11 February 2013

ROW80 check-in 5

My goal for A Round of Words in 80 Days is to end up with five short stories that are ready to be submitted for publication. (Originally they were all going to be speculative fiction stories between 3,000 and 5,000 words, but I have since opened my mind to other possibilities.)

My progress so far:
  • I have continued working on a story called "The Usual," which I began writing before this round of ROW80. This is a speculative fiction story about cultural norms and what happens when a young woman involuntarily breaks an unwritten law.
  • I have also continued working on another story I started writing before this round of ROW80. This one is tentatively titled "Zombie" and is about a woman's experience post-zombie apocalypse as she learns what she must be willing to sacrifice in order to survive.
  • I've written about 3/4 of a draft of a new story called "The Choice," in which a woman is chosen at random to decide the fate of her people in the face of a growing divide between a government and its citizens.
  • And finally, I've written 3/4 of a draft of that new magical realism story that has me all excited, the one I'm not going to tell you anything about because I think it's pretty original and I have very high hopes for it. (I will probably look back on this statement and cringe with embarrassment, but so be it. Right now, it's my truth.)
I still need one more story to get to five, obviously.

Initially I planned to revise a story called "Conformity" that I originally wrote as a graduate student, but I can't find it anywhere, either in digital or physical form. It was quite a blow when I realized that I'd lost it. Especially since my plan for that story was to have two versions, the second version the same as the first except for one important detail that changes the whole tone, and I'd planned to begin and end my collection of short stories with those two versions of "Conformity." I haven't decided whether to try to rewrite it from memory. It's a daunting prospect, especially since it took a while to get some of the dialogue *just right* and I no longer remember how it went.

One of the really interesting things I've noticed about myself while working on the other stories is that my intentions for them appear to be a little bit beyond my current writing skill level. I know what I want them to do, what feel I want them to have, what messages I want to get across. And in each case there's at least one aspect to the story that I'm not exactly sure how to pull off.

But rather than be discouraged by that, I'm excited by it. I see it as proof that I'm developing as a writer, and it gives me an idea of what's possible in the future, even if I don't end up being able to pull it off now.


  1. I realized as I read your post, I have no idea what speculative fiction means. Thank you for helping me to learn something new!

    I am getting back in the ROW80 swing after a long time away and am delighted to connect with you! I look forward to doing more connecting in the future as well.

    I appreciate your continued self-development... especially your discovery of it as you continued to write. Great stuff!!

    1. Thanks, Julie! You have several blogs, I see. Which of them has your ROW80 check-ins on it? I'd love to see what you're up to.