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Posts Tagged ‘nashowrimo’

Boring but Short Update #2

It’s nearly the end of the first week, and due to the depression and resulting insomnia (I’ve been averaging about 8 hours of sleep a week for the last month, fun eh?), I’ve been way down on productive things.

However, I still managed to get a second story written, this one also over 4k words (5160 actually).  Oh well, hopefully in the editing process I’ll cut some of that out.  5k seems to be my natural first draft for stories length I guess.  Well, except the occasional 7k one, but that’s definitely the exception so far, thank god.

The bright side is that I feel both of these stories will be submittable after editing.  They’re both a little weird, and one needs some propping up of the plot elements, but nothing that an editing pass or three won’t solve.  So we’ll see.  Next up I might tackle the novella I’ve been meaning to do since Worldcon, or maybe the story about the Rusalka.  Or the one about magic chalk.

So NaShoWriMo isn’t much of a success so far in terms of getting lots produced, but two stories a week wouldn’t be the worst pace ever (as Oso keeps reminding me, heh).  I’m just so used to novel writing lately that getting two things done in a week seems really slow to me.  But novel writing is a totally different beast than composing a fresh new world on the fly constantly, so I guess there’s that.  I’ll keep plugging away.  Maybe I can get three done this next week, now that I have some momentum going.  *grin*

Boring but Short Update #1

I finished my first NaShoWriMo story.  It clocks in at about 5500 words, which, once again, is longer than 4000.  Oh well, one of these days I will write another story under 4000 words.  I think (hope?) I’ll end up cutting a couple hundred from this story once I get around to editing it (December is apparently editing month, January is submission month. Weee).  For anyone on OWW it’s now up there.  I figured for the kick-off story, I’d post it for fun (and comments?).  I don’t think I’ll be posting any of the future stories there until they’ve seen one edit at least (I didn’t even give this one a read over).

So it begins.  Day 3 and I’ve completed one story.  Time to decide today what’s next.  I’m thinking something short and on the sillier side, because I really don’t want to have to process information right now.  Insomnia is kicking my ass.  But hey, time to write!  Now, to spend a few hours building the next story in my head.  This one will have less research attached, damnit.  I’m going to make it up whole cloth so I don’t have to spend nine hours reading about flora and fauna and names and rivers and yeah…  I just love research too much. Grr.

One story down, at least 11 more to go.

NaShoWriMo in Peril?

Well, I think I can safely say that day one of my crazy story plan was a bust.  I have two paragraphs written on a story.  I first conceived of this plan over a month ago, before I finished my novel even.  I figured it would be a good way to keep my writing production up while I’m taking a break from novel writing.

What I didn’t count on was a major depressive episode (I suffer from clinical/unipolar depression) which has meant, among other things, that I’m not sleeping.  For the last three weeks I’ve been getting an average of 1-2 hours of sleep a night, with some 24-36 hour periods without any sleep at all in there.  Some nights I take sleeping meds to get 4-5 hours of sleep in, but they zombify me the day after and leave me mentally and physically useless, so I try to limit how often I use them.  This, sadly, effects my ability to write.  The less sleep I get, the harder it is to focus on things or retain anything in my brain.

It’s very frustrating, because I know that as a writer I’m fully capable of completing this challenge.  I have notes galore on stories I’d like to write, and my novel writing output is generally 2-5k words a day.  But with my brain addled from lack of sleep (plus the other fun side-effects of depression), I’m finding it very hard to run at full capacity on this.

I’m not giving up, however.  I might just revise the goal down to 12-20 stories.  I think with effort and focus and hopefully my antidepressants kicking in soon (they take a couple weeks to really start working, alas), that I can still manage to get a lot done.  So, back to work.  Since I’m not sleeping, I might as well be writing.  Slowly.

Crazy Short Story Plans

Still no word on my WotF third quarter entry.

Which means I really need to distract myself.  I’m between novels at the moment, so the best way to keep up my writing habits is to work on short stories.  I’ve got 9 out on the market right now.  I need more.  I want to saturate the market with my work, plus starting in January I’ll be super busy trying to write an entire trilogy in six months while querying about my current novel.  And I have three workshops to apply to, all of which want slightly different word counts etc…

Inspired by Jim C. Hines post, I’ve decided to push some stories at more anthologies.  Writing to a specific theme isn’t really something I’ve done before.  Even with the Shine anthology, which I was very nicely rejected from recently, I wrote a story that I’d been wanting to write and thought it might fit (it didn’t, which once it was written I knew it was a long shot).  So I think it would be an interesting challenge to myself as a writer to write for some anthologies.

I went through’s anthology calls and made a list of all the ones that interested me and pay at least 1 cent per word.  I have a notebook now full of deadlines, requirements, and submission information for each.  I’ve picked out about eleven, most with deadlines around early next year, though a couple have deadlines coming up very soon.

I read somewhere, and I honestly can’t recall where though I think it was linked to off of in a post there, that when writing for anthologies, you don’t want to write the first idea that comes into your head because that will be the one that everyone else thinks of also.  I believe the advice said to pick the 17th idea.  So I’m currently brainstorming all sorts of ideas, and trying to aim for a good blend of crazy enough that it might not have fifty clones in the slush but still something I’d want to write.

This decision to write for anthologies as well as working on the giant list of ideas I already had is timely.  November is coming, traditionally National Novel Writing Month.  I’ve done nanowrimo twice and “won” both times.  However, I think that my last nano will be my last nano.  I learned I could write at length and on deadline.  Nano (not that I want to start a war if you disagree with me here…), but you don’t get a novel out of it.  Well, maybe if you’re writing middle-grade, because then 50k words might work.  But 50k is too short for what I want to be doing.  And while I imagine I could write 100k in a month,   I think, for myself at least, I’ve learned what I could and it’s time to move and do novels my way (you know, a novel in two to three months instead…).

But don’t think I’m not going to be silly crazy in November.  Oh no, I’m going to invent my own tradition.  NaShoWriMo.  National Short-story Writing Month.  My goal is to write a short story a day.  Yes, everyday.  I’m not limiting the length, though I’d dearly like to write at least a couple decent ones under 4k words to make my life easier come Clarion sub season, but I am holding the minimum to 1,000 words.  I figure if I even get six stories worth cleaning up and submitting at the end, I’m ahead for a while.  And it will be fun, a chance to experiment and get some random ideas out.  I’m planning on using the anthology calls as fodder.  I can write the 5th, 14th, and 20th ideas I have for any given theme and then pick the one I want to send.  Sounds like crazy fun right? Right?

So, my goals for October are to write up the novella formerly known as Werewolves in Space (which will be my 1st quarter sub for WotF most likely), and finish two themed anthology stories that are due by the end of the month.  A fairly light load, all things considered.

November is when the real exciting stuff gets going.  A story a day.  NaShoWriMo.  If anyone wants to join me in my insanity, bring it on.  I usually write short stories in a day anyway, just not generally consecutively.  And I’m pretty sure my typing limit is around 12-13k words in a day (10k is really more my comfort limit, and 3-5k my cruising speed), so at least my stories won’t be crazy long.  We can hope.

That’s my plan.  In December I’ll collect the notes from my first-readers and try to make my novel outstanding before the queries go out in January.  Until then, time to fill up my short story basket.  (Just think, I’ll get to 500 rejections much much more quickly if I have 50 stories out than 9…)