Summer Writing Challenge; or, How Am I Doing So Far?

(This posting originally appeared on The Melt-Ink Pot)

Thought I’d take a few minutes this week and let everyone know how I’m doing with my summer writing challenge.

For those who were out of the room back in May when I announced it, I’m taking part in a summer writing challenge this year. The challenge runs from June 1 – August 31. Participants are allowed to set their own goals. I selected 30,000 words as my goal, which doesn’t seem like much for someone who has done NaNoWriMo (50,000 words in one month), but I added a twist: All words that count toward my goal must be in the form of shorter works of fiction. So, short stories, character sketches, even novelettes and novellas would count. Just nothing novel-length.

Earlier this week, I completed my first “short” story, which may actually be more of a novelette at 12,200 words. But still, for me to complete anything in less than 100,000 words is something of a triumph. This is in fact the second shorter work I’ve completed this year, the first being a short (7,000 word) piece I threw together in response to a writing prompt here back in April.

I experimented with a few things in this story. It’s written in first person, but the POV shifts between two different characters. I wanted the two POV characters to have distinctive voices, and I think I’ve succeeded for the most part. And I wanted the story to end with a twist; I think I achieved that as well. It is a bit longer than I’d planned (I was aiming for 8.000 words, so it’s only about half again too long — like everything else I write), but I don’t know how much it could be trimmed and still make sense.

I also made use of research I did on my recent field trip to Kimball, Nebraska, since I decided to set the story there. In fact, it’s sorta-kinda-but-not-really the story of my trip. Or rather, it’s my trip, but the way it would have been if someone else took it — someone with ulterior motives for visiting a small Nebraska town one day in late spring. (I feel as though I should be twirling my mustache here or something…)

However, because I want to try to submit this story for publication, I’m not going to post it on one of my blogs. I may run it past my critique pals, and of course I’m always looking for more beta readers. So if anyone who isn’t part of The Melt-Ink Pot or anticiworkshop wants to provide feedback on the story, drop me a comment here (or via LJ, Facebook or Twitter if that’s how you came to be here), and we’ll see if we can work something out.

What’s next? Well, I’ll tease you a little and post the first paragraph of my new WIP here:

Edna stomped into the kitchen and threw her gardening gloves onto the counter with more than her usual vehemence. “There are fairies,” she announced, her nose wrinkled in disgust. “Living at the bottom of the garden.”

Yeah. It’s a fairy tale. Of sorts.

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About sheilamcclune

Aspiring author, sharing the tidbits I've learned along the way.
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