Short Stories: How It’s Going So Far (Quarterly Check-In)

Well, I’m still having some trouble making myself write. And when I start a story, it’s a slow ramp-up–like a heavy truck accelerating. Some sessions, all I get down is the first line. Next time, maybe the first paragraph or two. Next time, half a page. Then I can cruise and get five to six hundred words out, which is my standard half-hour session (I’m using the other half for walking to lose weight before a trip to England.)

Last month, I drafted, revised, and submitted two fresh short stories to various contests. I found this website that posts opportunities for magazine or contest submissions, and I thought it would be a good motivator. Even if I didn’t win, I would still have two short stories ready for my end-of-the-year count. Mission accomplished, but it also took up all my time with revising and feedback. So in March, I only drafted two short stories. My intention was to make one per week, resulting in 52 in a year.

I think I’m still ahead in the count (I’m only tallying unpublished stories and drafts), but its sneaking up on me. And if I don’t get my ass in gear I won’t make my goal. I need to go a little faster, but I’m afraid I won’t have enough ideas to fill out my year. Not to mention I’m out of my comfort zone, doing short stories. And I’m still worried that none of them are up to snuff. They still feel like miniature novels lacking emotional impact. Every time I start a new one, I have to ease into it, which is fine for novels, but short stories need a little more productivity than that.

Eric Juneau is a software engineer and novelist on his lunch breaks. In 2016, his first novel, Merm-8, was published by eTreasures. He lives in, was born in, and refuses to leave, Minnesota. You can find him talking about movies, video games, and Disney princesses at http://www.ericjuneaubooks.com where he details his journey to become a capital A Author.

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