(This posting originally appeared on The Melt-Ink Pot)
This week, I signed up for a summer writing challenge with some friends. It’s a challenge where you get to set your own goal for how many words you will write between June 1 and August 31 (15,000 minimum). One of my friends chose 30,000 words as her goal, so I signed up for that, to keep her company.
Okay, so I can hear at least some of you thinking, “Yes, but haven’t you done NaNoWriMo, which is 50,000 words in one month? Isn’t 30,000 in three months a little, well, lame, at least for you?” And it is true that my last project, The Daughters of August Winterbourne, came in at 180,000 words in about three and a half months.
So in order to make it more of a challenge to myself, I decided that I will reach my word count by writing shorter works of fiction. I don’t know that they will necessarily be “short” stories, but I’ve decided that in addition to the minimum word count, I will deliver at least two complete stories of less than 30,000 words total — and preferably more than two.
Writing short has always been a challenge for me. I did take creative writing classes in college where we were required to write short stories, and some day perhaps I’ll even post the stories I wrote then, just for giggles. And I’ve entered a couple of contests since then — even earned an “honorable mention” in one — but short stories have never been my forte. It’s one of the reasons I was so surprised that when we had our little exercise writing to a prompt here a couple of weeks ago, I actually produced a complete story in 7,500 words.
So this summer, you’ll undoubtedly get to hear more about my trials and tribulations as I struggle to write two or more works of short fiction. I’m already starting to think about story ideas, because even though I’ve got a whole file of story ideas squirreled away on my hard drive, those are almost all novel-length ideas. Short stories require a different kind of idea, and I’ve almost none of those stored up. Perhaps my best idea would be to solicit a number of writing prompts and see where that takes me.
Hey, that’s an idea: If anyone has a writing prompt they’d like to throw me, would you be so kind as to post it as a comment to this entry? I won’t promise that I’ll use all of the prompts I receive, but at least it’d be somewhere for me to start. Thanks!
So since summer is coming, is anyone else setting some kind of summer writing goal?