I may be a cliche first-born who tends to be bossy and adamant about what I want, but when it comes to writing, I don’t like to dictate too many rules. Challenges, however, are another category altogether. I think that it’s fun to put parameters on what you’re writing and how you’re writing it. When you enforce limits in your writing, you consciously think about your writing in a different way than you’re used to doing. That being said, I have thought of a few fun challenges for you to try in your writing this month…
Words Per Sentence
Put a limit on the number of Words per Sentence (WPS) you can use. Let’s say each sentence has to be five words or less (choppy, to-the-point sentences). Or, try the opposite, and write very verbose sentences of five or more words. Have fun with it. When you read your stories back to yourself, you’ll find that the tone and mood changes depending on the number of WPS.
Create a list of words that each begin with the same letter. After compiling a good-sized list, start writing. The challenge is to try to use mostly the words from your list (and not many other words that begin with different letters/sounds). Read it back to yourself when you’ve finished and see how poetic and flowing it sounds.
Playing with Point of View
Think of a situation that you’ve been in (or could be in). Write it down quickly from your perspective in the first person point of view (using words like I, we, my, me). Then, rewrite the same situation from the second person point of view as if it’s someone else describing what happened to you (using words like you, your). Finally, rewrite the same situation a third time in the third person point of view (using words like he, she, it, they) from an unbiased, omniscient perspective. Notice how details changed in your storytelling across all three perspectives.