Writing short stories during NaNoWriMo

It’s November, and for a lot of writers it means it’s time for NaNoWriMo again. After weeks of inaction due to the busy schedule at work, I have decided to make use of this occasion to seriously start writing again, albeit with a different purpose than other Wrimo’s all around the world. No 50,000 word novel for me. Instead I will try my hand at a couple of short stories.

There are several story ideas swirling around in my head for quite some time now, and they are all desperately pleading to be given form and substance so that they can become something more than mere figments of my imagination. For now, I’ve picked two of them to work on. The first one is based on an exercise for the Writers Studio from about a year ago. It is a piece largely inspired by T.H. White’s The Once and Future King, and its challenge of the concept of ‘Might is right’. Ever since I wrote that piece I’ve been thinking about Sam and his relationship with Sir Bruce, and how it would evolve further. The other idea is something I thought up of just a few weeks ago about a writer who gets somewhat caught up by his own imagination. I chose that one because it was supposed to be a very short story in a very simple setting, something I can work on just to get myself into the rhythm again. However I found out today that the idea wants to be something more than a mere warm-up for the other stories. Not that it will evolve into a groundbreaking concept or anything like that — it’s still a relatively simple concept — but I believe now that it has the potential to grow into a story in its own right.

I’ve actually been working on these ideas since the end of October. Unfortunately I’ve found that I have become quite rusty, as I have trouble writing freely and let my imagination do the work for now. I find myself constantly falling back into my old habit of mulling over each individual word before putting it down on paper (before proceeding to cross it out again), so that’s something I need to work on the coming weeks. Well, at least I am putting in the effort again, even if the amount of time and effort spent is still largely concentrated around the weekends and therefore relatively limited. So to be honest, I do not believe I will end up with enough material at the end of the month to reach the 50,000 word goal, but that’s not my personal goal anyway. I will be thrilled if I can finish a couple of first drafts and use November mainly to gain momentum to start writing more in 2012 and beyond.

And to everyone who has taken up the NaNoWriMo challenge, or just the challenge to write anything at all, I wish you all lots of luck!

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