Tuesday 11 June 2013

Your 101 Fiction is Evolving...

A hundred words a week. That's not so hard, right? Only, imagine you have to do it every week, and it has to be good, at least as good as the individual pieces that other people send you, but preferably better, because hey, you're professing to know what you're doing.

Now that's not me claiming my stories are better, that's a whole bag of worms I'm going nowhere near. I really like some of my stories, but I'm hardly objective. There are submitted stories on 101 Fiction that blow me away, stories I wish I'd written, stories I enjoyed reading the first time I saw them, and enjoyed even more when they finally went live on the site.

The point is I have to strive to be that good. (And avoid switching person in the middle of a piece, and avoid long run-on multi-comma sentences and mixed metaphors, all of which have already occurred in the last two paragraphs.)

With the way the site currently works, I have to do it every week. I'm sure I could switch things up and drop the frequency of my posts, publish two submitted stories a week, and people would still be happy with that. I mean, how vain am I to post my own stories all the time when I'm trying to make it into something that is more than just a personal blog? But then there's the other thing.

Checking for submissions regularly, regardless of what is happening in my life, can be draining. Reading and replying, suggesting edits where necessary, rejecting (which is not an easy thing). And worrying that there won't be enough stories submitted and that a week will go by without having a story to fill the gap (although, thankfully, I was always a couple of months ahead in my schedule).

I know... whine, whine, whine... It's only a handful of one hundred word stories a week. But I'm trying to do my own writing, and that could be going better. So, as I have to do on occasion because my mind has a habit of having all these ideas that branch and grow and get out of hand, I have to streamline things.

And the thing is, I really like the whole process of reviewing submissions. I like communicating with other authors and seeing how other people use those scant one hundred words. It's just the continuous, ongoing nature that drags it down. And I love the stories, I love the site. So there needs to be a solution, an evolution of 101 Fiction.

And there is one. I'm sure it will come with its own concentrated moments of stress and worry, its own problems, but it will also come with its own freshness, its own renewed excitement.

So there will be a pause. But it's just a drawing of breath, and then we move on. The details will go up on 101 Fiction tomorrow. I hope it appeals, I hope it works. I hope it doesn't kill the whole thing. It will alter what it means for me as editor, since it will be a slightly different beast, and I'm looking forward to that.

I want 101 Fiction to continue, I want it to grow and succeed.



  1. As someone who posts daily and is hammering away on a novel, I can sympathize with fatigue from blogging frequency. I respect any pause you're taking, John. Hope everything works out right for you when you achieve the calm you desire.

    1. I am totally in awe of the fact that you have such a high output, and that whatever of it I read (not everything, I confess) is always of a high quality.

      I think I'm just trying to find a pattern and a practice that works for me; I'm a firm believer in the adage that trying the same thing and expecting different results is madness (or something along those lines...).

      Thank you, John. =)

  2. A couple posts per week (more if you have more material) is completely reasonable, to me. After the dayjob, family time, and other stuff, having any time to write seems like a miracle.

    1. I think I try so many things, and then realise that one of the reasons nothing longer gets done is because I'm trying so many things... ;)

  3. I hear you. I've dropped off the Friday Flash map to focus on my WIP and I remember feeling bad about that. At the end of the day though, you don't have to do any of it and you certainly don't need to feel bad for having given us all those stories for free. We are not clients, nor do you pay us. You owe us nothing.

    Having said that, I'm glad 101 is going to regenerate in some way. Congrats on all you've achieved so far.

  4. I've had to drop several things this year, with two novels to bring to fruition (one needing a complete re-write) so have every sympathy. Look forward to refreshment in September.

    1. Thanks, Sandra. If only there was the time to do everything, right? Think of all we'd achieve (or how many more time sinks the world would invent... ;) )