Happy Tuesday, friends!
I thought I’d take a minute–just sit right there–and explain this year’s blog project: #52Stories (formerly #100Stories, because I tend to set overly ambitious goals).
I first started writing fiction in grade school, turning 10-sentence vocabulary homework assignments into 2-3 page serialized adventures, featuring explorers and spies with surprisingly advanced word-usage. My teachers encouraged me to keep writing, and I did, even if it wasn’t for class credit. I wrote short fiction throughout high school and shared it with friends and family. I loved exploring ideas or scenarios in this format. In college, that creative itch shifted toward poetry and dramatic scripts, and eventually a few false-starts on full-length novels.
In recent months, I’ve been thinking about turning my attention back to writing some short fiction (as I try to rebuild a writing rhythm), and that has me thinking: What can I learn about the craft of short story writing by reading (or re-reading) a ton of short stories suggested by everyone I know?
That question is the inspiration for my 2019 personal reading/blogging challenge: #52Stories.
My list will be based on the recommendations of my blog readers, social media circles, and friends/family, along with a few of my own additions. I’ll be reading all across the dial in terms of genre, while trying to maintain a mix of classic and modern. I don’t purport to have a perfect demographic representation of human writing or experience (my social circles are admittedly limited), but I have tried to open things up as best I can (and I’m absolutely open to more suggestions!).
My plan is to read each story and write a reaction post with 3 parts:
- a one-sentence blurb about the story’s plot/idea (“the Set-up”);
- my possibly-but-not-necessarily spoilery reaction to how well it unfolds (“the Pay-off”); and
- something I can take away from it in terms of how to write better stories (“the Lesson”).
If the story is (legally) available online, I’ll post a link for you to check it out, and if it’s not, I’ll tell you where I found it.
I hope you enjoy #52Stories, and that you find it as fascinating and useful as I expect to. I’m excited to get started–which is a good thing because, at one story a week, I’m already behind! Gotta get cracking! Talk to you soon!