Welcome to another weekend! As the days leading up to National Novel Writing Month (November) dwindle, it’s time for another NaNo-related writing exercise.
This week, your mission (whether you are participating in NaNo or not) is to write scenes. Not scenes for your NaNo project, because that would be against the rules, but 300 word scenes based on prompts and written during a time limit. Think of it as brain training.
What will you gain by doing this? Let’s look at the numbers. To complete NaNoWriMo successfully, you must generate a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. That means writing at least 1,667 words per day. If you’re like most folks, there’s a job, family, pets, chores, (eating, sleeping, showering) etc. already gnawing away at your writing time. This exercise will help you learn to generate 1,200 of those 1,667 in just a single hour.
To participate in this challenge, you’ll need a computer with a word processor and internet access (obviously), a trusty timer of some sort, and Brian Andreas’ lovely Story People web site. The link will take you to the random “story” section of his site. This is where you will find your prompts for this week’s assignment. Are you ready? Here we go.
1. Set the timer for fifteen minutes.
2. Read a random “story” on the site. (Tip: Click the “pick another one for me” link at the top of the page to change the story.)
3. Take three deep breaths as you think about the prompt you just read.
4. Start the timer and write a 300 word scene (or if you prefer, flash fiction piece) inspired by the character or situation suggested by the prompt.
5. Lather, rinse, repeat with three more prompts for a total of four scenes in an hour.
Will they be pretty scenes? Probably not. The idea is to strive for words, not perfection. Perfection is a task for December.
Love this exercise? Hate it? Share your thoughts in the comments.