Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Falling into Autumn... or What if?

It's Autumn. Time for fresh apple pie and cozy sweatshirts and thinking about NaNoWriMo. If you're not familiar with NaNo, it's National Novel Writing Month, known to most people as November. The idea is that people connect with others while making a goal of writing 50,000 words in a month. It's fun, it helps spur productivity and it's something my daughter and I do together.

Some Mom's go shopping for shoes with their teenager, I compete for word count with mine.

But in gearing up for NaNoWriMo my daughter was trying to think of a short story idea to work on in October.

So, I shared the "What if" technique with her. I told her to take a situation she's familiar with: a classroom, a play rehearsal, the cafeteria and start asking "what if..."

What if a TV crew showed up at lunch and decided to make your school a reality show. How would people react?

What if aliens took over all the teachers?

What if a child star enrolls in your high school and tries out of the school play?

What if...

The possibilities are endless.

What are some what if's you might use to start a story? And what are other story starting ideas you use?


  1. I've never tried NANO. I don't do well under pressure. :) Good luck with it for you and your daughter. Sounds like fun.

    Autumn is lovely. Cooler temperatures. Rain. Wind striping leaves from the trees. Football. Bands. Yes, it's great.

  2. There is a lot to love about fall, it's true. And thanks for your well-wishes. I have the advantage over my daughter in that I don't have homework to worry about. But she made it to 50K last time.

  3. Here's a website I used to inspire me to write or at least get a story idea in mind - - it's pictures with prompts. On the same website, there is this - - maybe some of these ideas will help your daughter write something this month. There are many ideas in many places and sometimes we all just need a little boost. I'm thinking I may revamp my started story and do it in November and hopefully I'll get it written for the most part - Good luck to both you and your daughter - E :)

    Elysabeth Eldering
    Author of FINALLY HOME, a middle grade/YA mystery