The Bradbury Challenge and Much More

In today’s Journal

* The Revised Stages of a Fiction Writer
* A New Short Story
* The Bradbury Challenge Writers Reporting
* I Get Comments
* Training Wheels?
* A Note to Donors and Paid Subscribers
* A Note to Free Subscribers
* The Numbers

The Revised Stages of a Fiction Writer

is now available in a single, downloadable PDF document. I added a little more to it. If you’d like a free copy, visit the Gifts & Archives page at the Journal website.

Then click the link at the bottom of the left column under Gifts. The document will download automatically.

A New Short Story

“Saving the Grenlow” went live Friday on my Stanbrough Writes Substack. Go check it out.

Note that when I wrote that story I was a late Stage 2 or early Stage 3 writer. I can tell by the paragraphing and some of the outdated conventions I used. (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 “A Penny for Luck” 2675 Paranormal
  • Adam Kozak “Three Left the Nest” 1731 General Fiction
  • David Taylor “The Interview” 2577 Paranormal

I Get Comments

Last week I included a comment by KC Riggs on the effectiveness of the Bradbury Challenge in propelling her writing.

I half-jokingly dared her to jump back into the Challenge. Her response was pure gold:

“I used to think (critical mind) a cliffhanger meant I was at the end of a chapter. Now I don’t assume that. I put chapter markers in–even in short stories–but might combine or break them up once the story is complete and I look at how to present the story to readers.

“My favorite visual cliffhanger is when Indiana Jones goes over the cliff on the tank. I am leaning over that cliff with the other characters, trying to see down.

“In answer to your very good question about jumping back into the Bradbury Challenge, the novel I thought was mostly complete won’t turn me loose.

“It started as a Bradbury Challenge story, blossomed into eight more, plus one very long one after my 52 [short stories for the Challenge]. And now at least one more as two main characters fill in parts of the story. What a problem, right?

“Then there are the other Bradbury stories, which I’ve promised myself to publish and the learning curve to get proficient with that. I really need to get some more IP out into the world. I’ve started looking at GetCovers and will try it for short stories at least.

“Garry Roger’s column you referenced in Of Interest (see Supercharge Your Schedule) is very interesting. I’m very visual and like the 100 blocks notion of tracking how you spend your time.

It might help me work the Bradbury Challenge into catching up on publishing and continuing in a meaningful way on novels. [The Challenge] really is a great way to practice.”

Thanks again, KC. Great, valuable input.

Training Wheels?

This is a on-second-thought response to a question I answered earlier (and too hastily) in an email to a writer friend.

Don’t let critical mind in, folks. If you do, it will slow or stop your writing.

Last week I received an email from a now-former Challenge participant who said he had a dream about learning to ride a bike with training wheels.

He wrote “I think my creative subconscious is saying ‘No need for training wheels now. Take them off so I can ride alone.'”

That wasn’t his creative subconscious. It was directly from his critical mind. But I failed him in my initial response to that email. Here’s what I should have written (and I did tell him later):

  • The creative subconsious is never negative. Therefore, that thought came from your conscious, critical mind.
  • The training wheel analogy doesn’t hold up. Any personal challenge (whether submitting results to TNDJ or not) is only a motivational tool to drive you to the keyboard.
  • Reporting results from a challenge anywhere (to TNDJ or to a friend or keeping them privately) is no different than keeping track of your writing in any other way. It has nothing to do with the actual writing.
  • Keeping track takes only minutes each day or week or month. It doesn’t affect your writing in any way. You still have to do the writing. Or not. It’s a personal choice.

Folks, dropping any challenge altogether means only eliminating the motivation that drives you to the keyboard. When that happens, the critical mind has won.

Don’t let the same thing happen to you.

Of course, I wish this writer all the luck with his writing. But I also caution him (and you) that once you end a streak, especially intentionally, it’s very difficult to start it up again. I know this from a regretful personal experience.

TNDJ is what I wish had been around when I first started. It’s all about learning the craft, very little else.

A Note to Donors and Paid Subscribers

Thank you for showing faith in The Journal over the years and The New Daily Journal. I’ll do my best never to let you down.

A Note to Free Subscribers

My primary purpose with TNDJ is to pay forward what I know, have learned, and am learning about the craft of fiction writing.

If you’re serious about your fiction writing and cutting your learning curve, and if you find TNDJ valuable in that regard but you flat can’t afford a paid subscription right now, email me.

You don’t have to divulge any personal information. Just let me know you need a gift subscription. Chances are good I’ll comp you a subscription for a year.

Up tomorrow, Let’s Take a Breath.

Talk with you again then.

The Numbers

The Journal……………………………… 960

Writing of Blackwell Ops 26: Tailor Moses

Day 1…… 2069 words. To date…… 2069
Day 2…… 3438 words. To date…… 5507

Fiction for July…………………….….… 12715
Fiction for 2024…………………………. 415016
Fiction since October 1………………… 705358
Nonfiction for July……………………… 10630
Nonfiction for 2024……………………… 221510
2024 consumable words………………… 623811

2024 Novels to Date……………………… 10
2024 Novellas to Date…………………… 0
2024 Short Stories to Date……………… 4
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)……………… 92
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)…………… 9
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……… 241
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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