The Complete Guide to Mastering Midjourney Prompt Writing

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As an AI enthusiast, I‘m blown away by Midjourney‘s ability to transform simple text prompts into magnificent images. But as a technology geek, I know that prompt engineering is more nuanced than it appears. Writing effective prompts requires creativity, analytical thinking, and practice.

In this comprehensive 3000+ word guide, I‘ll share my insights as an AI expert to help you master the art of prompt writing for Midjourney. You‘ll learn prompt basics, advanced techniques, tools, tips and more based on extensive research and hands-on experience.

So get ready to unleash your imagination and start creating captivating AI-generated artworks!

How Midjourney‘s AI Generates Images from Text Prompts

To write excellent prompts, first let‘s analyze how Midjourney‘s AI works under the hood.

Midjourney uses a deep learning technique called Diffusion Models to generate images. This cutting-edge AI technique has sparked a revolution in computer graphics lately.

Here‘s a high-level overview of the image generation process:

  1. Midjourney‘s algorithm breaks down the text prompt into smaller semantic pieces called tokens.

  2. It analyzes these tokens to identify key semantic relationships. This allows understanding the core idea or essence of the prompt.

  3. The algorithm searches its vast knowledge base to find relevant visual concepts associated with the prompt‘s meaning.

  4. It identifies useful patterns and connections between these visual concepts based on its learnings.

  5. Using statistical diffusion, the algorithm renders these visual elements into a new coherent image closely matching the prompt description.

So in summary, Midjourney‘s AI tries to deeply comprehend the prompt, makes imaginative connections using its knowledge, and translates the textual description into a visual photographic representation.

This is what makes prompt writing for Midjourney so exciting yet challenging. Your words act as a guide for the AI‘s imagination and creativity. As the prompt engineer, your role is to communicate the essence of the desired image clearly to the algorithm through thoughtful language.

Let‘s now dive deeper into prompt writing techniques that enable you to take full advantage of Midjourney‘s artistic capabilities.

Prompt Writing Basics – Commands, Descriptions, Styles

Before jumping into advanced strategies, it‘s important to learn the basic building blocks of good Midjourney prompts:

The Main Prompt

This forms the core description of the image you want Midjourney to generate. Some tips:

  • Focus on the key subject, scene or character

  • Use clear, simple language the AI can comprehend

  • Add sensory details – colors, lighting, textures, shapes

  • Paint a vivid picture with words for Midjourney to visualize

Key Commands

  • /imagine – Tells Midjourney you want to generate an image

  • , – Use commas to separate different ideas/aspects of the prompt

      • Use hyphens for multi-word styles, modifiers or parameters

For example:

/imagine a lion sitting in the savanna, sun setting in background, warm light

This describes the main scene and elements to depict.

Styles and References

You can guide Midjourney‘s art style by specifying:

  • Art movements – impressionism, art deco

  • Artists – Picasso, Van Gogh

  • Styles – minimalist, abstract, anime, pixel art

  • Era/period – Renaissance, 70s psychedelic

  • Medium – oil painting, charcoal sketch

For example:

/imagine a portrait of a girl, renaissance oil painting style

This renders the image as a renaissance-style oil painting.

References help Midjourney generate new images in an existing style.


Elaborate on key aspects of your prompt using adjectives, lighting, moods and other details. For example:

/imagine misty forest in autumn, sun rays beaming through colorful leaves

The more descriptive you are, the better the output will match your vision.

These fundamentals form the backbone of great Midjourney prompts. Let‘s build on these with some advanced techniques.

Advanced Prompt Engineering Strategies and Examples

Experienced Midjourney users use various advanced techniques to further refine and control the AI‘s image generation process. Here are some of my favorites:

Direct the Composition

Guide where Midjourney should position key elements in the image using terms like:

  • Foreground, background, center

  • Left, right, top, bottom

  • Side profile, aerial view

  • Framing, perspective, depth of field

For example:

/imagine a girl painting in a studio, background filled with colorful artwork, soft lighting from the left

This provides explicit compositional instructions for Midjourney to follow.

Compare to Familiar Subjects

Describe your prompt by comparing it to well-known people, characters or styles that Midjourney can relate to.

For example:

/imagine a fierce warrior queen wearing armor, like Galadriel from Lord of the Rings

Giving familiar cultural references helps Midjourney generate new creations more accurately.

Add Environment Details

For outdoor/nature scenes, describe the lighting, weather, vegetation, terrain and other environmental factors. For example:

/imagine majestic snow-capped mountains, clear blue skies, evergreen forests, misty valleys

This sets the appropriate environmental context.

Upload Photo References

Providing good photographic reference material helps Midjourney render complex prompts more realistically.

Using parameters like -inpaint or -cfg scale 15 while uploading reference photos also improves results.

Iterate on Prompts

Refine prompts iteratively based on results. Tweak aspects like lighting, perspective, scale, style intensity etc. incrementally to get closer to your vision.

With practice, you‘ll learn how to guide Midjourney‘s image generation process through iterative improvement.

Use Negative Prompts

Specify elements to exclude from the generated image using "no", "-" or "minus" keywords.

For example:

/imagine Times Square in New York City, no people, no cars

Negative prompts remove unwanted objects that Midjourney might imagine.

Now let‘s explore some powerful advanced parameters and commands for controlling the AI‘s image creation.

Advanced Midjourney Commands and Parameters

In addition to descriptive text prompts, Midjourney provides many advanced commands and parameters to explicitly control attributes like style strength, size, chaos etc.

Mastering these can help prompt engineers get more predictable, optimized results. Here are some of my most used advanced features:

Control Style Intensity (-s)

The -s parameter allows controlling how strongly to apply the specified art style or aesthetic. For example:

/imagine a towering fantasy castle, -s2000  

Higher -s values make Midjourney emphasize the desired style more. Default is -s500.

Adjust Image Abstraction (-chaos)

Use the -chaos parameter to control how abstract or chaotic you want the generated image to be. For example:

/imagine a psychedelic landscape, -chaos85

Values range from 0 (minimum abstraction) to 100 (max).

Set Custom Image Size (-w -h)

Use -w and -h parameters to dial in specific width and height for your generated image. For example:

/imagine an elephant, -w 400 -h 300

This creates a 400 x 300 pixel image canvas.

Pick Aspect Ratio (-ar)

Use -ar to set a desired aspect ratio like 16:9, 4:3, 1:1 etc. This helps match common use cases like desktop wallpapers. For example:

/imagine a sunny beach, -ar 16:9

Generates a widescreen horizontal beach image.

Boost Resolution/Quality (-q)

To increase output image resolution and quality, use the -q parameter. For example:

/imagine intricate steampunk robot, -q 2

Higher -q values enhance details and resolution. Default is -q 1.

Limit Variation Count (-n)

Midjourney normally generates 4 related but different image variations for each prompt. To reduce this, specify your preferred variation count using -n. For example:

/imagine fairy dancing in a forest, -n 1

This outputs just 1 image instead of the usual 4.

Reuse Specific Image Seed (-seed)

To recreate the same image again later, take note of and specify its unique seed number using -seed.

For example:

/imagine explorer gazing at ruins, -seed 293847298  

This reproduces the image originally generated with seed 293847298.

As you can see, mastering these advanced commands gives prompt engineers tremendous control over Midjourney‘s AI capabilities.

Now let‘s look at some handy tools that can aid the prompt writing process.

Helpful Tools for Prompt Generation

Coming up with creative, effective prompts from scratch can sometimes be challenging. Thankfully, there are some useful AI-powered tools that can provide inspiration and ideas:

Midjourney‘s /describe

This built-in Midjourney feature analyzes any image you upload and provides helpful prompt keywords and descriptions for it. You can use these keywords as a starting point for new variations.

HuggingFace Spaces

This free web tool generates prompt ideas if you provide a text description of what you want to create. It‘s great for prompt inspiration.


A database of prompts and images uploaded by Midjourney users. Browsing it provides tons of examples to learn from.

Hypertextual Prompt Tuner

An AI assistant web app that interactively works with you to refine prompts by suggesting improvements to get your desired output.

Lexica Artistic Prompt Generator

An advanced web-based tool that generates prompts incorporating different styles, lighting, moods, textures, materials etc. based on your textual description.

Nightcafe Creator

A free online app that converts text and image uploads into Midjourney prompts. Also provides handy prompt templates.

With these AI-powered tools, you can take your prompt writing to the next level.

Now let‘s round up everything we‘ve covered with some key tips and best practices.

Tips for Writing Better Midjourney Prompts

Here are some tips from my experience for crafting effective prompts that produce better results:

  • Use clear, simple language – Avoid complex vocabulary

  • Break down big ideas into smaller descriptive parts

  • Specify important details like colors, lighting, textures, styles

  • Provide clear compositional guidance

  • Give Midjourney familiar references to base on

  • Iterate on prompts multiple times to incrementally improve

  • Try negative prompts to exclude unwanted elements

  • Leverage advanced commands and parameters

  • Use prompt helper tools for inspiration

  • Analyze prompts producing good results to identify patterns

  • Maintain an organized library of tested quality prompts

  • Collaborate with others to improve prompt writing skills

  • Develop a consistent prompting process tailored to your style

Reflecting on these tips and actively practicing prompt writing will steadily improve your skills over time.

The Key to Writing Great Prompts – Imagination Meets Analysis

Ultimately, prompt writing is a balancing act between imagination and analytical thinking. You need creativity to imagine engaging concepts and scenarios. But you also need analytical skills to deconstruct those ideas into components Midjourney‘s AI can comprehend.

By blending imagination with methodical prompt refinement, you can guide Midjourney to generate truly breathtaking images that exceed expectations. Prompt writing is part art, part science. Master both aspects to create your best work.


I hope this guide provided you with a comprehensive understanding of how to write outstanding Midjourney prompts. The key is learning how Midjourney‘s AI works, and then using descriptive language, stylistic guidance, compositional instructions and advanced parameters to clearly communicate your artistic vision.

Practice prompt writing regularly while continuously refining based on results. Take advantage of the many handy tools available. With persistence, creativity and analytical thinking, you‘ll be able to craft prompts that produce jaw-dropping Midjourney images tailored to your needs.

The AI art generation space is rapidly evolving. But the core principles of thoughtful prompt engineering will enable you to maximize the potential of Midjourney and any future AI system. I can‘t wait to see the incredible images you create!


Written by Alexis Kestler

A female web designer and programmer - Now is a 36-year IT professional with over 15 years of experience living in NorCal. I enjoy keeping my feet wet in the world of technology through reading, working, and researching topics that pique my interest.