Any past Tips & Prompts can be found on my website: Writing Tips & Prompts.
Writing Prompt #2 - Chain Stories
So, what's a chain story? A chain story is when two or more people get together and go back and forth, adding bits to a story. Each person could write one sentence, one paragraph, or even one page (or more, if people are so inclined to attempt a chain novel).
This isn't to be confused with collaboration, though. Collaborating with another writer on a story or a novel is something that takes a lot more thought and planning. Chain stories take no planning at all! They are very in the moment.
Why write something that is so unplanned and spontaneous?
First, getting together with a group of friends and seeing how a story unfolds when you have to continue from the previous person's addition is just plain fun. Heck, if you have a bunch of writers at a party, it might actually be a great game to play. Most of the chain stories I participate in tend to end up humorous--it makes the stories more fun and off the wall. Lots of laughs all around.
Second, it teaches you how to think (er...write) on your feet. You need the story to still make sense from one entry to the next, and you have no clue what the person before you is going to write until she writes it. This pressure to come up with something on the spot is even harder if you time each person's turn. If you're doing it via e-mail, you can say, allow a day between each response, even less if you're writing the story in a chat or if everyone is together in the same room!
Third, it can get the writing juices flowing. If you're having some issues with Writer's Lack of Motivation (or Writer's Block, but I don't believe in that now, nope, no such thing) writing chain stories with others could just be enough of a push to make your fingers itch to work on your own writing. Like stretching before a run--it gets the blood flowing.
Don't be shy to ask some friends to join in writing a chain story with you. You may even come away with new ideas for your current or a future work in progress.
Now, after this prompt, I thought it would be nice to start a small chain story here. The rules for this one are as follows:
- Each person writes one sentence, taking all sentences that came before into account.
- Post your sentence in the comment section - you can add another new sentence after someone else posts after you. No limit to how many times you can add to the story.
- Don't be afraid to be silly (and don't worry too much about grammar and spelling)!
OK, without further adieu, here is the first sentence:
Luca swirled the water of the pond with his finger, then yanked it back when something nipped at him.
NEXT UP: Chris Stout will be guest blogging!