So, today marks one week of letting Fugitives from Earth decant a bit in my mind. I’m still working on a few short stories and things like that before getting back into it, but I’ll definitely be plugging away at it again by this weekend.
I’m actually rather enjoying the short story work in between major projects. Once the novel goes out to beta readers it’ll be literally impossible for me to work on it for a month or so while they chug their way through it, and I think I’m going to use that opportunity to try a little experiment.
So, NaNoWriMo is great, right? And why? Because of the magic of the deadline. That little pretend goal takes on Damocles proportions as the month goes on (especially if you’ve been bragging) and that means that stuff gets done. And, frankly, when I don’t have a deadline around, I really miss it. Ones that I arbitrarily assign to myself aren’t as compelling as ones that are tied to dates by circumstances partially out of my control.
So, here’s the plan: for the four weeks after I submit FfE to the beta readers, I will write one complete short story from conception to submission-ready per week. Each story will be at least 3000 words long (as if I could ever write anything shorter) but no more than 7,500 words. There aren’t any other rules for NaShoStoMo. I just need to write.
Using the NaNo method for short stories will be particularly useful, I think, because of the peculiarities of short stories. The economy of plot and language required are totally different for shorts than a novel; the skills are barely transferrable. But because each word is so much more important for a short story, I tend to slow down and seize up altogether when I get nervous. Writing nothing instead of “the wrong thing” is pretty much the stupidest habit ever, and I really, really want to rid myself of it. It’s not like anything you write is ever wasted, even if it just improves your skills.
There are advantage of writers block, as I’ve discovered, but most of the time, it just pisses me off. And I want to fix that.