The experience of week two can be wildly different for everyone. Maybe you’ve hit a good stride and are overflowing with ideas. Or maybe you are struggling to coax a story from your initial idea and find yourself boxed in.
My suggestion for the latter experience is to let yourself breathe a bit more. If you’re writing a serious period drama but really want to go on a tangent about gnomes, then do it. It may not fit the story, and it may not help the plot, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t let yourself write it.
Who knows, maybe it will give you the inspiration to write the crucial scene in your story. Or maybe it just needed some gnomes all along.
Remember, this is draft 0. Whatever happens can stay between you and the novel, because this isn’t about perfection. This is about ideas and words.
If you only have one–ideas or words–then just keep going with what you have and the other will come in time.
And if you don’t have either and don’t want to write anything, try a writing prompt.
Today’s writing prompt:
Cellar, drama, temperature, breeze, jaw
Use these 5 words to come up with a scene for your novel. Bonus points if you can use every word!
It’s the first weekend of the month, and I’m really glad for the rest. I’m currently applying to jobs at the same time as doing NaNoWriMo, so the pressure is definitely on and my brain is very dead.
The 10,000 mark is always exciting though!
Today’s writing prompt:
Use the weather to advance the plot.
Did heavy rain drive your characters to find a discovery? Did the sun burn a mark into your MC’s character growth? Did the snow bury a plot hole? Or maybe there’s just a tornado they all have to run from now.
Good news! I wrote something last night that I clicked with. I’m still not sure where my novel is going next, but at least I have a semi-interesting inciting incident.
If you’re still struggling to click with anything, then don’t worry. Just keep brainstorming and you’ll get there. And if you’re already at +10,000 words by now then go you! All experiences are valid this month.
Due to the missing writing prompt from yesterday, today you get two!
Writing prompt 1:
Write a scene using ONLY dialogue.
Dialogue is great because it can help move the story along, break up lines of description, and show the dynamics between characters. But dialogue can also be difficult to write, especially during nano when I often have to force myself to write something other than endless pages of world description.
Good morning writers. A new day, a new page–what will you be writing today?
To be honest, I woke up feeling a little discouraged. I know, I know–it’s only day 3. But it’s okay if you feel like that too. Right now I can’t seem to think of a goal for my main character. All she does is stare broodily at the wall and tell me to do all the work.
Maybe I just need to approach my story from a different angle?
Greetings, friends! How did the first day of writing go?
I couldn’t wait to start–all week I’ve been thinking about characters and plot, making mood boards and naming cities. But yesterday I felt frozen–it took me all day to muster up the courage to type my first words. Those words were hard too. I have to have a good beginning, I told myself.
I love autumn. Misty mornings, pumpkin pie, bright crunchy leaves, and a ridiculous month-long challenge. If you’re new to NaNoWriMo or have never heard of it before, go check it out and see if it’s for you: nanowrimo.org.
Last year I did a whole month of writing prompts for November, and I enjoyed it so much I thought I would do it again this year!
But first, let me spill the tea on my novel idea this year, because I will be attempting to write a ghost story. No guarantees it will end up a ghost story, but right now I’m channelling all the spooky Victorian fantasy vibes. I also made a map with this swanky fantasy map generator.
Starting off with an image. What are your eyes drawn to? The wreck rusting into nothingness? The hungry birds? Or the distant houses? Is it a literal event for your character, or is it simply a metaphor?
I wish you all the best of luck this NaNoWriMo. We got this!!
I never know what to do for writing prompt intros. Do I talk about the world? About me? About writing? I guess it’s a reminder that the blank page can always be intimidating. If you’re a writer and you’ve never sat in front of blank page feeling your palms get sweaty and you mind go blank, then I refuse to believe you are human. What is your superpower? Please share your secrets.
The blank page problem is one reason why I like writing prompts so much. The prompt and the time limit don’t give me a chance to procrastinate and feel intimidated. You press go on the timer and out comes a beautiful cascade of word vomit. And any words are better than no words, right?
Name of the game: Snap Shot
The rules: Stare at the picture. What does it make you think of? What story is it telling? Okay–thought of something? Good. Now set a timer to 10 minutes and start writing that story. Ready, set, go!
I don’t think I was the only one who got the Christmas tree out on December 1st. This year has been A LOT, so I’ve decided I want to focus on festive writing prompts for December. Regardless of what you like to celebrate, I think we all deserve some happiness this month.
Name of the game: Spelling Bee
The Rules: Write down the list of words at the top of your page (notebook, laptop, typewriter–whatever you prefer). You have ten minutes–set a timer–to write whatever comes to mind, using all the words in the list, in whatever order you like, crossing them off as you go. But they ALL have to be in there. Minor alterations are okay, like jump to jumped, but stay reasonable. Are you ready? Go!
If you enjoyed this writing prompt and feel like sharing what you wrote, post it in the comments! I love seeing everyone’s different ideas. Also, of all the different types of writing games I post, which is your favourite?
Well folks, we made it through November. Whether you are at 7,000 or 70,000 words, be proud of yourself. Heck, even if you didn’t do NaNo, be proud of yourself. 2020 has challenged all of us in new ways, so if you’ve even managed some semblance of ordinary, then well done!
The last* prompt:
Maybe two against five is taking a bet, but when the heel of my boot cracks the first man’s skull, T4Z has already ripped through another’s throat, blood almost not fast enough to stain her knife.
Bit of a violent excerpt from my novel for the last prompt. It if speaks to you, try and write something inspired by it. But mostly, day 30 is about you. Write what you want. It’s the last day, make the most of it–treat yourself by writing whatever it is you want. Add a dragon as a joke, drop everything else and write some poetry. You’ve earned it.
*Okay, not the last prompt. Just the last of my 2020 NaNo prompts. If you’ve followed my blog this month for the prompts, then don’t worry! I normally post a prompt every other Thursday. They’re more geared towards shorter, flash pieces, and I almost always include my own writing for them as well. This way, you can treat the prompt as a game and see all the different ideas that come out of it!
Also, if you’re a new follower, then welcome! It means a lot to me that you’ve chosen to spend time reading my stuff.
Let me know if you want me to do NaNo prompts again next year!