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.
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.
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).
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”.
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.
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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