[Write On Wednesday] – What A Girl Wants

I used to get hung up on The Big Idea: having something to say; writing a story that was somehow meaningful.

It wasn’t until I tried to write a story a day for the first time, back in 2010, that I realized: the idea doesn’t come first.

The idea (the theme) often doesn’t come until the end of the story when you suddenly realize what it is your characters have been yapping on about for the past few pages.

The character — what the character wants, what the character doesn’t have, and why — are where the story happens.

The Prompt

danglies
"Danglies" by Keera Russell
  • Today, come up with a character (could be based on someone you know).
  • Think of one thing the character really wants and doesn’t have. (It doesn’t have to be a life-changing thing. It could be a pair of diamond earrings.)
  • Make this ‘want’ the central motif of the story.  I think you can learn a lot about a person by how they deal with what they don’t have.
  • Tell the story of a moment, a day, an incident in the life of this character.

The Rules:

1. You should use the prompt in your story (however obliquely you use the ‘want’, it should be there in the character and all their reactions).

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:

Don’t miss my short story: What A Girl Wants  #WriteOnWed #storyaday http://wp.me/p1PnSG-zy

This week’s #WriteOnWed short story prompt is all about what your character wants #storyaday http://wp.me/p1PnSG-zy

Come and write with us! #WriteOnWed #storyaday http://wp.me/p1PnSG-zy

See my story – and write your own, today: What Your Character Wants #WriteOnWed #storyaday http://wp.me/p1PnSG-zy

3 thoughts on “[Write On Wednesday] – What A Girl Wants”

  1. I like this.
    I have this problem, well, issue with what I write: at the end of the story, people who are my readers invariable ask me what this story is about. I don’t seem to have a point, or Big Idea.
    The idea is way to big and hairy a goal, but a character who wants something and whatever conflicts arrise because of the Want, that I think I can do. And if the readers want to say it was about some BIG idea afterwards, that’s their privilege.

  2. Hey Michal, thanks for sharing that.

    It can be tempting to just write a beautiful scene (yeah, guilty), but without that ‘want’ it is harder to make a connection with readers.

    You can also focus on making someone, or something, change throughout the story, but I like this idea of the emotional connection with the reader through showing them what the character wants. I’m going to be trying to think about it more while I write too. Let us know how you get on!

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