Diary Challenge: 31st Jan-6th Feb 2011

I’m still making Jedi costumes and I’m still behind. I’ve only got as far as describing my vampire character, so I’ll be brief as I don’t have much time! This week is…

Special Guest Challenge Week!

Yes, I’m taking a break from the usual format and taking a week long challenge from hubby Markie. Markie has decreed that we must write 7 different scenes about 7 different characters – different genres, settings and possibly species – all performing the same action. The action is simple – they’re all having dinner. Oh, and one of them has to be a dragon.

There you go. 7 days, 7 characters, 7 dinners, it’s like extreme Come Dine With Me. But without the cash prize.

Now back to my vampires…

Diary Challenge: 24th-30th Jan 2011

Oh heck, it’s Sunday already and I haven’t posted the challenges for next week. Truth be told, I’m rather behind since I’m currently trying to make my own Jedi costume and I’ve never touched a sewing machine before, so I’ve got a bit of catching up to do, but I have prepared the upcoming challenges and here they are:

It’s Vampire week!

Monday 24th Jan – Description Challenge

Having read the first 2 books in the infamous Twilight Saga I thought we should see if we could do better and have some fun with vampires this week, so challenge the first is to create and describe your own vampire character. You can use them for the rest of the challenges this week but you don’t have to. You can have as many vamps as you like.

Tuesday 25th Jan – Dialogue Challenge

This week the dialogue is a monologue. Internal, external, and moody Bella-esque 1st person prose are all acceptable. The speaker/thinker/brooder must either BE a vampire or vampires must be the subject of their soliloquy.*

*ok, technically monologues and soliloquies are not the same. You can write either!

Wednesday 26th Jan – Scene Challenge

The subject of the scene is vampires vs. <insert foe of choice>. Vampires vs Werewolves. Vampires vs Ninjas. Vampires vs Robots. Wait, I think they did that one on Buffy…Anyway, pick a foe for your vampire and pit them against each other in a battle to the death, a battle of wits, a battle of mario carts, whatever takes your fancy.

Thursday 27th Jan – Dream Challenge

Write something based on a dream, as usual. I might change this challenge next month. Remembering interesting dreams is getting hard.

Friday 28th Jan – Poetry Challenge

I am and will always be Team Spike. Spike aka William the Bloody…aka William the Bloody Awful if you’re not a fan of his poetry. But a secret poet he was, so for my favourite vampire Spike the poetry challenge this week is to write a poem by a vampire.

Saturday 29th Jan – Flash Fiction

You may write any vampire related story you wish, but if you want more of a prompt than that you’re welcome to use the same scenario I’m using, which is the awakening of a new vampire :).

Sunday 30th JanPotluck Challenge – Story planning

There’s a lot of vampire books out there right now, so this is your chance to see if you can do any better and plan one of your own! Come up with a longer story idea and make some notes on it. An no, the vampires don’t have to be all romantic and tortured. It’s ok if you want to make the little bloodsuckers the bad guys for a change.

That’s it for vampire week. Next week we have a special guest challenge from my hubby! See you then.

Diary Challenge: 17th-23rd Jan 2011

This week has been an interesting week. So far I’ve had an eavesdropping shadow, a woman hiding a child from its evil overlord father, and the worst possible emo poem ever. I also revisited the scene of a short story* I wrote a few years back when my ‘decay’ scene started turning into a library so now my Flash Fiction piece is going to have to be a little follow-up to that. I’m still a day behind on this week’s challenges but I will catch up when Ben has gone to bed tonight. I might post something I wrote, but Markie is going to have to bribe me to make it the emo poem! His is way better than mine.

Anyhoo, on to the challenges for next week. Markie is coming home from the conference so I’ve been inspired by homey and house related things.

Monday 17th Jan – Description Challenge

This is straight forward description practice. You have to describe something in your house in as much detail as you can, preferably using all the senses. I’d stick with the traditional 5, though bonus points if you can find a way to work the extra ones in!

Tuesday 18th Jan – Dialogue Challenge

Write a conversation with 2 or more participants. At least one participant must be in the home of another participant for some reason. It can be any reason. They could be a guest, or maybe an intruder or a prisoner. There’s quite a lot of scope for fun with this one, I think :).

Wednesday 19th Jan – Scene Challenge

In this scene someone is returning home from a long trip. How are they feeling? Has their home changed since they left it? Have they changed? Where were they for so long? All this and more on only one page!

Thursday 20th Jan – Dream Challenge

Write something based on a dream. Last week I dreamed I was a wizard who was a weird hybrid between Willy Wonka and the Wizard of Oz, and I found a school for witches where the pupils where all being held against they will by the evil headmistress. I wonder what my subconscious has got for me this week.

Friday 21st Jan – Poetry Challenge

Sticking with the home theme, either write a poem that uses homes or houses as a metaphor for something else, or write a poem that uses something else as a metaphor for homes or houses. Hmm, yes, I think that makes sense…

Saturday 22nd Jan – Flash Fiction

Just a title this time. Your title is ‘Moving Day’. Write a piece of flash fiction that fits it.

Sunday 23rd JanPotluck Challenge – Stream of Consciousness

Let’s have some more free writing. This time there is no starting word, but the prompt is ‘Doorways’.

That’s all for the challenges!

*Ah yes, the short story. This picked up a semi-finalist place in the SFX Pulp Fiction contest a few years back and it’s the only thing I’ve written that I now consider finished. I’m not posting it on my blog but if you know me and you want to read it let me know and I’ll email it to you :).

Diary Challenge: 10th-16th Jan 2011

New character week has been pretty good for me! I came up with a weird new character and learned all kinds of things about her by doing the writing challenges. I’m ready with my novel plan for Sunday and I feel like I’ve got something I can write about for NaNoWriMo this year already! I’m really feeling the creative juices flowing. Now if I could just think of a flash fiction piece for this now terribly complicated character I’ve created.

But lets take a break and look forward to next week. My beloved hubby is going to Florida for a conference next week and leaving Ben and I home alone :(. So this week the challenges are going to be a touch on the dark side. Whaa haa haa. Here’s what I’ve come up with if you’re playing at home:

Monday 10th Jan – Description Challenge

Describe a place in a state of decay or rot. You’ll be using it later in the week!

Tuesday 11th Jan – Dialogue Challenge

Write a conversation with 2 or more participants. The catch is that one of them can’t be heard by the others. You decide why and you decide if they know the others can’t hear them.

Wednesday 12th Jan – Scene Challenge

This scene can be about anything and can have any number of characters. There’s just one rule: no talking. No dialogue of any kind. They can’t write notes to each other either. That’s not in the spirit of the challenge :).

Thursday 13th Jan – Dream Challenge

Write something based on a dream. I just hope it’s better than last week when the only dream I could remember was about a new karaoke trend where the computer picks a song for you to sing based on your answers to a personality quiz. Weird.

Friday 14th Jan – Poetry Challenge

‘It’s tragic. It’s emotional. No one understands me and the only way I can truly express myself is through my depressing emo poetry.’

I think anyone who wrote poetry as a teen wrote at least one of these poems and thought it was a work of literary genius at the time. Let your emo side out now and write just one more of these lovely pieces.

If you’re too upbeat for emo you have permission to write an Elmo poem instead.

Saturday 15th Jan – Flash Fiction

Remember that decaying place you did on Monday? Use it as the setting for your Flash Fiction. It can be about anything that fits.

Sunday 16th JanPotluck Challenge – Stream of Consciousness

Free writing! This week we’re starting with the word ‘Dark’.

And that’s it for now!

Diary Challenge: 3rd-9th Jan 2011

Happy New Year! I started my diary challenge today and I’ve completed today’s task already. I did it at 2 in the morning last night after returning from my parents’ party so I’m not sure it made sense, but I started, and that’s what’s important. I found the A5 page limit a real challenge and only just squeezed my story onto it, but I was a bit too wordy at the start. I have to remember that the point is to get something down, not to write something polished. It can get longer in edit if it needs to.

Now it’s time to think about new week. It’s the first full week of the challenge, and it’s the first full week of the year, so in honour of all things new next week will need a brand new character. If you’re doing this with me make sure it’s a character you like because you’ll be working with them all week. Here’s the challenges starting from Monday:

Monday 3rd Jan – Description Challenge

Describe a brand new character to work with this week. They can’t be from something you’ve already written/roleplay character etc. The point of the exercise is to make someone (or something new). Any race, any genre!

Tuesday 4th Jan – Dialogue Challenge

Your new character needs a friend or companion. Write a conversation between them to show a bit about each of them and their relationship.

Wednesday 5th Jan – Scene Challenge

Put your new character in a scene that shows them doing something ‘in character’. Maybe their a thief, so in this scene they’re going to steal something. Or they’re a princess and have to go to another ball to try and find prince charming. You might like the scene to tie into Saturday’s challenge somehow.

Thursday 6th Jan – Dream Challenge

This one is always going to be the same. Write something based on a dream. Give that new character a rest a give yourself a couple of days to muse over your looming flash fiction challenge!

Friday 7th Jan – Poetry Challenge

The poem can be anything but should be inspired in some way by something about your character. It could be about them, it could be something they would write, but it doesn’t have to be as obviously linked to them as that. Just use something from your character to help get you started and write what you like.

Saturday – Flash Fiction

Can you guess what it’s going to be? That’s right, a super short story starring that character you’ve been fleshing out all week!

SundayPotluck Challenge – novel idea

I’m not sure how well this will work, but the challenge is to take everything you’ve done this week and think about a much longer story your character could be in and do a brief outline.

And that’s week 1. We’ll see how that goes. That’s it for now!

The Great 2011 Writing Project

Every year I make a list of goals. It’s usually draw x number of pictures, edit this novel, read y number of books, etc etc. To be honest I’ve never succeeded, but I think that just having the list helps. Even if I only manage half the stuff it’s more than I would have done without the list.

This year I have a plan. A plan to infiltrate the human race and destroy…no, wait, that was the Cylons. MY plan is to write a little every day. Actually, that’s more of a goal than a plan, isn’t it? But it’s OK, I do have a strategy in mind to help me achieve my goal. And here it is:

I have acquired a page-a-day diary. The idea is to fill every page with something new. A new place, a new character, a conversation from some future book I haven’t got round to writing yet, anything at all. It can be very rough but it must be new. The aim is to have a book full of random writing that will hopefully inspire future projects. 365 days is a long time to keep up random writing though, so I’ve devised a series of daily challenges to help get me through.

Monday: Description Challenge

It might be a place, a character, an object, a magic spell, I’m not sure yet, but every Monday I’ll be practicing my descriptive prose (which I find really hard!) by describing something new.

Tuesday: Dialogue Challenge

It could be dialogue, or it could be a monologue, but the challenge is to portray something or someone through speech based on the prompt.

Wednesday: Scene Challenge

Write the first scene of a book, or the last scene, or one where a tea cozy is key to resolving a conflict, or whatever I come up with that week . It can be self-contained or part of a longer work. I see it as a good chance to write some scenes from future books so hopefully I’ll be more inspired to get them started.

Thursday: Dream Challenge

Write anything I like based on a dream I remember from the last week. Easy peasy.

Friday: Poetry Challenge

Just to mix it up a bit. Hubby and I used to have a tradition of writing each other a Friday poem and I think it’s time to revive that. Prompts could be form related or subject related, or both!

Saturday: Flash Fiction

A very short story. Short enough to fit on one page of an A5 page-a-day diary :). If you have an A4 diary good for you! You have more space to play with. Prompts may be similar to the scene challenge but the difference is that Saturday pieces must be a complete piece on their own.

Sunday: Potluck Challenge

It could be stream of consciousness, could be based on a song, could be to build on something written earlier in the week. Could be anything really. This is just my free day in case I think of something interesting that doesn’t really work in one of the other categories.

And we’re back round to description again. I’m thinking of having some themed weeks (eg. definitely going to have a vampire themed week), but they won’t all be themed, and I’m going to blog some of what I write (but not every day!).

So that’s the plan. Join me if you like. Follow my challenges, use my prompts, or your own, or just write a little bit of your own stories everyday. As long as you just keep writing. Good luck! Here are the first couple of prompts I’ll be using.

Saturday 1st Jan – Flash Fiction Challenge

Write a piece of flash fiction with the title ‘New Year’s Resolution’

Sunday 2nd Jan – Potluck: Stream of Consciousness

I think we’ll have some nice cleansing ‘write whatever comes into your head’ for the 2nd. The first word must be ‘Star’, but from there anything goes. Write until you run out of space or stuff to say. Don’t spend too long thinking about it. Just write :).

Challenges for the first full week to follow. I hope I can do this with a baby! Ahhh!