2014 Get Started Write Challenge: Day 4

It’s the first weekend of 2014. Woo-hoo!

For today’s task, I want you to sketch out a story idea. It can fiction or nonfiction, but the story idea should be roughly the size of a nonfiction article or short story–as you would typically find in a magazine or on a website.

A few notes: You don’t have to write the whole story today, just sketch out an idea. Also, remember that this is an exercise. Do the best you can today–even if you think a better idea might come along tomorrow.

Here’s my attempt at a story idea:

Write an article about the anticipation of first-time fathers. Dig into how they feel before the baby is born and how they feel afterward (both immediately after and further down the road). Search for statistics related to first-time fathers and provide quotes from fathers about their first-time experiences (both before and after).

As you can see, I went the nonfiction route. Also, I used my happiest memory from yesterday’s task as inspiration for my story idea today. You don’t have to do that too, though it is an option if you’re feeling stuck.

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I haven’t actually done any of the research or interviews mentioned above, but I did sketch out what I planned to do. After beginning those tasks, I might find more flourishes to add, like a sidebar on health problems dads commonly (or uncommonly) suffer through first-time pregnancies, whether that’s anxiety, weight gain, or whatever else pops up on the radar.

If you’re doing a fiction story, just focus on major plot points and sketch out the main characters. Feel free to be as simplified as my example–or get more detailed if you have the time and motivation today. Have fun!

(Remember to use the #gswc hashtag on Twitter to share your progress.)

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robert_lee_brewer_1Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of Solving the World’s Problems. He edits books, creates blog posts, writes a column for the Writer’s Digest magazine, leads online (and in person) education, manages a free weekly newsletter on getting published, and so much more. Robert is married to the poet Tammy Foster Brewer, who helps him keep track of their five little poets (four boys and one princess). Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.

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Late to the challenge? No problem. Here’s how to get caught up: