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Writers’ Dash & 500 Word Snatch Prompts for Week Beginning October 27, 2014

Published on Monday, October 27, 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/500 Word Snatch submissions made through our blog comment system. 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 crone Blood Moon
Tuesday doppelganger shadow
Wednesday ghoulish haunted mirror
Thursday catacomb seance
Friday macabre wraith

Day 500 Word Snatch Prompt
Monday Place, Person, Object: cornfield, little green man, spaceship
Tuesday Use the following words in your story: death, ballerina, mausoleum, eerie, dance
Wednesday Journaling Prod: “Of all ghosts the ghosts of our old loves are the worst.” Arthur Conan Doyle 
Thursday Use the following line in your story: “Even a sheet of paper has two sides.”
Friday Use the following words in your story: trance, ignis fatuus, missing time, Kelpie
Saturday Use the following picture to inspire our story: coming soon
Sunday Place, Person, Object: coming soon

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 ‘x‘. 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 comment section of this blog post as well as to Crap’s site.

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.

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 comment section below.

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3 Responses
    • With apologies to the hard-working crew. Not sure if this is a dash or snatch…

    • Hi Nate, the Dash words are in the first table and the Snatch words just below, in the second table.

    • Oops, looks like I overwrote my original comment with just the apology… What I meant to post was this…

      What to do? What shall I do on my lunch break? I could do a Dash. Ok, not in person, since this stupid Second Life app for the iPad doesn’t actually work, but I could do one anyway. What’s the word for today… Coming soon? Well, that’s no good. Unless they maybe mean the Queen song. Damn! I want a word prompt. I know it’s shriek o’clock in the morning over there, but it’s my lunch break, and I want to make use of it. Hit refresh, maybe she’s done it by now. Damn!

      I suppose I could do a 500 word snatch instead. What’s the prompt for that. Use the following line in your story – coming soon. Great, just great! No snatch prompt either. Just coming soon… Coming soon, coming soon, on the outside of the track…. Damn, now I’ve got that song stuck in my head. It must be on YouTube somewhere. Queen, The Game, Coming Soon… Ah, that’ll do it. I get some headaches when I hit the heights…

      Refresh. No, still no prompts. Come on, come on, I have a limited window for lunch. Maybe I’ll make up my own prompt. What have we had so far? Crone and blood moon. Hmm, that suggests a vaguely mystical theme, possibly a Halloween theme. What else could we put in for Halloween? Broomstick? Black cat? Bat? Annoying kids who think that think tying a bed-sheet over their heads entitles them to candy? FaceBook articles explaining why all Halloween costumes are sexist or racist? Talking of which, I’ll stick to my Grim Reaper costume unless that is vitalist. It probably is, but I don’t have time to make something else. If I meet any dead people, I’ll apologise.

      Refresh… Still no words. Hang on, it’s not that early in the morning. They haven’t switched off summer time yet, so we’re only seven hours ahead. Surely the words must have been chosen already. Maybe it’s a plot, to make sure we don’t spend too much time preparing for the dash nor snatch. Is that cheating, if you get the prompt early and have time to plan your piece? Maybe not, unless you write it in advance too and then spend 15 minutes cutting and pasting it into a notecard. That is almost certainly cheating. But then, the point is to make you write, so maybe it isn’t.

      Refresh… Nope, still says coming soon. I suppose I could use that as prompt…

      Nathaniel sat in front of his iPad and loaded up the website, eagerly awaiting the word prompt for the Daily Dash. What would it be? Would it fit into an ongoing story, could it be shoe-horned in, or would it be too hard to include without seeming contrived? There was only one way to find out. He tapped at the link that would reveal today’s prompt. Monday…. Tuesday… Damn! Coming soon? He swore quietly to himself and hit refresh. Surely it would be there soon…

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