2020 Greetings and Writing Prompts

First off, to all the readers of this blog, I wish you all a boring and uninteresting — but happy — 2020. Of course, it’s not shaping up that way, but I can still hope.

Really, most people underestimate boring . . . until the fan’s big spinning blades start tossing the flying effluent around.

That said, I sincerely wish for readers to navigate the coming year safely and for the balance scales decisively tipping on the “good” side.

Luminar 4 Sky Replacement AI

Yup, more Luminar 4 Sky Replacement examples.  But, this post is actually about writing. And a relatively short post, at that.

You see, Perry, Gary, and I enjoyed the two recent challenges and were looking for a way to keep them going . . . and we hit on an idea.

The Alphabet.

It so happens that our alphabet comes in at 26 letters, so this is what we’re doing.

Starting with this month, biweekly — every 14 days beginning on the 15th — we’ll each submit a flash/short story piece.

No restrictions on the genre but for both reading and posting brevity, I suggest limiting the story to 2,000 words (but, hopefully, much less). I’ll probably aim for less than 1,000 words.

The point being, we’re committing to each writing two flash fiction pieces every two weeks.

NOTE: life sometimes gets in the way. If the schedule proves too arduous, we might scale it back to one every three weeks, but for now, the old saying goes: shoot for the stars and you’ll at least hit the moon (whatever that means).

Where does the alphabet come in?

Well, we’re doing one story for each letter of the alphabet. Meaning, the stories due on January 15th will have a one-word title of our choice that begins with the letter “A” — for example, Aardvark. Just to clarify, we’ll each have different titles unless coincidence strikes.

Then, 14 days later, a story with a one-word title that begins with the letter “B” and so on every 14 days until we go through all the alphabet.

If my math abilities haven’t waned, December 30, 2020, will have us submitting our last stories, all beginning with the letter “Z”.

And where do the readers come in?

Well, hopefully, readers will read the stories and vote just like they did for the last two challenges.

For each letter, the story with the most votes gets three points. Second place gets two points, third place gets one point. At the end of the year, we tally up and crown the winner with the most points.

Meaning, the perfect score would be 26 x 3 = 78. It’s also mathematically possible we tie. For instance, if one guy gets all the second places finishes and the other two guys evenly split first and third. That would be something, alright.

The key is to write.

One of the hardest things for writers is to write regularly. This challenge is meant to get us regular, if not gastrically, at least as writers.

And we’ll have to forego endless editing. That’s another hangup of many writers; nothing ever looks good enough because they either compare their work to stuff that’s already out there (be it theirs or someone else’s stuff) or they doubt themselves and think readers won’t like what they’ve written.

The deadline is meant to get us out of that mode. Sit down, write, give it a quick spit-polish, and send it out there. Some will like it, some won’t, but our job is to write, not worry about pleasing everyone.

And, of course, it’s practice.

Wish us luck, and may the readers follow along with us.

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.


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About disperser

Odd guy with odd views living an odd life during odd times.
This entry was posted in Fiction, Luminar 4, Photo Post-processing, Photography Stuff, Writing Stuff and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to 2020 Greetings and Writing Prompts

  1. kshai1715 says:

    What a great writing idea!!!
    I, too, gave some writing goals for 2020- first off to finish a long running story (novel) that I started 3 years ago and start (and finish) a few more smaller but ambitious projects.
    I do enjoy writing and photography so very much!

    Have a wonderful 2020 and I look forward to reading more.


    • disperser says:

      Thank you.

      One comment, if you don’t mind; you won’t finish the story if you’re doing multiple projects. It may be, in fact, that subconsciously, you’re looking to not finish it.

      I speak from experience. I have a novel I still haven’t finished, and I started it close to 15 years ago (seems weird even saying it). On the other hand, I finished three NaNoWriMo novels, many novellas, many short stories, and many flash pieces. So, I know I can write and write quickly.

      I could easily sit and pick up where I left off and finish my first novel with a few weeks of focused effort. I keep saying I will . . . but, I haven’t. If I’m being honest with myself, and as much as I like the writing I have so far (70+K words), I lost interest in it because I can’t see a path ahead. Or, I can’t see a path ahead because I lost interest in it.

      The end result is the same; unless something sparks my interest, it’ll sit there, an unfinished jewel. I don’t worry about it. I have lots of stuff I started and then let simmer. BUT . . . I finish the majority of what I write and I don’t work on multiple things at once (except for throwing out a few flash pieces when the mood strikes me).

      And that’s the point; if you’re starting other stuff, it means you are attracted by fresh ideas more than whatever you’re working on. In that case, perhaps you should consider writing short stories.

      If you want to finish it, make it your focus and power through it; finish it and set it aside until ready to edit it. Especially if you’re starting ambitious projects; they require full attention.

      Disclaimer: I ain’t no writing guru and I ain’t published. My advice might be useful, but it could just as well be crap. I know most people search for advice they will agree with. Meaning, they already know what they should do and don’t need me making suggestions. On the other hand, sometimes things need an outside perspective. If this helps, great. If not, great.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Good luck! What a great idea! I look forward to reading and voting!

    Beautiful Bovidae photos! A lot of action going on behind him/her! Love that!
    HUGS!!! :-)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. AnnMarie says:

    Your idea sounds very good. Looking forward to reading the stories and . . . voting!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ah, real letter days…and your days are numbered. Sounds interesting – especially the no editing part. Flash writing is often some of the best.
    (Can so identify with the sleeping novel due to lack of interest. You either have to be totally in – or walk aways – until later – or not..You gave some great writing advice there…especially the not pleasing everybody)


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