Dithering Postponed

geoff bruges

I asked you to give me some guidance on this year’s Nano – the writing challenge to produce a 50,000 word novel during November. I gave you four possibilities and you came up with a range of opinions all of which were fascinating and thought provoking but ultimately not decisive. Maybe this isn’t the way forward this year.

I was thinking about this while Dog and I were on a perambulation yesterday and it hit me. Be different. I’ve met a lot of people who write short stories and I’ve done a few but not as many as I’d like to say I have; not enough to enter a few competitions for instance. Β The solution is obvious. Use Nano to create a portfolio. Assuming I survive long enough I’ll probably write the books I suggested, so this would really be a challenge. I need something to put me to the task. It’s what I need just now.

So, and crucially Dog agreed, what if I write the 1667 words per day to achieve the Nano goal but in the form of a series of shorts. What about a


This would be 30 separate short stories each 1667 words long written and posted during November which at the end could form a little book.

Clearly so as not to cheat I can’t start before 31st October, though I think prompts and ideas are allowed pre launch.

And that means I need help. Your help. I need those prompts. And I need picture prompts in particular.

If you’d like to help me the please send me a picture to


Please make sure the picture can be used on my blog. So a free to use or one of your own would be best. Preferably it will have more than sky or sea on it to give my imagination a nudge. You’ll be given full credits, of course.

Or send me (or leave a comment with) a ten word prompt – that can be an idea, an opening, a short summary of the main trigger event, a closing or what you like.

I reserve the right to:

  1. select which I use
  2. change the prompt
  3. change my mind
  4. change the rules, especially around the length of each. I’ll aim to make it 1667, but that may prove to be the troublesome piece.

But I’ll try it and see how I go.

Don’t think you need to stop sending me ideas on 31st October. Keep them coming.

If you were minded to share this with others so they might send me their ideas that would be great.

I think I’m likely to make a small fool of myself with this one, but, hey-ho, you’re only young once.

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published four books - Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle, My Father and Other Liars, Salisbury Square and Buster & Moo. In addition I have published three anthologies of short stories and a memoir of my mother. More will appear soon. I will try and continue to blog regularly at geofflepard.com about whatever takes my fancy. I hope it does yours too. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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47 Responses to Dithering Postponed

  1. Sacha Black says:

    You’ll be able to use one of my writespirations I think although not most of them, I also want to shot gun another day please of ur choosing for a particular prompt I’d like to see u try….

    Liked by 1 person

  2. jan says:

    I’ll give it a shot! But I’ll probably keep reading your book instead!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ritu says:

    Sounds like a great idea!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sounds like a good idea. I’m still dithering over the fourth definite decision I’ve made for this year’s NaNo. I could change again…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. As you can take pics direct from my posts, how about taking something from a walk up Hordle Lane to your wedding venue: http://derrickjknight.com/2015/01/16/yellow-ticket/

    Liked by 1 person

  6. gordon759 says:

    1667 makes me immediately think of London in that year, probably the largest building site on earth. Imagine what that must have been like?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Dylan Hearn says:

    I do believe you’ve finally lost it. Thirty short stories in month? Crackers! Still, best of luck. I won’t send you a photo, I’ll just describe it as you’ll know just the one I’m talking about. It’s Stuart Broad with his hands to his mouth, eyes shocked, realising he’s just won England the Ashes in a session.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. davidprosser says:

    Best of luck Geoff. That’s some pace to keep up.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Don’t really have a store of photos worth sharing, so I’ll give you the title that I was given as a 14 year old and which led me to write an essay at school that made my English teacher sit up and take notice of me for the first time. “A Knock on the Door”. You can go in any direction with that.

    Good luck with your challenge

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Lisa Reiter says:

    Just been on a photography course so a few for you to choose from will soon wend their way in your direction! Lxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • TanGental says:

      That would be great Lisa; the wackier the better


      • Lisa Reiter says:

        Forgot to say what a great idea I think this is. A really creative exercise from which inspiration for a full-sized novel might burst through. It also seems a darn sight more fun than the mess I would get into trying to write a single story in that time!! Good Luck. Am out and about with my camera until the weekend. May be last minute as usual! Lxx


  11. Charli Mills says:

    Clever idea! I will send you some photos you are welcome to use or discard. I’m still dithering but have a better idea of what I might do. I’m going to preamble in the forest some more and hope to have such a revelation. I’ll have both dogs with me for back up on any final ideas.

    A side note about all your book projects: I’ve been collaborating with a publisher who is dynamic in supporting emerging poets and literary writers in the Inland Pacific Northwest. She teaches at a low-residency MFA program and commented that most her students only have one book in them. She loves writers who are full of books! I hope you find that encouraging. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • TanGental says:

      All received. As for encouragement yes I’ll take it from anywhere! Maybe I should move! The truth is I can’t see my wanting to stop yet. Thank heavens!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Charli Mills says:

        We actually talked about how Great Britain takes its literature far more seriously than in the US. The publisher thinks we focus too much on commercial fiction here which really is a reflection of different audiences. I can’t see you stopping!

        Liked by 1 person

  12. What a wonderful (if not crazy) idea Geoff. I don’t have many photos but have found one that you might be able to do something with which I will e mail to you. Good luck Geoff!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. rogershipp says:

    Sounds like a wonderful idea!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. lucciagray says:

    Great idea to ask for prompts. I’m up with an attack of severe insomnia so I’m fuzzy right now, but I’ll try to send you some inspirational prompt when I’ve slept a few hours πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Rachel M says:

    Can I send you one that I’ve already put on my own blog?

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I’ll send over some photos Geoff. I hope they help with this challenge. The very best of luck with it.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I love this idea! Since I’ve never participated in NaNo (and never really wanted to–stress!), I’ve thought many years about writing a story a day instead. (Mine would be more in the hundreds, not thousands, as far as word count but I think it’s an awesome idea.) Will send non-boring photos your way. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Helen Jones says:

    I love the idea of a Nanthology – good luck! And if I have something I’ll send it over πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Autism Mom says:

    Brilliant idea!


  20. Pingback: October 28: Flash Fiction Challenge « Carrot Ranch Communications

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