Friday, April 1, 2016

The Plot Project Flopped

Alright, guys. We all know I’ve been having a rough time with keeping this blog up, and it’s time for a confession.

I’m discontinuing the challenge.

I know my writing partner is probably going to kick me, and hopefully those of you who were following this (if anyone is) isn’t too disappointed, but I just don’t have time this year. I have lots of other responsibilities and writing has to take a back seat. The very back seat. The caboose. The third class carriage. Etc. I’ll also be deleting all my stories from Wattpad and unsharing them with my friends because I don’t think they’re good enough to be public.

I’m also going to take a rocket to the moon and start a space colony.

This is also an April Fools’ Day post.

Ta-daa!!!! I’ve always wanted to do one of those. On to the real post.

Well, this is April, and you know what that means -- CAMP NANO!!!!! For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, NanoWrimo is an event that takes place in November. For thirty days, participants attempt to bang out the first draft of a 50,000 word novel. Camp Nano happens twice -- once in April and once in July -- and is basically NanoWrimo on a smaller scale. Participants can set their own word count goals and don’t have to write a novel -- they can work on poetry or a dissertation or (ahem) a short story collection (ahem). My personal word count goal is 30,000, and I’m working on a sci-fi novel. I don’t expect it to be completed by the end of the month, but I do expect to have the first 30,000 words written.

It’s pretty convenient, therefore, that the short story prompt for April is only 500 words. I’ve tried writing short stories like this before, and they are not as easy as you’d think. I can write 500 words in half an hour, true, but in editing you have to make make every word count. Here’s a few tips on how to make that happen.

  1. Delete filler words, specifically “that.” You have no idea how many times we use “that” when we don’t have to. I learned this one in Journalism class.
  2. Take out ALL the adjectives! Yeah, I know, adjectives are fun, and you’ll probably have some in your final draft. But copying your first draft to another document and removing all the adjectives roots out words you don’t need.
  3. Use active verbs! This is a good tip in general, but especially when you’re watching your word count. “The dog chased the fire engine” is shorter than “The fire engine was chased by the dog.”

Today’s post is short, but it’s April. Go play in the sun. Then write.

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