Wednesday, July 30, 2014

On Writing Fast and Loose and Having FUN Writing: Short Story Blitz Update: Moving On to Story #4

As I'm sure you've seen me blathering about on Facebook and Twitter, I'm engaging in something of a "short story" blitz this summer. The goal is to write one short story a week, hopefully resulting in 7 or 8 editable short stories by the end of the summer. There are a variety of reasons for undertaking this exercise. 

One, the most practical reason: I'm in a nice "cushy" spot between Devourer of Souls' June release and my serial novella for The Midnight Diner, Suffer the Little Children Come Unto Me, which isn't due until November. The perfect time, it seemed, to go on a short-story writing spree.

Also, I came to a few recent realizations that's further encouraged me to spend my summer on short stories:

1. I write my  best short stories over the summer, because I have the free time to "blitz" them out of my system. Ergo: the longer I spend writing a story, the more likely it turns into novella length or longer

2. The two stories I wrote last summer, I sold for pro rates

3. I need to get over my "one rejection and out" mentality for pro rate story submission

4. I can't sell short stories if I haven't written any

Probably the most important realizations are the last two.  I so, so DESPERATELY need to  build up a thicker skin. I need to soak up a rejection, and send that story back out, over and over, five or six or even seven times, if need be. 

AND, in the middle of my lamenting my very few short story sales,  I realized: I haven't sold many short stories because I haven't written many, I don't COMMIT myself to writing short stories like I do novels and novellas. So this summer, I decided to eliminate that excuse.

I'm also, in my own way, trying to increase my production. Which DOESN'T mean I'm suddenly looking to reverse my publishing strategy. BUT, I'm realizing more and more that to make good and great stories, I need stories first - most likely really rough, bad stories.

Hence the summer short story blitz. My aim? To write one short story a week. When I finish said story, I simply move on to the next story. I won't come back and edit these stories until the summer ends, after I've turned in my final draft of Suffer the Little Children Come Unto Me. How's it going so far?

Splendidly. I just finished story #3 (Abby's appendicitis threw me off stride a bit, but I think I'll be able to make that up), and I'm moving on to story #4 tomorrow. This has been, I have to say, the most fun I've had writing in awhile, because I'm finally seeing concepts I've held in my head for over a year turning into actual stories. Will they be any good?

I dunno. And I don't care. Right now, all I'm concerned with is write, finish; repeat. Here's the recap so far. Note: the titles are merely placeholders for now. I, notoriously, SUCK at titles.

Story #1 "Out of Field Theory"
Story #2 "First Kiss, Deferred"
Story #3 "Yellow Cab"
Story #4 "Bobby Lee Gets Inked" - starting tomorrow.

And there you go. Now, if you'll excuse me...chores beckon, so I can start brainstorming for tomorrow's story....