2019 Day 10 – Character Action

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

This is when the challenge gets really tough: the novelty has worn off and the end of the month seems a long time away. But keep going! If you keep writing through this week, you’ll still be writing at the end of the month and that is going to feel really good.

Lean on the support in the comments, to spur you on!

The Prompt

Write A story about yesterday’s character, all grown up

Today’s exercise owes a lot to Donald Mass’s book The Emotional Craft of Fiction.

Yesterday I challenged you to write about an incident earlier in the life of a character you’d come back to, today.

Today I want you to bear in mind the inner struggle of that character, once they’ve had time to create some damaging behaviors based on the incident in yesterday’s story.

Now, pick an action, a physical act, that they can perform in this story. Make it significant to the character.

My example: in Die Hard, when John McClane picks up a photo of his family (back when they were a happy family), he winces, and it shows us everything we need to know about what this character wants, and what’s standing in his way (hint: it’s his own behavior).

Add a moment like that to your story today. No inner-monologue. No telling the reader why it’s significant. Just use all our senses to pull us into the moment.

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!

16 thoughts on “2019 Day 10 – Character Action”

  1. I should probably feel bad in that some of these aren’t full proper stories, but rather snippets… Should, but going to ignore that for now. To go nine days straight post-NaNo is a record for me.

    1. I’m glad you don’t feel bad: writing is writing! And if this is how the challenge is working for you this year, that’s great!

      Like you say, nine straight days of creativity and a pile of story sprouts is something to celebrate!!

    2. Tommia,

      Don’t feel bad, the purpose for me is to plant seeds all the way through. I am thinking of doing na-no-wri-mo (thx for the memory jog Julie) this year. Maybe, just maybe I’ll plant the seed for a novel in story-a-day in the month of may.


    1. Marian,

      Quite liked it, very dark, yet you told a lot in the 100 words. the kid’s outfit in the youtube video is a bit European.


  2. Right, my day 10 is in. It’s 11pm and I’m already thinking about my day 11. Looking for some inspiration I went back on my blog looking at past story-a-days and found this http://afstoryaday.blogspot.com/2017/05/day-4-back-for-love.html novel as it is, it gets better towards the end.

    Maybe, just maybe this helps someone over the first third hump, twenty days to go… It’s worth it, the stuff you come up here is great, you can read it years later and think, who the bloody hell wrote that. have a good night.

  3. I was really inspired by this prompt and yesterday’s. I’ve written almost every day so far and I’m finding that the more often I write, even for a few minutes, the more ideas I have. I’m so glad that I decided to join in this time. At some point I’m going to have to breakdown and try to write on the computer, so I can share and get feedback.

  4. I think I may have gone too dark for my childhood trauma yesterday. I meant to create a moment that would just form a misbelief for my character to work on during today’s prompt, but the only way my poor character is going to get over that one is in therapy! I guess I could write a scene in a therapy office?

  5. I found the free sample pages from the book you recommended really helpful! I shall get that book 📖.
    I have a story plan in place and have written about 1000 words but the story isn’t finished yet. Also, rereading it, I want to extend the opening paragraph. It was a harder challenge for me because I knew where I wanted it to go and I feel I’m being stilted in style in an attempt to move it along. That’s why I need that book. I shall go back to this story though because I know I can find my voice with it, and I want to be able to do it!

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