Story Ideas to Write on
Include Mysterious Castles


If you are a writer, you will probably be constantly on the lookout for powerful topics to write on to engage your reader. One of the story ideas to write on includes the concept of castles. When you think of castles, what comes to your mind? You might have thoughts of its great architecture and its rich history. Or you might have thoughts of stone-cold rough-textured walls. Your thoughts may turn to dank halls that ghosts have coveted as their home.

Varhola explains the concept of castles by saying “Castles are some of the most interesting, evocative settings for fantasy stories and can be used in innumerable ways. Indeed, unique, well-described castles are virtually characters themselves. Thus, it is important for fantasy writers to understand what constitutes a castle, why castles have the parts they do, and how these elements function as part of the whole” (364).

If you are a writer who wishes to give your reader a rich and unforgettable experience, write about castles and play up their unique charm of creaking iron hinges and heavy wooden doors. But what lies beyond these doors can leave the reader gasping upon seeing what the main character sees when the castle has her in its teeth.

Story Ideas to Write on
Can be a Source of Narrative Magic

Surprised man

As a writer, you have many ideas to write on when writing about the castle and its inhabitants. You can write about a woman who comes to the castle on holiday but finds that the castle has become a living entity that seems to control her every move. 

To make matters worse, she has no phone service, and the castle staff are nowhere to be found. She finds that her heartbeat has quickened, but not just hers, it’s the castle’s heartbeat, too, that pulses with a sense of mystery and macabre.

You get the idea.

As a writer, as one of the story ideas to write on, your creative juices can construct the lofty towers, the dank dungeons, perhaps the muffled screams, and even a moat filled with alligators. These can each become a story of their own, exploring themes of isolation, fear, despair, or redemption.

See These Examples of Story Ideas to Write On

Timber castle

Although you don’t need to know intricate details about the castle when you write your story about one, giving specific details will paint a vivid picture for your reader. Also, everything you learn about the castle will not be in your story. That would be too much unneeded information. However, the more you know, the richer your story will be.

Varhola tells us that sometimes castles were built of timber because it was cheaper, easier to work with, and could be constructed quickly. Still, it had a “vulnerability to fire and . .. . it would eventually rot” (369).

With this in mind, you might construct your story with the idea that a portion of the castle is rotting and your character may have fallen through a rotting floor and must escape the prison into which she’s fallen.

Also, consider that a would-be hero must rescue the damsel from the castle and has to deal with alligators in the moat. 


Realize though, that the alligator-moat theme has been overdone. A cliché. How about some other creature that the reader won’t usually associate with being in a moat? Or maybe there isn't a moat at all.

Don your creative hat when it comes to story ideas to write on.

Find detailed information about castle construction and other castle ideas in the book Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction

Remember, as a writer, a character immersed in the perils of an eerie castle, also has other issues. She didn’t just appear without a history. She comes with hopes and dreams and/or problems of loneliness and despair. The castle problems complicate her preexisting issues. Make your character well-rounded by keeping this in mind.

Here are Novels That Have Made Castles 
Successful Story Ideas to Write On


Dracula by Bram Stoker opens with a man named Jonathan Harker, a solicitor, on a business trip. He plans to stay at Count Dracula’s castle in Transylvania. However, upon discovering that Dracula is a vampire, Harker escapes the castle.

The Castle by Franz Kafka follows a character known only as “K.” He comes to a small town that is ruled by a strange bureaucracy in a nearby castle. The townspeople hold the bureaucracy and its officers in high esteem. But “K” cannot figure out why.

When I Arrived At The Castle by Emily Carroll is a Gothic horror graphic novel. She arrives at a countess’s castle but is oblivious to the nightmare that awaits her in the turrets.

What will your castle story be about? Will it be about a mysterious moat, a rotting floor, a ghost, a dashing young hero who must rescue a damsel, or will your story detail another aspect? You have many wonderful options, ranging from the compelling to the macabre and from the grand to the gloomy. Treat it with the right kind of technical prowess. Hopefully, you will take advantage of these story ideas to write on. But don’t take too long. 

Your readers are waiting.

“Stones in the road? I save every single one, and one day I’ll build a castle.” -Fernando Pessoa

Images created with Dream by Wombo

Card, Orson Scott, et al. Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction: How to Create Out-of-This-World Novels and Short Stories. Penguin, 2013.