5.01.2010

Lighting a Fire: Writing Challenges




I love a good challenge, and I'm becoming particularly drawn to writing challenges. Anything to alleviate the creative inertia I seem to acquire after finishing any writing project. I've discovered now that I seem to take a good bit of downtime after writing a story to refill my tanks, even when I have some ideas knocking around up in the ol brain bucket. 

Well I need to stop doing that. Really, this stuff won't write itself, and I won't be able to accomplish my publication goals if I'm not writing anything. I finished Scarlet Letters at the end of March. It's May 1st. Enough already.


I have participated in two NaNoWriMo events, and plan to make it a regular thing. My first year was a bit of a disaster. The story just wasn't right for me, even if I liked my characters a lot. I might recycle them in something else down the road. The second year was much better, and I fully intend to finish the book that came out of that effort. But I can't wait until November to jumpstart myself. 

So it was to my advantage that I learned about
Story a Day May, a challenge in which participants write a short story a day for an entire month. It seems a little crazy, but then again why should it? There are people who write multiple stories a day. They're called journalists. Also, it's no more impossible than writing a novel in a month. In fact, it should be easier in some ways. A "story" could be anything from 100 words to 10,000. It just needs to have characters that do something. Some could be seedlings of ideas that may one day bloom into full books as well

While I think writing a novel is an exhilarating experience, I have a real love of short stories. I guess the way a film director will always have a soft spot for making indies, even after having a go at at studio picture. At any rate, I intend for this to be a month of experimentation. I want to test myself in various genres. I want to try my hand at mystery, noir, hard sci-fi, cyberpunk (and various other "punks"), literary, chicklit, and heck maybe even young adult. I also plan to revisit some of the worlds I've already created and write some short stories from different angles. 


Expect to see some excerpts and even full works posted here over the month as well under a yet-to-be implemented Free Stories page. It's gonna be a fun ride, folks! Won't you join me? 

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