It’s officially November, which means that fiction writers everywhere are heading into their dusty caves to take on the challenge that is NaNoWriMo.

How it works: the goal is to get to 50,000 words by the end of the month (50,000 words is the cut-off for a novel).

To do this, you will have to write an average of 1,667 words every day from Nov 1 - 30 to hit the 50,000 word mark!

It may seem like a daunting task, but we want to encourage everyone who is writing in some form or way out there, so we’ve created a list of 30 prompts you can write to, regardless of whether you’re trying to hit 50,000, or just get some extra writing exercise in when you are able to!

For those who are attempting the full 50,000 words, here is a useful word count meter to track your progress:


For any and all writers in our community, here are

30 Prompts for NaNoWriMo

Feel free to use them in any order, for any piece of writing, or as inspiration to start new pieces!
Feel free to also share your excerpts on instagram with us by tagging @projectx40c and #P40NaNoWriMo


10 Character/Dialogue Prompts
  1. Write a character’s relationship with one person in their family or with a friend through a conversation they have at dinner.
  2. A character is stuck in an elevator for 5 hours with another person, what happens?
  3. At a party, this character runs into someone. Who is that person? What kind of encounter is it? Does anything happen?
  4. Build this character’s living space in great detail.
  5. Take your street/pathway from Setting prompt #1, and describe someone who is constantly there.
  6. This character has been teleported out from their world into the world of a fantasy or sci-fi book. What happens to them?
  7. What does your character eat for breakfast? Do they eat breakfast? How does the rest of their morning unfold?
  8. Your character has fears. What are they? How do those fears impact them in their actions, words, decisions and perspectives?
  9. Fill your character’s memory of one day from their childhood (assuming they are older). What happened? Why do they remember it? How do they feel about it now?
  10. This character finds something on the beach and they pick it up. What did they pick up? How did it get there? Is it significant?


10 Setting/Place/Scene Prompts
  • Describe a street/pathway that is important in your story.
  • Which colours are dominant in the world you have created? Why?
  • Pick a character prompt you have tried (any), and now spend time creating the scene and setting the situation happens in.
  • The weather changes suddenly. What was it before and what does it become? Who gets affected and how?
  • Take the living space you created in character prompt #3. It’s now in ruins. Describe the situation.
  • The character trips over and all the contents in their bag spills out, what are those items? What happens to the bag? How does the character recover from the fall or do they?
  • The character takes a walk to their favourite thinking spot. Describe this place.
  • There is food here. Where is this place?
  • Situate your character in a distinct time period. Do some research and write the opening paragraph.
  • The environment reflects the current mood of your character, what mood are they feeling and what does the environment look like?


10 Language Prompts

  • Write a whole page in dialogue only.
  • Attempt first person narrative from a character/item who doesn’t speak.
  • Edit a paragraph of strong visual imagery and take out all the similes.
  • Write a page using only commas.
  • Write a page using only periods.
  • Write a paragraph where the speaker only reveals information about themselves at the end.
  • Focus only on the event, describe what is happening with as little detail as possible.
  • Focus on everything except the event, use realistic details and unnecessary information to create the scene and characters but don’t talk about what the character is doing.
  • Write the entire page as one sentence.
  • Describe and focus on all the sounds that are filling the scene.

Happy Writing!