Writing a short story – W5D2 by Katie B.

Oct 15, 2015

For my individual challenge, I chose to write a short story. Not only was I planning to finish said story, but I also hoped to send it out into the world to be shared or even published.

…I failed. Well, at least I failed the challenge within the guidelines that I had established. I certainly didn’t get the story published and I didn’t get too close to finishing it either.

I started out my challenge by doing some research on books and movies that I found inspirational. I specifically read up on The Illustrated Man, a group of short stories by Ray Bradbury that I have always admired. I traveled through several Wikipedia pages: past science fiction, past human nature, past ethics, until I somehow remembered one of my favorite inspirations. The Master and Margarita!

The thing that I really love about the Master and Margarita is the sense of mysticism and controlled chaos despite the simultaneous exploration of very serious themes throughout the book.This controlled chaos, confusion, and nonsensical characters is what I set out to duplicate in my short story.

Unfortunately, creating a linear plot and writing a story of this type, in general, turned out to be a lot harder than I thought it would be. By the end of day one, I had a loose chronology of events, but hardly anything actually written. The next day, after working on it for a few more hours, I admitted to myself that I was nowhere near finished.

I briefly thought I could still accomplish something “big” if I tried submitting a previous story I had written to a local magazine, so I abandoned my story and started looking for places to submit. I spent roughly an hour looking at various publishing opportunities, but every time I found something, my word count turned out to be too high or too low. Finally, I “gave up” and went back to work on my original story.

This challenge was really frustrating. Even with a clear vision of what my story would be, putting my ideas into words and creating the scenes that I saw in my head was exhausting. I didn’t succeed in my challenge, but the time I spent thinking of my story idea is not lost – I plan on pursuing the writing ideas I have explored in the last few days.

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