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Writers’ Dash & 500 Word Snatch Prompts for Week Beginning December 8, 2014

Published on Monday, December 8, 2014 by
Day Writers’ Dash Prompt (am) Writers’ Dash Prompt (pm)
Monday ravel dissemble
Tuesday epiphany bungalow
Wednesday pyrrhic propinquity
Thursday umbrella ratatouille
Friday emollient ripple

Day 500 Word Snatch Prompt
Monday Open up a dictionary and point to three random words. Use these three words as the basis for a short Christmas story.
Tuesday Your character finds a rusted box in the attic. He opens it to discover…
Wednesday When she awoke she couldn’t remember her name…
Thursday Use the following picture to inspire you.
Friday Use the following famous quote to inspire a short story or poem: “You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.” Dr. Seuss
Saturday Journaling Prod: If you were a weapon, what would you be and why?
Sunday Use the following dialogue in your story: “Nothing is as burdensome as a secret.”

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 ‘patient‘. 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.

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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One Response
    • Inoperable closure sandman

      Martin looked at the case notes and then at the surgeon. “Completely inoperable?” he asked.

      “I’m afraid so,” said the surgeon. “I doubt she will last the night, but at least she is unlikely to be in pain. I tried to explain it to her, but I am not sure she understood. She kept asking for somebody called George. The nurse said I should come find you. Who is George?”

      Martin shrugged. “We don’t know for sure. Nobody in her immediate family knows anybody called George. From the way she talks about him, we suspect he was her lover at some point in her past. And since she has been here, she thinks I am George.”

      The surgeon nodded. “Well, maybe you can go talk to her. She might listen to you as George better than she listened to me.”

      Martin handed back the case file. “I’ll do my best. I’m not comfortable pretending, but maybe it will give her some closure.” He headed down the ward, passing the Christmas tree that had only been put up that morning, and for once, the glitter and lights seemed a little hollow. He let himself into the room, which was in semi-darkness and moved towards the bed.

      A soft voice came from the bed. “Is that you, George?”

      Martin walked up to the bed and took the frail hand in his. “Yes, Elsie, love, it’s me.” He looked down at her. Her face seemed pale, and drawn, but there was a slight smile on her face, though her eyes were mostly closed.

      “I knew you’d come, George. I knew one day you would come for Christmas.” She placed her other hand over his.

      He covered it with his own, noting how chilled it felt against his. “I could not refuse you, my dear, I could never refuse you. You know that.”

      “So you would tell me, every year,” she chided him gently, “but every year, there was always something, always some reason, and you never did come.”

      He lifted her hand and kissed it. “I’m here now, Elsie, and that’s all that matters.”

      “Yes,” she said, “in the end, you came.” She fell silent for a moment. “They tell me I am going to die,” she said eventually. “I am ready, but I wanted to see you before I go. I must know. Can you forgive me?” She lifted her head slightly, her voice pleading.

      Martin felt a catch in the back of his throat. “There is nothing to forgive,” he said. “But, yes, of course I forgive you.”

      She leant back against the pillow with a sigh. “That’s all I needed to know. You could not have brought me a better Christmas gift, even after all these years. I must sleep now. Mr Sandman is coming, and I should rest. At least we had one Christmas together. I never thought we would after…” Her voice ceased, and her head slumped sideways.

      Martin leaned down and kissed he forehead. “Merry Christmas, Elsie.”

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