A-Z 2013: "Dystopolis"
Last year my theme was Beautiful Things, inspired by the title track of Gungor's album. I enjoyed it, and the challenge lived up to its name! This year I was all but decided I wouldn't participate due to another job change and an addition to our family. However, there was a story bubbling under my skin, and a couple nights before April I made quick plans to jump in no matter how unorganized I was.
The theme from last year had me writing about different objects that I considered beautiful, but this year I wanted something different, something more cohesive. The idea I settled on was a short story. The plan was to post a small portion of a dystopia each day of April, and at the end of the month I'd have a rough draft.
I had no outline to begin the month, and I had no idea if it would work (and that's still up for debate). The only bit of story I did have was the ending, and I wrote everything with that in mind. The challenge created a deadline that I thrived upon - and it really drove the story. I was forced to pound away at Adam and Evie's tale, even if I had no idea where it was going when I sat down. Those April mornings weren't something I dreaded, but something I looked forward to, something I needed.
And when I remained faithful to that deadline, faithful to the story, I found that the story flowed. Characters surprised me, events popped up that I didn't foresee, and the tale took up its own life.
Of course I couldn't sustain the pace of April. At times I'm glad for that, and at times I hope for the day when I can sit down every day with a deadline in front of me and allow the story to come to life. Maybe next April will be another step in that direction.
If you're looking for a way to jump start your blog or give yourself a deadline for that short story you've been meaning to write, why not join the fun next April? The A-Z Challenge will stretch you and encourage you, just as it did me!
Additionally, I hope you'll give "Dystopolis" a chance. You can now purchase the story for the Kindle on Amazon for $0.99. Stop by my blog, Reflections on things fantastic, to read a preview!
Thanks so much for being here today, Ian, and for the chance to get your book at such a good price! I'm looking forward to reading it – one of my favorite genres!