130 – Short Story Framework

A popular resource at StoryADay is the StADa Short Story Framework.

Now it’s available to everyone as a download: https://stada.me/framework

Also in this episode I talk about the upcoming events at StoryADay after May finishes, including the Critique Week and StoryFest and, of course, StoryADay September!

https://storyaday.org/events

 

It’s another new episode of the StoryADay Podcast

2019 Day 25 – Assembly

How did you get on yesterday? Did you write a story?

Remember, set your own rules, and stick to them. If you miss a day, don’t try to catch up. Just keep moving forward!

The Prompt

Write A Story Featuring an Assembly or Crowd Scene

You can tell the story of a song or simply use it in the story.

Normally I caution against having too many people in a short story, but today I want you to practice filling the scene with a crowd…but still focusing on your main characters.

There’s lots of potential for noise, color, and action in this one!

Go!

Check back every day for more prompts, and don’t forget to come back and leave a comment to celebrate your writing successes, every day!

2019 Day 24 – Song Title

How did you get on yesterday? Did you write a story?

Remember, set your own rules, and stick to them. If you miss a day, don’t try to catch up. Just keep moving forward!

The Prompt

Write A Story Inspired by A Song Title

You can tell the story of a song or simply use it in the story.

Here are a couple of resources

An A-Z of Song Titles – if you feel the need to pick randomly

Fantasy Song Title Generator – for those of you who like to play fast-and-loose with the rules

Go!

Check back every day for more prompts, and don’t forget to come back and leave a comment to celebrate your writing successes, every day!

2019 Day 23 – A Picture

How did you get on yesterday? Did you write a story?

Remember, set your own rules, and stick to them. If you miss a day, don’t try to catch up. Just keep moving forward!

The Prompt

Write A Story Inspired by This Painting

Richard Norris Brooke (American, 1847 – 1920), A Pastoral Visit, 1881, oil on canvas, Corcoran Collection (Museum Purchase, Gallery Fund) 2014.136.119

Unless you’re an expert in the time period, don’t try to write the historically-accurate story of this picture.

Instead, look at the details, the people, the expressions and see what it suggests for you.

Write about a family of laborers terraforming the first, off-planet colony, and entertaining a local dignitary for dinner

Write the story of a woman (any woman) whose husband brings home his boss when she’s had a full day at work and has just changed into her sweatpants and pulled her hair back into a messy bun, and she was in the middle of yelling at the kids for dragging in a stray kitten from goodness-knows-where and she’s just called out for pizza…

Tell the story of the bowl on the table. Where did it come from? Where will it end up, three generations from this moment.

The wonderful thing about using paintings as a prompt is that they represent one moment in time…just like short stories!

Our lives and our personalities are shaped by an accumulation of tiny moments. Never think that an idea or a moment is too small to be the spark for a worthy story.

Start practicing that belief with today’s story!

Go!

Check back every day for more prompts, and don’t forget to come back and leave a comment to celebrate your writing successes, every day!

2019 Day 22 – Word List

How did you get on yesterday? Did you write a story?

Remember, set your own rules, and stick to them. If you miss a day, don’t try to catch up. Just keep moving forward!

The Prompt

Write A Story Containing These Words

distinct, weak, volunteered, slow, coming,
time, duress, suspected, shimmy, listened.

If you’re feeling brave, post the story in the comments, or on your own blog and link to it (like so many of you have been doing already).

Underline or bold the key words, or just let us read the story without noticing them.

This is a silly exercise designed to lower the bar on your expectations. But you may be surprised at what you manage to do with this prompt!

Go!

Check back every day for more prompts, and don’t forget to come back and leave a comment to celebrate your writing successes, every day!

2019 Day 21 – One-Sided

How did you get on yesterday? Did you write a story?

Remember, set your own rules, and stick to them. If you miss a day, don’t try to catch up. Just keep moving forward!

The Prompt

Write A Story Where We Only Hear One Side of The Conversation

Like yesterday’s epistolary story, this story takes the form of a conversation.

Only this time we only hear one side.

(Think about Bob Newhart’s telephone conversation skits or Neil Gaiman’s story “Orange”)

It can be a telephone conversation, one side of a text conversation, or a series of letters from a correspondent, where we never see the answers.

Leave gaps for the reader to fill in.

Go!

Check back every day for more prompts, and don’t forget to come back and leave a comment to celebrate your writing successes, every day!

2019 Day 20 – Epistolary Story

How did you get on yesterday? Did you write a story?

Remember, set your own rules, and stick to them. If you miss a day, don’t try to catch up. Just keep moving forward!

The Prompt

Write A Story In The Form Of Letters

An epistolary story is one that is written in:

  • letters,
  • memos,
  • texts,
  • voicemail messages,
  • video messages…anything that is communicated directly to another character, not in real time.
  • Make this conversation between two or more characters.
  • Make sure to give everyone a distinctive voice,
  • Think about how we communicate in writing vs in dialogue and how a character’s voice might change in writing, when they are in no danger of being interrupted and can explain themselves fully.

Go!

Check back every day for more prompts, and don’t forget to come back and leave a comment to celebrate your writing successes, every day!

2019 Day 19 – 3 Perspectives

How did you get on yesterday? Did you write a story?

Remember, set your own rules, and stick to them. If you miss a day, don’t try to catch up. Just keep moving forward!

The Prompt

Write The Same Incident From Three Different Perspectives

Use this exercise to sink into character: how would different people tell the story of the same incident? What are their motivations? Who are they talking to? What are they hoping to achieve?

Go!

Check back every day for more prompts, and don’t forget to come back and leave a comment to celebrate your writing successes, every day!

2019 Day 18 – Prose Sonnet

How did you get on yesterday? Did you write a story?

Remember, set your own rules, and stick to them. If you miss a day, don’t try to catch up. Just keep moving forward!

The Prompt

Don’t worry: you don’t have to know anything about poetry and you don’t have to make this rhyme!

Write A Story In 14 Sentences

That’s it!

(Sometimes different forms can be surprisingly freeing so if you hate this idea, try it anyway!!)

If you know about the different types of sonnets (or want to research them) you could echo the thematic ‘rules’ that sometimes apply.

But don’t waste to much time worrying about that. Just write a story in 14 sentences.

Go!

Check back every day for more prompts, and don’t forget to come back and leave a comment to celebrate your writing successes, every day!

2019 Day 17 -Aphorisms

How did you get on yesterday? Did you write a story?

Remember, set your own rules, and stick to them. If you miss a day, don’t try to catch up. Just keep moving forward!

The Prompt

Today we’re continuing our theme of weird story forms.

WRITE A STORY USING AN APHORISM FOR THE FIRST WORD IN EVERY SENTENCE

This is sort of like an accrostic, but with a whole word instead of just a letter. When your reader looks at the story in a certain way, the first word of every sentence will read as an aphorism

It’s a challenge for you and one that is designed to really take the pressure off you, because the chances of you writing a brilliant piece of literature this way, are virtually nil. You might have fun with the puzzle though 😉

TIPS

  • Underline the first word of every sentence and see if your reader figures it out.
  • Use the phrase as a title.
  • Or, post the phrase at the end, like a fable’s ‘moral’.
  • Or just leave it and see if anyone notices!
  • Bonus points if you make your story about the saying/phrase.
  • If you don’t enjoy writing puzzles, you could take an aphorism and write a story with that title.

Places To Find Aphorisms

Go!

Check back every day for more prompts, and don’t forget to come back and leave a comment to celebrate your writing successes, every day!