Challenge September

Okay. I want to try something new and fun for the month of September. And I need your help. In fact, if you don’t help me…well…it won’t be successful at all.


Here’s the thing.


I want to stretch myself and my writing. So, we’re going to play a little bit of a game. You pick the characters, situations, places, time (in history) and I’ll write the story. This is how it will work.


1. You pick a character. Give me a few characteristics (loud, quiet, quirky, homeless, rich, etc). You can even give me a name for the character.

2. You pick the setting (era and location. Is it in a home, mall, office?). Pick a year and region.

3. You pick the conflict (fighting with spouse, out of work, lonely). I’ll figure out the resolution.


So, be creative. Have fun. Give me a challenge! At the end of the month we’ll have a vote of the best/most interesting story. The winner (the one who came up with the best ideas that led to the best story) will win…


A Freeset Signiture T-shirt! (organic cotton, made by women who have been freed from the sex trade in Kolkata, India. The lettering are the names of the women who work in the t-shirt department of this Fair Trade Federation member company. Previously, these women were unable to read and write their own names.)


So…give me your ideas in the comments or email them to me at I’ll take your story ideas until Wednesday, August 31 at 12:00 am Michigan Time.


Ooo…I’m so excited!


Ready. Set. Go!

45 Comments on “Challenge September

  1. Character: Hudson analytical hilarious artistic quiet slightly judgmental handsome but insecure
    Setting: large college in the Midwest 1960s
    Conflict: married adult male going back to college trying to juggle dream and young family


  2. Alice the quiet 14 year old girl who lives in 1951 wants to play the timpani in the band but she’s a girl and the director doesn’t’ want to let her, he says she should play the flute or clarinet…


  3. Karen- 60 year old, sees the best in everyone and ignores problems, petite, loved by all, studied to be concert pianist.

    Setting: Suburb of Detroit, 1980s, family home

    Conflict: Son has admitted to a terrible crime. He is now back living at home while on probation.


  4. 1917 Michigan farm – A young farmboy, William, eager to go off to war, talks to his rural pastor, a veteran of the Spanish American War, about whether God approves of killing to “save the world for democracy”. The pastor is torn between patriotism and memories of his experiences. William is mainly concerned about pleasing his father, an opinionated man who has never seen war.


    • Okay! Sounds like a fun one to write. Fortunately for me I’m planning on making them all Flash Fiction πŸ™‚ Otherwise I might not sleep for the whole month. πŸ˜‰

      Thank, Rachel!


  5. Character: Libby, 14-year-old girl
    Setting: Midwest America
    Conflict: Libby finds evidence that the woman she thought was her mother actually found her wandering around NYC on September 11, 2001, alone. She then decided (possibly after trying to find her family?) to raise her as her own.


  6. Character: Yolanda, a 30- or 40- something newly single (for whatever reason) mom
    Setting: Suburbia
    Conflict: She’s figuring out how to use a lawn mower for the first time


  7. In the form of a letter —

    George, an 87-year-old man, says goodbye to his family.


  8. Mario, 20, just arrived in America (NYC) in 1920. Strong, confident, hard worker, temper. Meets (and likes) Irish girl, Aideen. Her family doesn’t like him…


  9. Kady, 24. She has 2 small children, has little/no education.

    Characteristics: Emotionally has extreme highs and lows, fiercely loves her children, low self-esteem and self-worth, always needing to prove herself.

    Her husband serves in the Army and has been in the Middle East for most of their short marriage.

    Conflict: Her rationalization of her adulterous relationship that transpires while her husband is deployed.

    *Sadly, I seriously know 7-8 military families off the top of my head that have experienced this exact situation.


  10. Character: A quiet, reserved woman from a small town. The kind that would never cause a fuss and hates being the center of attention.

    Setting: A large, Manhattan office.

    Conflict: Everyone in the office finds out that she has been having an affair with the Department Manager, who is a married man.


  11. Character: Larry is a brilliant, fast-talking former attorney in his forties. raised a Jew, he claims to be a Christian, but his lifestyle would make an the most irreligious blush. Brash and hilarious.
    Setting: used car lot he now works at due to some very bad decisions. He is a selling rock-star, an achievement that is far beneath his talents and pedigree
    Conflict: overcoming his own self-destructive impulses to regain his license and life a big-shot attorney, his father’s approval and a place in his grown children’s life.


  12. As a child in a foster family, Gracie longed for the two-hours-per-fortnight she spent with her mother. Now as an adult she has a strong desire to provide the love and care she felt she missed to other kids who need it, always saying that when her little kids are a little older she’ll start fostering.
    Then the phone call came.
    Her young half-sister Ella, the baby who was allowed to stay with their mum while Gracie and her older brothers were removed, is sixteen, and is in need of care. Gracie welcomes her, but instead of the loving nurturing feelings she expects to feel, she’s overwhelmed by jealousy of the time Ella had with their mother, and an irrational desire to hurt her.


  13. Ooh, I know. Frazzled mother of small children has brain implosion while attempting to be creative. As she is wheeled into theatre for emergency brain-reconstructive surgery she is heard muttering about a harelipped barmaid, a one-legged war veteran and a small child who WILL NOT stop screaming. Surgeons determine she has lost all grip with reality and warn worried writer friends that nothing she says should be expected to make the slightest sense.


    • Oh…Karen! This story hits home πŸ™‚ This should be an interesting one to write!

      And thanks for the compliment! I love the blog design, too. It feels more like “me”. And, yes, there are some pretty awesome ideas flowing for this!


      • Ha ha, nooooooo, don’t write that one. I was being silly cos I couldn’t think of anything. Te he πŸ™‚ Lucky you have plenty of other sensible people to give you proper ideas.


      • Hahahahahahahaha! πŸ˜€ Oh, I’m laughing so hard. Serves me right for trying to be funny. I can’t believe I’m on the schedule! Hahahahaha. Can’t wait to see what you come up with from that! πŸ™‚


  14. Newly married young Irish woman. 1960s, boat dock, Belfast, Northern Ireland. They’re moving to America; she doesn’t want to go.

    Ready, set, go!


  15. Setting: Courtroom
    Character: defense attorney, first case out of law school, sick with a cold, nervous, opinionated, tough outer layer is only a shell.
    Dilemma: 30 minutes late from lunch recess, everyone is waiting for her.


  16. Character: 9-year-old dog
    Setting: Modern American family home
    Conflict: The child he loved the most and took care of him is leaving for college in another state


  17. Setting: A small city and a big city

    Character: A woman, about 25. Spontaneous, quirky, sweet but untrusting, smart but uncertain. Analytical.

    Dilemma: Go out on her own to the big city to live a crazy, fun, but probably unstable life, or stay in the small city to settle down, marry, and raise babies.


  18. A man (have you ever written from a man’s perspective?). He’s married, expecting his first child, life seems perfect, great job, beautiful wife, starting a family – but a dark secret haunts him, and is causing erratic, irrational behavior. He must get it out or it might kill him, but the consequences could be as equally devastating. Modern times, large city.


    • I have written from the male perspective. And I have several in this challenge, too! Yikes!

      This sounds intriguing. I wonder what the secret is!!!

      Thank you, Amelia!!


  19. Pingback: The Makings of a Fruitful Blog | Susie Finkbeiner

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