Sunday 22 July 2012

52 Short Stories in a Year - 1 month update

After deciding to take up the challenge of writing 52 short stories in a year, here is my update after finishing the first month on 21st July.

Name Type Word Count Status
The Ship Short Story 3793 Finished - to edit
Take me Back with You Short Story 2528 WIP
Take me Back with You Novelisation 9373 WIP
The Lost Train Short Story 3362 WIP
The Other Set of Feet Short Story 3749 Finished - to edit
The Hunter Novella 5543 WIP
Once We Were Children Short Story 2513 Finished - to edit
The Assignment Short Story 2737 WIP

I'm actually one story behind on getting one per week, but I've averaging out at a little over 1000 words a day, and considering I'm also fitting editing a novel into the tiny window of free time I have each day I'm pretty happy with my progress.

The Ship is a short story about a boy obsessed with supertankers who falls foul of a school bully.  I did a ton of research on supertankers and stuff and then ended up cutting most of it out as my attempt at writing literary fiction ended up more action-based.

Take me Back with You is a kind of romance, which is a little strange because I've never written anything like that before.  The short story is pretty much a summary of the story which I decided to make into a novel of perhaps 60k or so, and now the main plot line is mapped out in my head I probably won't bother finishing it as a short story.

The Lost Train is about a pair of kids who find a train sticking out of the ground and discover it is one that went missing thirty years before.  I wanted to write a story about the now closed North Cornwall Railway, and this is it.  I'm a little stalled on the plot at the moment but I'll get to it eventually.

The Other set of Feet is a weird little story about a man trapped in his bedroom by a supposed murderer hiding under his bedsheets.  It's kind of comical, kind of just plain weird.

The Hunter (provisional title) is a novella set in the world of my novel, The Tube Riders, and introduces a few characters who may or may not make it into the second part of the story.  Still thinking about it.

Once we were Children is an attempt at writing a nostalgic story about an old man thinking back on good family times as he faces his death.  I tried to write in the style of a movie me and the wife watched recently about a man who went off on a last journey with his dog after his family fell apart and they ended up dying together.  My story is nowhere near as good, though.

The Assignment is what I think is the ace in the pack, a short story about a young man working for a travel guidebook who is sent to an island never before visited by people in order to write a tourist guide.  There he will discover all sorts of strange things.  I got the initial idea from a dream I had of a giant aquamarine blue factory sitting on a an island beside a massive towering cliff.  It's going to have strange beings, action and crazy discoveries about the human race before its done, and the only one of the lot so far that I'll probably bother subbing to pro magazines.

Overall, I'm pretty happy with my progress.  It might not be the 10k a day that some stay-at-home-type writers churn out, but its actually more by word count than I've written in the last 18 months combined, and I feel connected with my words in a way I haven't in a long time.  The old turns of phrase are starting to come back and the plots are getting more and more intricate with each new idea.  To say I had been stagnating is an understatement, but in the wake of failing to get an agent for Tube Riders back in 2010 my writing basically fell of a cliff.

I'm still struggling to find more than an hour a day to write which is a worry, but that's life.  I'm not in a financial position to quit any of the work I do and I'm not about to give up my other hobbies.  Variety is the spice of life and all that, I just wish it was easier to stay awake from 10pm to midnight after working a fourteen hour day.

Still, progress is progress.  If only a few more people would buy my book then things would be great.


1 comment:

  1. Sounds like you are on the right track! Congrats! Even an hour of writing a day is quite productive.