The official blog of author Jean Marie Bauhaus

250 Words, and a Slightly Revised Plan

For those who don’t know because they don’t read my other blog, I’ve been doing the Inkygirl 250 Words a Day Challenge. There’s also a 500 word challenge and a 1,000 word one, but even though my output has been more consistent with those higher numbers (for the most part), setting a minimum daily goal of only 250 words has proven to be much more effective at getting me to stop psyching myself out about having no time to write and actually do some writing. Like I said, I usually surpass that 250 word goal once I get started; it’s the GETTING STARTED part that tends to be a problem.

But even on days when I only have time to put in my 250, I can feel good about it and not beat myself up. As long as I maintain forward momentum and get my head into the story every day, it’s all good.

Today I wrote 549 words on Dominion. I wanted to do more, but considering I had a lot of other stuff to do today, I don’t think that’s too bad. NOT BEATING MYSELF UP. That raises the total word count of that story to 10,432 words. Only about 80,000 more to go!

After that I turned to the Publishing side of things. All of the self-publishing experts keep telling me (via blog posts; not like they’re talking directly to me… YET!<–overt display of confidence) that the more titles you have going for you, especially on Amazon, the better, and the best way to get a lot of titles up in a relatively short amount of time (as opposed to waiting until you have half a dozen novels ready to go) is to do short stories.

So I pulled up a short story from a couple of years ago (that I might have actually posted here for y'all to read, which embarrasses me a little, 'cause that sucker needs WORK), loaded it into Scrivener, and read through it, separating out each individual scene so I can sort them around and play with story order. As I said, it needs a lot of work; but this is what I'll be working on while I wait for beta feedback on This Old Haunt.

And then I guess I’d better get busy writing some short stories, because I don’t really have that many outside of flash fiction, and the two I thought of that might be close to publishable are so old that I don’t even know where to find them.

At any rate, after I finish my blog updates I’m going to open up Holly Lisle’s Plot Clinic and read through the section on Plotting While Revising to see if I get any good ideas for fixing this short story. Here’s hopin’.


The Plan


To Imprint or Not


  1. I like having a lot of short stories, and have more on the way. My first ebook release was a short story. I learned a lot about formatting and getting everything ready to go with the short story.
    The only caveat with short stories is how many of them you need to make much of an impact. Dean Wesley Smith suggests you will need at least 30 short stories out before you’ll start seeing real growth. Could be fewer, but DWS likes big numbers. =)
    My experience so far is that one of my novels is outselling everything else I have out (2 more novels, 8 short stories, and 4 collections). Which fits the “Common Wisdom” (which you should always suspect) that novels sell better/more consistently than single short stories or collections.
    Not to be a downer. Just passing on more information. =)
    Good luck!

    • Thanks, David. That’s helpful info. My problem with short stories is that I think they require a slightly different skill set than novels, and I need to work on that skill set. I have a really hard time keeping stories contained enough to not morph into novels.

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