Wild Card Thursday: Six Months of Short Stories

So today we’re supposed to be reflecting back on what six months of weekly short story writing has been like. It doesn’t really seem like it’s been six months and 23 short stories since with started Merry Sisters of Fate. But it has! And here’s what I’ve learned

  • when Maggie’s novel-writing is happy, everyone is happy. Short stories are easier to write when I’m working on the first draft of a novel at the same time. Not so much when Maggie is living in the gray plains of Revisionland.
  • Writing your Friday fiction on Friday morning will cause bleeding ulcers but is technically possible if you’ve spent the day before doing something crazy, like taking your grandmother out to lunch, and haven’t had time to write.
  • Sometimes you write something awesome and you know it’s awesome . . . but you’re wrong. Sometimes you write crap and you know it’s crap . . . but you’re wrong. When you write something in an hour and chuck it online without any time to look back over it, you can create some of the most wonderful (Trading Voices) and horrible (that awful sleeping beauty vampire one) stuff you’ve ever done.
  • Yes, you can write a short story in an hour.
  • No, you can’t write a short story in an hour.
  • Every story is different.
  • Establish the characters’ personalities in the first two paragraphs or you’re royally screwed.

It’s been an incredible experience. Taxing and rewarding and ultimately amazing for my writing. Thanks, y’all, for coming along for the ride so far.

17 thoughts on “Wild Card Thursday: Six Months of Short Stories

  1. I bow to you and everyone on Merry Sisters of Fate (though secretly I think you’re insane). I’ve writen plenty of short stories and had some published, but man, I could never turn them out that quickly.

  2. You should’ve seen how long it took me to write the first short story for Merry Sisters! It was definitely a learning curve.

  3. I’ve enjoyed the experience. The sisters have become my writing group. I don’t interact with other writers except on lj.

    What’s surprised me is the similarities in the stories with my life, and connecting with the energy. I find you in your stories, but you hide better than Tess and Brenna.

    Sensei, you’ve been ultimately amazing for my writing too. Cue Jason Bourne music as I disappear. Ooops, no. I tripped cracked head on wall. #@%&*! Master when will you teach me that trick?

  4. Simon, your comments are always so sweet. I think the hiding bit to be something to practice — for most writers it’s easy to be transparent, hence the Mary Sueing and the autobiographical early works in progress. It’s keeping our voice but hiding ourselves that is hard, isn’t it?

    Disappearing is taught next year, dear.

  5. That’s interesting! For about three years now I’ve purposefully tried *not* to hide in my writing. I think it should be me in every word. That doesn’t mean making characters who are me, or using things straight out of my life – it means putting my passion and my desire into everything. I know who I am, so I don’t want to hide that in my writing. I want to revel in all my guts spilled out over the page. (Sometimes it’s my heart flung out everywhere, and that’s harder to revel in.)

  6. I love your heart. Fling it out! The energy thing. Maggie’s energy is subtle, surprisingly for someone so talented at times seeking ?, Brenna’s is wise and ancient, soulful, some hurt there, and Tess mmmm … I remember reading one story and I knew you were agitated, and ‘I don’t care who knows it!’ – I love that, nothing hidden. Heart. Hurt. Protector. Who heals the war lord?

  7. you were agitated, and ‘I don’t care who knows it!’

    LOL. Yeah. That’s totally me. The more upset I get, the louder I tend to yell. :/

  8. Thanks for your reflections Maggie. I haven’t read all the stories (yet), but I’ve liked all the ones I’ve read so far! (The Sleeping Beauty vampire sounds like a good idea, but I haven’t read that one.) It sounds a little like a year long drawing project I did, twice. Not everything sticks, but some things end up being more than what you ever thought they could be. Luckily I didn’t have to post all of my efforts to my blog every week. You’re very brave for doing that!

  9. Sort of. The first year I did a cow a day (and it was leap year, so I did 366). I did drawings, paintings, digital art, even a sculpture. The second year I did dogs. The third year I quit after a while, because I needed a break after 2 years in a row. It really changed my art though. I used to be more of an abstract artist, and it really helped me with my illustration style. I’m thinking of starting up again (and letting myself choose different subjects each week or month or something).

    You did a painting a day every day for 2 years? Wow! Were they full paintings? Quick paintings? Sometimes mine would be full out final art, and sometimes just quick renderings.

    That is so cool that you did that. I haven’t found anyone else that has done it. Usually when I tell people, they think I was crazy and that I’m nuts to be considering it again.

  10. This is me! Last year and the year before were my big years, before writing took over.

    I’m so used to people thinking of me as a portrait artist/ daily artist first and a writer second that it’s weird that most people here on LJ don’t know my sordid artistic past!

  11. I’ve been to your other site too 😉 Not sure if I’ve commented there, but I thought I had. It’s so much fun to see your art, which is gorgeous! I knew you as a writer first, from the Blue Board, but then I figured out you were an artist too. It’s fun to see how someone else has handled doing both.

    “my sordid artistic past”
    ha! I feel that way too. People know I’m an illustrator, but don’t know how I used to paint! 😉

  12. You work always looks painted to me. Maybe up close and in person I could tell it was pencils.

    I used colored pencils as my main medium for a while too, until I couldn’t move my fingers anymore! I switched back to paint; you have to press hard with a brush (I liked really solid/bright pencil).

  13. I work on sanded supports with my pencils, so it’s less hand strain, but your pencils sure do get eaten up!

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