Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Write 1 Sub 1 - Speculative Fiction Writer


I am delighted to be again hosting Speculative Fiction Writer, Milo James Fowler. He is a co-founder of Write 1 Sub 1, which entered it's third year in 2013. Over to you, Milo.





Writing in Ray Bradbury's Shadow

By Milo James Fowler

What makes someone a literary legend? Does he have to live long enough to see his work become popular? Outlive his critics? For many writers in the past, a true fan base only developed posthumously. 

Not so with Ray Bradbury. Novels, short stories, poetry, plays—his body of work is loved the world over. But once upon a time, he was just a struggling young writer in love with the craft. He wrote a short story every week, polished it up, and submitted it to a magazine. Rejection letters flooded in, mainly due to his prolific submissions. But there were also acceptances along the way, and they inspired Bradbury to keep doing what he loved: telling stories as only he could.

Seeing him at the Escondido library in the fall of 2009 was a surreal experience I’ll never forget. He spoke about being a “lover of life,” and that, for him, writing was always a labor of love. He told us that night, “If you can write one short story a week—doesn’t matter what the quality is to start, but at least you’re practicing. At the end of the year, you have 52 short stories, and I defy you to write 52 bad ones. Can’t be done.” 

A year later, a reader commented on my blog that I seemed to be announcing a short story publication every month. I responded by saying that compared to Bradbury, I was nowhere near as prolific, but that someday I hoped to follow in his footsteps.

“Someday” turned out to be 2011. 

It was time to take the proverbial bull by the horns and see if I could do it: write and submit a new story every week. And since misery and joy both love company, I decided to invite fellow writers Simon Kewin and Stephen V. Ramey along for the ride. Thus, Write1Sub1 was born.




Now in our 3rd year with over 300 participants, we’re still going strong, and I can honestly say I’ve grown as a writer because of this challenge. W1S1 has forced me to take my writing seriously and carve out a chunk of time for it every day. It’s also taught me how to deal with a deadline—how to write fast and revise slow, and to get my work off the hard drive and into an editor’s inbox. Along the way, I’ve created some of my best work, stories that wouldn’t exist without this challenge and our supportive community of writers. 

It's never too late to join, so stop by Write1Sub1 today and sign up for either our weekly or monthly participation level. You'll be glad you did!

Thank you, Mr. Bradbury, for inspiring us. You said it could be done, and you were right.

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Thank you for sharing your journey to W1S1, Milo. Ray Bradbury is an inspiration for all writers, whatever their chosen genre. I am of course insanely jealous that you got to meet him.

22 comments:

  1. Milo, you are an inspiration! Anytime I read another writer's comments about short stories and trying to find a home, I direct that person to your site.

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    1. I do my best to pass on everything I've learned along this journey.

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  2. What good advice. I love Bradbury's comment!

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  3. Nice to see you here Milo! Milo's a shining example of discipline, and has a good return for his investment.

    I've read a few of Milo's stories, Capt'n Quasar is the latest. And I've got one on my TBR shelf.

    Good luck, Milo! Nice guest, Ellie!

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    1. Thanks, DG -- Captain Quasar is one of my favorite characters. Working on a novella this month...

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  4. I've known Simon Kewin a long time now via Blogger and his work ethic is astonishing. You're all inspirational

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    1. Working with Simon on W1S1 and the SpecFic Authors Collective has been great; he's a good chap.

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  5. Great post! I've been very intrigued with W1S1, and short stories in general. I mostly just write novels and the occasional poem. I may give it a shot this year.

    BTW Ellie, cool book cover!

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    1. Definitely -- climb aboard the W1S1 train; you'll be glad you did.

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  6. Excellent post! I hope to visit the site this week. Its late at night now. Me eye lids are getting heavy.

    Hugs and chocolate to you Ellie. Congrats on your book.

    Shelly

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    1. W1S1 is open for business 24/7 -- hope to see you over there.

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  7. Phew! I will stick to writing factual stuff, my imagination is not that prolific.

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    1. Like any muscle, it grows with practice!

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  8. Great interview with Milo, as ever. Like Milo, I can honestly say W1S1 has prompted me to write stories I would never have written otherwise, some of which I'm very proud of indeed.

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    1. I'm glad you've written them and glad I've been able to read them, Simon. Looking forward to seeing your novels on my shelf this year!

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  9. It is amazing that you were able to meet Radbury in person and hear those words that inspired your project. I bet you could even start your own literary journal.

    I love W1S1. After trying in 2011 I gave up because of two rejections, the first two. Had I kept it up I probably would have some acceptances by now.

    Now I'm in for 2013 and will stick to it. Just submitted my January story. I'm going to try for two a month, not the one.

    Viva W1S1 !

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    1. Glad you're back! Remember: every rejection letter is a permission slip to send your story where it belongs. I've had several stories accepted after 20 rejections; they never would have found their homes if I'd given up on them.

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  10. Great post! Bradbury's comment is priceless!

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    1. Although, if we set out to write 52 really bad stories, I'm sure it could be done...

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