Writing a Book with no T’s or Y’s

Camp NaNoWriMo Day 3!

Every novel writing month I do, I seem to come across a new challenge that I’ve never seen before. Usually, it has to do with school or finding the most gigantic plot hole in existence, but this time around, I am putting the blame entirely on my laptop.

I’ve had my computer, affectionately dubbed Mr. Clicky, for over 7 years now, and it’s so old that it’s quite literally losing its pixels. The most recent problem came just in time for NaNoWriMo: a handful of keys on the keyboard have stopped working. This includes the letters t, y, and several numbers.

Not the easiest way to write a novel!

In case you’re wondering how I’m writing this post, I’m now fortunately borrowing an extra keyboard, but I’ve done my fair share of copying and pasting of letter t’s from Word docs.

This whole situation has gotten me thinking: this could be a great opportunity for an interesting writing exercise! Try to write a short story without using any t’s or y’s at all. And so that is exactly what I am going to do, in place of my daily writer haiku.

Once upon an age of old, a small hare lived in a meadow full of pale, colorless dandelions. He was a fierce fellow, ever romping across grass in search of meddlers and invaders. Clear dandelions were precious, he knew. One dandelion could fulfill a sizable wish. A whole field could forever shake a universe.

One morning, he was peering down and observing a worm crossing a delicious-looking piece of shrub when he saw grass around him begin shaking like no animal’s doing he had ever before seen. He rose and bared his mandibles, prepared for defending his land. All of a sudden, grass and shrubs circling him shook even more, and he was pushed over. Each fleck of dandelion broke free and flew above him, and he realized no animal was here besides himself. Hare panicked – he had never readied himself for Wind as a villain. In a final flash of comprehension, he huddled down and wished as hard as he could for each dandelion back whole and saved.

When he rose, his vision was full of dandelions back again – dazzling golden dandelions in place of colorless ones. Hare plucked one and made a much more sensible wish – for world peace. His meadow had become hushed and unmoving. He saw splendor – however, no more magic – in his flowers he guarded.

Phew! I never realized how tricky it is to avoid using words like “the” and “to.” Quite awkward, but possible. (Can I please count these words for NaNo? Pretty please?)

If you’re looking for a fun activity or want to take a break from your usual project, pick a letter and try writing a paragraph or two without it!

Published by laurenhallstrom

Lauren is the author of two CIPA EVVY award-winning novels, both written when she was a teen. She writes contemporary fantasy for tweens and young adults. She holds an undergraduate degree in English at Colorado State University and currently works in a public library. More often than not you can find her there - promoting lifelong learning, staring off into space, and dreaming up new stories.

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