NaNoWriMo Prompts for Plot

My previous post was to encourage you to let your imagination soar during NaNoWriMo. My prompts for the month will help you with this task. First I have NaNoWriMo prompts for plot. Below are suggestions to bring propulsion to your plot if you find it bogging down.

  • Your main character makes a new friend.
  • Your main character makes a new enemy.
  • The antagonist makes a new friend or enemy.
  • Your main character loses something critical.
  • Your main character finds something unexpected, either helpful or harmful.
  • A friend reveals an unexpected trait. (This can be tricky because you want to surprise your reader, not shock them.)
  • Your main character discovers a new virtue or flaw. (This is especially believable if you write YA.)
  • Your main character does something he thinks is good but it turns out to be bad and vice versa.
  • The antagonist does something he thinks will hurt someone and it turns out to be good for that character.

Since I write mysteries, I’ll list some prompts to help you if you find difficulties with your mystery plot.

  • Your main character loses an important clue.
  • The first main suspect becomes a victim of a crime.
  • Your main character begins to suspect a friend or relative of the crime.
  • A friend or relative of your main character comes under a threat.
  • Officials make an arrest, and your main character thinks they have the wrong person.
  • If your main character has an ally, the two characters fight and go their separate ways, at least for a while.
  • A key witness changes her story.
  • People in authority pressure your main character to drop the investigation. Or to solve it quickly.
  • Your main character is injured. (Be careful with this one. If your main character is too seriously hurt, the focus of the story shifts to the injury and slows the pace. I read a mystery where the main character suffered so much from a concussion throughout the book that pretty soon I had a headache.)
  • A chase of some kind, to rescue someone or gain a clue.
  • Your main character tails someone, which can turn into a chase.

For more NaNoWriMo prompts, click here. What suggestions do you have for kick-starting a stalling plot?

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