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Writers’ Dash & Snatch Prompts for Week Beginning March 17, 2014

Published on Monday, March 17, 2014 by
Want to get a little more exposure for your dash pieces? We feel you
deserve the recognition.

Each month we select the best Writers’ Dash submissions made through our blog comment system (whether Daily Dash, Piclit Dash or Siclit Dash). The winning dash piece will be published on our site and promoted throughout our main social media channels (we are followed by several of the big six publishing houses, so show them your best!).

It’s not necessary to enter through the general submission process, just leave your dash piece in the comment section below. You will probably want to submit your best pieces of dash, so take some time to edit and revise before submission. See here for full details.

Day Writers’ Dash Prompt (am) Writers’ Dash Prompt (pm)
Monday lea draggle
Tuesday williwaw toothsome
Wednesday celadon wamble
Thursday columbine aubade
Friday heliotrope boffin

Day 500 Word Snatch Prompt
Monday Interview your protagonist and use the answers to grow your story.
Tuesday Just as she was about to fall asleep she heard a small voice in her left ear… but the room was empty.
Wednesday Your protagonist meets a mysterious tramp who seems to have the answer…
Thursday He was surprised to find a door at the bottom of the tree trunk.
Friday He twisted her arm behind her back and held the knife to her throat.
Saturday The explosion shook the foundations of the tiny chapel.
Sunday As the clock struck midnight two tiny eyes appeared at the doll’s house window.

Additional Friday Challenge

Friday is now our dedicated dash and drabble (100-word story) day, inspired and encouraged by our good friend Crap Mariner. Crap’s weekly challenge this week is ‘Any town but Funky town.’ Try using both the dash prompt and the 100-word story prompt to create a Dash ‘n’ Drabble. Once you have your 100-word story feel free to add it to the comments section of this blog post as well as to Crap’s site.

Saturday Fiction Prod & Sunday Picture Prompt

We’ll reveal the Saturday Fiction Prod (Siclit) and the Sunday Picture Prompt (Piclit) on a separate post over the weekend. Click on the links above to access these on the appropriate day.

Other Writing Events

Look out for our regular word scrimmage on Twitter (#wordscrim).

A word scrimmage is an event in which participants write or type as fast as they can for a set time with the aim of increasing the word count on their current novel or work in progress. The participant who has written the most at the end of the scrimmage is declared the winner.

The event is held regularly on Second Life® at the 3d home of Virtual Writers, Inc. during NaNoWriMo (in November) and throughout the year on Twitter under the #wordscrim hashtag.

If you’re in need of a goal-oriented challenge then check out our 500 Word Snatch.


I found #writersdash on Twitter, what is it?

The Writers’ Dash (#writersdash on Twitter) is a 15-minute free writing exercise held on Twitter, Facebook and Second Life® every weekday. At 5:30am & 5:30pm PDT we share the word prompt on our social media channels; the live event begins in Second Life® at 6am & 6pm PDT. Write whatever comes to you. Don’t fixate too heavily on what you are writing and disengage your inner editor – the key is to get the words on the page first; you can worry about editing later. If you are attending the live event in Second Life® there will be an opportunity for you to show your work to the other participants after the 15 minutes are up. If you are unable to attend the live event you can share your work on our blog. Just look out for the prompt post and leave your dash piece as a comment.

In addition to our week day prompts we also include two exciting challenges for the weekend:

  • The Siclit Fiction Prod is a more challenging form of the dash, held on Twitter and Facebook every Saturday.
  • The Piclit Dash is a 15-minute free writing exercise inspired by a picture. It’s held on Twitter and Facebook every Sunday.

What’s the 500 Word Snatch?

It’s easy to feel despondent when you consider the effort required to produce a full length novel, especially when you have so little time.

The truth is you can make a long story short by taking small disciplined steps every day, instead of sitting idly by waiting for inspiration to strike. As Jack London said,  “You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.”

Your challenge is to write 500 words a day for 365 days, come rain or shine – if you’ve completed the NaNoWriMo challenge you’ll find this one very easy. The 500 Word Snatch (#500WS) is perfect if you have a long-term goal, or need sustained support and encouragement.

Of course, you’re not confined to writing a novel, you can use the challenge for many different writing forms; outlining, a daily blog, a book of poems, short fiction, non-fiction or even revision; we don’t care what you write, as long as you write. This is an exercise in disciplined creativity.

For more details, including free resources and online meet times, visit the 500 Word Snatch page.

About Virtual Writers

Virtual Writers is a free online writers’ community first established in 2007 and committed to showcasing established and emerging writers in a range of interactive and immersive environments. Here we learn to experiment with digital, social and virtual world platforms to push the creative envelope and develop a strong, unique voice.

We host online writing events, workshops and interactive readings and provide a wealth of opportunities for writers to meet and share resources.

If you want to become involved in an active writing community then visit us on Second Life® or our social media channels (Twitter, Facebook, Google+, &Goodreads) and get interactive. To learn more about our services please visit the following pages (Premium Services, Free Author Services) or contact us through our online contact form.

Whether you are dashing in Second Life®, on Twitter or Facebook we welcome your dashes in the comments section below.

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4 Responses
    • To the Mystical Peak-Bagger of Wednesday
      If we were on a trail through the mountains
      you’d press ahead to seek me on the peak.
      If I were here to meet your expectations
      I’d draggle in behind by ten per week.

      A muse or mentor, mistress or a mother?
      You dash from face to facet when you seek
      to find your theme or spirit in another,
      or energy? That thing of which you speak.
      You speak in praise, your phrases falsely flatter;
      you speak in riddles, poems, examinations;
      you speak in phases, now more full, now flatter:
      in lunar lunacy with hesitations.
      You never did say what it was you wanted.
      I reached the peak at my pace; found it haunted.

    • Joy for the lengthening of light.
      Joy for the warmer days.
      Why does my heart feel struck by blight?
      Why as the birds return take flight
      the hopes a lover prays?
      Take not one hour from my night.
      Shut out the dawn of equinox.
      Shut out the mockingbird.
      Turn from the window, turn back the clocks.
      Turn from your clothing, drop your socks,
      pretend you haven’t heard
      footsteps approach and wakeup knocks.
      Sing me once more your serenade.
      Sing not to see me sad.
      Stay in the dark where love is made!
      Stay back the sun that casts a shade
      and calls up your aubade.
      Let not our winter warmings fade.

    • March Message
      Aquilegia, columbine, the eagle and the dove—
      petals that painted pictures in botany’s fancy:
      a circle of sharp spurs like raptors’ claws
      curving protectively outward surround
      a cluster of five plump white breasts nested.
      Equinoctial vernal verge, a splash against dashes
      like code where verdant grasses shelter with thick sharp blades
      the sudden shock of succulent scarlet bloom
      a columbine bright among the roadside greens
      seen in a flash dots the clement splash of sun on the dash.
      Pacific, antagonistic, the flower’s names could tritely call
      comparison to peace doves sheltered by warlike eagle claws
      these roadside gentle blooms mid sharp grass blades
      anthropomorphized in afterthought’s justification,
      that echo of human emotion a false decoding.
      Dark, light, these two poised at least from our perspective
      so scientifically midpoint in our circuit ‘round the sun
      regardless of what mysterious moment may ride
      on human perception of a simple solar tide
      winter into spring, piping emotion uprising with birdsong—
      equinoctial Aquilegia, clement columbine
      verdent vernal verge with brazen bloom
      blaze me a blazon of eagle and dove volant
      fleur sanguine over vert blades embattled sinister
      cymbals seem to clash as symbols flash.
      Aquilegia augury, columbine omen, foretell
      in Morse of five short doves and one long eagle’s claw
      north-north-east of a moving car shifting southwest
      this portent seems important and this moment of moment
      but nature means more to us than we to it.

    • 3-21-2014 – heliotrope

      After the Teacher showed the chart with the word “heliotrope” and its four and a half different meanings, the students looked at each other with confusion on their faces. They wondered if this page were some kind of test to see a) if they were awake, b) if they were paying attention, c) if they could read all the words.
      They looked at the Teacher, waiting for her to say something but, scanning their faces, she remained silent and expressionless.
      Some students kept their eyes on her and also remained frozen-faced. Others began to look around the room as if magically some clue might appear. The uncomfortable silence lasted three full minutes…which seemed like an eternity to the students.
      Finally, predictably, it was Joey who spoke up. “Miz Valerian, on this morning’s Channel 75 News, did you read about Valerian Borage’s family farm? This season they’re raising only Purple Poppies for the Obsie Station Galla that starts at sunrise and finishes at sunset this Saturday.”
      All eyes swung to Joey. It was Miz Valerian’s turn to stare blankly…along with the rest of the class.
      Franja Russell 3-21-2014

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