With the last few days of March approaching, I’ve been looking towards things I want to do for April. Because I have a tendency to get distracted by new ideas, I’m trying to limit myself to three new project months a year. That should be April, July and November. These nicely sync up with the usual NaNoWriMo and Camp NaNoWriMo events. Over the last couple of months however, I noticed that while I have a several ideas for larger works, I don’t have too many for shorter ones.
So, for April, I decided I wanted to challenge myself (of course, you are more than welcome and heartily invited to participate as well). For April, I want to try and write thirty short stories.
‘Short story’ tends to be a broad spectrum. From hundred words drabbles to a ten thousand word exploration, there’s a lot of ground to cover in ‘short story’. That’s part of why I find the idea so appealing. It’s a good way to explore new characters and ideas and to get other ideas moving and working.
On the other hand, that broad of an interpretation leaves me open to falling behind if I end up stuck on a short story that does end up being ten thousand words.
To keep myself from getting mired in a pit of a longer story, I’ve decided on two requirements:
- Write a total of 30 short stories by April 30th
- Shorts should not exceed 5,000.
That still leaves plenty of space to get everything done, if say I have a bad writing day and don’t manage to get anything written. I have a chance to catch up on the next good day if I can instead write two flash pieces or a couple of drabbles.
Just in case I get stuck, I’ve also come up with thirty lists of between three and seven words to help spark something should I need to. The idea is that if I don’t have any ideas already, I should challenge myself to write a story including all of the words on that day’s list. If you want to check out the list of words, you can do so here: 30DayShortsApril2020.
Are you up for a challenge?
Next Friday is the official start of NaNoWriMo. That leaves just under a week for the last bits of NaNoPrep.
For me, now that I have my notes and ideas organized and laid out in one convenient place, that means spending a lot of time doing exploratory exercises. Most of these are aimed at working out characters and character relations. A few of those have spawned new ideas as well.
I’m hoping I get a chance to explore and play with all of the ideas I have for now, but I also know that realistically, thirty days is not a lot of time to write. One of the last things I need to do for NaNoPrep is decide which idea to work on and which ones I’ll have to set aside for now.
On the non-writing side however, NaNoPrep also means getting my space and schedule ready to devote the necessary time to sitting and writing. My desk is cleared off and I’m hoping to prep a couple of light meals for lunches that can be easily reheated during the first week so I can hopefully get a good headstart for when other things inevitably get in the way later this month.
What are your last items for NaNoPrep?
I am absolutely and somewhat ridiculously excited for NaNoWriMo this year. There’s still about two weeks left before NaNo arrives, which makes it the perfect time to start getting ready.
Because I have a bad habit of getting sidetracked with Shiny New Project Syndrome I promised myself I wouldn’t start anything new until November. The good news about this is that I have plenty of ideas for what I want to work on. A large portion of my prep over the next couple of days is simply getting all of my ideas organized.
Once I have all of my little bits and pieces sorted and put together like some sort of Frankenstein jigsaw puzzle, I’ll be announcing it over on my NaNo profile. At this point, there’s no title and about the only thing I know for certain is that I’m pretty firmly in the rebel camp again this year. If you’d like to, you can add me as a writing buddy for NaNoWriMo.
I’m also going to be doing a little bit more worldbuilding for some of the settings I’ll be returning to with new ideas. I’m really excited to see how some of these ideas end up blending together, even if I can’t start putting pen to paper just yet.
How are you getting ready for NaNoWriMo this year?