Tag Archives: writing challenge

NaNoWriMo 2016

Am I crazy? No, I’m just a guy trying to write a book. I’m going to be participating in NaNoWriMo this year!

NaNoWriMo is short for National Novel Writing Month, where you have 30 days to write a 50,000 novel or at least 50,000 words toward a novel. It takes place from November 1st to 30th.

I’ve figured now that I live in a house where I can go somewhere quiet in the morning or late evening, I can do some writing. All I need to do is write at least 1,667 words per day, which is achievable. I’ve done it before, but not for 30 straight days.

I’ll be working on completing Journey to Ariadne, which may or may not be 50,000 words. If it’s less, I’ll start on the first Ariadne novel, or portions of it. It’s a natural continuation of Journey to Ariadne, as this web serial is a prequel to the main story.

I talked about this on my YouTube channel, as well. So, check that out below:

Are you participating in NaNoWriMo? Let me know in the comments below with your profile. You can go here to see my profile. Let’s be buddies!

What Will You Write? #7 – The Winner!

What Will You Write? #7 came to a close a few days ago, but because of a couple typhoons, live-blogging, embassy visit, and general pre-schooler naughtiness, I didn’t have much time to get this post done. Well, it’s finally here!

There was only one entry, but it was a good one.  Our guest judge, Peggy, explains why she thinks it’s worthy of a win, even though it is the only entry.  Before that, though, you can check the original post and remind yourselves of the theme.

So, here is what Peggy had to say about the winner:

The winner of  What Will You Write Challenge #7 is D.T. Nova with “Breanna.”

While this was the only entry, it’s my opinion it would have been a difficult one to beat and deserves the win!

D.T. Nova’s piece has nice paced dialog that reveals the conflict between the main character Breanna and the protagonist Alexander, who share the inheritance of Prometheus Corporation.  Multiple levels of conflict within and between the characters, amplified by the youth of the heir, is presented very well, and there is a captivating twist to the challenge prompt. I won’t go into more detail lest I give out a spoiler, and suggest if you haven’t already read this story, please give it a read!

You can go to the original post, or read the entry below:

Breanna

              Breanna didn’t think she should care that her father was dead, so she pretended she didn’t. “We see him maybe once a year. Not a lot to miss, is there?”

              Breanna’s mother said “But he was still your father. Anyone would care.”

              Breanna took her mother’s word for it. She hated it when her lack of understanding of how other people felt was mistaken for not caring how they felt, and even her mother sometimes made that accusation. “But I really had already lost him before this. We used to all live together, and don’t pretend I’m not the reason it changed. Dad hasn’t cared about me since…since I told him I was a girl.”

              “He just…had trouble getting used to the idea, Alex.”

              “You know I don’t like it when you call me that.”

              “It’s your name.”

              “I’ll change my legal name, along with everything else. No matter how hard it is, I’ll make it without everyone who’s turned against me.”

              “Alex…Breanna. Your father didn’t turn against you. Look at this. His share in the corporation…his controlling interest, and his fortune; he left everything to you.”

              Breanna snatched the piece of paper from her mother’s hand. “’I leave my fortune to my son, Alexander Prometheus.’ He didn’t leave it to me, he left it to the son he wished I was. This was updated the week after he refused to pay for hormone therapy for me. This is such a backhanded gift.” Breanna really wasn’t sure how normal her own feelings were now; how many people were jealous of themselves?

              “But even if he’s not who you’d rather be, Alexander is still you.”

              “Mom. the last time I tried to pretend I wasn’t a girl, I almost-” Breanna shuddered, and in the pause remembered that this was something she’d never told her mother about. She was never comfortable talking about sex, and didn’t think it really mattered as long as she didn’t intend to be having it any time soon. “No, you’re right. My ‘rival’ is only a fake me. I can use ‘his’ money for what I couldn’t afford before, and that includes fully becoming myself and overcoming ‘him’.”

              “You’d be foolish not to. But until you change your legal name and gender, you can’t avoid being ‘Alexander’ in all circumstances.”

              “Maybe that’s one more thing that I need to change.”

***

              Despite her protests, Breanna wore a men’s suit to the first meeting and allowed the young upstart trying to get named as CEO of ‘his’ father’s business to be publicly known as Alexander. But the pressure of ‘him’ being the one in charge made her question her sanity more than once, particularly when things were unusual to begin with.

              One day, Breanna just couldn’t believe what came across her desk. “Ms. Lucas, if I might ask…what is this?”

              Veronica looked at the proposal only briefly before answering. “Oh, that again. I suppose Leonard thinks he has another chance now that someone else is in charge. It’s a transforming mecha.”

              “It says ‘Prototype 70% complete; project on hold’. Did it work?”

              “No.”

              “Then I think Mr. Smith is another person underestimating me because of my youth. This is the kind of thing I want there to be less of than there was under my father, not more.” Breanna sighed. “A weapon that doesn’t even work gets physically built, while when it comes to things that would actually help people, like sustainable energy, we have trouble convincing anyone to even start designing them.”

              “Unfortunately, that’s all too true, Mr. Prometheus.”

              “I wish you wouldn’t call me ‘Mister’.”

              “I didn’t want you to think I’m not respecting you because you’re so young, Alex.”

              “Not what I meant.” On impulse, Breanna decided she could trust Veronica Lucas more than anyone else who worked at Prometheus Corporation. ”‘Alexander’ is who I was born as, but it’s not who I am. I’ve known it for years, even if I couldn’t really start to do anything about it until recently. My friends call me Breanna…or they would if I had any.”

              “You’ve got at least one friend, Breanna. Me.” She reached for Breanna’s hand, but Breanna recoiled.

              Breanna said “Sorry, but I don’t like to be touched.”

              Veronica shrugged. “I’ll remember. Does anyone else here know you’re a girl?”

              “No. I knew you’d understand, but I didn’t expect it to go this smoothly, Ms. Lucas.”

              “Because you don’t know about…well, I shouldn’t tell her story without her permission, but I have had need to understand something a little like this before. And please call me Veronica.”

              “Unfortunately, Veronica, the inheritor was publicly announced as ‘Alexander’, so I’ve been trying to ‘pass’ the wrong way. It’s probably because I’m young, but it’s already hard enough to get people around here to take me seriously enough, and I’m sure there are people with whom this knowledge would just make things even harder. But I have to try, and I’d appreciate your support.”

              “Well of course, Breanna. I’m one of the people that does like your ideas for the direction of the company..”

              “And one more thing. I do want the credit for my part in this to go to ‘Breanna’, not ‘Alex’. Do you think we can manage that?”

              “I’d like to say ‘yes’, but I think I’ll say ‘eventually’. There’s no avoiding the fact that it will take time, and you are young enough to have time. I’m sorry but…I think you’re going to have to put up with ‘Alex’ a while longer.”

              After Veronica left, Breanna sat down and cried. She had more wealth and influence than almost anyone else her age in the world, and she didn’t really understand why she was crying. But even in her confusion, she swore to never let ‘Alex’ regain control of her life.

Thank you very much, D. T. Nova for your great entry.  And since you are the winner this time, you’ll have the opportunity to judge and provide a prompt in the future.

Now, as to the future of What Will You Write?, I have decided not to have another challenge this year.  It’s too close to NaNoWriMo right now, so it’ll be a very busy time for writers from now until the end of November.  Also, December tends to be busy for people going on holiday and visiting family.  #8 will be coming after the new year begins.  So keep an eye out for the announcement for that.  And since Peggy had two wins in a row, it’s up to her to provide a prompt and judge, if she likes.

What Will You Write? #7 Is Closed

The seventh edition of What Will You Write? has come to a close.  I’d like to thank Peggy for the prompt and our lone participant for joining.  I think we all know who the winner is.

I’d like to mention that What Will You Write? is going on hiatus again.  But this time it’s due to NaNoWriMo, which starts in a month.  A lot of people will be preparing for it and won’t have much time for flash fiction challenges like this.  We’ll be back in December, though!  Not only will we be back, but we’ll have some changes in store.  Hopefully, these changes will encourage more participation in the challenge.

The post with the winning entry will be up later this weekend when Peggy has her part written up.  She may only be judging one entry, but she has to say why it’s good.  Look for it soon.

What Will You Write? – The End?

Well, it’s been nearly four weeks and only one entry for the seventh What Will You Write?  It started out strongly, but fizzled out.  So, what should I do?

I have a three options:

1. Continue as always (or change things up a little). Unfortunately, I don’t think this is the way to go.

2. Take a hiatus.  This is a possibility.

3. Just stop altogether.  This is also a possibility.

I’m leaning towards number 3, to be honest.  While I’ve enjoyed doing this, I feel that my time can be better applied to writing.  I also would rather join flash fiction challenges.

What do you think?  I’d like your opinions.

What Will You Write? #7 Second Extension

That’s right.  What Will You Write? #7 is being extended for another week again.  I’m trying to figure out if there’s a pattern.  Maybe some prompts are too difficult?  Just so you know, it doesn’t have to be a long story.  1000 words is the maximum.  You can make it as little as 100 if you like.  This should help anyone who wants to attempt the challenge.

Anyway, the challenge is extended until October 3rd, 3 pm GMT.

What Will You Write? Deadline Extended

I’m extending the deadline for What Will You Write? #7 by a week.  So, the new due date will be September 26th at 3 pm GMT.  Why? Only one submission.

What I’d like you to do is get the word out.  If you know anyone who likes to write and do flash fiction, let them know about this challenge.  If anyone has any ideas about how we can get the word out about this challenge better, let me know in the comments.

What Will You Write? Only a Day to Go

What Will You Write? #7 is only a day away from ending, and we need some more submissions.  Are you looking for something to write?  Do you want to write, but don’t have an idea?  Then this challenge is for you.  There are just over 24 hours to go.

If there are no more submissions, I may have to extend the deadline.  There’s only been 1 submission.  This one looks challenging, but I know you can do it.  So go on over to the post and check out the rules.

What Will You Write? #7 – Good Fortune?

It’s time for another challenge, and this time, we’re back to having a guest.  Peggy is the guest, and she’s judging!

What Will You Write? is a series of writing challenges that I am posting every two weeks.  How it works is, I post the beginning of a scene and give you the genre or theme.  You finish the scene and post it on your blog. Please read the challenge page for more information and past winners. The rules are simple:

  • First, read what I’ve written (or in this case, the guest).
  • Second, copy it and finish writing the scene.  Please keep your portion of the writing at less than 1,000 words.  It can be as little as 100 words, if you like.
  • Then, post your story to your blog.
  • Make sure you link back to this post so others can come and join in.
  • Make a post in the comments below with a link back to your post (it’s likely that if you use WordPress, there’ll be a pingback, but please leave a comment with the link nevertheless).

The deadline is about 14 days from today.   Let’s make that 3:00 pm GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) on September 19th [Edit: Deadline extended to October 3rd].

After the deadline, Peggy will read all of the entries and decide on who she thinks wrote the best scene.   Once she’s decided, I’ll post the winning story with a link back to the writer’s original post.  After that, I’ll include links back to everyone else’s entry so you can see what everyone wrote.  The winner will have the opportunity to write their own prompt and be a guest judge if they want.

I’ll let Peggy explain what’s going on with this prompt, so read the following:

In any genre, just write a story about someone who very quickly (as in overnight) has gone from broke or poverty to being very rich. The source of good fortune can be anything… winning the lottery, a gift or an inheritance, a genie, … or ???  The only other element that needs to be included: they are required to share the new found bounty with another person or persons they don’t like or don’t trust.

So there we go.  You have two weeks to write a story and get it posted.  Good luck everyone!

What Will You Write? #6 – The Winner!

What Will You Write? #6 has come to a close, and I had to choose a winner.  There were four entries this time, which is an improvement from the previous two.  We had a newcomer and three who had entered before, including two previous winners.  I went with a simpler prompt, and I think that may be the way to go for my prompts from now on.  The next edition will be done by a guest, Peggy, if she accepts.

But now, on to the winner of #6.  I have to say this was a difficult one.  All four entries were related to American or Canadian history, two of them about native American history.  It was interesting to see how everyone wrote something that’s close to home.  But this is probably my most difficult decision so far.  They all deserved to win.  However, I had to choose one.  So here it is.

The winner is Joshua Bertetta with his entry titled American Shadow.  You can see his original entry here.  Why did I choose this one?  I think this one had the most emotional impact.  It was very heartfelt and showed the guilt associated with the killing of innocent people, a dark part of American history.  Here is his entry:

“American Shadow”

by Joshua Bertetta

Dear Mother, Dear Father,

Mother, you taught me well to be a good, God-fearing man and now I ask myself, “What am I supposed to do with this?”

With my life?

They received us like heroes in Denver. Colonel Chivington said we fought nobly and, in comparing himself to Joshua, likened our victory to Joshua’s in Canaan. They were savages. He called our enemy savages. After our victory against the Confederate Army, I followed Colonel Chivington and Mother, I volunteered. I volunteered. Do you hear me Mother? I chose to do this.  And now, as the rest of the 3rd Regiment and the 1st Volunteers celebrate their heroes’ welcome, I sit alone, atop my bunk, ashamed.

I ask myself over and over again, why. Why did I volunteer? Was I so enamored with this man, this minister from Ohio? I remind myself I was not the only one. There were 750 of us who looked at him, standing tall over all of us, his chin high, his barrel-chest—the kind of man you knew would lead you, protect you. He convinced us Mother, persuaded us that those of us on the frontier were fulfilling God’s plan. He had promised us salvation against the Confederates, and he fulfilled that promise. He promised us salvation again and who I am to turn from the man I looked to as if he were, as if he were…God?

But Mother, that was not my only mistake.

Mother, your beloved son is now a murderer and there is no court on God’s great earth that would commit me of any wrongdoing.

We left Fort Lyon at night. We marched and at first light, frost still covering the ground, we saw their ponies. Chivington detached a small group of men to chase away the horses after we saw the teepees along a creek bottom below the bluff. We stood over them Mother. A woman came out and looked up at us, much as we all looked up to the colonel, like the Israelites looking up to Moses on Sinai. She sounded the alarm and a man emerged carrying a white flag.

Then the first canon shot. And the rifles. And more canons. The ridge billowed with white smoke and through it we charged. We chased them down, we surrounded them, shooting them down and wounding ourselves in turn. Mother, I love you too much to describe to you the atrocities I witnessed and I can only pray for mercy when it comes time for my reckoning. If I were my own judge, I would have no other recourse than to condemn myself to the eternal fire, for with the sins I have committed I am already damned.

We ran them down. We hunted them. Three, four miles from their camp. We found where they hid, both women and children.

Mother, let it be known that I protested, but Colonel Chivington convinced me. Maybe I let myself be convinced. “It is right and honorable,” he told me, “to use any means necessary.” He quoted scripture. He said it was God’s plan. We had to eradicate them, he said, because “nits make lice.” He smiled when he said that. As always, there was peace in that smile and in seeing that peace, I knew at once he was right.

I fired, I charged, I chased them down. I don’t remember it now, I don’t remember doing any of it. But I know I did, for the blood on my uniform and the scalp in my hand testify against me. I am a murderer Mother.

I can hear you now, trying to console me. “War is war. You did what you had to do.” And when all was over, I looked across the field. The sun was clear, and bright, and a little bird, its wing wounded, fluttered through the smoky air like a broken psalm.

Mother, what I am about to tell you might be the last thing I ever say to you, for there is a noose at my bunk. I would rather face my Lord in Heaven, may he forgive me, now than live the rest of my life knowing what I have done.

I saw what I saw. I looked down, and saw it again. I might agree with you if this was war, Mother, but these were not hostiles, for on their teepees, and sewn into their backs—their backs now riddled with bloody holes from the bullets of my rifle—the American flag.

Your beloved son, your only son, the one you love,

Abraham

Dated November 29th, 1864

Congratulations, Joshua!  First time entry and first win.  You have the chance to be the guest to judge and write the prompt for #9.

The other entries are all honourable mentions, because I honestly couldn’t figure out how to make one of them the second best.  They all stood out in their own way.  So here they are in order of submission.

Tara Southwell wrote about a much more recent event in history with a piece that’s close to my own university studies.  It’s based on Clair C. Patterson’s discovery, which is a pretty significant.  I found it very interesting to read, especially since I didn’t know him by name.  I won’t give it away, so please read her entry.

Peggy (or silverliningsanddustbunnies) came in with her own historic entry, and it was a very nice one.  This was also related to native Americans, and it was a very light piece that made me smile.  Please read and see what was so positive about it.

Tony Dingwell returns with this hilarious take on a piece of Canadian (or Newfoundland) history.  And knowing how quirky Newfies can be, it was just perfect.  If you know what Screech is, then you’ll understand the title.  Very funny.

All of these entries could’ve been winners.  All of you are making this really difficult!

So, Joshua has the chance to write the prompt and judge for #9. Next time, in #7, we’ll have Peggy with the prompt and judging, if she wishes.  Please stay tuned for the next round of What Will You Write?

Only a Few Hours to Go!

What Will You Write? #6 comes to an end in a few hours.  Less than 14 hours to be exact.  If you’re planning to enter, now’s the time.

The turnout for this one is a lot better than the ones this summer.  I’m happy to see more entries, and I’m very interested in reading them.  Judging will take place either after the deadline tonight or tomorrow morning.  There will be a small break between challenges as I get the next one ready with another guest contributor and judge.