Unlock the Muse – July 18, 2018

It’s been HOT this week! We’ve had the highest temperatures of the year so far around my part of the world. Not record-breaking temperatures, thank goodness, but still too hot for me! I’d like to say my writing has been just as hot, but to be honest, I’m moving a little slow. I will have big leaps forward, followed by slow plodding progress. Still, I’ll take the forward progress however it comes!

Here is your writing prompt for this week:

Make a list of all the things you hope to accomplish or experience by the time you are 30, 50 or 100 years old and tell why.

Now, create this same list for your protagonist. And again for your antagonist. What big goal of the latter’s stands in the way of one of the former’s? Use this to create more conflict in your story this week.

It’s Week Three of Camp NaNoWriMo. Here’s some advice from Chris Baty’s No Plot? No Problem! to keep things moving forward on a month-long novel writing challenge:

One of the worst things about being an adult is not getting to color as often as we should. This week, give your monitor-burned eyeballs a rest for an hour or so and go old school, forsaking the computer for a big piece of blank paper and some colored pencils or crayons.

The goal of this exercise is to create a map of your fictional world. On the map, you should include all your characters’ homes, their schools or workplaces, and any place they’ve visited in the book. This may be the first time you’ve thought about the spatial layout of your world, so feel free to make things up as you go.

Baty goes on to suggest you add further details to your map, things that don’t already exist in your book – a tattoo parlor, a clock tower, a giant swamp. Use this as a creative opportunity to add color, detail and new life to your story.

It’s vocabulary week, and this our word for today is:


1. a. (1) a usually sudden manifestation or perception of the essential nature or meaning of something. (2) an intuitive grasp of reality through something (such as an event) usually simple and striking. (3) an illuminating discovery, realization or disclosure.
b. a revealing scene or moment.

2. an appearance or manifestation especially of a divine being.

3. capitalized: January 6 observed as a church festival in commemoration of the coming of the Magi as the first manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles, or in the Eastern Church in commemoration of the baptism of Christ.
(from merriam-webster.com)

It doesn’t surprise me to learn that the word epiphany originally comes from the Greek. It comes from the late Greek word epiphaneia, meaning “manifestation, striking appearance, festival held in commemoration of the appearance of a god at some particular place.” In the New Testament, this refers to the “advent of manifestation of Christ.”
(from etymonline.com)

Happy writing!

Please consider sharing your response to the writing exercise. Got a question? Just ask!

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