It’s Write On Wednesday Day! (That’s really clumsy. I’m going to have to never do that again!)
The Nov/Dec/Jan holiday season is fast approaching. I know you don’t want to think about it, but if you’re interested in putting out a short story for the holidays, this is actually kind of last minute.
Publications have long lead times for date-specific stories, so if your holiday stories aren’t already written, now’s the time. Magazines and online pubs LOVE themed stories (Christmas stories; New Year issues; Thanksgiving horror stories!).
Or perhaps you’d like to create a story for friends and family to say thanks for all their support (or: na-na-na-na-na-na-you-see-I-wasnt-lying-around-watching-daytime-TV-all-year).
Write a story tied to a Nov/Dec/Jan holiday
You can use this to flesh out characters from a longer work in progress.
You can include characters from your real life.
You can use this as a calling card/thank you note/Christmas letter if you send holiday greetings cards
Don’t feel it has to be a narrative story. One of the delights of the short story form is that it can be much more than that. Consider writing a list of holiday gifts your character has to buy, complete with passive-aggressive commentary; or a series of increasingly frantic tweets from the Thanksgiving dinner table…
Create a compelling character and set them in a ridiculous situation, or a ridiculous character and put them in a banal situation.
Have fun with this. Amuse yourself. Remember, nobody ever has to see this story, so you can be as cruel or as kind as you like!
It’s almost Thanksgiving here in the US (for those non-US people: it’s a Big Deal with lots of travel and turkey and non-productivity).
So, in an effort to keep you writing but not overwhelm you, this week I’m assigning a Drabble, a 100 word story.
Write A 100 Word Story
100 word stories sound like they won’t take up much time but they will take more than you think.
Remember that you don’t have much time/space to create your story. This stops you from including too much backstory, any rambling, or losing your way in the middle. Keep your mind firmly on the end.
Do write more than 100 words if you need to, then trim.
If you find yourself writing fewer than 100 words, look back and see if you can beef it up with pointed dialogue, expressive description or more of your main character’s emotions.
You can make the theme of the story ‘Thanksgiving’, ‘gratitude’ (or lack thereof), or something completely different if inspiration strikes.
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