With the ending of NaNoWriMo, today’s prompt will deal with last sentences.
In a first draft, it seems coming up with the last sentence is the most difficult. It’s almost as if the writer is not really ready to end the novel, but the writer knows he or she has to end it in order to be able to look at the whole body of the work and start revising. Also, a last sentence is the lasting impression a writer will have on his or her reader so a lot more thought should go into it.
Below are a few last phrases that may be able to help generate that lasting last sentence. Try them out. Maybe a new short story can come from them. Or you may find your character is not done telling his or her story. Whatever these last phrases inspire, it’s all for the good because no matter what, you’re still writing.
1. that was the last time he saw her.
2. it all came down to the way she drank her tea.
3. no one remembers seeing him again, but we all recalled ever detail of that night.
4. it was the end for him, but I was only starting my new chapter.
5. as he wrote the last check, he giggled with the idea of finally being free of her.
As I start crafting my newest full-length play, I realize how important doing research for writing is to creative and crafting process.
Before when I would write, I would start drafting and the word vomit would ensue. I still think for some areas of writing this is important. Having the idea and watching it form on the paper is a great way to start working on a short story or a novel. Also, it gives you a sense of accomplishment.
However, with plays and even with poetry, I think it is important to do some research before words hit the paper.
I’m learning so much more from this research first process. Things are falling more into place because I can see how to manipulate things and situations more. Finding research first gives me a larger base for adding scenes and details. I’m more excited to write the new play, too.
I started with a Major Dramatic Question (theme). Then I looked to other plays that discussed this same theme. I looked into Greek Mythology and folktales that discuss this same theme and that is where I found the most inspiration.
So, if you never tried researching before you write, try it and let me know what happens. Hopefully you’ll have the same success or something even better.
Today we will be looking at a character’s wants and needs.
Make a list of your character’s names.
What do they want in your story?
What is stopping them from getting what they want?
What do they need?
These questions will help you make sure your character will encounter the proper conflict and will give you a way to continue writing when you get stalled.
I stopped writing my novel for NaNoWriMo. Take a second with that.
The novel started taking a turn for the worse and this new character popped in to say hello. She wanted a bigger role than I wanted her to have and she was really annoying. I also noticed all my characters use one of their senses. They are either looking at or looking away from something.
I don’t think I’m cut out to write novels.
I can write short stories. Believe it or not, I’ve got some poems I wouldn’t be ashamed of if they got published. I don’t mind walking into my life for some Creative Nonfiction. I love writing plays. But this whole novel thing, I’m not too sure about.
I’m not saying I’ll never write another novel. I still have those two novels sitting around collecting dust and who knows what else. I think for right now, I have to go where my strength is and it is in playwriting.
And who knows. I say this today and tomorrow I could be knee deep in another novel.
I called this post today an epic fail. It isn’t. Every time we read and every time we write, we learn more and more about ourselves and our writing self.
If anyone else feels like he or she has lost his or her way in a novel, my advice is not to do what I’m doing. Stop where you are and insert a new page. Write past the difficult part. No one says when you draft your novel, it has to be sequential.
Whether you are deep into NaNoWriMo or not, today’s writing prompt will appeal to all of us.
Today, take a story you’ve been working on and do a plot diagram of the story.
Then write down all of your characters and their names. If you need to, create a family tree for them.
Next, write a scene that takes place either before or after your story. It can be ten years before or after your story takes place or it could be five years.
The purpose of this prompt is to give you a bigger sense of the story you created. Could this short story turn into a novel? Could this novel be a series?
Experiment with this prompt and see where it takes you.