The Bradbury Challenge

Two writers attempt to write a short story every week for a year to see how it changes their writing and lives.

Short Versus Long Fiction – Bradbury Challenge Ep 14

Rated: Explicit for Adult Language

Last week Crissy was sick and while we recorded the episode is late so you are getting two stories this week. Gerald finished the penultimate story in his archetypes collection and he is very happy with the depth of his story. Maya questions whether her story is actually a story. Please comment and let her know whether you would consider it flash fiction or slice of life prose. Despite her illness, Crissy got some good writing done after feeling inspired by Norwest Con.

We discussed short versus long fiction and how the Bradbury challenge is allowing us to play with our writing. Both Crissy and Maya have had the experience of having a short piece end up being part of a novel, while Gerald finds the two art forms quite different.

This Weeks Writing Prompt:

A thank you note from someone you don’t know.


When The Voice Isn’t Right – The Bradbury Challenge Ep 13

This week Maya struggled with what to do when the voice isn’t right. When the voice isn’t right, she finds it almost impossible to move forward. Gerald will set a story aside and work on something else when confronted the problem. But Crissy likes to move forward and fix the voice in revision.

Maya likes the idea of switching to additional projects but a crucial problem for her is a block against working on another project when she still has a fear of not finishing projects. Both Gerald and Crissy offered solid advice on learning to work on multiple projects at the same time.

They also discuss writing accurately when dealing with race, timelines, or legal procedure. Maya writes characters with diverse backgrounds and is contemplating a police procedural. Surprisingly, all three hosts find visualizing timelines through drawings or charts helpful for keeping the details straight. Maya and Gerald also plan to use their personal networks to have their work checked for inconsistencies.

This Weeks Writing Prompt:

Picture a hierophant with swords around its head come to collect a woman. Why?


Editing and Critique Experiences – The Bradbury Challenge Ep 12

Crissy was inspired by a story this week that just flowed out of her and had a great writing week. Not only did she finish her story but she sent it out to her list.

Gerald also rocked, finishing a total of five good sized short stories in his archetype series.

Maya’s story had problems so she re-outlined it and plans to re-write it for next week. She also received her stories back from her editor, and both Crissy and Maya about the experience. Gerald hasn’t used an editor yet, but has gone to several critique groups. We also discussed language and vocabulary.

This Weeks Writing Prompt:

There is a wall full of medals. What is the story?


Are Artists Seen Differently Now? The Bradbury Challenge Ep 11

This weeks episode is not up to our usual audio standards due to some technical difficulties.

Are artists seen differently now? We had a discussion on the opportunities and problems with self publishing, as well as the increased respect for artists.

Crissy also finished her novel! After discovering that she had a problem with one of her finial chapters, she was able to overcome her writer’s block. Maya also took a huge step and sent four short stories to an editor.

Links Mentioned in this episode:

This Weeks Writing Prompt:

They say if you drop off a building, the whole of your life flashes before you. So if you do that, what is the one thing that flashes before you.


Finding Our Writing Styles The Bradbury Challenge Ep 10

Finding our writing styles has proved to be a challenging and interesting process. So far Gerald has written over a quarter of a million words and is just now discovering his style after spending time writing in many different genre’s. Maya is finding that doing intentional reading is helping her discover her personal style goals but she’s struggling to maintain that style consistently.

Crissy also discusses her attempts to write to market and why she writes in a niche genre. Maya analyses the pros and cons of traditional versus self-publishing for literary fiction. This was a good discussion that went over in time as we discussed the in’s and out’s of our larger projects and the skills we feel we’re still perfecting. We ended with readings that seem to exemplify each of our individual styles.

This Weeks Writing Prompt:

There is a clock with the hands set at 2 minutes to 12…


Getting Real, Finishing, and Expectations – The Bradbury Challenge Ep 9

This week Crissy got real and overcame a major obstacle. Maya confronted her high expectations and Gerald’s story takes a dark turn. What is it about writing that so few people finish their writing projects. In this episode, we have a great discussion on what it takes to finish a story.

This Weeks Writing Prompt:

Get a friend and each of you create a character:

  • What’s there name
  • What is there Gender
  • age
  • where do they live
  • who lives with them
  • what newspaper do they read or channel do they what
  • what are they afraid of
  • what’s there dream

Now the characters meet.


Structural Problems and Stories in Gaming The Bradbury Challenge Ep 8

Pardon the sound issues, we are working on it. This week Maya and Gerald discuss structural problems with their stories. Crissy was sick after catching conference crud, but still managed to start a story. She is a huge gamer and it was interesting to hear her discuss stories in gaming. Then we each read part of our stories. I gotta say, we are loving this new addition to the show. Enjoy!

This Weeks Writing Prompt:

A blinking white light in the dark…

Overcoming Writer’s Block The Bradbury Challenge Ep 7

Crissy is at a convention and records from her hotel this week. It sounds like a ton of fun but we’re all jealous of her hotel breakfast. Maya had writer’s block and drilling down a story to it’s most basic elements allowed her to overcome her lack of story. Gerald talks about another exercise he used to help a friend break writers block. We also tested a new segment that listener DarkenedMoor suggested. It was a great suggestion! If you have any comments or ideas for the show, we’d love to hear them.

This Weeks Writing Prompt:

Take three pieces of paper and make a numbered list 1-5. One the first sheet, list 5 characters/archetypes with no more than 5 words each. On the second sheet, list 2 strong desires you have and 3 strong desires people who aren’t like you have. On the third paper, list 5 random obstacles that could block a desire. As you make each list, do not consider the other lists. Then using dice or This Random Integer Generator select three random numbers 1-5. Use those numbers to select a character, a desire and an obstacle for your story.

Researching Our Stories The Bradbury Challenge Ep 6

Rated Explicit for Language

Wew, finally, here is this weeks episode!

Maya, Gerald and Crissy discussed researching our stories and different types of research. While research is important, it can easily be a procrastination minefield. We have enormous resources available through the internet, but is remote research enough to portray the experience of a location? What other types of research do we find helpful? Crissy’s research as a fantasy writer uses all the knowledge she’s accumulated over many subjects. While Maya worries about cultural and real world locations.

This Weeks Writing Prompt:

Snow Walking

Getting Out of Your Usual Environment Bradbury Challenge Ep 5

Rated PG-13 for comparing public brainstorming to having a sex tape

This week both Gerald and Maya experienced breakthroughs in their writing. Maya is happy with her words for the first time this year and Gerald had a flood of enjoyment. Going on a walk with a recorder helped Maya better understand her story from last week. They also discuss different ideas to get connected with their projects.

Mentioned in the Episode:

Ask Us Anything with R. L. Stine

Fates and Furies

This Weeks Writing Prompt:

If you go scuba diving deep into the ocean where all the corals and the fish are swimming around you, and you find something amazing and out of the ordinary down there… what is it?