How Do You Respond to a Writing Challenge?

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It’s easy to burn yourself out creatively when meeting writing deadlines or undertaking insanity projects like NaNoWriMo. Sometimes, it’s just mood and the chaos of life that locks your muse in a wooden crate wrapped in chains buried in your cellar. Don’t look there. Please excuse the bodies.

One way of dealing with your stalled writing motivation is to jump on a writing prompt and just go with it. A bunch of them can be found here: http://www.writerscarnival.ca/writing-prompts. Google is also your friend.

So, you have your seed idea. Where do you begin?

One method is called the POWER system:

P: Planning. Engage in a little pre-writing brainstorm. What is the first line? Any feelings, smells or sensory elements that come to mind? Are there tidbits from your life or memory that bubble to the surface?

O: Organizing. All stories have structure-– a beginning, middle and end. Try filling in the blanks with your prompt:

Somebody __ wanted __
but __ so __ then __.

W: Writing. At some point, you gotta actually write. Open the story with your hook to keep ‘em reading, being it description, action, dialog or whatever. Try not to edit as you go. Blaze forward while the juices are hot.

E: Editing. Change the font-size and read your story aloud. Search and destroy passive voice. Whatever works for you. Oh, and spell check. Please.

R: Revise. Writing is re-writing.

Do you have any tips or tricks on responding to a writing prompt or challenge? Share in the comments below.

Reference:

Photo by Antonio Litterio

NOTE: This post also appears at Writer’s Carnival.

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