Saturday, August 20, 2011

On Short Stories

I've managed to solve my writing conundrum mentioned in the previous post. Looking through the short story ideas I've jotted down, I've come to the conclusion that when you take into account the business of my schedule because of the upcoming start of the school year, I probably have plenty of plots to keep me occupied until November. I've started making notes on one of my ideas and plan to start the story in the next few days.

Although I'm not against trying new things in writing, I have to admit that I'm a little apprehensive about spending so much time only writing short stories. Recently, I've come to appreciate them a lot more; I used to hate writing them and never really sought them out to read. Still, my writing is usually on one of two extremes - either a novel-length project, or an extremely short, mostly descriptive piece, less than 1000 words. Writing something in between, something that has a full plot but can still fit into around 5000 words, is hard.

I think it's mostly because I almost never have a full plot planned out before I start a novel. Even when I have a basic idea, most of it falls into place as I'm writing - after the first 5-10 thousand words, I start to make connections and brainstorm ideas that will add to the plotline of the book. You can't exactly do that with a short story - or rather, you can, but you have to make those connections after the first few hundred words.

It's probably good to challenge myself - I'll never be able to improve my skill with short stories if I don't write them. Between now and November, I'll probably be able to write around five or six stories, and it'll be interesting to see how they turn out. If anyone's interested, I'd be willing to post excerpts here on the blog or links to my account if I decide to upload any of the stories.

Wish me luck!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The End! ...Now what?

An important event took place yesterday. Not only did one of the awesomest movies ever come out, but I finished the second draft of my novel, Battle for the Throne. It's the first book in a traditional/epic fantasy trilogy entitled Battles of the Elements, and I've been working on it for about two and a half years.

The second draft was actually harder to write than the first, because there was so much that needed changed, while still keeping the basic plot and certain scenes the same. Still, I enjoyed it - I had some great ideas and brainstorms that really tie together the next two books, and my characters feel much more realistic. While it still needs some work before it's ready to go out to publishers (minor things, like moving a few scenes around and editing spelling, grammar, and consistency) I've definitely made progress.

However, having finished such a massive project does leave me with the question - what am I going to write now? Today's a grayish, rainy day, so I planned to stay inside and write, only to realize that I'm not in the middle of a novel, or even a short story. In fact, I don't have anything planned for writing until NaNoWriMo in November.

I've been running through my options. Sadly, I didn't get the second draft finished in time to do the August edition of Camp NaNoWriMo - even if I could make up for the six days of writing I've missed, I don't have a plot idea that's developed enough to use, and with school, sports, and extracurriculars all starting this month, I just don't have time. I don't know if I have enough time between now and November to revise my NaNo novel from 2009 - I thought I would, but revising always takes longer than I expect it to. I have a few short story ideas, but nothing that's going to keep me busy for three months. I can use this week's prompt from Sunday Scribblings to keep me busy until tomorrow, but after that...I have absolutely no idea what I'm going to do.

Off to puzzle over this writing dilemma,

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Back to School Commercials

August 3rd. For me and all the other students in my area, this means that there's only 25 days left until school starts again. The reminders of the end of summer vacation are every where - the pencils and backpacks on display at the stores, the fall clothing catalogs that have been arriving in the mail, and on television, where back-to-school commercials have been airing since mid-July.

I have to say, the new Target commercials are pretty awesome, and a few others have been funny or just advertising something really cool. However, none of them have been able to measure up to this:

...Which may be the best back to school commercial, EVER. Make sure you watch it all the way to the end - that's the best part.

I've never seen this commercial on TV, only on Youtube, so I'm not sure how old it is or when it first came out, but it still has to be one of the awesomest things I've ever seen.

Off to complete my back-to-school shopping list,