NaNoWriMo 2013 – Writing Challenges – Days 16, 17, and 18

NaNoWriMo Day 16-17-18 Challenges

Sorry for being late with these — crazy weekend for me.

#1 Word Challenge:  Distrait

Definition:  divided or withdrawn in attention, especially because of anxiety

#2 Word Challenge:  Exegete

Definition:  one who explains or interprets difficult parts of a written work

#3 Word Challenge:  esurient

Definition:  hungry; greedy

Theme Challenge:  

Plot Challenge:  The Rule of Threes exists in many fields. Your challenge is to present three forms of the rules of threes as plot elements in your novel. Have each one of the rules of threes impact three different plotlines.

Bonus points if you manage to tie all three of the rules of threes (and their plots) together.

The Rule of Threes:

Writing: The Rule of Threes in writing suggests that when things appear in groups of three, they are inherently funnier, more satisfying, or more effective than when presented in other numbers.

Religious: (Wiccan) Also known as the Law of Return; Three-fold Law: The basics of the rule states that whenever someone does something (or puts energy into the world), be it positive or negative, it’ll come back to them three times. This is considered (by some) to be a variant of karma, although in karma’s originating religions, it doesn’t apply three times.

Aviation: For every 1,000 feet of descent, 3 miles should be travelled.

Medicine: In science (clinical trials, experiments) it is stated that the rule of three is if a certain event did not occur within a subject group, the chance of not suffering from adverse side effects is 95%. Essentially, if 300 parachutes are tested, and all of them deploy, it is given a 95% rating; or, according to the ‘rule of three’, fewer than 1/100 (or 3/300) chance.

There are fancy math formulas that determine the ‘three’ element of this rule, but it looks a little something like this: −ln(0.05) = ln(20) = 2.9957 ≈ 3.

Mathematical: The Rule of Three in mathematics is a version of shorthand cross multiplication. It’s rather notorious for being difficult to explain.

Programming: If a set of code is used three times in a program, it should be replaced with a new procedure.

Survival: (Averaged, extreme situations): 3 minutes without air, 3 hours without shelter, 3 days without water, 3 weeks without food.

Character Challenge:  Threes Company

 Either by creating new characters or using old ones, create a three-way dynamic between a group of characters. This doesn’t mean a love triangle, although this is a potential option.

Ideally, you will create a personality wheel and select three character types from conflicting sections of the circle, with one character more of a median character. Alternatively, you can create characters with triplicate representations – ie, Ghost of Christmas Past, Christmas Present, Christmas Future….

These three characters must share something that ties them all together. They can’t be birds of a feather. They must contrast.

After all, water and gasoline might not mix, but if you add a little fire, cool things can happen.

Use this exercise as a way to delve deeper into the relationships between your characters.

Conflict Challenge:  The Past, the Present, the Future

#1: Create a minor plot event in your novel. Add it somewhere to the beginning or prior to the beginning of your novel as a past event. (If used in the beginning, it should be limited to the first scene of the book.)

This event should serve as a catalyst. It can be something simple, such as a character buys a nice pair of earrings she likes to wear often.

#2: How does the minor thing from the past impact the present? In the scene or chapter you are currently working on, include references to the thing from the past making an impact on the present. In the earring example, someone who really likes the earrings comments on them; these two characters could become friends…

#3: … in the future, towards the end of the novel, write about how a little event (like someone becoming friends over a pair of earrings) turns into something much bigger; tie the little event to the closure of the conflicts in your novels. (In the earrings example, the new friend can become a key player in the novel’s resolution – someone they never would have become friends with if the one character didn’t have their earrings…)

Fun & Games:

#1: Cursed by Pigeons: A flock of pigeons have taken to one of your characters. Pursue how this fiendish flock can ruin someone’s day (and the paint job on their car.)

#2: In for a Penny… a character keeps finding pennies on the ground. How does the character react to this? Does the trail of pennies lead to something interesting?

Bonus if you use this plot device in a place that no longer has pennies.

#3: Day trip to the zoo! Have your characters go wild.

Leave a Comment: