"Four for NaNo" - tell Johne what to write for 30 days

Johne Cook johne.cook
Thu Oct 6 09:30:21 PDT 2005


I competed in last year's NaNoWriMo competition, National Novel
Writing Month, and completed the first draft of a 55,000 word pulpy
space opera called "The Sky Pirate". I set a goal of seeing if I could
write a novel-length story and make it entertaining, thoughtful, and
reasonably coherent. I was startled when it the project came together
as a fun and cohesive story, on time, and over the alloted word-count.

I was considering whether to take part in this year's NaNo competiton
and it occured to me that I've proven what I set out to prove, and
learned what I set out to learn. A picture has been clarifying over
the past weeks and has finally come into focus within in the past 24
hours. I was chatting with Bill Snodgrass (Editor at The Sword Review)
and Lee S. King (an Editor with me at Dragons Knights, and Angels
magazine) last night when the idea suddenly blurted out - if I'd
achieved what I was aiming for with the novel-length stuff, what next?

So to cut to the chase, I'm going to attempt to write four finished,
theoretically publishable short stories of at least 3000 words in
length during the four weeks of November, 2005, one per week,
beginning 12:01 am November 1st, and ending at the stroke of midnight
November 30th.

But wait, there's more...

I'm going to take votes from you all on the genre(s) that I will be
writing from for two of the stories, and my son will be providing a
third (courtesy of a suggestion from my lovely, formerly benevolent

There's still more...

I was telling this to my sister this afternoon at lunch (hey, Heph)
and she cheerily blurted out, "yeah, and you should run a common
thread through all of them and tie them all together in the fourth

I used to like her so much - I don't remember this wicked streak in
her. Must be the four kids.

So here we are, a challenge that initially sounded like good, clean
fun, and has somehow taken on a life of its own and now is staring at
me with big, gnarly fangs and an impoverished glint in its rheumy
right eye.

I'm going to set up a poll here for the genre to be employed the first
week of November, and and then won't setup the next poll until the
first week for the second week, and so on, so I won't know ahead of
time what genre I'll have to tackle next.

I'm calling these stories "Four for NaNo". While this isn't
technically a NaNoWriMo-sanctioned event, I feel that this challenge
captures the general spirit of the event while being customized for
the next facet of my skillset that I need the most work on. Also,
enlisting aid from you, the reader, builds in the element of
accountability, my very own pointy stick. The possibility for
absolute, crushing, humiliating failure of the highest profile is an
unintended bonus for some of you - you know who you are. Wink

The poll is at the DKA forums and the stories will be posted at the
end of each week at my writing blog.

So, yeah. Vote early and vote often. And hey, if I've ever been
remotely kind to you in any way and I don't happen to currently owe
you money, be gentle - this only started out as my idea.  ;)

Ah.  I think this is where cookies kill.  ; )

It appears that you need to complete at least a minimial registration
at DKA (only three things needed for that, a username, password, and
e-mail address), and then you can see the poll and post on the thread:

johne cook - wisconsin, usa
| http://dkamagazine.com | http://theswordreview.com | |http://phywriter.com