PROleary's picture
PROleary from central NJ is reading anything and everything October 12, 2011 - 8:16am

Next month NaNoWriMo starts (National Novel Writing Month, write a 50k word novel in the month of November). I did it last year and had a horrible experience. I finished a novel that I always wanted to write, but do to the frantic pace I produced something that wasn't even worthy of editing. I would have to rewrite 90% of it in order to make it worthwhile.

Of course, the real NaNoWriMo might be a good fit for other people, but this year I'm going to recommend something different for those who it doesn't work well for: Write and edit 4 solid short stories (1 a week), and submit each of them to a literary publication.

I think that is a better use of one's time, but that's just me.

amazingrobots's picture
amazingrobots from Savannah, GA is reading When You Are Engulfed In Flames October 12, 2011 - 8:27am

That actually sounds kind of awesome. What's the deadline like? Each week, a story is written, edited later in the week, and at the end of the week fired off to someone for publication attempts? Or we just need to have all of it done, edited, and sent by the end of the month?

Jay.SJ's picture
Jay.SJ from London is reading Warmed and Bound October 12, 2011 - 8:40am

I was thinking that, or maybe a cut down Nanowrimo, like 30k so perhaps we spend more time on better words.

Charles's picture
Charles from Portland is reading Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones October 12, 2011 - 10:17am

this is a brilliant idea. the stories i mean. but not as challenging. i did this kind of thing when i was in the clevenger class. it can be done, and pretty easily. but your word count might be a fifth of what nano is pushing for.

granted, you'll have tighter work...

Alex Kane's picture
Alex Kane from west-central Illinois is reading Dark Orbit October 12, 2011 - 10:20am

This sounds a lot like Write1Sub1, which is a great program, ongoing and flexible to suit individuals' goals. Basically, the rules for that are that each week you write a new first draft, while editing and then submitting the previous week's story. The other option is to expand it to one story per month, which is probably a fair enough goal as well.

My new concrete goal is 500 words a day. With schoolwork and a part-time job, I think 500 words a day is pretty doable. We'll see.

Brandon's picture
Brandon from KCMO is reading Made to Break October 12, 2011 - 10:27am


This is pretty much the system I'm on.  Max Barry as well.  500 isn't a very large wordcount, but at the end of the day, I know those 500 words are as close to being publishable as I can get them.  I'll take 500 near-perfect words over 5,000 shitty ones any day of the week.

Howard_Rue's picture
Howard_Rue from Mount Dora, Florida is reading Heart-Shaped Box October 12, 2011 - 2:21pm

I'm kind alike this...I have to ponder.



lynx_child's picture
lynx_child from Seattle is reading The Dresden Files series October 12, 2011 - 3:50pm

A few friends and I attempted a "MiniWriMo" this summer where the goal was to write 30k in a month.

It wasn't successful, but the idea was solid, I think.

ReneeAPickup's picture
Class Facilitator
ReneeAPickup from Southern California is reading Wanderers by Chuck Wendig October 12, 2011 - 6:31pm

I'd love to do this, but I'd love it to happen on a different month than NaNo. I found NaNo to be relatively rewarding, although I didn't like what I wrote, and I also do fundraising during NaNo for OLL.

perlman3030's picture
perlman3030 from Detroit is reading Slack Jaw by Jim Knipfel(A classic!) October 19, 2011 - 12:22pm

I currently started my own novel writing week. This is like my seventh draft. My goal is ten thousand words a day. So far I'm at 500 today.

misskokamon's picture
misskokamon from San Francisco is reading The Moonlit Mind October 19, 2011 - 12:45pm

I'm participating in NaNoWriMo this year, but I'm thinking about doing a collection of short stories that take place in the same storyverse. If I did that, I could flesh out the world for the novel I'm writing, since I'm horrible at world building! I'll either be doing that or a few short ghost stories. I haven't decided yet.

What I have decided, though, is that NaNo isn't meant for one to write a story worth editing; NaNo is meant for simply writing. I'm hoping that by writing a few thousand words a day, every day, I'll be able to make it a habit--an addiction, even--so that once NaNo is over I'll return to the novel I've been lazy about and won't have such a tough time getting my ass into gear. 

But I like your short story idea. I think it sounds great, and just about what I'm going to do. Only... I'll try to make it all equal 50k words in the end. 

missesdash's picture
missesdash from Paris is reading The Informers October 20, 2011 - 7:30am

I think I'm physically incapable of writing short fiction, so I'll be going for the 50k.

I'm in the process of outlining now. Even if I don't finish, I'm sure it'll be useful.