I read about the Graham Greene Challenge on Fuel Your Writing. It's a 500 word challenge, but not just writing 500 words as a short story and then stepping away, done. Graham Greene's challenge was to only write, exactly, 500 words of the manuscript/ book he was working on and then walk away to leave it until the next day. That means stopping at whatever word comes up as #500, no matter where it is - even if you don't finish your sentence. Torture? Perhaps, clever torture though. Try it. You'll need something to let you know when you've come to #500 and then when it dings you have to stop. Won't you be itching to finish it? Won't you be just raring to go when you can start the next 500 words? I bet all kinds of ideas will be flowing and you won't be able to get the whole thing out of your mind.
I'm listening to Ironic by Alanis Morissette. You know the song about rain on your wedding day, good advice that you just didn't take and the guy who bought a plane ticket for his first flight and crashed. Ironic, tragic and a little too ironic - just as she says. Could you write a few more lines for the song? Your own ironies, big and small?
Ironic, by Alanis Morissette An old man turned ninety-eight He won the lottery and died the next day It's a black fly in your Chardonnay It's a death row pardon two minutes too late Isn't it ironic Don't you think? It's like rain on your weddin' day It's a free ride when you've already paid It's the good advice that you just didn't take And who would've thought, it figures Mr. Play It Safe was afraid to fly He packed his suitcase and kissed his kids goodbye He waited his whole damn life to take that flight And as the plane crashed down he thought Well, isn't this nice And isn't it ironic Don't you think? It's like rain on your weddin' day It's a free ride when you've already paid It's the good advice that you just didn't take And who would've thought, it figures Well life has a funny way of sneakin' up on you When you think everything's okay and everything's goin' right, right And life has a funny way nobody helpin' you out when You think everyhing's gone wrong and everything blows up In your face A traffic jam when you're already late A no smoking sign on your cigarette break It's like ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife It's meetin' the man of my dreams And then meetin' his beautiful wife, umm And isn't it ironic Don't you think? A little too ironic And yeah, I really do think It's like rain on your weddin' day It's a free ride when you've already paid It's the good advice that you just didn't take And who would've thought, it figures And well, life has a funny way of sneaking up on you And life has a funny, funny way of helpin' you out Helpin' you out
Could you do some kind of good deed each and every day? What is a good deed? Maybe you are already doing good deeds and not thinking of them, or really valuing the deeds you do. I think the good deeds people do are interesting. How far outside of your comfort zone does a person need to go to accomplish a good deed? How is a good deed measured? Does a good deed only count if others know about it, do you need praise in order to feel good about doing good? Is a good deed worth more if you do it without acknowledgment or thanks of any kind? A Good Deed a Day One Good Deed Per Day 365 Days of Goodness Operation Nice Help Others Write about a good deed you have done. Did you need to tell others about it? Did you need to be thanked? If you were not thanked did that bother you? What was the reaction to your good deed? Did you feel natural doing something good or did you feel out of place, or shy?
Writing a mystery is at least as complicated as solving a mystery. I've found a few links to 5 Minute Mysteries online. Try a few, then try to write of your own.
- 5 Minute Mystery - Must join the site to do more than just read the mystery, but it is free.
- Mystery.net: Solve It
- Mike's Minute Mysteries
- One Minute Mysteries and Brain Teasers
- The Two Minute Mystery Writing Club
- Salon (Archives): 5 Minute Mystery
- Mystery Digest
- Becky's Guiding Resource: Minute Mysteries
- Ken Weber writes 5 Minute Mysteries, a series of books.
Karol would often see Mr. Craig, who lived across the street, out jogging but only on windy days. When it was sunny he would walk along at a good pace, stopping to chat with whoever was outside. Why did he only jog on windy days? Mr. Craig wore a hat, on windy days it would blow off and he'd try to catch it.Not great but a start at it. Writing them is tricky. I tried to come up with the answer first and then figure out how to phrase the mystery/ question itself.
Kirsten is taking up the cause of the Personal Blogger. I find it hard to stick to writing about blogging, publishing or writing from the personal perspective. Somewhere along the way it dips into getting comments, traffic and readers and then you find yourself in the land of the SEO gurus who want to sell you their e-books about blogging. It is all a circle.