|Wrong type of Magnum, usually.|
But maybe that misses the point.
A novel - 40,000 words for kids, 90,000 for the grown ups among us - is just one form of story. Literary, genre, trendy stream of consciousness po-mo... beyond that, a novel is a block of prose with a moving plot, dialogue, and characters who find resolution.
A story is different, though. You can tell a story in a novel, of course. But you can also tell a story in, well, a short story. Clue's in the name. Or in flash fiction. Or blog posts. Or Twitter. Or poetry. Or even a poetry slam, though you've probably got more problems that need dealing with if you're going to poetry slams.
Music - songs - can tell stories. Even pictures. Video, of course. Youtube has some fantastic narratives on it.
My point is that if you want to do something great in 2013, write a story - but make sure that's what you're doing. 80,000 words for the sake of 80,000 words, but with no heart or love, is just a textbook in time wasting. A poem of 100 written with care and craft and courage can change the world. Sometimes it's why you write, and not what, that makes writing art.
|NaNoWriMo will, sadly, make you go mad.|
If you're writer, it's fine. No one will notice.
Just write, write, write. Tell, tell, tell a story. Anyone can. It might be pants, but it'll get better. It might be genius, and then you'll really have something.
So go on. Write a story. Write one and remember that beyond all the clever style things, beyond agents and trends and literary criticism and technique and format is just you, a reader, and a tale that's worth the telling.