July 1, 2017

Day 31: Short Story Marathon


Another tough start this morning, but not as bad as two days ago. After a few false starts, I dug into a new story called “Last Days with Mary.” It’s #26 and 2,700 words long and is another, very different, android story. It features an unlikable protagonist and I almost aborted, but got a good start on it early and then went for a run.

My run was shorter than the 10k I wanted, my body is physically tired from these many long days. But, on the run, I could better see the potential for the story, so carried through. And, I must keep reminding myself, it’s all practice. Read it to Aleia and she liked and I liked it too now.

Edited “A Changeable Face” (formerly called “Face of Clay”) and sent it out to Dean.

Last night, Aleia suggested that it would be possible to get two stories done in a day and wrap this thing up sooner. It wasn’t exactly a challenge, but tell that to my crazy brain. Since today’s first story was such a reasonable length and something popped into my head,  I wrote a piece of flash fiction (finally! I’ve been trying for so long) called “Letting Go the Stars.” It’s 900 words, I’m and not at all sure if it works, but this is practice, right? So that makes #27.

So then I go for a walk with Maddy and realize I didn’t hit this story from the right direction and came back and wrote it again. Now it’s first-person and 800 words.

I read them both to Aleia and we both like the first version better. Go figure. The story being so short, it wasn’t a big deal. But I am coming to see a pattern here: I’m convinced a story doesn’t work right after I write it. If I give it a little time, I like it a whole lot better when I read it to Aleia or the next day. In either case, what I think of the story doesn’t matter. Get it out. Let the market decide.

Since I’m so close to the end, I decided to skip the month-end roundup and just keep moving. I’ll do more reflecting once it’s all done and I’ve had some time to digest.

Stats for Today

Strategies Employed:  Running (this is a reliable helper)

Lessons Learned: I seem to keep needing to relearn some lessons, like “It’s all practice, so relax and have fun. There is no ‘bad story’ police, nothing is going to happen if you write a stinker.” Also, get the story out and let the market decide.

Words Written: 4,600

Hours: 5.25

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 2532 Yes
8 Android Eve and Adam 3512 Yes
9 A Long, Hard Fall 8475 Yes
10 Fitz’s Second Chance 2800 Yes
11 Fake Jake 1565 Yes
12 With Light Years Between Us 4670 Yes
13 Life and a Starling 2278 Yes
14 Dancing Kite 1524 Yes
15 Jump in Time 8768 Yes
16 Death by Vodka 2100 Yes
17 Death by Cookie 4094 Yes
18 Ela and the Naiad 3655 Yes
19 Is Anyone Receiving This? 1717 Yes
20 Breathing in the Stars 2400 Yes
21 Woody and June vs. the Ex 10232 Yes
22 Article Seventeen 2918 Yes
23 One Last Trick 4312 Yes
24 Death by Apathy 3373 Yes
25 A Changeable Face 5241 Yes
26 Last Days with Mary 2800 No
27 Letting Go the Stars 900 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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