February 27, 2012

Hate it when it happens, even if it’s not a total waste

Posted in challenges, western, writing at 12:57 pm by z. l. sasnett

“Man can learn nothing except by moving from the known to the unknown.” – Claude Bernard

Found out at the last minute Chuck Wendig was hosting a five sentence (100 words or less) story contest. I had an idea, worked, massaged, punched, pinched and beat that sucker into a fine story (I think). It was nine sentences instead of five and topped in at exactly 100 words. A little massaging with some creative punctuation and I got it to the requisite five…

…and was too late to submit by minutes.


Still, I got a nice little 100-word story out of it (ie finished, which is good), I was writing (which is also good) and I have a neat idea I will flesh out for another contest on the AbsoluteWrite forums. I have two days to do it. Luckily, it’s only supposed to be 1000 words long.

I can do this.

What I liked most about this little contest on Chuck’s blog (and the AbsoluteWrite one) is how it’s shaken me out of my preferred (read: safe and comfortable) genres. I’ve expanded my reading and may have picked up a smidgen of an interest in exploring another genre of writing. Westerns.

As a treat for myself, I spent my Christmas money during a trip to Borders. I bought The Complete Western Stories of Elmore Leonard. I have to force myself to put it down to get any writing done.

My TBR pile has grown.

I have this little 100-word drabble and don’t know what to do with it, though.

February 13, 2012

Comfort zone

Posted in challenges, western, writing at 9:22 am by z. l. sasnett

If you’re not making mistakes, then you’re not doing anything. I’m positive that a doer makes mistakes. – John Wooden.

This blog sees so little use, something I will change in the coming year.

At the moment, I find myself at a bit of a loss. On the AbsoluteWrite forums, there is a challenge to stretch out of comfort zones and write a short story (due to the length requirement, flash fiction, perhaps?) in the western genre before the end of the month.

It’s half way through February and I’m no closer than when I started. I don’t normally find writing out of my comfortable box to be quite as daunting as writing something ‘western’ has proven to be thus far, even though the challenge is very broad in scope as to how the western genre is defined. Perhaps it’s due to my dreadful lack of knowledge on the genre and the (albeit wide) time era it spans. I enjoy western movies and shows and yet it remains so ellusive.

While I may not get anything written, I have managed to expand my reading list by grabbing some western writers so I can’t call it a complete loss. Maybe I can manage to squeak something out as the deadline looms closer. I have time.

*chews nails*

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