kid lit nanowrimo prompts/resources!

  • Okeedokee! Nanowrimo is a challenge where one writes an entire novel in a month. I don't wanna write novels, I wanna write picture books and graphic novels. So that's what I'm gonna do! One picture book up to 500 words, or a story synopsis to be fleshed out later, every day for the month of November.

    Anyone who wants to join the challenge is absolutely welcome!

    Here's how it's gonna work:

    -Everyday I'll post a prompt. Sometimes a sentence (much like the SVS challenges) sometimes a picture, sometimes a viewpoint, or somethin' waaaaaaacky.

    -Everyday, write however much you want. As little as a logline, a bit more as a synopsis, or the whole thing (500 words is a lot less than you think!)

    -Give it a hug farewell, and file it away. After November you'll have 30 ideas from which to choose to polish for a book dummy.


    • 'Writing picture books' on SVS. The whole thing's good (but looooong) But check out week 2 at about 36:00 for an excellent story sentence that'll easily get you on track. I feel uncomfortable sharing it since I actually couldn't find anything like it kickin' around the web, but it's easy to find in the video.

    • 'Drawing Comics' on SVS has a much more condensed version of 'writing picture books'. It'll give you an awesome start for writing a synopsis and log line. I Highly recommend this one!

    • I stumbled across this how to plot a 2 page comic summary, and ever so slightly expanded it to 14 spreads. This is in no way the end all be all, but it can help to plot out a sequence of events in a 14 page spread.

    Plug and play. Change it however you see fit 🙂

    1 - Action! Jump into the problem (There was a… who…)
    2 - Show and explain the problem (They never/always/wanted/needed)
    3 - Protag think they know how to solve the problem (and so…)
    4 - Begin ‘solving’ the problem (they decided to...)
    5- Continue solving the problem (and then...)
    6- Continue solving the problem (and then...)
    7- Continue solving the problem (and then...)
    8 - Make it look like the problem is solved (until…)
    9 - The problem gets worse! (But!)
    10 - The lowest point (everything seemed hopeless)
    11 - Put your character in danger!
    12 - Combat the problem
    13 - Defeat and or solve the problem
    14 - Show the aftermath/resolution


    If the prompts aren't working, you don't have any ideas and you JUST WANNA QUIT!!!

    Do not panic. Some options available to you are:

    • Go to your library. Ask them to recommend a new and popular kid's book. Read it.

    • If you wanna do more, write a logline and/or synopsis for the book you just read.

    • If you wanna do more, rewrite the book you just read from a different point of view (from the antagonist's view perhaps?) or in a different time period (Sci-fi to fantasy makes for interesting and fun changes)

    • If all that seems like too much, do the same thing but with your favourite fairy tale.

    • and if all THAT seems like too much, then pat yourself on the back, have a hot chocolate and don't be hard on yourself. Try again tomorrow 🙂


    Like all other creative things, one of the pieces of the writing puzzle is practice. This challenge is not about having 30 perfect ideas that will make the best kid's books ever (I fully anticipate having 30 steaming piles of trash at the end of the month). This challenge is about the ACT of writing everyday (just like inktober is about the ACT of drawing everyday).

    If you can get in the habit of writing something everyday, then SOMEDAY you will write something worth reading. But that won't ever happen unless you write it down.

    So write it down. Polish it later.

    Please keep this thread clear for prompts. Thread for discussion and sharing and such is here 🙂

    First prompt to follow!


    The fire was out of control and the goldfish was of no help whatsoever!

  • PROMPT TWO! (I'll try and make sure to post them the night before from now on 🙂 )

    Dear Rooster: the [insert blank here] just isn’t the same without you.

    Some potential blank fillers include:


  • PROMPT 3

    Make of it what you will 🙂

    alt text

  • PROMPT 4

    My name is Jeremy Brown and there is an elephant sitting at my desk.

  • PROMPT 5

    An old flashlight and a shadow that has a mind of its own leads to a very strange first sleepover.

  • PROMPT 6:

    I don't know who these people are but they have NO idea how to run a pirate ship.

  • PROMPT 7:

    If machines could speak, what would they say?

  • PROMPT 8:

    Don't make me go! I swear I'll never do it again!

  • PROMPT 9:

    Early since I may not be near interwebs tomorrow!

    Which I suppose may be nightmare fuel modern kids...

    So the prompt is:

    My computer just said 'NO'...

  • Prompt 10:

    "Okay, now we just need to add THREE more drops of liquid diarrhea..."

  • PROMPT 11

    The wind says ‘whoosh!’
    The cricket says ‘chirp!’

  • PROMPT 12:

    This child is far too short. Send them back to the sparkle mines!

  • PROMPT 13:

    Galoshes Galore.

  • PROMPT 14:

    But still the mail did not come.

  • PROMPT 15:

    No matter how many times he tried painting it, it JUST DIDN'T LOOK RIGHT.

  • Prompt 16:

    The brave soared on eagles.
    Fools rode geese.
    But only the mad
    Would ever ride owls.

  • The prompt slipped my mind yesterday 😞

    As much as these have paid off (I've got a BUNCH of scripts to polish and a couple I could book dummy) my interest and focus has moved to Slowvember, and the inevitable portfolio overhaul I need to do.

    I hope everyone else enjoyed these up to this point, but no more prompts. Many apologies.

    I'm gonna go paint a girl with her arms full of mis-matched socks running away from a ravening pack of adorable jackals 🙂

  • @Braden-Hallett I have loved these. Thank you so much Braden. I wondered if you would be able to keep it up all month.

    I am amazed at how my writing has changed already and my thoughts about what books I will like to write, illustrate, and read.

    I will post Prompts for the rest of the month for those who are continuing to write. Give me an hour or so and I will get Prompt 17 & 18 up.

  • Okay, my boys decided to help me! So we got some good ones. I also have some extras I will post after the end of the month. I will also try post one day ahead as @Braden-Hallett did.

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