If you’ve read this blog lately, you’ll know I’ve been doing the NaNoWriMo challenge, i.e. I signed up to write a 50,000 word novel during the month of November. Well, actually, I’m a nano rebel. I decided it would be more fun to write 50,000 words of short stories instead of writing a novel. So that’s what I’ve actually been doing. Here’s how it’s going so far.
I’m behind. It’s day 22, so I should have written 36,666 words. I have actually written 30,625 words. But hey, the good news is that I’ve written a whole pile of short stories. I’ve just had a bit of a tally. So far I’ve completed:
8 stories of approx 1000 words
2 of 3000 words
2 of 2500 words
(The rest of the words are beginnings and ideas that aren’t fully developed – might be interesting to come back to later)
Of the completed 8 short stories, 3 are edited, polished and submitted to mags. 1 is sold. It’s called the Lebkuchen Heart and Take a Break bought it for their New Year issue of Fiction Feast. Yippee. The other short ones are complete (ish) but need editing and polishing.
Both the 3000 word stories are also complete, but need editing and polishing.
1 of the 2500 word stories is polished, edited and submitted. The other I just finished writing today, so still needs an edit and polish.
But that still means I have 12 stories done so far up to at least draft stage.
Plus a pile of beginnings that I may go back to and develop.
Plus a pile of words that may have the nugget of a character or idea in them but that aren’t very structured.
So being behind on my word count isn’t a problem. I am thrilled. I never really expected to do this much. Especially as I’m in the throes of moving house so lots of packing and sorting out is going on.
It’s really inspiring and magical writing short stories every day without having to worry too much if they are a) any good and b) finished. Some of them I haven’t bothered finishing because they’re not working. Usually I’d struggle with that and waste loads of time flogging a dead horse – excuse the cliché. I’ve used all my original phrases in Nano stories 🙂
My top tip for doing Nano – or at least the thing that’s worked best for me, is to do it first thing. I don’t do anything else, not even check emails or go on Facebook or Twitter when I get to my computer. I just open up my Nanowrimo document, type the date, and start on today’s story. (I don’t – even if I really want to – edit yesterdays. Although I have let myself finish it if I didn’t manage to finish it the day before.)
It’s fantastic. Wonderfully Liberating.
Better get back to work. But I’d love to hear about other people’s Nanowrimo experiences. How are you getting on?