Creativity Workshop, Fiction, Goals, Poetry, Short story, Writing


Our third instruction in the Creativity Workshop is to formulate three goals to concentrate on during the workshop and to create a task list for each goal. Merrilee’s post defined the difference between wants, needs, and goals. We must decide what tasks are needed to reach our goals.

I confess; my right brain started to whine immediately. “This is too hard.” I never approach writing this way. To even describe myself as a “pantser” insinuates I write more methodically than I presently do. So you see, just attempting this workshop is a challenge for me.

Merrilee told us to choose three from our issues/interests list to set as our goals. First problem: I didn’t compile a good list. I included no interests, for one, and she had already planned to address two of my five issues in the workshop! So … I had to improvise. I decided that incorporating more description and fleshing out dialogue would come into play in writing each story for the workshop. That left one general and one specific issue on my original list. But the general issue (#0) doesn’t really apply for the following reason.

Goal #0: Finish writing a story (or poem) in one week. (Twelve times.) This is the goal for every participant in the workshop, but I am (secretly … shhhh) challenging myself to have critique ready stories (or poems) by the end of each week.

  • Day 1: Choose a story idea. Do research, if necessary. Sketch out character(s) and storyline.
  • Days 2-7: Write. My stories average about 3,000 words, so I will have to write 500 words per day.
  • Days 3-6: Review and edit the previous day’s writing. Determine that I’m still on track with my storyline (or adjust, if one of my characters has thrown me a curve.)

Goal #1 Weeks 2-5:  Linked by theme. Learn about poetry forms and write poems in four different forms. I am not a poet, nevertheless, I occasionally write a poem … badly. So, I want to write four poems I’m proud to claim.

  • Research poetic forms and select four.
  • Choose poem theme.
  • Choose a different form each week and write the poems.

Goal #2 Weeks 6-9:  Linked by genre. Write psychological suspense or horror without giving away too much too soon.

  • Choose and read four published (and acclaimed) stories in this genre.
  • Analyze these stories to understand how and when the author introduced plot elements and details.
  • Write four stories in this genre.

Goal #3 Weeks 10-13:  Linked by characters and location. These will be literary fiction, my usual genre.

  • Write four stories set in the same Kentucky “holler” with one or more of the characters, mostly family members, appearing in each.

Now you know; this is what I’ll be writing for the next thirteen weeks. At the end of each week I will post here about my progress … and I may mention it in another post now and then. Don’t worry, you won’t hear me bitch and moan because this will be a breeze. How’s that for positive thinking? 🙂

19 thoughts on “Goooals!”

  1. Okay, the idea of writing this list makes my right brain whine too. 🙂 I laughed out loud when I read that.
    You have a pretty detailed list here. Impressive. Impressive enough to make me run from the blog with my hands over my ears singing lalalalalalalala I can’t hear you. You all are pretty stinkin’ motivated to commit to this. I’m glad I didn’t pursue it, I’d never have the time to seriously devote to it. I will enjoy following along though.
    Good luck, but I don’t think you’ll need it.


    1. The others may be motivated, I’m just reckless. 🙂

      You need all the time you can spare to work on your novel. Believe me, if I was five chapters into a new novel, I wouldn’t have signed up for this workshop.

      I’ll take your wishes of good luck because I will need it.


  2. Love the idea of writing four stories based on one Kentucky “holler.” Reminds me of Faulkner’s Yoknapatawpha County setting. Sounds like you’ve set up a really varied and exciting course for yourself! 🙂


    1. These stories will end up as chapters in my next novel, Meredith, or at least that’s the plan. You’ve set some interesting goals for yourself … and expressed them so well. May the muse be with us! 🙂


  3. Linda — You’re the reason I even knew about this workshop. Thank you! I’m still working through what goals might work for me. I really like your last set especially — linking the characters and settings.

    All of the linkages, actually.

    Must. go. set. goals.


    1. Good luck on your goals, Natasha. I need to clear up some other things this weekend, so I can start researching poetry forms on Monday. Trying hard not to ask what I’ve gotten myself into! 😀


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