Truly Life-Changing

An Interview With StoryADay Superstar C.H. Schoen

C. H. Schoen

Before I found StoryADay I had been back to writing for three years after a long break.

I Had Ideas But Nothing On Paper

I was not confident in what I was writing and I was not consistent. I would start stories and never finish them. I had book ideas coming up left and right but nothing outlined on paper.

I came across StoryADay when I was randomly googling about short stories. I thought it was interesting to find a group that would be writing a story every day for a month.

I have always been up for a challenge so I joined. 

Sharing My Writing Again

Since doing StoryADay I am more confident and constant than I have ever been in my writing before. I am finally sharing my writing again with others and I’m putting myself out there for critics.

The writing I produce now is finished and more polished than it had been previously. Within the next few months, I will start sending out queries to get my stories into the world.

Confidence in My Creative Process

My biggest success in writing has been completing multiple short stories and finding confidence again in my creative process. I completed my first draft of a novel I had been working on for two years thanks to the encouragement of our NaNoWriMo group this last year. 

Being part of a writing community has changed my life”

It has been absolutely amazing to be part of the Superstars group and to have fellow writers at all different levels to talk to.

I haven’t had the opportunity to be part of a writing community until this last year and it has truly changed my life. It has been great to share my writing successes and struggles within this community. Everyone has been very supportive.

The progress I have experienced in this group has been a driving force to keep pushing my craft. Meeting up with blank pages daily can be daunting at times but when you know there are others doing the same thing it makes all the difference. This experience has taught me writing does not have to to be a lonely process  people have made it out to be when you have a community of writers to turn to.

Day 29 – The Story You’ve Been Waiting To Write

Here we are, the final three days of this extreme month of writing.

It’s so impressive that you’re still here, that you’re still writing, that you’re still coming back to this.

I know you have stories you want to tell, that the world needs to hear.

Your experiences, your outlook, your way of expressing yourself, are unique in the history of the world and I’m so glad you’ve come this far, and you’re still writing.

And I know you’re going to continue to write, because you’ve come this far.

Today I’m giving you a prompt that might seem a little lazy from me, but there’s a reason.

The Prompt

Write the story that you’ve been hungering to write.

I’ve been very proscriptive this month, telling you what you write, and you’ve been writing for four weeks. You’ve got stories in your head that are nipping at your brain, whispering “tell me!”, so today I’m setting you free.

Tell one of those stories.

Leave a comment to let us know what you wrote today

Day 24 – Disappearing Act

This week’s theme is, in part, to encourage you to try out stories that use each of the types of story threads from the MICE quotient.

The Prompt

Tell a story that features a disappearance

This could be an Intrigue/Idea story. At it heart it has a question, or a mystery or a big idea.

It could be the disappearance of a person, a cultural phenomenon, or of the bees, or of Arctic Ice. Or it could be something more nebulous. Your story could be serious or slapstick. What will you come up with?

What did you make disappear? What kind of story did you write? What tone did your story take on, today? Leave a comment and let us know!

Day 22 – A Rude Awakening

Welcome to Week Four!

This week I’m providing you with story starters, to give your imaginatiosn a little kickstart.

The Prompt

Your character wakes up in a space they don’t recognize.

They could wake up in a white van, a locked room, or anywhere that is completely different form their everyday. This gives you the opportunity to explore your character in interesting ways.

There may be other people inside the space, outside the space, interacting with them, or not.

Have fun with this, today!

Day 21 – News Flash

The Prompt

Write A Story As A News Report

This could be a TV report with a panel of pundits yelling at each other, a reporter on the street, the voice of a producer in your anchor’s ear…

Or, this could be a traditional newspaper report.

Remember to tell a story, though! Then tell us all about it in the comments.

Day 20 – I’m Gonna Sit Right Down

The Prompt

Write A Story In The Form Of A Series of Letters

Tips

  • You could do social media updates, conference call, letters, records.
  • In this story remember that each party in the story has an agenda, conflicts.
    You could tell three different sides of a story
  • Your format will affect the type of language that the characters use: in letters things might be more formal, in texts it’ll be more brief.

Remember to leave a comment to let us know how you got on!

Day 19 – Direct To Camera

May is far from over! Don’t give up now. And if you’ve just discovered StoryADay May, it’s not too late to jump in. Here’s today’s prompt, and you can find a new episode of the podcast here: Is It Time To Quit? (spoiler: no!)

The Prompt

Tell A Story ‘Direct To Camera’

This is probably going to be in first person.

Write as if you’re writing to your best friend, or talking directly to a police officer, or relaying this to a room of strangers.

if all else fails, stand in front of your phone and tell the story. Tell a real story or a fairy story. See what this does to your writing.

Leave a comment and tell us how it went today!

Day 18 – It’s A Bit One-Sided

The Prompt

Write a story today in which the reader only hears one side of the conversation

This could be a telephone conversation, a text conversation, a series of social media updates, a series of letters, whatever.

Examples

Bob Newhart telephone does this in telephone calls

Watch Neil Gaiman read his story Orange here or read it here

Day 16 – We Need To Talk

Extra! Extra! A fabulous new collection of 100 word stories has just hit the shelves. It’s called Nothing Short Of 100 and it comes from Grant Faulkner (also the head honcho at NaNoWriMo), Lynn Mundell and Beret Olson, all of 100WordStory.org

To see four excellent examples of a 100 word story, hop on over to the publisher’s site now. Or pick up the book from Amazon or request it from your local indie bookstore.

 Today we continue our look at short stories as not-mini-novels and play with them in ways you can only play with short stories!

The Prompt

Write a story completely in dialogue

It’s probably best to keep this to two characters because it’s harder to have more than two characters, without attribution.

I want you to keep it straight in our heads, who’s talking, simply by the way they talk.

A guy who works on Wall St should sound different from a farmer from a rural area.

Don’t forget to leave a comment and tell us what you wrote today!