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SADM 2018 – Day 19: Direct to Camera

http://storyaday.org/day-19-direct-to-camera

Julie says: 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.

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? <laughs then sighs> If you’ve been following this series then you’ll know how far I’ve not come. Mmm…

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Posted by on May 19, 2018 in ideas, short stories, writing

 

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SADM 2018 – Day 18: It’s A Bit One Sided

Julie says: 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

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? Ever hopeful but realistic that I won’t participate this year. Sadly.

 
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Posted by on May 18, 2018 in ideas, short stories, writing

 

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SADM 2018 – Day 17: Write a Sonnet

http://storyaday.org/day-17-write-a-sonnet

Julie says: Today’s prompt is all about limits, but don’t worry, you don’t have to know anything about poetry and you don’t have to make this rhyme!

Write A Story In 14 Sentences

That’s it!

(Sometimes limits can be surprisingly freeing so if you hate this idea, try it anyway!!)

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? Struggling for time this month. I was planning on doing Story a Day May (this project) as part of an unofficial NaNoWriMo, i.e. 50,000 words in the month from Story a Day stories topped up by any of my works in progress. 😦

 
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Posted by on May 17, 2018 in ideas, short stories, writing

 

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SADM 2018 – Day 16: We Need to Talk

http://storyaday.org/day-16-we-need-to-talk

Julie says: 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!

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.

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? <laughs> Yep. Still on day one and not looking good (too much work) for any catch up this weekend. I’ll try.

 
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Posted by on May 16, 2018 in ideas, short stories, writing

 

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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 14: M.I.C.E. and Where Stories Start & Stop

Sorry it’s late today. I didn’t get the usual email so had to go to the site to see whether it had been posted. It was worth it as I’m a big fan of the Writing Excuses podcast and Julie’s prompt today is inspired by it. The original link is http://storyaday.org/day-14-m-i-c-e.

Today I want to give you an overview of something that I find useful when figuring out where to start and stop a story and how to keep it on track.

It’s called the MICE Quotient and I learned about it from Mary Robinette Kowal, though it was invented by Orson Scott Card.

The letters stand for:

M – Milieu
I – Intrigue/Idea
C – Character
E – Event

Each letter tells you what type of story you’re telling.

Milieu story

This is largely a story about place. Usually your character arrives in a new place at the start, and most of their struggle is about them negotiating that place, learning about it, trying to escape it. The story ends when they leave that place or they fit it.

EXAMPLES: The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, Ever After.

Intrigue/Idea Story

A question is posed at the beginning of the story. The story ends when the mystery is solved or the question is satisfactorily answered.

EXAMPLES: Sherlock Holmes, Arrival/The Story Of Your Life

Character Story

A character starts off with an internal conflict and, by the end of the story they have changed it, or rejected the idea of change, or at least understood where the problem lies.

EXAMPLES: Die Hard (Seriously, John McClane has issues at the start of that movie!), The King’s Speech.

Event Story

External forces change the world at the start and drive the struggle in the middle of the story. At the end of the story the status quo has been restored or a new normal has been established.

EXAMPLES: The Hunger Games, The Parent Trap, disaster movies!

The Prompt…

Pick a dominant thread for your story today, based on the MICE categories. Work towards the ending that fits the story type you chose.

I was introduced to this idea by Mary Robinette Kowal, who talks about it on the Writing Excuses podcast. She also made this excellent infographic, to help keep things straight.

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 surprise that I’ve not got past day one. My novel’s come back from my editor so that’ll be this week taken up plus I have two client novels in to edit so not looking so hopeful for getting any writing done, although I’ll try and keep the two remaining weekends writing. We shall see.

 
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Posted by on May 14, 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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