Short story short-circuit

I have already mentioned in an older blog post that beginning in April I am beginning a short story challenge, attempting to write one marketable short fiction piece each week. In preparation for this event, I have done a little brainstorming and initial plotting. I have again discovered that I have a problem in the process.

Photo taken by the author while visiting the Corolla, NC

Photo taken by the author while visiting the Corolla, NC

I have never been a fan of rigid structure, preferring to work with a general outline and allow the characters and the plot to build on each other. I often have the end in mind when I write the first word, and tell the story building up to it. MY methods for generating new ideas are very similar to the way I work on characters. I get a baseline thought, such as “I want to write a western”, get a notebook and pen, and set off on a hike. My M.O. appears to have failed me this time.

It seems I have an older model processor between my ears, as I am having a hard time keeping up with the volume of ideas generated during my walks. My intention was to hike around a little with my notebook, scribble down a few ideas, and then flesh them out in April. Instead I walked a couple of miles, filled several pages front and back, and came to the conclusion that I will never live long enough to get all of this stuff on the printed page.

All joking aside, I have determined I need to divide my challenge up into different genres and write a variety to attempt to use the ideas I have. I am exploring options now for what different genre markets exist that interest me.

As usual, I want to close this post with a call to action, a request from the others out there who write. How do you decide what brainstormed ideas are worth pursuing? What methods do you use to isolate the gems, or to sort the volume of possibilities?

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4 thoughts on “Short story short-circuit

  1. Hey Dave, good luck with your short story challenge. I am half way thru a similar self-imposed challenge: blog a novel @ two posts per week. 13 down, xx to go. At least with a novel one post builds on the past, so kudos for your boldness! (If you focus on the boldness it seems a more positive experience than focusing on the process required by that boldness.) All the best!

  2. Pingback: Confidence | myothervoices

  3. Pingback: CALL FOR SUBMISSION: THE JOSEPH SHORT STORY CHALLENGE (WIN A DIGITAL VOICE RECORDER) | Su'eddie in Life n Literature

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