Yall know what NaNoWriMo is at this point, it’s been going on for a long while now. I made several attempts over the years to do something close to finishing it but with Thanksgiving and such being in the middle of the event I always had a hard time getting through the 50k word goal. The one time I did finish it was back in 2014 when we had just moved into a temporary apartment and suddenly had tons of time to work on such a thing. The next year I attempted to use the time to edit the book but had ended up rewriting it anyway and just going off the nano schedule and spent two more years working on it. That book – The Milkmaid – still isn’t ready and won’t be for a while. It was just too large in scope for my current skill level.
Cut to this year, and here I am having done a novella over the summer. Since I will most likely still be working on edits for The Widow of Redbriar during the next few weeks I can’t shift gears into another huge story for November. Now you see why I’m just doing short stories. Unlike Redbriar, which will be tossed onto Amazon later this year, these shorts will be posted publicly for anyone to read or download as a compilation in December. Due to time constraints and everything that typically happens around the holidays I have outlined the stories in simple 2-3 sentence bits, just enough to keep me on track for what story is being written those days.
Why even invest time in this? Well according to every single book marketing bit of advice, readers are more likely to click through and buy your book if you have something free for them to read first. That being said these two things are wildly different. The nano shorts are set in a futuristic, but not scifi, city following the daily events of a guy living in the city. In contrast the Widow of Redbriar is Victorian historical fiction, but that doesn’t mean I’ll be sticking to any one genre or style. Also, even if I don’t hit 50k words worth of shorts I’ll still have at least a few to offer readers a taste of what they can expect in the future.
So this November’s little project is a series of short stories I’ve given the fun title of “Space Among the Clouds” which is a line from Florence’s song Lover to Lover. These short stories all follow the same character, a guy who lives in the slight future from us. Events such as going to get a coffee or the grocery store are all “plots” of these little stories. There is no romance, no magical forces, and no crime involving the main character. This is all simply a view of daily events as seen through his eyes. You know the episode of Seinfeld where they go to the mall and can’t find their car in the parking garage for the entire show? It’s like that but not slapstick humor. They are more stories you would call and tell your friend about over the phone during a conversation than something with real plot. The goal is about 4000 words each short which would give me about a dozen stories.
If you want to chat or get help during NaNoWriMo I’ve set up a discord server for my newsletter members and anyone else who is interested:
To help with the writing grind that is Nano, I’ve also put together a playlist that helps set the tone and mood for the shorts as I write them.