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Tavia's Dares

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Tavia's Dares are a series of dares presented by Tavia Stewart-Streit on NaNoVideo, usually mid-month. They aired on NaNoVideo from 2009 to 2012.

The dares come with a warning in the video intro:

WARNING: The following dares will take your novel in unexpected directions. Side effects may include increased word counts, sudden plot breakthroughs, and a decrease in inner editor activity.

2009 Dares

Tavia's 2009 dares appeared in two videos [1] [2]

  • Give your antagonist a cute little brain-eating zombie kitten pet
  • Include a character in your novel who can communicate with the dead via text message
  • Add a flashback that includes a mysterious phone call, a stick of a butter, and a bearded lady
  • Send an important message to your character through a bowl of alphabet soup
  • Have your main character write a novel about you writing a novel about them
  • Have your main character discover something written on the inside of a bathroom wall that changes the course of the novel
  • Include King Tut, King Kong, and King Henry VIII in a dream sequence
  • Add a figure skater, a misunderstanding, a mummy, a starfish, and an evil frisbee to your next chapter
  • Start the next chapter with the sentence "Apparently lightning does strike twice."

2010 Dares

Tavia's 2010 dares appeared in two videos. This year the video is in black and white. [3] [4]

  • Include every NaNoWriMo staff member and intern in your novel
  • Write your entire novel while listening to the John Denver Pandora station (Try it! You might really like it)
  • Switch genres ever 1667 words. Yes, that's 30 times. Yes, pirate scifi is a genre.
  • Make up and include a really bad joke every single day. Double dare: send those jokes to NaNoWriMo HQ.
  • Include corporate buzzwords in your novel any chance you get.
  • Collect all those bad jokes you've been writing and have one of your characters sign up for open mic at a comedy club
  • Skip to the end of your novel and write backwards to wherever you're at today
  • Knock out your main character, have them wake up in a bathtub full of meatballs in a 5-star hotel in Bangladesh. Bonus points if they're missing a body part.
  • Use the following made-up words in your next chapter: slumpy, glark, poulat, mealtag

2011 Dares

Tavia's 2011 dares appeared in one video. [5]

  • Create a new character who is writing a sitcom about all your other characters, first by observing them from a distance, then by infiltrating their lives to get a better sense of their individual personalities and group dynamics
  • Set your alarm for 3:30am at least once during November for a delirious, middle of the night writing session. Don't stop until you hit 1,667.
  • Throw Blobby at your characters every time they do or say something silly
  • Write from the ticker on your Facebook for at least an hour. Maybe four. Or Twitter, or Google+
  • Write every single Batyism on the 2011 shirt into this year's novel
  • Explain the meaning of life in your novel
  • Write Tom Selleck's mustache into your novel as one of your key characters
  • Get up right now, put on something you can wear outside, and take a long refreshing walk.

2012 Dares

Tavia's 2012 dares appeared in two videos. [6] [7]

  • Name all the rest of your characters after street names in your neighborhood
  • Force your shyest character to go to a karaoke bar alone and sing a Billy Joel of your choosing
  • Introduce a backstabbing zombie unicorn named Frank to your novel
  • Ask a local business owner if you can write in their window display for a full day
  • Write your novel in a different genre for a day or two
  • Write your novel in a taxicab
  • Add the following items to the next chapter in this order: a beehive updo, a mysterious doorkey, a glowstick, and an awkward encounter
  • Out of nowhere add a new character named Ruth who is a bad influence on everyone
  • Add some serious conflict to your novel that relates to a cinnamon roll, a missing roller skate, and a Christmas tree
  • Who needs a dance party? Your characters!