Quite happily, I have, so far, written a story a day. As planned, they have all been relatively short (about 750 to 1000 words) — kind of proto-stories, if you will.
I don’t really think of these as flash fiction even though they are complete stories — each with a beginning, middle, and end — and a flash fiction sort of length. Because unlike flash fiction, they aren’t fully developed within that word count and they don’t focus on a single element. They are all ‘bigger stories’ and still in need of further description and worldbuilding and such. Undoubtedly, they will end up being much longer.
Of the six stories I have written so far, five of them are set within the universe of my current work in progress (a novella called This Monstrous Heart).
My idea going into this was to write a number of these little stories that develop the backstory for my novella. It isn’t necessarily material that I will use in the novella, but I think I’d like to write a prequel (or a series of prequel stories) once the novella is finished (by the end of this month!).
I didn’t intend on necessarily using the prompts for these prequel stories, but they have turned out to be really useful. Each day, some aspect of the prompt has given me a particular focus.
Day 1’s prompt (Fran Wilde Crosses A Bridge) led me to write about these immortal-ish future-humans coming to the realization that they’re bored and they need to find something new to occupy themselves with.
And the prompt on day 3 (Matthew Salesses Looks Back) provided me with an opportunity to think about how the future-humans realize they’re not quite as immortal as they thought.
On Day 4, Neha Mediratta’s final line prompt (“That’s how a small cut in her finger led to the end of the world.”) led me to explore the not-quite-as-immortal-as-they-thought part with more depth.
And for Julie’s “interview your character” prompt today, I formatted it as a straight back and forth interview transcript and focused on the content as one of the characters reflects on the Dyson sphere construction they have been engaged in.
(I went furthest afield with the prompt from day 2 (AT Greenblatt Wants You To Go Somewhere New), as it takes place on a dying Earth, which I guess is somewhere I’ve haven’t gone before.)
The non-novella-universe story I’ve written was partly inspired by a themed call for submissions — feminist science fiction including bikes and books. (I’ve had other stories published in Bikes in Space anthologies.)
I combined that with the day’s prompt (Day 5 – Marta Pelrine-Bacon Makes Your Character Lose Something) and, as these things often go, I ended up with some really interesting ideas and worldbuilding, but I wandered quite far away from the actual theme I was aiming for!
But there was so much I liked in the ideas that developed — about a heavily capitalist space station orbiting Venus (bikes featured prominently, as a way to navigate the very large station, but the book part got left behind after the very beginning). I will definitely return to this idea in some form.
So that takes us up to today! I hope everyone is nurturing their creativity however that looks for them 🙂