5 NaNoWriMo Prompts for Mid-Challenge Motivation

Here are 5 NaNoWriMo prompts to help motivate you to keep working on your writing challenge past the November 15 midpoint.
Author:
Publish date:

Here are 5 NaNoWriMo prompts to help motivate you to keep working on your writing challenge past the November 15 midpoint. 

NaNoWriMo Prompts

If you are participating in this year’s NaNoWriMo challenge, you are exactly halfway through the month. For some of you that may mean you’re halfway through the challenge with half of your manuscript written. For others of you that may mean it’s time to kick things into high gear to get caught up! And yet for those over-achievers among us, you may have gotten off to a strong start and are already past the halfway mark.

Regardless of where you’re at, the next couple of weeks approaching the end of the challenge are bound to be full of other things vying for your attention—getting ready for the holidays and family gatherings, traveling and perhaps taking time off of work or working extra hours as black Friday rolls around. All of these things (and more depending on your circumstances) may make completing the challenge, well, more of a challenge.

Find more NaNoWriMo motivation with this article from NaNoWriMo executive director, Grant Faulkner.

To help keep your forward momentum, here are a few prompts that might help you think about your story in a new way.

  1. No matter what point you’re at in your novel, chances are, your character is frustrated by something—at least, they should be. There should be conflict—things standing in the way of your character getting what they want. Write a scene in which your character is standing on the edge of a cliff, or a building, or the universe and they scream into the distance all of their frustrations. What do they yell about? What language do they use? What sorts of gestures do they make? Hopefully you’ll discover something critical about your characters desires and motivations and you can carry some of that emotion into the next parts of the story.
  2. Choose one of your main characters and take them to a new place. Maybe a change of scenery will do them good! Write a scene in which your character travels somewhere new to them—perhaps it’s a work trip, or a vacation, or a class field trip, or clue in the mystery guiding them—whatever the reason, this is an opportunity to see the place through the eyes of a specific character as it pertains to their goals in the novel.
  3. Write a scene in which you trap your protagonist somewhere. Perhaps it’s on a boat in close quarters with someone they don’t like. Or maybe it’s in an elevator when they need to be elsewhere. Maybe it’s in an office during a lockdown. How does this entrapment factor into the larger story. Is it a minor inconvenience, a setback? Or is it an opening to meeting a new character who could help them? Perhaps it’s the final challenge they have to overcome (or not) to end the story.
  4. Now, take the scene you wrote for number three and rewrite it with the antagonist as the character who is trapped. Consider how this changes the dynamics of the story.
  5. Write a scene in which your character creates a meal. Are they cooking for themselves or for others as well? Is this a meal they make often, or something for which they need to follow a recipe closely? Does “cooking” for your character mean slapping a sandwich together and hoping for the best, or does your character cook regularly with some success? As you write the scene, be sure to consider the aromas, the space and tools used in preparing the food, your character’s attitude about the meal, etc.

These scenes may or may not make it into the manuscript you’re working on, but at the very least they should provide you with some insight about your characters and conflicts. Maybe it’ll help you discover a side of them you haven’t seen before—an attitude or opinion or gesture you can use in another part of your story. However you use these prompts for your NaNoWriMo novel, keep writing—we have faith in you and your writing. You can WIN this challenge!

For advice about writing your novel in 30 days, check out this WD special digital issue:

Image placeholder title
Probst_1:20

Making the Switch from Romance to Women’s Fiction

In this article, author Jennifer Probst explains the differences between romance and women's fiction, the importance of both, and how you can make the genre switch.

Wrobel_1:20

Stephanie Wrobel: On Writing an Unusual Hero

Author Stephanie Wrobel explains how she came to write about mental illness and how it affects familial relationships, as well as getting inside the head of an unusual character.

who_are_the_inaugural_poets_for_united_states_presidents_robert_lee_brewer

Who Are the Inaugural Poets for United States Presidents?

Here is a list of the inaugural poets for United States Presidential Inauguration Days from Robert Frost to Amanda Gorman. This post also touches on who an inaugural poet is and which presidents have had them at their inaugurations.

precedent_vs_president_grammar_rules_robert_lee_brewer

Precedent vs. President (Grammar Rules)

Learn when to use precedent vs. president with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 554

Every Wednesday, Robert Lee Brewer shares a prompt and an example poem to get things started on the Poetic Asides blog. This week, write a future poem.

new_agent_alert_tasneem_motala_the_rights_factory

New Agent Alert: Tasneem Motala of The Rights Factory

New literary agent alerts (with this spotlight featuring Tasneem Motala of The Rights Factory) are golden opportunities for new writers because each one is a literary agent who is likely building his or her client list.

Miller_1:19

Timothy Miller: The Alluring Puzzle of Fact and Fiction

Screenwriter and novelist Timothy Miller explains how he came to write historical fiction and how research can help him drive his plot.

Batra&DeCandido_1:18

Dr. Munish Batra and Keith R.A. DeCandido: Entertainment and Outrage

Authors Dr. Munish Batra and Keith R.A. DeCandido explain how they came to co-write their novel and why it's important to them that the readers experience outrage while reading.