20 Writing Prompts – August 2015

Wanted to keep the momentum going from Camp NaNoWriMo? Try out these prompts!

Kimberley Crawford

It’s that time again. Time for another list of writing prompts for your writing pleasure. Use them to help with writer’s block or to get the juices flowing, or don’t use them at all. That’s your choice. I’m just putting them here so you can maybe find some inspiration from them. Anyway, here they are!

  1. Write a myth to explain why the sun sets.
  2. You travel back in time to 1900 BC. Explain how it happened and what you experience.
  3. You were aboard the ship that Christopher Columbus sailed to the Americas. Write about what you experienced.
  4. Rewrite your favourite fairy tale.
  5. You are learning how to fly your first spaceship.
  6. Describe Hell.
  7. Describe happiness as a person.
  8. You invent a serum to help rich people live forever, but they must start their new life at the bottom and start from scratch to gain back their fortune.
  9. Write a potion…

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New Doctor Who Trailer

The BBC has released another trailer for the new series, starring Peter Capaldi as the new Doctor, starting on Saturday 23rd August.

Entitled “I See Your Soul…”, the trailer sees the TARDIS control room blowing up and the Doctor seemingly being electrocuted to the point we can see his two hearts beating with Dalek voices talking over the top. Watch the trailer for yourself here:

What do you think of the trailer? What do you think is going to happen in the next series? And what could the Daleks be up to this time? Don’t be afraid to drop a comment below.

Doctor Who “Am I A Good Man?” Teaser Trailer

The BBC have released a new teaser trailer for the next series of Doctor Who on YouTube. According to the video description, the next series of Doctor Who, with Peter Capaldi as the new Doctor and Jenna Coleman as companion Clara Oswald, will début in the UK on 28th August 2014, and the first episode will be a feature-length called “Deep Breath”.

Watch the new trailer here:

Final Skulduggery Pleasant Cover Released

I know! I am a few days late with this!

Derek Landy has revealed the cover to the final Skulduggery Pleasant book, The Dying of the Light! Designed by Tom Percival, take a look at it:

 

The Dying of the Light will be out in all good book retailers on 28th August 2014.

 

 

Book News

The release date of the last Skulduggery Pleasant book has been revealed!

Derek Landy has revealed on his blog (found here) that the next book will be released on the 28th August 2014 and it is roughly coming in at 100,000 words now, just a bit shorter than Kingdom of the Wicked. He has also said in the same blog post that he will be posting the cover art for a Skulduggery short story collection, called Armageddon-Outta-Here,  later this week. Next week, the full wraparound cover will be released and the week after that, the title of the ninth and final book will be revealed!

 

Benedict Jacka has also been talking about the next two Alex Verus books on his blog. Hidden, book five, is on schedule to be ready for a release around September time this year. Book six, currently being written by Jacka, is said to be quite different from the earlier books and he is unclear what the ending will be.

After the ending of the earlier book and from what Jacka is saying, I am willing to bet the next two books are going to be game changers and that Verus’s world is going to be turned completely on its head.

So what do you guys think? Are you looking forward to the next Landy and Jacka book? What do you think is going to be happen? Be mindful of spoilers please!

Camp NaNoWriMo

Since Camp starts a week today, I figured I would post about it, explain what it is for anyone not familiar with it and talk about my personal experiences with the events.

Camp NaNoWriMo, for the uninitiated, is the summer version of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in November. Consisting of two sessions every year since 2011, the aim is to write a 50,000 word novel in a month. Since it started, the sessions have moved often.

In 2011, the first ever Camp started. The sessions that year were July then August back to back. Some people, including myself, did both sessions. I decided to do the event because I had heard about it before whilst in high school and college (that’s UK college, 16-18) but had been too intimidated. After finishing my first year of my writing degree, I decided to give it a go, feeling more confident and wanting to test my skills and see how far I had come.

I finished July with 50,067. Not bad considering I missed a few days near the end of the month to attend a few local events, including the Great Yorkshire Show. However, I failed August due to various reasons. I felt a lack of planning as well as the turn around being a but too quick contributed greatly. I also had a voluntary job with my local libraries service and couldn’t quite juggle the demands of writing 50K words for the second month going on top of working.

OLL quickly decided that back to back events were probably not the right way to go about it, especially when people around the world in various time zones struggled with validating for July in some parts whilst a new session was starting in other areas of the world.

The following year, 2012, the sessions were June and August. This worked out better and it provided a break for the staff at OLL to sort out the website whilst participants around the world could validate without issues due to time zones, set up their novels and prepare for the next session much easier with a months break.

Again, I did both sessions. I finished June with a respectable total of 50,003 words, having continued the novel I had started in July. Another years study (and planning over the year) seemed to have helped. Whereas I managed to do 3 years worth of story time in 50,067, I only managed 3 months in a similar amount. I took this as a sign that I had improved as writer and I had learned more. Also, trying to avoid the Olympics and having cut down my hours at the library did help and encouraged me to get writing done.

I spent July reading No Plot? No Problem! by Chris Baty (Review here: https://sleepybookdragon.wordpress.com/2013/06/18/book-review-no-plot-no-problem-a-low-stress-high-velocity-guide-to-writing-a-novel-in-30-days-by-chris-baty/) and planning for August. I had been buoyed by my success in June and decided to go back to the story I had attempted for August the previous year and failed. Planning was essential as the story took place in Winchester, Virginia so, as a Brit who had never gone to the States, I had to talk to some of my friends who lived in Virginia to help me figure out various issues, including immigration.

The planning proved a little too thorough as I had to find 5,000 more words to hit 50,000 words before midnight on August 31st. Still, it was an enjoyable experience and gave me an insight into how I could do the various little bits of research required whilst still writing. I would say it was a learning experience which would help in the next academic year.

This year, 2013, OLL changed the sessions again to April and July. This was probably done to account for the fact that they had wound up Script Frenzy due to declining participation numbers. This is supported by the fact that this year, OLL have created a genre for scripts this year of all kind. short story collections as well as being able to officially rebel (working or editing a pre-existing project) and allows participants to create their own word count goals.

I was not initially going to do April since I was working on my dissertation for university which was due in a couple of days prior to the session starting and preparing and researching for the last two essays I needed to do which had high word counts to match the high level of research required. However, I felt I needed a little something else to do as just a private creative venture as a de-stress. So I set myself a 10,000 word target using the new word count feature, figuring that if I failed to hit it, I failed. I wasn’t exactly trying.

As luck would have it, I did manage, somehow, to do the 10K and get my university work done. It was fun and a nice little distraction for me, especially as I wasn’t trying.

The next session, starting on Monday, 1st July 2013, at 00:00:01 will be the sixth since it’s inception and only the second to include the new content. Whilst the changes are great fun and I can understand why there was a session in April, I feel there was too much of a gap between April and July and it has made some participants, like myself, a bit restless and fed up of waiting for a new session. This is possibly the only thing I would recommend to OLL to change for next year.

So there you have it. The history of both the Camp NaNoWriMo event and my own history.

I am looking forward to this next session, hoping to edit and double the size of my dissertation (which was a novella) and I am aiming to finish on July 25th, when Broken Homes by Ben Aaronovitch comes out. This also means that I may neglect this blog a little, unless I put my word counts up everyday as a way of motivating me. We’ll see but for now, I need to finish writing my new outline… I’ve been meaning to do it since end of May!