Fiction, Monologues, Plays & More
It’s that time of year again. November is National Novel Writing Month, when people from around the world endeavor to write a 50,000 word novel in just 30 days (that’s a little less than 1700 words every day). Last year, over 300,000 people participated in this free program. You’re a winner if you reach 50,000 words. And what do you get? Bragging rights. What makes you do it? Ego and a little bit of ambition.
This kind of break-neck-writing speed isn’t for everyone. But the popularity of events like this shows how writers are desperate for deadlines and community (and they respond very well to peer pressure).
I “won” only once – in 2011 when I “finished” a “draft” of my “novel” The Amazing. I’m still working on revisions, which may, perhaps, be a little more difficult to do now that I have this lump of 50,000 words to shift through. But for me, the struggle of getting words onto the page is far more challenging than tearing apart everything and stitching it back together. In any case, I’m not sure yet if NaNoWriMo is actually a useful tool for my own writing process, but it can still be fun.
I’ve decided at the last minute to do it again. But I’m not writing a novel. These days, it seems fiction writers NEED short stories to get a foothold in the industry. You need to be submitting stories to journals and the like; and my backlog of stories is growing thin. So my goal for November: write 50,000 words of short stories. This could be anywhere from 3 to 50 stories, depending on what feels right.
Even if I get a few stories out of this, it’ll be worth it.
P.S. This isn’t a particularly involved post because I’ve been blogging other places this week. Check out a little thing about titles at the Botanicum Seedlings blog and a rant about artistic statements over at my blog With Coffee Spoons.
Chelsea Sutton holds a BA in Literature from The College of Creative Studies at UC Santa Barbara. Her plays have had readings and productions in Santa Barbara, New York and Los Angeles and she is currently participating in workshops with the Skylight Theatre Playlab and The Vagrancy Writers Group, as well as spearheading ECT’s writers group, Eclectic Voices. Her play The Dead Woman, was recently named a Semifinalist in the Eugene O’Neill Playwrights Conference 2013. Her fiction has appeared in The Best of Farmhouse Magazine, The Catalyst, Spectrum, and Fictionade, and she was the 2011 Winner of NYC Midnight’s Flash Fiction Contest. Her story The Tick and the Tocking received Honorable Mention in Glimmer Train’s Short Story Award for New Writers. She is a member of the Los Angeles Female Playwrights Initiative. WithCoffeeSpoons.com