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!

2 thoughts on “The Great 2011 Writing Project

  1. This is a great challenge, added to the other challenges of work, Open University, Sewing mission for Jedi robes….oh and bringing up Baby (not a cheetah – though we do live in a 1950s screwball comedy) 🙂

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