Writing Tips and Prompts

Deciding How To End It – #NaNoWriMo Wednesday Writing prompt

We’re on the third-to-last day of NaNoWriMo. I’m sure some of you have already hit 50,000 words, and congratulations if that’s you! For the rest of us, it’s not too late to win this thing! Let’s keep this writing thing going with today’s prompt:

Ask your character what else they want to accomplish. Will your ending be more satisfying if the character achieves these goals? Or do their plans need to fall apart one more time before the end?

NaNoWriMo Writing Prompts | MarisMcKay.com #writingwednesday

Writing Tips and Prompts

Shake Up Your Genre – #NaNoWriMo Wednesday Writing prompt

AAAAAHHHH! Only 10 days left for NaNoWriMo (if you’re counting today). Most years this is when I start wondering things like, “Why am I even writing this novel?” or “I have no idea what to do next.” The important thing is to just keep writing (*cue Dory animation in my head*). If you’re stuck, maybe today’s writing prompt will help:

Make the unexpected happen. Bring a murder-mystery scene into your high-fantasy. Throw a dragon into your romance story. Strike your no-nonsense character with Cupid’s dart. It’s time to shake things up and see how the characters respond.

NaNoWriMo Writing Prompts | MarisMcKay.com #writingwednesday

Writing Tips and Prompts

What Do Your Characters Want? – #NaNoWriMo Wednesday Writing prompt

We’re two weeks into NaNoWriMo! How’s it going so far?

Here’s the writing prompt for this week:

Take a moment to evaluate your characters’ motivation. Are you (and they) clear on what they want? Make sure you put plenty of obstacles in their way as the story develops.

NaNoWriMo Writing Prompts | MarisMcKay.com #writingwednesday

Writing Tips and Prompts

Make The Worst Happen – #NaNoWriMo Wednesday Writing prompt

If you’re participating in NaNoWriMo we’ve now been writing for a full week. Hopefully you’re not stuck yet, but just in case you can get things moving with today’s prompt:

What’s the worst thing that could happen to your character? Bed-bug invasion? They get pushed out a window? That side-character they have a crush on dies? Make the worst thing happen.

NaNoWriMo Writing Prompts | MarisMcKay.com #writingwednesday

Book Review "The Night Circus" for #FlightsofFantasy marismckay.com
Book Review

Book Review of “The Night Circus” for #FlightsofFantasy

This book was one of the re-reads on my Flights of Fantasy book list. Just a few chapters in I found myself exclaiming to anyone who would listen that I’d forgotten just how amazing this book is and they simply must read it. There’s a very good reason I purchased The Night Circus online right after reading it from the library instead of waiting to happen upon it in a book shop.Book Review "The Night Circus" for #FlightsofFantasy marismckay.com

The Goodreads summary is extensive. A single paragraph or two couldn’t hope to do this book justice. At it’s most basic, it’s a story about dueling magicians. Yet it’s also an intricate literary fantasy, an immersive magical world, and an epic romance set within the crucible of a traveling circus. Much like The Prestige, one of Erin Morgenstern’s inspirations, the book itself is an elaborate, seductive magic trick drawing you ever deeper into the story.

It’s a mark of great books that they’re just as compelling when re-reading as they were the first time. Once again, I sank into the world, fell in love the characters, and tied my thoughts to Le Cirque des Rêves. Knowing the ending did nothing to lessen the magic of the book and the story is so intricate that I still felt I was discovering new aspects as I re-read.Book Review "The Night Circus" for #FlightsofFantasy marismckay.com


Giving The Night Circus 5/5 stars on Goodreads wasn’t something I debated for even a moment. Published in 2011, it was Morgensetern first novel and I eagerly await her long-promised second novel. Having begun life as a NaNoWriMo project, this story is a perfect inspiration for those of us tackling writing a novel this November. If she can craft such a masterpiece from a NaNo draft, perhaps we can as well.