Ever since coming home from the Rainforest Writer’s Retreat I’ve been writing one short story a week. I got the idea from James Van Pelt and he got the idea from Ray Bradbury who said that a new author should write one story a week for a year because it’s impossible to write 52 bad stories. I hadn’t anticipated taking up the challenge but it stuck in my mind with such tenacity I came home and started doing it! Writing a short story a week. Though in my case I’m defining “story” pretty loosely. It can be exploratory writing. A single scene. Last week I wrote a middle portion for a story I wrote week #4, essentially adding a middle act.
52 Stories- #11
But I have just started short story #11!!! OMG!! I never thought I’d get this far! One thing I am starting to be able to do is NOT have to think so hard before just putting pencil to paper. I used to ponder, deeply, stories and story ideas and I needed to THINK my way in. Now I am learning to WRITE my way in and that’s an important distinction.
For this week’s story I’m exploring my one and only contemporary MG book idea! It’s an idea I’ve had for a while and never done anything with because I kept ‘thinking’ about it and doubting the idea and wondering “Where do I start? What do I start with?”
I used to start stories all the time but not many of them were ever finished. I viewed these exercises as a waste of time and energy. But from writing down something COMPLETE I’ve learned that maybe I have a first chapter. Or the bones of a story. And once these bones are down I can make something more complete from them. And I can do it at my own pace.