Writing Challenge Day 240: Weeding Your Stories (Day 5)

If you started with us at the beginning, you've been writing your life stories for the better part of a year. Now it's time to assess what you've written and begin to put it together into a narrative. From this point on, we will be giving you weekly assignments and tips to help along the way.

If you've recently joined us, you may want to build up a few more stories before you begin this part of the challenge. You can always come back to these posts when you are ready. To continue your daily writing, pick something else from the archive, this question list, or write more on something you wrote earlier. For more information about the challenge, read this post.


By now you may have a stack of index cards, one for each story or potential story. (If you need more time to complete your story index cards, take the time to do that. You can always catch up with this step later.) Grab your stack of cards, in any order. (You will be working on this part of the process all week.)

Pick up a story card, any one, and ask yourself these questions. (Make notes on the back of each card.) 

  1. Does this story or story fragment fit within your stated purpose, audience, and scope? It might be a great story about something that happened to you last week. But if your intent is to write a book about your childhood for your young grandchildren, you may set this story aside for now if it doesn't fit.
  2. Why is this story important enough to include in this life story project?  Is it uplifting, thought-provoking, or teach a lesson? Is it entertaining? 
  3. Is it not really a story, but random important data that should be included? This could anything from the date/place/circumstances of your birth to a description of what your mother looked like. If so, put this card in a separate pile. Later, you will find ways to weave this data into other stories.

Keep going until you've gone through all the cards. If you decide any of them aren't interesting or important enough to include, or they don't fit the scope of this project, put them aside in a separate pile.


  • Take these assignments at your own pace. They are meant only to get you started and to give you a step-by-step process. Depending on how much you have already written, it may take you longer to complete each section.
  • If you want to keep going after the 15 minutes are up, go for it! 
  • Have a question or challenge or triumph to share? Feel free to comment below.