Back when I was in college, I started planning a second series, but unlike my first, it was to be a quadrilogy. Despite having the discipline – eight completed stories under my belt of my main series – I still hadn’t written a full draft of the second series’ first book.
It irritated me – I knew deep in my heart that this was a great story, that I already loved the characters and the conflict idea for the story. I even had the whole plot planned out in detailed bulletpoints. But I hadn’t finished it. I hadn’t even reached chapter three! It was frustrating, especially as I recognised that I would love writing every second of the story, if only I could get my act together, give it time and get its first draft completed.
Each time that my frustration and irritation caught up to me, I decided I would jump on it and get the words down on the page, but the last two tries in 2015 and 2016 weren’t finished.
Was it because my main series was doing well with some of its 30 stories published? No, but I did decide it’s being unfinished was all on me, not my main series; I wasn’t pushing myself to give the second series my attention.
At the end of 2016, I recognised this was a repeating issue with me for this particular 4-book series. So I sat down at my writing space and asked myself: how can I stop this happening in 2017?
I crafted The Story Starter Challenge to help me get my story, Anjali Knight, written.
MY RESULTS (DURING TESTING):
DAY 1: 2621 (2558 on Anjali Knight, 63 on Antis)
DAY 2: 5244 (1175 of this article, 2546 of Anjali Knight & 1523 of Antis)
DAY 3: 2650 (Anjali Knight)
DAY 4: 4720 (2773 of Anjali Knight, 1947 of Antis)
DAY 5: 3730 (2695 on Anjali Knight and 1035 on Antis, despite being with family).
DAY 6: 4200 (2871 of Anjali Knight and 1329 on Antis, and returning home from the family’s at 8pm).
DAY 7: 3150 (2883 on Anjali Knight and 267 on Antis)
DAY 8: 2715 (Anjali Knight)
DAY 9: 2873 (2873 for Anjali Knight and 2700 for Antis)
DAY 10: 6141 (2660 for Anjali Knight and 3481 for Antis)
DAY 11: 6111 (2876 for Anjali Knight and 3235 for Antis)
DAY 12: 6130 (3638 for Anjali Knight and 2492 for Antis)
DAY 13: 6519 (2812 for Anjali Knight and 3707 for Antis)
DAY 14: 3846 (2601 for Anjali Knightand 1237 for Antis)
ANJALI KNIGHT TOTAL WORD COUNT: 39,151
TOTAL COMBINED WORD COUNT: 63,350
AVERAGE WORD COUNT: 4525
Now it’s been tested with one of my long-time WIPs, I want to share it with you.
WHO IS THIS CHALLENGE FOR?
- Experienced or first-time fiction writers who want to add words to the page without getting stuck.
- Fiction writers who want to write 35,000 words in 2 weeks (that’s 53.84% of the usual debut story size requested by most publishers to their authors).
- Fiction writers who enjoy community challenges.
- Any aspiring to become an author but have never completed any first drafts.
- Writers that struggle with planning their story.
- Writers that struggle to write their story’s synopsis or agent covering letter.
- Writers struggling through a second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth (and so on) draft.
HOW WILL IT HELP YOU?
- Write 35,000 words of your story in 14 days (2500 words a day – 53.84% of the 65K publishers ask their debut authors for).
- Have your agent approaching pack ready, thanks to the first 14 days of easy planning steps for your story.
- Join a community of other fiction writers taking part through Twitter, Instagram and at the Facebook community.
- Have promotional content ready no matter if you’re independently or traditionally publishing your story.
- Have experience of being a professional writer by writing every day.
WHO THIS CHALLENGE ISN’T FOR
- Non-fiction writers
- Any writer that doesn’t take part in 90% of any free challenges they join for any hobby/passion/interest as well as writing challenges.
- Any writer who saw, “2500 words a day,” and immediately decided this wasn’t possible. Set your own daily goal if needed if you’d like to try the challenge – the key is to write every day to be a professional writer or a writer that gets their drafts done.
WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT WHEN I JOIN IN?
Every day comes with:
1. A planning step – sometimes this is a small step, such as on day one when you have to determine the three sentences that set the foundations of your whole story.
2. A writing step (with a goal of 2,500 words)
3. An easy community challenge to connect us as well as encourage and motivate us!
4. Videos to help spur you on – I recorded each of the 14 days I ran through this and created additional videos to help you with trickier parts.
5. Community chatter (optional) on social media and our Facebook group.
FAQS (& EXPECTED QUESTIONS)
I’m a pantser – can I still do this challenge?
Yep! You can choose to skip the planning step that is given each day, but for the best results, I super-recommend doing the planning steps too. They’re not hard and are purposefully designed not to get in the way of writing. Fun-fact: I’m an antser – I both plot and pants my stories. The Story Starter Challenge was designed to help all of us.
Can I still do this challenge? I will be travelling.
Yes with a capital Y! Each day comes with mobile-friendly access to a members’ area and it’s also all sent to you per day via email. You don’t have to worry about catching up as you’ll also have lifetime access to all updates to the challenges’ content. The emails are designed to give you everything you need without eating all your data allowance too (unless you click the videos).
Can I do this around work or studying/school?
Yes, if you decide to commit to seeing this through 🙂
Do I have to put my face on anything?
I know some of us writers are shy – it took me more than 10 years to finally put my face online. So there’s no need to put your face anywhere in any challenges I share with you.
Do we have to share our work? What if a pirate steals it?
You don’t have to, but the challenges that involve sharing what you’ve done are carefully designed to make sure that you get things done. A challenge student that shares is more likely to reach 35,000 words in 14 days than a challenge student who doesn’t.
What if I get really, really, really stuck?
Email me for help – after signing up you’ll have all my contact details. Usually being stuck is because of something not related to the task of writing such as not enough sleep or being afraid.
I don’t have time to do this challenge right now. Will you run it again for free?
There is no promise to run it again for free. Anyone who joins now will have lifetime access to the challenge’s members area.
Will you be taking part?
I will be there every step of each day, working on a brand new story idea. I’ll be documenting my progress and taking part in the challenges, community chats and providing support.
Is there a prize?
Yes. Everyone who completes it goes onto The Story Starter Challenge’s Wall of Writers.
I don’t want to share what I achieve with others – I don’t want to be the person with the lowest word count!
No worries. You can share your results with just me if you’d prefer to or keep them them to yourself.
What’s the catch? It’s a 14 day course with video and text content, bonus content, support, challenges, a Facebook community and access to you… There has to be a catch!
There isn’t one. If you’d like to create a catch though, I’d love your feedback at the end.
Can I ask you a question about the challenge?
Sure. Tweet me @draebox, catch me on Instagram (@draebox) or ask me a question here.
READY TO JOIN THE STORY STARTER CHALLENGE?
Whoops! The Story Starter Challenge is currently closed. If you’d like an email alert when it opens next, join my Writing Process Writers Group below: