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Friday, March 11, 2011

I Dare You

Lately I've been really struggling to get words down in my WIPs (yeah, I work on more than one at a time ... I always have) and have resorted to doing something that always seems to work.


Way back when in ... 2005, I think, I participated in NaNoWriMo for the first time. I had SO much fun! But, there were times when I got stuck and simply could NOT find the 1600 words that day. Then I discovered the NaNoWriMo message boards -- and there was one in particular that excited me to no end.

The Dares.

Here are just a few that I jotted down to use. See what YOU think:

* Have a character who is so extremely obsessive about order that they can only talk alphabetically.

* Have your most serious character own (and proudly display) a hot pink tablecloth.

* Have a character that is prone to accidentally setting random objects on fire (waste baskets, slippers, dish rags, etc.)

* 15 chickens appear somewhere in your novel.
+bonus points if these 15 chickens appear every chapter

* Make at least 15 references throughout your novel to the game of Monopoly.

* Have a cat follow the main characters around EVERYWHERE.
+ BP if the cat is in places a cat simply should not be.
+ DBP if the cat is always asleep when the characters notice it.
+ TBP if the cat wakes up at the end of the story.

* Have a discreet shout out to every movie you (the author) have seen in the previous year-- aka a quoted line, a plot detail, a prop appearing in a scene.

* Include a Spontaneous Chicken Situation. It doesn't matter what a SCS is. Just include it.

* Have a character begin misquoting literary classics at every occasion

* Include a character with a pet turtle named Awkward.

* Have something a character reads or writes on the inside of a bathroom stall turn into a major plot point.

I could go on and on and on ... the writers who are reading this: How many of you got an idea from these dares?

And for everyone: I actually used three of these in WIPs. Anyone care to guess which three?

What do you do when you're stuck and the muse just won't cooperate?

Visit Marianne at her website and blog.


  1. I almost think the dares are the best part of NaNoWriMo!!!

  2. I think you use the first one.

  3. Groovy ... you have a nicely warped sense of humor, so can appreciate the dares :-)

    Dru... nope, not that one. Not yet anyway! Anyone else?


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