9 Harry Potter writing prompts to get you started in your novel

When it comes to writing a novel, inspiration is one of the first things you need to stock up on (along with industrial-sized cans of coffee). Finding Java is the easy part, but the ideas are a little trickier. However, using unique writing prompts can get you started, and I’ve found that the best sparks of inspiration can be found in great books. And the Harry Potter series is more than full of magical inspiration to keep you motivated.

JK Rowling gave you a world of your own to get away from as a kid, and a world you can always call home. It may even be the reason why you became a writer. Opening one of the books will always give you chills down your spine and make you smile. And because of that, I’ve put together a list of the best Harry Potter quotes and paired them with a writing prompt to get you started.

Your big challenge: don’t write fan fiction, write your own stuff! It’s your novel, and even JK Rowling said she was inspired by her favorite books as she wrote the Harry Potter series. Take a deep breath and get your pen and paper (or, finally, your Word document) ready, because inspiration is about to strike!

“The things we lose have a way of coming back to us at the end, if not always the way we expect.”

-Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Write prompt: Imagine a world where “lost and found” boxes take people back to their past to find something they lost a long time ago, such as a precious possession or a family heirloom.

“I solemnly swear I’m not up to anything good.”

-Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Write prompt: Create a character who has sworn his life to an evil-driven society in a world of good. Bonus: Create a leaf that she will meet and compete with, but eventually fall in love.

“Go to page 394.”

-Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Write prompt: A character has just found an old abandoned library with every book thrown off the shelves, but still in good condition. The only thing all books have in common is that each one is missing its 394th page. What could this mean?

“I’ll go to bed before any of you have another smart idea to get us killed – or worse, kicked out.”

-Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Write prompt: Place a boarding school in your hometown and imagine a group of college students doing the most epic prank to start the year. This prank could be deadly if left in the wrong hands, so what happens next might not be so pretty.

“Let’s step into the night and pursue this fickle temptress, adventure.”

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Write prompt: Imagine a character who has never left his isolated small town. When a group of odd-looking children show up in her garden one night, she has the choice of either continuing to live the simple life she has always known or following them into the night. What does she choose and what motivates her decision?

“The mind is not a book, to be opened at will and to examine at leisure.”

-Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Write prompt: But what if it is? Create a world where a controlling government performs annual “mind checks” to ensure safety and happiness while examining the human brain. What would happen when a couple of characters rebel against the procedure? Follow them throughout their travels.

“I’m not looking for trouble, trouble usually finds me.”

-Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Write prompt: Start with a character who has always had extraordinary bad luck his entire life. When another terrible event occurs, explain how she reacts differently for the first time.

“Not to be rude or anything, but it’s not really a good time for me to have a house elf in my room.”

-Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Write prompt: Instead of a house elf, reimagine the JK Rowling quote with a different mythical creature – one that may exist or one that you created. Why is this a bad time for your character? Is he late to be somewhere, maybe? Keep the stakes high.

“The prophecy said, neither can live for the other to survive. That means one of us is going to have to kill the other in the end.”

-Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Write prompt: Imagine that two young twins are given a similar or equally threatening prophecy by their older brother as a joke. Only one of them takes it seriously, and as they get older they start to blame themselves. Write the story from both perspectives of the twins.

Pictures: immortal.books/ Instagram; giphy (10)

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