In today’s Journal
* Quote of the Day
* It’s Monday!
* Keeping Track
* Writer friend Aldred G
* And from Chynna P
* The Writing
* Of Interest
Quote of the Day
“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” Benjamin Franklin
and below are the results from the Challenge Writers for this week. You can still join in the challenge at any time, of course. There’s no cost, and it’s a great way to have some fun, jumpstart your writing, and let others see what is possible.
- Tony DeCastro “A Man Named Silk” 4200 words, Sword & Sorcery
- Balázs Jámbor “Bullying” 4200 words, Paranormal fantasy
- Loyd Jenkins “Stopover in Kleenor” 3150 words, SF
- Chynna Pace “A Potion for Hobgoblins” 2763 words, Fantasy
- Christopher Ridge “Bad Ronald” 2200 words, Horror
- Robert J. Sadler “The Name on the Sign” 515 words
- Robert J. Sadler “John, Jane & The Sinking Ship” 973 words
I always encourage writers to keep track of their work. I personally use spreadsheets: one “master” to keep track of all fiction and nonfiction, one dedicated for novels, and one specifically for short stories.
But you don’t have to use a spreadsheet, or you can use a quicker, less-intense method in addition to keeping a spreadsheet.
One friend eeps track of his stories by keeping a running list in this format:
Story 1: Story Title, [xxxx words] Date finished.
Story 2: Story Title, [xxxx words] Date finished.
I like this because it’s challenge-specific. It notes only stories written for this challenge, tracks how many stories he’s written, and even what date he finished each one. Way cool. And notice, no pressure re submitting or publishing, just the sheer fun of writing and keeping track.
I do something similar. I keep all the stories I’ve written for this challenge in a folder on my desktop. When I drag the Word-document story into the folder, I precede the title with a sequential number. For example, when I finish “Gate” and drag the document into the folder , I will changed the file name from “The Gate.docx” to “4 The Gate.docx”.
Having the story documents all together in that folder will come in handy too when it’s time to consider putting them into collections and/or posting them to my StanbroughWrites substack or whatever else.
Writer friend Aldred G. writes “Greetings from South Africa.
“This links to an article by Irish author Billy O’callaghan. So many touch points with your writing philosophy. It might be helpful to your audience?”
Please see Billy O’Callaghan on Life as a Writer.
And from Chynna P
“Is it okay to report a story that goes beyond conventional short story length and ends up more like a novella or novelette, i.e. 10k words or so? I know that you always advise just letting the story be what it is and not forcing it to be a specific word count, but since this is technically a short story challenge, I just wanted to make sure it was still okay to report longer stories.”
Thanks, Chynna. Yes, I think that’s perfectly fine. If a story takes off and you can finish it within the allotted time, why not? And if you can’t finish it in time (see “The Writing” below) nothing says you can’t either wrap it as a short story AND continue it as a novella or novel, or that you can’t write a different short story just for the challenge but continue also with the one that took off.
All of that said, it’s YOUR challenge with yourself, so you set the rules. Remember first and foremost, What you write doesn’t matter; what matters is That you write.
Unfortunately, I have to report that I broke my short streak. I didn’t finish “The Gate.” I’ll continue with the challenge, but having missed one week and broken my streak, I’ll start over on the 100 weeks.
I hasten to add that I’m neither surprised nor dismayed. The challenge itself is just for fun and I haven’t been in much of a fun mood recently. Plus, I have five stories in my inventory that I wouldn’t have had without the challenge. So total win.
To participate in the challenge honestly, of course, whether or not I finish “The Gate” I’ll also have to write a new short story for my next deadline, which I haven’t set yet. I know it will be a Sunday, but I’ll wait to set it until I’ve gotten beyond recent events.
Talk with you again soon.
See “Challenges and Other Stuff” at https://deanwesleysmith.com/challenges-and-other-stuff/.
See “How 3D printed food can change the way we look at eating” at https://interestingengineering.com/ie-originals/ie-explainer/season-1/ep-15-how-3d-printed-food-can-change-the-way-we-look-at-eating. Star Trek food replicators, anyone?
See “…Amazon CEO letter to shareholders offers little promise for the publishing industry” at https://www.thepassivevoice.com/5000-words-but-the-amazon-ceo-letter-to-shareholders-offers-little-promise-for-the-publishing-industry/. See PG’s take.
See “How to Communicate with Your Designer to Get the Best Book Cover Design” at https://www.thepassivevoice.com/how-to-communicate-with-your-designer-to-get-the-best-book-cover-design/. I posted this mostly as filler. Study covers and design your own. It isn’t difficult.
The Journal…………………………………… 810
Writing of “The Gate” (short story)
Day 1…… 2074 words. Total words to date…… 2074
Day 2…… 0374 words. Total words to date…… 2448
Writing of Wes Crowley: Deputy US Marshal 2 (WCG9SF4)
Day 11… 0323 words. Total words to date…… 19819
Day 12… 2445 words. Total words to date…… 22264
Day 13… 3184 words. Total words to date…… 25448
Total fiction words for April……… 15089
Total fiction words for 2023………… 81277
Total nonfiction words for April… 13340
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 75600
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 156877
Calendar Year 2023 Novels to Date…………………… 1
Calendar Year 2023 Novellas to Date……………… 0
Calendar Year 2023 Short Stories to Date… 4
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)…………………………………… 72
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)………………………………… 9
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)………………… 221
Short story collections……………………………………………… 31
Disclaimer: I am a prolific professional fiction writer. On this blog I teach Writing Into the Dark, adherence to Heinlein’s Rules, and that following the myths of fiction writing will slow your progress as a writer or stop you cold. I will never teach the myths on this blog.