Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints, now With Character Improv!

stopwatch graphicIf this is Friday, it must be Belgium.

Wait, that’s not right.

It this is Friday, it must be time for some Writing Sprints.

That’s more like it.

In honor of Jilly, who mentioned in her post on Sunday that she thought “tackling some short, sharp, different challenges would help my Girls to stay fresh”, as well as our discussions earlier this week on character, I thought it might be fun to add a little Character Improv to our writing sprints.

The process is pretty simple.

We’ll start with a random story idea, courtesy of the Storywonk Story Generator

He’s an aging Human Resources manager with a motorcycle; she’s a sexy fashion designer with a beautiful guitar. Together, they must fight vampires and walk away from an explosion without looking back.

  1. Choose which character you want to describe/define
  2. Write (100 characters or 15 minutes, whichever comes first)
  3. When you’re done, post your results in the comments section below
  4. Repeat as many times as you’d like.

Not in the mood for Character Improv? No problem. How about a 15-minute writing sprint?

If you have some upcoming writing time planned (as I do), sprinting it is a great way wake up your creativity. It’s also a fun way to get some writing done in the “company” of other writers, even if we are scattered around the globe.

As a reminder, the goal is to flex your writing skills and to jump start your creativity. It’s all about getting words on the page, not getting the perfect words on the page, so pull out that pen/paper, computer, or whatever your writing implements of choice are, and Write.

  1. Set a time period (i.e., 15 minutes)
  2. Write
  3. When you’re done, note your progress in the comments  (i.e., “15 minutes and 394 words”)
  4. Rinse and repeat

If you feel so inclined, include your character details or a favorite sentence from your writing sprint in your comment.

I’ll be sprinting when I get home from work. I hope to see some great word counts and characters in the comments to motivate my own efforts.

Happy writing to all.

10 thoughts on “Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints, now With Character Improv!

  1. (-: 338 for fifteen minutes. Well, I am moving forward. Bunny at least has gotten out of the first miserable scene. Now if I can figure out something fun for her to fight about in scene two, the boarding house, trying to convince an actress to trade a costume for the ball for some photo cards. Oh, Cinderella . . . .

  2. Eee, story catnip, with vampires! Thanks, Elizabeth 🙂 I have some ideas already. I’ve done precisely zero writing this whole week thanks to a curve ball thrown by Real Life and today’s looking pretty similar, but I’m going to try this later today, as soon as I get home. More to follow!

    • So I ‘sprinted’ one-handed using the notes function on my phone on the tube journey into London and back. I got 454 words. I decided I’d write a supernatural romance with the flavor of Indiana Jones & the Last Crusade (the one with Harrison Ford and Sean Connery) except the heroine would team up with the dad to rescue the son. Dad is a member of some kind of paranormal special forces outfit, secretly keeping us humans safe, except his field days are over, he has a desk job in HR and he hates it. Son is rebelling against his swashbuckling dad and refused to join the team, so he decided to help humanity by becoming a nerdy scientist instead. He does medical research, he’s uptight, and squarer than square.

      Our heroine the sexy dress designer is his next-door neighbor. She’s the daughter of a rock star so her guitar is a family heirloom and she plays it when she’s trying to figure out her designs, often late at night, which drives her handsome-but-square, nerdy scientist neighbor mad.

      The story is set in Canary Wharf (UK financial district, all water and tower blocks) and the vampires rule the financial world. They start developing some mysterious disease (maybe they’ve been drinking the wrong blood) and when their big boss gets sick they kidnap Son because his research is the key to saving the boss (?). Or maybe his research will give the vamps some super-duper power. Whatever he has, they want it. Son is on a short clock – if he doesn’t cure the boss (or make the McGuffin) within (tick-tock-tick-tock) then (?) they’ll make him sick too or find some other dastardly way to put a gun to his head.

      Dad has to do one last mission to save Son. Heroine was witness to the kidnapping and things could have gone badly for her but Hero distracted the vamps (?) or volunteered to go with them if they let her go (?) or something better than that which makes her feel responsible. Police don’t believe her but Dad does, so they team up together and go on a rescue mission. High jinks ensue. I’m not sure how Heroine contributes but her dressmaking skillz come in handy in the nick of time.

      Whatever the vamps want Son for is a Bad Thing, because Father, Son and Heroine blow up the lab in the nick of time. Son stops being such a square, hangs up his lab coat and joins the firm. He and Heroine get together. Dad decides he’s too old for this much excitement and now he’s reconciled with his son, he’s also reconciled to his desk job. The world is saved. HEA. Oh – and beginning of series with other hunky secret agents from mysterious Protect the World Agency.

  3. So after complaining about being stuck in my writing, I thought, 15 minutes! Sure! That’s enough to type “The End” on this short story!

    So, when I opened the document, I had 9,642 words. I reread the last bit. Decided I’d gone down a rabbit hole. Need to type “The End”! Deleted 362 words (to 9,280), to get me to the end of the previous scene. Started typing. Got to 9,497, for a gain of 217 (although a net loss of 145). And I still haven’t typed “The End.” But I’m writing the last scene, and I bet another 300-400 words will do it. Ya-hoo!

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