It’s no surprise that writing every day is the best way to improve your craft. Although, no matter how new or seasoned of a writer you are, you may find yourself running into some writing challenges. One thing that I often experience is the words not quite flowing how I want them to.
Suddenly, the characters I love and have grown to understand seem foreign to me, their actions unnatural. Instead of forcing the words just to meet my word count for the day, I take a step back and go back into the workshopping phase of writing and going beyond the story itself.
Let’s take a look at four ways you can level up your writing by focusing on writing challenges!
What Are Writing Challenges?
Writing challenges, in my opinion, are short prompts that help elevate your short story, novel, or whatever creative piece you’re working on. These prompts take place in your universe but have no affect whatsoever on the storyline itself.
Often times, these writing challenges look to secondary characters to help learn more about how they interact with people like your main character and how their actions, while not in the forefront, may effect the story altogether.
These writing challenges may also focus on your protagonist or antagonist beyond the story. This way, you learn more about who they are as a person rather than a two-dimensional character.
Why Turn to Writing Challenges?
When you’re struggling to progress your story, writing challenges may be exactly what you need to get back into your story. They can help you take a step back from your outline and open your creative channels to new ideas.
That’s because these challenges force you to look beyond the words on the page. They look to characters, life beyond the storyline, and much more.
In a nutshell, writing challenges are used when in a bit of a creative rut and need help getting back on track.
Level up Your Writing in Four Easy Ways
To help you conquer your creative rut, I’ve curated a list of our writing challenges that’ll help you level up your writing. I recommend working on these once a week or on an as-need basis:
- Write about a day in the life of your antagonist. What does he/she do? Who does he/she talk to? Walk a mile in your antagonist’s shoes to learn more about the driving force behind their actions.
- Whether you have this written or not, think about the climax or turning point in your story. Write this climax from the perspective of a secondary character. Is he/she there during this event? If so, how does it look from their point of view, and how does it affect them? If they’re not there, how do they hear about it?
- Choose any character from your story. Start by writing about them at the time of the story, then make a time jump. You can either travel back in time flashback style or you can jump forward in time, revealing the events the reader thought were currently happening was actually in the past.
- In 500 words or less, write a narrative that talks about why they’re loved. Before reaching the 500-word limit, talk about a flaw of theirs to help make them more relatable and realistic.
With these four writing challenges on hand, you’re now prepared to overcome your next creative writing rut.
Put These Challenges to the Test: Get Writing Today
Whether you’re in a creative rut or need to change things up from your usual writing routine, writing challenges are a great way to accomplish your writing goal. Thanks to these four easy challenges, you can take a step back from your outlined plot and look at the bigger picture of your story.
Writing challenges are also a great way to learn more about your protagonist, antagonist, and any secondary characters beyond your story.
What are you waiting for? Grab a notebook and your favorite writing pen, and level up your writing today!