Writing Prompts for November, 2013

Storm front rolling in.
Storm front rolling in.

I hope those of you who are participating in NaNoWriMo this month get off to a great start. I signed up, just to keep track of my words and see my goals getting closer to completion. There’s no way that I’m going to write anywhere near 50,000 words, but I like the discipline of the event. I know a few others who have signed up, and we will be cheerleaders for each other for the next 30 days.

For those of you who like to take a different approach to NaNo word counts, YA author, Nicole Humphrey Cook, describes a reverse NaNo system that leaves you only having to write 1 word on the last day. Check the system she uses here.

I hope you enjoy writing whatever you write this month, and here are some writing prompts to get those creative engines running.

1)  Try one of these opening sentences to start a story or novel:

  • I was beginning to wonder if driving a car was something I should be doing with a cranky Dalmatian in the back seat and a migraine pounding behind my eyes.
  • Some tunes bring back the wrong kind of memories.
  • I’d thought the carpet was clean until my face made close and painful contact.
  • At times like this, I knew better than to ask, “Why me?”
  • Was I the only one who had noticed that there’d been no squeal of brakes before the car hit the gate post?

2)  Here are some titles that might suggest a story:  Blue Yesterday, The Ring Keeper, Last Wishes, Diary of a Dropout, The Ruby Secret, The Gold Claw

3)  Can you picture the scene when you hear these lines of dialogue?

  • Did you hear about Henry?
  • No. What’s new?
  • He’s run away.
  • Please stop doing that.
  • Why?
  • It reminds me of someone.
  • Who?
  • Your brother.
  • I have to leave.
  • But, I need your help.
  • It’s a bit late to ask.

4)  See if these random words suggest a story or poem:

  • knife, paper, ice, coat, silver, lake
  • clasp, frame, red, strike, notes, tin

5)  What masks do your characters wear to hide their feelings in certain situations? Whom do they trust to see behind their masks?

6)  What costumes did your characters want to wear on Hallowe’en when they were children? Did they want to be superheroes or bunnies or witches or pirates or ….? What was your favourite Hallowe’en costume? Why was it your favourite?

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