Writing Wednesday: Prompt

WW Prompt

Here’s today’s Writing Wednesday Prompt:

Include all of the following words in a scene:
sigh
south
demon
night
telephone

bonus: spiky

If you write something from this prompt, by all means let me know! Feel free to share what you wrote, if you want!

**If you’re looking for more like this, you might want to check out the story seeds posts I wrote for NaNoPrep a few years ago. They are not specific to NaNoWriMo, and each contains a list of several different types of prompts or ways to generate story ideas. You can find them here: Story Seeds 1, Story Seeds 2, Story Seeds 3, Story Seeds 4**

Writing Wednesday: Prompt

WW Prompt

Here’s today’s Writing Wednesday Prompt:

Include all of the following words in a scene:
news
argument
silence
stop
neighbors

bonus: pineapple

If you write something from this prompt, by all means let me know! Feel free to share what you wrote, if you want!

**If you’re looking for more like this, you might want to check out the story seeds posts I wrote for NaNoPrep a few years ago. They are not specific to NaNoWriMo, and each contains a list of several different types of prompts or ways to generate story ideas. You can find them here: Story Seeds 1, Story Seeds 2, Story Seeds 3, Story Seeds 4**

Daily Writing Check-in: October 8, 2017

Words/Time: 330 words of free writing, followed by 14 minutes of NaNoPrep work.

A few days ago I read a post on a site I have really come to like, and the author had given a word list as a way to inspire some writing. I’ve been wanting to do some free writing alongside my NaNoPrep since I returned to writing a few days ago, but haven’t had a chance to go and dig out my various ways to begin free writing. Word lists have always been a favorite type of writing prompt for me, and today was no exception.

Then I opened my “Pursuit of Power” outline in Scrivener and started looking at what it would be like to cut out the first 1/4 of the story, so the true plot for this book could get started a lot sooner. I also plan to incorporate a character who’s supposed to be a secondary¬†main character in the story more, so I’ve been toying with the idea of starting the story more from her perspective. I didn’t get real far, because I got to my writing late today, but at least it’s something.

 


For anyone out there who is participating in NaNoWriMo, feel free to check out my series of tips and tricks for the month, and also to add me as a writing buddy! (Let me know you came from here, and I’ll add you back!)

Seeds for NaNoWriMo Part 2

crest-bda7b7a6e1b57bb9fb8ce9772b8faafb

Below are today’s ideas to produce seeds for NaNoWriMo (or any writing project). Remember: the point is not to develop an entire plot. It’s simply to create inspiration. Write what is suggested for each numbered item, or whatever else may come to your mind. Then set that aside for now and do another one.

setting 4

1. Write a detailed setting based on the above picture. Try to include all five senses. Whatever your instincts or preferences for setting and detail, try to over-exaggerate the scene. Write it however you’re comfortable–with a person there to experience it, from a first-person perspective, or simply describe it from a distance.

2. Look over the following list of words and write a few paragraphs using as many of them as you can:
loquacious, truculent, dudgeon, jocund, crotchety, disconsolate, ambivalent

event 4

3. Write a scene from this image. What’s going on in this picture? Who are these people and what have they been doing on that stage? What is the atmosphere like? The excitement, the energy in the room? How does it feel to be at this event? What will happen next?

4. Take a walk around your block or down your street. Look for things you’ve never noticed before; pay attention to every little detail. When you get back, write down anything that stuck out to you, anything you may want to remember, be it about people, sights, or even sounds that you noticed on the walk.

people 4

5. Write about these two people. What are their names? What are they doing or talking about? What is their relationship to each other? How do they feel in this picture and why? Be specific.

6. Go back through all of the previous activities and make them all fit together. This doesn’t mean that they all have to somehow be worked into the same scene, or even the same day within the story. But find some way to connect them all to each other, some story that would encompass them all. Then write the synopsis (as broad or specific, long or short as you need it to be) that involves all five previous elements.

You do not have to stick with what you already wrote for any of the activities (except maybe for number 4); you can go different directions with any of them to make them fit together.


Though none of these seeds, or the ones that I still plan to post, lend themselves specifically to speculative fiction (fantasy, sci-fi, etc.), that doesn’t mean they are unusable if you plan to write in that genre. Most of the ideas that you will produce will be easily adaptable to another world. If you’re considering writing something in the speculative fiction realm and don’t already have a world to set it in, you may try this site, or look online for other sites that would help. I have built exactly one world, and I’m still not done tinkering with it. I have little to offer in the way of advice in this area.

Other posts like this one: Story Seeds 1, Story Seeds 3, Story Seeds 4

Dream Every Day: Revisiting High School

 dream plan write

When I was in high school, I took a creative writing class. It’s the only one I’ve ever taken, and I couldn’t tell you how alike or different it was from other such classes. There was a process we went through before we ever started writing for the short story part of class that has stuck with me for fifteen years. It was a process of coming up with multiple story seeds, before then choosing the one we wanted to develop into a story. One day we were instructed to come up with a setting and character that didn’t really go together. For example, I chose a British soldier at a Minnesota lake. Under that, it says:
“Why–the queen of England decided she wanted a vacation in a secluded spot and he was assigned to guard the family.
Conflict–the people who live around there are secretive, don’t know why he’s there, and don’t want him there.”

The scenario sounds ridiculous to me now, and I never wrote any further with that idea. However, for some reason, this exercise has stuck with me for a long time.

On the other hand, what is just an innocuous picture–a field of wildflowers–became the short story I turned in for that class. A short story the teacher loved and helped me to remember that I enjoy writing (I had written a lot in elementary school, then abandoned it for poetry). In an essay in that class, though, I apparently wrote that I didn’t think I’d have much reason to write fiction again in the future. That was fun to dig up from my past.

flowers prompt

This colorful, foggy field became the setting of a frenzied, fear-filled search for a briefcase and a race against time for the protagonist in the story I wrote from it.

At the same time I was taking this creative writing class, I had the same teacher for English class. In English, we would get vocabulary lists, and for every list, one assignment was always to write some sort of paragraph or short story that incorporated at least 5 of the vocab words. A few of those ended up being great sources of creativity for me. One, a one-page short story, my teacher said was written well enough and had good enough character development that I could have turned it in for my short story in creative writing.

The point of all of this is to say that, while inspiration can certainly come from anywhere and sometimes nowhere, it is possible to create ideas using various methods and stimuli. Images, sounds, prompts, word lists, outlandish character/setting combos, even story scenarios provided by someone else, can produce seeds that may or may not be worth developing. The key is to keep all of the potential seeds somewhere that can be referenced later. One important rule of writing–never throw anything out. You never know if you’ll want to be able to look back at it 15 years later and write a blog post about it.

Dream for yourself: If anyone reading this wants to try their hand at some of these story seed starters, I encourage you to look at the image above, describe it in vivid detail, and use it as a setting for a scene. Then see where that takes you. Or, use the following list of words to create a paragraph or two–it can be a setting, a short story, or even a scene from something larger. (Remember, it’s from a school vocab list. If you don’t know the words, look them up! Expanding your vocabulary can always help with writing too.) It doesn’t have to produce a full story–just spark an idea. If anyone does write anything from my suggestions, feel free to share with me! I’d love to see what others come up with.

noxious
sub rosa
tete-a-tete
parvenu
a capella
postprandial
minatory
venal
quid pro quo

Continue reading below to read the short story I created with the words above (if you’re considering writing from the list yourself, don’t read mine yet; it’ll skew your ideas).

Continue reading