I’m at a point in my writing where I think I need to establish a more specific set of goals. I feel like I’ve stagnated a bit where I am, so it’s time to raise the bar a little. In no particular order:
- Submit one short story a month. The only way to get published is to send those stories out. I’m somewhat limited due to budget contraints, since ideally I should purchase at least one copy from each magazine I’m interested in, but I’ll deal with that obstacle as I can. For now, I simply need to write something and send it out to the one of the magazines that I _am_ familiar with right now.
- POV. While I can paint very vivid scenes, my point-of-view writing continues to suffer. I’ve always had a hard time getting inside the heads of my own characters and bringing them to life. It’s time to write less narrative and focus more on developing the human side of each story. It might mean less robust scenery for a while until I start to get a grip on POV, but the end result should be worth it.
- Tying up the loose ends. This may be more of a problem with flash fiction, where there simply isn’t enough time or room for full development, but I need to work on tying up the loose ends in my stories. If I name an attribute of a character, group, or location, I need to be prepared to provide some sort of explanation for that attribute’s existence and relevance to the story. As much as _I_ may enjoy a few loose ends, I’m finding that a lot of readers don’t.
- Critique. I need to work on my critique, both of my own works and of the works of others. This will likely develop as my own writing skill grows, as I begin to understand all the elements that go into a full, robust story. I still tend to focus too much on the mechanics and not enough on the artistry itself, so it’s time to start paying more attention to the gestalt view of the story.
Those are my primary focus points for now, all of which have come to my attention as a result of this my first flash challenge at Liberty Hall.