Seeds for NaNoWriMo Part 4

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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.

setting 2

1. Write a detailed setting based on the above picture. 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. This is modified from an exercise in the book Now Write! Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror : Using a playlist of songs that you like (if you don’t have one already, you can pretty easily create one on YouTube or such, if only for this exercise), set it to shuffle and write down the title of the first song that comes up. Then hit next and write down the next song. Do this until you have a list of songs–the original exercise calls for 30, but I found that amount to be a bit overwhelming. I’d suggest maybe 15. Then make each song title a chapter title. Try to find a way to encompass all of them into one novel.

Alternatives include using movie or TV show episode names.

event 2

3. Write a scene from this image. What has happened before this was taken? What else is going on around this? As a result of this? What emotions might be present in the people who live around here?

4. Think back to a dream you’ve had–one that stuck with you. Even if it’s one that has changed in your head since you actually dreamed it, write what you remember. And write what it has become. Sometimes when I have a particularly striking dream, I’ll spend the rest of the day imagining where it would have gone.

Also, consider keeping a dream journal if you don’t already. Any time you wake up with a dream fresh in your mind, write it down quickly before you start your day. It can be an unexpected source of inspiration, even later.

people 2

5. Write about these people. What are their names? What are they doing or talking about? What is their relationship to each other? How are they feeling? What’s going on around them? Be specific.

6. Go back to the pictures and find some way to 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 the three images.

You do not have to stick with what you already wrote for any of them; you can go different directions with any of them to make them fit together.


This is the last post like this I’m going to make. If anyone has been doing the suggested activities, I hope you got some interesting results. Don’t worry if you didn’t get through all of the activities. I didn’t either. I plan to keep working on them for the next few days though.

This weekend I plan to post about what I feel could be the next step from here–going from ideas to sketching out a plot. I will be gone all this weekend though, so I’ll have to prepare the post in advance. If I really manage my time this week, I’ll be able to do more story seed writing, work on my normal revision, and write that post.

In the meantime, if anyone came/comes up with anything from these 4 posts that you really liked, feel free to share!

Other posts like this one: Story Seeds 1, Story Seeds 2, Story Seeds 3

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2 thoughts on “Seeds for NaNoWriMo Part 4

    • I got my Now Write book at a convention last year. It was right up my alley, since my main stories are speculative fiction. There’s a lot that doesn’t pertain to me, though, so I may eventually buy the general fiction one and see what else it can teach me.

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