I use Grammarly’s plagiarism checker because, lets face it, even English graduates get it wrong sometimes!
So, one of my goals on my 22 Before 22 was to enter three writing competitions. I didn’t manage to enter any, but I have recently caught the creative writing bug again, so I decided to include the goal on my 23 Before 23 this year. The other day, I was really struggling with one of my literature essays, and everything was distracting me, but one of the things that distracted me was the Short Story Challenge 2014. This short story competition is unlike any other writing competition I have seen. It is broken down into rounds, and the competitors are split up into groups. The stories that are judged the best in each group move onto the next round. The most interesting part, however, is that the organisers email you three words that act as the basis of your story. These three words are a genre, a subject and a character, and you have to turn these into the story for the competition. The first round gives you 8 days to write and submit 2,500 words, the second gives you 3 days to write 2,000 words and the final round gives you 24 hours to write 1,500 words. I liked the concept of having a starting point and a close deadline for the competition, because otherwise I find it hard to focus on writing a competition entry when I have university work to do. The entry fee was pretty steep, but all entries receive feedback from the judges, and it will seem worth it if I make it to the second round…I’m keeping my fingers crossed!
Since I am preparing for the competition to begin, and I am inspired to so some creative writing, I have revisited my creative writing supplies. I have picked out some of my favourite and most inspiring resources to share with you to get you writing too! We are all writers as bloggers, and whether you write fiction or not, these resources are sources of inspiration!
My first and foremost ‘go to’ book when I am looking for writing inspiration is The Five-Minute Writer by Margret Geraghty. This book is one that you can literally pick up and open at any page to get writing. This book contains 58 activities that have a brief introduction, then a five-minute exercise to write. With such brief exercises, it is easy to squeeze these activities into even the busiest of days! There is a range activities that are all diverse and inspiring.
Another book that I rely heavily on when writing is The Writer’s Little Helper by James V. Smith, Jr. This book takes a very different but very helpful approach to writing. This little book is packed full of diagrams, lists, charts and graphs, which make building a story a very methodical process. While I very rarely plan a story from the beginning to end before I write it, this book breaks down all of the elements you need to consider from structuring your story and building pace to forming characters and dialogue. Almost taking a scientific approach to writing, this book maps it out and plots each stage for you incredibly thoroughly. Continue reading