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Writers’ Dash & Snatch Prompts for Week Beginning April 6, 2014

Published on Monday, April 7, 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 dybbuk scrying
Tuesday ignis fatuus oracle
Wednesday seance ectoplasm
Thursday elemental trance
Friday witching hour spirit portal

Day 500 Word Snatch Prompt
Monday Two old friends meet. It has been years since they last saw one another. One is secretly in love. Do they reveal the secret?
Tuesday Your protagonist’s coworker is envious of his success. He begins to plan his demise. How does he carry it out? .
Wednesday A minor character in your story is prematurely declared dead and is lying in the city morgue. What happens next?
Thursday You’ve been given an invisibility cloak for a day. How will you spend your day?
Friday Write a full character profile for all your main characters.
Saturday Write a short prelude to your novel.
Sunday Your plane crashes into a frozen wasteland. There are few survivors.

Additional Writing Challenges

Dash ‘n’ Drabble

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 ‘hash’. 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 (Siclit)

“SicLit” (sic = goad, egg on, drive, encourage, prod, spur, provoke ) is a fun prompt challenge for writers. We provide a time and place prompt together with a verb, an adjective, an adverb and a noun. You write something using the words as inspiration.

When you’ve created your story share it as a comment at the end of this post – we love reading them!

Try to use all prompt words within your story. Go, sic ‘em! This week’s “SicLit” prompts are:

tundra, 2014;  hunt, starving, brutally, wolf

Sunday Picture Prompt (Piclit): Dead Forest

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.

FAQs

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.

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.

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

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9 Responses
    • seance
      .
      Jean had just gotten to sleep after a very hectic day. Her dream of nice hilly landscapes morphed into a jumbled scene with voices coming from above and a gong chiming. As the volume rose, more voices joined in.
      .
      Finally the dream got so irritating that she woke up…only to find that the voices and gongs were real.
      .
      Through the ceiling, voices and a gong penetrated, enveloping her in whatever seance was apparently happening on the roof.
      .
      “Uhnnn! This is the third time this week! Don’t those people know how to sleep at night?” She rolled over and put the pillow over her ears.
      .
      It did muffle the voices but the gong still penetrated.
      .
      “That’s it!” she yelled out loud. “I’m finally going to do something about this.”
      .
      Jean slid out of bed, quietly walked to her closet, then stood for a minute wondering what to put on.
      .
      She settled on a voluminous white robe and a snow-white wig with hair going in every direction. Then she put on two pairs of ski socks and picked up her clunky ski boots.. Finally she smeared her face and arms with several colors of face paint left over from Halloween.
      .
      She tiptoed to her door, opened and closed it silently –with her key safety-pinned to her nightgown– and silently went down the hall to the stairway that led to the roof.
      .
      At the top of the stairway, the roof door was open enough for her to slip through. But she waited until the chorus and gong were in full frenzy. Quietly she put on her ski boots. As the voices reached their highest pitch, Jean bolted from the door–twirling, stomping, bending, careening toward them…all the while making what she considered an ungodly caterwauling sound.
      .
      The chanting ceased. The gong and it’s clapper dropped to the floor. There was a group gasp which could probably be heard two floors down.
      .
      Jean began to moan and wail. Followed by an anguished cry, “Your chanting displeases We Gods of the Underworld! We abhor your ignorance of the Dark World and your pitiful attempts to imitate our Grand Prayers. Begone! Begone! Begone before we wreak vengeance upon you!!”
      .
      The entire group leaped to their feet and scrambled for the door. Their feet were heard pounding down the stairs. Finally they burst out the door and down the street.
      .
      Jean breathed a sigh of relief, went downstairs, and back to bed. She was soon asleep…giggling a bit.
      .
      Franja Russell 4-9-2014

    • Séance in Silence

      To summon the spirit of the dead
      I sit in silence. Mind receptive,
      I quiet the voices in my head
      to summon the spirit of the dead.
      Bits of song lyric and poems I’ve read
      speak in your voice. To my mind it’s deceptive
      to summon the spirit of the dead.
      I quiet the voices in my head.

    • After Cataclysm
      .
      All that’s left is ectoplasm.
      What you see linger where I died
      is less than the last tears I cried,
      my last laugh or my last orgasm.
      .
      Don’t think it’s me: that mere phantasm.
      Why would I choose that place to hide
      all that’s left? Is ectoplasm
      what you see? Linger where I died.
      .
      Suppose you perished in that chasm?
      Would you choose that place to abide?
      Then where’s my soul, heart, memory, pride?
      Eternity already has them.
      All that’s left is ectoplasm.

    • Elemental
      .
      I sat with eyes closed watching my breath
      draw in molecules to transform and release.
      .
      The me watching sat in my belly
      warm between the earth’s core and the sun.
      .
      Those toes in the creek mine too wiggling
      wrinkling drinking in the wet.
      .
      Sand sifting off my wet calves the same sand
      hardpacked supporting my butt.
      .
      I sat watching my breath doing nothing
      nothing at all
      .
      every breath one air
      every spark one fire
      every drop one water
      every grain one earth
      every soul one spirit:
      Creative.

    • witching hour
      .
      It was the Witching Hour, one minute to midnight, when Millicent Hutchens stood at her small living room window, peeking from behind the curtains. She saw Witches, Warlocks, Gremlins, Druids, Ghosts, and Dracula himself walking out of the house across the street. She couldn’t hear what they were saying, but knew a series of charms and spells were being unleashed upon the world.
      .
      Just the day before, Pastor Saintly of the “We have the True Word” program on television was warning his flock of the sinful state the world is in. “Armageddon surely is imminent.” he whispered, staring wide-eyed at his listening audience and urged his flock to be wary and pray as they’d never prayed before.
      .
      Some of the Witches, Warlocks and Dracula himself crossed the street to the sidewalk in front of her house. She shrank back but couldn’t tear herself away. Tensely she tried to remember what Pastor Saintly said to do if the Evil Ones came too close to her. Her mind was blank in her terror.
      .
      Then some of the charms and spells became clear. She listened hard to know which prayer she should choose to counteract the spells.
      .
      “Oh Charlie, you dance so good.” said one Witch.
      .
      “Thanks Suzie. I’ve been practicing.” answered one of the Warlocks.
      .
      “Oh!” another Witch exclaimed. “Old Lady Hutchins is snooping again. She just ducked back from her window.”
      .
      All the Evil Ones stood looking at her window and said, in chorus, “HELLO MRS. HUTCHINS. We see you. Should we have invited you to our Halloween Party?”
      .
      Giggling, they sauntered down the street leaving Millicent standing behind her curtains very confused.
      .
      Franja Russell 4-11-2014

    • A Sonnet for Three in the Morning
      .
      When waking naked in the witching watch,
      dark thick, the wicks drowned in their pools of wax,
      the sidereal stund but three by ticking clocks
      we slid from sheets and slunk in search of snacks.
      .
      We slid from sheets and slunk in search of snacks
      (t’was then the very witching time of night)
      to sneak without a stitch upon our backs
      into the kitchen, turning on no light.
      .
      Into the kitchen (turning on no light)
      we slipped with whispers past the babe a-snore
      to snack, but nibble (wandering to love bite)
      was interrupted by a hungry roar.
      .
      Our rueful giggles accented our cursing.
      Our babe preferred the witching hour for nursing.

    • Someone came into my life
      an unbelievable explosion
      over a pristine blue lake
      its breath
      damp and warm
      and sweet

      The birds scattered in chaotic frenzy
      just before the fog emerged
      And from evening’s sweet mist,
      rolled in a peace of mind

      Timid we call upon the spirits
      The great guardians of the past
      The Seance begun
      Anxiously, they whispered rumors
      to quell the dread
      that flowed up through our veins
      and invaded this bliss.

      And in this dream state,
      is where we search for our love or hate
      For seeking answers is what we are about
      And still and forever more they leave us with nothing
      Just the flickering a vague final farewell.

      © Lizzy Leominster
      9th April 2014
      Milk Wood Writers Dash= Seance

    • Dreams take me to another place and time
      when my life had reason and rhyme.

      I was so happy and had love
      The long road sent me a gentle dove

      She loved me more than any
      She loved me unselfish and true

      The talks we had while lying in bed…
      I gently caressed her face and head.

      I could feel the love without
      a word being said.

      Her chocolate golden eyes had turned lucid
      When her breath stopped my heart stopped

      The tears stream down my face still some nights
      Even though it happened in September

      Now that month drags on and on
      I will never forget her

      Those puppy days will last forever in my soul
      Right up to the end just like her bowl

      My beautiful girl
      Though dog she might have been
      She was a part of me and always will be
      My beautiful baby girl

      © Lizzy Leominster
      1st April 2014
      Milk Wood Writers Dash= Lucid

    • seance
      .
      Jean had just gotten to sleep after a very hectic day. Her dream of nice hilly landscapes morphed into a jumbled scene with voices coming from above and a gong chiming. As the volume rose, more voices joined in.
      .
      Finally the dream got so irritating that she woke up…only to find that the voices and gongs were real.
      .
      Through the ceiling, voices and a gong penetrated, enveloping her in whatever seance was apparently happening on the roof.
      .
      “Uhnnn! This is the third time this week! Don’t those people know how to sleep at night?” She rolled over and put the pillow over her ears.
      .
      It did muffle the voices but the gong still penetrated.
      .
      “That’s it!” she yelled out loud. “I’m finally going to do something about this.”
      .
      Jean slid out of bed, quietly walked to her closet, then stood for a minute wondering what to put on.
      .
      She settled on a voluminous white robe and a snow-white wig with hair going in every direction. Then she put on two pairs of ski socks and picked up her clunky ski boots.. Finally she smeared her face and arms with several colors of face paint left over from Halloween.
      .
      She tiptoed to her door, opened and closed it silently –with her key safety-pinned to her nightgown– and silently went down the hall to the stairway that led to the roof.
      .
      At the top of the stairway, the roof door was open enough for her to slip through. But she waited until the chorus and gong were in full frenzy. Quietly she put on her ski boots. As the voices reached their highest pitch, Jean bolted from the door–twirling, stomping, bending, careening toward them…all the while making what she considered an ungodly caterwauling sound.
      .
      The chanting ceased. The gong and it’s clapper dropped to the floor. There was a group gasp which could probably be heard two floors down.
      .
      Jean began to moan and wail. Followed by an anguished cry, “Your chanting displeases We Gods of the Underworld! We abhor your ignorance of the Dark World and your pitiful attempts to imitate our Grand Prayers. Begone! Begone! Begone before we wreak vengeance upon you!!”
      .
      The entire group leaped to their feet and scrambled for the door. Their feet were heard pounding down the stairs. Finally they burst out the entry door and down the street.
      .
      Jean breathed a sigh of relief, went downstairs, and back to bed. She was soon asleep…giggling a bit.
      .
      Franja Russell 4-9-2014

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Welcome to Virtual Writers, first established in 2007. Here we learn to experiment with digital and virtual world platforms to push the creative envelope and develop a strong, unique voice.
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