If you've ever done NaNoWriMo, you know there exists a tradition known as "The Dares Thread", and you also know that for 10 years, I've been posting dozens of daily updates with hundreds of wild, scatterbrained dares that seemingly came out of no-where. Well, here is where they came from. I created them using this random generator.
(If you are wondering why the Dare Thread is so very lacking this NaNoWriMo - it's because on FBI orders, I am not posting my annual daily/hourly Dares - 1,440 Dare posts posted every October and November since 2004 - 24 posts a Days, one each hour, for 60 Days, with up 21 Dares per post.)
The Dare Generator is a code with 5,000 options, each option with at least 50 sets of additional 100 item sub options each set. It is estimated to contain more then 139 million writing prompts, specifically designed for the Yaoi Bizarro Dark Fantasy genre. In 12 years it has yet to spit out a duplicate writing prompt.
To date, this generator has given me a grand total of 53,784 Dares, all of which were posted on the NaNoWriMo Dares Thread between 2004 and 2012.
I'm moving it here to EelKat.com (September 23, 2013) so, now you can create your own Dares all year long without having to wait for me to post the results on the NaNoWriMo website any more. Enjoy!
FAQS: What exactly is A writing dare?
Writing dares were created in the mid-1980s by the Writer's Digest publishing group. A writing dare is a tool used to help writers get past writer's block. To use them, you simply do this:
Find a dare that DOES NOT match the plot, theme, or character goals of your story, and add it to your story, thus forcing your characters to encounter things they otherwise would not have encountered and do things they otherwise would not have done.
The goal is to take the dare and push past writer's block by writing WHATEVER the dare tells you to write, no matter how insane it may be or how contrary to your story plot, theme, or character goals it is.
What the writing dare does, is force you to keep on writing, even when you can't think of anything else to write or don't know what is going to happen next. It doesn't have to fit your story, because the goal is quite simply to keep on writing. Simply writing through the writer's block until, you write your way back into the story and are able to move on past the writer's block episode.
This particular Dare Generator was based off the Seventh Sanctum Generator created by Steve Savage in the mid-1990s.
It was designed specifically for use with The Twighlight Manor series (a series about blood thirsty Space Elves trapped on Earth and living in a flesh eating sentant haunted house.) This generator is responsible for the wild insanity you see written on the pages of The Quaraun Series, which is written entirely by asking the Dare Generator to spit out what scene I should write next.
If you are writing a serious or realistic or mainstream genre, the prompts here are probably not going to be helpful to you.
Some people see the results above and falsely assume I wrote them up and they can come back to use those same results any time, then when they return, can't find the one they wanted and ask me where it went.
THIS IS A RANDOM GENERATOR!!!!
If you close the page to come back later, the results will be different, and whatever results you saw the first time will be GONE FOREVER!
Every time you refresh the page you get different results. So if you want to use a dare you read now, later, you'll need to copy it and save it to your computer via a text file.
Answers to frequently asked questions about writing dares and how to use them
This is my oldest generator (in use since I first made it for NaNoWriMo back in 2004). It is also my most used generator and the one that has spit out thousands of results for the NaNoWriMo Dares Thread since it's creation in 2004. It is also the generator responsible for bringing you such NanoWriMo madness as The Traveling Shovel of Death, Rancid Yak Butter, Swimmings Full of Green Jelly, Dancing Lobsters, and Chocolate Moose.
Because of its insane popularity with NaNoWriMo users, it has resulted in boatloads of questions being sent to me about the hows and whys of using it. Some of those questions are asked over and over and over again, and well, so you don't have to ask, here's the answers...
FAQS: I found a dare i want to use,
now what exactly do i do with it?
There are two ways of using a dare. Either you grab the first dare you see and write it to force your brain to move past writer's block or you carefully sort through a list of many dares until you find one you want to write about because you think it would make an interesting story.
That's all there really is to it.
If a dare tells you to write about an Elf in resplendent underwear (and I rigged the code so that term comes up frequently, because I like writing about Elves in resplendent underwear.) , then on the next page of your story, you add an Elf wearing resplendent underwear and write about his or her interaction with your story's main character(s).
It can be as simple as, your main character is coming out of a restaurant and while decided if he should cross the street or not, he looks up and sees and Elf run by wearing nothing but resplendent underwear. At which point your character comments on it to another character. They never see the Elf again.
This is a writing dare at it simplest barest form. The scene takes up only a sentence or two, probably less than 20 words, a hundred words at the most. It hasn't done anything to change your plot, but it has given your characters a quick break from their story plot, added some life and colour to the story, made the reader feel that your characters are actually in a populated town and not the only characters roaming the dead streets of a ghost town, and if you are doing NaNoWriMo (where every word counts to reach that all important 50,000) you've just added an extra 20 words to your daily word count.
Of course, you could take it to the other extreme. Perhaps one of your characters IS an Elf and he is the Elf you want to be wearing the resplendent underwear. Well, now you have to decide what the underwear look like, where did your character get them, why is he wearing them, does he wear them throughout the whole story? Did he buy them because he loves sequins and wears them, even though the material is less them comfortable? Did his mother give them to him as a gift and he hates them, but he's wearing them today because she's coming to visit and knows she'll go through his drawers looking for them? Did his best friend buy them as a gag and now he's wearing them outside of his pants or even on his head, because of a dare? How does this get him in trouble? How does this change the plot?
Think, think, think.
Write, write, write.
The possibilities are endless and once you get started, the word counts mount up fast.
Just last week, the generator spit out a dare which said:
I dare you to write about a candy sprinkled Elf.
Bonus points if you include a mirror and a red raspberry cake.
Seconds later, I had Quaraun, drunk in a tavern and passed out in a red raspberry cake, resulting in Unicorn taking the opportunity to decorate the Elf with frosting and candy sprinkles. The mirror shows up later when Quaraun wakes up and realizes what Unicorn has done to him. The scene took 3,000 words and less then an hour to write. There's two days worth of NaNoWriMo word count written up before you know it, from just a single dare....AND is was done logically and made sense to the story.
FAQs: Should I keep the dare in my story come publishing time or remove it during editing?
That's totally up to you.
Some writers leave the dares in the story, others save it for their own reading, but edit it out of the published version. There are even writers who write entire books that are built on nothing but dares.
The answer really depends on your story, it's characters, it's genre, and reader expectations for stories of it's kind.
For example, let's say you were writing a serious Romance, which you plan to submit to Harlequin or Avon Books. Now, both those companies have guidelines of what can and cannot be in the book, and they have a huge following of readers who have very specific EXPECTATIONS on what sort of things they will find in those books. In such a case as this, while a writing dare may very well help you write through a writing block and get your story back on track, the dare itself will likely be inappropriate for reader expectations and should not be included in the published version of the story.
On the other hand, say you were writing Bizarro, a genre where readers expect the unexpected and enjoy finding strange twists and turns on every page. In this genre, you can get away with planning out your story to have no plot whatsoever, and simply gather up 50 of the most insane dares you can find, then write a story using all of them, with your story being nothing but one dare after another. The Quaraun Series is an example of this.
In the Quaraun Series, the main character is a very young High Elf who falls in love with and binds his soul to a depressed non-Elf. Shortly afterwards his lover commits suicide, an event which the Elf feels he is to blame for.
Being so young when his mate dies, the Elf is faced with living nearly a thousand years alone. The result is a manically depressed Elf who turns to sitting in taverns drinking drugged Faerie wine because he can no longer face a world where he must live for a near eternity without his bonded mate.
In his hallucinatory drug induced state, Quaraun turns to Necromancy and inadvertently resurrects his lover as a psychotic sex-crazed, undead purple unicorn.
Together the very high, High Elf and his undead purple unicorn have many, totally illogical drug induced adventures that make no sense at all and have no real rhyme nor reason to them. Thus writing dares are a perfect way to keep The Adventures of Quaraun the Insane running ever onward into hallucinogenic oblivion.
As can be seen in the Quaraun series, writing dares lend themselves perfectly to being used with characters who are too high to know what is real and what is not, and thus singing bowls of chocolate pudding and pole dancing teddy bears in sequined g-strings make perfect sense in a story about pink necromancers with undead purple unicorns, sailing around the planet on a flying pirate ship crewed by pleather wearing transexual dominatrixes.
So there you have the example of two extremes: first to remove them entirely and second to use them as the full basis of the story itself.
From there you have everything else in between, from including several of them to including only small snippets cut out of just one.
Many writers have told me that they found the best use for dares is to insert them as "dream sequences". In other words, the dare itself becomes a dream the main character has which in turn inspires later actions taken by the character. This results in the dare not needing to be removed from the published version, while still being plausible to the story.
There are no real rules behind writing dares and how you use them. As long as they get you writing past your writer's block, they've done what they were intended to do.
So when it comes to writing dares just do whatever floats your boat or, you know, gives your dancing teddy bears reason to dye their fur tie dye and shake their booty alongside of giant space hamsters.
FAQs: How many dares should I use for my story?
As many as you need or want. You may want more then you need or need more then you want.
Again, there is no right or wrong here, because the goal is the burst through brain numbing sessions of writer's block and get your story back on track, by writing total mindless nonsense.
FAQs: It sounds insane, does it really work?
In 2013 there were 450,000+ writers not only using writing dares to kill writer's block, but they were loudly proclaiming it as the reason they were able to write a 50,000 word novel in under 30 days.
As for me? I started doing this in 2004. I do a writing dare, writing session first thing every morning when I get up. My writing session starts around 5AM to 6AM (depending on when the sun wakes me up) and lasts about 3 hours.
Years ago, I used to have problems with writer's block. Since I started doing this, I have not had writer's block ONCE and went from writing an average of 750 words a day in 2004 to 5,000 words an hour (for 8 hours a day) in 2013.
5,000 words and hour, in case you are wondering is 91 words a minute. And yes, that's considered SLOW. At 91 words a minute, I'm not even close to the secretary typing speed of 175 words a minute, and a far cry from the world record which is 211 words a minute.
Writing dares, helped increase my writing speed in two ways:
#1: They killed writing block. I was no longer sitting and staring at the page, trying to think of "What should i write next?" A large majority of my time spent "writing" was actually spent, just trying to figure out what in the heck I should write. And in the end, I'd get less then a 1,000 words on the page before the end of the day.
#2: They made writing fun. Writing was no longer a chore or a job or a drudgery. I suddenly found myself waking up in the morning EXCITED to get writing.
All of a sudden, I had this challenge to push me forward. The whole wording of the thing:
"I DARE YOU..."
It was like, it was taunting me and laughing at me and saying:
"Ha, ha! you can't write about this. I know you can't!"
And that just got me all on fire to prove it wrong. To prove I could write about it. I was suddenly:
"Bring it on you bastard! There ain't nothing you can spit out that I can't write about."
And just like that, writer's block was dead, dead, DEAD, and hasn't been back in 11 long years.
And you want to know a third thing these writing dares did to me? This one is really silly and has nothing to do with writing, but, I started losing weight. Yeah, i actually started losing weight. Which was a good thing because I was overweight.
This was unexpected, but as it turns out, whenever I couldn't think of something to write, I wasn't just sitting, staring at the screen. I was also drinking Moxie, gulping down M&Ms and eating one bag of chips after another. Whenever a bout of writer's block hit me it was not unusual for me to go through an entire case of Moxie in a single day - yes - 12 whole cans in one day. OMG! And I didn't realize I was doing it either. It was just a nervous habit.
But once the writer's block went away, suddenly, I was so busy writing, that I was no longer going through cases of Moxie and bags of M&Ms. My hands were just plain too busy typing to take the time to reach for something to eat and thus I started (slowly) losing weight, simple by not eating junk food anymore.
FAQs: Why and how does it work?
It works the same way as warm up exercises work for weight lifters, runners, and football players. Athletes know the importance of stretching their muscles before starting the game. If they run into the game unprepped they are gonna run into all sorts of problems with pulled muscles and sprains, that could have been avoided.
Just like the rest of your body, your brain needs to warm up before it moves on into high powered writing sessions.
Now while many writers wait until AFTER they run up against writer's block before looking to dares for help, the writers who report using dares with the most success, say they start out their writing session by writing a scene from a dare FIRST, before they start working on their novel. This allows their brain to loosen up and get into the right train of thought for the more serious heavy duty writing to follow.
Think of it like the wiggle sessions in Kindergarten. Did you ever notice how young children do better in school, AFTER they have had a "If You're Happy and You Know It Clap Your Hands" wiggle session before they start their classes?
Like a Kindergarten child, dares wiggle the hyper excess energy out of your brain, allowing your brain to become more focused on other things.
Your brain needs warm up sessions and wiggle time to prevent burn out. And that's all writer's block is after all: burn out.
FAQs: What are the bonus points
and how do i use them?
The points and bonuses are like Scrabble, where the more letters you get in, the more points you get. That sort of thing. Only in this case, the more parts of the dare you include in your story, the more points you earn.
What you do with the points is up to you.
It is intended as a reward system, to help condition your brain into just writing onwards, even when writer's block is trying to prevent you from doing so.
Basicly what you do is decide on a number and a reward and when you reach that number you receive that reward.
For example create a chart for yourself something like this:
At 200 points I'll buy myself a candy bar.
At 500 points I'll buy myself a banana split at Dairy Queen.
At 1,000 points I'll take myself to Michael's for pizza.
At 2,000 points I'll order breakfast at the Golden Rooster.
At 5,000 points I'll take a weekend off to build a gingerbread house and then eat it.
Food works for me, as you can tell, because that there is the ACTUAL reward chart I used for myself, for many years, and it works because I eat at Michaels and Golden Rooster every few weeks, sometimes weekly and bake LOTS of gingerbread. I LOVE gingerbread and if you've ever read a sex scene in the Quaraun serie, oh boy do you know I love gingerbread.
Be realistic. Make the numbers be totals you can reach, and the rewards, things you can actually give yourself.
To say: "When I reach 100,000 point I'll buy a new car." is foolish, unless you REALLY plan to write your way up to 100,000 points AND you REALLY ARE going to buy yourself new car when you reach it.
You can add lots of mini levels, say one every 100 points, or just a couple of bigger levels, for example one every thousand points. Having as many or as few levels of rewards as you want.
You want the goals to be simple, realistic, achievable, and things you will enjoy using as a reward for your achievement of writing your way through your writer's block.
Than, as you add the dare elements to your story, keep track of your point scores, and give yourself rewards as you reach each new level.
Your rewards can be anything you want them to be. Whatever floats your boat. I'm a foodie, I went to culinary arts school, I own a food truck, when I get bored I bake gingerbread and toss homemade pizza. I have trouble not gaining weight because I have trouble remembering when to stop eating. I love food, so food rewards work to get me writing (or eating) my way through writer's block. What rewards work for you?
FAQs: Who keeps track of the bonus points?
Uhm... I would have thought that was obvious, but you do.
FAQs: Is is possible to cheat?
Uhm... I don't see how.
I can't help but ask, what is there to cheat with or about? And how? Or even why?
I am uttly confused and baffled by this question.
You are daring yourself to write something strange in order to help yourself get past writer's block. How can you cheat with that? There is absolutely nothing to cheat with.
FAQs: Do I have to use the bonus points?
I haven't used them in years.
I used them early on, but that was when I was trying to cure writer's block, and since I started using dares as my daily warm up sessions, I haven't had writer's block since, so no real reason to use the bonus points any more.
Bonus points used to be an incentive, but since I started writing the Quaraun series, which is fully 100% dares, and fully 100% addictingly fun to write, I haven't had any reason to count points.
FAQs: HELP! I've joined NaNoWriMo and have to write 50,000 words in 30 days. I made it worse on myself by signing up on the dares thread to write a novel built Entirely out of dares. They said no plot no problem, but i've never written anything before. what have i gotten myself into?
I get this question so many times each year, worded in as many ways possible to word it, but it's always the same question and it always arrives the last day of October, 24 hours before the write off begins.
Yep, No Plot, No Problem, that's their motto, and the title of the official National Novel Writing Month book, by founder Chris Baty.
What have you gotten yourself into? Well, not a lot really, not when you really sit down and stop to think about it. After all, it's ONLY 50,000 words in 30 days. I do then that in a week. Every year of NaNoWriMo I reach 50,000 words on day 3. Day 3, not day 30.
Now, when I do it, I'm not fully 100% plotless, so that helps. However, I don't do outlines or summaries, or have what the average author would consider a "working plot" either.
Okay, let's look at my NaNoWriMo word counts over the years:
My first two years of NaNoWriMo I failed miserably, and I'll tell you why.
I wrote 2,000 words in 2004 and 5,000 words in 2005.
In 2006 I hit 50,000 on day 15 and by day 30 had reached 200k. In 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011, I reached 50k on day 3 every year and ended the month over 200k but never reaching 300k.
I finally reached 300k in 2012
My biggest number ever came in 2013 when I ended the month with 537,000 words in 30days.
For 2014, instead of keeping track of word count, I write 30 short stories, one a day, each averaging 7k to 10k each.
For 2015, I'm doing something new: 8 hour sprints, based off dares (I'll tell you what I'm doing in a minute)and not keeping track of word count (though, I am averaging about 11k a day).
Well you can see that in the beginning I had trouble getting into the swing of NaNoWriMo writing and then once I got a routine set in, I just took off like lightening and never looked back.
(and yes, this is going to answer your question about dares...hold on a second, while I get to that part...)
Why did I struggle those first to years? Well, I ran into NaNoWriMo waving the No Plot, No Problem flag, and was 100% plotless. I had no idea what I was going to write. I had no plot. No theme. No characters. No genre. NOTHING AT ALL. And when November 1st rolled around I jumped in to write and had absolutely nothing to write about.
At the time, one of the rules of NaNoWriMo said you absolutely could not use any old material. You had to start a completely new novel from scratch. Well, here I was the author of serial pulp fiction. I'm used to writing LOTS of short stories about a single cast of characters. I'm used to every week, writing a new story about the same crew I wrote about last week, and in 2004, NaNoWriMo rules said it was a no-no to use ANY old material, which meant I had to create totally new characters, for a totally new world, from scratch.
In both of my first two NaNoWriMos I spent most of the month, sitting there just trying to think up a new character to write about and ended up not writing hardly a thing.
In 2006, NaNoWriMo created a sub-group called "The Rebels" and the rules of the group at that point in time, stated that if you were using old materials (including characters from other books you'd already written) you were allowed to do NaNoWriMo via the Rebel group. The rules have evolved quite a bit since then and NaNoWriMo today is a lot more open and less strict about what you can write, but in 2006, to use previously created characters you had to join the Rebel Group, and so that's how I joined The NaNo Rebels, and how I went from 2k in 2004 to 200k in 2006.
So, how does this answer your question? Well, I'm getting to that.
Okay, in 2006, I went into NaNoWriMo with No Plot, No Problem, mind set, BUT I had a cast of characters. Etiole Swanzen was the main character of a book which was intended to end my 30 year long Twighlight Manor Series.
Love Lust Madness was the result and my long time fans and readers went into mass hysteria, resulting in rewrites of the story showing up on blogs and fanfic.net. I killed off several main characters, including Etiole and readers were not happy. The book was pulled out of publication just 3 months after it's release and I went back to writing more stories for the series, treating Love Lust Madness as the ending that would never come.
What happened? Why did fans of the series get so upset over this one story? Why was it unlike the rest of the series?
Prior to Love Lust Madness, The Twighlight Manor series was very serious. Love Lust Madness was the first book in the series to include a dragon. It was the first book in the series to include a murderous blood thirsty shovel with a mind of it's own (later to become known as The Traveling shovel of Death or ToSD for short). It was the first story to contain a bowl of chocolate pudding that could dance and sing. It was the first story to include a herd of angry penguins wearing pink sequined tuxedos, marching down main street. It was the first story to include the piranhas. Characters that had no business dropping dead, dropped dead, simply because a writing dare, proclaimed: Kill the main character.
Behold, the power of a writing dare and what it can do to a very serious series.
I took my long running characters, from a series I started writing in 1978, and with no plot in mind, I just grabbed writing dares at random and starting throwing them at the characters, creating absolute, utter chaos, and while fans of the series hated what I had done.... however people on fanfic.net were about to see the rise of the craziest round of insanity I ever dreamed up:
The Bride of Sesshomaru
I love Sesshomaru. Everyone who knows me, knows that. He's a minor character created by Rumiko Takahashi for her InuYasha series. He is a transvestite demon lord who prances around Medieval Japan with his Rapunzel like knee length silver hair, wearing a wedding dress and feather boa and chopping the heads off of anyone who gets in the way of his admiring himself. He's my favorite character from comic books, cartoons, and live action movies - here's pictures of him from all three versions:
I cosplay him, I write fanfic about him, I collect EVERYTHING you can find about him, I have ALL 500+ volumes of the comic book, and all 9 seasons of the cartoon, and obsess over the live action movie. I have toys and dolls and posters and it was absolutely not possible for me to not end up spoofing this character and going absolutely mad with it.
So, while my readers didn't like me tossing writing dares at my own characters, Sesshy fans were rolling off cliffs laughing their asses off, when I ran to fanfic.net armed with writing dares and threw them all at Sesshomaru instead.
In 2006, it was just me and NaNoWriMo tossing writing dares at my favorite anime. I had no idea back then, where this would lead or that it would result in my writing something I could have never imagined I would end up writing.
I realized 2 things during NaNoWriMo 2006:
#1: Don't mess with something you already got going
#2: I was addicted to writing plotless stories based on writing dares.
Since my fans did not want me tearing my Twighlight Manor series to hell with writing dares, I spent the following 12 months between the next NaNoWriMo, using writing dares to rewrite Rumiko Takahashi's InuYasha, spoofing the Sesshomaru x Rin arch of the series, into absolute mindless drivel. I tossed in characters from Legend of Drizzt and My Little Pony, followed by DarkWing Duck, DuckTales, Smurfs, CareBears, BatMan, Star Trek, Dr. Who, and everything else I could think of.
The Bride of Sesshomaru series, became my driving obsession, which reached it's height when one day I found out, Cosplayers were cosplaying my insane spoof, and soon I was taking requests for writing stories for it.
Every volume of the Bride of Sesshomaru series had one thing in common: No Plot. I simply took Lord Sesshomaru and threw a writing dare at him and whatever popped into my head, that's what I wrote.
The Bride of Sessomaru series ran from 2007 to 2011 and lasted for 130 stories of about 5,000 words each before fanfic.net went on it's mass Erotica deleting frenzy and erased every M and MA rated story from their database. And then just like that POOF it was gone.
Fortunately, the series and it's entire utterly insane, nonsensical, mad capped madness still exists on my hard drive, and with fans requesting I publishing it on Amazon... it soon returned to public eye.
I spent 2012 and 2013, striping The Bride of Sesshomaru series of EVERY copyrighted character and place name (including Lord Sesshomaru), created a complete new cast of characters for the series, gave it a brand new name, and then began the long process of writing each of those stort 5,000 word stories into full length 50,000 to 90,000 word novels. On September 4, 2014, the first volume went live on Amazon.
So what you are seeing here, is the evolution of how I did exactly what it is you are planning to do, and turned it into a full time career/income.
Yes, you did read that correctly: Every month now, I challenge myself to write a novel of at least 50,000 words and use NOTHING but a cast of ready to go characters, and writing dares.
Okay, so let's look at your question again:
FAQs: HELP! I've Joined NaNoWriMo And Have To Write 50,000 Words In 30 Days. I Made It Worse On Myself By Signing Up On The Dares Thread To Write A Novel Built Entirely Out Of Dares. They Said No Plot No Problem, But I've Never Written Anything Before. What Have I Gotten Myself Into?
Okay, what you have gotten yourself into is either a headache of trouble and frustration OR a month of giddy laughter, depending on how well you prepare and how well you can laugh at yourself.
First off, don't worry about the numbers. It's ONLY 1,667 words a day. You can write that on your lunch break - IF you know what you are going to write.
So before NaNoWriMo starts, create yourself a cast of characters. (If you need help, try this.) You only need 1 character, but I find it best, if you create 5. A main character, a best friend, a love interest, a villain/foe, and a good guy you create to have on hand in case you need someone for the bad guy to kill off.
For example in the Quaraun series you have:
main character: Quaraun
best friend: BeaLuna
villain: King Gwallmaiic aka The Elf Eater of Pepper Valley
character to kill if needed: Bullgaar
Next, give your characters some basic goals in life.
For example, in the Quaraun series, the main character, Quaraun, falls in love with a necromancer (BoomFuzzy) who kills himself (commits suicide) in a lich making ritual. Meanwhile, evil King of the Faeries is slaughtering Elves all over the globe, bringing the Elven race to the brink of extinction, including to kill off every last Elf in Quaraun's village.
Quaraun turns to drugs to blot out the event, then becomes a necromancer to resurrect his lover and in a drug induced state of not knowing what he is doing resurrects his lover as a unicorn.
Unfortunately, unknown to him is the fact that BoomFuzzy was never real to begin with and was simply an illusionary doppelganger created by King Gwallmaiic to keep the world's most powerful wizard occupied while he slaughtered all the Elves.
When Quaraun realizes that his beloved BoomFuzzy is in fact The Elf Eater of Pepper Valley, he kills him, only to discover that when he resurrected him as a unicorn, he also made him immortal, and now BoomFuzzy/ Unicorn/ Gwallmaiic can not die and goes power crazy once he realized he is absolutely undefeatable.
Resulting in Quaraun casting a control spell on the lich, but again, the spell goes wrong because the Elf can't lay off the drugs long enough to know what he's doing and he turns the lich into a sex-crazed purple unicorn with a cock and ball torture fetish.
And the GOAL of every story after that is: How can Quaraun keep the sadistic lich king unicorn from killing everybody on the planet without getting himself tied to a tree and sexual tortured?
(Did I mention this series started out as Sesshomaru x My Little Pony Yaoi Unicorn Porn that got banned off fanfic.net? Do you know how hard it is to get a story BANNED from fanfic.net because the sex is too freaky?)
But there you have it: THAT ^^^ is the goal of each story.
Quaraun has to prevent the world's most psychotic serial killer whom he resurrected as an unkillable lich unicorn from killing everybody on the planet. At the same time, Quaraun has to try to avoid being tied up and sadisticly raped by the sex crazed undead unicorn.
In just about every story in the series you can rely on two things happening:
#1: Unicorn kills somebody and skewers their severed head on his horn.
#2: Quaraun gets raped by a dead unicorn.
Everything that happens in between those two things is determined by my refreshing this page and adding to the story whatever the dare generator told me to write about. Be is tea parties with pink flamingos and g-string wearing teddy bears or squid men from Neptune's moon or candy making wizards who live in gingerbread houses at the North Pole.
Okay, so, in order to best use the writing dares as the full basis of your NaNoWriMo novel, you need, in addition to the dares, to start out with a cast of characters who have goals. So go create your crew, give them goals, and NOW, you are ready to start tossing in the dares.
In 2014, I used writing dares to write 30 one day short stories. It was my 10th anniversary of doing NaNoWriMo and after reaching 500k the previous year, trying to aim at a goal of any word count seemed to me no longer a challenge.
Several people have asked if I'll try for a million words in 30 days. I doubt it. 500k really pushed limits for me. I had a really hard time reaching 500k in 30 days. I had to type long steady hours without breaks, and often had days of only 2 to 4 hours of sleep. It was not easy to do, and I only did it to prove to myself that I could. Now I've got it out of my system and don't feel any need to try for something like that again.
At the same time I know I have no trouble consistently reaching 200k every year, and thus it too is no longer a challenge for me.
So, I had to come up with a different challenge for myself - something other then word count.
That's when I decided instead to do "A Dare A Day"
For my Dare a Dare or 30 Days of Dares Challenge, I just decided I was going to take 30 different dares and create 30 different stories, each story based fully off the dare.
How did that go? Eh, not as well as I had hoped, which is why I'm going to keep doing it until I get is right.
What happened? Well, same thing that happened in 2004 and 2005, actually.
I grabbed a dare, fully 100% with no plot, no characters, and no genre in mind and attempted to create a story from the ground up.
I did get 30 stories STARTED and I went well over the required 50k words for NaNoWriMo, however, I did not finish ANY of the 30 stories and they all sit in a state of waiting for me to go back and complete them.
So, for me, that is a failure, even though I reached the required word count, because I my personal goal was to by the end of the month have 30 short stories to edit and publish, and so far only one of those 30 stories (The Haunted Lighthouse) looks like it'll get published.
So, what went wrong? Why did my NaNoWriMo 2014 not succeed in it's goal, after I had 8 years in a row of super powered succeed?
Looking back, I can see that in 2014, I did the same mistake of 2004. I went into it with no premade characters. I was able to come up with the 30 stories, but I had trouble coming up with characters to keep the stories moving forward.
For NaNoWriMo 2015, I repeated the same challenge: a dare a day for 30 days, but this time with changes.
Instead of 30 separate full stories, I would write 30 separate full scenes.
Instead of going with 100% no materials, no plot, no characters, no genre, instead I went into it with:
2 characters: Quaraun and Unicorn.
a genre: Bizarro
a concept/ almost a plot, the concept being:
Unicorn is a Phooka, a type of trickster Faerie. He's hyperactive and has no attention span to speak of. While the world sees him as the evilest creature on the planet, in actuality, Unicorn isn't evil at all. He's just bored.
Unicorn was 2,000 years old when he died the first time. He's died a few hundred times since then in the past 300 hundred years. He kills himself in his spare time when there is no one around him for him to kill.
When Unicorn gets really bored, he irritates Quaraun to try to get Quaraun to mad enough to kill him. In the first 3 volumes of the series, Quaraun has already lost his temper and killed Unicorn 5 times. Getting Quaraun mad enough to kill him, makes Unicorn horny, now instead of murdering innocent villagers,
Unicorn has a new hobby: irritating Quaraun and getting Quaraun mad enough to kill him, so he can come back to life and do it all over again.
The goal of NaNoWriMo 2015?
Take 30 completly random writing dares, one each day, and use them as ways for the trickster Faerie, Unicorn, to drive the Elf to the point of actually killing Unicorn.
And how is that going? GREAT! The dares generator is tossing out things that make no sense at all and I've turned every one of them into a way for Unicorn to irritate Quaraun, resulting in Quaraun killing Unicorn - again, and Unicorn being a Lich, just regenerates to do it over again with whatever the next dare the generator tosses at me.
Of course, Unicorn being a Phooka and this series being utter madness, and rabbits showing up in the dare results, also means I get to write about 6 foot tall white rabbits this year too.
Did you recall back there where I mention Quaraun passed out in a cake and Unicorn decorated him with candy? Yes, that was an entry of my NaNoWriMo 2015, which is going smoothly and right on schedule, Unicorn driving Quaraun out of his mind, and the writing dares providing Unicorn with endless ways to drive the Elf bonkers.
I'm not writing full stories, of course, each of these is just a scene that will later be dropped into various novels of the series. So far we've had death by cake, death by snowball, death by rabbit stew, death by laughing shovel of insanity, death by hot cocoa, death by the otherworldly grave digger of gender transformation, and the month is only just starting. I'm averaging 2,000 to 3,000 words a scene and 3 to 4 scenes a day at this point.
But can you see what I'm doing here? I'm having fun. It is fun to write these stories. When I get done writing them, it's fun to read them.
Sure, I could be all serious and write serious literature and hope for big fancy prestigious awards, but then I wouldn't be having fun. I wouldn't be laughing.
I love to laugh. And I like making people around me laugh. Laughing is fun. Laughing feels good.
Yeah, I know that what I'm writing is crazy, makes no sense, and will never soar to the top of the NYT bestseller list, but the fact is, I'm having fun writing this thing and for me, that's what's important: to be happy and enjoy life.
That's how I see writing dares: as something to do, because it is fun to do and for no other reason at all.
FAQs: Are writing dares just for naNoWriMo?
Writing Dares existed looooooong before NaNoWriMo. They were simply made popular by NaNoWriMo.
I've heard a lot of people say they couldn't do NaNoWriMo because they didn't think they could write with dares (they assumed you HAD to write with Dares to join NaNoWriMo).
I've heard just as many people say they couldn't use Dares in anything other then NaNoWriMo because they didn't think it was allowed (they assumed NaNoWriMo owned the copyright on the concept.)
I don't know where or how either of those popular myths got started, but Writing Dares existed at least as far back as the 1980s, a good decade BEFORE NaNoWriMo existed and are mentioned in multiple writing how to books, including at least one Writer's Market.
I was using this Writing Dares Generator during NaNoWriMo 2004 and NaNoWriMo's Writing Dares Thread did not exist until 2006.
My Writing Dares Generator was based off an even older writing dares generator created in 1997 by Steve Savage of 7th Sanctum. It was in August 2004, WHILE creating my Writing Dares Generator with the help and advice of Steve Savage, that Steve brought up the subject of NaNoWriMo and asked if I would be joining him in doing it. I had never heard of NaNoWriMo before Steve mentioned it and joined it days later in September 2004. My Writing Dares Generator - dead traveling shovels and all - existed BEFORE I have ever joined NaNoWriMo and two full years before NaNoWriMo even had a Dares Thread.
It is BECAUSE of NaNoWriMo's using my Writing Dares Generator as the basis on their Writing Dares Thread (without my permission, I might add), which INCORRECTLY caused many members to falsely assume that I was one of the heads and founders of the NaNoWriMo event. Which is a constant source of frustration for me as, every November, since 2006, I get bombarded with THOUSANDS of emails from NaNo members, whenever they have problems with the NaNoWriMo site or another member.
I'm constantly having to tell people: "No, I'm NOT affiliated with NaNoWriMo, I never have been. Yes, I know they are using my Writing Dares concept. I never gave them permission to use it. Yes, I know ML Kendra Silvermander runs around the NaNoWriMo forum telling people I'm an ML, but it doesn't change the fact that I've NEVER been a NaNoWriMo ML. And if you think Kendra is crazy on the forums, you should see her when she shows up in my driveway - oh yeah, she knows where I live and has a meltdown in person every year."
Are writing dares just for NaNoWriMo? No! I was using them 2 years BEFORE NaNoWriMo was. Steve Savage was using them years before NaNoWriMo even existed.
No, you can use writing dares for ANY form of writing. For short stories, for plays, for comic books, for novels... whatever you are writing; whenever you are writing. ALL YEAR LONG.