So… Post NaNo Struggles and a New Writing Competition

It’s been nearly two weeks since NaNoWriMo, and I’ll admit I’ve been struggling. The ideas aren’t flowing, and I’m struggling to write. I tried to keep to just a thousand words a day since December started, but just lacked inspiration.

So, we’ll save that goal for the new year. Nothing wrong with New Year’s resolutions, other than the lack of follow through.

Instead I’m working on a single project, new writing wise, and that’s a Christmas folk tale, well, obviously not an actual folk tale, it’s an original piece by moi, but that’s the style I’m going for.

Still struggling for inspiration on the details – but I’ve set my mind to it, so that is what I’m going to do. It’s not a long piece, maybe 1,500 to 2,000 words, and the implementation is really important for several reasons.

  • First, this is for kids so the dialog needs to be excellent, which is excellent practice for my second draft of the Children’s fantasy I wrote during NaNo
  • Secondly, its got to be funny, I don’t write funny well and again this is something I need for the second draft of the Children’s fantasy and future endeavours
  • Thirdly, that short word count, I’m a verbose kind of guy, but kids don’t want to read twenty words where four will do, so good concise precise writing is called for

All of these things are important for other reasons – they’re good practice for the upcoming NYC Midnight Short Story Challenge, which I’ve entered.

It’s a competition in rounds/heats to write a series of short stories based on word count target, a genre, a theme, and a set character that must be included. It takes place at the end of January next year, for the first round, with subsequent rounds should you pass beyond the first round taking place in April, May, and June – each round has a lower word count, and a lower time frame for submissions.

I’m really looking forward to it. Yes you pay to enter, and there’s a good chance I won’t make it past the first round, but, providing you’ve met the rules for a round and aren’t disqualified, the judges do give feedback on your work.

What you write, stays yours to do with as you please. So expect to seem my submission, (really hoping for submissions), to appear on here.

January, I’m going to go back over a few of the previous years prompts for some practice. I’ve no idea what genre I’ll be given for the first heat, and I have a lot of weaknesses, so practice will be key.

Speaking of short stories, aside from working on my Christmas folk story, I’m also finishing up the editing on a short story I’m going to share on here, its one of the NaNo ones – there’s an early excerpt from the story I used as part of a charity supporting vid for NaNoWriMo:

One word of caution, the character is actually a teenage girl – and I think we would have all been insulted and ashamed if I’d tried to impersonate a teenage girl, as I’m very much not that

As mentioned, around all of this, I’m still working on replotting the chidlren’s fantasy novel with a view to a complete rewrite for a second draft. There are post its and everything so far.

I’m going to aim to do at least one post a week here – but if for some strange reason you are missing me, there’s a Vlog every few days, (sometimes every day for periods), over on my YouTube channel JL Aspiring

Wherever you are, whenever it is, hope you’re having a great time. Happy writing.

The Christmas Fic – Daily Flash Fiction Challenge 24: Santa’s Lost sock

This is the 24th in a series of 365 Flash Fiction stories I’m writing. You can find out more about the challenge here.

Santa’s Lost Sock, by Jonathan L. Lawrence, 25th December 2012

Word count: 956

Theme: Christmas, children, wonder, adventure, santa claus

The story:

It was the night before Christmas, well you know the drill. Jolly Old Saint Nick was doing his international rounds, even with the special stop watch that let him stop time, every year it got harder and harder. Santa though never gave in, he would be doing this until the end of time.

He was currently flying Algeria, stopping at every home on his list, gaining entry by a multitude of means, but ideally through the chimney if one was present. He was the ultimate traditionalist after all, and the magic dust allowed him to squeeze down a chimney easily.

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