Archive | October, 2012

Plot Ninjas, Dares, and Adoptions

31 Oct

Three things to do when you are writing your NaNo masterpiece and find yourself stuck, up against a wall, written into a corner, with no plot, or with writer’s block.  Plot ninjas, dares, and the adoption society can get you through.  Resources at the end of this post with ideas for each.

plot ninja

Plot Ninjas:

A plot ninja is something that is inserted into the plot when the writer finds him- or herself at a loss for what to do next, or when their characters are bogging down in dull conversation rather than doing anything interesting. The traditional form of the plot ninja is literal ninjas crashing through windows or leaping out of wardrobes and attacking the main characters, turning the dithering over plot into an exciting action scene. When actual ninjas are not appropriate, milieu-appropriate enemies, such as orcs, cyborgs, or gangster can be substituted.

In a more general sense, a plot ninja is any plot element, perhaps randomly generated or taken from other’s suggestions (such as dares), which a writer will toss into the story when things are slowing down.

The plot ninja is not to be confused with the plot bunny.

via Plot ninja – Wikiwrimo.


A dare is a challenge to include an idea into a NaNoWriMo novel or Script Frenzy script. Dares can be anything: characters, scenes, quirks, dialogue, or even plots. Unlike adoptables, which are generally ideas that the original writer chooses not to use, dares are often silly ideas that aren’t necessarily abandoned ideas.

via Dare – Wikiwrimo.

Adoption Society:

One of the most popular features of the NaNoWriMo forums are the adoptable threads. Participants will post superfluous ideas, plot twists, awesome titles they can’t use, or characters they’ve thought up but don’t fit in their novels.

via Welcome to the Adoption Society! | National Novel Writing Month.

Additional Resources:
Adoption Society Forum
Ambers Bolg – She regularly posts tons of Dares
Dragon Writing Prompts – Check out this post for a bunch of plot ninja ideas

Fun things to do in cemeteries

30 Oct

Graveyard picnics with my mom and brother were always my favorite.  The calm stillness that settles in making rustling leaves into a loud chorus of singing angels and spirits.  Ham and cheese sandwiches eaten with old friends never met and long since gone.  Slow walks on thick grass, finding names on graves and scribbling them down to use in a novel later.

Together we made up a history for the people who had come, and gone, before us.  We imagined small cottages where they lived, families that loved or hated them, jilted lovers, and secrets never revealed even in death.


I was reminded of all this by a post from My Pet Democrats.  She talks about grave rubbings as opposed to picnics, and her story is considerably funnier than mine.

McKay: “And here we have Jennifer, who thinks she knows the answer to our question: Who was said to be the poet laureate of the Confederacy?”

Me: “It’s Henry Timrod!”

McKay: “Henry Timrod it is! Now, Jennifer, you sound pretty young. How do you know the answer to that question? Do you know a lot about poetry?”

Me: “Yes. Well, no. I learned that when my mother took me grave rubbing.”

McKay, startled: “Say that again?”

Me: “Over the weekend, my mother and I did grave rubbings.”

McKay: “You went grave ROBBING?”

It was a short stay in custody, from which I emerged completely unscathed.

via Fun things to do in cemeteries « My Pet Democrats.

Hurricane Sandy

29 Oct

For those of you in the path of Hurricane Sandy, be careful, be safe, and stay warm.

Ironically my mother-in-law’s name is Sandy.  Coincidence?  I think not.

hurricane sandy

Halloween is almost here!

26 Oct

Favorite Halloween piece of art, ever.

Brandi Milne Halloween Girl

“Here Alone With You” by Brandi Milne.

Do you have any favs?

All Hallows Read

25 Oct

All Hallows Read is a new tradition in which you give someone (or many someones) a scary book on Halloween.  Get out there and do it!  Spread the word! 

No, this isn’t insead of giving out candy.  You might have a hoard of angry kids at your doorstep should you do that.  This is just a nice thing to do, to spread the joy of reading  books.

I’m running to Grassroots Books right now to stock up on scary books to give out.  (Best book store in Reno.)

Thanks to Lost and Found Books for making this post about it.  All Hallow’s Read: What scary books do you love?  I wouldn’t have found out about it otherwise.

Here is a video from Neil Gaiman explaining All Hallows Read.  Don’t mind the zombies in the background.

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