May Challenge: Story A Day Wrap Up and thoughts about my focus.

I have always intended to be a science fiction writer. This may strike those who have known me since childhood (or know me now) as strange, but here’s the reason for it. When I was writing fairy tales, I still considered myself more of a storyteller than a writer. Odd given that I wrote more short stories than some famous writers (though none are publishable quality but hey, I was 7-10ish), but this is a fact I only realize in the past tense. Had I considered myself a writer then, I would have known that a strict diet of science fiction was not for me…or a strict diet of anything.

But when I discovered authors as a fascinating species of people who told wonderful stories, the authors I discovered were science fiction (ignoring the fact that several have been reclassified as fantasy based on new standards of what counts :p). Had my sister any idea of how much of an absolutist I could be, she would have varied my introduction into books as fun a bit more because this led to years of frustration on her part as I scorned fantasy writers.

Needless to say, if you’ve been following this LJ at least, I no longer box myself so completely into a single genre. I wrote a bunch of literary stories while taking creative writing in college because that was expected of me, but they in no way impinged on my image of my writer self. I was a science fiction writer and that was that.

Then I discovered that the one author, Marion Zimmer Bradley, who had done the most to capture my imagination with her sociological science fiction actually published writers too. It was not much of a leap to my plan to succeed, a plan still ongoing despite her death because others have picked up at least part of her tradition. The only trouble was that she chose to publish fantasy not science fiction. What should have been an insurmountable barrier to the absolutist me, became instead a challenge. I went cursing and screaming my way into writing fantasy.

I was lucky enough to get all but one rejection with a kind note, something I didn’t realize was lucky until years later, but ultimately I could not manage, still can not manage, to write what she’s looking for. On the other hand, had she not pushed me to writing fantasy, there are a number of novels under my belt that would never have been written, so overall, I think I came out on top.

What’s the relevance of that story? Well, it all becomes clear when you see the statistics that came out of my Story A Day challenge.

I wrote ten stories. The average length was 3,036 words with the longest coming in at 4,765 and the shortest at 1,124.

Of those ten stories, six were science fiction and four fantasy.

The science fiction stories were, on average, shorter (2,776 words) but that was because two of them were less than 1,300 words. The longest was the longest overall.

The fantasy stories averaged 3,427 words, with the shortest being 2,555 and the longest being 4,387.

Therefore, though I had more science fiction stories than fantasy, I had more fantasy word count overall than I did science fiction.

I can’t say, at this point, which are my favorite stories because the most recent ones resonate the most just because of proximity, but I will not be surprised to discover some of each genre making it to my top list.

This entry was posted in General and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Share Your Thoughts

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.