NaNoWriMo writing prompts


Got dreams of being the next JK Rowling but keep staring at a blank page? In honour of National Novel Writing Month, here are nine prompts to get you going.

Writing is something you only get better at if you do it regularly. Try some of these prompts as a way to start writing: you can time yourself to write for two, five or 10 minutes to start with, and if any of the ideas feel good to you, carry them on.

1. Turn on the TV or the radio and write down the first sentence or song lyrics that you hear. This sentence is first thing your character says to their friend.

2. Look up your horoscope online, picking out the last line. Start your story: ‘My grandfather once told me…[last line of horoscope]’ and then decide if your characters follow this advice.

3. Go to a cafe and look around at the people at the other tables, or walking past the window. Pick someone and describe them closely, making up details about their life including a secret they are keeping.

4. Grab the nearest book and turn to a random page. Pick one sentence on the page and use it to start a story.

5. Flick through a newspaper or magazine to find a picture of a person. Make up a name, a job for them, and decide what their greatest fear is. Write about what happens when they come face-to-face with that fear.

6. Have a look at #travel on Instagram. Write a scene based in the location of the first photograph you see.

7. Think about your dream job, your dream house or your dream holiday destination. Write a story about your fictional life, with yourself as the main character.

8. Have a look at’s word of the day. Use it in the first paragraph of your story.

9. Think about your favourite childhood teddy or toy. Write a story from the toy’s perspective about going on an adventure.

Novemeber is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) - an initiative to get all budding writers to complete their first 50,000 word novel in just 30 days. It's not too late to get involved! Plus, don't forget there is a Writers Activity Badge for the Scouts section if your young people want to give it a go!

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