It has been a while since I’ve run a writing challenge, likely because I’ve been so immersed in my sprawling rewrite. I so thoroughly enjoyed the flash fiction exercise I participated in recently that I decided to offer a prompt as today’s challenge.
My mother-in-law showed me a Sweet 16 birthday party invitation she received in the mail. I figured it was for a friend’s granddaughter. But it was for one of her friends who has a Leap Day birthday. She’s 64 today.
Here’s the challenge. Imagine a character with a Leap Day birthday. What happens on the years she or he has no birthday? Are there big parties every four years? What was it like growing up without an annual birthday? How is this character different because of being born on February 29?
If you’d rather use this exercise to write something to incorporate into your work-in-progress, then do a freewrite about one of your character’s birthdays. When is it? Think about the season and astrological sign and how those factors influence your character’s behavior. How does your character feel about birthdays? Does he or she celebrate? If so, how? If not, why?