Friday, May 3, 2013

A to Z challenge reflections

So we're supposed to post our thoughts about the A to Z Challenge today. 

I signed up at the last minute, with maybe an hour to spare before the deadline.  I wasn't going to do it this year, it was a real time-suck last year.  But then my critique partner and I have a monthly short story prompt and I figured, "heck, I'll kill two birds with one stone" type thing and decided I would try and write a story over 26 installments.  The prompt was to include a flower that blooms at night.  It sounded mystical/magical so I started out with a kind of prophecy and went from there.

I had nothing written in advance so I spent an inordinate amout of time thinking about the story each day.  At one point, I was so distracted, I put cereal into my cat's food bowl!  It was kind of like writing for a soap opera ( I imagine) as there had to be a post and it couldn't advance the story along too much or I'd get to the end too quickly.  I loaded up on characters (4 main ones) so I could have enough story.  And then halfway through, I worried I had too much story! Panic!  

I was also working on telling stories third person and from different POVs.  That helped with all the different characters. 

Anyway, with all the focus on writing, I didn't visit as many fellow A-Z participants as I would have liked.  The (WR) code helped because I didn't waste my time going to sites that weren't my interest nor would they like mine.

I found some great new ones, though, and I thought I'd share them (in no particular order)
  • Tangent Shell  She also did a story in 26 parts. Each day from a different person's POV.  I thought it was quite successful and kept you guessing until the very end.  She's got it all in one place now so you don't need to pull up 26 different entries. 
  • Melanie Schulz  Wrote little vignettes/character profiles/scenes each day.  Great writing!  She has a book "The Newsstand Project" which released Wednesday May1.  Check out her stuff, you'll probably end up wanting her book!
  • Escaping Samsara  I stumbled across this one.  He writes poetry.  I'm not a big poetry fan but his poems I love, for whatever reason.  Check it out.  Sometimes it's a three line haiku, other times, it is a full-on sonnet.  
  • The Ruralhood She wrote stories about growing up in a small town.  Lovely pieces.
  • Cassie Mae YA Romance Author  Cassie Mae wrote each day about a date she's been on.  Some of them are snort-cola-out-of-your-nose hilarious. Some just make you say "Aw!" She's got THREE count 'em THREE books coming out this year!  Based on the A-Z entries, I'm definitely picking up "How to Date a Nerd" because she seems like an expert on the subject!


  1. I already followed Cassie Mae's blog, but I agree it was a really fun theme that was unique. I'll check out some of the others you linked since there were so many on the list, I couldn't visit everyone.

  2. Congratulations on the completion of the Challenge,
    also a great reflection post.


  3. Thanks for the shout out. I enjoyed your story soooo much. Great job. Thanks, too, for visiting me.

  4. Thanks for mentioning my story. It was awesome to have another fellow serial writer to visit and I was totally hooked on your story. Your characters were all very likeable, even Valerius :) Your use of the flower that blooms at night prompt was super cool, too. I was totally thinking about writing for TV, as well, because it must be like that, except they are also always trying to raise the shocking bar these days.

  5. Yay, we made it! You did a great job!