Challenge,  On Writing,  publishing

Not Counting This One

Ended Up A Novel Start

Actually, it will be a middle chapter of a Seeder’s Novel. I saw this half title when I sat down to write tonight and thought, “That would be a cool Seeder’s Universe story.”

And I remembered I had a story in Stories from April called “Deal at the End of Time” which worked as a short story, sort of, and I thought those two characters would be fun to do.

So I got those two characters, and off I went writing.

Took a break after an hour, kept writing, and about 2,500 words in I realized it wasn’t going anywhere fast. And that I had instead of writing a short story just did a later chapter after the other story.

So I opened up a folder in my Seeder’s Universe files and titled it and put tonight’s work in it and the short story from April and then realized that in April I had tried another Seeder’s Universe story called “Drive Out of Nowhere” which never got included in the April stories just as this one won’t. Not a story.

So I looked at it and it would make a perfect prolog for the other two stories in the novel.

Go figure.

Don’t you just love how the subconscious puts things together? So I have over 10,000 words of a Seeder’s novel. Set in Idah0. And in Space.

That will be cool. Might be the first novel I write in December.

So ten stories actually done, eight nights left of writing. I would like to have six more stories finished at least, which was my goal for the book, to have at least four issues of Smith’s Monthly stories. I think I can do that, maybe a few more.

So far, here is the November Short Story Challenge. (10th through 30th.. I will have covers in a few days as well.)

1… Under the Skin of Death… 4,400 words…. Total words so far… 4,400 words.
2… Half a Clue… 3,700 words… Total words so far… 8,100 words
3… That Human Fear… 1,700 words… Total words so far… 9,800
4… The Remarkable Way She Died… 2,100 words… Total words so far… 11,900
5… Under Glass… 2,700… Total words so far… 14,600
6… Remembering the Last Laughter… 1,700 words… Total words so far… 16,300
7… A One-Shoe Victory… 2,100 words… Total words so far… 18,400
8… The Man Who Tasted the Other Side… 2,100 words… Total words so far… 20,500
9… Stranger in the Shadows… 2,200 words… Total words so far… 22,700
10… Wrong Turn… 2,300 words… Total words so far… 25,000

So total writing time today… 2.5 hours.
Total work time…7 hours.



There are now two ways to sign up for the Regular Monthly workshops. Either write me directly and have me sign you up on the list or simply click sign up on Teachable.

Those of you with credits from either the Kickstarter or the certificate special we just offered, you must write me to sign up.

Those who would just like to sign up directly can do so on Teachable at any point. December workshops are there. November workshops will be closing down on Tuesday for any signups coming in late. But until then, if you don’t mind jumping in late, you can get into any of the November workshops just fine.

Nice to have some options on that.

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  • Maree Brittenford

    When I first started attempting short stories and I was sharing them with a writers group I got the feedback occasionally that the story seemed more like a prologue or first chapter of a novel. I always felt like I’d failed somehow.

    It’s cool to see how you handle that.

    And it’s also a factor of writing fast I guess. When you know you can write quickly, finding the beginning of a new novel doesn’t have you wringing your hands wondering when you’ll ever be able to get to it.

    I think I’ll take a particular short story out and give it it’s own folder, and add the other bits and pieces I’ve written about that universe, and see what happens!

  • Mark Kuhn

    Dean, the Idah0 typo in your post set me off writing a story about a character named Ida Zero. Strong trigger for me. Go figure, huh?

  • topaz

    Hello Dean,

    thank you for your daily post’s about your challenge. I love to read them.
    There is one thing I can’t figure out at the moment: How do you decide if something is a short story or a chapter in a novel?

    • dwsmith

      Oh, after a ton of practice, you can tell pretty quickly. Short stories have a very set structure and novels have a very set structure. The two are very far apart. (Two six week workshops actually teaching the two, one on short fiction, one on novel structure.) So mostly it is if the characters take the story into one type of structure or not. Kris said my story last night was clearly a novel start, (pacing and such clued that one) but as I tried to do, she said I got close on wrapping it into short story structure. I just needed one more quick scene I had set up in the opening to wrap it completely into short story structure. Then when I use it to start the novel, I’ll take off that scene.