Write what you know, they say. But sometimes the most vivid scenes come from writing what you feel, what’s filling up your senses and lingering on your mind.

No matter where or when your story-in-progress takes place, take your pick from these creative ideas, prompts, and teasers for channeling the best inspirations of fall to (pumpkin) spice up your pages.

  1. Gather your characters around a fire. Stoke the flames.
  2. Embrace the colors of fall foliage: Make a character so mad they see red.
  3. Read into those autumn hues: Have a character look ahead to their golden years.
  4. Give a character a scare.
  5. Send a character out on the hunt: for a bargain, a love interest, a clue, or something more sinister.
  6. Add in a bad apple. Make it look perfectly fine at a glance.
  7. Consider who in your story is due for a homecoming.
  8. Set a scene under the Friday night lights. (Or, ahem, under the bleachers.)
  9. Rake up a secret from a character’s past.
  10. Accuse a character of going on a witch hunt.
  11. Have a black cat cross your character’s path—literally or figuratively.
  12. Play a trick on someone who may or may not deserve it.
  13. Gift your character an unexpected treat.
  14. Find a needle in a haystack.
  15. Call somebody “pumpkin.”
  16. Weave a fictional web of lies.
  17. Send your character on a walk through the cemetery.
  18. Bring somebody back from the dead (so to speak).
  19. Harvest something your character has been patiently waiting for.
  20. Write in a full moon on a clear night.
  21. Uncover something hidden in the basement.
  22. Spike the cider at the party.
  23. Dress someone in disguise.
  24. Keep everyone up long past midnight.
  25. Go ahead: Howl at the moon.

We want to hear from you: How is sweater weather working its way into your writing? Visit Career Authors on Facebook to join the discussion.