This is a mix of what I’ve learnt from Larry Brooks and Robert McKee, which may help you to quickly prepare for NaNoWriMo or writing a novel in a month or rather 50,000 words.
The following list of prompts is to help guide you into finding your story and helping you to create a scene list that you can work with during November.
Remember, it’s action scenes which will help you successfully navigate NaNoWriMo and writing a novel quickly.
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30 NaNoWriMo Prompts for October
Character Questions – ask your Main Character (and/or Antagonist):
1. What do you truly desire?
2. What do you truly fear?
3. What is getting in your way?
4. What would be the perfect solution/ending for this situation for you?
5. Who or what do you love most in the world?
6. Who or what do you hate most in the world?
7. Where does, or could your story take place?
8. What is unique about this place?
9. What changes between the start and the end of the novel?
10. How could your MC transform by the end?
11. Where does your MC start the story? And where are they at the end?
Story Structure Scene Ideas:
This list should give you ideas for scenes, and scenes with action are what you want while powering through NaNoWriMo.
12. Brainstorm at least 10 ideas for an opening scene.
13. Brainstorm at least 10 ideas for the closing scene.
14. Brainstorm 10 ideas for the First Plot Point, the moment your MC starts on the real story (sometimes called the Inciting Incident).
15. Brainstorm at least 10 ideas for First Pinch Point.
16. Brainstorm at least 10 ideas for the Mid-Point.
17. Brainstorm at least 10 Ideas for the Second Pinch Point
18. Brainstorm at least 10 ideas for 2nd Plot Point.
19. Journal your ideas, images, thoughts on your MC in Part 1; the Orphan, in the Set-Up Stage of the novel.
20. Journal your ideas, images, thoughts on your MC in Part 2, the Wanderer, in the Response Stage of the novel.
21. Journal your ideas, images, thoughts on your MC in Part 3, the Warrior, in the Active/Attack Stage of your novel.
22. Journal your ideas, images, thoughts on your MC in Part 4, the Martyr, in the Resolution Stage of your novel.
23. Brainstorm scene ideas, to take you from Page 1 to the First Plot Point at the end of Part 1.
24. Brainstorm scene ideas to take you from First Plot Point to the Mid-Point, at the end of Part 2.
25. Brainstorm scene ideas to take you from the Mid-Point to 2nd Plot Point, at the end of Part 3.
26. Brainstorm scene ideas to take you from the 2nd Plot Point to the final, closing scene of the novel.
27. Create a loose outline/plot points of Part 1.
28. Create a loose outline/plot points of Part 2.
29. Create a loose outline/plot points of Part 3.
30. Create a loose outline/plot points of Part 4.
This list should help you get prepared for NaNoWriMo. But remember it isn’t the end of the world if you cannot complete NaNoWriMo this year. If you want to write a novel, then make a plan to write your novel, but in a timeframe that suits You.
I myself, like making small changes each day which add up to a whole lot over a period of time. Why not use NaNoWriMo to start your novel, but commit instead to a daily 300 words, 5 days a week? Perhaps this would better suit your workload and schedule?
300 words a week with the weekend off is 6000 words a month; which is 72,000 a year. That’s a decent length novel each year. Or if you want to produce more; double your 300 and write 600 words a day, which is 2 novels per year; or 900 words a day, which is 3 x 72k novels per year. When you put less pressure on yourself, (but still a little pressure:) ) you’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish.
I’d recommend checking out Holly Lisle’s How To Write A Novel class. It’s a brand new class, so at a super low introduction price right now, and will help guide you into writing your novel step-by-step week-by-week over a period of 8 months.
This class will give you a method that’s reusable (and much faster the subsequent times) and will get you a novel that you love and that your readers will love.
And if you grab it now, at the intro price, you’ll receive a Matt Edit at an 80% discount. That’s a full novel developmental edit (for under 100k words).
Check out the class HERE, or sign up here for Holly’s Free Flash Fiction Class, to get a feel for her writing and teaching style.
I’d love to hear what you think of this list, and how your #preptober is going for NaNoWriMo 2018. Let me know in the comments and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.