Day 4 – Neha Mediratta Gives You An Ending

The Prompt

Write a 1000 word flash fiction story that ends with the line: “That’s how a small cut in her finger led to the end of the world.”

The Author

Neha Mediratta is a freelance writer and editor based in Mumbai. Her interests include swimming, tai chi along with studying natural and human systems of organization. Check out her writing at https://www.amazon.com/Neha-Mediratta/e/B08CJSLD2H

Read A Book, Support An Indie

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This year’s StoryADay May official bookseller is Reads & Company, a privately-owned indie bookseller in Pennsylvania. Any purchase from the site this month supports Reads & Co.

Leave a comment and let us know how you used the prompt, and how you’re celebrating!

Day 3 – Matthew Salesses Looks Back

The Prompt

This prompt comes from thinking about point of view and you could use it to write the whole story in two parts.

For the first part create a character who does something that you did during that week: e.g. go to the grocery store and you buy oranges. now. Now write about it in the third-person perspective and fictionalize it.

In the second part move your story 10 years into the future. Change perspective to make it a first person perspective. And it turns out that that non-momentous moment from your life (e.g. going to the super supermarket and buying oranges) ended up being extremely important to this character.

Don’t forget to include how the world has changed from 10 years ago to now and how the character’s world has changed, how they think of the world, and how they move through the world differently.

Would you like to wake up to a video pep talk and writing lesson from me every day during the challenge AND be invited to writing sprints with me and the Superstars during May?
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The Author

MATTHEW SALESSES is the author of the bestsellers The Hundred-Year Flood, an Adoptive Families Best Book of 2015, and Craft in the Real World, an Esquire Best Book of the 2021, which explores alternative models of craft and the writing workshop, especially for marginalized writers.

His latest novel is the PEN/Faulkner Finalist Disappear Doppelgänger Disappear, Matthew was adopted from Korea. In 2015 Buzzfeed named him one of 32 Essential Asian American Writers.

Matthew is an Assistant Professor of English at Coe College, where he teaches fiction writing and Asian American literature and studies.

Read A Book, Support An Indie

Reads & Company Logo

This year’s StoryADay May official bookseller is Reads & Company, a privately-owned indie bookseller in Pennsylvania. Any purchase from the site this month supports Reads & Co.

Leave a comment and let us know how you used the prompt, and how you’re celebrating!

Day 2 – AT Greenblatt Wants You To Go Somewhere New

The Prompt

Write a story or a scene in a setting you have never used before. It can be somewhere you have been or somewhere you have always wanted to go. It can be real or imagined.

The goal is to try something new.

The Author

A.T. Greenblatt is a mechanical engineer by day and a writer by night. She lives in Philadelphia where she’s known to frequently subject her friends to various cooking and home brewing experiments.

She is a graduate of Viable Paradise XVI and Clarion West 2017. Her work has won a Nebula Award, has been in multiple Year’s Best anthologies, and has appeared in Uncanny, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Lightspeed, and Clarkesworld, as well as other fine publications. You can find her online at http://atgreenblatt.com and on Twitter at @AtGreenblatt

Read A Book, Support An Indie

Reads & Company Logo

This year’s StoryADay May official bookseller is Reads & Company, a privately-owned indie bookseller in Pennsylvania. Any purchase from the site this month supports Reads & Co.

Leave a comment and let us know how you used the prompt, and how you’re celebrating!

SWAGr for May 2021

It’s that time again: make your writing commitments for the month with the Serious Writers’ Accountability Group

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.

I’m pretty sure I know what ONE of your goals might be this month 🙂

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!)

Day 1 – Fran Wilde Crosses A Bridge

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The Prompt

There is a point, in the distance, that your character very badly wants to reach. What is it?

What is the point from which they’ve started out, what are they willing to do to get to that point in the distance? What will they sacrifice?

The bridge is the point between those two places. The bridge is where what they must do to get there, what they’re willing to sacrifice, and the consequences of those decisions coexist.

Write their story, on the bridge.

Are we ready? Today is Day 1 of StoryADay  2021!

Today’s prompt is  from Fran Wilde. Fran is a wonderful short story writer among other things, and she writes weird little stories, but weird little stories that win awards…so let’s pay attention to what she’s asked us to do. 

Fran has asked us to write a story where your character is on a bridge. 

It’s a wonderful metaphor for where characters are in short stories. A short story can be just that moment on the bridge where they can see what they want and they know where they’ve been. 

But they have to do something.

 They have to do something they probably don’t want to do to get to the next step, to get where they want to go. 

Your character wants something and it’s over there. Something is stopping them from getting there. If they’re the three Billy goats gruff, it’s a troll. If it’s a fantasy story, maybe there are rogues on the bridge. If it’s an adventure novel, maybe the bridge is rickety. If it’s a family drama, maybe their spouse is trying to tell them not to go any further….

So many possibilities, but all of them will keep you focused on the fact that, in a short story, a character has a choice to make and they have an action to take. And all the story needs to be is about that. 

You don’t need to do much setup.

You don’t need to really tie it up with a bow. 

You just need to tell us what happens and why it matters. 

So good luck with Day One!

This is a fairly meaty prompt, but on Day One you’ve got lots of energy. You’ve planned for this. You haven’t used up all of your good ideas yet. (That actually is never going to happen)

Go out there and get your teeth into this prompt.

I’ll see you back here tomorrow, but before that,  stop by and let me know what you wrote, how it went and just leave a quick comment for us when you’re done today.

Good for you for showing up. I’m very proud of you. 

Keep writing.

The Author

Two-time Nebula winner Fran Wilde writes science fiction and fantasy for adults and kids, with seven books, so far, that embrace worlds unique (Updraft, The Gemworld) and portal (Riverland, The Ship of Stolen Words), plus numerous short stories appearing in Asimov’s, Tor.com, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Shimmer, Nature, Uncanny, and multiple Year’s Best anthologies.

Her work has won the Eugie Foster and Compton Crook awards, been named an NPR Favorite, and has been a finalist for six Nebulas, three Hugos, a World Fantasy Award, three Locii, and the Lodestar. Fran directs the Genre Fiction MFA concentration at Western Colorado University and writes nonfiction for NPR, The Washington Post, and The New York Times.

Check out her latest work at https://www.franwilde.net/

Read A Book, Support An Indie

Reads & Company Logo

This year’s StoryADay May official bookseller is Reads & Company, a privately-owned indie bookseller in Pennsylvania. Any purchase from the site this month supports Reads & Co.

Leave a comment and let us know how you used the prompt, and how you’re celebrating!

[Write on Wednesday] Write Your Own Prompts

With StoryADay May just around the corner, I’m taking an opportunity to do something different today: prompting you to create some back-up writing prompts of your own, for days when the official StoryADay prompt leaves you cold (it happens. I’m not offended!)

Photo by Gift Habeshaw from Unsplash.

The Prompt

Write several lines that might work as writing prompts for stories during StoryADay in case there are days when the official prompt doesn’t speak to you.

Tips

Continue reading “[Write on Wednesday] Write Your Own Prompts”

[Write on Wednesday] Not The First

On this day in 1972 John Young and Charles Duke were the 9th and 10th humans to land on the moon. They weren’t the first crew to touch down, nor were they the last (that was the mission after theirs). What they did was still mind-blowingly complex, but didn’t garner nearly as much attention.

Photo by NASA on Unsplash

The Prompt

Write about a character (or duo) who is doing something new and difficult, but they’re not the first to achieve it. What does that do to their attitude to the task, to their relationship with each other, to their relationship with the people around them?

Tips

Continue reading “[Write on Wednesday] Not The First”

[Write on Wednesday] A Writer’s Tale

This month’s prompts are all designed to help you warm up for StoryADay May. This week, an opportunity to think about what it means to be a writer.

Photo by Thought Catalog from Unsplash

The Prompt

Write A Story About A Writer

Tips

Continue reading “[Write on Wednesday] A Writer’s Tale”

[Write On Wednesday] Flash

As we come into April I’ll be sharing prompts designed to help you warm up for the 12th Annual StoryADay May (can you believe it?!). This week: what can you capture in a flash?

Photo of a young woman looking back over her left shoulder, smiling slightly, caught in camera flash, at twilight, by Gift Habeshaw on Unsplash

The Prompt

Write a Flash Fiction story in 500 words, inspired by a vivid moment like the one in the photo, above.

Tips

Continue reading “[Write On Wednesday] Flash”

[Write On Wednesday] Sight

I saved this prompt for last because it tends to be the one that we modern writers, raised on TV and movies, reach for first and are most reluctant to demote.

My hope is that, after four weeks of writing in the other senses, you’re a little disappointed to be invited to concentrate on what your characters can see this week. My hope is that you’ll be open to using sight in more creative ways than you might have been last month.

Child looking at the Empire State building through tower viewer Photo by Maarten van den Heuvel on Unsplash

The Prompt

Your character is searching for something…and time is running out.

Tips

Continue reading “[Write On Wednesday] Sight”