October Writing Challenges: Week 1


Need a challenge to keep your writing moving in October? Here are two:

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Get Your Work Out the Door!

Khara House is a fabulously elegant writer whom I have gotten to know as a fellow Founding Member of the writing group, Wordsmith Studio. She’s generously offering us all opportunity to participate in a kick-in-the-pants challenge with her October Submit-O-Rama.  That link takes you to her blog (Our Lost Jungle) for explanation; or find it on Facebook: October Submit-O-Rama on Facebook.

Whether you are a fiction writer, poet or journalist, it’s a great opportunity to push yourself to get your work out the door, among the camaraderie of other writers who won’t give you the blank stare your spouse, cat or friend-on-the-treadmill give when you brag, “I just sent out three submissions!”

My participation this week? I’m busy reading manuscripts by others and working on novel revisions, so will not be submitting this week, but I did take time to update my submission target lists.

How do I manage information about magazines I submit to?  I use contact cards in Outlook to maintain my own data on hundreds of literary magazines (and agents).  I use this and Duotrope to actively research the magazines I submit to, updating guidelines, reviewing their latest publications, tracking their interests, keeping track of my communication with editors, and otherwise doing my best to connect with like-minded publications.

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Herding Your Inspirational Dragon

On her blog, Herding the Dragon (can we pause and appreciate what a fabulous title that is for a blog about writing?), Samantha Holloway shares a 30 Day Writing Meme that is perfect palate cleanser for writers hard at work on a novel draft or nose to the grindstone in revisions. Yeah, that includes me.  You, too?  Read my note below on joining in, so we can write together.

My participation this week? Here is my answer for day 1:

How many characters do you have? Do you prefer males or females?

In my current WIP, there is a female protagonist (Carinne), a male protagonist (Michael Roonan) and their son. In early chapters, there is vibrant interaction with people around them while traveling (the family Carinne travels with, the lively couple who manage a hotel). As Carinne and Roonan flee through several chapters, they are isolated, accompanied only by Roonan’s childhood best friend, Aidan, and pursued by an unseen antagonist. They are pointedly isolated until the resolution, where Roonan again meets Aidan as well as members of his mother’s family.  That makes three main characters, three important side characters, and less than a dozen other named characters.  This work is about isolation, so feels spare as compared to another draft, Breathing Water, which has half a dozen main characters.  Prefer male or female characters? I write each just as readily and enjoy getting to experience the story from multiple perspectives, so no preference.

Read my Reflections on Writing Character & Place (Days 2-4) on 10/10.

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Want to Participate in Either Challenge?

Here are links to both :

  • Submit-O-Rama on Our Lost Jungle: on the blog or on Facebook
  • 30 Day Writing Meme on Herding the Dragon: begin here with Day 1

Are you going to participate in either challenge, or are you at work on another challenge (how many of you have NaNoWriMo on your horizon)?  Let us know in the comments below and keep us posted on your progress.  If you’re doing the Dragon challenge, copy the questions and post your answers on your site, but feel free to share a link to your blog in the comments here.

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Filed under Novel Writing, Seeking Publication, Writing Life, Writing Prompt

3 responses to “October Writing Challenges: Week 1

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