Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday leading up to the start of National Novel Writing Month 2017, I will be posting NaNoPrep Prompts to my Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook! At the end of each week, I'll post a round-up of the three prompts posted, along with my own responses to the prompts. Here is round-up number one!
Monday, Oct. 2, 2017
Write out your main character's morning routine. Describe their bedroom in detail, their kitchen, their car, how they take their coffee. Are they groggy when they wake up, or do they
spring right out of bed?
Thin, gold stripes gloss the worn wooden floor. Sheets rustle. A low groan sounds from the tangle of tattered blankets and fraying quilts. One leg emerges from the mound of bedding strewn across the low mattress, and then another. Bare feet hit the floor.
Bowie’s hair slipped from its elastic in the night and was now a mess of blonde knots spilling about her shoulders. She stretches her arms toward the ceiling so high her back curves as she yawns into the quiet morning air. A gentle breeze whistles through the crack in the far window. It smells like salt. It always smells like salt. Outside, the waves crash over the ragged rocks ringing the lighthouse. Bowie stands, crosses the room, leans out the window to breathe in the sweet, salty tang of island air.
The sun is only just rising. Bowie always seems to wake with it; an early-riser since her youth.
She takes a pair of battered binoculars resting on an old workbench and uses them to scan the hazy horizon. It was clear, as it always was. No boats. No ships. Not even the splash of a dolphin’s tail. Just rolling waves and seagulls flying in wide circles over the water.
She slips on a pair of loose, worn sneakers and shuffles toward the door. First she shimmied down the ladder connecting her quarters to the spiral stairs. Ribbons of sunlight stretch down the iron staircase. Bowie’s footsteps echo against the stone walls as she moves downward.
When she emerges, sea-spray kisses her cheeks. It catches in her hair, which she tames with her fingers and twists into a haphazard braid. She gives the horizon one last sweep before turning towards the beach, toward the concrete path beyond it, where a cup of hot black of coffee is waiting for her in town.
Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017
Write a scene from your main character's childhood that includes their mother. What kind of relationship do/did they have with her? Challenge yourself even further by writing the
scene from the mother's perspective.
A sink overflowing with dishes: plastic baby bottles, dinner plates, forks with spinach leaves stuck between the tines. A small radio is perched on the windowsill, the volume low and speakers crackling. Mira hums as she switches on the faucet and drizzles soap over a purple sponge.
She gets about halfway through the piled mugs and flatware before she hears a small cry from the next room. A smile lights her face. She dries her hands, soapy and wrinkled from the water, on her jeans as she moves to the living room.
“Good morning,” she coos, and her child begins to settle. Chubby hands reach or Mira, who gladly scoops Bowie into her arms. “Did you sleep well?” Bowie, a mere two years old, nods and rests her warm cheek against her mother’s shoulder. Across the room, Mira’s youngest sleeps still, swaddled in her bassinet. Mira checks on her briefly, then sweeps back into the kitchen with Bowie hoisted on her hip. “Do you want to help Mama?” Mira asks. Bowie’s head raises off her shoulder and she gives another nod. “Here you go,” Mira says, giving a dish cloth to her daughter. She held up a still-dripping coffee mug.
“Can you dry that?” Mira asks. Bowie reaches out, the dish cloth flimsy in her little hand, and lightly rubbed the towel over the ceramic. “Good,” Mira says, her smiling growing. Bowie smiles, too, and claps her hands together, the cloth balling up in them. “Let’s do another,” Mira says, setting down the mug and plucking up a spoon. “There you go,” she says. “Good job.”
Friday, Oct. 6, 2017
Turn on Max Richter's On the Nature of Daylight and free write for the entirety
of the song. The song is just over 6 minutes long. See how many words you can write in
that time. To challenge yourself even more, use a writing tool such as Write or Die or
Written? Kitten! to motivate your free write.
Song length: 6min 15seconds
Words written: 226
Tool used: Write or Die
Waves. Rolling, crashing. Sea foam spraying into the misty air. A thick fog spread heavy across the hazy morning sky. Gray. Gray, stretching far to the left and to the right. Stretching high into the sky and diving down, down, down into the depth of the sea, where it deepened and darkened and turned an inky black. It smells like rain. A storm brewing on the horizon. Clouds gather, crash together, stick to one another. Form a huge mass at the far reaches of the heavens. Heaven. Up there, beyond the clouds and the sea spray and the fog and the waves growing taller and taller. Splashing over jagged rocks jutting out between ripples in the water.
Maybe those waves will reach heaven. Could waves do that? If a spirit can, perhaps sea spray can, too. Perhaps the salty air drives up and up, beyond the rain heavy clouds, floating farther than the naked eye can see.
Maybe it calls the sun home. Brings those golden slivers slicing through the gray. Slicing through the stormy sea. Ribbons of morning light stretched down into the wine dark waters like a mythical hero reaching for his destiny. The morning cuts through the haze. Takes back the sky. Bleeds blue into the ocean once more. Calms the waves. Sends the sea salt home. Warms the world for another day.