One of my recent Timehop memories was a #TBT / #ThrowBackThursday to my very first 100 Word Challenge for Grown-Ups, from February 2012. At the time, I was deeply entrenched in writing the first draft of “Fearless,” which remains one of my hope-for novels. (It’s currently in draft 2.5, for anyone wondering.) That long-ago 100-word entry was titled “Everyone Loves Neville,” and, if you’re interested, you can see the original at the link. That first writing challenge started me on a path of picking up more over the years. Through those challenges, I learned a lot about the value of words.
There’s a lot in that first foray that I like. There’s also room for improvement. Here’s a second take on that effort, hopefully for the better:
The girl lingered beside him, her chest heaving even though they’d been out of the water for ten minutes. “Thanks for the lesson, Nev.” Her wet lashes flickered at him. “If there’s ever anything I can do…?”
“Just practise,” Nev said, before sending her on her way.
Ross sidled to his shoulder, to stare after the girl swaying up the shore. “You lucky bastard. Everyone loves you!”
Nev looked at him: his friend with the wide, luscious smile and eyes so deep and blue he often dreamt of drowning in them. He sniffed and picked up his board. “Not everyone.”
I tried to set myself to a 100-word story-a-day challenge this past May, but it didn’t pan out. I did manage a few short vignettes which ended up being pretty good, but the lack of readers and feedback quickly deflated my excitement.
There wasn’t much reason to go back and “fix” this bit of short challenge writing, except that Ross, Nev, and the others have been on my mind again, of late, and that Timehop reminder of my first 100WCGU challenge prompted me to revisit sweet, lovestruck Nev. Of course, I can never stop at rewriting just one thing. As it so goes, I’ve also been working on rewrites for lots of my “Finding Mister Wright” short stories (including the one I just sent in for 4amwriter’s Dare to Write summer challenge!), and Highs, Lows, and In-Betweens, the big sci-fi/action team novel from 2014’s NaNoWriMo. But, that’s an update for another day….
Who else out there remembers the 100WCGU challenges? Have you ever challenged yourself with a writing-limit goal? Working on any interesting rewrites, lately? Let me know in the comments! I’d love to know I’m not doing this alone. 🙂
For a while, I was working on rewrites. One was of a short story I had published years ago when I was in junior college. It was for an assignment. Reading it now, I realized I made a slew of mistakes. So I’ve thought about rewriting it, keeping the premise of the story, but with new characters. There’s another rewrite I thought about. I got the idea from a prompt I researched on Pinterest. And then I remembered this one scene I wrote. So it all fit.
Since then, I haven’t had the urge to do those rewrites. I felt like it was pointless doing them. I felt the originals, despite its flaws, were fine. But it’s not like me to just let things go. Something will nag at me until I address it. After reading this post, i wouldn’t be surprised if one of those stories came calling back.
Sometimes keeping the original drafts as they were is worth more than trying to make them fit into a new style or idea. It’s always great to see where we were in our writing journeys earlier on, and how we’ve changed. On the other hand, going back to a story with the goal of updating it can be a lot of fun, too!
Thanks for stopping by and sharing, George!
I miss those 100WCGU posts, and the Five Sentence Fictions, and the Free Write Fridays that used to be around. They were like quick little treats that challenged us and then satisfied us with a quickfire result. No editing, even no point sometimes. Just a small treat for us and us alone.
Maybe it’s time we do our own, create our own literary challenges. Could be fun!
Julia’s Place still does 100 WCGU. I don’t know if she prompts every week, but there was definitely one that was due today. (I didn’t do it; I just looked her up again and saw that she was still prompting.) The other challenges were usually fun, too.
How would we do our own? I think weekly is too much. Maybe monthly? I’ll have to think about it…. 😉