Monday 20 August 2012

52 Short Stories in a Year Challenge - Month Two Update

Two months since I started the challenge of writing 52 short stories in a year, and here's my current progress -

Writing since June 21, including 52 short stories challenge

Writing since June 21, including 52 short stories challenge

Name Type Word Count Status 52 Short Stories Tally
1 The Ship Short Story 3793 Finished - to edit 1
2 Take me Back with You Short Story 2528 WIP
3 Take me Back with You Novelisation 14553 WIP
4 The Lost Train Short Story 4032 WIP
5 The Other Set of Feet Short Story 3749 Finished - to edit 2
6 The Hunter Novella 10248 WIP
7 Once We Were Children Short Story 2513 Finished - to edit 3
8 The Assignment Short Story 8802 Finished - to edit 5
9 Never Give Up Short Story 5111 Finished - to edit 6
10 Clones Short Story 1323 Finished - to edit 4
11 Beat Down 1 - Clones Serial Novella 5082 WIP
12 Sunfall Short Story 483 WIP

Started June 21st Word Count 62217

Target for Aug 20th Pages (300w/pg) 207

61 days Target 61000

Ahead 1217

As you can see, I have six completed short stories, although none have been edited.  I'm looking to sit on everything at least three months.  Being overeager to edit and publish/submit tends to result in stories that either have all the good stuff cut out or are riddled with errors.  It's always been my experience that editing is far easier once you have left your writing so long it looks like it was written by someone else.

I actually wrote less than last month, but then I did spend five days in Korea, and in this summer heat ... well.  My big production months have always been October through January, so I'll be looking for some serious bumps there.  Still, more than 60k or 200 pages in two months is a solid effort.

Now, in true garrulous writer style, I'll say a couple of things about the work I've started/finished since last time.

Take Me Back With You is turning into contemporary romance novel.  I think.  I'm not sure because I don't read them and I've never written one before.  There are no cyborgs or UFOs though.  Romance seems to sell well though so if I can maintain my interest long enough to get it up to a book of about 60k, I'll put it out under some cheesy pen name like Christina W. Ard.  Something like that ...!

Got a few more words done on The Lost Train, but its a bit stalled.  Should be able to finish it.  The good thing about having a spreadsheet is that I haven't forgotten its there yet.

The Hunter is starting to think its a novel.  It's set in the world of the Tube Riders, after the Tube Riders have fled London.  It's dark.  The characters are interesting.  Not sure what to do with it.  It's certainly not a sequel but its running parallel at the moment.

The Assignment is finished, and ran way over my 7k target.  It's probably the best of the lot so far, but its a bit long-winded.  Will have to chop it down.

Never Give Up is a story about cricket.  I like cricket, and I reckon I write cricket action sequences well.  My second pro published story was a story about a cricket match featuring a cyborg as a stand in player.  I'm thinking to write a bunch of short stories about cricket in the hope that Amazon gets popular in India.

Clones was something I whipped out in an evening in an attempt to mimic the sparse style of Ray Bradbury's The Lake.  It is a short literary piece about childhood loss and personality changes, hence the "clones" of the title.  Not sure if its any good or not.  Haven't looked at it since I wrote it.

Beat Down 1 - Clones has nothing to do with the story Clones above.  This my attempt to crack into the serial market.  This is a manga-style, dumb entertainment thing.  Its central character is a borderline immortal pro wrestler called Russell who has to save the world for various reasons in a silly comic way.   Yesterday I introduced a new character, Cap'n Nerv, who is half pirate, half chav.  Should be interesting.  I've already planned out perhaps six "episodes" of about 15-20k each.  I've already decided on a pen name but its a secret.

Sunfall is a story about a man called Richard who wakes up to hear that the sun has died and that the earth has three days before it becomes too cold for humans to survive.  He needs to find his girlfriend and tell her something important.  I don't know what yet because I only started it yesterday while I was waiting for some files to transfer from one USB to another before I could open up one of the other documents.

Anyway, enough talking, time for some action.



  1. Good work, ya word machine! I've been getting a good 1000 to 1500 words per day these past few weeks.... I'll keep it up until I'm an empty twitching husk as usual, I suppose.

    1. Good work, dude! Look forward to reading it!

  2. Hi Chris! I live in Nagoya and am also a short-story writer!

    Your challenge is great - good luck with it! I probably write 2 or 3 short stories a month, and am working on several novellas. I do contests and submit stories to anthologies, website etc.

    I'm also a beta-reader for a romance publisher, so I'd be happy to critique for you in that genre if you're serious about submitting it :) And BTW, you don't need 60K to publish a romance: all the publishers have novella categories now, starting from 10K.

    1. Hi Kelly, thanks for your comment! Wow, I can only imagine how hot it is down there at the moment. I saw a reading for 37C in Nagano today. Unbelieveable!

      Good luck with the writing! Do you have anything on Amazon? I might take you up on that offer of critiquing once the 'romance' thing is done ... in that genre especially I have no idea what I'm doing..!

    2. Hi Chris, yes Nagoya is really hot and humid! I went to Matsumoto during o-bon and it was much cooler.

      I don't have anything on Amazon yet, have only published free stuff, but I want to organise an anthology to list.I mostly write Asian fiction; historical, contemporary and fantasy. I'd definitely like you to proofread for me. I have a 12K historical Japanese novella I'm editing now, and I'd like to put some short stories at the end of that. Maybe 20K total. I'll email u about it soon.

      Your Amazon listing is impressive! I bought 'Ms.Ito's Bird' to read :)

      The romance genre is hard b/c there's a particular style preferred, and strict criteria for what a romance actually is. Also there are so many categories and imprints
      to submit to, it can be hard to find the right fit.

      You might find yours isn't a true romance, but more a contemporary love story perhaps?

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