Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Writing Wednesdays - October Short Story Course #3

This is the final block of the October Short Story Course - you can follow my work on it on tumblr:   The previous two blocks can be found here ( - days 1-10) and here ( days 11-21).  Now there are ten days left, and we are certainly on the home stretch.

By the time you reach here, your characters and world have been designed.  Your plot is sorted, and you have already written 4,200 words - very nearly half way there.  Just a little further to go!

Day Twenty Two:
Writing - approximately 700 words.  Today's side project: Design a floor plan in whatever way you would like of any buildings which it would be helpful for you to have a plan for.

Day Twenty Three:
Writing - approximately 700 words.  Today's side project: Make a collage for each of your main characters, including at least five pictures for each - perfectly acceptable to do this on pinterest, or using a computer.

Day Twenty Four:
Writing - approximately 700 words.  Today's side project: Write what each character's main ambition is, and what their dream life would be.  Also write which super power would suit them, and which wish they would have granted if they were able to choose - do this in the voice of the character in question.

Day Twenty Five:
Writing - approximately 700 words.  Today's side project:  What would each of your characters want for Christmas (or another similar gift-exchanging occasion) and what would they give to their fellow characters? What is the best present they ever received? What is the worst?  Write a short and sweet scene of Christmas/gift exchange for them – trying to make their attitudes towards each other exactly how it is currently in your plot. (I'd be interested to see this work if your characters are currently trying to murder each other).

Day Twenty Six:
Writing - approximately 700 words.  Today's side project: Make a school report card for each character commenting on how they did or would do in each subject that they studied or would take given the chance.  Who was the best pupil? Who was the worst?

Day Twenty Seven:
Writing - approximately 700 words.  Today's side project: Write a diary entry from each character's point of view about what you wrote yesterday in the main story.  Try and explain how they are feeling.  50-100 words for each story.

Day Twenty Eight:
Writing - approximately 700 words.  Today's side project: Write a page or so of an interview, with you speaking directly to your characters - praising and blaming them for what has happened.  This should help you let off steam, see any minor issues, and completely destroy the fourth wall (the barrier between you and your characters, stopping them and you from conversing normally:

Day Twenty Nine:
Writing - approximately 700 words.  Today's side project: Give your characters a reward, something that they deserve but don't get in your story.  Maybe it's a kiss, maybe it's a happy ending.  But write something to thank them for what has happened this month, and put your mind at ease about any hanging threads.  Alternatively, use this to torture them for all the problems they have caused this month.

Day Thirty:
Writing - approximately 700 words.  Today's side project: : Make a word cloud of your story using wordle and consider if it captures the ideas you'd like:

Day Thirty One:
Last day.  Finish the story.  What has each character learned from it? Have they become a better or worse person?  Has their life changed? Has their outlook on life changed?  Finally, and most importantly, having made these characters from nothing in a month, do you now agree that you can write fiction?

There we go.  That's the end of the course.  All that would be left now would be to edit what you have, redrafting as you go, until you end up with a piece you are happy with.  Then it is yours to do with what you wish!

If you've really enjoyed this month's activities, why not give Nanowrimo a go in November?  That's a 50,000 word story in a month, so you'll have to write 1666 words a day - a bit of a jump up, but with what you've managed this month it is perfectly doable.  Maybe you can even carry on with the story you have been writing?  I'll be taking part in Nano, trying to meet the wordcount, and hope to see you there.

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