Saturday Scribes Writing Prompts: Nov. 20

Theme: Midway


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.

NaNoWriMo 2008

For those of you who haven’t heard of this fantabulous 30-day event, National Novel Writing Month is an annual writing challenge that brings together writers from around the world (despite its name, it’s really been the InterNational Novel Writing Month for some time now, but InNaNoWriMo doesn’t quite have the same ring to it).  The goal: to write a 50,000 word novel in one month.  50k in 30 days gives you an excuse to bind and gag that inner editor, and have fun writing with wild, mad abandon for the month of November.  Registration and forums are up for 2008, and you can find out all you need to know at

In honour of this awesome sribatious event (especially given how many of our regulars will be taking part), Saturday Scribes is going to be an (un)official hub for all stuff NaNoWriMo for the month of November.  Don’t worry, we’ll still be posting the usual weekly writing prompts every Friday, but we’ll also give participants the option of posting novel excerpts and NaNo-related musings.  As of November 1st, I’ll be putting up an open invitation for all things NaNo every Wednesday, although you can feel free to respond to it throughout the week.  I’ll ask that everyone restrict their NaNo-related comments to the NaNo post, so we will still have Fridays and Saturdays dedicated to the non-NaNo-specific prompts, for all the poets and non-novelists out there.

Things to remember: Be sure to warn your friends and family ahead of time if you’re participating, lest they think you’ve suddenly gone mad and decide to call the men in white coats.  Stocking up on writing fuel well in advance is also a good idea (whatever your stimulant of choice may be).  And finally – having some kind of plot laid out in advance, while optional, generally helps to reduce the madness somewhat.  October is the ideal time to plan out what you’re going to do, before the insanity hits with full force.

Happy writing, all!