Tag Archives: plot ninjas

Writing in the Sand about Nine Naughty NaNo Ninjas …

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Right, so we’re nine days into NaNoWriMo and I’m a tad behind my target. This is where I start to need some plot ninjas to keep me going through the month. I’m glad I asked some friends to think some up for me, though of course, now they’ve done that, they’re going to want to see them written down somewhere, even if they don’t make it into the actual story. So (and don’t blame me – I didn’t come up with them!) here goes …Poss blog pic - notepad&pencil1 – Somebody in the story gets stopped for speeding, by a policeman who is clearly only interested in extracting a bribe …

Interesting. If I’d set this story in the UAE, where I set most of my stories, I wouldn’t touch this one with a barge pole! But as I’ve set it in a fictional, English, Midsomer Murders – type village, it could definitely provide a useful little plot twist.

2 – Either the hero or the heroine gets framed for shoplifting by a love rival …

Again, one I wouldn’t want to use in a Dubai setting (without time to research all the local, legal aspects of it, which I obviously don’t have, for NaNo). But for the purposes of my story – where things keep going disastrously wrong for the heroine – yes. I like that one.

3 – One of the characters becomes a victim of identity theft…

I’m starting to wonder about my friends! But yes, that has loads of potential!

4 – One of the main characters finds a lost toddler and has to look after it until the police come …

That’s one which could be used pretty easily. It could also start a new story thread, which could be woven back in, later on.

5 – A childhood nemesis returns/turns up to give one of the characters some grief …

Yep, another  possibility. And a chance to throw in a good chunk of backstory.

6 – Somebody turns up, mistakenly (or not) claiming to be the illegitimate sibling of one of the protagonists …

Hmm – that sounds to me like the basis of an actual plot rather than a plot ninja. But I could be wrong – I’m happy to be corrected!

7 – A storm knocks all the power out for an hour and a group of characters are stranded together. Without their hi-tech gadgets, all they can do is talk to each other …

Obviously inspired by last week’s storm. This would be a good plot ninja for writers like me who love writing dialogue.

8 – Include a messy incident involving a bottle of ketchup …

Easy enough. Although it won’t generate a huge amount of writing.

9 – Somebody has a catastrophe at the hairdressers …

Actually I’ve already got something of that nature planned for later in the story, with a bride-to-be in a spray tanning booth.

Some of these should come in useful as the month progresses. Next week we’ll be halfway through this year’s challenge and I’ll be checking in with some fellow participants to compare notes. I hope I’ll have been able to catch up …

Picture courtesy of Morguefile.

Writing in the Sand about NaNo 2013 – The First Few Days …

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IMG_1132-Edit-Edit copyAprilwithlaptopblogpicfinalWell, after my babbling on about getting ready for this year’s NaNo, I had a frustrating start – I couldn’t get into the website, to register! Some friends I spoke to were having the same problem, so I guessed there was too much traffic on the website and went shopping instead, to stock up on some nice, healthy NaNo snacks.

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November 1st dawned – Day 1 – and I still couldn’t access the NaNoWriMo website. Hubby, knowing the full extent of my technophobia suggested I might be doing something wrong, so I was (rather selfishly, I’m ashamed to admit) relieved to hear that I still wasn’t the only one. We knuckled down anyway and got on with the business in hand – Day 1 – Target – 1,667 words. Well, I managed 1,911 – trying to get a bit ahead of the game, as I know there’ll be days this week when I can’t spend long at my desk. Some of my Facebook friends managed over 2,000, leaving the rest of us with word count envy.

Day 2 – and Yippee! I managed to get into the site and register! Contemporary romance is my genre, and almost always international. For last year’s NaNo, I wrote a love story with a ghostly theme, set in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. This year, for a bit of a change, I’m writing a romantic comedy, set in an imaginary English village. That’s one of the great things about NaNo, you can wander out of your usual genre/sub-genre and try others on for size. Day 2 – Target – 3,334. Only got as far as 3,095, so with hubby home tomorrow (it’s a 3 day weekend here, this week) I’ll have to catch up on Monday.

Day 3 – I pretty much know what I want to write today and for the rest of the week, so is it too early to start thinking about plot ninjas?

 >Ask Sally #23 Plot Ninjas

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>A new question from my lovely friend, Womagwriter.What’s a plot ninja? I’ve seen the term on writing sites, and you say you’ve put some in your nano first chapter. Can you explain what they are…
As Sally Quilford explains, plot ninjas began as a helpful device for when NaNowers might start to flag a little. A helpful bod suggested they all have a ninja leap out of a wardrobe at some point in their novel! The idea grew and now any unexpected happening in the story can be a plot ninja. I’ve specifically asked some of my non-writer friends to think up some for me for next week. I’m looking forward to seeing what they come up with …