On Challenges . . .

There’s this challenge going around. Maybe you’ve heard of it. Bloggers do it every day in April. But this one is for short story writers, and instead of daily, it’s weekly.

For a year.

What is this challenge? It’s the A to Z Story Challenge. I’m not sure who came up with it, or why, or why that matters. The point is, some writer-friends of mine were talking about it, and it sounded like something I should do, so I asked to be included, and now I’m in the Facebook group for the challenge.

I figure, if nothing else, I’ll get a few blog posts out of it. :)

The idea is that, each week beginning June 1, you have 7 days to complete a story inspired by each successive letter of the alphabet. “A” is due on the 7th, “B” on the 14th, “C” on the 21st, “D” on the 28th, and so on. Since there are 26 letters of the alphabet and ~52 weeks in a year, the letters will recycle starting November 30, and “A” will be due again on December 6th, “B” on the 13th, etc. Finishing up with a second “Z” story being due on May 30th, 2018.

You may remember — because you hang on my every syllable — that in 2011, I did something very similar to this, self-imposed, and for NaNoWriMo, wrote (or began) 26 short stories, but with a new letter each day, and ended up with 122000+ words written in one month. It remains the most productive writing period of my life, and one of those stories got me into Viable Paradise XVI in 2012.

But none of those stories ever went anywhere. They’re still sitting, in various stages of completion, on my hard drive.

Mocking me.

And then here came this. I suddenly realized this could be a “kick in the pants” to finally start editing those stories with the goal of getting them finished to a submittable state. Given how long it’s been since I even looked at many of those stories, it’ll present challenges of its own. But I think it’s a good idea, so that’s what I’m going to do. The core concept of each story will, I think, remain the same. But a lot of them went off the rails and either failed to meet my own expectations or veered off into territory where I couldn’t even see the original path from where they went. Now’s the time to at least attempt to address those issues.

Beginning with “A Is for Anchor.” I liked the original idea, but I spent 12,000 words (!!) meandering along the “idea river” instead of pursuing an “idea highway” that goes a bit straighter.

Wow. That metaphor, huh? Gotta love my brain. :)

Anywho . . . I’m 1000 words in or so and I definitely think there’s an ending up there somewhere ahead. Now to get to it. By land, not by river.

I don’t know if there will be a post per week, but we’ll see.

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