Sunday, March 22, 2009

Writing Challenge

In honor of National Goof-off Day, I am issuing all of you in blogosphere a challenge. As of today, we have 9 weeks (actually 10, but we want to leave time for mailing) before the unpublished GRW Maggie Deadline. That leaves us with just enough time to get your submissions ready. Interested??? Leave a comment and let us know if you think you might like to participate with some of the PFandHT authors as we work toward out goal.

Operation: Maggie Readiness
Mission #1: Character Profile
Mission #2: Synopsis
Mission #3 – 8: Write 5 pages each week
Mission #9: Deep Editing
Mission #10: Mail in your submission


Mission 1 - -Week 1:

Going on the assumption that we are starting from scratch, let’s begin with a character sketch or character profile. Now I don’t mean one of those wimpy green eyes, blond hair and I’m done outlines. Nope. We are digging way down deep into the minds of our characters. I use a form I received at one of Haywood Smith’s workshops and LOVE it (even if it is 12 pages long).

You want to know - -

Major illnesses or surgeries
Regular medication med, food and other allergies
Health insurance, deductible and cost
Hair color and if it dyed, what age did they start coloring it
Dress size – favorite color clothing – bra size – shoe size –weight history
Family – siblings (name, sex, age differential, job (on good terms and if not, why)
Family background (income, divorce, alcoholism, deaths, serious illnesses of any family members)
Where have they lived (number of years, location, to present)
Parents (age at marriage and death, occupation, basic personalities, descriptions – are they on good terms)
Ethnic background
Favorite Relative and why
Marriage – when, to whom, how and where met, his education, job history, weaknesses, most annoying habit

Are you getting the picture??? Lots and lots of information (and I didn’t even get to the - what kind of mattress and bed do they sleep on question). Another good one to use is by YA author, Rick Riordan. Spend some time with you character(s). Get to know them. Don’t just do your main character. Discover your character’s best friend, the hero, a love interest? A villain (or a villain who becomes a love interest (grin))? Dig deep.

What you have to do to participate in this challenge (besides write)? Because I’m crazy busy with work and school, I’m going to make it easy on all of us. Just post a comment under the Sunday Operation: Maggie Readiness post letting us know you want to play along. Then each week, give us a short update on how you are doing. I’ll post your weekly mission/homework each Sunday, you use the week to work on it, then check back the following Sunday and gloat or rant about your progress. Easy peasy and just for fun. Of course, I will be keeping track of names and at the end of the challenge, each comment will enter your name into a drawing for a fun prize.

We’d love for you to join us.

What do you say?


CiCi Barnes said...

Oh, I am so in. You know I love this kind of stuff -- a good challenge, and a good motovational tool.

Thanks for thinking this up, Tami. Just when I think you can't possibly get your hands in any more tills, you come up with something else to do. Do you ever sleep?

Love the idea.


Carol Burnside said...

I'm already into several projects, but I'll use this to post my weekly progress. That'll help me stay on task. ;)

Kelly Lee said...

You are a lifesaver. This blog is the best thing ever.
I was sitting at my computer, reviewing my notes and the critique comments I received at yesterday's GRW meeting (thank you, again, to everyone who helped put the critique workshop together), and I was trying to figure out the best approach for getting ready for the Maggies. After hitting my head on the keyboard a few time I took a break and headed to PFAHT and found your post. :)
So count me in, and thanks for the awesome post.

Sandy Elzie said...


Count me in! I'm not sure if I can even enter the Maggie's this year...I'm sort of inbetween...I've signed a contract, yet my book isn't published until October, so no ISBN number.

I'm not sure where that leaves me...unless it's up a creek, but I'm always game for a challenge. I work best under so thanks for reminding me that the pot is starting to simmer (the pressure is beginning to increase)

Count me in!


Tami Brothers said...

YAH!!!! I'm so excited I have some takers!!! For me, having that ax hanging over my head is very motivating.

Thanks for jumping in, Cici. I know this is going to be a great year!!!

This is great, Carol. I'm hoping to keep people motivated no matter where they are at in their writing project.

Great to have you here, Kelly. I know that feeling of banging my head against the key board. We love having you stop by and I can't wait to hear how it goes.

Definitely join in, Sandy. Even if you are already published (or with your first book coming out), we all have to keep working on that next one.

I think this challenge will be helpful no matter where the writer is at in their journey. I know I'm at step one (again). But if someone closer to the end wants to jump in and do their own 9 week challenge and use this as an accountability tool, go for it!!!

Thanks guys...


Nicki Salcedo said...

I'm in. I'd write more, but I'm on a mission.

Tami Brothers said...

You are definitely in, Nicki!!!

Good luck with that mission. LOVE you post, by the way....


Sally Kilpatrick said...

I'm in. (Imagine the Mission: Impossible music blaring over here.)


Nicki Salcedo said...

BTW, "Operation: Maggie Readiness" sounds like we are going to help a pregnant lady give birth. I love it!

Susan May said...

I'm in! Late b ut here. ALways good to have a goal date.