Goal: Six stories or story-length novel snippets.
One 8,000 word story based on a premise that I’ve been kicking around for years.
I thought it was going to be a novel, and it just wasn’t. Now I’m not sure it’s
even a short story. Paul tells me it’s good but I’m afraid it’s kind of boring.
One 6,000 word story that came from a premise that hit me while having drinks
and super-garlicky shrimp on the porch at Duke’s, on the evening after the Locus
Awards. A couple of weeks later, on July 4, the story was begging, pleading,
demanding to be written. So I spent much of the fourth and fifth of July being
antisocial while other people blew stuff up. This is the story that I think
is the best in terms of pacing and emotional effect.
One 3,000 word story where I went out for a walk until I had a premise and
then came back and started writing. Once I finished writing, I actually knew
what the story was. So I think I have to go back and redo it from the beginning
before I have a real first draft.
One 1,000 word story that I deliberately wanted to be a flash piece. I started
writing without even a premise and kind of liked where it ended up, but I think
it needs more sensory detail to really pop.
One 5,000 word story based on a premise that I have been kicking around forever.
I think it’s not a bad start, but the ending is really abrupt and it needs to
be more rigorously thought-out in science fictional terms.
One bunch of words, notes, names, concepts, and associated other things that
are closely related to being a story, but are not, in fact, a story. This is
another idea that I’ve been kicking around for a long time, and each week of
weeks 2-6 I would start out the week intending to write this story, and then
at some point I would realize it just wasn’t happening and I would write something
So, chief lesson learned: if the story isn’t happening, it isn’t happening.
If a story isn’t happening, but it might happen in the future, a week is probably
not long enough to let it ferment before checking to see if it is ready to happen
now. It’s like making pickles. It’ll never work if you keep opening the crock
to check on its progress!
Other lesson learned: the constant attempt to write a short story, any short
story, results in more short stories being written. Which seems kind of blindingly
obvious, but there it is.
Thanks everyone for your support in this write-a-thon.