1. Add one of the following to your book in progress: something unexpected flies through the window, a character with amnesia shows up (could be a dog, or someone they know), a tree bursts through a floor, a little brother or sister gets into make-up and nail polish, and/or a secondary character wins a prize goat.
2. Start a scene in your YA or middle grade novel with a make-up fight in the locker room or bathroom, or have your characters use lipstick to write a vibrant message. Add an older relative with a foul mouth, or who likes to give people the finger, only they use the wrong finger.
3. Invent a camp for kids that has never existed before.
4. Add two characters to your piece that have disabilities, or take your characters to the Special Olympics.
5. Add three dialogue scenes about subjects that have never come up again in your story.
6. Then give two plot threads to secondary characters (See my earlier entry on monomania!).
7. To a new or ongoing project, add the following subjects: Pompeii, a cartwheel contest, birds of paradise, a reference to Moby Dick, sushi, enchiladas, and egg rolls.
8. Fill in the blanks. ________________ wants _______________, and will stop at nothing to get it/him/her, but _________________________ is in the way.
9. Write a picture book about a sad character who finds something under a rock that changes their perception.
10. Write a picture book called one of the following: Bad Berry, How the rose got her thorns, Three Elves and a Duck, or Snapping Turtle’s Diet.