June 11, 2017

Day 11: Short Story Marathon


Had a interesting image occur when I walked Madison (our ridiculously adorable spaniel) last night of an android walking along a sand dune all alone. So took that this morning and did 1,000 words and realized that the perspective I was writing it from was too cold, but got a better bead on the story. After a break, started over and worked on it on and off between doing yard work and other Sunday type stuff. It ended up at 3,400 words and is  titled “Android Eve and Adam.” Read it to Aleia and she helped me find that one missing element and figure out the title. A few more things to fix, but almost there.

Got feedback from Dean today on story #1, “Woody and June vs. the Fungus-Head Zombies,” but didn’t look at it right away. This is tricky stuff. Dean suggests I might not want to read these until after the challenge is over and emphasized the importance of keeping him out of my head while I write (my own stuff in the mix is quite enough, I assure you). The problem there is I would just wonder and my imagination could easily be worse than reality. Also, his feedback is one of the reasons I’m doing this. So the deal I made with myself was to read it after the writing of the day was done.

And… Dean liked the story (and normally doesn’t like Zombie stores), said it would be as a better novel–I agree on that–and told me to get it in the mail.

Nice feedback, the story worked, happy about that, but… Here’s the thing about a story once it’s born. People will love it, people will hate it, and getting caught up in either side can get tricky. Yeah, either side. The first 5-star review I got for a novel from someone I didn’t know freaked me out for weeks. I was sure I couldn’t live up to that reader’s love of that book. It’s all twisty human ego here and dangerous territory.

So, for this feedback from Dean I am drafting a few rules:

  1. Only read them after the writing for the day is done.
  2. Take appropriate action (i.e. send the story on or save it for revisions) and then LET IT GO.

To go back to the run/write thing, you can’t be too in your head in writing, thinking about every little thing and what people like and don’t like, just like you can’t be thinking about running and all the muscles and little actions that happen when you run. In both cases there are times to learn, to reflect, to try new things, but for the most part when you run, you need to RUN and when you write, your need to WRITE. Not think about it, but DO it.

We’ll see how that goes.

Sent “Wink, Plum, and the Bones that March” off to Dean.

Stats for Today

Strategies Employed: Explored a random, interesting idea, knew when to throw words out.

Lessons Learned: Keeping expectations and judgements out of the writing is difficult.

Words Written: 4,500

Hours: 5.5

Stories Sent to Dean: 1

Story Summary

# Story Total Words Done?
1 Woody and June vs. the Fungus-Head Zombies 5101 Yes
2 Daisy’s Heart 5800 Yes
3 The Disappearing Neighborhood 2773 Yes
4 Woody and June vs. the Grand Canyon 6070 Yes
5 Home in Time 4483 Yes
6 Wink, Plum, and the Bones that March 5972 Yes
7 The Stars in Hoshi’s Eyes 2530 No
8 Android Eve and Adam 3420 No

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Robert J. McCarter

Robert J. McCarter is the author of more than ten novels and over a hundred short stories...... learn more

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