Tuesday, October 21, 2014

NaNoWriMo 2014 Prep: Warming Up Your Muse

You can't start writing your NaNoWriMo novel until November 1st, but you can do pre-writing exercises. Outlining, character profiles, and other prompts are fair game, so today I'm going to talk about ways to get muse into noveling shape with a few writing exercises.
  • They Fight Crime: Need some wacky inspiration? Try the They Fight Crime! Movie Idea Generator. (He's an unsexedmaster criminal whom everyone believes is mad. She's a patronizing opera singer prone to fits of blood-crazed rage. Together, They Fight Crime!) It's pretty hilarious, and writing a scene or two with the random suggestions is a great warm-up activity.
  • 20 Questions: Character questionnaires can be a fun way to build your protagonist's background. I have an example of two question sets here. I like to use some of the basic questions to build a character profile. The profile is comprised of a little background info, the character's basic vital statistics, and a picture of the person I'd like to play him or her in a blockbuster movie. (Benedict Cumberbatch is often part of my dream cast. And Tom Hiddleston.)
  • What Has It Got in Its Pocketses?: In this exercise you list the items a character carries in her purse or his wallet, and why s/he has them, like an old family photo worn at the corners or a punch card for the local hipster coffee shop about to earn a free drink. You can always spot a romance author by the promotional pens in her purse. ;-)
  • OkCupid is Always So...Inspiring: This is your character's first date with someone he/she met online. What happens?
  • What Characters Want: Your character acquires a magic or sciencey object that allows its user to read minds. What sort of shenanigans ensue?
  • I Do This to my Sims All the Time: Your character walks into her house and it’s completely different — furniture, decor, all changed. And nobody’s home. What happens next?
  • Don't Blink: Your character has a severe phobia. How does the character overcome this fear? How is the character consumed by this fear? (OMG CLOWNS. WHY, AMERICAN HORROR STORY? WHY???!!!)
  • No, it's Not the U2 Album: Your character’s iPod plays a song she didn't upload onto it. What song is it? Where did it come from?
There are a million different prompts out there just a Google search away. Have a favorite one to share? Please leave it in the comments!

Next week I'll be talking about plotting and story mapping. NaNoWriMo is almost here! I'm excited. :-D

Want to win a copy of my 2011 NaNo Poison in the Blood? You can enter here:

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Poison in the Blood by Robyn Bachar

Poison in the Blood

by Robyn Bachar

Giveaway ends October 31, 2014.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

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