Word Sprint Prompts for Week 1

by syaffolee

For those of you who have done some sprints with me on NaNoWordSprints, you know that I like to do prompt themes for each session. I like coming up with the themes, but mostly this is to keep me from repeating myself. Otherwise, I’d be constantly tweeting, “And the prompt is ninjas!” which wouldn’t be helpful at all unless you were writing a novel about ninjas.

I’m archiving all the prompts I’m doing this year on this blog. This way, if you miss a session and/or need prompts to motivate yourself, you can take these for your own use. I’m also still looking for prompt themes so if you have an idea, you can leave the suggestion in the comments.

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October 31, 10:00pm-1:00am (UTC -7)

  • Hallowed Dreams (5 min)
  • Queen’s Logic (10 min)
  • Silent Witness (25 min)
  • Footsteps in the Sand (15 min)
  • Cobweb (15 min)
  • Tom Fool (12 min)
  • Blue Train (15 min)
  • Better Than Ever (15 min)
  • Combat (12 min)

November 2, 8:00pm-1:00am (UTC -7)
Food superstitions

  • Eating peanuts before a performance is bad luck. (5 min)
  • If you stick pins into a small onion and keep it on a windowsill, it dispels bad spirits from your house. (10 min)
  • If the grape is sweet, that particular month will be a good one. If it’s sour, it’s going to be a bad month. (30 min)
  • Never bring bananas on a ship–the boat will never catch any fish or, worse, get lost at sea. (15 min)
  • Finding two yolks in an egg means you’re having twins. (10 min)
  • Throw salt over your left shoulder to blind the devil (15 min)
  • Long noodles symbolize a long life. (30 min)
  • Undissolved sugar in your tea means someone is in love with you. (10 min)
  • Handing a hot pepper to your friend will bring discord to your relationship. (25 min)
  • Garlic wards off vampires. (30 min)
  • You may find the devil sitting on your uncrossed loaf of bread. (5 min)
  • Pour your own pot of tea because it’s bad luck to share. (10 min)

November 3, 10:30am-1:00pm (UTC -7)
Parts of first lines from gothic novels

  • “There was no possibility of taking a walk that day.” – Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (20 min)
  • “I have just returned from a visit to my landlord.” – Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte (15 min)
  • “…but train was an hour late.” – Dracula by Bram Stoker (30 min)
  • “You will rejoice to hear that no disaster has accompanied the commencement…” – Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (15 min)
  • “Is it the Ghost?” – The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux (20 min)

November 3, 6:00pm-9:00pm (UTC -7)
Childhood terrors

  • The dark (10 min)
  • Loud, strange noises (30 min)
  • The monster under the bed (15 min)
  • Brussels sprouts (15 min)
  • Separation anxiety (20 min)
  • Clowns (30 min)
  • Cooties (15 min)

November 4, 6:00pm-7:30pm (UTC -7)

  • A salesman sells one of your characters a lemon/something that doesn’t work. (5 min)
  • Your character gets served a scam disguised as a scary, official-looking package/phone call/person. (15 min)
  • A character lies about their feelings. And there are consequences. (30 min)
  • Your character receives something anticipated but it’s not as expected. (10 min)

November 4, 10:00pm-12:00am (UTC -7)
BBC Horizon documentary titles

  • Inside Chernobyl’s Sarcophagus (10 min)
  • The Secret World of Pain (15 min)
  • Back from the Dead (20 min)
  • The Truth about Looking Young (30 min)
  • What Really Killed the Dinosaurs (20 min)

November 5, 8:00pm-12:00am (UTC -7)
1980s arcade and computer games

  • Pac-Man: Include a villain with a ridiculous name. (10 min)
  • Donkey Kong: Barrels, barrels, everywhere. (20 min)
  • Frogger: One of your characters gets hit by something or jumps into something without looking. (30 min)
  • Tetris: block, gravity, spin. (3 x 5 min)
  • Asteroids: Include an object that disappears and reappears in a random location. (20 min)
  • Space Invaders: Include a dream sequence. (20 min)
  • Q*bert: Something previously accomplished gets completely undone. (30 min)
  • Super Mario: A character eats a mushroom and interesting things happen. (10 min)
  • The Legend of Zelda: Explain the origin of something in your story. (15 min)

November 6, 10:00pm-12:00am (UTC -7)
Montana towns (with population as word count goals)

  • Dodson – fair, longest running – 124 (5 min)
  • Fort Peck – swimming, boating, fishing – 233 (10 min)
  • Lodge Grass – misnamed, greasy – 428 (20 min)
  • Eureka – eureka, epiphany, Christmas trees – 1037 (30 min)
  • Hot Springs – bar, hot springs, cell phones, middle of nowhere – 544 (15 min)
  • Wibaux – oil boom, brawl, drunks – 589 (15 min)