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Ask an Author 2.0 #27

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Carlos Hazday

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HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

My apologies for shouting to anyone recovering. Can you believe it’s already 2020? Weren’t we all recently concerned about Y2K trashing our computers? Wasn’t I trashed myself after a night of half-naked dancing at a Millenium party?

I’m getting old; my memory plays tricks all the time. But one thing I remembered clearly was that Ask an Author would be the first blog entry this year. Thankfully, I had this ready early enough I didn’t have to cancel last night’s celebration.

Have I babbled sufficiently? How about I shut up and share this month’s question and the responses?

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My question concerns those who produce a regular Wednesday 1000 word length chapter ie Cia, Mann, and Caz Pedroso. 

 

Why did you start writing a story like this? Does it change your writing? Do your readers enjoy it? Do you write chapter to chapter? If so, how obliged do you feel to keep up the frequency?

 

◊ ◊ ◊

@Caz Pedrozo

Why did you start writing a story like this?
I saw the Wednesday briefs group on Cia’s blog and decided to join them. It was my way of easing into writing again.

Does it change your writing?

It does and it doesn’t. The word limit of 500 - 1000 words makes you think more about what you’re writing and can help you to be more concise. However, my Wednesday briefs story is never planned, it is written by the seat of my pants and changes week by week depending on the characters and sometimes the comment left by readers. My longer stories are always planned out ahead of time (although, things can always change) and so have more structure to them. 

Do your readers enjoy it?

Their comments say they do, even when they are begging me to write longer chapters. 

Do you write chapter to chapter? If so, how obliged do you feel to keep up the frequency?

As i said above, yes, i write these stories as they come to me.

I try my best to post each week, because i know as a reader that it is annoying to be enjoying a story and the author disappears after posting faithfully for several weeks. I also like the fact that even if my other writing is stalling I can have something to offer my readers so they know I haven’t disappeared and forgotten them. 

◊ ◊ ◊

@Cia

My Wednesday feature is actually part of a group from a blog I have off GA, and it used to be upwards of 20 authors or more posting each week. I've been participating for more than five years, and I rarely miss a week. Even when all my other writing dries up (like now) the weekly flash keeps me motivated to use my imagination and not let my skills get rusty. Eventually I start writing more on other stories as well since I didn't completely let writing fall by the wayside in my busy life. It's a big commitment for me, but one I enjoy. 

So, yes, I write each chapter week to week though I might have an overall story idea for the beginning/middle/end to reach, reader comments DEFINITELY influence how each chapter flows into the next with their thoughts, questions, and ideas of what they like/don't like, and it has changed my writing in many ways. Word choice matters when you need one word instead of ten because you're limited to 1,000, and I've found if I have too many chapters where nothing happens but background setting or building motivations and events up then readers get bored. The stories have to have a lot of action but I still need to maintain an ebb and flow of natural activity so it still feels "real" so I'm often challenged to think about how I can include small events with big and timeline jumps to make a story feel believable.

I encourage all authors to try writing fiction in a variety of lengths. It's a challenge, and there's nothing more stimulating for authors than learning something new about their writing abilities and preferences!  

◊ ◊ ◊

@Mann Ramblings

I started writing with the Wednesday Briefers because my schedule became so overloaded, I was having trouble writing at a consistent pace. I have at least three WIPs that get sporadic attention at best. The flash fiction format of 1k per week gives me a deadline I can manage and keeps at least one story flowing constantly. It's been a nice exercise in being concise and getting as much as I need into the portion allotted. Maintaining pacing is a little tricky, but I'd like to think I've managed that fairly well.

Reader reactions have been mixed. They’ve been loving the story, but they're also voracious that if I could promise more on a regular basis I would. Because of that, I've been religious about posting every Wednesday at 8am my time because if I can't give the readers as much as I'd like, I can at least be counted on to give them something for being so loyal and putting up with the extended format.

If my life ever stabilizes, I'd like to post stories with more traditional sized chapters. Until then, I want to keep writing, and this makes sure it happens.

◊ ◊ ◊

That’s it folks. According to Word, this entry clocks in at just under a thousand words; that sounds very appropriate since it’s a Wednesday :P

See you all next month. In the meantime, please don’t make me wait until I’m out of material to send me questions. Do it now, before you forget.

 

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I accept and appreciate that the 500-1k word limit keeps some authors writing.  The trouble is the stories can be quite compelling and I just want to get immersed in them and a skinny chapter doesn't leave much room for that.  So a Yeah!, But!

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Thank you very much for insight into those who write stories in this way. I confess to being intrigued. 

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