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I can hardly remember the last time I did an update on my writing. (Probably all the folklore…)

short stories publishing

So here goes:

Once a month, I make sure I have a story ready for the Tales of the Onyx Labyrinth. There’s no planning involved. At all. I had this vague idea (well, actually I had a dream and wrote it down) which turned into the first story. Everything that follows just sort of happens as I get to know the characters. And, of course, the antagonists are whichever folklore creatures I’m looking into for #FolkloreThursday.

Outfit the Guardians wear in the Tales of the Onyx Labyrinth.

When it was announced that WOES was closing, I realised that all the stories I had published on that website would no longer have a home. It had taken me a while, but I’ve since rewritten The Adventures of Saphira the Faery Dog so it’ll be available in both English and Afrikaans on Wattpad. It will be updated with one story at least once a month. Though I have only a vague idea of where the story’s heading, I do know where the main character (Saphira) is heading.

Both of the above series are like a behind-the-scenes sneak-peak at the creative process. Though the stories are rewritten and properly edited, I haven’t polished them in quite the same extra-shiny (read: obsessive) way I would a manuscript I’ll send to a literary agent/publisher.

I’m also aiming to publish at least one story a week (this includes the stories from the series above). Which means writing at least four new stories a month: one Onyx Labyrinth tale, one Saphira adventure, and two short stories hailing from the shadow realm of my subconscious.

Thus far, I’ve published one short story on Wattpad (for a competition) and four stories on writing.com (see my stories page). Two of these stories are actually meant for April, but I published them before I forget to with all the extra work I’ve piled on for that month.

So… April?

Yeah. As most bloggers already know, April is the month of the A-Z blogging challenge (see last week’s post). I’ll be blogging every day according to the letters of the alphabet – which is much harder than just finding something random about writing, Rottweilers, life as a South African, folklore (and Faeries) or all of it combined. I have done a bit of planning (that’s how two short stories ended up already published). But most of the work will happen in April. I’ll also tweet which blogs I’d visited as part of the challenge.

Then there’s Camp NaNoWriMo. I don’t have time to officially take part in Camp. Not only am I rewriting an entire novel (which is what Camp NaNoWriMo is all about) but I’m also writing several short stories for ezines (we’ll see what comes from that). Though NaNoWriMo had done a lot in November to boost my output (I’m quite competitive), rewriting a novel and writing it from scratch are wholly different things. I can have no interruptions while doing the rewrite. Not even doing a bit of social media to help others feel supported.


I have a sign outside of my workspace saying: No interruptions except in case of fire or blood. (I read on someone’s blog that a famous writer has something similar on the door of their study.)

How am I going to do the A-Z challenge then? Good question.

I’m going to do it around 5am – before breakfast and exercising. When I’m done doing my part of the challenge, my computer is going to be turned off. I’ve already printed out the manuscript (it makes it seem like something entirely new) and will be doing the rewrites on paper I’ve salvaged from old books. Reading and typing whatever I wrote in April will be someone else’s problem in May (yeah, I’m the poor fool who’ll be typing all of that…). As for the extra short stories, I’ve marked the weekends to do those.

It may not sound like a lot of work (I know people who’ve rolled their eyes when I told them what I’m up to in April), but I’m definitely going to have the bloodshot eyes of a zombie (more on zombies at the end of April!) and be running on minimal sleep. Those of you who write novels know how much work goes into the rewriting process – I’m sure you appreciate the mammoth task of doing so in less than 30 days. The bloggers among you know how much time goes into not only writing a post but also visiting several blogs – and this will happen every day in April (except for Sundays). It’s already a lot to do so twice a week… And I’m not even going to mention the short stories or the other social media stuff that has to be tended to.

Look out for my daily posts in April. They’ll be full of folklore, writing tips, writing inspiration and African Fae you’ve probably never heard of.

I’m off to do a spot of research for my April posts…

zombie eyes

“A love affair with knowledge will never end in heartbreak.” – Michael Garrett Marino


How about you, fellow scriveners: are you doing Camp NaNoWriMo or the A-Z blogging challenge in April? Have you tried Wattpad or writing.com to showcase your writing? Any tips you’d like to share?

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