da Literary Arts Collective Presents STORY Time Sunday NaNoWriMo prompts and tips

Hey there NaNoWriMo buddies!

How full is your novel?


  1. Do you have enough things?
  •  Make an inventory of every item in your wallet/backpack/purse/briefcase. Write 3-5 sentences for each item: what it looks/smells/feels/tastes like, where you got it and from whom/how long it’s been in said location and anything else that leaps to mind
  • Put at least 4 items in your novel. Put ALL of them in if you can
  • Make one of them into a weapon and USE it successfully AND unsuccessfully in 2 different scenes.


Variation a:

Your protagonist’s bag of groceries:

What’s in it? At least 12 items

Write a scene where she or he or they cook an unspeakably horrible dish with the ingredients


Variation b:

What’s in your antagonist’s closet? 6 items minimum

Write a scene in which your antagonist’s secret clothing fetish is revealed


2.  Do you have enough other Art Forms?

  • Make one of your main characters a bad poet.

Write 3 poems and put them in a scene. Formal poetry is best for this. How about a terrible sonnet or a string of truly horrendous haiku?

  • What play/musical/film are your characters producing/starring in/performing the music for/filming/ushering? Write at least 1 scene where something goes disastrously wrong or ridiculously, unexpectedly right. Or both.


3. Do you have enough points of view?

  • CHANGE Narrators

Make someone else tell the story from her or his or their or its point of view. Pick a scene that ISN’T crucial to the main narrator/protagonist. Open it up and see what’s there.


4. Do you have enough Death and Mayhem?  

  • KILL somebody and/or stage a natural DISASTER


5. Do you have enough stories?

  • Have someone in the book tell a completely different STORY about SOMETHING ELSE





2 thoughts on “da Literary Arts Collective Presents STORY Time Sunday NaNoWriMo prompts and tips

  1. I have to laugh. I cook the ” unspeakably horrible dish” every night. Informative post. Thanks. Can you speak more on switching narrators and how to get away with that pov change if one is consistently in a third person limited viewpoint? I’m not sure one can do it smoothly. Kaye

  2. oh Kaye! me too! that must be why we’re friends. My forthcoming novel has one section in 3rd person and the other sections in _different_ 1st persons. Email me about your book more specifically and let’s talk further. Thanks for commenting and asking!

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