Writing

The Plan

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Or part of it, anyway.

Because there is one. It’s reasonably detailed, too. The question that remains is how close I’ll stick to it. Well, and how much the universe and regular life events will interfere with me trying to stick to it.

At a high level, the writing plan is relatively straight forward and consists of a target number of Flash pieces, Short Stories, Novels (just one of those), Poems, Journal entries, and Blog posts. There will still be a focus on editing this year, but I’m more caught up than I was when I started that focus, um, before COVID maybe? It’s been a while.  But I really want to get back to some significant drafting again, too. Add in editing estimates, and I’m targeting a quarter of a million words altogether for next year. Which sounds like a lot but is actually under 700 words per day.

There are publishing and marketing targets, too, along with a couple of other creative endeavours. Academics figure into the equation in a big way, of course. And there are spreadsheets for tracking all the details because it’s me, after all.

Putting all the details here will just be boring for most people, I think, but I do want to share one thing that I’m going to try to have some fun with. I’ve discovered a love of flash fiction recently and I’ve found it entertaining to see if I can use an image to write a story.

Which brings us to the main thing I want to share about the 2022 Plan™.

The basic idea is, at least once a month, I’ll post something like the image below to FB and Twitter and ask people to vote A or B. The voting will last for a predetermined amount of time (we’ll try a week to begin with and see what kind of traction it gets) and then I’ll declare the winner by total vote count and write a story that at least loosely qualifies as Flash Fiction (which by most definitions is supposed to be under 1000 words and that’s what I’ll shoot for, but no promises). I’ll then post a link to that story free for some amount of time (maybe until the next one gets written) before taking it down and adding it to the group for a flash fiction collection I’ll publish when I have enough pieces. There may be a micro e-book for each, nothing more than cover, story, and a single page of front and back matter.

These images in the sample choice are two I used during a flash fiction experiment just before I went back to school in May. The first resulted a Fantasy story with the catchy title, “Three Drops of Blood at the Dragon’s Mouth” and came in at 963 words. The second gave rise to a 991-word SF story, “A Million Years of Salvage”.

It’s possible there might be other interactive things in the coming year, too, but the first votable flash fiction selection will appear on social media on Tuesday.

Stay safe and be well, everyone.

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