Sat. Dec 14th, 2019

5 Thanksgiving Writing Prompts | Writer’s Digest

2 min read

No matter if you enjoy holidays like Thanksgiving or not, you can use them as fodder for your writing. Here are 5 Thanksgiving writing prompts to keep your pen moving this week.


thanksgiving writing prompts

The holiday season is finally upon us (though if you’ve gone shopping at all in the past month you’d have thought it started before Halloween…) and for me, that means lots of time with friends and family. It also means several days away from the office that I can devote to making writing progress on the novel I’ve been stalled on since the summer.

If you also plan to spend time with your family this Thanksgiving week but don’t want to lose momentum on your writing project, here are a few writing prompts to help you make the most of that family time.

  1. Write a scene in which all of the characters from your work in progress sit together at a table and have a meal together. This is likely to be a raucous event, especially if you place character next to each other who, in the course of your book, are working toward opposite goals.
  2. While at your friend or family gathering this week, make mental observations about how the meal is organized. Who prepared it? Who announces it’s time to eat? Who is served first and how is seating arranged? Who cleans up afterward? Do people linger over the meal or are they quick to finish? Who takes more than their share of food? All of these observations give insight into how people view themselves and others. Incorporate these observations into characters in your WIP, thereby giving them more depth.
  3. If you aren’t spending time with friends or family this week, use that as a springboard for your character as well. If you’re feeling fine about your alone time, write your character in the opposite way: they’re alone for a special day they’d rather share with someone. On the other side, if you’re feeling lonely, imagine your character in a circumstance when they’re thrilled to get away from everyone.
  4. In my family we have an impressive collection of dietary restrictions which make meals interesting, to say the least. We’ve gotten pretty good at managing them all, but one forgotten ingredient and things could go south quickly. Write a story that takes place entirely around a meal that goes horribly, horribly wrong.
  5. Kill off one of your characters. Holidays can be extra tough the first year after someone has died. Write a story in which your characters are dealing with the loss of another character for the first time.

For additional Thanksgiving inspiration, check out this post by Jess Zafarris about 5 things writers should appreciate.


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