April has been a month of growth and challenge, for me, during which I’ve written many words and explored strange new worlds – in my stories, and in the realm of fan fiction submissions. I’ve encountered some unexpected difficulties, and it hasn’t always been comfortable as I stretch and grow into uncharted territory. I’ve re-evaluated and revised my perspective and goals, and now, as April is waning and May rises on the horizon, I look to a new challenge – telling a Story A Day, all month long.
Haven’t I had enough for a while?
Well….no. Not really. =)
In June and July, I’ll be drafting two new Kifo Island novels. Neither of them are currently plotted. I know something about 5 of the 6 point of view characters, and I’ve got a sketchy idea of the plots – but I need to learn more about these people and their stories.
So, May is going to be my month of exploration. Every day, all month, I’ll follow the prompts in the handy-dandy A Month of Writing Prompts 2016. I’ll do a bit of advance planning, but not too much – this is the month to play, and explore, alongside my more formal planning efforts. Some of these stories may end up as the basis for scenes in the eventual novels, but that’s not really the point. I want to invite these characters into my mind and ask them to show me who they are and what they want – and how they’ll fit together to make a novel.
I was lucky enough to get an Advance Reader Copy of the prompt book in return for an honest review, and I recommend it not only for those planning to join in on Story A Day May, but for any individual or group who’d like a series of writing prompts that will expand and hone writing skills – and be fun, in the process.
What do you get for your $2.99?
A concise explanation of why writing a story a day for a month is a good idea, and what’s to be
gained from the experience. And what is that? For starters, a collection of complete rough drafts that can later be revised and refined; and the confidence and learning that go along with the process.
Details on how to use the book – whether during the annual Story A Day May Challenge or elsewhen; alone, or with a group.
The rules of the challenge: no, one doesn’t need to write every day, but, yes, challengers are expected to finish a draft of each story they begin. It’s not necessary to follow these prompts to participate, but they are designed to help challengers develop and hone their storytelling craft. There are also a few ways to “cheat” to get to the end of the story. And, if you miss a day – just try to figure out what went wrong, address it, and move on. Length of stories, and ways to make shorter stories do more with fewer words, are covered, as well. There are also links to shop for more Story A Day products, as well as the challenge link.
And that’s just Chapter One. After that, you get helpful hints to manage a month of daily story writing: making time; reading widely and diversely; getting your subconscious in on the act; collecting story sparks; letting it be bad; and using peer pressure to hold yourself accountable.
The rest of the novel contains the prompts – one per day. But that’s not all: for every prompt, there are tips and often humorous examples of how to use it to create your story. Week One deals with limits; Week Two explores Elements of Story; Week Three plays with the idea of a Rescue Week that will help you get caught up if you’re struggling; Week Four finds and allows you to write from your strengths; and Week Five’s three days make up the Last Hurrah.
I’m getting excited about what I’ll be planting, and what will burst forth from the fertile soils of my imagination, once cultivated. How about you? Are you in the mood to plant some story seeds and let them germinate? Come on – let’s plant a story garden together! =)