Writing Dares: The 2014 Collection

Let’s add some spark to that story with the next volume of the Writing Dare Collection.

We’ve all been there: the scene is guttering like a candle in the wind and now the entire story threatens to fade away before your eyes. Your writing has lost the spark that kept it alive, kept it absorbing and dynamic and fresh. You need to return that spark to it if you want the story and your interest in it to survive. But how?

Allow me to introduce the writing dare. It courts conflict. It’s unexpected. It’s different. And it’s what’s going to rekindle your sputtering scene.

What is a writing dare? It might be a line, a secret, a character, an animal, an event... The list goes on. Your challenge is to include as many or as few of them in your story as you want.

Interested? If so, then...

Writers, I dare you to...

Have a character blackmailed in your next scene.

Send one of the Biblical plagues through your current setting.

Have a character struggle to decipher a note left for them.

Introduce a ferocious feline in the next scene.

Have a character find a dusty old box in the attic.

Your character gets an anonymous letter asking them to be at a bench an hour before sunset. What happens next?

Have your character hear something strange—something that no one else can hear.

Have a character eat something that isn’t properly cooked.

Break a mirror and unleash a curse in your next scene.

Use your writerly powers and make the ground beneath your characters' feet shake. Give your story an earthquake!

Give your character a blinding headache—and by blinding, I mean literally.

Shuffle your playlist and take the names of the first 10 songs on the list. Begin each paragraph with one of the song names.

Have a character mistake your protagonist for someone else.

Let a clumsy character loose in a shop selling fragile items.

Write a scene made up of pure dialogue. No description or narrative; just dialogue to move the story forward.

Kill the lights and plunge your characters into darkness.

Have your character gatecrash a party.

Music is in the air! Take your character to a masquerade ball.

Have a character misread (or ignore) a label on a jar and consume something poisonous.

Embrace your character's darker side. Have them make a decision that is morally dubious.

The Writing Dare Archives
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