Write At Your Natural Length

Continuing the theme of reaching to your strengths, this week.

By necessity, in a challenge like this, you will likely have been writing very short stories. (I do know some people who managed to stretch to a few thousand words on some of the days, but for the most part if you’re finishing stories during this challenge it’s probably flash fiction.) For me, that’s fine. If you naturally trend long, today’s your day.

The prompt

Write to your natural length


  • I’m a natural sprinter (like Gimli the dwarf). Some people are ultra marathoners, like Brandon Sanderson. What’s your natural length?
  • Today I give you permission to write a partial story, a scene, and extracts from a longer tale. It doesn’t have to feel complete, like a short story should, but it should still have something of a story arc. Use today to practice that.
  • For example, if you have novel-in-progress, use today to write a scene from that novel. Because you’re continuing the longer work you don’t have to explain the setting and the characters, just jump in.
  • If you don’t have a novel or longer project that you’re working on take a few minutes to daydream. If you were writing a novel what would it be about? Spend a few minutes imagining the setting the characters and then pick a dramatic moment in the story. Write that scene, as if you’ve already written everything that comes before this point in your “novel”.
  • Even if you are writing a novel, you can write a dramatic scene from a hypothetical-other-novel, if that sounds like fun to you)
  • After having spent the best part of the month writing short stories you may find that your scenes start to come out with a stronger narrative shape than they used to.

Leave a comment telling us how your writing went today. What did you write that? I don’t forget, if you’re enjoying this prompts, share them.

12 thoughts on “Write At Your Natural Length”

  1. I read the headline of the prompt and thought of a short piece before even reading the rest of the prompt. 🙂
    I finished the short piece, about 330 words. It’s about a dog walker. And it’s short but complete. ANd it’s actually kinda cute.
    BUT….before this month is out, I WILL be using this grand permission prompt to write aa piece of a story or a scene from one of my novel drafts. You bet your bippee.

  2. This was fun.

    I think of myself as writing mostly flash fiction, but when I gave myself permission to write just one scene of a longer story, I found myself spreading out a bit more and having more space.

    I can’t seem to plan my writing at all at the moment and I don’t know what I’m going to write until after it’s starting spilling onto the page. Today was part of a children’s story about a group of kids who find a hole in an earth bank in the woods. I’m not quite sure where it might go, but I’m beginning to get a couple of characters who look interesting.

    1. sounds like you’re a pantser like me, Fairyhedgehog. And that you’re having a good time. 🙂

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