Thursday, December 27, 2018

Day Three - 12 Days of Christmas 1st Annual Write Christmas Challenge


This transitional time between years is a great time to take stock of your writing, get creative juices flowing, and promote characterization in your works-in-progress.

How? First, make a list of your most complete creations along with their main characters and their problems. Put a star in front of those stories that are closest to submission and brackets around those that need more work. From the list of near-ready projects, take the names of each major character and write those names, along with the story titles and problems, on small slips of paper. Fold the slips in half and put them in a jar with a cover. Cover the jar, shake the contents and randomly select two slips of paper.
Now comes the challenging part—create a story of up to 650 words in which these two characters meet. You can choose from one of their original problems or create a new one -- just for them! Because you may be dealing with characters from different backgrounds and settings (different worlds, even) this exercise should prove fun. When you’re done, just reach your hand in and give it a go with another couple.

Even when you’ve finished, don’t throw out the jar or the slips. You can use the jar as a random motivator for when you can’t decide what work to focus on. Just stick your hand in the jar, pull a slip of paper and work on ONLY that MS for the next month, or until it’s finished, critted, polished and ready to submit! 


Write a picture book story using as many words from this list as possible. Give yourself bonus points for using all of them. If this practice becomes a project, feel free to discard any words that don't serve your story. They will have done their job by inspiring something new! 


See this post for instructions:

Words are courtesy of ALL RIGHT, ALREADY! A SNOWY STORY by Jory John and Benji Davies and EVERYONE IS INVITED TO CHRISTMAS by Susan Jones and Lee Holland. Please feel free to check out these books!


And please feel free to share this post on Google Plus, Facebook, Facebook Groups, Twitter and Pinterest to spread the word so that we can have an even bigger and better challenge next year!

PLEASE feel free to follow this blog so you don't miss any tidbit of information and please feel free to leave any comment or question you may have. I will do my bes to answer all! 
Lynne Marie is the author of Hedgehog Goes to Kindergarten - illustrated by Anne Kennedy (Scholastic, 2011), Hedgehog's 100th Day of School – illustrated by Lorna Hussey (Scholastic, January 2017), The Star of the Christmas Play -- illustrated by Lorna Hussey (Beaming Books, 2018), Moldilocks and the 3 Scares -- illustrated by David Rodriguez Lorenzo (Sterling, pending) and Let's Eat! Mealtimes Around the World -- illustrated by Parwinder Singh (Beaming Books, 2019). You can learn more about her at 

To order the Star in the Christmas Play, click the title.


  1. Good ideas here. I will try it on 2019. Thank you, Lynne.

  2. Wishing you lots of creativity and success in the new year, @Maritza M. Mejia!