Nano 2014: 30 ideas to prompt your imagination

lightbulbI am not out of ideas yet but I decided to invest in a little book called “The Writer’s Block: 786 ideas to jump-start your imagination” just in case…and thought I should pick out 30 – one for each of the Nano days – to use in case I get stumped. I have picked them out at random. Feel free to steal borrow them for your own use ๐Ÿ™‚

1 – Write an argument between 2 characters that starts in bed (honest to god, that’s the first page I opened at!)

2- Spark word: Tattoo

3- Write a story that begins ” The last time I saw my mother was 15 years ago”

4- Describe your first encounter with a celebrity

5- Take revenge on your least favourite teacher in high school: write a character sketch that exposes his or her flaws

6- Invent a character that sees a telephone number in the toilets wall. Describe what happens when he or she dials it.

7- Write a story that begins with an explosion

8- Spark words: Insanity

9- 17% of Americans claim they have witnessed a ghost…Describe one of their encounters…or one of your own

10-ย Tell a story that begins with the discovery of a ransom note

11- Describe your first brush with danger

12- Imagine that you could wake up tomorrow in someone else’s body. Whose would it be? How would your life change? What are some of the first things you would do?

13- Write about a near death experience

14- Describe a time you peeked a someone else’s diary

15- Spark word: Traffic Jam

16- Write a story set in a different decade. Use as many period elements as you can.

17- Write about the biggest secret you ever failed to keep

18- Write a story or a scene set in the kitchen of a fast-food restaurant

19- I opened the cupboard and…

20- Think of a person you don’t like and describe what you might say if you had to share a lift together

21- When I was a little girl/boy, I wanted to be a…

22- Two animals into one hybrid

23- Spark word: Superstitious

24- Something a little cheesy – It was a dark and stormy night….

25- My best friend and I used to… all the time when we were 10

26- A natural catastrophe hits a small village…

27- In 200 years time, archaeologists find your grave, what will they deduce?

28- You get to spend the day in the body of someone the opposite sex, what will you do?

29- You are walking home late at night. You hear a noise behind you…

30- You accidentally drink something with a hallucinogen in it…what happens next?

Most came from the book listed above, some I just made up after reading some of my Facebook’s friends statuses, other I remembered from writing classes…



Related articles/sites

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Seventh Sanctum


Nanowrimo 2014: 3 days to go

And I am still adding small things to The Plan.

I read an interesting post today from Kirsten Lamb which I think might actually help me. She gave it a really long title (so click here to get to it) but it is about being able to do more than just write 50,000 words. It’s about having a more complete First Draft. I particularly like her advice to check out IMDb tag lines for movies in your chosen genre either to give you inspiration or to help you refine your basic concept.

I am definitely going to use this, if I can find the right movie to plunder.

My first idea is to use the Firefly tag because my story is going to be set in a futuristic world like that but it has more to do with old school westerns than the Firefly story…food for thoughts.

I have to let it whirl in my head for a while, well for 2 and half day really.

When I decided to do Nano, I was quite sure that November would be a quiet month for me. Nobody does anything in November right? Wrong! Day 1 of November and I have 2 Halloween party that I said yes to in a moment of weakness.

Then, I have to pack my flat, arrange for exchange of contract and completion date for the flat I am buying, paint the bathroom of said flat, go furniture shopping, book removal van, move, make good of the old flat, make sure my internet transfers from house to the other without a glitch…and that’s without counting on having to do my full time job! Bitten more than I can chew? You bet! Will I give up before I even started? Not a chance.

And to make sure I don’t, tonight I am going to the London Nano 2014 Kick off party…Nothing like committing to a group of like minded strangers to keep one in line ๐Ÿ™‚





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Tik-tok on the clock…Countdown to Nanowrimo 2014

A little over a week before Nanowrimo 2014 starts and my preps are not that organised.

web-design-planningI have been reading a lot of posts on fellow Nanoers and how they prep for it, particularly those who have done it before and I feel I am still short of being ready.

I mean I have my idea and my character all in my head but I find it hard to put it down in an actual written format ready to be used on Day One.

The Planner in me is freaking out.

The Adventurer in me is shrugging it off…

Both attitudes are currently in conflict and I am at a stand still. Will I get to plan or will I pants it?

According to Larry Brooks, who wrote a whole series of tips to prep for Nano, I should already have a developed concept, character sheets and beat points…

seat of your pantsMany other previous Nanoers seem to have the same advice.

I just don’t know how to do that in a workable manner. Ideas, snippets and scenes are floating in my overloaded brain and I just hope I’ll be able to channel them come the 1st November.

As I am also naturally fickle, I find it hard to commit to one story line development, the way making a plan would push me. So I guess I have decided to pants it to some extent. At this stage, I think I just want to fumble my way through this first time.

Wish me luck and hopefully, I won’t change my mind too often…


Preparing for NaNoWriMo 2014


First I have a confession to make…since Camp NaNo, I haven’t written anything more than some notes, ideas, character traits, fleeting moments that pass through my head…but no chapters or paragraphs that could be seen as part of a story…not even a proper blog post. Bad Chymeera.

The first rule of writing is to write…every single “tips to become a better writer” I come across tells that. Yet, since Camp NaNo, I have let life (and work mostly) get in the way. I am not trying to justify myself (well, maybe I am) but I have myself unexpectedly busy on the day job (pays the bills after all, and when you live in London, those bills ain’t cheap, let me tell you). Add to that, that I am trying to buy my first flat and I get home so drained that all I want to do is veg on the sofa watching mindless tv. To be fair, outside of reading and writing, this is my favourite thing to do.

cartoon-cat-lazyBut I need to shake myself off this lazy loop and what better time to do this that NaNoWriMo. I work better with tight deadline and in writing I don’t think they come any tighter…30 days, 50,000 words? Well that’s the challenge, isn’t it? For Camp NaNo I was able to complete 20,000 words in 30 days and that was in July with a 2 weeks holiday playing aunty to my favourite (and only) nephew so I am thinking November, being grim with no chances of being distracted by gorgeous weather should be possible…right? Right.

That said, I have been thinking about participating for a year so I am not totally unprepared for it and as said earlier, although I haven’t actually written within a story, I have been building ideas, plot lines (my weak points), characters and story arcs in preparation for it.

I have decided to stay in the same area as the story I tried to start for Camp NaNo so it will be a sci-fi/adventure story – I can’t bring myself to call it a novel yet as it would mean I have to work out a beginning, a middle and an end for it and that is one of my big challenges. I am quite a good starter but I tend to fizzle out as I never know for sure what I want to achieve or want my character to want…I think I have it this time for this particular story and the challenge will be on how I’ll manage to make my lady (always) get there whilst keeping the conflicts coming.

So, how am I preparing for NaNoWriMo, you might ask, as it is after all the title of this post…

psychingupmeme1) Psyching myself up, telling myself it’s no big deal…no one ever does anything in November

2) Checking past blog post about NaNoWriMo by people who have done it

3) Read tips on what to do…although most could apply for any novel project you want to start

post-it-wall4) Collecting as many ideas, research, character notes and world info I can and saving all that in a special NaNoWriMo 2014 folder I created on my Google Drive so it’s all there when I need it.

I also need to decide when I am going to block time in November to write…Do I wake up earlier so I can do it before work or make sure I don’t switch the telly on when I get home in the evening? November is a dark month, so either way, it will be dark outside….

What about you? How will you prepare yourself for NaNoWriMo 2014? I’d love to hear from you…