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Daily Stories Project Completed!


Yay, I’ve done a thing! On January 5 I kicked off a small writing project that was defiantly and definitely not a new year resolution. Nope, no sirree. None of that nonsense. Had it been, I should surely have failed. I deeply enjoyed last year’s Nanowrimo, and for all of it’s many failings, the action of getting up every day and writing a few thousand words reminded me of just how fulfilling the basic act of creation is, and how much I’ve missed writing for fun. Storytelling is a fundamental attribute of being human, and while I can’t tell an anecdote to save my life, I do like spinning a fictional yarn. In particular, the unplanned nature of both Nanowrimo (for me anyway) and this series of daily stories is what interests and motivates me. I am not a planner, in any facet of my existence. Writing this way feels like a natural extension of improvisation, except it’s just me, a keyboard, and some fairly aggressive drum and bass. So what was the plan, exactly, you might well ask… Well, obviously I didn’t have one.

I did buy some kettle bells after Christmas, so I bound two activities together as self-reinforcing habits: first, a fifteen minute kettle bell workout (Jesus fucking Christ, I am quite fit with swimming and cycling, but there are muscles in my body that I have never previously found a use for), followed by panting uncontrollably on the floor, and then about an hour’s writing time before getting my act together for work. Unlike in Nanowrimo I decided to stick to work days, to leave the weekend for glorious lie-ins and zero commitment. I wasn’t really sure how long I’d be able to keep it up for, but I hit twenty or so stories without giving it much thought, and then picked fifty as a decent target. The combo of waking my body up followed by my brain has been pretty fun. In some cases it’s even prepared me fairly well for getting on with the day.

I need to figure out what I’m next, because while it was nice to have a bit of lie-in this morning after maintaining the habit for fifty days, and I really did miss it. I did do the exercise though, honest!

It’s Been Weird…

I’ve had some “fun” mood swings over the last few weeks which have made this an intriguing challenge, but this exercise/creative routine has been very helpful, along with the usual benefits of the working day routine. There are a lot of rather grim endings and everyone getting murdered sort of themes, which may well speak to my mental state first thing in the morning, or just reveals my inner desires for an end to everything…

The real problem with writing a new story so early in the day is that I have little recollection of them later, and what with the lack of planning, some are a bit… odd. On very rare occasions I’ve actually had some idea for the story before sitting down to write it, but often I found myself nicking a title from Marilyn’s bookcase of detective novels and thrillers, without any idea what the book was actually about. The titles Killables and The Monogram Murders converted pretty directly into unrelated but fun stories. Having an intentional crack at a few genres was fun. I naturally lean into science fiction and fantasy, but there are few detective-ish and horror kinda shorts in here. Other days, there’s just nothing, which is where all that improv practice kicks in!

It was also fun to dig back into some of my older stories and series, like Captain Pigheart with The Hairy Adventure, Franklyn de Gashe in The Pictographic Entertainment and a slice of The Desert Crystals in The Chancellor, as well as a little snippet called Return to the Alltree to add to After the Dark. I’m keen to pick up The Desert Crystals again, after abandoning it some years ago, so maybe that’s what I’ll move on to next!

Are they any good? Well, maybe. The improvised writing and lack of editing hugely appeals to me as a creator, but obviously doesn’t produce a perfect and polished story. I think some are pretty slick and neat, and they’re the ones that flowed nicely when writing them. Others kinda tail off and lose their way, or simply ran out of time (though nothing ends mid-sentence at least!) I’m very grateful to a handful of daily readers who have been far too generous with their time and encouragement (thanks Mum, Marilyn, and Eddie!)

A lot of them are plainly influenced in my dozy morning fugue states by whatever I’ve been reading or watching on TV that week, but was wholly unaware of it until much later. Art’s all theft, right? Right? None of it’s too brutal or super-obvious, but as a fan of many great things out in the world I’m happy to have borrowed their lore.

If you fancy it, please dive in. They range from about 800-1800 words, so all are nice quick reads (not a massive waste of your time at least.)

Daily Stories Project

Daily Stories Project

A new series of very short stories, written very first thing in the morning with no planning or preparation, as an exercise in daily creativity. Unedited and unproofed (sorry!) Enjoy at your peril…

Daily Stories

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