Wednesday, September 16

Posted by Laurel Garver on Wednesday, September 16, 2015 6 comments
Photo credit: ali110 from
In this post, I discussed using warm-ups as a means to break through your initial reluctance to start a writing session.

Sometimes seasonal prompts can be helpful in your routine, to get you paying attention to your immediate environment and the sensory experiences you can collect. It can also get you thinking about story potential in everyday events. Consider how to spin theses prompts for different genres or milieus. "My earliest school memory," for example, could be memoir, historical or sci fi. Some could be humor or horror, or dark comedy, a mix of both.

I know summer is over when...

My idea of a perfect fall day is...

It must be September (October, November) because...

What a retiree to Florida misses about autumn up north.

Smells I associate with autumn.

Fall foods I have been craving for months.

How my protagonist's neighborhood changes in fall.

After dropping their youngest at college, parents return to their empty house and...

The foreign exchange program has a mix up and sends your character to...

A college freshman struggling with homesickness misses...

Three enemies are forced to create a group presentation for a class.

My earliest school memory.

What my protagonist likes most and least about autumn.

If I were at Hogwarts, what classes would I take?

A new teacher faces the third grade from hell.

Kids collecting leaves for science class discover something in the woods.

Back-to-school night goes horribly wrong.

A struggling cross-country runner finds a pair of magical shoes and...

What clubs did or would my protagonist join in high school?

The soccer moms go to war because...

How I discovered the head cheerleader is actually a witch.

Why squirrels are really collecting all those nuts and berries.

Photo credit: Schick from 
A Halloween prank takes an unexpected turn.

A football fan discovers his/her magical power during a game.

What happens in the corn maze stays in the corn maze.

A booking mix-up switches the acts for the Fall Family Jamboree and Slasherfest

Something strange appears in the wood pile.

How the marching band saved homecoming.

The newest guy on the football team turns out to be a girl in disguise.

A cider tasting goes horribly wrong when...

Thieves execute an elaborate heist in an elite neighborhood on Halloween.

A soccer team bus is hijacked.

A recent arrival on the frontier has two months to prepare for winter.

How the pumpkin festival was saved.

A horror film extra gets lost in Amish country.

Leaf color changes in autumn are actually...

Which prompts appeal to you? What's your favorite thing about autumn?


  1. I absolutely love autumn. To me autumn is the New Year, more than January 1st. And I love being able to start wearing cozy autumn clothes and boots. Honestly, I find I 'freeze' when given a written prompt. But visual prompts, like being in nature or even a photograph can get me writing.

    1. How interesting! I hadn't considered that visual thinkers would groove more with images. Maybe I'll do a follow up post on that. Thanks for the idea!

  2. These are perfect! I sit down to write and then find every excuse not to (which makes no sense since I love what I'm working on). But something less important to write about might just be perfect. I love the idea of Back to School Night gone wrong. :) So much possibility! And Hogwarts classes. That's always fun (especially since I'm currently on Book 4 of reading these to my kids).

    1. Just for fun writing with a time limit (say 15 minutes) can be a good way to "prime the pump," enabling you to be in a state of creative relaxation, where the good ideas more easily flow. I tried to gear these for a lot of different genres, so I'm sure you could but a great MG spin on them.

  3. I love some of these and they could really go anywhere - especially, what happens in the corn maze stays in the corn maze and someone discovering magical powers at a football game - I'm thinking of a trombone player in marching band discovering telekinesis type powers.

    1. Have fun with them. The corn maze could be a meet up spot for star-crossed lovers, a drug kingpin and his lackeys, friends planning a surprise party, underage teens and a keg, a young widow and her son's single soccer coach. It could be haunted. Or contain portals to magical realms. And those are but a few ideas!

      Love the magical trombonist. Fun!