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Posts Tagged ‘prompts’

I know. Silly title. But at the moment, that’s all my brain can do, come up with quick and silly titles!

As most of you know, I’m participating in NaNoWriMo once again. I have been reading a lot of the posts in the various Facebook NaNoWriMo groups to which I belong. A lot of people need a push or a shove in the direction of finding some words. So this is for them and this is for YOU. Yes, you.

Below are some words, phrases, etc., that are meant to introduce a situation, character, sub plot, etc., into your writing. They may also be good ideas for blogging topics. My advice is to copy/paste them into a new document then add some spacing (maybe triple?) then print them out, cut them into strips and put them in envelopes, or into a jar where you can grab one at random. Sometimes it may take two or three together to get you going in another direction that can help your writing ideas. I hope you find something you can use!

right before my eyes

he/she was the stranger he/she would never forget

nothing but a broken umbrella

the loneliest meal

different kind of dream

being young

love moods

lonely in that way

down the flight of stairs

the hospital chapel

the bread had turned purple

the little things

he didn’t remember

if I had known

it wasn’t until

no one would understand

stop me, please

heavy hitter

not exactly best friends

control

first blush

photo finish

the last bus

conquer

personal power

just sitting around

light up the room

If only she hadn’t missed the bus

 

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Like I explained last week, plot ninjas are meant to give you a way out when you are stuck. They spark your imagination so that you can keep writing. It may end up giving you a scene, a chapter, or a whole sub plot!

Here are a few more:

–One of your characters says “It never happened.”

–Give your character(s) a favorite beverage. Tell the background of why it’s a favorite. (Maybe over a drink at a bar; at a party?)

–The door bell rings. Who is it? What do they want? What bearing does it have on your story?

–Your main character admits something. What?

Bonus

Use one or more of these words in your story:

catapult

election

exuberant

calliope

 

 

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One of the things I learned in my fourth go round at  NaNoWriMo was about plot ninjas and plot bunnies. What are they? Basically, they are a kind of prompt to include someone or something in your writing. It can give you a fresh idea when you are stuck. When you go to the NaNoWriMo kick-off, you get one or two plot bunnies or plot ninjas sealed in an envelope. The idea is that you keep them until you are stuck. Then you open them up and use the idea to keep you writing.

I know most of my readers are not participating in NaNoWriMo but I figured I would include some plot ninjas (my preferred term) here from time to time, just in case someone can use them. So here’s the first edition of plot ninjas.

–A new character enters your story. They are fond of sparkles and bangles.

–Put a hula hoop in your novel.

–Put a backpack in your novel. What is inside of it? Who does it belong to?

–Your main character approaches a closet. What will he/she find in there? Or maybe it is who will she/he find in there?

I’ll do this again from time to time during the month.

 

nanopoblano1

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Yesterday’s post told about the annoyances of attending the all-state Nanowrimo write-in.  After sleeping on it, I’ve come up with some of the positive things from yesterday.

I took my iPod and listened to John Williams soundtracks and some Santana for a while so I would drown out the noise but I took ear buds instead of headphones and the buds just aren’t comfortable for me so I had to take them out.  Next time, I will fit my headphones in.

I did end up writing at least 3,051 words (in a total writing time of less than two hours). I also wrote my blog post and Twittered a bit and kept an eye on the news of the fire in Sylmar. (I used to live near there for many years so I was more than interested in it.)

I managed to turn the most annoying of the teen boys into a minor character in my novel; one who was as annoying in the novel as the actual model!

One of the leaders had some prompts for us that were fun to try to incorporate into our novels.  The prize?  Charms Blow Pops.  I got several of them and I think having that thing in my mouth kept me from shouting “Shut Up” at the kids!  From the suggested prompts, I actually wrote some things I would not have that turned out to fit nicely into the novel.  One prompt was to incorporate a person that we had just met at the write-in into a character in our novel, however minor.  So I was writing a party scene in which my MC was stuck at a table where one woman was talking about her daughter-in-law’s pregnancy in detail.  I had met a woman at the lunch just before the write-in that did exactly this during the two hours we were there.  It fit into my novel very nicely and gave it a little bit of authenticity.

I also drove a woman from Portland to the write-in and on the drive over and back, we talked an awful lot and discovered some commonalities.  She just moved here from California in May.  She has no car.  I’m picking her up in a while so we can go to a coffee shop and write!

So not all was lost!

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