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30-Day Writing Challenge

November is National Novel Writing Month, and October (or Preptober) is the time to get ready. If you plan to write every day, it might help or just be fun to try some extra prompts. Some of these are for your story itself, and some are for your writing life as you power through the month. You can always substitute some of your own if the prompts don’t fit what you’re writing. I’d love to see some of yours, too, so feel free to add them to the comments below!

The Challenge

  1. Write outside.
  2. Take a personality quiz (like the Myers-Briggs test or an enneagram test) as some of your characters, then keep that in mind while writing them.
  3. Write a paragraph that doesn’t include any articles (the words “a”, “an”, or “the”).
  4. Include an animal in a scene.
  5. Write a scene using all five senses.
  6. Make a playlist for your story or one of your characters.
  7. One of your characters gets sick. How does he deal with it? What about the people around him?
  8. Imagine your pet or one of your belongings as a person, and use that person as a character.
  9. Use the word “crystal” in your work.
  10. Have a character change his mind about something. Why would he do that?
  11. Include a song or poem in your story.
  12. Use a news story to prompt a scene or subplot in your story.
  13. A character breaks a promise.
  14. What do your characters risk lose to accomplish their goals? Explore the consequences of their actions.
  15. Insert a line of dialog that you’ve heard someone else use today.
  16. Congratulations! You’ve made it halfway through the month! Plan ahead so you can get 8 hours of sleep (or at least rest if you have trouble sleeping) tonight. (This counts as a writing challenge because self-care will help you and your story.)
  17. Include law enforcement in a scene. Are they helping your protagonists or hindering them?
  18. Write an extra scene (one that won’t be included in your story) with some of your characters just hanging out and getting to know each other.
  19. Someone gets an unexpected message.
  20. All of the lights goes out (or power, if applicable).
  21. Set something (in your story) on fire.
  22. One or more of your characters start to panic.
  23. Include one of your childhood memories in a character’s backstory.
  24. Read a poem or story for fun and to get re-inspired.
  25. Use the word “etch” in your work.
  26. Have one of your characters confront his biggest fear.
  27. Reveal someone’s darkest secret.
  28. What is an issue or personality flaw that your character hasn’t dealt with yet? Use the events of your story to help him see things in a new light.
  29. Dress in an outfit inspired by one of your characters.
  30. Write while eating your favorite food (as a treat for getting this far), and include that food in your story.

Good luck to everyone writing this month! I hope you all reach your goals! If you’re working on some last-minute organization, check out this article with writing worksheets. If you want to learn more about National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), click here.

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