Monday, November 5, 2012

2013 Goal #3: Complete Four Novelettes or Novellas

I'm going to be working out my 2013 goals publicly here on my blog over the next couple of months. Note that all of these posts will be considered "First Draft" goals, subject to being modified, enhanced, shrunk, contorted, folded, spindled, mutilated, or even out-and-out obliterated at my own future whim. These goals are also being presented simply in the order that I decide upon them. So Goal #1 isn't any more important than Goal #5 (or whatever). I probably will reorder the goals in order of importance when I go to wrap this all together in a final set of 2013 goals.
2013 Writing Goal #3: Write and Submit At Least Four Novelettes or Novellas to Pro-Rate Publications 

I mentioned in an earlier goal post that I wanted to find a way to encourage myself to stretch out more into the longer forms of short fiction. This is the goal I have decided upon toward that end. Let’s look at each piece of the goal:

  • Write and Submit - That means new stories, not taking the few stories of this length I already have and gussying them up.
  • At Least Four - One per calendar quarter; both an eminently-reasonable pace and one that will, if met, give me a nice chunk of longer stories to get out on submission.
  • Novelettes or Novellas - Speaks for itself.
  • to Pro-Rate Publications - I added this because I want to push myself to write strong, general-interest stories at this length. What I don’t want to do is look for, say, token-paying anthologies looking for stories of this length and target them specifically. On the one hand, that might give me a better chance of making a sale, but on the other hand, if I’m going to start working in these longer forms more I want to aim high right off the bat. That will involve working with other writers on critiques, etc.

Though it might not seem like it, I expect this to be a fairly challenging goal for myself to meet. I could, of course, meet it by just churning out something mediocre and sending it out the door but I have no intention of using a cheat like that to meet this goal. After all, I'd only be cheating myself!

Why do I think this will be difficult? There are two main reasons: One, I don't have much experience plotting for these story lengths and, two, I don't have much experience revising them either. Both of those will make this a more difficult goal boat in terms of doing the actual work and in getting into the right mental state for it. I know that this is something I can do; but it will definitely force me outside of my 1,000-5,000 word comfort zone.

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