DISCUSSION -- January 2018 300 Word Writing Challenge (#28)

The Judge

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#1
It might still be December here in the UK, but we're thinking ahead, so first of all

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

And second, the 300 Word Challenge is now up, with Titanium's lovely photo 300 WORD WRITING CHALLENGE #28 (January 2018) -- READ FIRST POST!


So, get writing! The main thread won't open till the 10th, but this one is open and ready to hear from you!
 
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#3
Hey TitaniumTi, I found your image to be quite inspirational, as I have childhood memories of rural fields filled with milkweed plants. I managed to integrate those memories into my upcoming entry. May I ask where the picture was taken?
 

TitaniumTi

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#4
Hi Warren. My photo was taken in Australia where, for some reason, the plant is referred to as narrow-leafed cotton bush.

I’m Looking forward to reading your story; I have a particular love of stories with a strong sense of place.
 
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#6
Hi Ti. Well that explains a lot. When I saw the image name reference "cotton" I thought it was mislabeled, since we call that plant milkweed here in the US. I thought the plant was only native to North America. I finished my 300 word version, and am now writing an expanded version, short story or novella length.
 

Joe Loomis

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#7
So after attempting the 75 word challenge and nailing the word count I thought let's try the 300.....500 words later I think I need to figure out what to cut.

Is 300 more diffecult then 75 for everyone?
 

Cat's Cradle

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#8
For me it varies from challenge to challenge; maybe the genre or theme of a 75 worder is difficult for me, or maybe the photo doesn't inspire any immediate ideas. But honestly, just give it a little time...go for a long walk with the intention of letting your imagination wander, or go take a day off, and then look again at those 500 words. This is great experience, I think, at self-editing.

One thing that helped me early on was to think of a 300 word story as containing four 75 word stories (structurally, not thematically)...and with the 75 worders, we know how important each word is. 300 words isn't that long, so cut fluff (adjectives maybe, or adverbs); use contractions (I'd bet every draft of a 300 worder I've written has had easily 4-5 word combos that could be painlessly contracted); and one of the things I learned early on was: eliminate a character (or two)! You can often save a bunch of words by contracting two characters into one (and when desperate, perhaps even three;)).

Well, I'm just rambling (no word limit here). Good luck, and you have till January 31st to finish, so don't worry! :)
 
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#9
I found the 300 much easier so far, Joe.

As a new member, I was inspired by the image, came up with a 300-word story rather quickly (which actually hovered between about 265 and 290 words in various edits). As for the 75, a few false starts have yielded nothing I consider worthwhile so far. So I simply await January 10 when I can post my first entry. Nope, definitely the shorter form is harder.

Perhaps you fell victim of your preconceptions. In other words, you may have told yourself something like, "Oh, 300 words, that's easy!" So you began writing, and 500 words later, realized you were not writing nearly as dense prose as you'd learned to write in the 75-word challenge. Whereas I approached the 300 telling myself "You're going to need to say a lot in a few words."
 

mosaix

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#10
Is 300 more diffecult then 75 for everyone?
They're both difficult. But if I've just written a 75 then the 300 seems much easier. But, for me, the real difficulty isn't the word count but getting the right slant on the theme / genre in the first place. There are so many talented writers contributing that, very often, it's just a slightly different view of things that can make all the difference.

As CC has said, there are a variety of ways of getting the word count within limits but get the story right first.

Also, sometimes I've said all I wanted to say in less than 300 but made the mistake of trying to pad things out. It's never been an improvement.
 

Bob Senior

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#11
Hey! My computer totally died, lm trying to learn this new tablet but you know what they say about old dogs and new tablets.
I have an idea for a story, hope I can get it in.
Sorry I couldn't get a vote in again, will keep trying till I get it right, wish me luck

Bob
 

dannymcg

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#12
It's almost the tenth.
I'm expecting a busy day tomorrow with loads of 300 stories to read and evaluate.
So far I've thought of a
title for mine "SQUEAK!" and that's as far as I've got :D
 

The Judge

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#13
The 10th has dawned!**

The Challenge is now open for entries, so have at it!


** Well, it dawned quite a while ago, to be honest, but I've been busy sorting out the cake cupboard in the Staff Room, and requisitioning further supplies of Carrot Cake for the word count pixie and its master.
 
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#19
For those who may have missed the discussion earlier or in other threads, the picture is of a "narrow leaf cotton bush" in Australia. But the plant is related to the family of plants we, in North America, call milkweed.

I've since discovered that the same plant goes by several other names across the world. I had thought it was only native to North America, but it turns out it's the name "milkweed" that is common to this region. Members of this plant family grow all over.

This is fortunate, since it helps the plot I have in progress on a longer version of my 300 word story. The long version is at about 14,000 words so far.
 

mosaix

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#20
For those who may have missed the discussion earlier or in other threads, the picture is of a "narrow leaf cotton bush" in Australia. But the plant is related to the family of plants we, in North America, call milkweed.

I've since discovered that the same plant goes by several other names across the world. I had thought it was only native to North America, but it turns out it's the name "milkweed" that is common to this region. Members of this plant family grow all over.
Thanks, Warren. :)

Don't worry about it to too much for the purposes of the 300. 'Inspired by' is the important bit. It could be a Martian Moon Plant as far as the challenge is concerned. :)
 
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