National Novel Writing Month 2018: The Expanded Short List and Start of The Winnowing

My short list is shorter than I thought it would be, but perhaps this is one of those things that turns out to be a blessing in disguise, like when scientists found out that eating chocolate makes you lose weight.

The Short list

  • Time After Time: A person with Stage 4 cancer finds a translucent stone that lets them move forward and back in time. They use it to see if they can cure their cancer.
  • One Slip: A man falls over the edge of a waterfall and is presumed dead by his partner. As time goes by the surviving partner sees signs that suggest his lover is still around, but stuck…somewhere.
  • Wake Up: Person unaware they are in a coma (as is the reader at first), experiences lots of weird and vivid things in the coma world as doctors and family try to break through to contact them.
  • The Broken Bridge: Expanded version of the long short story in which a man is saved from dying, only to become convinced he was meant to die.
  • Sanity Road: A long night drive starts to play havoc on the mind of the driver. A Twilight Zone joint, if you will.
  • The Mean Mind: Scaled-down version of unfinished NaNoWriMo novel in which a small group of people with psychokinetic powers must band together to stop The Bad Guys with the same powers, as they want to reshape the world in yucky ways. (Imagine if one were the right-hand person in the current White House. Talk about scary.)
  • Time Travel Idea: Yet another time travel story. This time a person goes back 20-30 years to become the younger version they once were, but retaining all the memories they accumulated over those 20-30 years. How does this knowledge help or hinder them?

Looking over this batch, I don’t have any strong, immediate urge to axe any of them–which is good, in a way. It means they all have potential. I may solicit some feedback from a few others and go from there.

I am going to have a target deadline in mind, though: the end of the month, which is exactly seven days hence, Sunday, September 30. On or before that day I will pick one of these seven and then begin the outline process. In the event of a tie, I’ll do two outlines and then choose the stronger of the pair.

Even without having chosen an idea yet, I am already way ahead of where I’ve been for most National Novel Writing Months I’ve participated in. Exciting! And weird.

And sorry, I lied about the chocolate thing.

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