This year, one of my Resolutions was to undertake a writing challenge, and on October 21 I met the goal! It was a lot of fun, and very good practice for me, so I’m going to share what I did in case anyone else wants to give it a go.
300 Mini Prompts in under a year
- The prompts don’t have to be finished; in fact, I left many open ended to pick up the threads later. Most were 250-350 words.
- I used sentence starter prompts, giving me a starting point and leaving the rest up to me (the prompt itself didn’t count towards the total words written).
- In general, they can’t all be part of the same continuous scene. I had some universes I visited more than once in these snippets, but the prompts themselves are meant to be new scenes.
- Fanfiction, AU, Original stuff all appeared in the prompts.
- They don’t have to be good or polished (In fact, unless one is really speaking to you, I recommend leaving them alone until after it’s all done). I have several that were duds and probably won’t be expanded upon, but that’s normal with so many pieces in a short time.
Goal of the Challenge
I wanted to explore new ideas/characters and revitalize old ones. This challenge was helpful for me when my writing felt stagnant and I didn’t feel I was making much progress or engaging my readers. The idea was to make myself write a variety of stories, to practice and learn how to move different scenes in different ways, while also establishing background in a limited space. I definitely feel an improvement in my writing after this challenge.
Note: 300 prompts in a year was a lot for me, based on my schedule and general energy levels. If it’s too much, the challenge can be 200 or 100 prompts instead. If 300 or a whole year sounds to easy, well, make it a little bit tougher. The point is that it pushes you a little (but not too much!). A year is also a lot to plan ahead, so it can help to divide the task (so, for my goal, so long as I wrote at least 25 prompts a month I was on track).
The results are well worth the hard work.
Alright, this was super fun and I was so happy every time I got an entry! I’m so glad it went over well with everyone.
Then the deadline hit and I realized I’d have to pick the winners. Omg. ;w; It was such a task, but I am pleased with the results, so here they are.
In third place, we have:
I adore this costume. We all had a lot of similar thoughts for Oscar, who is pretty much an honorary mouse himself. N.Y.E.S. had a take on the mousie costume with an emphasis on found materials and Oscar’s own talent for sewing. I’m sure he will be hard pressed to put this one away after the candy hunt is over, since it looks so warm and cozy.
In Second place:
Dang, guys. This one was heckin’ creative, was it not? The thought of Oscar putting something like this together so he can sneak candy and also effectively flee with said candy is super entertaining, and I love it. He is a clever little guy. I like how Bee called back to a not-often-seen side of Oscar: that he loves holiday decorations and stuff like that. Why not just be one for halloween? Gets him some candy!
And in First Place:
“Um, what’s Hollowbean?” Oscar said, speaking up.
“It’s Halloween not hollow bean!” Sam said, his excitement coming back. “And I forgot you didn’t know what it is! It’s basically the best holiday ever! You get to dress up in cool costumes and go to people’s houses and they give you free candy!”
“Candy sounds nice, but I don’t think I would like going to people’s houses.” It did sound like fun, but Oscar wasn’t too keen on any other humans seeing him. He didn’t think other people would be as nice as Dean.
Sam nodded. “Yeah, I guess it isn’t safe for us, but we could still dress up!”
“And I can always get us some candy from the gas station,” Dean said.
“That could be fun. But what would I dress up as?”
There is one knight in the Knight’s Inn motel, and that knight is timid little Oscar. Torch wrote a very cute and very in-character piece detailing Oscar donning some aluminum-foil armor, complete with a helmet that doesn’t quite fit (maybe he’ll grow into it someday). I really love the image it put in my head of the tiniest little guy holding up his toothpick sword, ready to slay dragons and rescue princesses and candy!
Once again, thank you so much to all entrants! I had a blast seeing what would come out of this one, and not a single one was disappointing. They were all adorable and I love them forever. ❤
Congratulations to the winners! I’ll be in touch soon, or you can feel free to message me with your preferred mode of communication regarding prizes and we can work things out from there. 🙂
I’m back and ready to kick some butt with an all new story for this year’s National Novel Writing Month!
The story, working title Imperfect Storm, will feature Elias Dawn and Eral the Arbor Pixie. Those two heroic dorks had an unconventional start to what is now a very trusting and exasperating friendship. I’m excited to explore their characters in more depth this month.
I will be posting excerpts from the day’s progress every day that I get anything done, so my followers will be able to follow along with glimpses of their first adventure as a team.
It’s a bit short notice for the upcoming spooky holiday, but I had a thought for a quick contest! The focus will be my own little borrower and everyone’s favorite honorary mouse: Oscar!
What I’d like to see from entries is your design for a Halloween costume for the little guy. It can be art or writing, as long as it includes a clear view/description of his costume. This contest isn’t going to run for very long and is meant to be more relaxed, so submissions need not be super fancy. Don’t do an extravagant painting or a novella for it (unless you want to, I guess!).
The deadline is November 5 at 11pm Central Standard Time.
- Must include Oscar in his halloween costume – he’s ready for this free candy business! You can use whichever age you want
- Other characters are allowed, but the submission won’t be judged based on any other characters
- Keep it clean and respectful – this doesn’t need much explanation, but I’d like to remind people here that a culture is not a costume and I won’t accept anything sexual
- Written submissions should include clear descriptions of the costume, more than just “dressed like a ____”
- Drawn submissions should be more than a stick figure, it’s a relaxed contest but not a no-effort one
Since it’s a short contest and it’s pretty chill, for now I have only a few prizes up for grabs. If I get a lot of entries, I can reconsider that and I’ll announce it as soon as I know.
- 500-600 word story written by me
I’m guessing most people who follow me know who Oscar is from at least one story, but just in case, here’s a link to a few example pictures. Let me know if you need links to other resources about him; there are lots of stories out there to choose from.
In order to enter, you can post your entry on Tumblr or DeviantArt (if you don’t have an account on either, Archive of Our Own is also acceptable for writing). Then either @ me on tumblr or send me a note on DeviantArt (I am PL1 there). I’ll make a post with entries (or possibly add them to this one). If you made an entry and don’t see yours added to the list after a reasonable amount of time, let me know! There’s a chance I might miss it.