Archive for May 23rd, 2011

Picking up a thrown gauntlet

What is it about me and writing challenges.  Nanowrimo.  #5MinuteFiction.  And now this:

For those who don’t want to hand-copy bit.ly links, the link heads over here.  The idea of the challenge is to follow in the literary footsteps of Ray Bradbury, who would write and submit one short story a week.  If you’re looking for someone to emulate, Ray Bradbury is certainly a hell of a person to choose, if for no other reasons than offers like this Hugo nominated one.  But also because he’s one of the most prolific writers in the history of the genre.

Now, in part he’s been so published because he’s damn good, but also because he pushed and tried to get published, and because he just made himself write.

There’s a clear problem with the challenge, and that’s the problem that I’ve clearly failed on it before.  In 2009 I attempted a project based on Jonathan Coulton’s Thing a Week where I endeavored to write a new short story every week.  I failed.  It’s part of why for 2011 I chose to write a new short story every OTHER week.  Clearly, at least at this point in my output, I’m not ready for writing something new every week.

What’s that?  #5MinuteFiction?  Okay, yes, I’ve taken up doing that, but for some reason I don’t tend to count that.  Please don’t tell Leah Petersen.  Why don’t I count that?  To me that’s more of a writing exercise, some mental gymnastics, which is a lot of fun but triggers different parts of my brain than writing for publication.

Fortunately there’s a secondary challenge.  A monthly challenge.  So: challenge accepted.  With the following rules imposed on myself:

  1. 5MinuteFiction does not count.
  2. Fortnightcaps do not count.

Basically, write one story intended for publication rather than a story intended for free distribution each month.  And submit one story (or, ideally, two) each month.

Going to be tough starting mid-month as I am, but I’m not going to let that be an excuse.  And if I can get to a point where I feel more prolific, maybe I’ll up the challenge to 2 of each a month, or even take on the weekly challenge again in 2012.

Damn you, Day.

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