[Write On Wednesday] Got the Patter?

Last night my local writing group held a Reading Night. It was a wonderful thing.

For one thing the participants got to read their stories to an appreciative audience who simply wanted to have fun (as opposed to sending their story to an editor or a critique partner who is looking for things to reject).

And for another, there were some experienced performers in the group, who gave feedback and tips on the actual performance part of the reading. Invaluable stuff.

Reading your work is something you’ll be called upon to do as published author, so practice the skill (very different from writing!) as often as you can!

Last night’s reading prompted this, er prompt, because so many of the characters came alive when they had a distinctive voice, a distinctive patois. One story featured a rising politician, who used all the kinds of phrases you might expect of a rising sleazebag politician.

Another story featured a 1968 California Happening dude, who talked just like you would expect (expertly performed by a man who looked the right age to have been there.)

These stories, more than all the others, stuck with me because of the authenticity of the character’s voice. And that’s what I want you to practice this week.

MISO

The Prompt

Give Your Character A Distinctive Voice

Tips

  • Make your character have a job or a background with a specific set of jargon (for example: a stock broker would sound very different from a tuned-in, turned-on dude from 1968 Haight-Ashbury)
  • Get them into conversation with another character as soon as possible and see if you can keep their voices so distinct that you rarely have to write ‘he said’.
  • Concentrate on the rhythms of speech and the special phrases or jargon your character might use.
  • How would your character deliver their lines? Tentatively? With lots of preamble? Stridently? Rather than using these adverbs, let your characters use words that capture the content of their character
  • If you need more inspiration watch a supercut of Robin Williams as the genie in Aladdin and try to capture that kind of vigor in the words you put in the characters’ mouths! (But set a timer, so you don’t end up disappearing down a YouTube rabbit hole…)

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!

[Write On Wednesday] A Rewrite Game from Marta Pelrine-Bacon

Today’s prompt is a guest post from StoryADay founding participant, Marta Pelrine-Bacon. I’m thrilled to share this complex and fruitful exercise for you this week. And do yourself a favor and check out Marta’s writing and art in the links at the bottom of the page.

The Rewrite Game

art by marta pelrine-bacon

Write a scene or a short story.

Continue reading “[Write On Wednesday] A Rewrite Game from Marta Pelrine-Bacon”

[Write On Wednesday] Talk Talk Talk

This month at StoryADay we’re going to focus on dialogue.

Gripping, realistic dialogue can bring a story and its characters to life. Writing great dialogue, however, takes practice.

Talking

THE PROMPT

Write A Story Told Almost Completely In Dialogue

TIPS

Continue reading “[Write On Wednesday] Talk Talk Talk”

SWAGr for July 2019

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

SWAGr logo

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

  • Write a story a day in May – everyone!
  • Revise at least 10 short stories – Iraide
  • Write two short stories. – Jami
  • Attend one writers’ conference – Julie
  • Write fable for WordFactory competition – Sonya
  • Re-read the backstory pieces I wrote in May and see if I can use them within my novel – Monique
  • Research the market – Jami
  • Focus on my serial – Maureen

 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!)

StoryFest 2019 Is Coming!

This is for everyone – whether you wrote or you didn’t. If you wrote in a previous year; if you wanted to write but couldn’t make it; if you wrote one story; if you simply read and enjoyed someone else’s.

This is our chance to celebrate, and boost both the short story and our friends in StoryADay.

StoryFest 2019

June 29-30

storyaday.org

What is StoryFest?

StoryFest is a weekend when the stories take over StoryADay.org.

On Jun 29, the front page of StoryADay.org will change to one dedicated to you and your stories. It will be full of links to your stories, online, until June 30

It’s our end-of-year party, our recital, our chance to share our work with readers.

(It’s also my birthday month, so consider your participation as your birthday gift to me!)

How To Celebrate StoryFest

  • If you wrote even one story in this (or any previous) StoryADay, submit one to be featured on the site’s front page June 29-30.
  • Nominate someone else’s story to be featured.
  • Spread the word: from now until StoryFest, tell everyone you know on every social network (especially the ones with readers in them) about StoryFest. Tell them to come to the site June 29-30 to read new and exciting work by up-and-coming future stars of the literary world!
  • Post the graphic on your blog, your Facebook timeline, tattoo it on your leg, whatever! (Get your graphics here)
  • Come to the site June 29-30, follow a link to a story, read it and comment on it.

How To Submit/Nominate A Story

Simple.

Fill Out This Form.

Be ready to supply your storyaday username, your real name or psuedonym, a link to the story you’re nominating, its title and a summary, a link to a story by someone else (optional but karmically recommended).

Deadline: Thursday, June 27.

This gives you a few days to pick your story and possibly polish it a bit. If you can get it to me before the deadline I’ll love you forever, though, as it’s going to take me a while to organize all the submissions.

StoryFest FAQ


Does my story have to be online?

Yes. We want to create a reader fanbase for you. Stories must be posted somewhere online, in full.

Is it OK if my story is on my personal blog (or other site).

Absolutely. Just supply the link.

Will it be considered published?

Your story is not being published by StoryADay, but you should be aware that some editors still consider a story that has been posted online, as having been previously published. If you think this is your last good story ever, by all means guard it with your life. Or, if you plan to submit it to a publication in its current form, you may not want it posted online. Otherwise, I wouldn’t spend too much time worrying about this.

Does It Have To Be A Story I Wrote During StoryADay?

Yes. I’ll have to trust you on this. But it can be a story you wrote in a previous year.

Why Do I Have To Select A Genre Label?

Try not to agonize over this. I know most fiction is really cross-genre. It’s just short-hand for readers. I know I’m more likely to plump for a Speculative/Sci-Fi story or a mystery before I will read a fantasy story. As a reader, you don’t want to scroll through a long list of stories with no clues as to which you might prefer. Genre labels simply help readers make a quick decision, rather than being paralyzed or overwhelmed and not clicking on anything. Just think like a reader, grit your teeth and pick a genre.

Can I Submit Erotica/Horror/TheWierdStuff?

Um, okay. But I’d appreciate it if you’d label it as such, so as not to scare the grownups.

Can I Revise My Story?

Absolutely. Polish it up, shine its little shoes, put a bow in its hair and send it into the world looking its best. But don’t take too long! And remember, you’re unlikely to ever be 100% satisfied. Polish it a bit, then let it go.

Deadline is Thursday, June 27.

[Write On Wednesday] Your Character’s Voice

Today we’re going to play with making your characters sound distinctive.

Voiceover Microphone

The Prompt

Write A Story With Lots Of Dialogue That Teachers Us About Your Characters

Continue reading “[Write On Wednesday] Your Character’s Voice”