Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Writing Short-Stories

I’d like to thank Milo Fowler for inspiring me to start writing short-stories again. He recently concluded a year-long quest of writing one short-story per week for one whole year. He got the idea from Ray Bradbury who suggested authors should try to write one short-story a week for a single year in order to improve their writing. 

Ray famous dared writers to compose 52 bad short-stories in a year, claiming that it couldn’t be done. If you stick to the game plan you’re bound to start coming up with something good. Milo himself has had several of is short-stories from last year published and has proved Bradbury’s point for certain. 

I began with the first of the year and already have one story complete and will work on another this week. It may not be easy, but I intend to give it a shot for an entire year. How about you, are you game for challenging yourself to a year of short-stories?


  1. I wish. I do plan on participating in several blogfests, though. Since my focus is on my novels, that is what I work on in my spare time. Let us know how the short stories are coming.

  2. Hi Mark..short story is a great way to practice writing. I am sure you will write a good story.

    Btw...I read the first chapter of your book. I loved it. Will read it again and will email you in a couple of days.

  3. I do think this would be a great way to hone your skills. I haven't completed anywhere near 52 stories and I'm sure if I wrote that many, they would get better. Good luck, keep us updated!

  4. Milo is amazing! He's had so many short stories published this past year. A real inspiration.

  5. Mark - this blog and your frequent visitors and commentors are just so inspiring. What a great idea. I'm really looking forward to when my current nonfiction book project is done early this summer so that I can start making an earnest switch to fiction...or at least try. Writing short stories seems like a GREAT way to "practice" and "experiment." Keep up the great work and best woshes to you for as much of your inspiration as you provide us!

  6. I think that's a great idea. Couldn't do it myself. I find short stories harder to write than novels. But Milo is definitely the go-to guy for short story market info. His entire A to Z challenge theme last April was an alphabetized list of print and e-publishers that accept short stories. Hopefully he has it all archived for people to use as a reference. Very helpful info.

  7. That's an intense challenge! I sure hope you'll post a couple on here :)

  8. Nothing like setting goals that inspire and stretch one's abiltiies! I cannot do it though...I like to do one story! : )

  9. Thanks for the shout out, Mark, and way to go -- you'll be glad you took up the challenge. Write1Sub1 has seriously changed my writing career for the better.

  10. It's a huge challenge. I am committed to doing the 'lite' version, which is a short story per month. I'd do the 52 but I got a ton of novel revisions and plans for at least a draft of another to complete. If that doesn't work then I'll go hardcore for the write 1 sub 1 next year.

    Good luck

  11. You've started an amazing challenge! I hope you succeed in it in every possible way, but how could you lose? You'll be writing everyday. That's winning to me. Enjoy!

  12. I need to print out that cartoon and frame it somewhere. Might make a good addition to the Nook.

    I plan on writing more flash fiction this year, whenever something short and sweet pops in the old noggin. :)

  13. Probably not this year. But back in 2011 I did think to myself that I wanted to write more short stories; I still want to write and complete at least six in 2012. A lot less than 52, but a step up from zero.

    Good luck with the challenge!

  14. A short story a week for a year. Ugh. I don't know if I could take that on. Keep us up to date on how it's working for you.

  15. That cartoon is my writing life, hee hee. I'm in my second year of w1s1. Glad to have you aboard, Mark.

  16. I'd love to, but since I spend so much time in the woods, without any computer access and in a completely disarrayed state of mind, I don't think it's possible. I'd have to cheat.

  17. I like this challenge, but one a week? Hmm, I might go for one every fortnight.

    Good luck with your challenge!

  18. I agree they can help to a certain degree, but they can also get time-consuming if you're working on something else. Ray Bradbury was a full-time writer so he could afford the time. If you're writing in your free time, the game is different.

  19. Mark, thanks for the comment and for following lojwriting.blogspot.com! Great goal for the weekly short story. I'm taking a class this Spring centered on short-stories and can't wait! Maybe I'll join in the goal. :)

  20. I like the idea of this challenge. Thinking I might modify it to a chapter a week instead of a short story. As Ben said, writing in your free time sort of prioritizes what you write on.

  21. I have a tough time writing short stories since really working hard to be a novelist. For over a decade, though, that's all I wrote.

    Writing short stories is a great way to hone your craft, and is an art form that stands on its own merit.

  22. Miranda – Thanks, will do!

    Rachna – Thanks so much, hope that you enjoy it:)

    Nick – I already feel it making a difference in the way I write, also it helps clear a lot of old ideas out of my head now that I can put them to paper.

    Alex – Milo is indeed an inspiration:)

    Jim- Glad you’re enjoying it! I very much enjoy reading all your Civil War info on your blog.

    L.G. – I felt the same way about short-story writing until I finally just forced myself to do it. Now, I’m cool with it:)

    J.A. – Not a bad idea:) I found your new blog and am enjoying it!

    LittleJeans – Well, I like to have lots of goals, but so long as I meet them it’s all good.

    Milo – You bet, you really have inspired me! Thanks for the link.

    Rusty – It is indeed, but sometimes that only attracts me more to it:)

    Emily – Thanks for the good wishes!

    David – Funny, but somewhat true too. Hope plenty more good ideas pop into your noggin this year!

    Eagle – Yup, it can be a lot to write, but I find that if I get into a rhythm, anything is possible.

    Donna – Two weeks in and all on schedule so far (fingers crossed).

    Deborah – Rad, so glad to hear it!

    McKenzie – Well, even in the woods all you need is pen and paper, i.e. a Room of One’s Own (think Virginia Woolf) ;)

    Lynda – A fortnight’s not bad, let me know if you tri it:)

    Ben – Definitely. I work fulltime myself, but I still can’t resist this challenge.

    Lo – Nice to meet you, I enjoy your blog:)

    Steph – That’s a great goal, let me know how it works out for you.

    Jay – I felt the same way until recently, but since I’ve started forcing myself to write them, I’m starting to like short-story work more.

  23. Oh, I like that challenge! How much time do you spend editing a short story? Good luck to you!