Lesson #97: Exercise for Writing a New Story

This exercise will incorporate actually using what you learned in the starter-pack lessons for writing a new story. It will take you four-six hours. You can break it up into sections or do it all in one time block. First, grab a notebook and spend time looking at news headlines from the past or present. Take notes on anything that sparks an idea for characters/plot/setting. Compile a list of potential story ideas. If one gives you goosebumps and makes you super-excited, hone in on it and do some research. Second, take about two hours to write a synopsis for a short story based one of the ideas. (Remember? Short story contest coming up!!!!)  Go over that synopsis and fine-tune if needed. Then take the next couple of hours to WRITE the story. Don’t edit yourself to death or sit there for thirty minutes thinking of the perfect word or phrase. Get the story out onto the page. Don’t allow yourself to get distracted. Stay focused and make yourself write. For at LEAST an hour spurt, but preferably for two. (For extra credit, make sure it’s no longer than five-thousand words long and submit it before March 1 for The Write Nook’s Short Story contest.) Your purpose is to see how much you can get done in four-six hours of concentrated time. This will help you plan out how much time you’ll need to meet deadlines in the future. After your story is finished, now you can go back and edit and tweak and fine-tune. Don’t forget during this process to check back to all the starter-pack lessons on TWN – lessons 93-96 for helpful hints from all of us and go back to all the other lessons to see what you could do to make the story even stronger.

Write, write, write!

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