Sunday, 9 November 2014

My November First Paragraph Project

It's November again (how did that happen?), the time of year when many brave writers turn their attention to NaNoWriMo or, for the uninitiated, National Novel Writing Month. The idea is that you attempt to write the first draft of a 50,000 word novel during November. No editing, no messing about, just writing. I only ever attempted it once, and I think I lasted about a week, by which time I had run out of plot, and writing had become an onerous chore. Never again.

This year I have set myself a far more modest challenge. Every day in November I am attempting to write the first paragraph of a completely new story. I even have a special notebook for this purpose, and I've optimistically written the dates at the top of the pages.  Some days, so far, I've written a whole page. Some days I've only managed two or three sentences. The good thing is that for more than a week now I've come up with a fresh idea every day. I'm already starting to plan what I'm going to do with some of them. Others might end up going nowhere but I reckon that if I end up with half a dozen decent new stories, my little November project will have been more than worthwhile.

In other news, I've had a few more writing successes. That story that was longlisted in the Doris Gooderson competition was sent out into the world again to take its chances, and ended up published in Issue One of Kishboo, an exciting new online magazine. You can read my story here. If you enjoy it, you can vote for it to win. If you prefer, you can vote for one of the other stories.

As I think I've said before, The Word Hut Short Story Competition is one of my favourites, and I was thrilled when my story Roar came 2nd in the most recent contest. I was especially pleased with the judge's comments:
       'We liked the way you had the narrator showing signs of dementia and linking it to her mother's similar decline. We receive many stories about dementia and the elderly, but this was very different in the way it was presented. The ending was also very powerful and emotive.'

And finally, I've been a runner-up in WriteInvite a couple of times. This last week I lost out to Della Galton, one of the queens of the Womags. So there's no shame in that!

Lily, 'helping' me with my writing, as usual.

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