The Short Story-Novel Balance

The title of this post would imply that I’m able to balance both short story writing and novel writing at the same time. Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem to be the case. New short story ideas are so bright and shiny, I must write them RIGHT NOW! Of course, that puts my novel on hold and prevents me from achieving my long-term goals. Cue the sound of my depression creeping back…

So, now that I’ve wrapped up a short story for an anthology, no more bright and new short stories for me. Nope. I’m done. If I get an idea, I’m jotting it down or making a brief outline but THAT’S IT until my novel draft is done.

You know I started this novel for NaNoWriMo last year? Yeah. Pretty sad. And I just now reached 64k. Granted, I had to backtrack and dump about 30k a few months ago to add a new POV character, but still. I can’t help but think, “I should be done with this by now,” every time I open up Scrivener to write.

Alas, it won’t get done unless I, to quote a certain captain, “Make it so.” That’s why I’m putting a moratorium on new short stories and even revisions of drafts I’ve already written. Apparently, I can’t be trusted with working on multiple creative projects.

I’d like to have the novel draft done by November 27. If I write 1,000 words a day from now until then, I should reach 100k. I might not need all of those words, but I’d like to allot for them anyway.ย Once the draft is completed, I’ll worry about revising the handful of short stories I have sitting on my hard drive as drafts at the moment, maybe pen a new short or two, then dive into structural and plot revisions. I hope I can clear plot problems up in one go and then tackle the details, but there’s no way of knowing until I start.

In other words, I’m getting serious, yo!

11 thoughts on “The Short Story-Novel Balance

  1. I haven’t been able to strike a balance either. My novel WiP has been sitting in the corner glaring at me all year while I’ve focused on Write1Sub1. Starting in January, things will change. I’ve got to finish that sucker! All this to say, I feel your pain. But you’re right, it’s a good idea to write down those shorter ideas when they strike; you can always come back to them later.

    • I’m glad it’s not just me! I feel like I have to finish this novel now though, otherwise I’ll completely lose the momentum. I’ll reward myself with writing those short stories I’ve jotted down in note form once the draft is done. Did I just call that a reward? I’m a sick, sick writer. lol

    • Thanks! Oh boy, you’ve come to the dark side! I haven’t signed up for NaNo because I’m in the middle of a book. But hmm. I guess I could still sign up and just write? Do it the untraditional way? You’ve tempted me! haha Good luck on your nano novel. I’m always here if you want to bounce plot ideas around. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Lol, I’m not going to plot anything.

        I’m going to pick a tarot deck and every day I’ll turn a couple of cards and decide what happens. Then I’ll hack out 2000 words.

        Right now I’m trying to get a tarot friend to pick a deck for me. I’m too indecisive this year to even choose that for myself.

        The last two years I blogged it as I wrote it. Don’t know whether to do that this year or not.

        But don’t you think that you doing it would just be an avoidance strategy for the novel you are already working on?

      • That sounds like a really cool way to go about it. A whole month of free writing, in a way! I used to attempt writing novels without any structure or plot in mind, but it’s failed me every time. The only way I’m even getting close to finishing this book is due to a thorough outline. Even so, I’ll be interested in seeing how this works out for you. Kind of fun to put the fate of your characters in another’s hands.

        I would be working on my current novel for NaNo. I just meant I wouldn’t be able to “officially” enter because I’m not starting a book from scratch. But I’d still be writing right alongside the rest of you to finish this monster of mine. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Well, the deck’s been picked for me. Dark Angels. I’ll drag it out on Halloween and flip a few cards.
    I’ve used the tarot both previous years. And for a few short stories.

    Yes, you must join Nano. You can be a Nano rebel because you aren’t doing a new book from scratch.
    They haven’t got the buddy system working yet, but hopefully they will by the time it starts, and then we can be buddies and see how each other are doing. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. No, you’re not the only one, Brenda. I am right there with you. Only, I’m finishing out 2011 with short stories and then attacking the novel in 2012. ๐Ÿ˜‰ GO US!
    Congrats on your W1S1 successes this year!

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