Saturday, May 14, 2011

Back to Blogging: Deciding Which Story To Do What With

The semester is finally at an end. Our students had their Portfolio Day. Some very nice work, but I forgot to get business cards. And I am not as refreshed as I'd hoped, but I will have more free time for a couple of weeks. I think.

In the meantime, here I am looking for a story to put up for Story Sunday, and by golly I'm not sure what to publish. I do have a bunch of stories and excerpts I could publish, but I also have a bunch of other things to do with some of those stories.

For instance, since you can't submit a story which has already been published to a magazine, I have a few stories I'd like to reserve for a while yet. But I have already started that process:

Today I had a story on Karen Berner's fiction blog for her Flash Friday. "Learned in the Cradle" is another little fable, less than 500 words. She does a lot of flash fiction on her site, her own and others, so give it a look.

Some of the other stories I've got are really too long for a blog. I've got to decide how I want to handle those. Heck, I've got to decide what my actual limits are for length here.

As for the remaining stories, some aren't really finished, or I just don't like them.

But some I have other uses in mind, and that's where we see the lesson of this little exercise:

I have some good stories which are suitable for particular events and holidays. For instance, I've got a great hard-boiled comic Christmas story, and a children's story for New Years. And I had one story which was a fluffy little thing I wrote for Women's Day called "Vote Early, Vote Often." I thought I should save that for Election Day.

But it seemed like the best option among what I have ready at the moment. And I thought, okay, I could stall a little by putting up an excerpt of the W.I.P., and then make myself whip up another batch of stories. Except, of course, I need to be working on my W.I.P. ....

But then the lesson hit me.

"Vote Early, Vote Often" is only lightly Election Day-ish. Maybe, if I'm going to just whip up a story, I should be whipping up a story specifically FOR Election Day. Maybe several stories. Magazines and webzines and fiction blogs will be looking for seasonal material too. I need to keep going and write something more, something better for the purpose.

This is how you've got to think, as a writer. Empty your stores and refill anew.

So tomorrow you will meet Lily and Grace, two little old ladies who tend to get themselves into questionable situations. This time, though, they are entirely in the right, as they take on a corrupt system in the form of the Ladies Hospitality Club Hostess of the Year Election.


Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

True that we've always got to be thinking ahead to the next story (and which is more viable than the others).

The Daring Novelist said...

The next story is the one with the opportunities.

And the more I mull on what I wrote last night, the more I think it's like a pantry: don't save everything for later. Use it up and get more.