Over at the Fifthwind Forum we have a very interesting section called the duel section. This is where we write on subjects that we would not normally write about. There is a few different sub sections to it. One contains a list of subjects and you can ad your piece when ever you like. A second contains photos so that you have a visual setting or character for your story. The most challenging is the closed duel, where you challenge one of our other writers to a one on one match of grammatical precision.
I have participated in all three several times. I like to use the first two often during the month as I think of new ideas. Some have developed into longer stories of their own. It is nice to read other interpretations of the same theme.
It is definitely a challenge to participate in a closed duel. A non participating member of the duel will think of a subject, a word limit and the due date of the piece. Your challenge is to wrap your head around it and pull out a story. Some times it takes me a few days to get a duel going, but the one I am participating in now has had me flustered.
The Topic, An Incidental Accident-There’s been a not so serious magical accident!, with a word count of 750 is due tomorrow, and I have hit the proverbial brick wall.
I often do some brainstorming for a closed duel, taking some paper and pencil and just doing some words on the page. One thing leads to another then the poof I have my story. I write it and then set it aside for a few a day then proof it to the best of my ability. If I have a few days then I can go back over them at leisure to make it a good story to the best of my ability.
But this one had me stumped. The subjects I had come up with were completely unrelated and absolutely could not be done in such a limited word count. The more I thought about it the less I was able to come up with. I was in quite a fussy mood last night.
So I talked to one of my best friends. She has read my writing, even though it is not quite to her taste. I tend to write darker stories while she likes lighter stories with a bit of humor. A lot of mine center on pivotal events of the character and lots of character development. Nothing I was coming up with would fit into a mere 750 words.
She is right. In this I am seeing the forest, not the tree and in this story I need to see the tree, just one of them. I could never try my hand at young adult books or children’s writing because I have a difficult time with simple. Poor children would probably not know what to think if I did write something vaguely in that direction!
Simplicity, that is what I am striving for today. A snapshot, candid, brief of someone’s life. Something incidental, small, unnoticeable to most.