So mini-update first. I’m still on pace with my 1,000 words a day quota. I’ve also written one story (a 1,000-word bit of flash fiction), edited it, and submitted it. So what have I been doing with my other 1,000 words per day? Well, I’ve been tweaking my novel outline, and I’ve been working on stories two and three. One of those stories I tried to sketch out a bit more free-form, without a step-by-step outline like I normally do. And I’ve written up an outline for the third story.
But there’s a problem. For both of those stories, I’ve used a moment from history as jumping off points, and once I start, I can’t seem to stop. Well, not in a short-story-sized chunk. My ideas tend to grow and swell quite quickly, almost like that spray-on insulation. First a thin, little coat, and then fwmop, six to twelve inches of foam.
In one story, a strange discovery leads to raids and magic and monsters. Old kings die, and new kings try to take their place. It’s simply too much. In the other story, I’ve taken a couple of swipes at shrinking the story, distilling it down to a small window of conflict and drama. And yet, it’s still too long. The story may only take place over a couple days, but again, the story, the conflicts, the goals–they’re all too much for a short story.
So, where does that leave me? Well, I still have time to write two stories. I also have learned that I apparently have a default setting for longer pieces. Now that doesn’t mean I can’t write short stories, only that they will come harder. It’ll just take me longer to reset my frame of thought. This should be interesting. At least I’m learning about my writing and my voice. More updates to come, I’m sure.
Also, if you have the time and the desire, please visit my Write-A-Thon page and donate. Every penny goes to help Clarion teach writers how to improve.