I had no plans to do NaNoWriMo this year. I have legitimate excuses, all work-related. (I should add that these are all career-development-related classes and projects that I am genuinely beginning to geek out on, so it’s ok.)
But the other day I did think of a possible lower-impact project to keep me occupied next month, in solidarity with all the other writers. The idea was to write short pieces, none over a thousand words, prompted by song titles. Just something silly and dashed off, or maybe if I put more structure on it, possibly flash fiction, though it’s something I’ve never done.
I didn’t think I could quite commit to anything, though, until this flash fiction challenge arrived in my mailbox today.
It’s a sign. Not from heaven, but from someone even better (Chuck Wendig!).
It’s not a hint. This is the equivalent of a giant sticky finger of an Elder God materializing from the depths of the rivers of Yuggoth and writing on the wall above my computer.
So, my basic rule:
One piece a day (is that possible?), published on the blog.
Gulp. Can I do it? Two years ago, as warmup for NaNoWriMo, I posted a movie review for each day in the month of October. That wasn’t too hard, except for the fact that I had to watch something every day as well. (I cheated on some days and wrote about a Kylie Minogue video instead.)
My song criteria:
The songs wouldn’t be random. I thought it would be good to use a pre-defined list, in a particular order, as part of the project’s constraints.
Here comes the hard part.
- Guided By Voices’ Alien Lanes album has 28 songs.
- I thought long and hard about it, but there was no way I could write a story entitled “Stairway to Heaven.” Or “Living Loving Maid.”
- I love the Beatles too, but I’d start getting sick thinking of stories to go with “And I Love Her” and “She Loves You” and “I Want To Hold Your Hand.”
- The Billboard Hot 100 number one songs of 1973, 1983 and 1993. I think this experiment will fail starting with “Crocodile Rock.”
- Come to think of it, “William, It Was Really Nothing” already sounds like a Raymond Carver title.
- The first four Black Sabbath albums have about 32 songs. Hmm.
I’ll get back to you folks about this. In the meantime, let me see if I can even pull one song-story combo off.