Welcome to the forty-eighth of our Creative Challenges. WriteMovies’ 100-Day Creative Challenge 48 is about subject matter in writing.
Guidance: For the next 20 minutes, use whatever method you like – thoughts and ideas, mind maps, diagrams or sketches, a sample of script, prose, poetry – as you prepare a creative piece, about:
A subject that you’re passionate about in your own life.
- As you work through this task, you might also consider how this activity relates to subject matter in writing.
- Save or photograph your work as a document called “100DayCC48”. Then reflect on this experience and what it has taught you about you and your writing: what comes naturally to you, which aspects were easy and difficult, and the subjects, angles and attitudes that you like to focus your writing on.
- Share online if you like using the hashtag #100DayCC48 to compare to other people’s experiences and support each other, or submit to our Academy Lite if you’re a subscriber!
When you complete the Challenge – or if you get completely stuck – then look at the Feedback below!
Everything’s ‘about’ something. On the surface, your story may be about a particular family in 2008. But a level behind that, it may be about the financial crash and its impact on families. For example…
Of course, giving a convincing picture of your subject is vital – but it doesn’t have to be an accurate one (how many ballet professionals liked BLACK SWAN, for example?). There’s a typical motto of ‘write what you know’, which can be very limiting, but is therefore pretty good advice to give to most novice writers.
Choosing an interesting subject may be important – but more important is how you explore it. Think about how SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE explores the subject of ‘India’, which is far more to that story than just its setting – for example, have you realised that the protagonist is a Muslim in a predominantly Hindu country? Why hadn’t the massive Indian film industry (especially ‘Bollywood’) made a film like that about India, which could break through to mass audiences outside the subcontinent? If you watch even a few Bollywood films, you’ll soon realize that the reasons are much deeper than simply the language that the story is told in.
General tips and feedback:
Many writers, naturally, don’t find it easy to be creative ‘on tap’ – especially for work that they didn’t set themselves. But to write professionally, you will usually need to meet deadlines and requirements, that can’t be put off, for briefs you didn’t choose for yourself: even if you’re ill or feeling down, you’ll usually have to just find a way through, and get the results that are needed, to the quality that’s necessary. So the WriteMovies Creative Challenges are designed to help you find ways around the crucial issues of ‘block’.
We do this by setting a (deceptively!) simple brief, and encouraging you to use a variety of methods, approaches and creative products in order to find ways around it, and generate some kind of outcomes that might be useful to you in the future. Whatever state your mind and mood are in – energetic or tired, stimulated or bored, motivated or disengaged, etc – there are different ‘modes’ of creative productivity which you can engage, to make the best of it: editing your work if you can’t write, making notes if you can’t generate script, etc. Try a mix of methods to make the most of activities such as the Creative Challenges, especially anytime you get stuck: just keep adding notes, sketches etc freely, you can decide later whether any of them are useful! Also note that the brief is to ‘prepare’ a creative work – not to actually make it straight away, before you feel ready to! But if you’ve come away from this with a passage of prose or script or even poetry, well done!
Hopefully this activity will have shown you the potential value of our Creative Challenges, and the benefits of making a routine to complete them, and persisting with it day by day to gradually improve all aspects of your writing and to develop solutions to ‘block’, that you will become more and more proficient with over time. We recommend that you commit to fulfilling the 100-Day Creative Challenges, sharing your outputs to gain the support and feedback of other writers working on the same activities, and if you’d like expert daily feedback from us on this and much more, additional material, subscribe to the WriteMovies Academy Lite now!