In like a ferret

Best NaNoWriMo analogy so far, courtesy of Chris Baty:
“For some background on all the 2008 records that we are currently demolishing like a ferret in a Lego museum…”

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Saturday Scribes Writing Prompts: Nov. 27

Some more NaNo-inspired words for today:

Theme: Pass/Fail

Words:
struggle
desperation
triumph

Good luck to all the erstwhile novelists out there, as you enter the home stretch!

As usual, remember comments are semi-moderated, so don’t worry if your comment doesn’t show up right away. Newcomers can learn more about Saturday Scribes here (including how to do a permalink to your post) and read the prompt guidelines here.

Saturday Scribes Writing Prompts: Nov. 20

Theme: Midway

Words:
dappled
fearsome
firefly

For any of the NaNoWriMo novelists out there struggling to stay on track, despite increasinly unweildy plots and unruly characters, here are some suggestions to get your characters out of a rut. These don’t have to end up in the finished book, but they might teach you something about your characters
along the way, and besides, they’re far more fun than following a pre-planned plot:

  • Dream Sequences – great for wordcount, these can be written in pure freefall, stream of consiousness mode; best of all, you don’t have to worry about them making any sense (although you can feel free to pack them full of meaning and symbolism if you really want to)
  • Flashbacks – not sure where your characters’ motivations are coming from? Take a trip back in time. What were they like as kids? Did they experience any life-changing, momentous events (tragic or otherwise)?
  • Unexpected Encounters – How would your characters react if they were thrown into completely unexpected circumstances? How would they handle themselves if, say, the world was suddenly attacked by aliens? Invaded by giant pink mushroom-eating alligators? Or if the town they lived in inexplicably became a circus overnight?

As usual, remember comments are semi-moderated, so don’t worry if your comment doesn’t show up right away. Newcomers can learn more about Saturday Scribes here (including how to do a permalink to your post) and read the prompt guidelines here.

Sat. Scribes & NaNoWriMo Writing Prompts: Nov. 6

November is novelling month for all the NaNoWriMo writers out there, so for each Friday in November we’ll be posting special novel-related exercises along with the usual word and theme prompts.

Having trouble fleshing out your characters? Wanting to get to know them better, without taking time away from that frantic push towards 50k? Set up an interview with your characters. Sure, it’s a bit of a detour from the story, but it’s amazing how much more you’ll know about your characters once you’re finished. Best of all, you can write it right into the story! MC lost in space, or wandering through medieval Germany? Not a problem.  It’s NaNoWriMo, after all, where spontaneous purple elephants and other random gear shifts into ridiculous improbability abound – who says Oprah isn’t waiting around the next corner, just dying to interview our famous hero?

To help get you started, I’ve compiled a list of interview questions over the past couple of years, many of which were gleaned from a forum on that very topic over at the April Fools NaNo-spinoff site. Clicking on this link here will get you to a PDF version of the interview questions.

For those of you who are in poem or short-story mode, consider the most unlikely interview you can imagine having (think of how much success Anne Rice had running with that idea!).  For the traditionalists, the usual weekly prompts can be found below.

Theme: Complicated

Words:
curvaceous
latitude
beneath

As usual, remember comments are semi-moderated, so don’t worry if your comment doesn’t show up right away. Newcomers can learn more about Saturday Scribes here (including how to do a permalink to your post) and read the prompt guidelines here.

Saturday Scribes Writing Prompts: Oct. 30th

Hallowe’en and NaNoWriMo are both just around the corner.  Which one are you more excited about?

In honour of All Hallow’s Eve, we’ve got another spooky prompt for this week:

Theme: The stranger by the side of the road

Words:
barefoot
pale
suspicion
promised

As usual, remember comments are semi-moderated, so don’t worry if your comment doesn’t show up right away. Newcomers can learn more about Saturday Scribes here (including how to do a permalink to your post) and read the prompt guidelines here.

Saturday Scribes Writing Prompt: Oct. 16

Only 17 days until the start of NaNoWriMo. Get your poetry and short story writing fix in now, because come November, it’ll be nothin’ but novel for 30 days.

Theme: Versatility

Words:
chameleon
fickle
trump
promise

As usual, remember comments are semi-moderated, so don’t worry if your comment doesn’t show up right away. Newcomers can learn more about Saturday Scribes here (including how to do a permalink to your post) and read the prompt guidelines here.

Saturday Scribes Writing Prompts: Oct. 9th

On time this week!  Don’t forget to sign up for NaNoWriMo if you haven’t already. Only 23 days to go…

In November, along with the usual Saturday Scribes prompts there will be special novel-development prompts and exercises, for those working on their 50k-novel-in-30-days.  Participants are welcome to post links to their NaNo novel excerpts during the month of November.

Theme: Preparation

Words:
scramble
brag
human
factory

As usual, remember comments are semi-moderated, so don’t worry if your comment doesn’t show up right away. Newcomers can learn more about Saturday Scribes here (including how to do a permalink to your post) and read the prompt guidelines here.

Saturday Scribes Writing Prompt: April 10

Posting the prompts early this week; got an early start tomorrow so I’m hoping to hit the sack before midnight for a change.

Theme: The air we breathe

Words:
overcome
chimera
canopy

NaPoWriMo partcipants: feel free to post links to your daily poems in any of our April posts, whether they follow the prompts or not.

As usual, remember comments are semi-moderated, so don’t worry if your comment doesn’t show up right away. Newcomers can learn more about Saturday Scribes here (including how to do a permalink to your post) and read the prompt guidelines here.

Saturday Scribes Writing Prompt April 3

Theme: Insomnia

Words:
basement
play
phosphorescent

NaPoWriMo participants can feel free to post links to their poems here, whether they relate to the prompts or not. Prose and other forms of creative writing are also welcome, regardless of the source of inspiration.

As usual, remember comments are semi-moderated, so don’t worry if your comment doesn’t show up right away. Newcomers can learn more about Saturday Scribes here (including how to do a permalink to your post) and read the prompt guidelines here.

Home Stretch

The finish line is in sight at last – you can see the banner stretching across the road, hear the roar of the crowd as they urge you on. You may be in the final sprint, or you may be stumbling, feeling like your legs are made of lead. Whatever the state of your NaNoWriMo word count, we all have goals we can reach by the 30th. A lot of writing can get done in four and a half days.

If you’ve had one of those months where everything conspires against you, and find yourself still in the doldrums of the measley ten’s, aim for the twenties. If you’ve only got a few pages, aim for a nice round 10k. Finish that chapter. Find your MC’s long lost twin sister (or brother). Destroy the world with a blazing comet, or haul it back from the brink of destruction at the last minute. Heck, why not jump to the end? You can always write more middle bits later.

Chris Baty’s mini-challenge for all those who are breezing along, and starting to feel that warm glow of anticipated victory: to be at 50K by bedtime on Friday, two days ahead of time. For those (like me) who are still lagging behind, the second mini-challenge is to reach 45K by bedtime on Friday. That means you’ll have the whole weekend to wrap up the 5000 words you need to win.

As for me, I’m going to be aiming for 3k today, which should get me caught up, and then a minimum of 2k per day after that. Wish me luck! See you at all the finish line on Sunday, if not sooner.

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