Writing Challenge; or, How I Did

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

So it’s September now, and my summer writing challenge has ended. I wrote 30,163 words of fiction over the summer. It’s not a spectacular amount, I’ll admit, but I think they’re mostly good words, and I enjoyed writing them.

What I ended up with was:

“Perceptions” — longish short story, complete. It’s the story of what happens when two tourist chicks who are more than they seem visit a small Nebraska town — that also turns out to be more than it seems. It was great fun to write, especially since I based it on the road trip my friend Rivka and I took to Kimball, Nebraska — including some of the actual sights we saw and things we did while we were there. 12,183 words.

“Faeries Living At The Bottom Of The Garden” — novella, in progress, about 50% complete. I was reading a piece on how urban fantasy is still really hot, and how rural fantasy might be the next big thing, and I thought, “What about suburban fantasy?” And almost instantly, the thought popped into my head: What would having a faerie ring in the garden do to the resale value of your house? The result is turning out to be a lot of fun, but also a lot longer than I expected. Looks like it’s headed for novella territory. 14,596 words so far.

Character Sketch, Philomena Kettlewell — RPG character sketch written in short story form, mostly complete. My character is an Englishwoman forced to travel for her health, who ends up in the Old West, after traveling across India and Australia. She’s a lot of fun. 1,346 words so far.

The Sturdy Princess — possible novella or novel, barely started. Talitha wants to be a tall, blonde, willowy sort of princess, but no matter what she does, she’s just … sturdy. I’m thinking of giving her an uncharming prince to hang out with. Could be a lot of fun. 300 words so far.

The Locked Door — Probable novel, perhaps one chapter written. This was my response to the story prompt posted here about a month ago. You can read it here. 1,738 words so far.

So … I wasn’t as productive as I hoped I’d be. I did meet the word count goal, but only completed one short story. I do still find writing short to be a challenge — it’s hard for me to find ideas that aren’t novel-length. I really thought at first that the faerie story would turn out to be a long short, but it just keeps getting more complicated as it goes along. I adore the main character, though, and I’ve given her an OCD sister who is driving me bonkers, because she keeps stopping in the middle of a scene to clean something up. I have to admit that she’s partly based on my mom, who would do something like washing a coffee cup that she broke the handle off of, because she wouldn’t want the garbageman to think she never washed her dishes. (Mom actually makes her bed in hotel rooms. Honest.) So I’m really hoping I can bring that one in as a novella, but it might turn out to be a short novel after all. Which, I guess, would still be an improvement over the 180,000+ word tomes I’ve been producing. Right?

How have other folks been doing with goal setting? Is it too early to start talking about NaNoWriMo yet?


About sheilamcclune

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