Below are today’s ideas to produce seeds for NaNoWriMo (or any writing project). Remember: the point is not to develop an entire plot. It’s simply to create inspiration. Write what is suggested for each numbered item, or whatever else may come to your mind. Then set that aside for now and do another one.
1. Write a detailed setting based on the above picture. Try to include all five senses. Whatever your instincts or preferences for setting and detail, try to over-exaggerate the scene. Write it however you’re comfortable–with a person there to experience it, from a first-person perspective, or simply describe it from a distance.
2. Look over the following list of words and write a few paragraphs using as many of them as you can:
loquacious, truculent, dudgeon, jocund, crotchety, disconsolate, ambivalent
3. Write a scene from this image. What’s going on in this picture? Who are these people and what have they been doing on that stage? What is the atmosphere like? The excitement, the energy in the room? How does it feel to be at this event? What will happen next?
4. Take a walk around your block or down your street. Look for things you’ve never noticed before; pay attention to every little detail. When you get back, write down anything that stuck out to you, anything you may want to remember, be it about people, sights, or even sounds that you noticed on the walk.
5. Write about these two people. What are their names? What are they doing or talking about? What is their relationship to each other? How do they feel in this picture and why? Be specific.
6. Go back through all of the previous activities and make them all fit together. This doesn’t mean that they all have to somehow be worked into the same scene, or even the same day within the story. But find some way to connect them all to each other, some story that would encompass them all. Then write the synopsis (as broad or specific, long or short as you need it to be) that involves all five previous elements.
You do not have to stick with what you already wrote for any of the activities (except maybe for number 4); you can go different directions with any of them to make them fit together.
Though none of these seeds, or the ones that I still plan to post, lend themselves specifically to speculative fiction (fantasy, sci-fi, etc.), that doesn’t mean they are unusable if you plan to write in that genre. Most of the ideas that you will produce will be easily adaptable to another world. If you’re considering writing something in the speculative fiction realm and don’t already have a world to set it in, you may try this site, or look online for other sites that would help. I have built exactly one world, and I’m still not done tinkering with it. I have little to offer in the way of advice in this area.