: Writing prompts can help you think about new and unexpected topics, which can be a great way to spark creativity and generate new ideas.

To have fun: Writing doesn’t always have to be serious! Use writing prompts as a way to have fun and let your imagination run wild.

To get the most out of writing prompts, it’s important to set aside dedicated time to write and to not worry too much about the quality of your work. Just focus on getting words on the page and letting your creativity flow.

So, get into the holiday spirit and spark your creativity with these 40 festive writing prompts for screenwriters. From heartwarming holiday tales to suspenseful yuletide mysteries, these prompts are sure to inspire your next screenplay.

Grab a cup of cocoa, put on some holiday tunes, and let these prompts light up your script!

25 Christmas Story Writing Prompts

  1. A young woman who is disillusioned with the commercialism of the holiday season rediscover the magic of Christmas when she volunteers at a local soup kitchen.
  2. A group of friends who are struggling to get into the holiday spirit decide to take a trip to a Christmas-themed town, where they learn the true meaning of the season.
  3. A family who has fallen on hard times receives a surprise visit from a mysterious stranger who helps them rediscover the joy of Christmas.
  4. A workaholic businessman who has lost touch with his loved ones learns the true value of family and togetherness during a Christmas Eve blizzard.
  5. A group of neighbors who have been feuding for years are brought together by a series of holiday mishaps, leading them to reevaluate their relationships and the true spirit of the season.
  6. A young girl who has never believed in Santa Claus is visited by the man himself on Christmas Eve, leading her on a magical journey through the North Pole.
  7. A group of estranged siblings who have not spoken in years are forced to spend the holiday season together, leading them to heal old wounds and rekindle their relationships.
  8. A couple who has been trying to have a baby for years discovers they are pregnant on Christmas Day, leading them on a journey of hope and joy.
  9. A family who has lost their Christmas spirit due to a recent tragedy are visited by the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future, helping them to heal and find joy again.
  10. A cynical journalist who is assigned to cover a small town’s holiday festivities is transformed by the kindness and generosity of the community, leading her to rediscover her own holiday spirit.
  11. A group of coworkers who have always dreaded the office holiday party are surprised when they are transported to a winter wonderland, where they learn the true meaning of togetherness.
  12. A young boy who is struggling with his faith is visited by a guardian angel on Christmas Eve, leading him on a journey of self-discovery and belief.
  13. A grumpy old man who has always hated the holidays is visited by his deceased wife, who helps him rediscover the joy and magic of the season.
  14. A group of friends who have lost touch over the years reunite on Christmas Day, leading them on a journey of forgiveness and renewal.
  15. A group of strangers who are stranded at an airport on Christmas Eve band together and create their own holiday celebration, leading them to form unexpected friendships and connections.
  16. A family who has always celebrated Christmas in a traditional way decides to mix things up and try out new holiday traditions, leading them on a journey of self-discovery and growth.
  17. A young woman who has always hated the holidays finds herself falling in love with a man who is determined to spread holiday cheer to everyone he meets.
  18. A group of friends who have always had elaborate holiday traditions decide to shake things up and spend Christmas in a different location, leading them on a journey of adventure and self-discovery.
  19. A group of coworkers who have always dreaded the office holiday party decide to take matters into their own hands and plan a celebration that everyone will love, leading them to form unexpected friendships and connections.
  20. A young woman who has always been obsessed with Christmas finds herself questioning her love for the holiday when she is tasked with organizing the town’s annual tree lighting ceremony.
  21. A group of strangers who are stranded at a remote cabin during a blizzard are forced to celebrate Christmas together, leading them to form unexpected friendships and heal old wounds.
  22. A family who has always struggled with the holidays due to financial constraints decide to make the most of their situation and create their own holiday traditions, leading them to rediscover the joy of the season.
  23. A young man who has always been a Grinch about the holidays is visited by the ghost of his deceased grandfather, who helps him rediscover the magic and joy of the season.
  24. A group of friends who have always celebrated Christmas in a traditional way decide to mix things up and spend the holiday volunteering at a soup kitchen, leading them to form unexpected connections and rediscover the true meaning of the season.
  25. A young woman who has always been a Christmas fanatic finds herself questioning her love for the holiday when she is tasked with organizing the town’s annual tree lighting ceremony, leading her on a journey of self-discovery and growth.

5 Christmas Romance Story Writing Prompts

  1. A young woman who has always been a Grinch about the holidays is visited by the ghost of her deceased grandmother, who helps her rediscover the magic and joy of the season – and fall in love with a handsome holiday cheerleader in the process.
  2. A group of friends who have always had elaborate holiday traditions decide to shake things up and spend Christmas in a different location, where they each find unexpected romance.
  3. A cynical journalist who is assigned to cover a small town’s holiday festivities is transformed by the kindness and generosity of the community – and by a charming local who helps her rediscover her own holiday spirit.
  4. A young woman who has always hated the holidays finds herself falling in love with a man who is determined to spread holiday cheer to everyone he meets – even when she tries her best to resist him.
  5. A group of coworkers who have always dreaded the office holiday party are surprised when they are transported to a winter wonderland, where they each find unexpected romance amid the twinkling lights and festive cheer.

5 Christmas Horror Story Writing Prompts

  1. A young couple who have always loved the holiday season find themselves terrorized by a group of demonic elves while staying at a remote cabin in the woods.
  2. A group of friends who are on a holiday road trip are stalked by a deranged Santa Claus who has a twisted sense of “holiday cheer.”
  3. A family who has always celebrated Christmas in a traditional way discovers that their holiday traditions have a dark and sinister history, leading them to confront a terrifying past.
  4. A young woman who is tasked with organizing the town’s annual tree lighting ceremony finds herself haunted by a malevolent spirit that seems to be tied to the event.
  5. A group of coworkers who have always dreaded the office holiday party find themselves trapped in the building with a serial killer who is dressed in a Santa suit.

5 Christmas Thriller Story Writing Prompts

  1. A young woman who has always loved the holiday season finds herself drawn into a web of deceit and danger when she discovers that her charming new boyfriend is not who he claims to be.
  2. A group of friends who are on a holiday road trip are stalked by a mysterious stranger who seems to know their every move.
  3. A family who has always celebrated Christmas in a traditional way finds themselves in the middle of a dangerous conspiracy when they discover that their holiday traditions are part of a secret society.
  4. A young man who is struggling with his faith is visited by a guardian angel on Christmas Eve, leading him on a journey of self-discovery – and into the heart of a sinister plot.
  5. A group of coworkers who have always dreaded the office holiday party find themselves in the midst of a corporate conspiracy when they discover that their boss has been embezzling funds and plans to flee the country on Christmas Eve.

Most Popular Christmas Movies Of All Time

Just for reference, here are the top ten highest grossing Christmas movies of all time (based on worldwide box office totals):

  1. “The Grinch” (2018) – $543.1 million
  2. “The Polar Express” (2004) – $309.9 million
  3. “Elf” (2003) – $220.4 million
  4. “Home Alone” (1990) – $476.7 million
  5. “A Christmas Carol” (2009) – $325.3 million
  6. “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” (2000) – $345.1 million
  7. “The Santa Clause” (1994) – $189.8 million
  8. “The Santa Clause 2” (2002) – $172.8 million
  9. “Fred Claus” (2007) – $97.5 million
  10. “The Night Before” (2015) – $52.1 million

Note: These figures are not adjusted for inflation and are based on worldwide box office totals.

Christmas movies offer a lucrative opportunity for channels, as they are relatively inexpensive to produce and can be shot in Canada where tax credits make production costs even lower. These films often have budgets under $2 million, yet they attract a large audience and are therefore a win-win economic prospect.

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Jay Carver

Jay Carver is a screenwriter, director and producer. Through his production company J-Style Films, he has done work for companies such as Turner Broadcasting. In the past, he has worked with Hollywood actor Omari Hardwick and won several film festivals including "Best Director".

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