20 What If Prompts to keep you writing during NaNoWriMo | Mackenzie Butts Book Blog | Book Reviews and Writing Tips

20 NaNoWriMo What If Prompts

NaNoWriMo is hard.

Writing a novel is hard.

Writing when you feel stuck or uninspired is super freaking hard.

That’s why I’ve come up with a list of 20 “What If” Prompts for those writer’s block moments. When you hit a wall use this list to brainstorm new scenes and worst case scenarios to expose your characters too. Remember that character isn’t built by an easy life. Don't be afraid to throw your protagonist a few curve balls.

In case you missed it, or you're new here, last week I posted 9 Tips to Survive NaNoWriMo.

What If Prompts


  1. What if your protagonist starts empathizing with your antagonist?
  2. What if your hero and sidekick get in a fight? What if they split up?
  3. What if one of the good guys goes dark side?
  4. What if your protagonist is faced with his greatest fear?
  5. What if a secret is revealed, a lie exposed?
  6. What if the protagonist is captured or arrested?
  7. What if the powerful weapon or important object is lost? What if it’s broken?
  8. What if someone important is wounded? (during a fight, bit by a snake, becomes ill, etc.)
  9. What if a new villain is introduced? Would your protagonist and original antagonist team up? Would the villains?
  10. What if inclement weather occurred at the worst possible time?
  11. What if your protagonist catches a cold? What if he sneezes during a stealth mission?!
  12. What if rations are low and they need to make a supply run?
  13. What if the power goes out, the gas is on empty, there’s no more ammo?!
  14. What if a wild creature interrupts the stakeout?
  15. What if someone’s phone goes off? Or they receive an important message?
  16. What if the protagonist is drugged or poisoned?
  17. What if they have a stalker?
  18. What if your protagonist loses hope? Is there someone or something to keep them motivated?
  19. What if they discover a new location?
  20. What would happen if they had to face the boss right now? Would they be ready? Would they get creamed? What are they missing? What do they need to get to that final point of victory?

Stay tuned for more NaNoWriMo tips this month.

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Leave your favorite "What If's" in the comments below and I'll see you next week!

Happy NaNoWriMo!

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