I've been writing novels now since 2007. I've written three novels and one self-help book. Frankly, I'm a little burned out.
I decided that during the month of July I would try to write one short story every three days. By the time I was done, I'd have 10 solid short stories to put into a compendium of sorts and then sell on Amazon.
Today is day three of my experiment, and I'll have to say that I'm feeling great about this list of short stories I have planned out. Here is how I am getting through the month:
- Make a general plan for short story plots. I came up with about 10 rudimentary plots for short stories I would like to write. I have ideas for these things all the time, but since I'm writing novels (mostly) I don't have the time to get cracking on them. I use an app called "Simplenote" which allows me to write down any ideas I have for novel plots or short story plots on my iPad. I usually have my iPad with me all the time, so it's easy for me to write down any plot ideas I have at a moments notice. The app is also for any other device.
- Stick to three days. I have decided that three days is plenty of time to crank out any short story for me. You may take longer, but I find that the deadline helps me to focus and spend ample time on each project. Of course, I'm a teacher and have my summer off, but that shouldn't stop you. Devote the month to short story excellence!
- Don't be afraid to change. I started this project with ten solid short story ideas. Since then, I have omitted a couple because I felt that they were too cheesy or too preachy. I also am not afraid to incorporate any new ideas that might pop into my mind. The creative process of writing these short stories has caused me to come up with even better plots than originally designed. It's been a great ride so far, and I'll post with updates throughout the month.
- Utilize sources. As a science fiction writer, I find great inspiration from watching films or reading books, but the best of these are online writing prompts available on many different sites. My favorite (as a sci-fi writer) is i09's "Concept Art Writing Prompt" which provides some great visual ideas for writing science fiction short stories. If you want a bunch of multi-genre writing prompts at your fingertips, check this out.
- Don't give up. I hate to say it, but halfway through the month you might (and I fully expect to do this) hit a wall. You can't turn away from writing these short stories to do something else because you won't be back. Resolve to stick to it and keep writing them, even if they are absolute garbage. You can always revise. Don't revise as you go, either, because that, as Frank Herbert wrote "is the little death" that kills your writing effort. (I know that's not what he was discussing, but I used it because it was cool, so there.)
So I thought...why not challenge my readers to do the same. You folks, for the most part, are writers like me. Post below if you plan to do this. I know you are three days behind, but who cares!? Get after it and see what you can create.