I mentioned a few months ago that I was going to use this year’s NaNoWriMo to write 50,000 words of short stories. Others have tried different versions of a story writing month but this is my plan for 2018.
In September and October I’m dreaming up ideas then giving each idea a star rating with three stars meaning it has everything it needs to be a story. In October I will settle on ten to twelve three-star story ideas and flesh out who’s in them, what the main conflicts are, andfigure out the motivations and settings.
In November I will write each of the there-star stories until I reach 50,000 words.
I want to do this for a few reasons. First, I’ve done NaNoWriMo three times and succeeded all three times. Last year, even while traveling and in the first week attending the World Fantasy Convention, I reached the goal early. When I am committed to a month of writing, hitting 50,000 words is not really a challenge any more. That is not a brag. By working through previous years I have developed a writing discipline that lets me produce fairly quickly. Editing is another story, but I can get a draft down much faster than when I first tried NaNoWriMo.
Second, I need to write more short stories. I have enough novel ideas for the next ten years. What I need are short stories. This is partly because I feel the form fits certain story ideas I want to write. It is also because there is truth in the fail often principle.
I know none of the stories written during November will be ready to submit. That’s not the point. I will have at least eight or ten stories to edit and give me nearly a year’s worth of submissions if I edit one a month.
NaNoWriMo is great for social writing, motivation, and feeling accomplished. Even if you don’t make 50,000 words its worthwhile. You get something written and that’s really the point. So I’ll be using the community of NaNoWriMo to support my short story writing. If you wish to join me, use #NaStoWriMo on Twitter and we’ll provide our own sub-support group.
Note: #NaStoWriMo is not affiliated with NaNoWriMo in any way.