The Future is Full of…Stuff

At last, I’ve reached the end of Writing 101! This is the last assignment and I’m only over a month late! It occurs to me that the past few posts have started with some variation of ‘Oh wow, I’m so behind on this..’, but I’ll be done with that now, I promise! Well, maybe.

This assignment is about looking to the future. What does the coming month hold for me? The coming year? Decade? Well, truthfully, I don’t know. Some days I’m not even sure what dinner holds for me. Given the lateness of this assignment, I’ll be looking at the immediate past and the future, like Janus of Roman myth.

The month after the actual conclusion of Writing 101 was October, which ended up being a ridiculously busy time for me. Had I finished the assignment on time, I would have mentioned that I planned on writing a series of horror stories leading up to Halloween. And indeed, I did. It’s called 20 Tales of Terror, and you can find all the stories on my fiction blog, Tales of Unusual Strangeness. The plan was to write a story per day, starting in the second week of the month. This was mainly because I was burnt out from a crazy hectic September, so my original plan of 31 stories didn’t pan out. That wasn’t all, though! I also decided, in a stroke of genius (or ‘genius’), that I would create an illustration to accompany each tale! What fun! Except, of course, I had no idea what to draw.

At first I thought I’d draw a detailed scene from each story, but that would be too intensive. So I settled for something evocative of the story’s theme/tone, featuring some key elements from the story. Easier said than done. Writing the stories was no problem. I created an editorial calendar of sorts, outlining what stories I planned to write (this was mostly improvised for the last week or so). That was no problem. Barring the occasional bit of writer’s block, my fingers danced over the keys and produced stories I was quite happy with. Each day, I’d have a story ready to publish. The drawings, however, completely derailed my schedule. Conceptualizing the image was the hardest part, but drawing and coloring also ate up a lot of time, and I ended up missing a day here and there and then posting multiple stories the next day to catch up. All because my images weren’t ready. Shoot.

I got there in the end, though, and managed to post my last story on Halloween after a mad dash to get that picture completed. There was even time to participate in a Halloween story challenge earlier in the month. The downside, as the eagle-eyed reader (that’s you) may have noticed, is that this blog became a ghost town.

But that’s all over and done with. Halloween, sadly, is over. A new month is upon us. So, what does that mean? As I said earlier, I have no clue. I’m taking a short break from my fiction blog so I can devote more time to reading all the blogs I’ve been missing out on, and to develop some story ideas instead of trying to put them together on the fly, as I’ve often done. I’m also rethinking how to approach my fiction blog. In an attempt to get more (and more consistent) page views, I had gotten into the habit of posting a short 50-word story and a haiku every day. While that was fun, I found myself getting more focused on the quantity of my posts and let the quality slide now and again. Over the past two months, I’ve been writing stories that averaged 700 words (but usually more) and I’ve really enjoyed that, mainly because it’s allowed me to develop the characters of each story and give them some breathing room. So I’m wondering if I should fall back into the old routine, or only do one or two posts a week, with longer stories. Maybe even a mini series. Something to ponder over the next week or so.

And of course, there’s this blog. I am a fiction writer at heart, but I do enjoy posting my rambling thoughts here as well, and seem to get more feedback than on my other blog. But how to go about this? Shortly after I’d started both blogs, I thought I would do daily posts on both. My pull towards fiction makes that impossible, as I often put this blog on the back burner when thinking up stories. What should I do with this? Leave it as a place to post the occasional ramble or try to make it into something more cohesive? Hmm.

I think, taking a cue from a forgotten Writing 101 assignment, I’ll post a poll in another day or two asking for feedback on both my blogs. It might not give me an immediate answer, but should hopefully nudge me along in one direction or another.

So I guess in the immediate future, I’ll be charting out the course of my blogs. After that, your guess is as good as mine.