1. Welcome to the Fantasy Writing Forums. Register Now to join us.

Weekly short stories group

Discussion in 'Writing Groups' started by Chilari, Mar 11, 2013.

  1. Chilari

    Chilari Staff Moderator

    2,049
    638
    113
    In another thread some of us expressed an interest in attempting to write a short story a week. If there are others who are interested in making the attempt, we could get a group going and give one another support, encouragement and feedback.

    For the purposes of the group, a short story is defined as a self-contained story told in under 10,000 words. I won't put a lower limit on it because I think a story can be told in as few as 6 words (like "For sale: baby shoes, never worn", attributed to Hemmingway).

    I also think it would be a good idea to have a weekly theme which writers can use to inspire their writing but don't have to, suggested by any member of the group or anyone else.

    I think once we've got some members we can use this thread for discussion and use something like Pastebin or Google docs to share our writing, perhaps with some sort of password protection shared only with group members if there are concerns over who can read it (for example, if you plan on selling the story, you don't want it to be freely available to anyone on the internet because that could make trouble regarding first publication rights and exclusivity rights).

    Who is interested?

    And for anyone wanting to make an immediate start, I'd like to suggest a theme for this week:

    Cold

    (because the boiler at work has broken down and everyone in the office is sitting in coats and scarves and drinking vast quantities of tea.)
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2013
    Steerpike likes this.
  2. AlexanderKira

    AlexanderKira Minstrel

    84
    1
    6
    Sounds interesting, I'd be down. I always start writing, and then get demotivated. :p
     
  3. Zero Angel

    Zero Angel Auror

    1,430
    191
    63
    Hi guys, I don't have the time to join any writing groups at the present, but I wanted to recommend submitting your short stories. What I do with my short stories is submit any that qualify to Clarkesworld Magazine. Their response time is always within a week. When the stories inevitably don't pass muster, you can try at other sites or self-publish. Most places have a response time ranging in the months, so I usually self-publish after Clarkesworld if I feel the story is strong.
     
  4. Philip Overby

    Philip Overby Staff Article Team

    5,997
    1,667
    213
    Why do you just submit to Clarkesworld only? There are other markets out there you could work your way down your "list" so to speak. I have a list that I submit certain things to that I work my way down.

    I like the idea of doing this group as I'm already doing something similar at my blog: Drill Bits: A Weird Guy Living in Japan: 52 Week Story Writing Challenge

    However, I'm probably too busy with other stuff at the moment to critique stories from multiple people every week. If I can join the group and just encourage other people and report my progress (like we do with Word Warriors group) I would be fine with that.
     
  5. Zero Angel

    Zero Angel Auror

    1,430
    191
    63
    Because they're the only ones that will reject you within a week that are on SFWA's approved venues list. I don't like holding my stories up for months on end any more. I used to submit to the entire list of their venues, but I'm more interested in building my back catalog nowadays. Of course, I haven't written any new shorts since I used to submit to everyone, but this is my new strategy.

    (Note: I haven't checked out these venues in over a year, so it's quite possible there are others that are relatively quick, but anything more than 4 weeks is way too long for my impatience anymore).
     
  6. Philip Overby

    Philip Overby Staff Article Team

    5,997
    1,667
    213
    Daily Science Fiction is pretty quick. Like two weeks maybe. I know Tor.com is probably one of the longest wait times, but they admit that one their website because they have a really high volume of submissions. I use the SFWA list as well.
     
    Zero Angel likes this.
  7. Zero Angel

    Zero Angel Auror

    1,430
    191
    63
    Daily Science Fiction is a new one from when I last submitted stories. I suppose I should go through them all and check their response times for any that I might be able to deal with.
     
  8. Chilari

    Chilari Staff Moderator

    2,049
    638
    113
    I think what I'd like to see is a format whereby encouragement and reporting progress is the core of the group, but with the ability to share stories and ask for feedback on an individual basis without reading and critiquing others' work being mandatory. How does that sound?

    Perhaps every two or three months, each person in the group can put forward one of the short stories they've written in the previous 3 months for critique, with the understanding that those who chose to put something forward also commit to read and critique at least one other short story put forward, but no obligation to put anything forward and thus no obligation to critique.
     
  9. Philip Overby

    Philip Overby Staff Article Team

    5,997
    1,667
    213
    Yeah, I think that sounds good. That way no one feels obligated to critique everyone else's stories. I find groups that get too many members get a bit unwieldy when it comes to critiquing everyone and it cuts in on your own personal writing time. This way, people won't feel the need to critique every single story we all write.

    Since I'm steadily working on short stories at the moment, this will be a good further motivator to keep me on track. Can we report our progress here on the site? Then, if we trade stories and such later, we can use one of the other sites you mentioned (Google Docs, etc.)
     
  10. Chilari

    Chilari Staff Moderator

    2,049
    638
    113
    Sounds good to me.

    For my part, I'm still brainstorming for the "cold" theme. I'm realising how difficult it is to come up with a story arc that fits into a short. I've got some ideas but I'm not happy with any of them. They're just not clicking.

    Edit: Further brainstorming paid off. I've got something I like now. A little more fleshing out - naming the character for a start - and I'll be able to start. I like this.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2013
  11. Philip Overby

    Philip Overby Staff Article Team

    5,997
    1,667
    213
    Some things that help me when I'm trying to satisfy a prompt:

    1. Apply it to a person-If "cold" is the prompt, then you can apply it to a character's physical appearance (a ice mage or something) or personality (a cold demeanor).

    2. Apply it to a plot device-Maybe finding a wand of frost or a slaying an ice dragon.

    3. Apply it to setting-The obvious situation would be a winter, arctic environment.

    4. Apply it to theme-Might be hard for "cold," but maybe try something like a cold, cruel world where people don't care about each other or something.

    Maybe that helps?
     
    Chilari likes this.
  12. Chilari

    Chilari Staff Moderator

    2,049
    638
    113
    That's a good way of looking at things. Thanks.
     
  13. Chilari

    Chilari Staff Moderator

    2,049
    638
    113
    So who else is in? How are we getting on? Do I need to create a better thread title to attract attention better like the Word Warriors? The Short Story Samuari? Or perhaps some sort of cool animal mascot style thing - the Short Story Salamanders? Sea Otters (otters are cute and awesome)? Swans? They look graceful on the surface but under the water they're paddingly away frantically. Or we could go with the Short Fiction Fennec Foxes. They have massive ears.

    Suggestions welcome; they can't be much worse than my own.

    In the mean time, I'll update: I now have a character, a plot, and some worldbuilding tie-in with my novella WIP. I'm gonna have a go at starting tonight. I reckon it'll be 5000ish words.
     
  14. Philip Overby

    Philip Overby Staff Article Team

    5,997
    1,667
    213
    I'm working on stuff. I haven't used the "cold" prompt, but I may use it later. I get the feeling most people write novels, so I'm not sure how many people would join a short story group. But I'm on board anyway.
     
  15. Zero Angel

    Zero Angel Auror

    1,430
    191
    63
    If I am at all able to reduce my workload I would love to participate. I have a pretty high output when I am able to dedicate time to writing. Unfortunately, I am currently working four jobs to try to stay afloat :p

    I'm not really sure how you can direct people to the thread, other than getting other people to the thread -_-
     
  16. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

    11,258
    3,594
    413
    I like this idea.
     
  17. mbartelsm

    mbartelsm Troubadour

    169
    10
    18
    Hey, I'd like to join this group, it is my first time writing so my stories will probably suck, however I hope to get better with time.
    But how does this works, when I'm done with the first story where do I post it?
     
  18. Chilari

    Chilari Staff Moderator

    2,049
    638
    113
    This is more a support group than a crit group, so no need to post it anywhere. We'll have weekly prompts and updates, and if you want to get feedback you can post it in the Showcase and ask in this thread for other group members to have a look.
     
  19. Philip Overby

    Philip Overby Staff Article Team

    5,997
    1,667
    213
    A small update. I've done two weeks of my 52 Week Challenge so far (write a short story a week for a year.) I just finished my second story a couple of days ago. I'm going to use the "cold" prompt for my Week 4 story, as I have my Week 3 story already in progress.

    Anyone else have anything to update?
     
  20. Chilari

    Chilari Staff Moderator

    2,049
    638
    113
    I unfortunately have not yet finished last week's short story. Made some progress but didn't quite get all the way there. Gonna try and finish by tomorrow then start on this week's.

    I suggest this week's prompt could be:

    The wrong way up.
     
Loading...

Share This Page