Warm Up Writing Course Begins This Weekend

Thinking about signing up for StoryADay May but scared to take the plunge?

 

If you need proof that YOU CAN WRITE, sign up for the StoryADay Warm-Up Writing Course starting this Friday, April 6. But sign up today and receive immediate access to the bonus Time To Write Workshop.

 

What: An online short-story writing course for writers who want to warm up their writing muscles: 2 weekly lessons, 3-4 weekly writing assignments. Starts small and builds your confidence over time. Continue reading “Warm Up Writing Course Begins This Weekend”

Warm Up Your Writing Schedule

I’ve just sent out this schedule to all the people who have already signed up for the StoryADay Warm Up Your Writing Course. A lot of the Week 1 links are live and people are meeting up in the forums. It’s not too late to sign up and jump-start your writing today.

$97

WEEK 1 SCHEDULE

This week is all about breaking down your resistance by starting you off slowly, and with short assignments; figuring out  how to  manage your time; and turning you into Idea Generators, so you never again have to say “I don’t have any ideas”.

Friday, March 25

Time To Write Workshop – work through this at your own pace.
Reading Assignment – mine your own shelves
Idea Generator Workshop & Assignment – generate 15 Story Sparks this week.
Writing Assignment 1.1 (including audio & Resources PDF) – Twitter Fiction
(+ bonus writing assignment for the gung-ho).
(Writing assignments are due before the next assignment goes out.)

Monday, March 28

Mentors & Inspiration Lesson – Reading for inspiration
Writing Assignment 1.2 (audio and Resources PDF) – 55 Word Stories

Wednesday, March 30

Writing Assignment 1.3 – Drabbles (100 word stories)
Q&A Conference Call (tentative. Suggestions for date/time welcome)

WEEK 2 SCHEDULE

This week we’ll focus on building your confidence and finding your voice. We’ll talk about the importance of first drafts and work on an assignment that will prove once and for all, that you have a unique voice that deserves to be heard.

Friday April 1

Test (just kidding)
Finding Your Voice Lesson
Writing Assignment 2.1 – Write a 300 word story
Reminder: generate 15 more Story Sparks this week.
Reading Assignment 2 – Prepare for next week’s Copycat Class

Monday, April 4

The Importance of First Drafts Lesson
Writing Assignment 2.2 – Write a 640 word story (newspaper column length)

Wednesday April 6

Breaking Through Writers’ Block Workshop (audio & PDF)
Writing Assignment 2.3 – Write a story of between 750 – 1200 words using the  Write On Wednesday prompt from StoryADay.org
In the forums:
A review of lessons you’ve learned about your tastes, voice, and writing habits and how to make them work for, not against, you,

WEEK 3 SCHEDULE

This week we’ll increase the intensity. Now that you know you can write stories, we’ll stretch the word count and the number of assignments. But fear not! I’m not going to let you go it alone

Friday, April 8

Capture 30 more story starter ideas this week – for a total of 60
Lesson & Writing Assignment 3.1  CopyCat Writing Class –  sit at the feet of your favorite author and dissect one of their stories then write your own story on their framework – just like a Renaissance apprentice!
Reading – Don’t forget to read some short stories by writers you admire, to keep you inspiration levels high.

Monday, April 11

Avoiding Short Story Pitfalls Lesson – a look at form and technical details
Writing Assignment 3.2 – Write a story 1200-2000 words

Wednesday, April 13

Writing Assignment 3.3 – Write the story you’ve been waiting to write.
Forum Focus – schedule some time to dive into the forums over the next two days, to comment on other people’s writing, compare strategies for your writing after the course, and talk about what you’ve learned/discovered. Use this time to make new commitments and put them out in public.

Thursday, April 14

Final conference call with people you’ve got to know over the past three weeks, and who will be your posse during StoryADay in May

Write-On-Wednesdays – Embrace Your Inner Sadist

If you saw the comments on last week’s post 6 Reasons You’ll Never Be A Writer, you’ll know that one reasons touched a nerve with a lot of people:

#6: You’re Too Nice

Commenter Michelle Kobayashi captured the mood when she said:

“My first 17 chapters were very nice. There was little conflict and the characters worked out their issues reasonably.

“It sucked.

“Then I learned about inciting incidents and the need for conflict. That’s when the fun began. One character in particular is so rude I cringe when I reread her scenes. And I wouldn’t change a thing. Embrace your inner sadist indeed!”

(Thanks to Donald Maass for the catchy slogan at the end there!)

Seems like this is something ia lot of us need practise with. So,

The Prompt

Shout ! ! !
Photo by lempicki.maciek

Write a scene featuring a truly loathsome (but believable) character. They don’t have to be a Disney Villain. It could be that really annoying person at work who has no redeeming qualities that you can find, no matter how hard you try.

Dig deep. Remember how annoying, frustrating, irritating your least favorite person in the world is. Pair them up with your favorite hero-type and give them a scene.

Then let your hero say all the things you’ve rehearsed in your head but would never say, because you’re just, well, too nice.

Let it all out. Make us (and yourself) cringe.

The Rules:

  1. You should use the prompt in some way in your story (however tenuous the connection)
  2. You must write the story in one 24 hr period – the faster the better.
  3. Post your scene in the comments — if you’re brave enough.
  4. Find something nice to say about someone else’s story and leave a comment. Everybody needs a little support!

Optional Extras:

Share this challenge on Twitter or Facebook

Some tweets/updates you might use:

Embracing My Inner Sadist: http://bit.ly/ehx03t #WriteOnWed #storyaday

I never knew I could be so mean! #WriteOnWed #storyaday http://bit.ly/ehx03t

This week’s #WriteOnWed short story prompt is “Embrace Your Inner Sadist″: http://bit.ly/ehx03t

Come and write with us today: http://t.co/OpHsJ04 #WriteOnWed #storyaday

See my story – and write your own: http://t.co/OpHsJ04 #WriteOnWed #storyaday

If you would like to be the Guest Prompter, click here.

With thanks to my friends at Creative Copy Challenge for inspiration and support. Go to Creative Copy Challenge every day for a new writing prompt and supportive community of writers.


Write-On-Wednesdays – 2001: A Short Odyssey

Introducing Write On Wednesdays: a weekly warm-up for all endurance writers.  Wednesday is the day we limber up for the challenge of writing a story a month; or keep the muscles warm after the challenge is over. No point getting all those creative muscles in shape only to let them atrophy!

The Prompt

What might you – or a character very like you – have been doing on this afternoon ten years ago? Write a short story that springs from a circumstance or character from your life in February 2001.

OK, so we weren’t traveling to moon bases and stopping off on rotating space stations, but there was a lot of other stuff going on. Remember, this was post-Millennium Bug, pre-9/11 (but only by 7 months), after the first dotcom bubble had burst but before the banking/mortgage collapse. Friends and Seinfeld were still on the air but American Idol was not. “Reality” TV was just about to take over from quiz shows as the new money spinner for networks and no-one was watching video online yet.

What was life like all those years ago? Take us back.

The Rules:

  1. You should use the prompt in some way in your story (however tenuous the connection)
  2. You must write the story in one 24 hr period – the faster the better.
  3. Post the story in the comments — if you’re brave enough.
  4. Find something nice to say about someone else’s story and leave a comment. Everybody needs a little support!

Optional Extras:

Share this challenge on Twitter or Facebook

Some tweets/updates you might use:

Travel back in time to Feb 2001: http://t.co/OpHsJ04 #WriteOnWed #storyaday #wow

What were you doing 10 years ago? Is there a story there? #WriteOnWed http://t.co/OpHsJ04

This week’s #WriteOnWed short story prompt is “2001”: hhttp://t.co/OpHsJ04

Come and write with us: http://t.co/OpHsJ04 #WriteOnWed #storyaday #wow

See my story – and write your own: http://t.co/OpHsJ04 #WriteOnWed #storyaday #wow

If you would like to be the Guest Prompter, click here.

With thanks to my friends at Creative Copy Challenge for inspiration and support. Go to Creative Copy Challenge every day for a new writing prompt and supportive community of writers.