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Short Stories: January 08, 2020 Issue [#9955]

 This week: Challenge Yourself
  Edited by: Legerdemain
                             More Newsletters By This Editor  

Table of Contents

1. About this Newsletter
2. A Word from our Sponsor
3. Letter from the Editor
4. Editor's Picks
5. A Word from Writing.Com
6. Ask & Answer
7. Removal instructions

About This Newsletter

The purpose of this newsletter is to help the Writing.com short story author hone their craft and improve their skills. Along with that I would like to inform, advocate, and create new, fresh ideas for the short story author. Write to me if you have an idea you would like presented.

This week's Short Story Editor

Word from our sponsor

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Letter from the editor

Challenge Yourself!

As writers, we sometimes get a little too comfortable. It's like that leather armchair in the den. When you first bought it, the cushion was firm and the leather smooth and taut. Then as you began to use it, the seat became more comfortable and the leather nice and soft. Pretty soon the cushion is shaped like your bottom and the ottoman is positioned right where rest your feet. When you sit down, you feel right at home.

It's like that with your favorite genre. If it's romance, you know just the right formula to get that man and woman together for a happy ending. If it's a western, your cowboy saves the day. If it is a dark write, you know just how to pull the reader in and draw out those dark feelings.

Sometimes you run across a pothole in the road and your story won't gel. Your tried and true methods fail to move your work along. Could it be your methods are getting a little boring? Could it be that the same old formula won't work for Calamity Jack?

It's a new year. Challenge yourself! Try crossing some genres or a whole new one. Perhaps that cowboy on the range is a vampire. Maybe your fantasy ends up being a computer game. The sci-fi story you've been fiddling with could become a romance. Think about changing direction when your story bogs down. Take a look at the genre list and imagine what new adventure your characters could have. You can view our WDC genres by clicking "Browse By Genre" over in the left column.

And as always, Write On!

This month's question: Do you write genre mashups? Send in your answer and link below! *Down* Editors love feedback!

Editor's Picks

The Phone Call  (ASR)
Dana & Tamela's former foster mom calls them after years of no contact. (2832 words)
#2182372 by everyjones

Excerpt: I am comfortably ensconced in my favorite place in my sister's home - a dark, heavily curtained corner of a little den at the back of the house. I'm sitting in my favorite chair - a worn, deep-purple, velvet rocker - reading The Amber Room, and listening to the rain pouring down over the roof in torrents. Christian Knoll is threatening Borya for spitting on him when the tranquil silence of the house is broken by loud discordant jangling.

“Brrrnng, Brrrnng, Brrrnng.” I jump, startled.

Homecoming  (E)
A party for a returned troll.
#2209452 by Beholden

Excerpt: I paused at Gurglumpa’s door, my thoughts drawn to the last time I had visited my old friend. That was the day before she departed for England. What had she learned in that year at the Trollbridge Finishing School?

Freeze Frame  (E)
An ice skating marathon, and tea.
#1845563 by Teargen

Excerpt: Along with those bone-buckling, freezing temperatures well below zero, the wind-chill in Friesland can stop a heart, or solidify the skin of an exposed chin in seconds. It is not uncommon to see faceless people bundled in fur-lined parkas, moving cautiously like multi-layered automatons, trudging, heavy-footed, in bunny boots through drifts of snow. Yet despite this inhospitable environment, Friesland played host to the largest skating marathon.

When I Get Home  (18+)
No war ever ends. P.T.S.D. controls a soldier's life.
#2175249 by Nix ~ tks anonymous!

Excerpt: Someday, someday soon, after the Electroconvulsive therapy is over and the doctors have perfected my cocktail of drugs, I will tell her.

 Fate  (13+)
A man known as Vincent Lemmons finds himself in a place he never thought existed.
#2209345 by The Ink Maiden~

Excerpt: Vincent rubbed at his eyes before looking up again. Sure enough there was a giant, glowing pentagram in the sky. He shook his head and attempted to stand again, pleasantly surprised when he succeeded. He took in his surroundings for a moment. Where the bloody Hell am I? Ironically it was at that moment his eyes landed on a huge sign that read 'Welcome to Hell’.

 Something Like a Countdown  (18+)
Just how far under the radar can love really fly?
#2208601 by Elisa the Snowman Stik

Excerpt: Kids today won’t understand the desire to twist a phone if you can’t strangle the person on the other end of the line. After taking 20 some odd calls explaining to people how to copy and paste passwords, I am so over humanity. I’m not optimistic I’ll feel any better even with Christmas only being two weeks away. I’ll end up telling my relatives how to copy and paste gift tags at the rate things are going.

The Sad Passing of Estragon and Vladimir  (18+)
What if they did what they had contemplated
#2196503 by Eric Wharton

Excerpt: "What do you think you're doing?" Officer Pete Sutcliffe asked the strange man sitting cross-legged on the road bank under a single, twisted tree.

He had come upon the scene only moments ago and had brought his police cruiser to a sudden, sliding halt on the rain-slicked country road. Slipping the vehicle into park and rolling down the window he had expected the stranger to respond in a startled fashion after he had barked out the question.

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Word from Writing.Com

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Don't forget to support our sponsor!
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Ask & Answer

This month's question: Do you write genre mashups? Send in your answer and link below! *Down* Editors love feedback!

Last month's question: How do you streamline your writing time?

Write 2 Publish 2020 confesses: You peeked!!! How did you know me? Here's my secret. I sneak into Wdc at work. I sit and make phone calls most days. While doing so I will toggle to Wdc and read, review or like right now, answer questions from the newsletters. I Just hope I don't get caught. I'm still working. Honest!

W.D.Wilcox reveals: I streamline my writing time by using TWO hands to type *Cool*

TINMAN 4000 admits: I have a hard time finding a consistent time to write but most Saturdays I write on the bus on the way to speech and drama meets, I can usually get a solid hour in.

Austyn Dewaele tells:
I tend to have a lot of time on my hands, as I do my schoolwork from home, (I finish around 1pm, so I have the rest of the day to write, game, etc.), so finding the time tends to not be a problem for me.

Paul advises: Get rid of all the sticky-out parts to reduce friction.

If I’m doing something that doesn’t add to getting done what needs done I try to eliminate it. I use the internet extensively to gather information, I NEVER use Facebook, Twitter, or any other social site and I never watch sports, there are millions of things I prefer that expand my mind. I work at eliminating things, including people, that narrow my perceptions of the universe because a mind is like an umbrella, it only works when it’s open.

Morningstar shows: I streamline my writing time by setting aside a certain amount of time and by also putting on timer for projects and to get me up to walk and exercise a bit.

Mikibits describes:
I slip my laptop into a backpack
and embark to Starbucks, snarffing
a caffeine IV, happy to be free of
vittles, kitties and dishes, and
that hanging rectangle of technology
trying to swipe my time and life away.

elephantsealer needs: In order to streamline my writing time, I need to be ALONE, up on top of the mountain, if possible; or enclosed within thick walls that would not let me hear even a smallest murmur outside!!!!

Xiea comments: I have no priority list whatsoever... I'm on the internet and I randomly remember that this site exists... So I log on here, check out some contest prompts, cook up some stories based on the prompts if it interests me enough, and store it up there until next time. Half the stories I cook up are forgotten in a while, I'm kinda busy of late.

tj = ready4spring submits: Not fair, I read the Newsletter only to find no answers. Maybe I should do some research and write a book on... "How To Streamline Writing Time". Everyone could send their solutions to me and I could create a book out of them. Now, if I could only find the time~

🌓 HuntersMoon said: Easy... I don't write. *Rolling*

Steven tells: The first thing I do is turn off the Internet...

tj = ready4spring asked: Writing time can be streamlined? Who would of guessed! *Shock*

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