March/April writing challenge
For March and April’s writing challenge, Tracy Todd has kindly donated a copy of Brave Lotus Flower Rides the Dragon as a prize. In honour of her brave personal story, we’ve decided to focus this month’s competition on memoir.
We’d like you to think back to childhood (which includes anything up to about 18). Write a scene which has proved to be important or even pivotal in your life. Don’t explain it to us. Drop us into the moment so that we can hear what was said, see, feel and smell what you could, and understand how you felt.
Write no more than 250 words. As usual, paste your entry into the body of an email and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org by midnight on 30 April.
Here are some writing tips, which should help you with our challenge.
- Just because a story is true, doesn’t mean you can get away with writing a dull scene with no drama.
- In every scene, you will want something badly and face an obstacle that must be overcome.
- Start at a dramatic point and don’t allow the scene to trickle away at the end.
- In a full scene, you have at your disposal dialogue (if at least two people are present), as well as details of the environment, body language, scraps of thought as well as action.
- If the main thrust of the scene is contained in a conversation, you should nonetheless try to recreate what the characters were doing while speaking, as well as aspects of body language and how you felt from the inside.
Weekend Retreat, Temenos, McGregor – 24 to 26 March
Creative Saturday, Muizenberg, Cape Town – 1 April
30-Day Writing Workout, online – 2 to 31 May
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