Building a Novel From Related Short Stories

November rapidly approaches, and my mind follows its programming by focusing on preparing for NaNoWriMo. This year, there are a myriad of feelings, thoughts, and life going on around me, coloring this year’s experience for me already.

Last November was very trying for me, so much so that I wanted to take off this year completely. I’ve stepped out of my leadership position, but I’ve discovered that I still want to do this. I’ve also been wrestling with trying to determine if I’m honestly a feminist or not. It turns out that in the modern sense of the word, I am. As a fan of action cartoons and sci-fi and fantasy novels, I’m also wrestling with childhood feelings surrounding token girls, adult feelings about the lack of female role models, even in shojo manga/anime, and wishing for a more realistic heroine. Add to this an interesting article a feminist friend recently shared with me, and it’s become a very interesting study in the feminine experience through the hero’s journey.

I think it’s going to end up culminating in a NaNovel that will end up piecing together short stories, thoughts on strong women who aren’t like every other strong woman in literature and art.

I can’t decide if I just want this theme of strong women running through my book, or if I want to follow in the footsteps of my favorite author, the late Roger Zelazny, and attempt to weave a series of short stories together to tell a full story that somehow intertwines these women I want to write about.

Both are within the scope of NaNoWriMo, but which would provide the greater challenge? Which would allow me to tell the story slowly coalescing in my head?

What’s going to come out on the paper when I begin writing on November 1?

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