Tag Archives: writing prompts

Exercises in Conflict

13 Questions/Thoughts/Exercises to Help the Conflict in your Novel

  1. What IS the conflict in your novel?
  2. What does your main character want?
  3. What five ways do you keep your character from getting what he wants?
  4. Do you start the story in the right place? Is it the day something new happens? Is a conflict hinted at on page one? Is the major conflict revealed as the main character moves forward into the beginning of the middle of the novel?
  5. What is the part of your story that creates the most tension? Why?
  6. Write your main plot as a yes or no question. In film, this is the major dramatic question (MDQ).
  7. What is the definition of “inciting incident?” Joseph Campbell says it’s a call to action for the main character. What does this mean?
  8. What is the inciting incident, or that first point of no return, for your main character?
  9. Write the inciting incident from several (at least three) points of view. How does each character view this event? Is your main character the most interesting?
  10. Remember these? What is your book and why?
    1. Man against man
    2. Man against society
    3. Man against self
    4. Man again nature
    5. Man against technology
  11. Make sure you have only ONE main plot or you will wrestle trying to control and write plots of equal weight. While you should have subplots, none should be more important than that problem you reveal in the MDQ.
  12. I think some of the best conflicts result from relationships. What are you finding in your book?
  13. Our good friend Richard Peck said, “You are no better than your first line.” And that’s the truth with everything. Make sure each thing you write, is your best. Always.

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Merry Christmas Day 11

I can’t believe it’s that time of year again! The holidays always make me think of dates, and boyfriends, and all kinds of romantic stuff!
For today’s writing challenge, write about your first love.
What did they look like? Smell like? Talk like? Act like? How did they treat their mother? How did they treat you? Did they know you existed? Did they have siblings? Did you end up getting married? Did you end up breaking up? What happened to them? What was your first kiss together like? What about your first date? Did they buy you something for Christmas? What about for your birthday? What did they buy you? How did it end? How did it begin?
Ready. Set. Write!

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And So it Goes On

So in my email this morning were two ads for Cupid.

However, I misread. I thought it said Stupid. “Stupid can save you 75% on diamonds.”

Hmmm. What does that say about me and Cupid?

Just bring me yummy ripe chocolate covered strawberries. Is that too much to ask, Cupid?

Anyway, stupid could be something in your romance, right?


Are you still writing notes for your Romance Novel?

At the end of this experience you won’t have a full novel, but you will have about 20 scenes done–or character descriptions or etc.

And that is cool.

You can take the month of March and Write your Romance.


Today’s prompt: Remember that fellow you met before the weekend started? That cute, cute boy?

Write the scene where your main character meets him. Give yourself 30 minutes.

Now write another scene. This one has to have some angst, some sexy, some thinking about kissing, and it has to be a life changer. After this scene your character cannot be the same–even if the change is subtle.

Have fun!

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Night Dreams – by Debbie Nance

I don’t usually remember my night dreams—that is unless I get woken up in the middle of one.

 So when I do remember a dream, for the fun of it, I try to figure out if it has any meaning.

 For instance, in the middle of one night last week my hubby’s phone beeped to indicate the battery was low, and I woke up. I had been dreaming that I was in college, sitting at a desk and the professor called on me to read. When I opened my textbook, about an inch of the pages were missing, cut from the book, including the part I was supposed to read.

 The next night I again woke up, for an unknown reason, and I was having a similar dream of being unprepared for a college class.

 Then one day this week I didn’t sleep through my wake up alarm so I could remember a third dream. I was at a family reunion for my dad’s side of the family, only when I looked around, I didn’t know anyone. I asked a boy, about six years old, what his name was. He told me and I didn’t recognize his last name. I asked who his father was, and the boy told me, but I didn’t know him either. So I asked the boy who his grandfather was and the boy said, “I don’t know.” 

 Strange, huh, three remembered dreams.

 They must mean something.

 Maybe the first two were related to my work to complete the updated WIFYR website.  http://www.wifyr.com/  Maybe the third meant that I was in the wrong place. Or maybe all three dreams just mean that I’m not sleeping well. J

 Do you think your dreams have meanings?

 Do your book characters have special or weird dreams?

 Write a scene where your character has a dream, or nightmare, and how it affects his or her day.

 Watch this old Friends sitcom episode for ideas and/or a laugh. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2EomKbf9gks

  And, finally, a good quote from Rita Mae Brown, tweaked for the day:  “Never hope [dream] more than you work.”



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