Wait for me, NaNoWriMo!


I hold my hands up: I’m struggling more than I expected to.

This is partly because I’ve been so busy in November, both at work (I have a full-time job) and out of it. But it’s also because I’m thoroughly out of practise at this kind of sustained writing.

For over seven months now I’ve been writing short stories. A lot of short stories. After that, NaNoWriMo obviously comes as a shock to the system, but why?

The other morning I was researching something and fell down a wiki rabbit hole, which ended up with me having a beautiful idea for a short story. I’m aware already that it could only be a flash piece, just a moment in time. Flash fiction freezes an instant like a flashbulb. It gives you the bare minimum, then it leaves you with one image burned into your brain.

This idea doesn’t have the depth to grow into a novel, but that’s what I like about writing short stories. I like the immediacy of having an idea, an image, and creating a world in miniature.

I’ve found that I’m rushing the novel, skipping from one scene to another in search of the most interesting flashbulb moments and leaving all the filler for another time. I keep thinking to myself, Why should there be filler at all? Why can’t it be a series of beautiful, dramatic or hilarious moments?

Perhaps I’m not cut out to write novels, or perhaps I just need more practise in separating the two types of writing. I need to stop approaching this as if it’s just another short story, but longer.

As of posting this I need to write 6000 words today to catch up. Hoping that with the Manchester Wrimo write-in tonight I can make it! Anyone who hasn’t added me yet, follow my progress here.

Is anyone else struggling big time?


About sarahgracelogan

Sarah Grace is an itinerant scribbler and general layabout. She runs a writing group called CAKE.shortandsweet, because any form of procrastination from actual writing is always attractive to the serious author of refined taste. When not distracted by laser pens, Sarah Grace writes novels, short stories and flash fiction, poetry, stage scripts and screenplays. She has performed her work at Stirred Poetry, Bad Language and Tongue in Cheek Manchester. Her first publication, Humping the Boonies is a self-published chapbook available directly from the author, or from Travelling Man, Manchester. You can find more details about her ongoing projects, not to mention a selection of free stories up for grabs right here on her blog. https://sarahgracelogan.wordpress.com/about/ She also likes to talk about theatre, film, books, photography, and especially games and other things that involve collaborative storytelling. Sarah Grace likes feedback, in whatever form it comes.


  1. Just treat your NaNo as lots of short stories maybe? It’s a long slog, you can do it though! Go for it Sarah!!! Can’t wait to read it… x

    • The trouble is that seems to be what I’m doing right now, and I’m not sure it’s working! I wrote a lot yesterday though, maybe I’m finally settling into novel mode 🙂

      That’s really sweet of you, although you’ll have a bit of a wait! It’s going to need an awful lot of work once nano’s over 😀

      On 16 November 2012 12:08, a slice of imaginati

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