Throughout August (and a little beyond), Writer in Motion is challenging writers to write a <1000 word story based on a prompt, and I’m taking part! If you want to find out more about Writer In Motion, click here.
The project is now over, and it has been quite an experience.
I have never done short fiction before, so this was a baptism of fire and a half, given the tiny word count (for reference, the book I was finishing up was 140,500 words at the point that I sent it to beta readers). I hated being so constrained by such a small word count. There just wasn’t the space to move and delve as deep as I like. Frankly, there wasn’t space for a scene-plot (I might talk about this at some point, but being an intensive planner, I believe in scenes having a mini-plot structure).
Instead, I had to focus on character development in 1000 words, and I hate character work. It’s not the easiest thing for me, and the way it works out in my creative process is that it comes in quite late. I am very proud of the characters I create, but the way I work doesn’t focus on them until after I feel the plot is pretty secure.
Thus, having to focus on character for Writer in Motion was SOOO helpful. It forced me to develop my characterisation skills and think about crafting arcs and realistic characters without a plot framework to fit them around. Maybe I should think about doing more short fiction things for practice? (There is a part of my brain utterly screaming at the idea and trying to remind me of the planned schedule of other projects I want to do, but it’s something to consider as it has helped with craft and confidence)
Unfortunately, due to a family bereavement in June/July, my writing schedule was delayed, so Writer in Motion overlapped with finishing off edits for my book. This meant I didn’t have very much time to focus on this project; it was crammed into an hour or two a week around intensive edits.
However, I’ve created something I’m so proud of, in a writing style and genre I am not familiar with. And it ended up being a really powerful tool to process grief, which is a nice bonus.
I have really enjoyed blogging about my writing, and I think I am going to continue with updates from time to time. Haven’t decided the form or regularity yet.
Read the rest of this series: