50 Ways to Unblock Your NaNoWriMo Novel

Philip HarrisWriting, Writing Advice1 Comment

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) has rolled around again. If you’re not familiar with the concept, basically the goal is to write a 50,000 word novel in one month and despite the National moniker thousands of people around the world take part in the challenge.

As usual, my day job takes up too much time for me to commit to the 1,667 words a day it takes to hit that goal but I know a lot of people who are attempting it.

Today is the halfway mark of the month and it’s become traditional for me to post some helpful prompts for people who’s NaNoWriMo novels aren’t progressing as well as they might like.

So, without further ado, I present to you NaNoWriMoLax 2015

  1. Giant worms erupt from the ground and swallow your hero whole
  2. A malevolent AI shuts down the Internet
  3. The hero’s best friend/husband/parents are revealed as aliens
  4. A firestorm hits the city
  5. Earthquake!
  6. Zeus appears in the sky and sends your hero on a quest to find a golden goblet/sword/cheese
  7. The hero has been poisoned
  8. The hero has misheard something he’s been told and does the opposite of whatever it is he’s supposed to be doing
  9. A trip to the bathroom turns nasty
  10. A solar eclipse threatens to unleash an intergalactic terror
  11. The hero’s high school sweetheart arrives…
  12. …but they’re possessed by a demon
  13. The hero is invited to the prom by the most beautiful guy/girl in the school
  14. A swarm of killer bees begins crawling from the walls
  15. Vampires!
  16. A man in a blue box appears and tells everyone they need to come with him
  17. The power goes out
  18. A ghost appears and makes a dire prediction
  19. The walls begin to close in
  20. Your hero trips on a tree root, hits his head on the ground and forgets everything
  21. The bad guys reveal they’re able to bring characters from books to life and they LOVE Glitch Mitchell and the Unseen Planet
  22. A lightening strike turns everything really pale
  23. The hero has a watch that can summon werewolves
  24. Asteroid!
  25. A lost dog/cat/iguana appears and befriends your hero
  26. A pit opens up beneath your hero’s feet
  27. What’s that smell?
  28. A super being crashes through the wall carrying an important message for your hero
  29. Your hero gets a vision of the future
  30. A crowd of Justin Bieber/Taylor Swift fans mistake the hero for Justin Bieber/Taylor Swift.
  31. A film crew turns up – they’re making documentary about the villain
  32. The hero’s get a breather and spend some time around a camp fire eating and talking about their family history
  33. Zombies!
  34. One of the characters can’t sleep so the hero makes up a story to help them sleep – just dump the whole story in the novel, it’ll be fine
  35. The world is just a computer program, in reality everyone’s hooked up to machines (hold on, that sounds familiar…)
  36. The hero is shot in the leg
  37. The hero shoots someone in the leg
  38. A shadowy military organisation appears and offers to help the hero but their own agenda is even worse than the villain’s
  39. All the birds on the planet have vanished
  40. The earth’s rotation is beginning to slow
  41. Time stops for thirty seconds
  42. The hero is given a red pill and a blue pill (okay, I know someone’s done that one…)
  43. A dinosaur from a child’s picture book comes alive
  44. The hero and villain bond over a common love of video games/garden gnomes/spinach
  45. Killer ducks!
  46. The hero’s best friend reveals he/she loves him/her
  47. A roguishly good looking man/woman appears but can the hero trust him/her?
  48. A badly damaged robot stumbles out of some nearby woods with a message for the hero
  49. All the lights go out
  50. The hero is dragged back in time to the beginning of the novel but his memories are intact so now he has the opportunity to go through all the same events again but behave slightly differently, even if it’s only saying something slightly different so now you can basically copy out everything you’ve written up until this point and just change a few words here and there – that should be enough to get you well on your way to 50,000 words (just don’t cut and paste it, write it out or it’s cheating and no one likes a cheat)

Hopefully, something in there will help you get your novel moving again. Or maybe not. Either way, Don’t Give Up!


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[50 Ways to Unblock Your NaNoWriMo Novel by Philip Harris first appeared on Solitary Mindset on 15th November 2015]

One Comment on “50 Ways to Unblock Your NaNoWriMo Novel”

  1. Pingback: NaNoWriMoLax 2017 | Philip Harris, Speculative Fiction Author

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