100 Prompts to Inspire You

If you aren’t finished your NaNo novel, or are otherwise struggling to keep your story going, you might want to check out some prompts. There are tons of places you can go to find them. The various Dare Threads on the NaNo forum, apps, blogs, etc. But during November I made a list of 100 prompts to try and help inspire others in my home region to complete their novels (as I’d surpassed the 50k mark on the 11th they seemed to think I had some secret to finishing… Honestly, I just wrote almost every single day for at least two hours. Plus, I type pretty dang fast).

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So tomorrow is Remembrance Day. While it’s supposed to be a day that we remember the sacrifices made by veterans, and specifically the end of WWI, I find it’s also a good day to just remember the past in general. And because it’s November and National Novel Writing Month, I’m going to talk a little bit about creating back stories for our characters. (Plus I’ll have an excerpt from my novel for you at the end of this post)

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Character Sketching

The level of detail that goes into describing your character before they even enter the story is going to be different for everyone. Some people like to just have a rough description while others want to have every last detail written out. Regardless of where your preference lies, it is important to track information about your character(s).

For one, you want to make sure the character is consistent throughout the story. They shouldn’t start off as a 5’8 blonde, become a 6’2 brunette in the middle, and end as a 5’1 redhead. Unless, of course, part of the story is about these strange physical changes that the character is undergoing.

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Helpful Programs

So sometime near the start of this year I started to explore the use of some programs for writers. I’d sort of toyed with the idea of making use of the various helpful writing programs and apps out there for a while now, but had never really done much with it. It was always sort of a ‘later’ project to find good programs I’d want to use. Especially considering that I didn’t want to be paying a ton of money for something I was going to end up hating or not using (so free was always an added bonus).

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Card Game

So I love playing board/card games. I adore Munchkin, Gloom, Smallworld, etc. (and I have to admit that other than Munchkin, I was introduced to most of the games I now love by Wil Wheaton and his web-series Table Top on Geek & Sundry) On the weekend the hubs and I were playing the now out of print Three Dragon Ante. I thought it was fun, though kind of time consuming.

Which isn’t to say other games aren’t, but I felt the time/enjoyment balance wasn’t, well… balanced. I much prefer games like Gloom and Munchkin. Which got me thinking…

In addition to story ideas, every now and then I get an idea for a board game. And because I love Gloom just so freaking much (I have all but the house expansion pack, because the reviews weren’t very good for that one…) the idea I got was another story building card game. Except not so “depressing”. (Note: if you don’t end up laughing while playing Gloom you’re doing it wrong)

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