Writing Challenge Day 244: The Story Mindset (Day 2)

If you started with us at the beginning, you've been writing your life stories for the better part of a year. Now it's time to assess what you've written and begin to put it together into a narrative. From this point on, we will be giving you weekly assignments and tips to help along the way.

If you've recently joined us, you may want to build up a few more stories before you begin this part of the challenge. You can always come back to these posts when you are ready. To continue your daily writing, pick something else from the archive, this question list, or write more on something you wrote earlier. For more information about the challenge, read this post.

TODAY'S 15-MINUTE CHALLENGE

This week's exercises are meant to get you in the story mindset. The better you understand what a story is, the more interesting your writing will be. 

Read this post: Show, Don't Tell

Look over your story cards. For each one, ask yourself if it's a story or more of a report. If it's a report, think about how you could turn it into a story. Can you add more detail? As yourself: what is the point of this story? What did I learn from it? What did this event mean to me? etc. If it's just data, put it in a separate pile--you may be able to weave this data into another story.

IN A NUTSHELL

  • Take these assignments at your own pace. They are meant only to get you started and to give you a step-by-step process. Depending on how much you have already written, it may take you longer to complete each section.
  • If you want to keep going after the 15 minutes are up, go for it! 
  • Have a question or challenge or triumph to share? Feel free to comment below.

Writing Challenge Day 224: Index your stories (Review Day 3)

Here's a pen-to-paper exercise that will help you visualize what you've already written. Even if (or especially if) your stories are stored electronically, this can help you: Grab a stack of index cards. On the front of each card, jot a title for each story, segment, or writing exercise you have completed. (The title doesn't have to be clever, just a few words to remind you of what the story is about.) If you happen to think of any other stories that you need to write but haven't yet written, make a card for each. 

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