Saturday, January 29, 2011

Hello!/My Mission

Hello, everyone! My name is Julianna and I'm very excited to get this blog started. As you might be able to tell from the title, my blog isn't going to be aimless. It has a purpose - to challenge me and to (hopefully) entertain you, the reader. Here is my mission: to write a short story every week for a year and post them on this blog.

I know you might have some questions for me, so I'll try to answer some the best that I can.

Why are you doing this?
I want to challenge myself. I've wanted to be a writer since before I can remember, but I often find it difficult to come up with a satisfactory plot and characters and bring them to a conclusion. I'll start a story but have trouble finishing it. So I figured that challenging myself to complete a short story every week would be a good way to become a good writer.

What exactly is a "short story"?
Good question. I researched this before setting up my blog, and I'm still not sure. The outlines of what a short story is are very vague. A couple characteristics of short stories are that they are less complex than novels and focus on one incident that happens in a short amount of time with a single setting and few characters. Short stories do not necessarily have to follow the exposition → rising action → climax → falling action → conclusion that longer forms of fiction follow. Some of the short stories have no exposition at all - a lot begin in media res, or in the middle of the action.

How long is a short story?
Again, the answers to this are very vague. One answer is that someone should be able to read a short story in one sitting. In regard to word count, a short story is usually between 1,000-20,000 words long. The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America define a short story as having a word count of less than 7,500. Other definitions say a short story should be between 7,000 and 9,000 words. Yet another says a short story is usually less than 5,000 words.

So how long are your stories going to be?
I think I'll go with the 1,000-20,000 words definition because I don't want to limit myself. But I doubt that any of my short stories will be 20,000 words long! Expect most of them to be on the short side, maybe some of them medium-length. I'm writing these stories as I go, so I only have one week to write them. That will limit the length of my stories, especially if I have a busy week.

What will your stories be about?
Anything. Again, I don't want to limit myself. I want to try all genres. Some stories might be romance, some science fiction, some humor, etc. I'll probably even write nonfiction memoirs. I might write some fanfiction. I like to write in present tense third person, but I want to experiment with tenses and points of view too. So hopefully, when all of this is done, you'll be able to find a story that you like and maybe even have new interests. But conversely, some weeks you might dislike the story that I write and have a few new disinterests (is that a word?). I plan to blog about my story as I write it, so you'll kind of know what's going on and what type of story I'm writing that week.

When will you post your new short story?
I want to start on Sunday and end on Sunday. Sunday through Sunday will be my seven-day week. I live in California, so over in Australia and other places with a dramatic time change you'll probably see my updates on Monday. I'm going to start writing my first short story tomorrow, Sunday, January 30. (I know most people start these kinds of things at the beginning of the new year, but details, details.) I'll post my first story Sunday, February 6. In the meantime, I'll blog about my progress. So, until then, I'll see you!

That's all the questions I can think of right now. If you have any others questions, please comment here or email me at I'm looking forward to this challenge and I hope you will enjoy this too! In the meantime, if you want samples of my writing, check out my fanfiction account. :)