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message 1: by Riley, Viking Extraordinaire (new)

Riley Amos Westbrook (sonshinegreene) | 1510 comments Mod
I was looking at a blog I've been following for awhile now, and it tickled my brain a little. I mean, I find myself doing a writing challenge everytime I sit down to write even one word of a post here on Goodreads(or anywhere else.). Maybe it's because I didn't start writing when I was young, though I do admit it's become a lot easier than when they were forcing me to cramp my hands with a pen and paper. Anyways, I was wondering if any of you do excersises like this to expand your writing perspective?

message 2: by Melissa (new)

Melissa Jensen (kdragon) | 468 comments I write fanfiction on occasion (I openly admit it), and back in the day when I was writing a lot more fanfic than original fic, I would be part of fandoms that were always issuing challenges like this. It was a ton of fun, and really helped me sharpen writing skills I hadn't realized needed sharpening.

But for original fiction I have so many story ideas that I tend to stay away from these challenges so I don't end up adding to an already long list. However, I do like them for coming up with the occasional really, really short story. Especially since I'm terrible at coming up with short stories. They always end up turning into novels.

message 3: by Christina (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) Nope. I've got too much that I need to get done, so I'm with Melissa on that point. I do miss writing short stories. It's a skill I've apparently lost. I've had a handful of anthologies pop up recently that I wanted to submit to, but I couldn't come up with anything for any of them.

message 4: by G.G. (new)

G.G. (ggatcheson) | 2491 comments I'm like you Riley. I didn't start young. I hated writing in school. :P

I've done a few exercises like this in the writing course I take every six months. The first lesson always starts with a prompt and cannot be bigger than 500 words. I admit it can be tough sometimes. ;)

message 5: by Dwayne, Head of Lettuce (new)

Dwayne Fry | 4333 comments Mod
Riley wrote: "Anyways, I was wondering if any of you do exercises like this to expand your writing perspective?"

Yes. Several things I've written and published began as writing exercises. It's how the "unscary" stories began (now "TH1RT3EN SKELETONS"). Happy Clown Burger is a challenge to write 100 stories of 1,000 words each, all stand alone stories, but connected.

message 6: by Riley, Viking Extraordinaire (new)

Riley Amos Westbrook (sonshinegreene) | 1510 comments Mod
Hey, if part one is a sign of things to come, you've got a great one there my friend.

message 7: by Charles (new)

Charles Hash | 1054 comments There's someone on twitter I follow that does the "Write the first sentence of a story about this picture" stuff that is fun and quick and easy.

iAuthor or something like that?

message 8: by April (new)

April Wilson (aprilwilson) I don't participate in writing challenges. For me to write (which I do for hours every day), it has to be something that comes from my heart. I don't want to spend time writing about an arbitrary prompt.

Besides, there aren't enough hours in the day. I work full time, so I fiercely guard every free moment I have to write.


message 9: by Owen (new)

Owen O'Neill (owen_r_oneill) | 1509 comments Just about everything we write is a challenge. Yesterday it was Tibetan Lamas and "magic" tattoos. The day before that -- well, never mind about the day before that. :-)

Today and through this weekend, it's coding. (The writing challenge I like least.)

message 10: by Dwayne, Head of Lettuce (new)

Dwayne Fry | 4333 comments Mod
Riley wrote: "Hey, if part one is a sign of things to come, you've got a great one there my friend."

Very much a sign of things to come. I don't think that even the six volumes I have planned will tell all the stories that could be told about Happy Clown Burger.

message 11: by K.P. (new)

K.P. Merriweather (kp_merriweather) | 266 comments i participate only when i have severe writers block. some turn into full novels, others stay in short story format, while a few go in the desk hoping to belong somewhere.

message 12: by Micah (new)

Micah Sisk (micahrsisk) | 1042 comments Christina wrote: "Nope. I've got too much that I need to get done, so I'm with Melissa on that point..."


With a full time job and responsibilities at home, I've also had to give up my second passion, building modular music synthesizers. I found I could only sustain one serious distraction at a time. So many stories...(so many marketing and business things to think about) little time.

I miss the smell of hot solder in the evenings, though.

message 13: by C.B., Beach Body Moderator (new)

C.B. Archer | 1090 comments Mod
When I go to my writer's group we try to do a prompt based on a word. 10-15 mins of writing, then read what you have.

I find they are a good way to get some writing in, generally about something you wouldn't write about normally. Plus, they are absolute blog post gold. That is where all mine end up.

message 14: by Ken (new)

Ken (kendoyle) | 364 comments I did a few writing challenges early on, just to get words down on screen.

Now, I find that life has enough challenges of its own, without my adding to them :)

message 15: by Erin (new)

Erin Zarro | 95 comments Always, as many as I can. I find word count challenges keep me moving the best. Or goals-based challenges which I've experimented with for the past few years. They work well for me, too.

message 16: by Ty (new)

Ty (tyunglebo) | 50 comments On a semi-regular basis I go to a local writing meetup that is essentially nothing but prompts: sentences, pictures, objects and so on. We set a timer and off we go. Sometimes we mix authors; one will start it and one will finish it. (Or get as close as they can.) I find it keeps me sharp, though nothing I have started in the group has, so far, found life outside of the group.

I recently was one of five finalists for a monthly flash-fiction contest sponsored by one of the national writing magazines. Each months there is a picture or a "use this sentence" prompt. I didn't win, but I doubt I'd have come up with that particular story without the prompt.

message 17: by Grey (new)

Grey Liliy (greyliliy) | 19 comments Every weekend, WriteOn posts little Writing Challenges (typically you get a word theme, a prompt, and a word limit that's typically 500) that I've been fond of doing lately.

There's something really fun about doing short-short stories to clear your head or push the limits of what sort of story you can fit in so short a space.

Other than that, I used to do fanfic requests, where the challenge was just to write something for whatever prompt was thrown at me, whether I liked the characters or not. It was great practice for forcing down personal bias and trying to stay true to character. XD

message 18: by Vaughn (new)

Vaughn Treude (vaughntreude) | 16 comments I don't know if this counts as a "challenge", but a few years ago a writer's group colleague suggested we all write a "fairy story" with the goal of creating a collection for the local Faerie Festival. I was the only one who did, and it turned into a short urban fantasy novel -- a genre I don't normally try. So I think it could be a good way to broaden ones horizons.

message 19: by J.N. (new)

J.N. Bedout (jndebedout) | 115 comments No. I'm too busy editing my 2nd book.

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