This week we’re going to get a little more serious, but still keeping the stakes very low. I want you to remember that nothing you’re writing this month needs to be brilliant. The point of all of this is to get you writing a lot so that you can find out
what it is you really want to be writing
what your strengths are what your weaknesses are and
how to get over that hesitation when you start to write, and instead find your way to the place where the writing is flowing.
Having said that I don’t want this to be a waste of your time.
So this week we’re going to work on some skills that you’re going to need as you get into crafting your stories when the month of short story writing is finished.
This week I’m going to give you three different story structures that you can use with the story sparks that you’ve been collecting (you have been collecting stories parks haven’t you?) We’re going to take a look at
Setting and incorporating setting into your story so that readers feel like they’re part of the action.
Ways of making your protagonist a rounded character by giving him or her some flaws.
Antagonists and villains and how to incorporate them without making them flat but also without letting them take over the story.
Sidekicks and secondary characters to see what they can do for your protagonist and your story.
If you’ve already written a story a day for seven days I’m confident that you are discovering your best practices. Hold onto that knowledge while we dive deeper into the nitty-gritty of storytelling this week. Work when your energy is highest. Squeeze writing into tiny pockets of the day if you have to. Harness your community and your support group and get them to keep you accountable. It’s going to get harder this week, but it’s worth it. Keep writing.
This is important to you.
You deserve this.
Tips For Success In Week 2
It’s getting harder this week so take all the lessons you’ve learned from last week and make them work for you.
What was the best time of day to write?
What did you do on your most successful days? How can you replicate that this week?
What did you do on your worst writing days last week? How can you avoid those things this week?
StoryADay Sept is over. You did great. You wrote. You participated in the community. You got a real boost from all the creativity.
But now it’s half way through October and you’re not writing nearly as much, if at all. You feel like a failure.
Change Your Point Of View
As with so much of your writing, this too, is a matter of Point of View.
If you’re feeling discouraged, it’s probably because you thought StoryADay was helping you build a great writing practice. You wrote every day. So why aren’t you still writing a story a day?
Because StADa wasn’t about building habits. It was bootcamp. You can’t keep it up.
So Now What?
Now it’s time to ask what you learned from writing a story a day.
What did you learn about the types of stories you like you write?
What did you learn about the time of day you write best?
What did you learn about the value of finishing?
What did you learn about your need for community?
What did you learn about your writing strengths and weaknesses?
How you can use those lessons to improve not just your writing but also to create new writing habits?
What will you commit to doing?
(Hint: think of something that sounds reasonable, then commit to doing half as much.)
How will you track your progress?
(Hint: make it as simple as possible. If you, like me, have a gadget clamped in your hand at any time and think a monthly word-count goal will help you, please help yourself to a copy of my “Writing Log” in Google Docs. Otherwise, every day when you do write, color in a box on your paper calendar with a green pencil so you can see at a glance how you’re doing.)
How will you get other people to help you stay accountable?
(Hint: check in with the very welcoming SWAGr group here, on the first of every month).
Tomorrow I’ll talk about Anchoring Habits and a scientifically-tested process for making your new writing habits stick.
In the meantime, leave a comment sharing how you’re getting on, what you learned and what you will commit to doing to improve your writing habits.
Thanks to a bunch of lovely volunteers, StoryADay September 2015 is happening.
(right-click and save this graphic, then share it anywhere you like)
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO DO?
If you’re already on the mailing list, watch your inbox for instructions on how to make sure you get all the prompts for September (or avoid them if you’re not into the idea just now, but don’t want to unsubscribe altogether.
If you’re not already on the mailing list, go here and add your email address. Be sure to check the box that says “Sept 2015” and you’ll start receiving writing prompts every day next month.
(Once you’re on the mailing list, you can ALWAYS adjust your preferences. The list has a number of ‘groups’ you can join or leave, to control how often you hear from me. If you only want occasional news, you can opt for that. If you want All The Things, you can get that too.)
Then, start gathering Story Sparks and get ready for a month of intense creativity!
HOW STORYADAY SEPTEMBER WORKS
You write and finish a story every day in September (it doesn’t have to be good, or long. It has to be finished.)
You leave a comment at the blog, telling us you’ve done it.
We cheer you on.
You get a huge creativity boost and surprise yourself: who know how much you could actually write when the fear of ‘trying to write something good’ is removed in favor of ‘trying to write something today’?
Here’s your digest of this week’s StoryADay September writing prompts.
This set of prompts is all about point of view. The choice to write in First Person or Third Person Omniscient gives you, the storyteller, a different set of tools to use in each story. Use these prompts to practice some of those skills.