Writing short stories is a very different experience to novelling.

The main issue is that in an ideal world a short is self contained – you can’t have too many threads because it gets confusing.  Over the past 9 months I’ve got used to bashing out big, sprawling narratives that rabbit on and keep introducing new characters all over the place, safe in the knowledge I can rescue the salient points when editing time cometh.

However, I’m finding I can’t hide behind hazy future editing time when writing a short story.  Obviously I can point out in a pathetic sort of way that it’s a first draft and it will change a bit in the edit, but if the whole notion is crap I can’t junk one bit and expand a subplot.  There aren’t any.

Which leads me to a confession: so far this month, I’ve been going back and editing things.  I can’t help it.  I physically can’t bash out a wee story at 1.5k and move on – I feel compelled to re-read and change bits.

In my defense, I haven’t given up on anything and I’m mainly only changing phrasing here and there.  The most I’ve deleted completely is a paragraph.  But technically it’s against the NaNoWriMo keep on keepin’ on spirit of the project, so I thought I should come clean.  After all, when the trust is gone what do we have?

Speaking of NaNo, it has occurred to me that if I’m drawing a graphic novel (or more likely a comic) in November I almost certainly won’t be coming up with 50k of text to go with it.  I haven’t decided on a story yet, and drawing a page takes considerably longer than writing one.  So what should I do?  Write out the storyboard and dialogue and leave the drawings for some other time?  Or sit NaNo out this year?  Answers on a postcard, please.  Or in the comment box, which is easier and doesn’t cost anything.

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