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SADM 2018 – Day 15: The List

http://storyaday.org/day-15-the-list

Julie says: “Welcome to Week 3! You’re still here! I’m very impressed…

This week we’ll be looking at some of the fun ways short stories can be written that are nothing like mini-novels.

The Prompt

Write A Story In The Form Of A List

Ideas for your list story:

  • Shopping List
  • 10 Things I Hate/Love About You
  • To Do List
  • List of books the character has/wants to read, with commentary (also movies)
  • A list of deceased childhood pets
  • A list of your character’s fears

Suggested reading

In the video I credited this story to Lydia Davis, but of course it is Jennifer Egan: To Do.

You can also look at McSweeney’s list articles, which are a little more snarky commentary than character stories.

This is a great refresher after a week of deep narrative work.”

Go!

This year I won’t be publishing the stories here as I want to send them off somewhere and blogging online counts as published which most outlets won’t accept but will let you know each day how I got on the previous day… so you know I’m doing the challenge with me. Do leave a comment below to let me know how you do.

And me? Same as before. Nothing past day one… yet.

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Posted by on May 15, 2018 in ideas

 

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SADM 2018 – Day 13: Start With A Bang

http://storyaday.org/day-13-start-with-a-bang

The Prompt: Today we continue with the third of my ‘fairy story’ structures: Hansel Gretel.

Start with a life-changing moment and lead your characters through the story to show us who they become.

Hansel and Gretel starts off with a bang: two kids, alone in woods, abandoned!

What are they doing to do?

After the big opening, all their struggles teach us about the kids’ characters. By the time Gretel finally kicks the witch into the oven, grabs her brother and they make their way out of the witch’s cabin, we know enough about these kids to know they’re going to be OK.

How can you replicate this for your characters?

Go!

This year I won’t be publishing the stories here as I want to send them off somewhere and blogging online counts as published which most outlets won’t accept but will let you know each day how I got on the previous day… so you know I’m doing the challenge with me. Do leave a comment below to let me know how you do.

And me? No further forward than day one but I’m clearing my backlog of work so will hopefully catch up by next weekend. <sigh>

 
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Posted by on May 13, 2018 in ideas, short stories, writing

 

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SADM 2018 – Day 12: You May Be A Swan

Today’s story structure is a little more balanced, and is illustrated by the Ugly Duckling story.

The Prompt

Use the Ugly Duckling Story To Write A Balanced Story With The Life-Changing Moment In The Middle

Unlike in Cinderella, the Ugly Duckling’s life-changing moment comes in the middle, and then the author spends the second half of the story revisiting situations like the ones that led him to the crisis point. Where he met cruel children at the start, he meets nice children after his transformation. Where he met mean animals at the start he meets kind animals after his transformation. Where his family was horrible to him at the beginning, he gets to reconcile with his mother at the end.

This means we get to see what kind of character the Ugly Duckling has even after his transformation. This structure is a good one to use when your character’s struggle is mostly internal.

To make life easier for yourself, unfold the story in the opposite order to the way you built it. Nest the encounters, like this:

[mother] [animals] [children] [CRISIS] [children] [animals] [mother]

Go!

This year I won’t be publishing the stories here as I want to send them off somewhere and blogging online counts as published which most outlets won’t accept but will let you know each day how I got on the previous day… so you know I’m doing the challenge with me. Do leave a comment below to let me know how you do.

And me? Nope, still on day 1 but am ever hopeful that I can catch up.

 
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Posted by on May 12, 2018 in ideas, short stories, writing

 

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