Posted by: Michelle Knoll | March 21, 2010

The Ultimate Challenge!

Yes, this is the ultimate challenge!

For a long-winded, fledgling writer such as myself, that is.

To write a complete short story in less than 750 words and get across the presentation of the situation, as well as bring it to climax, and resolution, and include enough detail to make it interesting.

It’s downright frustrating for someone such as myself, who has a tendency to ramble.

And where is this challenge?  It’s part of Faithwriters, the group that I mentioned in my last post.

We’ve just finished the first quarter of weekly challenges, 10 in all, and I must say it has been an exhilarating experience.  It has been challenging, exciting, and just plain fun.  Nerve-racking as well.  Why?  Because the deadline is looming, and you’ve got to get your story done!  I mean, suppose you can’t think of an idea?  Then what?

One week I had an idea show up less than an hour before the deadline, and I typed with all my might to finish what would have been a great short story.  But I missed the deadline by about two minutes.  Very aggravating. 

Then, another time, I just couldn’t get to the story, because of stuff.  Just stuff. 

But that’s the point, you know?  Can you come up with an idea, and bring it to life, while the rest of your life is happening all around you?  Can you balance the pressure and the stress with everything else you’ve got to do? 

I decided this year, that I was going to do it, or bust.  I consider meeting 8 out of 10 challenges a pretty good average, so as far as I’m concerned, I did it!

Here’s how the weekly challenges work:

A new topic is posted on Thursday morning.  The topics very every quarter.  This quarter’s topics were things like “Hmph!” and “Wow!” and “Sshh…” and other such interjections. The catch is you’re not supposed to make that word the title of your story, or even make it a part of the title.  And it’s really great if  you can get the interjection across, without actually using that word in the story. 

It was fun, it was scary, it was frustrating, it was exciting, it was humbling, it was… wow.  So many things.  And yet, I find myself a better writer today, because I stepped out and said “I’m gonna do this!”

So if you are a Christian writer interested in honing your writing skills, especially in the areas of writing to a deadline and writing to topic, plus streamlining your prose, then check out Faithwriters!  I think you will enjoy it!

I must be learning something!  I wrote this blog post in less than 500 words!  🙂


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