Prompts

Prompt #2

Suddenly Superpowers!

Try writing at least 100 words about either suddenly gaining or losing superpowers. It could be for your main character or maybe a side character who you just don’t have the best grasp on it yet. Go a little deeper if you can, who are they without the superpowers? Or with superpowers?

Good luck and have fun writing!

Not sure how to use Prompts? You can read our introduction to prompts here.

Prompts

Prompt #1

Drum roll please! The first prompt is…

Red eyes!

Try writing at least 100 words in a scene about red eyes. The easiest way to write a prompt is with pre-existing characters.

Remember, red eyes could be shown in a myriad of different ways. Someone could have allergies, they could be possessed, or they could have powers and their eyes glow red.

Whatever you write, try to go with it for as long as you can and remember that it’s just a writing exercise. You can do this!

Not sure how to use Prompts? You can read our introduction to prompts here.

Name Bank

Behind the Name: Agatha

Raise your hand if you’ve spent hours scouring baby name books and websites for the perfect name for your character. ::raises hand:: Yeah, I’m right there with you. It’s a common plight amongst writers. While I can’t end your search, I can add this name and its meaning to the back of your mind for next time. If you’re feeling intrepid, I recommend reading the history behind the name Agatha and then writing a quick scene with it as your prompt.

MEANING & HISTORY

Agatha is the Latinized form of the Greek name Agathe, which is derived from the Greek word “agathos,” meaning “good.” If you’re looking to name a character born in the USA between 1880 and 1930, Agatha is a reasonable choice as it ranked in the census for popularity between those years.

Saint Agatha of Sicily is the Christian saint of breast cancer patients, wet nurses, bell-founders, and rape victims. She chose to live a life of celibacy as a consecrated virgin until a high-ranking official, Quintianus, decided he wanted her. She spurned his advances and he responded by tearing off her breasts off with pincers. She managed to survive that, and eventually died after more torture involving hot coals. Now, she is celebrated in Italy every February 5th with a delicious pastry that looks like a breast.

Saint Agatha’s name has been used throughout Christian Europe with various spellings, but the most famous barer of her name was the mystery writer, Agatha Christie. She created such characters as Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple. While she may have died at the age of 85 in 1976, she disappeared without a trace for ten days in 1926. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle even gave a spirit medium one of her gloves in the hopes of finding her. She turned up at a hospital with amnesia and her autobiography makes no reference to her disappearance.

Agatha is also the first name of Ms. Trunchbull, the primary antagonist of Ronald Dahl’s Matilda.

RELATED NAMES

Variant: Agathe – This feminine name has seen a resurgence of popularity in France over the past 20 years.

Nickname: Aggie – This is also a diminutive name for Agnes.

Masculine Form: Agathon

 

 

NaNoWriMo · Writing Life

National Novel Writing Month

November is a great month. It’s fall, the leaves are changing colors, bonfires will conveniently blow in whatever direction you’re sitting, and it’s socially acceptable to wear a hoodie almost everyday (just not the same one). It’s also National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo for short. NaNo for even shorter, because typing that out gets tiring.

NaNo was founded by Chris Baty, author of the book No Plot? No Problem! The idea is to write out an entire 50,000 word novel in thirty days, which sounds a lot easier when you remember that’s roughly 1667 words a day. You can go to nanowrimo.org to sign up and join writers from around the world. If you’re stuck, the website has forums full of people ready to help. Or maybe you just want to procrastinate and complain about how your main character refuses to act appropriately.

We’ve all been there.

At the end of NaNo, they award prizes to those that completed 50,000 words. Mostly it’s codes for discount software, and usually one self-publisher will offer to give you one free copy of your book. If you don’t cross the finish line, you still get discounts for participating. They’re a little smaller, but hey, discounts are discounts.

Join us for the next couple of Mondays for NaNo Preparation. We’ll cover the basics of what you’ll will need to survive November with your sanity mostly intact with helpful tips and plenty of worksheets to make that muse work for you.

You can find me on NaNoWriMo as Purple Penguin so feel free to add me!

Prompts · Writing Life

An Introduction to Prompts

Prompts are something that’s supposed to give you an initial idea: write something focused on the color blue; your main character ages thirty years over night. Oh no! Crazy or mundane, it doesn’t matter, prompts will tell you what to do and it’s your job to find out how you can do it. The problem is, writers generally don’t view them this way. They look at a prompt and say it’s dumb, there’s no way they can write something from this. What are they, some kind of writer?

Well, yeah. That’s why you’re trying to write, dumb-butt.

Unfortunately, many people don’t look up prompts unless they’re in the middle of Writer’s Block. They’re so far into it that they’re looking for anything to tell them what to do, to wave a magic wand in front of their faces and say, “Right here! This is what you have to do!” When you look at prompts in this state of mind, suddenly they’re all the dumbest thing you’ve ever read. Because guess what? They aren’t there to hold your hand and tell you how to write. They’re just there to go, “Hey, what if unicorns, am I right?” And you give it a try, no strings attached.

So the next time you see a prompt, which will be once a week on this blog, remember that it’s here to give you an idea for a quick scene. It’s not going to fix your writer’s block. That’s your job.