StoryADay Round Up For December 2012

So, were you furiously writing all through November? C’mon, I know you guys. You can’t resist a challenge and NaNoWriMo is the granddaddy of them all.

Well, if you were, I hope it went well. If you weren’t, well that just means you’ll have all the more creative energy for the inevitable New Year’s Resolution writing you’ll be doing in January!

What’s New At StoryADay.org?

The bonus StoryADay September went quite well, and I met some great new folks during it, but I think I’m probably going to go back to only hosting StoryADay during May from now on.  I’d like to get us all together for a few events during the year (how about a Google Hangout short story slam? Or a weekend intensive?) so let me know what you’d like to see happening over at StoryADay.org when it’s not May.

A New Tool For You

It’s coming to the end of the year, so I put together a new tool to help you review your progress during the year and capture some ideas for next year. It’s the StoryADay “My Writing Year” quick planner and you can download a free copy here.

(It’s a worksheet for people who don’t like worksheets, and a list-maker for people who aren’t linear thinkers. I think you’ll like it!)

A Quick Thought On Revision

How do you approach revision? Do you go through the whole story at once and try to catch everything that’s not working, from line 1 to the final word? Or do you make several passes, starting with one aspect of the story and only then looking for others? Do you start with the copyedit or end with it?

If  you’re having trouble getting to grips with the revision process it may be because your ‘process’ is a little too scattershot. If this sounds like you, stay tuned for a series of articles coming in the next month or two. I’ll be focusing on revision and a new, non-scary approach that’s going to make a lot of sense to you. So dig out a few old stories and get ready to polish them up with me.

 Books For Your Holiday Wish Lists

I’ve read some great books this year and, since I know you all are sick of people buying you notebooks for whatever holiday you celebrate, I thought I’d share some of my favorites for you to add to your wish lists.

Books About Writing

Wired For Story by Lisa Cron

The Storytelling Animal by Jonathan Gottshall

Writing Fiction For All You’re Worth by James Scott Bell

Story Engineering by Larry Brooks (aimed at novelists but still a good overview of story structure)

The Icarus Deception by Seth Godin (pre-order)

Short Story Collections

This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz

The Complete Stories by Grace Paley

The World’s Shortest Stories, Steve Moss, Ed.

The Best American Non-Required Reading 2011, Dave Eggars, Ed. (More than short stories, but don’t let that stop you)


(These are all Amazon Affliliate links and any purchases you make through them help support StoryADay.org. You are, of course, free to request these books from your favourite neighbourhood indie bookstore, chain or audio book purveyor)

 Keep Writing

And that’s all I have for you this time. What ever else you do this month, make some time to write a story or two, won’t you? They don’t have to be long, but write something. If you do, tweet them, or link back to them from the Write On Wednesday posts at StoryADay.org and I promise I’ll come over and read them.


All the best,



P.S. Help Spread The Word?

Way back in 2001 & 2002, when I ran another writers’ website (The 21st Century Publishing Update), I was delighted to find that Writer’s Digest’s editors had listed it as one of their 101 Best Websites for Writers. Well, they’re taking nominations now for the 2013 list and I think our little writing hub here might fit, don’t you? If so, send your nomination of StoryADay.org along to Writers.Digest@fwmedia.com (put “101 Best Websites” in the subject line) as soon as possible. They’re deciding on the list now!

I’m not asking this for my own ego (though, seeing the site on the list WOULD be cool), but the more publicity we get, the more writers join and the more accountability, feedback and fun YOU get to have next May. Send that email now and tell them you’d like to see StoryADay.org included on their 101 Best Websites for Writers list. Thanks!!

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