Monday, March 10, 2008

Writing Challenges...

...and Why Blogging Is Great for Your Productivity.

A lot of people, especially Mr. Authorness, thought I'd transformed into a crazy cat lady over the past 12 or so days. Exhibit A: The Secret (Nine) Lives of Us blog I started for my neighbours' kitties (see previous post). Every move those cats made was fodder for the blog. The result was an anthromorphosised view of what I think cats talk about, but I soon realised the blog was an interesting writing exercise.

One of the big challenges for me was to try to make every post a mini-sitcom. Each one needed a story arc, defined characters, and most of all it had to be memorable for my target audience--in this case, the cats' owners.

Formatting it like a play tested my ability to write dialogue without tags or descriptions, something I often get bogged down with. What I've learned from that is when I write first drafts for novels, I can just run long streams of dialogue and fill in the narrative details later. So next time, if I'm stuck for words, I'll try to get into the heads of my characters and write down what they say. Just keep moving and dig deep, no matter how silly or lame your internal editor thinks the story is. Dig long enough and you'll hit gold eventually.

What kinds of writing challenges do you set for yourself?

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