Proverbs make great stories and they’re especially good for setting the theme of a piece. once you have a theme, the setting, characters and even the plot can follow easily. There are hundreds to choose from and each has a story to tell.

Pick a proverb…..
Write down the message, this will be the theme of your story.
Think about the sort of person the proverb relates to. This will be your main character.
Allow the setting and plot to evolve.
Think about structure. Something needs to change by the end of the story. Your character will need a climax and a resolution. What lesson will they learn?

A few famous proverbs I can see turning into great stories……

Between the devil and the deep blue sea
Theme – choosing between 2 equally bad alternatives in a serious dilemma.

First come first served
Theme – the first inline will be attended to first.

Faint heart never won fair lady
Theme – to succeed you must have the courage to pursue what you want, or, for a romance, all girlies like a brave hero ๐Ÿ˜‰

A rolling stone gathers no moss
Theme – a person who never settles in one place or who often changes his job will never succeed or someone who keeps changing their mind will never get anything done.

There’s no smoke without fire
Theme – rumours don’t spread unless there is an element of truth in them.

You can’t have your cake and eat it
Theme – you must choose between 2 things because it’s impossible to have both.

You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink
Theme – You can help, support, or encourage someone to do something, but you can’t make them do what they’re unwilling to do.

…..and my absolute favourite (don’t ask me why, but probably coz of the imagery it conjures up).

A drowning man will clutch at a straw
Theme – a desperate person will do anything to save himself.


I bought these books a couple of days ago at Baggins my local fantastic second hand book shop. Sometimes, I just love where I live ๐Ÿ™‚

One final note…..proverbs make great story titles ๐Ÿ˜‰

Have you ever wrote a story based on a proverb?

Yesterday’s prompt about the piano wasn’t as easy as I first thought lol. I ended up with the start of a story about a woman at a hotel who stumbles across a man playing the piano in the bar early in the morning. I can see a romance developing lol. Tomorrows prompt is you’re taking off your clothes so I’m thinking I might try to come up with something a bit darker for that one!

As you can see, ive been having a fiddle…..I’m liking the new look, might stay with this for a while ๐Ÿ™‚

14 thoughts on “Proverbs

  1. I love proverbs! That’s such a good idea to use them as prompts/themes for writing! And I’m jealous of those books you bought. ๐Ÿ™‚


  2. Never used a proverb for a prompt but given your examples, it looks a good idea.

    That looks a good buy from Baggins. I love those old book shops (actually I must search some out in this area). I also like buying older, but decent condition versions of classic or good books. I don’t know why, perhaps a slightly lived in book seems to have more personality.


  3. It looks to me that this website doesnt download on a Motorola Droid. Are other people having the same issue? I like this webpage and dont want to have to skip it any time Im gone from my computer.


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