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There's no real length limitation for a story, but I think a decent starting point would be to use the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) as a guideline. This would set the minimum for a full-fledged novel at 50,000 words. Ordinarily, participants are expected to complete their novels within a month's time, but with my other responsibilities, I think that may be impossible. Either way, I may find this to be an unachievable goal, as the length restriction as well as the time restriction imposed by being in this class add some pressure. I am still unsure as to the length I should aim for.
Based on my past experiences writing, I think my main concerns are threefold. First, I need to learn how to plan out an entire story of that length, because in the past my writings have become something of an incoherent mess fairly quickly.
Second, I have to figure out how I can be sure to set aside enough time to write each week. Third, I want to work on my editing strategies, to improve how much my writing improves from re-examination.
For help with this, I can access resources provided on NaNoWriMo's website. They have resources to help with planning, motivation, and execution of this task. The Advanced Fiction Writing community has resources that can help me stay on track as well. Hopefully, with the successful employment of these strategies, I will be able to reach my goal.
Moving forward, I have 10 questions I hope to address:
1. What setting (location/time/noise level) works best for me in terms of creative writing?
2. How can I best plan out the broader plot arcs of a story to ensure it remains a tightly interconnected central narrative?
3. How much of my personal experience/historical knowledge should I include in my writing to keep it relatable?
4. Is it better to plan out broad themes beforehand, or start writing and see what comes up?
5. What sorts of drafting procedures do published authors typically employ?
6. What sorts of dialog am I best suited to writing?
7. Am I able to set aside a set time each week to work on writing, or am I better off writing whenever inspiration strikes?
8. How long should this story be?
9. How can I best toe the line between homage and outright theft?
10. Am I suited to writing collaboratively, or would I be more productive working alone?