the Unending Journey of the Wandering Author

A chronicle of the unending journey of the Wandering Author through life, with notes and observations made along the way. My readers should be aware I will not censor comments that disagree with me, but I do refuse to display comment spam or pointless, obscene rants. Humans may contact me at thewanderingauthor at yahoo dot com - I'll reply as I am able.

Name:
Location: New England, United States

I have always known I was meant to write, even when I was too young to know the word 'author'. When I learned that books were printed, I developed an interest in that as well. And I have always been a wanderer, at least in my mind. It's not the worst trait in an author. For more, read my writing; every author illuminates their heart and soul on the pages they write upon.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

I Find Real Gems On the Web

A fellow blogger and writer suggested a couple of very good blogs in one of her comments on my previous post. When I visited the first of these blogs, and read the header, I assumed it must be little more than a stunt. DBA Lehane, at Short Short Fiction writes a new story each day, using dictionary.com's word of the day in each story.

What's more, he limits each story to no more than five hundred words. Now, those of you who don't write probably feel that limitation would make things easier. Well, I can tell you from experience that coming up with an idea for a story, then exploring that idea in such a short work is not easy. Very short stories often require more time to write than longer ones.

To incorporate a given word in each story, with no time to plan ahead and ponder suitable ideas, would only complicate the task. So, when I read all these things, I first suspected DBA Lehane must be doing no more than a clever stunt. Granted, it would be an impressive stunt even so, but I didn't imagine it could be more than that. His own disclaimer that these were rough drafts only confirmed my suspicions.

Then I read the most recent story. It was actually a very good first draft of a very readable short short. Not only that, but he casually tossed in, near the end of the story, an idea so staggering it would make a great premise for a novel! Of course, after that, I had to read another. And then another.

I haven't had the time (yet) to read every one of these stories, but each one of those I have read is good. I haven't come across a single story yet that isn't worth the effort of polishing up for publication. Yes, there are minor shortcomings. The wording can be a bit rough in places; as he warned, these are not final drafts. Some of the efforts to include the word of the day make for awkward phrasing, or introduce an implausible note into a character's voice.

Be assured, though, these are minor flaws, and the stories are real gems, even if unpolished. Clearly, I owe DBA Lehane an apology for my thoughts. His project is intriguing, and it challenges me. Such a writing project, if adhered to, can't help but develop your abilities. I am tempted to do something like this myself.

However, the very idea is daunting. If you think it sounds easy, you are not a writer. No writer, even those fortunate souls who seldom need to labour over the keyboard, would dare take such a demanding project lightly. If I do decide to attempt a similar project, I want time to consider what I can realistically manage to do.

For one thing, I have already made up my mind to participate in NaNoWriMo this year. Any additional project would need to take that into consideration. Either I will need to plan for an interruption in the schedule I set for myself, or perhaps I will begin once NaNoWriMo is over. Whatever I decide, I will post more here later.

diigo it

10 Comments:

Blogger Susan Abraham said...

Hi Wandering Author,

Thank you for allowing yourself the liberty of discovering DBA (who has now changed his name to Windscreen Fly) and also Brandon.

And for drawing attention to their writing.

DBA also has a personal blog (on his left sidebar content) and you may be shocked to discover more in the form of artistry photography in addition to that marvellous short story discipline. Shocked as to time management of all the work involved.
And yet, I'm sure, completely satisfying for him.

Perhaps as writers, we are all called to pursue the various disciplines of our art, without fear but courage. And not for any one of us too, will that be an easy prompt.

I wish you every success with your own ambitions.

best regards

August 19, 2006 8:26 PM  
Blogger DBA Lehane said...

Hi Wandering Author,

I am most humbled and flattered for your very kind words indeed! Even the small criticisms are no less than I would admit to.

Yes, the hardest part is keeping each story to less than 500 words. However, that does get a little easier with each story - it's as if you develop some kind of inbuilt story clock or metronome! The other most demanding part is just trying to write something original each day and finding the time or, rather, MAKING the time when all you want to do is slump in front of the TV or something less challenging.

But it's all made wothwhile when others come along and read and comment. The comments are an important and interactive part of the whole exercise, especially when they come from other great and talented writers too.

So thanks again, and be assured I will keep reading and checking back each day! And best of luck with your own writing.

Susan: Thanks as well! In fact, there is much I have to thank you for! :)

August 20, 2006 3:08 AM  
Blogger Jude said...

He is good, isn't he?

August 20, 2006 7:16 AM  
Blogger Kilroy_60 said...

Next time you are wandering abuot the blogosphere, I hope you'll stop by my new nook...

Fear And Loathing - The Gonzo Papers

If you can update my link at your earliest convenience it would be most appreciated.

It has been a lon week - Monday thru Sunday - and my mind is not at all clear at the moment. I don't believe, though, that I knew you had placed a link.

I saw a comment you had written in Miss Kitty's blog, knew I'd liked having you visit my old site and had interest in connecting. I will post your link now.

Will be looking forward to hear from you; interested in what comments you may have to offer. I will make a point of returning to comment as well. For now, I must track down other links and reroute them.

Be well...have a great week.

August 20, 2006 8:42 AM  
Blogger RomanceWriter said...

Hello,,

I will be doing NaNoWriMO right along with you this year. I particapated last year and it kicked off a burst of creative energy in me. I didn't quite get to 50,000 words but I learned more about my self and my writing than in any other single month thus far.

Thanks for the heads up about DBA. I will check out his Short Short Fiction stories.

Bye for now,
Sara

August 20, 2006 10:27 AM  
Anonymous Nicky said...

I agree with you, Lehane's approach is a brilliant way of polishing one's craft and like you, I also thought it would be a great way to work on my writing - but it is daunting. I find it tough enough coming up with something to say everyday on my own blog and that's often more of a fictionaly ramble, rather than the tight and often gripping prose the Lehane produces.

August 20, 2006 11:43 AM  
Blogger Anthony said...

I was pleased to have you visit my blog and comment. I suppose I beat down your defenses somewhere along the fourth or fifth comment here. :-)

Thanks Kilroy for the referral.

Would it be possible that we might do a link exchange?

By the way, as a geneologist I was wondering if you'd checked out my other blog

The Family, McCune {Machione}

August 20, 2006 11:33 PM  
Blogger BluJewel said...

I came across your blog from another blogger (subservient worker) and I like what I've read from you. I write also. If you have time, please check out http://thesaphyrelounge or www.blujewel.com

I'm not sure if my writing style is of interest to you; however, I'd appreciate the look see anyway.

Thanks.

August 21, 2006 10:28 AM  
Blogger Brandon said...

Short Short Fiction was the first fiction blog that I came across and was completely hooked. It's why I started posting my stories regularly. Thanks for giving great feedback and calling attention to the site and author that got me started. Plus, you even give me great comments now. Good luck in your new project. I look forward to reading in the future.

August 22, 2006 9:41 PM  
Anonymous Amin said...

Hi. I have to say the short stories DBA Lehane produces make me want to weep - with jealousy.

He's given me his blessing to steal his idea of using dictionary.com as the springboard for a story and I've posted my first two. Yes, I've only just got started, but it does seem a marvellous way to force oneself to write. I'm like so many would-be writers and I've been talking about it for about 30 years.

Now I've finally started so who knows, maybe one day I'll actually produce the novel hidden inside me. Even if I don't, I think I'll have a lot of fun along the way trying.

Susan Abraham's blog is a very good stepping off point for finding lots of good blogs to inspire and entertain so I'm glad I found her blog and the many others she links to.

August 24, 2006 8:13 AM  

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