1. BFGuru
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    BFGuru Active Member

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    Barring the competitions

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by BFGuru, May 19, 2012.

    Do we have something within the workshops that offer assignments, for lack of a better word? I'd like to simply work on my pros without being horribly invested into the story (because I'm pretty secretive about my actual story). I would like feedback. It's been ages since I've simply written for the sake of improving my writing. I'm a little gun shy of the competitions yet though.
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    No, but you can use the competition themes, past and present, as writing prompts to create pieces for submission to the Writing Workshop. If that isn't enough, there is also the Theme Ideas thread for the weekly short story competitions.
     
  3. BFGuru
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    BFGuru Active Member

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    Thanks Cogito, I'll give that a try.
     
  4. Igor
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    Igor Member

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    A dictionary is a valuable resource for story ideas.

    Choose a word length for your story - 250, 500, 1000 etc. Give yourself a 5% or 10% leeway.

    Open the dictionary at a random page and use the finger of fate to pick a word. It will probably be a rubbish word and totally unsuitable for kickstarting your imagination. At least, that will be your first reaction. Resist the urge to choose another. Examine the word from all directions and let you imagination run wild.

    I just tried it.

    I was looking for a word beginning with z to explain the process but I had the dictionary upside down and I have ended up with "and" as the chosen word.

    Not hugely inspiring you might think. Well, what do we know about it? If "and" was person - maybe Andrew or Andrea - what would he or she be like? Let's call him Andy.

    It is a conjunction and so Andy likes bringing things together. He believes that everyone and everything should just get along. Maybe he is a repair man. Since he likes bring things together, it stands to reason that he hates things that are disjointed or falling apart. We have our conflict. We heap on poor Andy situations where things are falling to pieces. The ultimate test, of course, is the thing that even Andy cannot fix. What interest us is how he copes with the challenges that we dump on him.

    OK. I'm rambling. But you get the idea. Have fun with words and release your imagination. Get it down as a rough draft then rewrite, polish, rinse and repeat.

    Hope this helps.
     
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  5. BFGuru
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    BFGuru Active Member

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    I will give that a try as well. I opted tonight to work on a short fanfic (if short is even possible with me as I tend to overwrite everything).
     
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Then challenge yourself to write a flash piece, say 200 words or less. It will train you to be concise, and make the most of every word.

    That's a good way to foster growth. Identify a habit or tendency in your writing, and construct a challenge to do the opposite. Give it your best effort. You may fine your instincts were just fine in the first place, or you may find new ways to express yourself. Win/win.
     
  7. BFGuru
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    BFGuru Active Member

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    Great idea, thanks! I feel like I need something to do while I'm insomnic and have run out of research venues to look into in the middle of the night. LOL
     

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