Friday, April 29, 2016

Plotless Writing Challenge (And the Beginning of a Story)

Yes, I disappeared for a month. *hides* I'm sorry. April and May are the busiest months of the year for me. And I did Camp NaNoWriMo. So the perfect time to create a blog, right? And then my computer broke down. I still don't have it back. I'm using my sister's. 

But here's the good news. I'll try to update more often from now on. I have a few posts started already, and I have some short stories and stuff I could add. But for now, I have a writing challenge for you all!
...Where You Write 100 Words A Day For As Long As It Takes


*looks up* Oh, hello there! If you're here, I'm assuming you're interested in my writing challenge that I thought up this afternoon. Though I suppose I should explain what it is.

Think of a character. They can be a storyless character who you've had in your head for a while, or just a new character you create on the spot. You don't have to know too much about them. All I know about mine is he's a brunet blue-eyed pickpocket.

*waits until you have a character*

Now think of a world for this character. Again, it doesn't need to be more than the basics. For instance, mine is a steampunk where people have wings and use alchemy.

But whatever you do, don't think of a plot.

Now that you have that much, here is the challenge. Write 100 words a day about this character's life in your story world. Or less, if you don't have time to write even that much - the point is to be able to do this around other writing projects and life. Your word goal doesn't have to be 100 words. That's just my goal, so I can do it around my other projects.

Feel free to let a plot come along, but don't think of one at the beginning. The point of this is for it to be a character and world-building exercise, as well as an experiment on how stories do without plots (or whether every story has a plot). Your character doesn't have to live an ordinary life - mine is a pickpocket and the only person without wings, after all. But start out without a plot and go from there. Maybe he will end up saving the world. And that's okay. But see what happens.

Just write until you think the story has ended. Do it by chapters, if you'd like, or have each day be a new section. I don't care how you do it. I also don't care if it takes you ten days or ten years.

Feel free to update your story on your blog, or your word count, or just keep it private! I will hopefully be updating my blog every day with my hundred words. So even if I can't get down a real blog post for a while, I should hopefully at least have this.

I don't mind if you exceed your goal, or if you don't reach it. Life happens. The point of this is to be flexible but consistent. Like homeschooling. XD

So there you have it. Have fun, everyone!

And here's the beginning of my story. I've been working on it for the past three days. Tell me in the comments what you think of the challenge and my story.

My quick fingers were to my advantage. My flightlessness… not so much. I closed my hand around a man’s wallet and pulled it from his pocket. I did not know how much money was in it, nor did I care. I only knew I had to get out of there before he realized his wallet was missing. 
“My wallet!” 
Great. He had noticed. I ducked around a corner, cursing my nonexistent wings. I took a quick glance about the alley and dove behind a trashcan, curling into a tight little ball. That was the one good thing about being the only wingless kid in Amglade I was small, making for easy hiding places. 
Especially seeing as I was a pickpocket. 
I clutched the wallet, not daring to move, trying not to breathe in the fumes of rubbish. Finally, the sound of flapping wings grew distant, and I crawled out into the open, knowing they had taken their search elsewhere. Leaning against a wall, I opened the wallet and peered inside. 
I cursed and threw it to the ground. Empty. Worthless. And there was no use in trying again here. People were on guard now. Meaning no dinner for me tonight. 
People were getting smarter, more careful. I wasn’t quite sure why, but less and less people kept their money in their wallets these days. One time I had slipped a hurna from the inside of someone’s shoe. Another time, I had seen a girl take off running with a fistful of coins that had slipped out of a top hat.  
But even more common than that were the people who used alchemy to render their money useless until it was time to spend it. In the past week alone, I had stolen fifteen wallets holding nothing but lead. Now I had too many stacks of the worthless metal to count, and no way to turn it back into golden hurnas 
I had never learned alchemy, and there was no way I would now. It was too dangerous, having no wings. I was the only wingless person in existence, as far as I knew. Plus, I was a pickpocket. If anyone knew I existed, my life would become a nightmare. And so I was left hidden and broke. Lovely life I lived. 
I leaned down to pick up the wallet. No use leaving it behind, even if it was empty. Best not to leave a trail. 
I glanced out into the street and disappeared into the crowd, keeping my head ducked low, trying not to draw attention to myself. I was small, but my ragged clothing and lack of wings drew attention more often than not. Most just assumed I had them hidden, but some people… 
I shoved my hands in my pockets and stared at the ground. Even though my alley home wasn't far away, the walk from this side of town felt like it took hours. Every stray glance toward me made me jump. They're coming to get me. They're going to arrest me. They're going to experiment on me. 
But no one did. I was not surrounded by anyone other than innocent people walking down the street. It was only my own paranoia that was putting me on edge. Nothing to worry about, Rune. Just calm down. 
Of course, it had been good for me in the past. Reach my hand for someone's wallet, back out, easy stuff. But sometimes they would notice, like the man had today. And sometimes they would chase after me, and even get the cops involved. So every once in a while my jumpy instincts saved my life.
"Hey! Kid!"
I jumped a few feet in the air - pretty impressive for someone who can't fly. The voice was coming from behind me, and it was young and feminine.
I cleared my throat. "You talking to me?" My voice was rough and dry from disuse, but I didn't feel entirely awkward speaking. It was the person I was speaking to that unnerved me. I spun around to face her.
Her eyes were dark, unnerving, and her hair was the same shade, cut short. Freckles dotted her nose, and her face was contorted in some kind of pout. But the thing that really stood out was her height. Kid? She can't be any older than me!
"Yeah. You. What're you doing?" She crossed her arms and cocked an eyebrow. "You got that sneak look about you."
"Sneak look?" I repeated blankly. I sounded so daft, but I didn't care. I just needed to get this encounter over with.
"Yeah," she said. "Sneak look. Thief. Rat. Criminal."
"Pickpocket," I supplied. 
"You a pickpocket?"
I scrambled to retrace my steps. "No. I'm honest, I assure you."
If possible, her left eyebrow raised even higher. "Honest. Right. Since when is anyone honest?"
"I was wondering the same thing," I muttered, and she barked out a laugh.

849 words
226 today

*Yes, I know the pencil is lopsided. It's hard to draw in Paint. I'm much better at drawing on actual paper.


  1. HOORAY SHE'S BAAAACK. *throws confetti*
    And yesyes all of you guys should totally participate in this it's a lot of fun! My character is a young orphan boy who steals books and sells them on the black market in a dystopian world where paper is illegal. *nods*
    Also, great excerpt, Sophie! I really liked it. :D

    1. Man, that's a good character Jonathan.
      I'll have to think of mine. But this looks like lots of fun

    2. Maybe I should do this.... :D
      (I like that, Jon! :))

  2. Welcome back to the land of the living! ;P Just kidding. Nice to see you back again. ^_^ I'll have to try this. Actually, I'm better at coming up with a character and finding a plot later...which usually works against me, but for this it's right up my ally! (Yay!)
    Now to think up a character... ;)