[Writing Prompt] – A Little Planning

I know, people feel really strongly about whether or not to outline, but today—whether you’re a planer or not– I’m going to encourage you to think of your writing session as a road trip.

Road trips are fun, but usually we have a destination in mind. When, in the middle, with whoever is in the backseat complaining, and the last of the sandwiches eaten, it helps to know the answer to the question “are we nearly there yet?”

Traditional, western narrative stories have a structure, and here is a model for that.

Using the framework to brainstorm your story will help you both get to the end and, just when you’re getting sick of the story, figure out if you are indeed ‘nearly there yet’.

Give it a try.

Photo by Tabea Damm on Unsplash

The Prompt

Download the Short Story Framework and brainstorm a story

Tips

  • Start writing as soon as you feel inspired
  • When you get stuck come back to the framework and brainstorm the next ‘leg’ of the journey
  • Watch this video lesson: on how to use this framework and write a story in 40 minute

If you share you story somewhere (and here’s why you might not want to) post a link here so we can come and read it.

Leave a comment to let us know what you wrote about today, and how it went!

[Writing Prompt] A Rose By Any Other Name

In keeping with this month’s theme of Achieving Wins and Celebrating, limit yourself to 1000 words for this story and just get it done.


The Prompt

Write a story that starts at the end. The story must include a flower.

Tips

  • I’ve given you the restriction of including a flower, because when we have too much freedom it is paralyzing. I bet as soon as I said ‘flower’ your mind starting turning over how it could get a flower into a story.
  • Starting at the end is a fun way to tell a story. It’s a fun for the reader, as they try to unpick the puzzle of how your character ended up *here*. It’s good for the writer because we aren’t tempted to write a story-with-no-point. We know it’s going somewhere and we have to figure out how to get there!
  • All our stories should be about something, should hvae a point, should make the reader say ‘ah, yes, I must keep reading to find out why…”. Often, in the process of writing our ideas, we forget this, or get lost in the details. Telling a story in reverse (or at least starting at the end and jumping back in time) is a great exercise to cure us of this.
  • Brainstorm some ways your story could start that would intrigue a reader. Is your character standing on the roof of a building looking over the edge? Are they running? Are the police leading them away? Are they laughing gleefully as someone plunges a knife through their heart? (Yes, more Star Trek references! Bonus points if you can identify the episode.)
storyaday divider

If you share you story somewhere (and here’s why you might not want to) post a link here so we can come and read it.

Leave a comment to let us know what you wrote about today, and how it went!

Craft In the Real World, an Interview with Matthew Salesses

Matthew Salesses is the author of three novels — one written in Flash Fiction — and the writing handbook “Craft In The Real World”. In this episode we talk about writing rules, audience, how to give and receive feedback and what it was like to write a flash fiction novel.

 

Photo credit: Grace Salesses

Ready to write today, not “some day”?

198 – The Practice by Seth Godin

When Seth Godin talks about creative work, I listen.

This week I talk about his new book “The Practice” and how we can rethink and build up our own creative practices.

Also: if you’re on the Clubhouse audio social app, you can follow me @julieduffy and join me at 4PM (Eastern US) every day next week for a creativity boost.

Links:

Comment on the questions in this episode: https://storyaday.org/episode198

The Practice at Amazon.com (not an affiliate link): http://stada.me/GodinPractice

This week’s Writing Prompt: https://storyaday.org/ow-achieve

Ready to write today, not “some day”?

[Writing Prompt] – An Achievable Goal

This month’s theme at StoryADay is “Triumph!”

Mindset is incredibly important in the life of the writer, and that means we need to celebrate every little win.

The fastest way to do that, is to make it easy to get to the win. So, today’s prompt is to write and finish a story in 100 words and I know you can do it.

person celebrating in the stands of a soccer stadium

The Prompt

Write 100 words about a character who is famous or infamous for one moment in their life.

Tips

You can read some 100 word stories here to get inspired.

You’ll have to work hard to pack an emotional punch into 100 words, but I know you can do it!

You can read the tips I’ve posted previously for 100 word stories here, here, or here

If you share you story somewhere (and here’s why you might not want to) post a link here so we can come and read it.

Leave a comment to let us know what you wrote about today, and how it went!

SWAGr for February 2021

Welcome to the Serious Writers’ Accountability Group!

Post your goals for this month and let us know how you got on with last month’s goals.

Serious Writers' Accountability Group

Leave a comment below telling us how you got on last month, and what you plan to do next month, then check back in on the first of each month, to see how everyone’s doing.

(It doesn’t have to be fiction. Feel free to use this group to push you in whatever creative direction you need.)

Did you live up to your commitment from last month? Don’t remember what you promised to do? Check out the comments from last month.

And don’t forget to celebrate with/encourage your fellow SWAGr-ers on their progress!

Download your SWAGr Tracking Sheet now, to keep track of your commitments this month

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Examples of Goals Set By SWAGr-ers in previous months

  • Finish first draft of story and write 3 articles for my school paper. – Courtney
  • Write on seven days this month – Clare
  • Extend my reading and to read with a ‘writers eye’- Wendy
  • write 10,000 words – Mary Lou

 So, what will you accomplish this month? Leave your comment below (use the drop-down option to subscribe to the comments and receive lovely, encouraging notifications from fellow StADa SWAGr-ers!)

(Next check-in, 1st of the month. Tell your friends!)

197 – Your Writing Legacy

In this episode I pay tribute to my writing buddy Tony Conaway; talk about Creative Wills; and organizing your writing archives and processes.

::Links::

Creative Will – http://stada.me/will

Your Organizing Tips – http://stada.me/organize

Tony’s Tips for Revising: http://stada.me/tonyrevision

A Writing Prompt: http://stada.me/tonyprompt

 

 

Ready to write today, not “some day”?

196 – Narrative With Dr. Julie Helmrich

Why the story we tell ourselves is the most important we’ll ever tell…and the impact it has on our ability to manage our inner critic, imposter syndrome and to get our work done.

Dr. Julie Helmrich, psychologist and founder of Iron Psych specializes in change fluency and narrative, and is my guest this week, talking about psychological fitness for writers.

Links:

Dr. Helmrich’s site: https://juliehelmrich.com/

Writing prompt: https://storyaday.org/wow-customs

Ready to write today, not “some day”?

[Write On Wednesday] Weird Little Customs

Culture infuses everything about our world, so ‘world-building’ is an important part of our writing. Today’s prompt encourages you to build a story around a cultural oddity.

Image: gangster in a  police lineup
Man dressed as a 1920s ganster in police line up

The Prompt

Think about a cultural norm in the world of your story and explore its ramifications for your characters.

Tips

Continue reading “[Write On Wednesday] Weird Little Customs”

195 – Bumper Q&A Episode

In which I talk about why we do this thing we do, and answer the top 10 questions I get asked, at StoryADay (including everything from where to put commas, to how to submit stories, to how to overcome imposter syndrome).

Grab a hot beverage and settle in…

Links

Short Story Structure: https://storyaday.org/framework

Imposter Syndrome: https://storyaday.org/imposter-syndrome/

The 3-Day Challenge: https://storyaday.org/3dc

Ready to write today, not “some day”?