Seeds for NaNoWriMo Part 4


Below are today’s ideas to produce seeds for NaNoWriMo (or any writing project). Remember: the point is not to develop an entire plot. It’s simply to create inspiration. Write what is suggested for each numbered item, or whatever else may come to your mind. Then set that aside for now and do another one.

setting 2

1. Write a detailed setting based on the above picture. Whatever your instincts or preferences for setting and detail, try to over-exaggerate the scene. Write it however you’re comfortable–with a person there to experience it, from a first-person perspective, or simply describe it from a distance.

2. This is modified from an exercise in the book Now Write! Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror : Using a playlist of songs that you like (if you don’t have one already, you can pretty easily create one on YouTube or such, if only for this exercise), set it to shuffle and write down the title of the first song that comes up. Then hit next and write down the next song. Do this until you have a list of songs–the original exercise calls for 30, but I found that amount to be a bit overwhelming. I’d suggest maybe 15. Then make each song title a chapter title. Try to find a way to encompass all of them into one novel.

Alternatives include using movie or TV show episode names.

event 2

3. Write a scene from this image. What has happened before this was taken? What else is going on around this? As a result of this? What emotions might be present in the people who live around here?

4. Think back to a dream you’ve had–one that stuck with you. Even if it’s one that has changed in your head since you actually dreamed it, write what you remember. And write what it has become. Sometimes when I have a particularly striking dream, I’ll spend the rest of the day imagining where it would have gone.

Also, consider keeping a dream journal if you don’t already. Any time you wake up with a dream fresh in your mind, write it down quickly before you start your day. It can be an unexpected source of inspiration, even later.

people 2

5. Write about these people. What are their names? What are they doing or talking about? What is their relationship to each other? How are they feeling? What’s going on around them? Be specific.

6. Go back to the pictures and find some way to make them all fit together. This doesn’t mean that they all have to somehow be worked into the same scene, or even the same day within the story. But find some way to connect them all to each other, some story that would encompass them all. Then write the synopsis (as broad or specific, long or short as you need it to be) that involves the three images.

You do not have to stick with what you already wrote for any of them; you can go different directions with any of them to make them fit together.

This is the last post like this I’m going to make. If anyone has been doing the suggested activities, I hope you got some interesting results. Don’t worry if you didn’t get through all of the activities. I didn’t either. I plan to keep working on them for the next few days though.

This weekend I plan to post about what I feel could be the next step from here–going from ideas to sketching out a plot. I will be gone all this weekend though, so I’ll have to prepare the post in advance. If I really manage my time this week, I’ll be able to do more story seed writing, work on my normal revision, and write that post.

In the meantime, if anyone came/comes up with anything from these 4 posts that you really liked, feel free to share!

Other posts like this one: Story Seeds 1, Story Seeds 2, Story Seeds 3


Liebster Award


I was nominated for a Liebster award by lovesstorms, who writes stories for Sims 3 and Sims 4 on her blog. She is also my sister (and one of the other two members of the TCSTB). There is a lot of camaraderie in that community, though I am not a part of it myself. My sister, though, decided to include my blog in her list of Sims 3 & 4 stories that she nominated. Normally, accepting this award includes nominating other blogs. However, to quote Cecily Q. Cauliflower, “I’m not going to [nominate] anybody because I’m ornery that way.” (Also because I’m not very jacked into the blogosphere and only read a few myself.) I am, however, going to answer the questions lovesstorms posed to her nominees. They are somewhat oriented toward Sims story writers, so I will only answer those I can.

1. When you write, do you choose the computer or paper/pen?  I use both in different situations. I enjoy the experience of writing with a pencil and paper so much, so I do so now and then. However, it is just so much faster to write on the computer, so the bulk of my writing is done there.

3. What made you want to start writing? A book? Life? A person? Other?  I’ve enjoyed writing since I was a kid. I still have a few stories that I started when I was ten or twelve and never finished (I fully intended to write a series of books both times, but never even finished one). I wrote (and finished) a few short stories in high school. My more recent push came from playing a video game and getting all sorts of ideas for characters and stories from it (not Sims). That was actually over 10 years ago. It took a lot of time and even more work to get to where I am now–writing original fiction in a world I created with characters that I have lived with for 10 years.

4. What’s a country you’ve always wanted to visit?  It might sound cliche, but I’ve always wanted to go to England or Ireland. Or Germany.

5. Outside of the Sims, what’s another favorite game you play? I’ll answer this one, because I do play Sims, as well as other games. I actually prefer Sims 2 most of the time though, but I won’t go into reasons why. I tend to go through waves of what game I’m playing at the time. I haven’t played Sims in a while, but will go back to it someday and probably stick with it for a while then. For now, I’ve been playing Diablo 3 lately, and Civilizations games before that.

6. When you become disinterested in your story/characters, what do you do? This question is difficult for me to answer. I have a lot of ideas for stories in the same world, and a lot of characters to go with those stories. As of right now, including the one I’m revising currently, I have seven novel-length story ideas in mind. And outside of that, a lot more nuggets of ideas that could be grown into full stories. I have dozens of characters who overlap and some who are more solitary. I do sometimes get tired of revising “Pithea.” When that happens, I usually turn to working on “Pursuit of Power,” which is also in revision stage, but I haven’t delved as heavily into it. I’m still in the broad-changes stage of revision, since writing the novel during NaNoWriMo in 2014. And then sometimes, I just want to write and not edit, so I work on a storyline that isn’t even included in the count of 7 novel-length ideas, because it’s too narrow to be its own story, that takes place after “Pithea.”

I have it in my mind that when I get burned out on this world of stories and want to do something else, I will pull out a random prompt or such from one of many sources and just write something unrelated. But I never quite get to that.

7. When you write, do you prefer quiet or noise in the background? I used to prefer all quiet. Then I realized the joy of having something in the background. For a while I played writing-related music (yes, such a thing exists), but then I was introduced to, and now I always have that up on my laptop or computer when I’m working.

10. Do you keep a notepad & pen/phone/tablet by your bed for those late night ideas? If so, do you actually get up and write them down? I do have a notepad in a drawer next to my bed. It looks like this:  9It’s always there, just in case, but it has turned into more of a dream journal (which is also currently neglected). Lately I’ve taken to bringing another notebook to bed with me, because I’ve been more actively trying to think of some specific things, and want to write them in that other notebook. Basically, I have tons of notebooks, big and small, so ideas tend to get stuck wherever. It’s a messy system.

11. When you write, do you just do a quick glance and post? Or do you take a day or two or more and proofread, move things around, delete, re-write, etc, etc? This last question is probably one I should skip, due to the fact that I’m not currently posting my writing online. However, I did used to write fanfiction and post it online, so I figured I’d answer based on that. I used to like to get a few chapters written into a story before posting the first chapter. Then I’d keep a buffer of 3 chapters, in case I had to make any changes to the actual story based on what I was still writing. I usually read over each chapter after I wrote it, sent it to a friend who was my biggest fan at the time (his words…well, actually he always said he was my “#1 fan.”), made any fixes that either of us found, then read over it one more time before I actually posted it. I usually did very little big changes or rewriting. I have since realized a lot of areas that could have been better, but I’ve had 10 years to get better.

Thanks again to my sister for nominating my blog for this reward. I know I’m keeping myself isolated by not nominating others, but I’ve always been the kind to keep to myself, so it’s in my nature. If anyone’s interested, check out lovesstorms’ blog for her Sims stories.

Daily Challenge Check-in: February 13, 2015

Words: 663 writing. Nothing story-related, just some dream journaling. This is actually yesterday’s post. Today I did nothing. It’s Valentine’s Day, my kids are gone for the weekend, and my husband and I had various plans throughout the day. It remains to be seen if I will do any work tomorrow either. The kids will still be gone, so I may just rebel and do absolutely nothing productive.

I’m going to do something unusual today and post the dream I wrote about. There were some things about it that were different from my normal dreams (and some that were the same). The main thing is that the man referenced in the dream was more vivid to me than people usually are. Most of my dreams involve me just “knowing” who someone in the dream is supposed to be. That is my husband, just because it is. That’s a character from a show I watched recently, though there’s nothing descriptive about her. It just is her. Or if it’s no one I would know, then it’s just a featureless person shape. This dream, though, I specifically remember what the guy looked like. It’s weird.

So read on if you want, or don’t. It’s not exactly deep and meaningful. (Disclaimer: I typed this almost exactly as I’d written it after actually having the dream. There are mistakes and the prose isn’t pretty, but I don’t care. It’s not exactly worth fixing up.)

Continue reading

Daily Challenge Check-in: January 16, 2015

Words: 995 written. Nothing story-related, just some dream journaling. There was a lot to write about this time. More than ever so far. It took me half the day to get it all down, because I had to take care of other things, like getting lunch for my 4-year-old. Fortunately, I’d had some pretty vivid dreams that stuck with me long enough to get most of it down. Unfortunately, I had a headache most of the day, so I decided to not push myself to get any revising work in.

Daily Challenge Check-in: January 2, 2015

Words: 252 written. Nothing story-related, just some dream journaling. But since I was sick all day and had to work, I was glad to have at least done something.

Today’s was actually the 7th entry in the notebook I keep next to my bed and have turned into a dream journal. I started writing down dreams on Dec. 1 of last year. An exercise in my Now Write! book was to write for 12 minutes as soon as you wake up, without thinking, recording what you dreamed about. It suggests doing that every morning, even when you can’t remember a dream, to then write what you think you may have dreamed about. I don’t always have 12 minutes to spare in the morning, and I definitely don’t have the mental capacity to make up something out of nowhere when I first wake up. So I’ve stuck to only writing when I can remember a dream, and it’s vivid enough or striking enough to be worth writing down (so no jumbled messes or dreams where I can remember a couple of elements but would take two sentences to write out).

The great thing about the challenge I’m doing is that if you don’t get all your words in, you’re not behind for the next day. You start every day new. Really, it’s in the rules. So though I didn’t meet the 500 words today, I don’t have to try for 750 tomorrow. Speaking of tomorrow–though I’m not feeling well, I’m hoping to get some real revising done on “Adventures in Pithea” tomorrow.