I’m participating in The A to Z Challenge

Okay, I’m probably crazy, but I’m going to participate in the A to Z Challenge in April.  The challenge is to have blog posts for each letter of the alphabet, sort of like Sue Grafton’s mystery alphabet series (i.e., is A is for Alibi).  I tried the challenge last year and got to the last third, and I was done.  All the posts were starting to burn me out.  I’d tried to get ahead, but honestly, when you’re a fiction writer, it’s hard coming up with posts that fit in with a “platform.”

I’ve thrown the platform away (sorry, Kristien Lamb).  To be blunt, I suck at it, and after two years of trying, it was becoming not worth the effort.  Writing about writing is much more interesting to me, and I’m fine if it keeps my really ordinary name high on the search engines. (I’ll still have periodic solider posts though.)

So the theme for my A to Z Challenge posts will be Linda’s Rules of Writing.  I’ll admit, I’m not much into rules, because they often get treated like the rules police are going to come after you if you break one of them.

Two meerkats stand on their hind legs and stare at the camera
Wait a minute! You broke a rule?! A pair of meerkats stand on their hind legs and stare at the camera.  My spell checker wanted to change meerkats to beermats.

These will be more like Gibbs’ Rules from NCIS — pearls of wisdom learned from experience and me doing dumb things, and sometimes me doing smart things.  Mostly me doing dumb things.

This time I’m making a lot of effort to get ahead with posts.  Here’s a look at some of the topics:

  • All writing isn’t the same
  • writing has to come First
  • treat line editing like Housekeeping not revision
  • eXperiment with new things
  • always make sure your story is dressed in a Tuxedo (seriously, this was an excuse for penguin pictures!)

If you want to follow the posts via hashtag, I’m posting them under #AtoZChallenge, where you will find many other people posting, as well as via #WanaBlogs.

Meanwhile, wander off and check out my short story “A Soldier’s Magic,” which appears in the anthology The Darkness from Within.   It addresses sexual harassment in the military using fantasy and magic.  Thanks to my critique group, it turned into a really pretty good story.

4 thoughts on “I’m participating in The A to Z Challenge

  1. Your posts sound right up my street. I love writing, especially the rules of writing, so I’ll definitely be back during April to have a read. If you’re interested in experimenting, you might want to have a looksee at my A-Z posts. They’re all about experimental writing!


  2. I still like blogging (most weeks), but I’m starting to think that it’s better to spend the time on my fiction instead. Writing and submitting short stories to paying markets seems to me to be a better platform-building strategy.


    1. I agree. I never use writing time to do blogging. I always use time when I wouldn’t ordinarily write to work on blogging. Short stories are actually the harder for me to do because they do take away from novel writing time.


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