The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Monday, January 30, 2012

My next story, by the numbers

"That which you persist in doing becomes easier to do. Not that the nature of the thing itself has changed, but that your ability to do it has increased."--Ralph Waldo Emerson

I like that quote, and just wanted to throw it into the mix!

I've been commissioned to create a story for MIT's annual science-fiction anthology, a 3500 word piece to be completed by mid-April. Sounds like fun, and because I've been concentrating on more general principles of writing rather than specifics, I think it's time to flip it, and allow you to see my thought patterns when it comes to creation. When and if these thoughts intersect with the success principles we've been covering, I'll point it out.

The first matter of concern is to define terms. Shall we?

1) Short Story: generally a piece of written fiction less than 10k words. They are the perfect building blocks of a career. I get emails and requests almost every day from people who make the mistake of skipping this critical step, writing novels and then not knowing where or how to market them. Heck, most of the time the novels themselves are DEEPLY flawed, because the writer didn't take the simple step of publishing a dozen short stories first. And BTW--when I say "publish" I mean "get paid." The sincerest compliment in the world is a check that clears the bank!

I'm going to go pretty deeply into my process as work proceeds on this story. Stick around!



2012 could be the best writing year of your life! You NEED a copy of the LIFEWRITING YEAR LONG program, which includes a totally FREE evaluation of a short story--worth more than the price of the course!

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