Daily Archives: October 30, 2011
Talk about exciting stuff! This is my first year taking up the NaNo writing challenge and I’m keen to make sure I start out the right way and not churn out 50,000 words of junk. No doubt some will be sheer dross but hopefully there will be some gems to salvage.
The photo to the left shows my first story ideas I jotted down about a month ago. Usually I have no problem cranking out stories, I thrive on short fiction but I have a problem when it comes to longer pieces. Well, maybe not a problem, more of a stamina issue. I start out well, my brain swimming with ideas, plot twists, characters and so on but I tend to lose interest midway through.
I have 2 cracking novels half complete, really cool plots and characters too, but I hit a wall at 50,000 words. The scale of the plot suddenly felt so large I had trouble keeping up the momentum.
Although, having said that I ploughed through my novel, The Range, without a single wall in sight. Not only that but I recently started on a sequel. I guess the subject matter was more appealing and that spark went off and I knew this was the right story for me.
Short and sweet.
When I heard about NaNo I wanted to make sure that spark didn’t fade away after the initial burst. When writing short fiction I start with one line or take inspiration from a photo, like with Indigo Spider’s Sunday Picture Press. I just start writing and see where it goes. I don’t set myself a target. I know it will be short – a few thousand words, so I’m not thinking too far ahead.
By writing short in short bursts it feels easy to finish a story. Maybe that’s why I enjoy writing Arcane Insane, because each one is a short self-contained piece that I write straight into WordPress instead of MS Word.
I figured I’d apply the same principle to my NaNo story, break it down into bite sized chunks. Chapters that if taken away from the whole would be a story on their own. I scribbled lots of plots in my notepad, mostly junk I admit, but a few had the glimmer of a spark waiting to ignite.
I narrowed the list further, filtering out the crap until I had a short list of story ideas. I was tempted to take one of my short stories and turn it into a bigger piece but it felt like cheating and I wanted to start with something fresh. I also had an idea for a story about killer bunny rabbits. Not my finest moment as a writer.