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A Story A Week 2018

by Jay Wilburn

Ray Bradbury recommended that authors write short stories before they attempt novels. Many writers steer away from short story work as their careers progress because the smart money is on novels. Bradbury also suggested that authors not try to make money as they are building up their craft. Jeez, what is this guy’s deal?! Ray Bradbury is credited with saying that writers should attempt a story a week because it is not possible to write 52 bad stories in a row. That is where the Story A Week Challenge arises.

I first attempted this in 2014 with a group of other authors. 2014 wasn’t so successful in terms of hitting 52. In 2017, I was much more successful. Even with a kidney transplant and a rejection episode, I stayed on track most of the year and completed my 52nd story on the last day.

I don’t particularly want to play again in 2018, but I think I need to. I believe it helps me keep track of progress and reminds me of what I’m trying to do as a writer both in short fiction, novels, and beyond. I’m also attempting to complete a million words total for 2018 combined with fiction, blog posts, articles, and any freelance work I do. The Story A Week Challenge compliments that goal nicely.

Let’s create …

January

1 – Week of Jan 1 – 6

Story 1 – “Deep Down in the Places Between Here and There” — I was writing this one for a Halloween anthology call open now. The story wasn’t coming together and I did not think it was going to hit the 4500 word minimum. I decided to just finish it anyway and plan something else for the call. Then, the story really started to work. I almost didn’t come under the 8500 word maximum. I don’t know if it will get accepted, but it is the story I was meant to write. I’m going to let it sit a few days before I edit it.

Bonus Story – Completed the draft of the novel Dead Song book 5. I’m piling work onto to editors, it seems.

2 – Week of Jan 7 – 13

Story 2 – “Bitcoin Pizza” This one is weird. It was an idea I’ve been playing around with since I found out the first bitcoin purchase was a pizza in Jacksonville, Florida for 10,000 Bitcoin which last December would have been worth 180 million dollars. I went ahead and started writing it because a pizza themed horror anthology opened up. I’m not sure this is the one for that call though. We’ll see.

Story 3 – “Vampire Christ” part 19. This is a serial novel which appears on my Patreon page with new installments each month. It combines politics, religion, and vampires. What could go wrong?

Story 4 – “Par” This turned into a much bigger story than I expected. It’s a pandemic decimation post apocalyptic story. A man on his own after losing every member of his large family takes up golf. He crosses the country playing courses. His time is limited because the treatments he needs to survive are not available in an apocalypse. His life goes from biding time until he dies while feeling guilty about what he couldn’t do for his family to finding an unusual course to meaning and redemption. It came out to over 11,000 words which isn’t the usual length of stories for me anymore.

Me, Armand, and Chuck at Bitcoin Pizza

3 – Week of Jan 14 – 20

4 – Week of Jan 21 – 27

5 – Week of Jan 28 – Feb 3

 

February

6 – Week of Feb 4 – 10

7 – Week of Feb 11 – 17

8 – Week of Feb 18 – 24

9 – Week of Feb 25 – March 3

 

March

10 – Week of March 4 – 10

11 – Week of March 11 – 17

12 – Week of March 18 – 24

13 – Week of March 25 – 31

 

April

14 – Week of April 1 – 7

15 – Week of April 8 – 14

16 – Week of April 15 – 21

17 – Week of April 22 – 28

18 – Week of April 29 – May 5

 

May

19 – Week of May 6 – 12

20 – Week of May 13 – 19

21 – Week of May 20 – 26

22 – Week of May 27 – June 2

 

June

23 – Week of June 3 – 9

24 – Week of June 10 – 16

25 – Week of June 17 – 23

26 – Week of June 24 – 30

 

July

27 – Week of July 1 – 7

28 – Week of July 8 – 14

29 – Week of July 15 – 21

30 – Week of July 22 – 28

31 – Week of July 29 – Aug 4

 

August

32 – Week of Aug 5 – 11

33 – Week of Aug 12 – 18

34 – Week of Aug 19 – 25

35 – Week of Aug 26 – Sept 1

 

September

36 – Week of Sept 2 – 8

37 – Week of Sept 9 – 15

38 – Week of Sept 16 -22

39 – Week of Sept 23 – 29

40 – Week of Sept 30 – Oct 6

 

October

41 – Week of Oct 7 – 13

42 – Week of Oct 14 – 20

43 – Week of Oct 21 – 27

44 – Week of Oct 28 – Nov 3

 

November

45 – Week of Nov 4 – 10

46 – Week of Nov 11 – 17

47 – Week of Nov 18 – 24

48 – Week of Nov 24 – Dec 1

 

December

49 – Week of Dec 2 – 8

50 – Week of Dec 9 – 15

51 – Week of Dec 16 – 22

52 – Week of Dec 23 – 31
(I know this “week” is longer than 7 days, but the year started on a Monday, so we’re calling this the final “week” of the year.)

 

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And just like that, we have a year. If we make it this far and are still drawing breath, that is a miracle indeed. Not everyone will have achieved that this year. If we don’t, well, I’m sure we made it as far as we could as best that we could and some of this work will serve as our last uses of voice to echo through the ages after we have passed. Either way, the movement of the pen and the construction of words was surely not a waste. Odds are a few of these stories are good and couple may be great.

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Jay Wilburn
Jay Wilburn has a Masters Degree in Education that goes mostly unused since he quit teaching to write about zombies. Jay writes horror because he tends to find the light by facing down the darkness. He finds the journey through life easier by having you join him. Jay is the author of 2 series: The Dead Song Legend and The Great Interruption. He cowrote The Enemy Held Near with Armand Rosamilia. You can also find Jay's work in Best Horror of the Year volume 5 and Dark Moon Digest. Each year Jay has the pleasure of featuring many great authors in the genre through the Summer and Winter of Zombie blog tours on his website.

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