Sunday, July 10, 2011

Day Off Challenge, Week One - Complete!

I am happy to announce that week one of my day off story challenge is now completed. I wrote 2,300 words in one sitting thursday morning (with breaks, of course.) It took me almost 4 hours, from not long after I got up to just after noon.

Close to 600 words an hour is a pretty good clip for me. I vary between 500 and about 750, depending. The more thinking, the less words written, is the basic equation. This is the first full story I've ever finished in one go, and I'm quite proud of myself.

I had the idea already, just a basic seed I recorded the day before. I developed it as I wrote, and the only thing that stayed consistent was the setting, and the genre. I went into it with the idea that I might try to make more of a heroic story, but I fell back on tragedy.

The story does a fair amount of jumping around in viewpoints, for being so short. I feel good about the necessity of the switches though.

It's also modern day, and I had to do a bit of research (online) as I wrote. I kept the questionable details to a minimum and tried to concentrate on the story. There may very well be some stuff that knowledgeable (or even not so knowledgeable) folk will laugh at. I did the best I could, and made up what I needed to to make the story work.

The above is one reason I stay away from hard SF in general, or anything that I feel requires heavy research. At least in fields I'm not already well informed about. Write what you know, right?

I chose from four different ideas before I started writing, all ones I had recorded and transcribed of the last few months. I will likely do all three remaining ideas over the next few challenge slots, since they all are good for shorter stories.

I haven't decided yet what to do with this story. It is (in my rather biased opinion) worth sending out to paying markets, so I am a hesitant to use up first serial rights by putting it online. If I had more stories written, or more readers, I probably would, though.

As it is, this story is my eleventh completed one, and represents a ten percent addition to my (potentially) saleable output. So I am going to think on it for a bit.

The biggest lesson here, for me - It is entirely possible to develop a bare idea into a complete quality story in not just one day, but one sitting. And it's also a lot of fun :)

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