Time for a new weekly writer’s roundup of my works-in-progress and those ready to read!
I didn’t win the April Writing Challenge on Reddit with my story, Adraxis Alas Asmon. However as I didn’t follow the rules by going over the word count as I said last week, that is only fair right out of the gate. I did get a lot of positive feedback on the piece and I’m still really happy with the story. I’ll be doing a few little tweaks to it before I share it on Aethereal Engines as usual, and I’m proud to be adding this one to my story catalogue!
On Sunday I jumped right back into work on Oo-De-Lally, finishing chapter three, Bear Necessities. Monday found me starting on chapter four and Oo-De-Lally is now well over nine thousand words long and growing. I’m not sure if I’ve reached the halfway point yet on it or not, but the chances are good it will be my fist completed novella. Writing this story has really helped me in finding voice as an author. Expressing what I want to say and show with my Exerverse stories has been a long process, and seeing this story start to come together is very satisfying.
It was once extremely difficult for me to shift gears from one story to another, but my practice and experiences of late are teaching me that this doesn’t have to be with some learned skill. That has become an enormous benefit, and I’ve started to see how shifting focus and intensity between stories aids me in perspective and technique. It also seems to be counteracting my issues with burnout from working a story too hard… And that’s something I’ve been battling for decades.
I think that problem might have grown from my desire since childhood to write novel-length stories. I recently found some advice from Ray Bradbury, who I’ll admit is one of my favorite authors, where he offers advice on writing. I thought his points were excellent, and one of them was to not start out writing novels! Instead he urged new authors to create “a hell of a lot of short stories.”
Looking at my growth and experiences over the last year, his advice is really resonating with me. I jumped pell mell into serious writing focused on creating novels with almost a tunnel vision. I see now how that was a mistake… It’s like waking up one morning and saying “I’m going to run a marathon today!” without doing any training or conditioning beforehand; of course you’re going to fail.
Then I started working on my short fiction. I kept up with shorter prompts and challenges, switching between those and my other, longer writing projects and goals. I stumbled into it, but it was the training and practice that I needed. Now I can’t stop! I see the improvement in my writing and I know that it is the reason why. Better yet, I have made some stories that I love and can actually show to people rather than just telling them about my world-building and ideas!
If only I had found Mr. Bradbury’s wise words earlier… But perhaps I wasn’t ready to read them until now. :-)
Alright, time for me to stop blogging and get back to writing some fiction, take care!