Congratulations. You’ve been writing stories all month. You’ve written more short stories this month than most writers write in a decade [1. This is not a scientific fact. But doesn’t it seem likely, doesn’t it, what with the elves slacking off?].
My guess is you’re getting pretty good at this by now. Sure some of your stories will be ragged urchins hanging around the door making you feel guilty — with their unfinished clothes and dirty faces. Some will remind you of those relatives you never talk about because…well. But some, oh, some will be your new best friend, shiny and guaranteed to make you feel a flutter inside every time you think of them: grateful they are here, amazed they came to you, flattered that their attractiveness somehow rubs off on you now.
And more than this, you have learned a ton about your own strengths and abilities; your favorite styles; the things you never tried before; the ways you can present a character; and, hopefully, that other people love your stories even in their rough-and-ready StoryADay form.
If you’re still writing at this stage, you’ve already figured out how to not be scared of writing, how to sit down every day and do it, and you’re pretty confident that you can squeeze out three more stories and bask in the warm June glow of victory.
So I’d like you to make things just a little harder for yourself today.
Don’t just write a story.
Write a story with a real, compelling, heroic main character.
Take some time to think about how you will present your main character.
- Is she more compelling than anyone you meet on an average day? Is she funnier? Weaker? Stronger? More scared? Required to be braver?
- How will you highlight his strengths and weaknesses? Through inner-monologue? Other people’s reactions to him? Other people’s conversations about him?
- How will you put your main character through the mill? What flaws will that reveal, and how will you make the readers still your hero?
Give the world a new hero today.