Almost one week into NaShoStoMo so far. I’ve written two and a half stories and I’m hoping to finish the third story tonight, so I’ve got to write three more to catch up. I have a feeling I’ll be playing a lot of catch-up this month.
I have to say, by the second day of the month I was this close to giving up. I figured that NaShoStoMo was an unnecessary extra stress in my life and besides, fiction isn’t even useful, and there were so many other more worthwhile ways to fill my time and blah blah blah yadda yadda. Luckily I realized that that was Resistance talking (see Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art). I managed to muscle through it, and I’m really glad I did. Story ideas are flying at me from all over the place. It feels so good to be writing fiction again.
But man, writing middles is hard. And endings are even harder for me. I can handle beginnings just fine, but as soon as I get to the middle, it’s like every bone in my story goes limp, and it’s kind of hard to end properly when you’re flopping about with your invertebrate middle.
And that’s why I’m doing NaShoStoMo: to learn how to write middles and endings. Thirty stories is going to be really good practice for that.
Also, keeping my stories short is proving to be difficult. Writing a story short enough that I can finish it in a day (preferably a single sitting) would seem to be easy, but as soon as I get going, it’s like I go into novel-writing mode and I’m spinning out the first chapter of what’s going to be a much longer story. So my other goal is to learn how to clamp down and tell each story with more economy.
And yes, all three stories are kind of pathetic, but you can’t expect much more from that from rough drafts. I do plan to revise some of these lumps into something nice and shiny someday.