I Find Real Gems On the Web
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.