NatWriCoChallenge: Week 2

Hey friends. Just a reminder that through April and May of 2020, I am offering coaching sessions at a Pay What Feels Right for You rate. That means that you get a coaching session and you choose the price. Read all about this offer here.

If you’ve been participating so far, I want to say congratulations on getting through the first week of the Natural Writer Coaching Challenge! I have enjoyed seeing your posts on Instagram, and reading your wonderful works.

Catching Up

If you’re coming into this late in the game, the #NatWriCoChallenge provides daily writing prompts for your flash fiction pieces. Using the hashtag, post your pieces via Instagram and tag me using the handle @NaturalWriterCoaching to be entered to win 2 Free Coaching sessions. You can read all about it, here.

For those of you who want to get in on the chance to win free coaching sessions, but haven’t been posting each day—you’re not out of luck. So long as by the end of May, you have one post for each of the writing prompts posted onto your Instagram (so, 31 in total), then you’re entered for the chance to win. However, the goal is to get into the habit of writing daily, so if you save up seven posts to do in one day, you’re only doing yourself the disservice.

Additional Challenge

Hopefully you’re having fun with these prompts. For some, it’s easy to come up with a new situation in which these daily word prompts can be used. And thus, I would like to add to the challenge:

Create one story with each writing prompt. Each day, use the designated writing prompt to add to the story that is building throughout the month. At the end of the month, you could have a story between 7,750 and 15,500 words long. This isn’t a novel, but it’s certainly a short story, or even the base of a story that can be filled out to become a novel.

This challenge means that, if you create a story that builds upon itself, the conclusion of the story will contain word prompt for May 31st. You can read a full list of the daily word prompts here if you want to plan.

If You’re Struggling

I just wanted to adress those of you who are awesome, though despite your awesomeness, you’re still struggling to get into that creative place. I see you. I hear you. Sometimes the muse just doesn’t want to behave.

Check out my post on Creativity as an Inner Sense that can be harnessed and directed through Meditation and/or Meditation here. Let me know what you think.

This Week’s Word Prompts

Each Friday in May, I’ll provide the daily work prompts for the follow week. If you’re playing catch up, you can read last week’s prompts here.

Friday, May 8: Radiance
Saturday, May 9: Circle
Sunday, May 10: Guidance
Monday, May 11: Empty
Tuesday, May 12: Prophetic
Wednesday, May 13: Indulgence
Thursday, May 14: Question

You of course can participate on your own, or you can join in on Instagram, posting your flash fiction piece there, or posting a link to your website with your flash fiction piece. Remember to tag me in the post using the handle @NaturalWriterCoaching and to use the hashtag #NatWriCoChallenge. I look forward to reading your pieces! Feel free to comment below to share your experience or ask any questions.

Book a Free 30-Minute Session with Me

Are you thinking about working with me, but just aren’t entirely sure? Fill out the form, schedule a call, let’s talk. This is a no-pressure, non-sales-pitch call, where we talk about you and your writing, and whether or not you want to work with me. Let’s chat!

Writing Exercise: Flipped Motivation

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Every character needs a motivation. It is the goal for them to work toward throughout the book. Your plot is how they get to that goal, and what helps or hinders them (pro tip: if you want an interesting book to read, throw lots of obstacles at your character).

In this exercise, you are going to do two things:

  1. Read the prompt and generate an idea.
  2. Throw away the first two things you come up with and write the third thing.

The second part of this exercise is to help you think outside of the box. If you write the first thing that comes to your head, chances are you’ve seen it somewhere, read it, it’s a common idea, or someone else is likely to come up with that one too. So, to really get your creative juices flowing, throw the first two ideas that come to mind.

Note: The second part of the exercise I learned from a writing competition I entered in 2017, put on by Wonderbox Publishing. I loved the idea so much that I’ve used it as a rule of thumb ever since. You can check out the anthology that came of the writing competition here (UK) and here (US).

The Exercise

The barebones of this exercise is that I’m going to give you a motivation, and you’re going to develop a scenario around this motivation. Motivations, again, are the key to a whole character, to making the reader care about what’s going on in the story, and it’s what makes your character participate in the plot. Likewise, your plot interacts with your character’s motivation, or your plot can be entirely reliant on your character’s motivation.

That being said, on we go! This is your character motivation:

Keep a Child Safe

This portion of the exercise has three parts (in addition to trying to throw away your first two ideas). Be prepared. It’s helpful if for each portion of the exercise, you practice the third-option rule. It will help you in the long run.

Part 1: The Good

Come up with a scenario in which someone would want to keep a child safe. Portray this specifically in a good light, as it would naturally be—who doesn’t want to save babies from burning buildings? Or make sure they don’t get hit by a car?

Create a scenario where this is a good motivation.

Part 2: The Bad

Now, come up with a scenario in which someone would want to keep a child safe, but it’s seen in a negative light. This could be socially, situationally, or personally. Does this make the character a villain? A protagonist? Antagonist (note: villains and antagonists are not always the same)?

Create a scenario where there is a bad motivation.

Part 3: The Ugly

You now should have two scenarios portraying positive and negative scenarios in which someone has the motivation to save a child.

Your final step is to combine these two scenarios. Are they the same person with two different aspects of the same motivation? Are they two people with the same motivation who clash? Are they the protagonist and antagonist who want to save the same child?

Play with this idea, and don’t forget to toss your first two ideas and run with the third one.

Continuing the Exercise

There are plenty of motivations out there that you can choose from: Survival from _______, finding love, revenge, finding a killer, proving their worth, winning the race, etc. Explore past stories you’ve written and think about the motivations you’ve used. Look at shows, movies, and books you’ve read and loved and ask yourself what the motivation of the characters were in each of them.

Can you improve the story by implementing this exercise?

Or if you don’t want to rehash old plots, come up with new ones. Think about motivations and apply them to new characters, new situations, and find the good, the bad, and the ugly to each motivation. What other stories can you concoct?

What did you come up with during this exercise? What were your first two ideas for each step? Share below in the comments!

Book a Free 30-Minute Session with Me

Are you thinking about working with me, but just aren’t entirely sure? Fill out the form, schedule a call, let’s talk. This is a no-pressure, non-sales-pitch call, where we talk about you and your writing, and whether or not you want to work with me. Let’s chat!

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