Back to the drawing board

Some of you may know about my recent super-fast eliminate-boredom-at-work project.  It was this – to write as many short short stories as possible in a day at work, edit them at home a day or two later, and send them off to various publishing units.  Since the stories were very short, I could work on three or four in the course of a day without distracting myself unduly from the jobbing I actually do.  And if I could churn out a hundred in a few weeks, one or two of them had to be good enough, right?  Plus it would be good exercise for my writing skills.

A number of things have conspired to get in my way.  First, my busiest-time-of-quarter.  I have barely had time to keep up on this blog, let alone write 4 stories every day.  Hence, haven’t been sending much stuff off.  Hence, haven’t been hearing much back.  So that’s not good for getting published.  Second, I have been pretty busy evenings, so the whole revision part of the process has been a big fail.  Meaning most of the stuff I’ve sent off has been less than completely quality.  Oops.  Mike, who’s been trying to be nice in critiquing stuff, says ‘it was a good exercise’, meaning go write something actually decent now.  I did get one constructive comment: “you open this story with a pile of telling which makes it difficult to draw in the reader.”  Ow pile of telling, but still, good comment.

So I guess what people are really saying is that the whole speed writing idea isn’t working so well for me.  I need to slow things down a bit and go back to reinforcing the quality of what I do.  And that’s valid.  So, hopefully things will slow down at work and home enough to give me some actual revision time, and I’ll go back to doing what I do best – writing something with a little more soul.


I have just begun a new writing endeavour – I am now entering the world of flash fiction.   What is this lovely new genre?  you may ask.  Well, I shall tell you.

Flash fiction is short fiction.  It’s almost always under 1,000 words, and sometimes under even 100.  but really the whole point is the ‘flash’.  It’s a twist story, one with a sudden ending or unexpected revelation or plot twist.  I like to think of it as the pun of short story writing.  Usually it leaves the reader with one line or sentence that turns everything preceding on its head.  And, growing up with my father, I have plenty of corny puns on hand.  They’ve been beaten into my psyche.

While I haven’t done much of it yet, it seems to go as quickly as writing this blog does.  Today I’ve managed to churn out three stories of the ‘speculative’ variety (sci-fi/fantasy), which would probably be the easiest for me to handle.  ben from my writer’s group was doing some in the spy genre, and Jeff has done some that’s much more literary, but if we’re talking quantity, I feel like speculative fiction gives the most freedom.  With all the imaginative (or fake) stuff that goes into it, it’s just easier to churn out.  At least in my opinion.  But then, I have read more of that type of fiction when looking for a fast read, so maybe I’m just accustomed to it.

I had been doing a bit of research about places that were looking for shorter stuff, and came up with the FFW which, in turn, led me to a few different sites.  I am going to send off the first batch tonight, and with the speed at which I can crank these out and a three day weekend ahead of me, I have high hopes for creating more and submitting more as well.  And maybe even doing a little novel editing, too.  Yay!