Welcome to the Mat-Cave!
Today is going to be a bit of an interesting exercise for me. I was asked by a friend of mine to contribute to his upcoming short story anthology (more on that in a later post). The reason I say it is going to be “an interesting exercise” is because I haven’t written a prose short story in 20 years or more — potentially since high school! I’ve written comic books, screenplays, audio dramas and even sold a novel, but the short story and I have never been intimate.
As part of my effort to become more familiar with the short story format, I have decided to follow the lead of Dean Wesley Smith and issue myself a short story challenge (you can find more about his own challenge at: www.deanwesleysmith.com). Beginning on Monday, August 1st, I am going to write one new short story every week. As part of the challenge, I’ll detail the process I went through for each story and go over how much time I spent on it.
The thinking behind this challenge (which I admit to completely stealing from Mr. Smith) is that it will get me to write more. Over the years, my career has shifted from being art-based to being almost exclusively focused on writing — even my Internet marketing is powered by my ability to put words together effectively — and I’m at the point now where I really need to start acting like a real writer instead of just an artist who has fooled people into thinking he can form coherent sentences.
OK, MOSTLY coherent sentences.
The flip side of encouraging me to “just freakin’ write already” is that it will give you, my loyal readers, some transparency and insight into the way I work. I’ll leave each new story up for a week, pulling it down when the next new short goes live, so you’ll be able to see what I’m working on. In addition, my accompanying wrap-up post will let you see my thought process behind each piece — it’ll let you see what choices I made while writing and, just as important, why I made those choices.
Hopefully this will be a fun exercise for everyone. If nothing else, it will give you a nice front row seat to watch my person descent into madness as I try to complete 22 short stories between now and the end of December 2011.
Here’s hoping I don’t botch things too badly…
-Mat Nastos, Super Genius
PS. I am dedicating this little endeavor to my 9th grade English instructor, Ms. Thom, one of the worst teachers and human beings I’ve ever had the displeasure of knowing. Every writing sale I’ve made — every film or TV show I’ve written — is in spite of that witch.