Craft of Writing

15 Writing Prompts for 15 Days

The weeks left for Nanowrimo, or National Novel Writing Month, are winding down. This is where the steam engine starts to lose some of that power and you’re left wondering what to do next.

No fear!

I have fifteen prompts to get you through the next fifteen days. Plus some free prompts!

The prompts below are a mix of fun and utility. They are designed to help you overcome blocks and reveal more about the manuscript you are currently working on. Do remember that Nanowrimo is largely about creating a habit of writing. If you end up writing something that you’re not 100% in love with, you can choose to later leave it out. Sometimes writing these scenes will help reveal the do’s and don’t’s of your story and your characters. (Such as how I spent a night pushing two characters into a romantic relationship and one ended up sleeping on the couch. They weren’t meant to be together and writing that awkward scene helped me reveal that.)

Fifteen Prompts for Fifteen Days

  1. Describe your setting.
  2. “Did you mean to do that?”, “Yeah, but I didn’t think it’d do that.”
  3. Put two characters that don’t get along in a room together.
  4. Meet the mentor. Is there a figure your protagonist looks up to? Are they a good mentor, or should the protagonist beware following in their footsteps?
  5. Bad Omens. Write a bit of foreshadowing for a plot twist or your ending.
  6. Great news everyone! Something amazing happens in the protagonist’s life.
  7. Nothing is perfect. You know that great thing you wrote yesterday? Now, find a way to ruin it.
  8. Love triangle? How about a villain triangle. Give the protagonist two villains who hate one another. How does this affect your story?
  9. It’s only skin deep. Do any of your characters have tattoos or distinguishing features? Describe them.
  10. Red herring! Not all is as it seemed. Write a twist in the story even you didn’t see coming.
  11. A trip to the farmer’s market. Who goes? What happens there?
  12. A cat walks into the scene. What happens?
  13. A new character appears? Are they good, bad, or a plot twist?
  14. The library holds the answers to all secrets. What revolutionary secret do your characters find?
  15. Rocks fall, someone dies. Kill a character and make yourself cry.

Bonus Prompt

  1. Happily ever after? Write the fallout for each of your characters after the climax. Do they get a happily ever after, or is it tainted?

Did these writing prompts help your story? Did you learn anything new about the tale you are weaving? I hope each and every writing prompt found it’s way into your story, because no two people will tell the same tale.

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