Story in a Day Challenge

Specifics about craft, talent, technique, etc.
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Ishmael
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Re: Story in a Day Challenge

Postby Ishmael » Wed Apr 15, 2015 10:13 am

Elen Tel'Ithil wrote:I thought about the Bechdel Test when I was writing mine, too. Mine doesn't pass, either. It gets really hard to pull off, though, if you're using first person and that person is male, so I decided not to sweat it too much.


Sometimes also the cast is too small or the setting too restrictive for a story to pass. We could also note that a story that passes the Bechdel Test may very well not pass a counter-Bechdel Test.

One reason for male writers writing about men is going to be that we feel more secure in our characters' likely behaviour. But this Forum has been very helpful to me before now when I've created female protagonists and specifically asked if females on the Forum would read for me and tell me where I've gone wrong. The story that made the James White long list was one of those.

Just another reason why the Forum is so good. wotf007
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Re: Story in a Day Challenge

Postby Brydar » Wed Apr 15, 2015 10:51 am

I am unashamed to admit I had no idea whatsoever what you were all speaking of when you mentioned the Bechdel test. I was clueless about this and had to look it up, my guess based on the conversation was close. Perhaps my lack of knowledge about the Bechdel test of a story is another identifying item making me recognizably a noob writer? I chalk this up to another learning experience. wotf017
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Re: Story in a Day Challenge

Postby Brydar » Tue Apr 21, 2015 3:03 am

I was talking to a friend who I never took to be sexist and told him about the Bechdel test. His first comment was about a story he wrote in which his two female characters were talking about beauty and fitness. At first I did not think anything of it but then asked him a poignant question, "What else do you think women talk about?" At first he looked at me perplexed and made a sexist comment, "Whatever interests women have; you know, clothes, shoes, work, taking care of the house and kids, etc..." and he went on, I was shocked. I replied with, "How about the same subjects we as men talk about?"

Seriously one of the best car mechanics I ever met was a woman. The best doctor I ever had was female. I spoke with a girl in Canada who knew more about my favorite hockey team than I did. When I was out doing my monthly skydives the best jumper with the most awards where I was jumping was a woman. Seriously I find myself writing stories at times where I had no intention of writing out women (my recent story swap) however the characters in my story were all military men. I in no way was excluding women because I do not recognize women as being integral and great contributing parts of our military (I am a 23 year vet). So, writing about women conversing should just be viewed as talking about whatever we as men would talk about - right?
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Re: Story in a Day Challenge

Postby amoskalik » Tue Apr 21, 2015 8:45 am

Brydar wrote: So, writing about women conversing should just be viewed as talking about whatever we as men would talk about - right?


Each character is unique. Obviously gender plays an important role, but other aspects of each character are often going to play an even more important role.

The other thing to keep in mind when we write is that fiction has been described as "Life with all the boring bits taken out." So, two characters talking about shoes or lawn mower engines probably won't make the cut unless that is important to the story. instead they should spend our precious page space discussing the relative merits of chainsaws vs. flamethrowers when battling a zombie horde, whether they are male or female.

That doesn't mean our characters wouldn't discuss shoes or lawn mower engines, even after the zombie apocalypse. They are still people and people can be boring at times. We just won't include those bits.

I think the Bechdel test is useful in that it points out a blind spot of the male dominated movie industry. As writers, we all have our blind spots. No one can write authentically from every possible viewpoint. But still we must try if the story dictates. And so we research and interview and just plain fake it in the hope that no one will notice.
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Rebecca Birch
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Re: Story in a Day Challenge

Postby Rebecca Birch » Fri Jun 05, 2015 9:08 am

I'm calling a last-minute story in a day for this weekend. If anybody wants to play along they are, of course, welcome. It's draft-time.

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liz
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Re: Story in a Day Challenge

Postby liz » Sat Aug 01, 2015 4:05 am

So I'm going to try to write a story today for submission to this challenge, due by Monday evening:

http://www.orbitbooks.net/2015/07/27/or ... challenge/

It's not for publication, but it's free, there's the chance for some feedback and anyway, motivation wotf024

If anyone wants to join me or write something for their own purposes, I'd be up for a swap wotf007

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Re: Story in a Day Challenge

Postby soniawrite » Sat Aug 01, 2015 5:24 pm

This challenge sounds insanely difficult.

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Re: Story in a Day Challenge

Postby liz » Sun Aug 02, 2015 12:48 am

soniawrite wrote:This challenge sounds insanely difficult.


It's not that bad wotf011 2,000 words can seem like a lot for one day but it's amazing what you can do once you get started. Also, 2,000 words is the maximum--it can certainly be less.

For the record I did not finish yesterday because I realized that the premise I wanted to write about would make a great novel wotf006 so I got carried away outlining characters, backstory and plot. I wrote about 700 words of actual story which I will probably scrap. I'm going to try again today for the 2,000 I need for the challenge.

I find challenges like this one to be useful when I'm stuck in a motivational rut, which I have been these last couple of weeks. Plus, it's a great chance for feedback and gives your work exposure to a publishing house that wouldn't normally see it unless you made an agented submission.

Mostly though, it's about the writing. I don't know why sometimes it's so hard to just get started, but yesterday I wrote 700 words, and between this two week rut and summer visitors and volunteering efforts before that, that's 700 percent more than I've written in over a month (so much for getting my contest submission in early wotf002 ).

I'm running longer than intended but if anyone's still interested, I'm still hoping to get this challenge written today and subbed tomorrow. If anybody feels like jumping in, feel free to PM me for an exchange wotf008

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Re: Story in a Day Challenge

Postby soniawrite » Sun Aug 02, 2015 3:40 pm

I've only ever managed that much on really, really good days. And only on the WiP.

Challenges are a good way to get out of ruts. I haven't tried challenge like this, though. I usually go looking for image prompts and things like that.

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Re: Story in a Day Challenge

Postby liz » Mon Aug 03, 2015 1:52 pm

Made it in :) I think this is the first time I've written, edited, and submitted a story in just one day. Quite a process! And regardless of whether I'm successful I've now got the first chapter of a new novel wotf007

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Re: Story in a Day Challenge

Postby Strycher » Sat Sep 05, 2015 5:02 am

Hello Everybody!

I'm going to try to do a Story in a Day challenge either this Sunday or Monday (see original post [outlining today]). If you're free, you're welcome to join me (post updates here!). If I finish the story I'll be looking for critique exchanges. =)

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Re: Story in a Day Challenge

Postby elratliff » Sat Sep 05, 2015 5:53 am

Hi Strycher,

I won't be doing the Story in a Day challenge, but I should be done with my Q4 first draft next week and would love to do a critique exchange.
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Re: Story in a Day Challenge

Postby liz » Sat Sep 05, 2015 7:42 am

Wish I could join in this time but I know I won't have time this weekend. Good luck though! wotf013

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Re: Story in a Day Challenge

Postby Rebecca Birch » Sat Sep 05, 2015 8:20 am

In.
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Re: Story in a Day Challenge

Postby Strycher » Tue Sep 08, 2015 5:39 am

Well, I didn't get very far. I did write a flash story for Liberty Hall, but . . . That's really not what I was going for. I might try again next Sunday.

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Re: Story in a Day Challenge

Postby Rebecca Birch » Tue Sep 08, 2015 6:40 am

Strycher wrote:Well, I didn't get very far. I did write a flash story for Liberty Hall, but . . . That's really not what I was going for. I might try again next Sunday.


I'm also guilty of only doing a flash for Liberty Hall. It's something, at least?
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Re: Story in a Day Challenge

Postby Strycher » Mon Sep 14, 2015 4:30 am

::sigh:: I am failure. I got another flash 1st drafted and subbed to Liberty Hall, but not else. Company on Saturday this weekend so nothing then and gotta cover for someone who hasn't been replaced yet at work for 3-4 weeks afterward.

Maybe if I sell my family to the circus? wotf007 Any takers? They're cute! (And time consuming . . .)

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Re: Story in a Day Challenge

Postby george nik. » Mon Sep 14, 2015 9:50 am

Strycher wrote:::sigh:: I am failure. I got another flash 1st drafted and subbed to Liberty Hall, but not else. Company on Saturday this weekend so nothing then and gotta cover for someone who hasn't been replaced yet at work for 3-4 weeks afterward.

Maybe if I sell my family to the circus? wotf007 Any takers? They're cute! (And time consuming . . .)

That would be a great idea for a story wotf007
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Re: Story in a Day Challenge

Postby Rebecca Birch » Fri May 13, 2016 11:55 am

Okay, it's time.

I call a Story in a Day Challenge for this weekend! wotf024

If you'd like to join in, here's the plan. Pick a day, Saturday or Sunday. Write a story on that day. It doesn't need to be pretty, but it does need to have an ending, and it needs to be new writing. Then, if you'd like, participants can exchange their stories for comments.

Feel the joy! Feel the peer pressure! Write the words!

Who's in?
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Re: Story in a Day Challenge

Postby Rebecca Birch » Fri May 13, 2016 12:11 pm

Oh! I forgot! I can send out a trigger if someone wants one.

(This is kinda like practice for the 24-hour story at the workshop, if you win!)
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Re: Story in a Day Challenge

Postby morshana » Fri May 13, 2016 12:20 pm

Yay!! I'm in! Will have to be Saturday for me. We'll see if the baby sleeps long enough tomorrow. I'll do my best to finish in a day.

Already have a short story idea, but I'd like a trigger, too, and work on whichever comes easiest/fastest.

wotf007
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Re: Story in a Day Challenge

Postby Rebecca Birch » Fri May 13, 2016 8:45 pm

morshana wrote:Yay!! I'm in! Will have to be Saturday for me. We'll see if the baby sleeps long enough tomorrow. I'll do my best to finish in a day.

Already have a short story idea, but I'd like a trigger, too, and work on whichever comes easiest/fastest.

wotf007


Woot! Welcome aboard!

Working on finding a trigger . . .
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Re: Story in a Day Challenge

Postby Rebecca Birch » Fri May 13, 2016 8:54 pm

Okay, I found a trigger. If anybody else wants the trigger, just post here or drop me PM or email and I'll send it your way.

(Use of the trigger is not required for this challenge.)
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Re: Story in a Day Challenge

Postby kentagions » Fri May 13, 2016 9:50 pm

I'm in. I feel the need to pants.

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Re: Story in a Day Challenge

Postby Rebecca Birch » Sat May 14, 2016 6:50 am

kentagions wrote:I'm in. I feel the need to pants.


Woot! Welcome aboard! Sending the trigger your way.
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Re: Story in a Day Challenge

Postby disgruntledpeony » Sun May 15, 2016 6:28 am

I couldn't do this yesterday or today because of work combined with social obligations, but I've decided to make the attempt on either Monday or Wednesday (I work the morning those days and have ostensibly free afternoons). If you want to send the prompt my way feel free; I think I can come up with something, but backup plans never hurt.
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Rebecca Birch
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Re: Story in a Day Challenge

Postby Rebecca Birch » Sun May 15, 2016 8:02 am

I've been having some trouble with the link for the first prompt, so if anybody is also having trouble, I'm sending out an alternate. (Peony, that'll be the only one I send you--don't know what's going on with the first.)

And welcome, Distgruntledpeony!
Rebecca Birch
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Re: Story in a Day Challenge

Postby Rebecca Birch » Sun May 15, 2016 1:12 pm

Have completed a thing. It's flash, and it's weird, but it's a draft, so I'm calling that a win.

Hope everybody's doing well, or will be doing well when you start!
Rebecca Birch
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morshana
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Re: Story in a Day Challenge

Postby morshana » Sun May 15, 2016 8:56 pm

Completed a short story (over two days), but it's done! As of early this afternoon. Just under 3500 words.

Can't remember, are we allowed to go through our rough drafts before exchanging stories? Anyone interested in exchanging?
Jeanette Gonzalez

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kentagions
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Re: Story in a Day Challenge

Postby kentagions » Sun May 15, 2016 11:29 pm

Done.
Soup to nuts in fourteen hours. Took a few breaks.
3600 words.
It's a grabber.
I'm wondering about adjustments, too, since I didn't have time for any. Just a continuity check or two as I wrote.
I'm up for exchanging, morshana. If the the number of challengers is small, I'll exchange with all.
Kent


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