In the last NaNoWriMo Boot Camp session, I gave you five story starters to help you develop your story idea. Today we’re going to talk about writing prompts.
If you recall, writing prompts are like story starters in that they both give you ideas on what to write about. In fact, most writers think of writing prompts and story starters as one and the same. Writing prompts are more specific, however.
While writing prompts aren’t as useful for developing your own story ideas, they do give you a starting point. I personally like to use them as daily writing exercises.
Since you can’t start writing your NaNoWriMo novel until 12:01 AM on November 1st, I suggest taking 10-20 minutes every day for the rest of October to write following a writing prompt. The benefit of this is twofold. First, it gets you into the writing habit. As many NaNoWriMo veterans are aware, suddenly churning out 1667 words a day can be a shock to the system, especially if you don’t write the rest of the year. Second, it helps you work your creativity muscle.
Finding writing prompts
It’s not difficult to find writing prompts. Type “writing prompts” into your search engine of choice, if you don’t believe me. However, it’s a little more difficult to find good writing prompts. Inspect the results for the aforementioned internet search and you’ll find most of the results are for children.
My favorite place to find writing prompts is Pinterest. I like the visual component, and it seems easier to find prompts that I can use in my own work.
You can check out the writersaurus writing prompt board. All of these are hand-picked by yours-truly. You can also check out this Pinterest search for “NaNoWriMo writing prompts” (tip: I always find that putting “NaNoWriMo” before any writing-related search helps eliminate the results geared toward 5th-grade English classes. You can use this trick year-round.)
You may also find some good prompts in the NaNoWriMo official forums (haven’t registered yet? You should!)
In the Halloween spirit? Check out these Horror writing prompts!
Where do you find your writing prompts, and what is your favorite prompt of all time? Share in the comments! Be on the look out for the next installment of the NaNoWriMo Boot Camp!