November’s begun, which means that the NaNoWriMo phenomenon is in full swing. Participants in National Novel Writing Month sign on to complete a 15,000-word short novel in just 30 days, and local and online support groups abound for authors attempting to work within the guidelines. But NaNoWriMo isn’t the only place you’ll find writers struggling to fit stories into strictures of time, space, and style. Click through these links for a few more unique approaches.
If you thought writing a book in 30 days was bad, how about writing one in 60 seconds? This Sun Sentinel article describes the work of Dan Hurley, the self-proclaimed ?60-second novelist.? Several years back, Hurley conceived the notion of interviewing people and writing a quick life story?on the spot?in just one minute. You can read a sample interview and ?novel? here.
Many writers and professors insist that the opening lines of a book are among the most crucial?how else to draw the reader in and set the tone for the story? Conversely, a terrible opening line like the much-maligned ?It was a dark and stormy night . . .? can turn off readers?or, in the case of the Bulwer-Lytton Contest, become an art form in itself. The contest, which has been operating since 1982, awards honours to writers who can craft the worst opening lines in a variety of genres. Be prepared to laugh?and cringe!
How short can a story be?yet still tell a tale? Taking a cue from Hemingway’s six-word novel (?For sale: baby shoes, never used.?), these writers participated in a Wired.com project to create the new short, short fiction. For a slightly longer take, check out the review of this book, which discusses 25-word stories.