I seriously need to stop writing short stories for the moment and get some real work done on my novels. I’ve been poking at the novels a little, 500 words here, 1000 words there. That would be fine if I wanted to write one or two books a year. But I don’t. I intend to write five.
Short stories are so satisfying, however. I can start and end in the same sitting and have a finished product in relatively few hours. Writing a novel takes more time, a lot more. Even at my fastest typing speed while composing new words (I think I’ve written about 1500 words in an hour before), I couldn’t write a novel in a day, much less in the 4-7 hours a short story generally takes me. I think if I absolutely had to, I could write a novel in about 7-8 days (novel here being defined as at least 85-90k words). I’ve written 13k words in a day before, but my hands and tendons were not my biggest fan afterward.
I’ve been trying to write short stories and novels at the same time, and really, I just end up doing short stories because it still counts as writing in my brain and they are much more satisfying in the short run. But the novels have to get done for me to stay on goal this year (and on goal for my career plans). So after this week (because I have three story ideas that HAVE to get done right now according to my brain), I’m done with short fiction until a couple of those novels get out the door. Three more stories will put my total up to 29 on submission, which is respectable I think.
Then, longer stuff. I think I can finish my middle grade novel by the end of may if I buckle down next week. After that I’ll have five or six weeks to finish my thriller novel before I leave on vacation in July. Then I plan to use July as a break month and write a more short stories before August when I’ll hopefully complete another (shortish) novel. I figure Sept and October I can get another novel done, leaving Nov and Dec to finish the fifth novel, as well as more short stories. Looking at the numbers and knowing I need to get novel writing done, I’m thinking I won’t hit 80 short stories out by the end of the year. But five novels will make me happy and I think I can still manage to get 50 or so shorts out by January.
Of course, in the middle of this I’ve decided to take on another project that will be a giant experiment (and I’m not going to jinx myself by talking about it too much here). I will say that I’ve been doing a lot of research into getting multiple streams of income going and have an idea for something that might or might not pay off. But it will be awesome to write, so that’s a perk already.
Ok, time to get some words done on a short story or my middle grade. I have the sneaking suspicion that two out of the three stories I want to write this week will end up being 7-12k words long. I’m going to try really hard to keep them under 10k so as not to limit my markets too much, but in the end the story will be as long as it requires.