When the story isn’t moving, some writers use story prompts. With NaNoWriMo coming soon, it seemed like a good time to compile some here (and then attach them to my bulletin board to use during November). Some are sentence starters, others are meant to provoke thought, others are just funny story ideas. I found several websites that have a lot of them (Creative Writing Now, Daily Writing Prompts, Creative Writing Prompts).
Cliches: It was a dark and stormy night. Once upon a time. Hello. My name is _______.
False appearance: _______ was/were not what it/he/she seemed.
Regrets: If only I/he/she/they had/hadn’t __________.
The lemon: your character buys a new _________ and discovers it has terrible problems.
Three unrelated things: identify 3 unrelated things and write a story about it, like small engine repair, a butterfly collection, and designer boots.
Vacation: Send your character on your ideal vacation.
Google: type “Images” into a search engine and choose an image to write about.
Weird news: Google “weird headlines” and write the story that goes with it. “Woman Attacks Man With Bowl of Spaghetti.” “Computer Virus Spreads to Humans.” “Stolen Clowns Found Stuffed in Car.”
First lines: This time her boss went too far. “Did you hear that?” This is a fine time for the fire alarm to go off.
Problem: Locked in the attic, leg is broken, car won’t start.
Have a go at some of these if you get stuck or add some. I am going to continue to collect them to help with my writing goal in November.