How many words do you have so far?
- Grab the book nearest to you and open to page 23, look at line 7, incorporate any 5 words from that line into your dialogue.
- Does your character have a pet?
- Will your novel include any holidays?
- Plot Twist: A relative of your character’s is in the hospital. Why are they there? How does this effect their current situation?
- Put your iPod on shuffle, the first song that comes up is meaningful to your love interest in some way. Write this into your story.
-Plot Twist: Your main character is laid off from their job or expelled from school. Why did this happen? How does this effect their current situation?
- Morning Sky Blue
- Thick as thieves
- She wandered all through the night
- “Your stare was holdin’, Ripped jeans, skin was showin’”
- Carving knife
- There was something lodged in the proton accelerator
- In the heat of battle
- Flustered and fuschia
- The smell of baking cookies
- Mucus Green
- A small stuffed dog
- “Like a virgin, touched for the very first time”
Submit your own ideas here: http://writrs.tumblr.com/post/35233052007!
This is your one stop writer’s block cure. A collection of prompting ideas for when you’re feeling stuck, take an idea out and try to incorporate it into your story!
Please contribute below! Examples of what to post:
- A random word
- A phrase or lyric
- A random description of something
- A short action sentence
- Short writing prompts
- Directional questions
- Plot Twists
(You can only comment on this one time so if you have multiple additions please shoot us an ask message with the words “block box” somewhere!)
You can find our virtual Block Box live here at 9:00pm EST: http://writrs.tumblr.com/tagged/block+box
I know you want to add to your word count, and you’re excited to get started, but tomorrow, I want you to try something different. Set aside 10-15 minutes to think about what you will be writing.
If you are stuck coming up with an idea or are struggling with your current idea, you can always check out or past prompts for some inspiration: writrs.tumblr.com/tagged/prompts
I saw a few people that weren’t happy with their word count so far during NaNo. I want to remind you of a few things:
This is my third year. The first year I didn’t make it because my story didn’t have the substance it needed. Last year I won, but with 10 days left, I was over 10,000 words behind.
Hopefully, that will give you a better perspective on things. We’ll also have more tips and ideas in the coming days.
Best of luck,
PS. Don’t forget to send us any questions you have. We’ll get to them as quickly as we can.
If not you should get over there ASAP: http://www.nanowrimo.org/
Get your plot synopsis written, add some friends (you can find some of our NaNo friends here: writrs.tumblr.com/contact), update your word count, find out about write-ins and other events going on in your area!
Hopefully by now you have all of the major stuff out of the way, or have at least put some thought into things like main characters, plot, purpose, and perspective. There is still one more category we want you to consider before you begin writing - Supporting Characters.
Let’s consider these characters in three categories:
Recurring Supporting Characters
Your story should have a few of these. They are people that are a part of the story, but the story isn’t about them. RSCs can have their own little story line if it fits with your story. Think about Alfred in the Batman movies. Where would Batman be without his faithful butler? Alfred is an integral part of the story, and he usually gets to have a bit of story too.
Think about who your main character(s) need to interact with on a regular basis. It might be their parents, siblings, a love interest, or even a small group of teachers, friends, or colleagues. Regardless of the role of the characters, you need to make sure that you have thought about them quite a bit. These characters need to be fleshed out as you write about them.
It isn’t a very nice name, but I think it’s the most appropriate choice for this category. Sometimes, you just need a character to show up and help the story along. They don’t need to be around for very long, but without them, your story won’t be going very far.
When you are dealing with this kind of character, keep in mind their purpose and your goals. These characters will probably just have a limited amount of novel time, so make sure that their time is focused. A good example of a plot monkey would be Uncle Ben from the Spider-man mythology. Ben’s whole purpose is to teach Peter Parker, and thus Spider-Man that “with great power comes great responsibility.” He isn’t in a lot of the story because of his early death, but without Uncle Ben, Spidey is a very different character.
These will probably make up a large portion of your novel’s cast. To get you in the right frame of mind, take a few moments to think about how many people you have seen today. Now narrow that list to how many people you have interacted with today. It’s a lot of people, isn’t it? (Maybe not if you spent the whole day hiding in your room.)
Your novel should be littered with people that may not make much of an impact on your story. Actually, you can use them to drive your story forward, too. What are we looking for?
- Let’s say your character is riding on the subway. Who is in the car? Who does your character notice?
- It’s time for dinner, and your character is at a restaurant. Regardless of what kind of establishment, somebody is going to take their order. Who is it?
- Your character goes out for a run. They see someone cute or someone doing something interesting. Tell us more.
If you want your story to be realistic, it is probably going to need lots of characters that don’t have much to do with the story. Think of your story as a movie, and you are just filling the background with extras. While you shouldn’t spend too much time focusing on characters that don’t drive the plot, don’t forget them either or you might find that your story is missing something.
Did you know about it? If so, did you do anything to celebrate?
Here’s a great bit of encouragement from mamaleh6994. Hopefully this will get you going for NaNoWriMo:
It’s almost November, and there’s probably still a group of you on the fence about whether or not you should join NaNo this year. Maybe there’s a few of you who’ve already signed up, but you’re not sure if you’ll actually go through with it. So, in the interest of helping you decide, let’s get one thing straight: if you’re a writer, NaNoWriMo will be the single most stressful, insane, soul-squishing activity that you’ll ever do. It’ll be four weeks of pure torture, never wanting to look at another Word document again, and going just a little bit mad. However, I can tell you that, without a doubt, NaNo will be the best writing experience you’ve ever had.
I’ll tell you upfront that I think anyone who is even considering signing up for NaNo should absolutely do it. Four years ago, when I was a freshman in high school, all my friends were signed up and ready to go. They’d already filled out character surveys and outlined decent portions of their novels. A couple had even started making book jackets in Photoshop, for crying out loud! But, I was in high school. I was in all honors classes, involved in a lot of clubs, and even though I loved to write, I’d never gotten past a first chapter. It took until October 30th for me to decide that I would attempt the challenge, and I didn’t actually get a grasp on any storyline until a few hours or so before November 1st. And you know what? I won. So, I tried the next year. I won again. I’m now going into my fifth year as a NaNo participant, and I’ve reached 50,000 words all four times so far. It’s incredible, the feeling of looking at a document on your computer and thinking: “This is my novel.”
But winning’s not why I think you should go for it. You know why I think you should go for it? Because, if you’re anything like me, you’ve spent hours working on countless first chapters, hoping that if you start the story off right, you might be able to finish it someday. And if you’re anything like me, those hours you spent editing those few paragraphs went to waste, because after a while, you gave up. You might even have hundreds of unfinished works in notebooks or saved on your computer because you never had the motivation to keep writing.
Your problem isn’t that you’re a bad writer; your problem is that you can’t stand the idea of writing something that sucks. Just admit it. The first step toward progress is admitting that you have a problem in the first place, my friends.
This is exactly why NaNo is for you. There’s a reason that the tagline is “Quantity, not Quality”, after all. NaNoWriMo isn’t there to help you bang out the next Harry Potter; it’s there to help you get a first draft. First drafts, by the way, aren’t meant to be good. If you were to look at any of my novels that I’ve written in the past four years, you’d say “Kelsey, just stop. Put the computer away and the pencil down.” And to be honest, I’d agree with you! But ask any published author out there, and they’ll tell you that their first drafts were all terrible too. It’s part of the process. All writing is rewriting, but it’s hard to rewrite something that hasn’t been written in the first place. Don’t worry about writing something great. Don’t even worry about writing something good! You’re a writer. Just write.
Secondly, I’d be willing to bet that maybe there’s a lot of you who think that writing is a solitary activity. And for some people, that is the case. I mean, the words have to get on the page somehow, and talking about it with other people isn’t going to do the trick. (Trust me. I’ve tried.) But, for something as crazy and insane as NaNoWriMo, it’s awful hard to do without a support group. Your friends and family may or may not fully get behind you in this venture (Mine didn’t until I was in my third year, actually). That’s okay, because you still don’t have to be alone, and you shouldn’t. If you just take a stroll down the forums, you’ll find thousands of other writers just like you who’ve taken on this weird adventure as well, and they need you just as much as you need them! Join a couple conversations! Work through plot holes together! Start a chat room and get some Word Wars going! (Word Wars, by the way, are brilliant. Set aside a certain amount of time - usually around 15 minutes - and go head to head against another writer to see who can write the most words before the time limit runs out!) Some of the greatest people I’ve ever met, I met simply by joining NaNo. You might even be able to meet some other WriMos in your area by setting a region and attending some Write-Ins! Something this challenging might seem incredibly daunting by yourself, but it’ll start to look possible once you have a group of friends in the same boat.
And finally, if I haven’t convinced you yet, let me just ask you one question: What, exactly, do you have to lose? So you’ve got school. Essays to write. You have family coming over for Thanksgiving. There’s a whole lot of life going on, and maybe November is too crazy of a month for you to even conceive writing a novel. Well, I’m here to tell you that life doesn’t get any less crazy. There’s always going to be an excuse, and the beauty of NaNo is that it makes you forget those excuses for just one month and lets you do something wonderful. So what if you don’t end up reaching 50,000? Life turns out to be too busy, and even by writing in the few downtimes you have, you just can’t make it all the way … So what? You still wrote something, didn’t you? Maybe you only reached 5,000 words. That’s still 5,000 words that you didn’t have when you started! See, that’s the thing about Nano. It’s not about the 50,000. It’s about getting you to write, no matter what that mean for you personally.
Maybe you’re still on the fence. It still seems too crazy to be plausible. I can’t convince you to do anything that you don’t want to, and if you say no, that’s totally fine. But please don’t say no. Just sign up. Write a hundred words. Write a sentence. Write anything. Just write.
I promise, you won’t regret it.
I hope that you sign up, and I look forward to crushing you at Word Wars soon! Happy NaNoWriMo!