The Bradbury Challenge and More

In today’s Journal

* Correction
* Thought of the Day
* The Bradbury Challenge Writers Reporting
* The Novel
* Storytelling at Depth: The Series
* Special Thanks
* Of Interest
* The Numbers

Happy Canada Day! And thanks to writer George Kordonis for bringing it to my attention.


Oops. In yesterday’s post, I advertised a Quote of the Day in the table of contents. There was no quote of the day. That was a holdover from earlier. Mark it up to Old Man Slippage.

Thought of the Day

Now and then I come up with a good one:

“I equate writing fiction with having a very special but unfortunately distant lover. The trick to having a shot at an eventual full-blown relationship is to stay in touch. In fiction writing, putting something new on the page every day for even only a few minutes will accomplish that.” Me, in an altered email response to a writer friend

And in another thought, I’m very glad that little “Do you want to save changes to…” comment pops up when I try to close something without saving it first.

But I wish we could customize the warning a little. Mine would read, “Hey! You wanna save this thing before you close it, or what?” (grin)

The Bradbury Challenge Writers Reporting

During the past week, in addition to whatever other fiction they’re writing, the following writers reported these new stories:

  • Vanessa V. Kilmer “Despair Is In the Air” 1770 Speculative
  • George Kordonis “The Gold Key” 3158 Supernatural Suspense
  • Adam Kozak “Unarmed Robbery” 2836 Humor

As KC Riggs wrote of the Challenge in the Quote of the Day a few days ago,

“That’s the beauty of the Bradbury Challenge, committing to writing a new story every week. What opportunities for practice!”

She’s right. KC wrote a story for the Challenge for 52 consecutive weeks before intentionally stopping to focus on writing and publishing her novels and on publishing her short stories.

When I took up the Challenge back in the day, I ended up with several short stories that led to full-length novels. And one of those stories led to a novel that became a trilogy and eventually grew to a 22-volume saga.

So you just never know how partaking of the Challenge will help you and add to your personal inventory of IP. And in the meantime, the challenge is simply a great deal of fun.

To take part in the Challenge, write at least one short story per week (the goal is to do so for at least a year). Then each week, submit your story title, word count, and genre to me for publication in the Journal on Monday.

The whole point is to have fun and grow as a writer. You can join or rejoin the challenge at any time. As George K pointed out in an email this morning, seeing others reporting their stories helped him keep going in the Challenge.

There’s no cost. You can even do it on your own, without reporting numbers to me or anyone else.

The Novel

Yeah, my numbers are all over the place on the current novel. On some days I’ve made barely 1000 words. I often get 2000 and sometimes over 3000. Day before yesterday I hit a little over 4000 words, and a few days before that, I surpassed 5000 words.

If you’ve been following the progress (and if you haven’t, that’s fine) it looks as if the novel has “stalled” a few times.

It hasn’t. Everything goes to available time, and more precisely, to how I manage that time.

Some days I have a post ready to go for TNDJ. On those days, I spend only an hour or two prepping and publishing it.

On other days, I write the post on the morning it goes out. On those days, it might soak up three or four hours getting it out.

And of course, there are chores or commitments or other things I have to do. But don’t get me wrong. I’m not complaining.

On most days, I still get to spend anywhere from one to five or six hours per day in sheer Heaven, racing through the story with my characters, scribbling down what happens and what they say and do in response.

Then, always, a few to several minutes reading over what I wrote in the previous session while allowing my fingers to rest on the keyboard so the characters can add whatever I missed during our rush through the story.

As I said above, for a writer, that’s all sheer Heaven.

Storytelling at Depth: The Series

The current series of posts on Storytelling at Depth is going very well. I suspect there will be two or three more posts in that series beginning tomorrow.

Of course, those are only available to paid subscribers. If you haven’t taken the plunge and subscribed yet, and if you’re able to do so, click the Subscribe button below. You’ll also be able to access the TNDJ archives at Substack so you can read the previous posts in the series.

Admittedly, I covered all the same topics in Writing Better Fiction, though I covered them differently there. The current series of posts only adds-to and enhances what I shared there.

Special Thanks

After I so recently lost my phone to an unscrupulous individual, my faith in humanity was restored with a recent new paid subscriber.

Why? Because the guy in question, Zack G, could just as easily have continued reading all the posts free through his paid-subscriber business partner, whom, I have no doubt, shared a post with him, which is perfectly fine. In fact, I encourage paid subscribers to share. More is always better.

But instead, Zack G chose to subscribe in his own right. I absolutely cherish personal integrity. So special thanks to Frank T for sharing TNDJ with Zack, and special thanks to Zack for going that extra step.

Thanks too to all the new recent paid subscribers. You keep TNDJ relevant and worthwhile.

Tomorrow, I’ll be back with the next post in the Storytelling at Depth series. That post will concern writing the Hook.

A Note re TNDJ

My primary purpose with TNDJ remains to pay forward what I’ve learned about the craft of writing fiction. But I also know some folks are struggling right now.

Been there, done that.

There have been times in my life when the only thing in the fridge a few days before payday was a half-gallon of milk for the baby. So I understand. In that or a similar situation, I wouldn’t have subscribed either.

If you’re serious about your fiction writing and cutting the learning curve of the craft, but you flat can’t afford a paid subscription right now, please email me.

You don’t have to divulge any personal information at all. Just let me know you want TNDJ and times are tough. Chances are good I’ll comp you a subscription for a year.

Talk with you again then.

Of Interest

A Summer of INK & GRIT I highly recommend reading this post, and subscribing. And be sure to read…

The Pulp Work Ethic for a glimpse of what’s to come from this excellent substack.

The Numbers

The Journal……………………………… 1190

Writing of Blackwell Ops 25: Rafe Andersen

Day 9…… 5366 words. To date…… 23402
Day 10…. 1270 words. To date…… 24672
Day 11…. 1628 words. To date…… 26300
Day 12…. 2938 words. To date…… 29238
Day 13…. 4008 words. To date…… 33246
Day 14…. 2579 words. To date…… 35825

Fiction for June…………………….….… 48989
Fiction for 2024…………………………. 389586
Fiction since October 1………………… 62643
Nonfiction for July……………………… 1190
Nonfiction for 2024……………………… 212070
2024 consumable words……………… 601656

2024 Novels to Date……………………… 9
2024 Novellas to Date…………………… 0
2024 Short Stories to Date……………… 1
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)……………… 91
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)…………… 9
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……… 239
Short story collections…………………… 29

Disclaimer: Harvey Stanbrough is a prolific professional fiction writer. On this blog he teaches Writing Into the Dark and adherence to Heinlein’s Rules. Unreasoning fear and the myths of writing are lies, and they will slow your progress as a writer or stop you cold. Harvey will never teach the myths on this blog.

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