- One story must be written every day.
- Each story has to be completed within 24 hours.
- Time starts from the beginning of the previous story.
- If a new story is begun in less than 24 hours, time begins then, not at the end of that previous story’s period.
- If, for whatever reason, a 24-hour window is missed, two stories must be written within the next timeframe, PLUS an additional story for penance.
- After the 24 hour mark has been passed, a story absolutely may not be edited or revisited till after the 365 day mark.
- Each story must be exactly 365 words in length.
- If more than one word is joined by hyphens, each part counts as a word as if the hyphens were not present (i.e. “years-old” is two words; “down-on-their-luck” is four).
- Each word of a number is its own word (in either form presented, i.e. “372” or “three hundred seventy-two” is four words).
- Contractions are one word – even those that contract more than two words.
- Turns out that Microsoft Word sometimes counts an ellipsis or a dash as one word. If you put spaces between the periods, it counts each space as a word. These do not count for the purposes of the challenge. So watch out for that.
- Use as little reference as possible.
- Avoid hard curse words.
- Also explicit descriptions of sex and sex related acts, objects, etc.
- Just write from that day.
- It’s fine to take notes about a potential future story, but try as often as possible to come up with the entire concept and execute it within that 24 hour window.
Update For Year Three:
- I’ve completely abandoned the idea of writing without music. In fact, I’ll click on Spotify before Scrivener now (just because it takes a little longer to load).
- Partly to give myself a challenge, and partially to give my SO some relief, I’m limiting myself in Year Three to write no “on-screen” deaths. A story can be plenty scary without gore, and sometimes they’re made less scary by its inclusion, so I have high hopes that this will improve the project, at least for this year.