NaNoWriMo Plot Ideas We Love (Updated in 2024)

NaNoWriMo Plot Ideas

Are you looking for NaNoWriMo plot ideas that will inspire you to win this year’s NaNoWriMo event? Read on for prompts like a nurse befriending their patient’s adult child, a reporter taking up the ‘unplugged’ challenge, a loner finding a magical, self-writing diary in their grandma’s attic, and more!

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What is NaNoWriMo?

NaNoWriMo is a month-long writing challenge starting every November 1st, National Novel Writing Month has jumpstarted many writers’ writing careers. No wonder that its participants only grow every year, as it is a great exercise to stretch those writing muscles.

Several well-known authors utilized NaNoWriMo to jumpstart their books and continue to participate each year with new projects. The Night Circus (2011), Erin Morgenstern Morgenstern’s debut novel about two star-crossed magicians, is frequently cited as the most successful NaNoWriMo title, after being written during the span of three NaNoWriMos.

Another notable work is Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants (2007), which was on various bestseller lists for years and was made into a major Hollywood production starring Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson.

The Ideal NaNoWriMo Plot Idea

An ideal NaNoWriMo plot idea has enough potential twists and turns because you’ll be writing around and expanding this idea for a month! Also, it should be something you’re passionate about so that the words will just start pouring out.

Below is a section I took from my post How to Win NaNoWriMo: All the Tips and Tricks You Need to Know.

1. To help you answer the question of “what to write”, consider this:

Write something only you can write: the truth, your truth.

– Torey Maldonado

Takeaway point: You have a unique experience that no one else has, that only you can write about.

2. Secondly, think about this:

If there’s a book that you want to read but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.

– Toni Morrison

Takeaway point: Write books you want to read!

3. And lastly:

Perhaps I write for no one. Perhaps for the same person children are writing for when they scrawl their names in the snow.

– Margaret Atwood

Takeaway point: You owe it to yourself to write that story you’ve been having inside of you.

NaNoWriMo Prompts

If you aspire to do the challenge but have no idea of what to write yet, I have some plot ideas for you below. Please note that the genders in these prompts are just placeholders. They do not mean to enforce any stereotypes nor offend anyone.


A good adventure story keeps the heart young and the mind curious. Here’s some ideas with adventure as the focus of the story.

1. A reporter who is on the brink of losing their job takes a challenge to live ‘unplugged’. It is a challenge to stay in a remote area with limited internet access and other modern technologies.

2. An apathetic person receives an epiphany after a psychic from a traveling carnival/circus reads their fate. It sends them down the rabbit hole of chasing after the psychic as the latter travel all over America with the carnival/circus.

3. A newly-widowed mother with two small children are forced to take up a gruesome job to make ends meet, only for her to realize that she’s been working for the mob boss.

4. When a family adopts a stray cat, they are unknowingly in for the adventure of their lives as it turns out that the cat has swallowed a package containing a stolen jewel, and the thieves who stole it will do anything to get the cat back. (Originally appeared on my post Riveting Family Drama Story Ideas.)



A good romance story will always have a place in the general readers’ hearts. It’s part of the reason why romance genre is one of the best-selling genre of all times. Here are some romantic plot ideas for your next NaNoWriMo project:

1. A famous online romance astrologer has a secret: they’ve been having bad luck in love for years. A chance meeting inspires them to abandon all known theories and shed their online identity to pursue a chance at true love.

2. A stewardess keeps bumping into an executive and a frequent flier while she’s on the job. Will their relationship stay as a fling or will it evolve into something more?

3. A determined young woman aspires to follow her father’s footstep and become a NASCAR pit crew only for her to receive a lot of heat from her colleagues and especially the chauvinistic new racer due to her gender.

4. A young woman decides to do a 180 and earns a living in a farm, disguised as a young man to escape the consequences of her old job. What happens when her past catches up with her?


Life is an adventure that is best traveled with friends. Everyone can relate to a heartfelt friendship story. Here’s some ideas with friendship as the focus of the story:

1. An ailing old patient had been telling the nurse who cared for her about her estranged adult child. After the patient’s death, the nurse and the child bond together.

2. A middle-aged woman in a hetero marriage falls in love with another woman halfway across the globe, bonded by a shared internet hobby. When one of them travels to see the other, would she find her feelings reciprocated?

3. An affluent socialite loses her fortune and finds a job working at a charity thrift shop. The owner turns out to be someone she used to scorn when she still had money. Will the past prove to be too hurtful to get around, or will they hit it off?

4. Finding an old journal in an attic, a lonely teen starts writing their diary on it. However, on the next morning, they finds that there is another writing written on it in reply to their own writing. Then, a mysterious friendship commences.


More Ideas?

More of a pantser? Say no more. This book below by Chris Baty, the creator of NaNoWriMo, contained all you need to know about extreme noveling. With over 15 years of writing expertise, it’s an inspiring blend of bold optimism and practicality that will provide participants with the kick-start they need to begin on this amazing creative voyage.


Various writers may differ over planning vs. pantsing, but no one can deny that excellent fiction must make the readers feel. The reader’s experience must be as emotionally engaging as your characters’ challenges, discoveries, and successes, and this book will show you how.


If you need some more plot ideas, though, here are some posts that you might find interesting:

Or browse our Story Ideas & Writing Prompts category for more ideas!

Have any question or feedback? Feel free to contact me here. Until next time!

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