In today’s Journal
* A Tip on Challenges
* Bradbury Challenge Writers Reporting
* Topics and Guest Posts
* Of Interest
* The Numbers
Welcome to Gerald D and to any other new subscribers or readers of the Journal. I hope you will find it useful.
Be sure to check out the Archives and other free downloads at the Journal website.
And here’s a video where Vin Zandri and I are chatting about writing and a bunch of other stuff.
A Tip on Challenges
If you’re challenging yourself to write a short story every week, and if you find yourself often coming right down to the deadline, this might help:
Change your goal. Increase it. Or halfway increase it.
Say you want to write at least one short story per week. Say your “week” ends on Sunday at midnight. That is your deadline.
I suggest you reset your self-imposed deadline to Wednesday at midnight. Strive hard to write your primary story by that time. If you don’t finish until Thursday or whatever, it’s not a big deal. It won’t cost you in productivity.
Then try to write a second story before the end of your week (Sunday at midnight). If you don’t, at least you finished your main story for the week. And many times, you will finish two stories or more for the week.
The bottom line? Your inventory will grow. And I can almost guarantee some of those stories will want to be novellas or novels.
Plus if you’re a participant in my reporing of your stories, you can always report more than one story in a given week if you want to.
An extra tip for masochists (grin) — If you really want a challenge that will force you to grow as a writer (and if you aren’t currently writing a novel), try writing a new short story every day for a week. Or ten days. Or a month. Or a year.
You can also apply this sort of challenge to a novella or novel. Decide in advance that no matter what happens (excepting major life events or life rolls) you will take no more than one day off after you finish a novella or novel before starting the next one.
And if you’re stuck for ideas, remember: All you need is a character with a problem dropped into a setting. That’s all you need. If you don’t “think” and just trust the characters, they will lead you through to the end.
Yes, you can. It’s all a matter of priorities. Every word of fiction, every sentence and paragraph, improves your ability as a fiction writer.
Bradbury Challenge Writers Reporting
Anyone can jump in (or jump back in) and join the challenge at any time. Even if you miss a week in your personal challenge and break your streak, you can always jump back in the next week and start a new one.
This is a great way to jumpstart your writing and get more practice pushing down the critical voice.
There’s no cost.
Notice, there’s no pressure re submitting or publishing either. That’s up to you. The point of the challenge is to have fun. Learning to keep track of your writing is a bonus.
During the past week, in addition to whatever other fiction they’re writing, the following writers reported their progress:
- Erin Donoho “The Physician and the Reverend” 3300 Historical Fiction
- George Kordonis “Robot Scarecrow” 2679 SF
- Alexander Nakul “Memory Cellar” 4189 SF Mystery
- Alexander Nakul “The Labyrinth of Ghostberry” 3530 Horror
- Chynna Pace “The Other Megan” 4443 Fantasy
- Christopher Ridge “Make Them Suffer” 3200 Horror
- K.C. Riggs “Apartment 229” 1968 Ghost
- Balázs Jámbor *Trilogy of the Lora Stories: Restarted* (novel) 4500 (4500 total to date) Fantasy
- Alexander Nakul *Horses of Mayhem* 3046 Historical fantasy (46107 total to date)
Topics and Guest Posts
Prompted by two other writers via email this morning, I’m setting a new policy re topics for the Journal and guest posts. I hope this won’t fall on deaf ears.
You’re all writers, so you each have a unique perspective, whether it be gender, age, culture, race, how you were brought up or whatever.
Don’t get me wrong. I love hearing from you regarding topics you would like to see in the Journal. I very much appreciate the input.
But if you feel strongly about a topic, please consider writing it yourself and submitting it as a guest post. Often, it will be a better post coming from your unique perspective instead of mine.
No length requirement. Simply stop writing when you’ve said what you have to say.
Feel free to send a brief bio with your article if you want, info on your stories or books, etc.
Thanks for reading the Journal, and thanks in advance for any ideas for posts or guest posts.
Talk with you again soon.
Six Things Writers Need To Stop Worrying About An oldie but a goodie.
Free (Fiction and Non-Fiction) Downloads Not the same as those on the Journal
Writer Resources A listing primarily of categories, each of which contains many links
The Journal……………………………… 810
Writing of Blackwell Ops 12: Nick Soldata (novel)
Day 1…… 3683 words. To date…… 3683
Day 2…… 3186 words. To date…… 6869
Day 3…… 3315 words. To date…… 10184
Day 4…… 3260 words. To date…… 13444
Fiction for October…………………… 45484
Fiction for 2023………………………… 263026
Fiction since August 1………………… 148479
Nonfiction for October……………… 14360
Nonfiction for the year……………… 212700
Annual consumable words………… 475666
2023 Novels to Date……………………… 5
2023 Novellas to Date…………………… 0
2023 Short Stories to Date……………… 6
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)…………… 76
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)…………… 9
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)…… 234
Short story collections…………………… 31
Disclaimer: I am a prolific professional fiction writer. On this blog I teach Writing Into the Dark and adherence to Heinlein’s Rules. Unreasoning fear and the myths of writing will slow your progress as a writer or stop you cold. I will never teach the myths on this blog.
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