Sometimes limits can be good…
Set A Timer For 40 Minutes, Write A Story
Spend 10 minutes brainstorming and starting the story, 20 minutes complicating your character’s life, and the final 10 minutes reviewing what you’ve written, making notes and writing an ending.
Leave a comment, to tell us how you got on today.
15 thoughts on “Day 4 – Tell A Story In 40 Minutes”
Complete (maybe?). I did a detailed outline, not a full manuscript. The clock provided the discipline. The story will require a lot of dialogue, so I chose to outline, leaving the dialogue for later.
I frequently practice ‘free writing’ so I am comfortable with the clock. This exercise gave me specific targets, i.e. Start, Conflict, End, which I like. Thanks for the drill.
Done, and I’m starting to question what is going on in my subconscious because what’s coming out in the prompts is a bit dark! I’m going with it though, just going to think of it as therapy. I mean don’t most people want to kill an ex? (just kidding, sort of)
I finished today’s prompt, and used it to continue the original story idea I started with using Day 1’s prompt. My 30 something has found a secret and that secret is almost revealed in today’s story, but she manages to safeguard it. There is a lot I need to think about though, my character isn’t fleshed out well, I don’t even have a name for her. I have multiple ideas about her secret- so today’s story was slightly vague in that respect. But lets see how I progress with the other prompts and the rest of the story 🙂 I’ll be elated if by the end of the month I have a semblance of a character and her story..haha
Getting me a good character sketch out of this one . . . 🙂
I was almost sleep when I revised, but yeah, it’s done.
I think I’m okay with the result… but since I revised it then, I haven’t read it again. So, I feel it’s too early to say.
Maybe this isn’t s the best time to revise… 😉
I am learning that writing stories is hard! People have always told me that I write well. But, I’ve never really tried writing stories. I’ve been telling myself for a long time that it’s time to start trying, and this challenge has provided me with motivation and structure. Thus far, I’m finding that my stories are mostly autobiographical. I’m going to try to flex my imagination a little bit to see if I can start writing something interesting that is outside of my own experience. Even if I don’t create any good stories, I think this challenge is going to prove very useful as a learning opportunity.
Ha, it was a bit humbling for me too, when I realized that there was more to writing than just being able to make pretty sentences. Not to worry! This month will exercise all those storytelling muscles. Stay tuned this week for 7 days of story elements you can work on!
Yeah, it’s a bit humbling to realise that there’s more to storytelling than beautiful writing, isn’t it? That’s something I struggle with mightily at the novel-length. It’s a little less of a struggle now at the short story length, but that’s only because I’ve been practicing!
I highly recommend Lisa Cron’s books, “Wired for Story” and “Story Genius”, if you’re interested in digging deeper into how to apply your good writing to the business of crafting fiction stories. Keep at it!!
I ended up using characters I had created for another story, sending them on a trip to a paint-a-piece-of-pottery place.
Very similar to David, I was very aware of the time, which seemed to go SO FAST. I broke the time up into three sprints, with little stretch breaks in between, so all in all it took me about an hour and ten minutes? (Is that cheating? Ah well.) I sprint often, but usually my goals are more oriented toward maximizing word count rather than completing story parts, so this felt quite different. I liked it!
I ended up with a quite ugly draft, with a lot of filling in required in the future, but I’ve got the core of a quite creepy (?) but ultimately uplifting story (?) about a witch dealing with the death of her aunt, and trying to look after her aunt’s (magic) garden. Hey, it has a beginning, middle, and end!
We love ugly drafts!
For what it’s worth, I wouldn’t consider that cheating 😉
Complete. Wrote a story called “Picky Monkey” about a monkey in a jungle canopy who gets fed up with eating bananas and wants to explore the jungle floor, where he finds danger and eventually friendship. After the first 10 minutes I gave the monkey a flashback to “complicate his life” which in turn led to a similar event happening in the story. Felt very pressed for time during all three stages of the exercise but I think watching the minutes fly by gave me a healthy perspective on how fast time goes by while writing. Thanks for the prompt!
I got today’s story done fairly early again. I had fun with this one, also using a prompt I found while browsing pinterest one day. This doesn’t follow along with the stories I’ve been writing this month, but in one of my other series.