Archive for July 30th, 2011

Why I #HumpDayChallenge

Anyone who reads this blog can tell you I tend to be wordy.  Anyone who has been a beta reader for my fiction can tell you that’s doubly true.  And you know what?  I’m not going to apologize for that.

But then a new challenge came along, the Hump Day Challenge, run on Tracy Hansen’s blog Will Write For Food.  The challenge?  Take 5 provided words, combine them with no more than 95 of your own words, and try to make the best damn story you can out of them, all genres and all writers welcome.  That’s not a lot of space, but that’s the power of the challenge.  Through practice, trial, and error the forced economy of words that comes out of the challenge is starting to bleed over into my fiction.

Clearly not everything should be written with such restriction in place.  100 words isn’t a lot of room for plot, nor does it allow for scene setting, characterization, or any of the other necessities of good fiction, but it is enough words to really set a strong scene, and with a few cheats and short cuts can be just enough words to assemble a full thought.  Even for someone as wordy as myself.

So if the idea of writing just 100 words of fiction terrifies the hell out of you, it might be just the right challenge for you to undertake.  Don’t expect to be able to tell a full story, but do expect to set a scene, tell a joke, make a point, and if you keep going, learn how best to use words economically both within the challenge and then within your longer stories.  The lessons are surprisingly transmutable.

Come on and join the fun this Wednesday!

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