Writing Exercises

15 weeks! Wow that’s a lot of writing! A huge thank you, and round of applause to all the participants. Here’s the roundup of all the stories. There are some gems in here!

And a note: The Author Aerobics challenges will be on a hiatus while I work on the “Two Sisters” serial for Serial Central. Don’t you worry, there will be a lot more fiction to come.

Week 15 – Something Old Challenge

Week 14 – Make it Fresh Challenge

  • Robin Bonnett by Aidan Fritz – Foiling the Sheriff of Nottingham with well aimed lazerbolts and deft hovercar maneuvers.
  • Once and Future by Stephen Watkins – Not Sir Galahad, but Rob the accountant is destined to revive the once and future king Arthur.
  • Thirst by T.S. Bazelli – In the desert there are so few chances for survival.
  • The Maiden’s Resolve by Harry Markov – Every blow cost 100 lives. The princess wept.

Week 13 – Layered Conflict Challenge

  • Nipping at Mani’s Heels by Aidan Fritz – Lothar will do anything to vanquish the shadows for his daughters. He makes a bargain he may regret.
  • The Shadow Pilgrim by Stephen Watkins – Do you know why night flees the day, and why day flees the night?
  • Quick Draw by T.S. Bazelli – The sun was shining and the air smelled of rain. It was a good day to die.

Week 12 – Action Challenge

  • Just Like Me by T.S. Bazelli – Things get heated in the Demetriou household.
  • Bright Hands by Stephen Watkins – In Taruth’s hands, the light becomes a spear, a shield, a wire trap.
  • Grian Cloch: Stone of the Sun by Aidan Fritz – Caen’s wings burned as he descended too quickly. They called them Gods, but he knew the truth.

Week 11 – Internal Dialogue Challenge

  • Fireworks Mods by Aidan Fritz – He aimed for the bell, and they came after him. It wouldn’t be so easy.
  • Kathryn’s Child by Stephen Watkins – It’s name was Shiva and it was her creation.
  • Fire Shooting by J.P. Cabit – You don’t want to be on the wrong end of this barrel.
  • The Old Woman and the Dragon by T.S. Bazelli – It’s never wise to keep a dragon as a pet.

Week 10 – Setting Challenge

  • Peka’s Showdown by J.P. Cabit – A story that will make you shiver. Peka’s alone in the wilderness and there are wolves about.
  • The Immigrant and the Gatekeeper by Aidan Fritz – Coon is being tested, but the new world will not listen to his plea’s.
  • Where it all Began by Stephen A. Watkins, Jr. – Aran returns home to face the puppet master of his fate.
  • Adrift by T.S. Bazelli – No one wants Kate. The only place she feels at home is adrift on the sea.

Week 9 – Emotion Challenge

  • My Mother by J.P. Cabit – Natasha works at an airport and she’s having a bad day. What could go wrong?
  • Edmund’s Flight by Aidan Fritz – A story about a teleporter and a boy with a flying bee carpet.
  • The Guardian by T.S. Bazelli – Saving lives is thankless work.
  • The Steed and the Page Boy by Stephen A. Watkins Jr. – Two survivors remain on the bloody field: a dragon, who has lost his fire, and a page boy who has lost his master.
  • The Secret Last Thoughts Of… by Harry Markov – “They pull the metal plate I lay on and lead me through the kitchen. It is a slow procession as if I am a Sunday ritual.”

Week 8 – Telling Challenge

Week 7 – Genre Bender Challenge

  • Don’t Look For Too Long by J. P. Cabit – A peek at a skewed reality, where looking into mirrors could have some dire consequences.
  • The Last Gunfighter by Aidan Fritz – A genre-blender! How many genres can you identify?
  • Glass Half-Empty part 1 by T.S. Bazelli – Hardboiled / Noir / Steampunk – To be continued on Monday.

Week 6 – Details Challenge

Here’s a list of the stories from weeks 1 – 5.

11 Comments

Writing Exercises

Want to join in? Here’s this week’s Author Aerobics challenge. Answers to the challenge will be posted on Friday. If you use this writing prompt, post a link to your entry in the comments below, and I’ll update this post with links to yours. Everyone’s welcome!


Something Old – Something New

There’s something lurking in your drawers, or infecting your old files. The haunting memory of stories written by fingers past. Maybe you haven’t looked at those old bits of writing in a while. Maybe the writing is terrible, or maybe it’s better than you thought it was?

We all should be improving with time and practice. Can the story be salvaged now that you’ve honed your skills?

This week’s challenge: Find a short piece of writing, or select an excerpt of a longer piece, at least a year or more old. Either edit it, and breathe some new life into it, or post it in the story’s original state so we can celebrate how far you’ve come.


and in other exciting news…

Announcing the launch of Serial Central!

It’s a joint site where you can read 7 serial stories, 7 days a week starting August 23rd. If you’ve been around this blog for a while you may see some familiar names and some new names: Barb, Seph, Lua, Miss. Rosemary, Janna, Leigh. My contribution will be a paranormal / dark fantasy serial.

Here’s the site for you to preview: Serial Central

Stories coming August 23! Hope you check it out next Monday!


This week’s Author Aerobics’s Participants:

16 Comments

Writing Exercises

Want to join in? Here’s this week’s Author Aerobics challenge. Answers to the challenge will be posted on Friday. If you use this writing prompt, post a link to your entry in the comments below, and I’ll update this post with links to yours. Everyone’s welcome!


Make it Fresh Challenge

Most of you likely write to avoid stereotypes and clichés like the plague, but they can be fun to work with too. These become popular often because the tropes work, and a deft hand can make them feel fresh again.

Let’s have a look at the quintessential Don Juan. He’s tall, dark, handsome, and can sweep a woman off her feet with a moment of eye contact. She’s intrigued by the element of mystery, his skill at dancing, his knowledge of fine wine, and his passionate kisses.

Now for a twist. What if Don’s true love died, and he’s dead inside because of it? What if Don rips off wealthy women at the resort, because he’s got 10 kids to feed at home? Or what if it’s Donna instead of Don? What if Donna seduces unsuspecting women while in drag?

I think the key to freshness is recognizing the stereotype then adding an unexpected element into the mix.

The challenge: Take a stereotype, cliché, or topic that’s been done to death, and write a scene (1000 words or less) that infuses a fresh spin on things. The theme: sparkle? hah just kidding! “Thirst”

OK, I’ll admit it, this is really just an excuse to write about vampires.

Further Reading


This week’s stories!

  • Robin Bonnett by Aidan Fritz – Foiling the Sheriff of Nottingham with well aimed lazerbolts and deft hovercar maneuvers.
  • Once and Future by Stephen Watkins – Not Sir Galahad, but Rob the accountant is destined to revive the once and future king Arthur.
  • Thirst by T.S. Bazelli – In the desert there are so few chances for survival.
  • The Maiden’s Resolve by Harry Markov – Every blow cost 100 lives. The princess wept.

13 Comments