StoryADay September 2016 Begins Here

Welcome to Week One!

This weeks’s theme: Limits

(Keep scrolling for this week’s writing prompts!)

I know you’re excited.

I know you want to get started on your great masterpiece. But putting that kind of pressure on yourself is the fastest way to create a crippling case of writer’s block!

This week I’m going to impose limits on your writing that will make it almost impossible for you to write something great. This is my gift to you.

(Don’t worry I’m going to let you write what you want a little bit later in the month.)

The limits I’m going to impose on your writing will bypass your inner editorlower the stakes, and help you discover the joy of writing for its own sake, without worrying about being graded, critiqued, or assessed as worthy of publication or not.

The exercises and the limits include:

  • a time limit
  • a list of words that you must us in your story
  • point of view
  • specific characters you must use
  • specific forms you must use.

Tips for Success In Week 1

  • Set a time to write every day
  • Don’t worry about writing something great
  • Hit the page, write with abandon, finish the story, walk away and never look back.

This is going to be fun!

Here are your posts for the upcoming week

How To Take Part

  1. Write a story every day (you don’t have to use the prompts)
  2. Come back to each day’s post and leave a comment telling us how you got on.
  3. Encourage other people to keep going!

Even if you’re note using the prompts, click on the links below, because the comments of those blog posts are where the community discussion‘s happening for StoryADay September 2016!

The Prompts – Week One

Week Two (coming soon)

(If you like to plan ahead, you can pick up a copy of the Month of Writing Prompts 2016 ebook now)



One Last Thing

Don’t forget to come back and leave comments on the blog posts, letting us know how you got on.

And yes, if you’re posting your stories at your own blog and want to share them, you’re welcome to leave a link here in the comments.


For more community togetherness, you can use the hashtag #storyaday to find other participants on Twitter. You can also find people at the Facebook page or take part in the online community (post your successes and struggles in the Victory Dance Group – email julie at storyaday dot org if you don’t have a community membership and I’ll get you set up.)

54 thoughts on “StoryADay September 2016 Begins Here”

  1. My life sort of imploded last Thursday, so I haven’t written anything since then, but I am committed to getting all of the stories written, even if it takes well past September to do it.

  2. Here are my stories for yesterday (http://notwhereilive.ca/2016/09/06/story-a-day-september-day-6-2/) and today (http://notwhereilive.ca/2016/09/07/story-a-day-september-day-7/) and this first week is done. Yeah!

    I’ve settled in to mostly writing about one character and the separate stories are exploring aspects of her (and the supporting characters surrounding her) and the situation she is in, with a view towards putting it all together in novel (or novella) length. This might be this year’s Nanowrimo project.

  3. I’m a day behind, but it really couldn’t be helped. I had family in from town unexpectedly Sunday – this morning, including my 10 year old niece, who really needed my attention. I desperately wanted to stay on track, but had to make a difficult choice. My writing is important, but that little girl is more important than everything. SO, I wrote Sunday (yay!), I wrote yesterday’s story today (yay!), and hopefully tomorrow I will write two stories to catch up. (I’m also doing a six word daily story challenge and I got that done yesterday, so I did write SOMETHING.)

  4. Hi! Not sure if I’m supposed to leave my link here or on the post of the day, so I’m doing both. I’m just starting today (day 3), but my personal challenge is to write every day this year, so I inadvertently did days one and two without realizing this challenge existed. So glad I found it! After eight months, I was starting to run out of inspiration!

    Anyway, here’s my effort for today. https://lindaghillfiction.com/2016/09/03/melody-two-100-word-drabble/

    1. Hey, glad you found us and yes, you can post here, or post at your own site and leave a link. or you can not post anything, just drop by and say “I wrote!” (We work on the honor system around here, but it is always fun to see the stories people are writing)

  5. Day three, kind of silly (I hope it’s okay to post it here):

    “What’s a gerbit?”

    I used to be able to tell Antonia everything.

    “Part rabbit, part gerbil,” I explain. “New, rare, trendy, expensive.” Adorable!

    Now most topics lead to her passive-aggressively belittling.

    “A waste of money that poops, basically,” she says.

    For years, we were closer than close, then one day: A canyon between us.

    Did she dig it? Did I?

    After lunch, I go home and feed Percy, the gerbit I’ve had for six weeks that my ‘best friend’ knows nothing about.

    “I tried to tell her about you,” I tell him. I’ve tried to tell her so much.

    1. You packed so much truth into one little sentence: The more you let accumulate between you, the harder it’ll be to make things right with him.

      I love books and stories, as a whole, of course, but these little sentences that are works of art all on their own are my favorites.

  6. I commented yesterday (before creating an account) and it’s still showing that it’s awaiting moderation, but I actually finished a short story today. (I struggle with finishing.) Whoo hoo! I’m not sure I’m ready to show it to anyone and I don’t have a blog where I post my writing, but I FINISHED it.

    1. Woo-hoo!

      I’ve been in to moderate the comments, so you should be visible now.

      It can be a mixed blessing, posting first drafts of stories, so don’t worry if you’re not doing it. In some ways it’s nice to just post “I FINISHED!” 😉

    1. I really enjoyed this. Identified with her a lot too.
      Particularly loved this line “Halfway between a flower and a threat”. Sounds right for a flower we Scots use as our symbol!

    1. Welcome back!

      Intriguing story. I could tell that you’ve been thinking about these characters for a while. Interested to see what you do with them.

      Also, I may have to unofficially adopt your tagline for this challenge: “because I need more insanity” LOL

    1. Oh, I love it. I’m always telling people how amazing it is that different people write so differently from the same prompt. Here you are, one person (I assume) writing two different stories from the same prompt!

      Also, I liked how you ended this one (if that doesn’t sound to sociopathic).

  7. I enjoyed my first day of StoryADay September! I’m using the prompts from 2015 for a little variety from May 2016’s prompts.

    I’m not publishing my work online this time around because I’m hoping for 30 or so short stories this month I can eventually rewrite and send to potential markets. Tonight I ended up with a silly little horror story about a demon and a soul to be collected, but things don’t turn out quite how everyone involved expects.

  8. I didn’t get a finished story, but I wrote for 30 minutes, using the prompt, and got 1,124 words. Time and word limits are something I really struggle with, because I am super long-winded…I struggle with short. It kind of drives me nuts, because I used to LOVE writing short stories, but now be it for a challenge or a contest or wherever there are constraints, by the time it’s time to be done, I’ve just gotten started. I won’t let this discourage me, though!

    1. Maybe you’re a born epic novelist?

      Still, it’s good to try to write short because it’s another string to your bow (and so many opportunities come in the form of contests and anthologies).

      It is, however, hard to write short, quickly. I know this. And yet I still insist we try this every day for a month!!

      Glad you’re here!

      1. Thank you, Julie. I actually wasn’t going to do StoryADay (though I really wanted to), because back in July I did CampNaNoWriMo and got 50K of a novel written (which wasn’t even the mid-way point). I had such good momentum during that challenge, but in August, suffered some serious fizzle (I got 17K written) and then just stalled completely. THEN I read the note in your e-mail about how you failed at a previous StoryADay, but it unlocked YOUR stalled novel. It seemed like a sign from the universe that I should do this. Because I really, really do want to finish that novel! (See, can’t even be short and sweet in a comment!)

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The only qualification to be a ‘Superstar” is a desire to write and support your fellow writers.

A supportive group of committed writers, who meet virtually, support each other’s efforts, and inspire each other.

Registration for 2024 open now-June 8, 2024

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