111 – The Joy of Writing (Backstories)

Writing a longer work like a novel can get a bit overwhelming. Today I encourage you to use short stories to explore areas of your novel’s world that you might not have dug deeply into. This can help unblock the writing process and get you back to a place where you’re enjoying your writing.



Write on Wednesday prompts: https://stada.me/wow

Another new episode of Write Every Day, Not “Some Day”

[Write On Wednesday] Joy

Write A Story In Which A Character Experiences Joy

Continuing on from last week’s prompt about a character experiencing an emotion, this week we’re focusing on Joy.

joy! by atomicity, on Flickr

The Prompt

Write A Story In Which A Character Experiences Joy


  • How to define ‘joy’? I’m going with ‘a momentary experience of intense happiness’, though CS Lewis famously mixed that feeling of happiness with one of ‘longing’ in his definition of joy.
  • The main character does not have to be the character experiencing the moment of joy. They can be an observer.
  • How do the characters observing the joy-filled character’s behavior react? Do they reflect the joy? Do they feel bereft because they lack it? Do they envy the other person? Do they show that directly by being sad, or do they bury it and act like a jerk?
  • Will the joyful moment happen at the beginning of your story and kick off all the events that follow? Will the character be sustained by the fleeting sensation or spend a miserable existence in a futile attempt to recapture it?
  • Will you build up to the moment of joy at the end of your story (huge climax? Happy ending?)
  • What does it actually feel like to experience (or witness) joy?
  • What kind of a character could really use a little joy, and how can you put them in a situation where they experience it? Do they deserve it? Does that matter?