Esmari: Okay, NaNo time! Revisions are done, beta readers are beta reading, just gotta figure out what project I’m gonna work on.
SF Dystopian Short Story: You re-read me last week, made all kinds of notes about how to expand me into a novel. Is that not happening now?
Esmari: Oh yeah, I totally intend to bulk you up! I have this great idea for—
SF Romance Short Story: Um, excuse me? You started my expansion two freaking years ago! I think you owe it to me to finish.
Esmari: Yeah, I know, but there was a pandemic and I totally rewrote the novel I’m querying like three times!
Georgi: Keep us out of this, please.
Naril: Yeah, we have enough problems of our own. You know the ending needs to be reworked, right?
Esmari: Yes, I’m aware, thank you. As soon as more readers get notes to me, I’ll get back to you.
Georgi: You’d better. I mean, good for you for working on something other than our sequel, but we really do have to be your top priority.
SF Dystopian SS: Not during NaNo! The whole point is to write new stuff.
Esmari: Ugh, yeah. Remember the year I tried to use NaNo to get through my revision notes? Big fail.
SF Romance SS: All of your NaNos have been fails.
Esmari: Which is why I want to pick the right project this time. There’s you two, but there’s also this other story idea that popped into my head the other day. It could be fun to explore. It’s like an urban fantasy portal adventure kind of thing, but I’m not really sure where it’s going. I only have the first chapter so far.
New Idea Female Main Character: Hi! I’m Lila! Nice to meet all of you.
SF Dystopian SS: Fuck off, no one cares.
New Idea FMC: Rude.
Esmari: Okay, y’know what? I think I have to go with Dystopian. I have, like, 6,000 words and a pretty solid plan about how to move it forward.
SF Dystopian SS: Yes!! Suck it, bitches! I win.
SF Romance SS: Very mature.
New Idea FMC: That’s cool. I’ll be over here if anyone needs me.
SF Romance SS: Actually…let’s talk. (Leads New Idea FMC away to discuss idea.)
Esmari: What’s that about?
SF Dystopian SS: Who cares? So about this rewrite. I’ve got a lot of great material, but I start in the wrong place, so everything is being told in flashback. It just doesn’t work.
Esmari: Yeah, that was totally a rookie mistake. I’m not sure I start the story in the wrong place, though…I think I just have that particular scene in the wrong place. Like, the timeline needs to change.
SF Dystopian SS: I’m listening. (Leads Esmari away to rework opening of story.)
SF Romance SS: So what do you think? Great idea, right?
New Idea FMC: Uh, well…I don’t know.
SF Romance SS: Oh come on! What’s not to love? We join forces, both of our stories get written for NaNo.
New Idea FMC: Hasn’t NaNo already started? It’s like a week into November.
SF Romance SS: Yeah, but it’s not too late. Look at them, struggling over there. They’re a mess!
Esmari: (To New Dystopian Character) Okay, yeah, but who are you?
New Dystopian Character: Oh, they didn’t tell you? I’m an FBI agent.
Esmari: FBI? Damn, that’s going to require some research.
New Dystopian Character: I mean, I don’t have to be an FBI agent. I could be a social worker, maybe?
Esmari: No, this character needs to be able to pull strings, really put pressure on a Senator.
New Dystopian Character: A congressional staffer! You love politics, you could write that in your sleep!
Esmari: Yeah, but then what’s your reason for going after him?
New Dystopian Character: Oh my god, I’ve got it! You know the plot twist at the end of act one, where you find out that—
Esmari: Shhh!!! Yes, yes, I know my own plot twist, thank you. What about it?
New Dystopian Character: I could be them! The one with amnesia!
Esmari: Oh fuck that’s brilliant!
New Dystopian Character: Right? Come on.
New Idea FMC: I don’t know, they seem to be getting things under control.
Esmari: Aaaaaand I’m stuck. No idea what happens next. Anybody? (New Dystopian Character plays on her phone, SF Dystopian SS stares at whiteboard with “1 – Steal Underpants 2 – ????? 3 – PROFIT” written in giant letters) You’re both fucking useless.
SF Romance SS: Hey! Esmari! Listen, Lila and I—
New Idea FMC: Oh, actually, I’m Valerie now. But you can call me Val.
SF Romance SS: Um, okay, Val and I have been chatting. Why don’t you combine our stories? The world Li—er, Val gets pulled into is my world! That would be cool, right?
Esmari: Maybe. Oh yeah, she could get pulled onto Analas’s ship after she betrays Viskally but before she goes to Earth.
Analas: (Enters) Did I hear my name?
New Idea FMC: Holy smokes, she’s hot. Yes. I’m on board with this idea now.
SF Romance SS: Okay, so in our story, you mention having searched for Viskally for a long time, right? Well, I’m thinking Val gets pulled into our world while you’re still hunting for Viskally. You’re on a merc ship or something, and you have to hide which side you’re really on.
Analas: That could work. Who else is on the ship?
Axyl: (appears out of thin air) Uh, hi everyone. I’m Axyl. Nice to meet you.
Analas: A cyborg? Really? Why?
Esmari: Why not?
New Idea FMC: Holy shit, he’s hot, too! I love this story!
SF Romance SS: Axyl, this is Val.
New Idea FMC: Maura, actually. I just changed it again.
SF Romance SS: Jesus Christ! Make up your fucking mind.
Viskally: (wanders in from stage left) Hey, Esmari, I have some questions about the intro you wrote for me last year. I’m a little unclear on why Onyeg and I went into hiding.
Esmari: Because religion and politics. And a prophecy. That’s as far as I’ve gotten.
SF Romance SS: Hey, we’re all together. Let’s figure it out!
Esmari: Be right back, I have to make worldbuilding spreadsheets.
SF Romance SS: That’s it, we’re doomed.
New Idea FMC: Your pants are so tight I can tell you’re not circumcised.
Axyl: Yeah, I’m not really sure what that has to do with the story, but at least my dick is huge.
New Idea FMC: Wanna bang? I’m into kinky shit.
Axyl: Top or bottom?
New Idea FMC: Bottom all the way.
Axyl: I think I might be in love with you.
New Idea FMC: Sweet! Give me lots of orgasms and I might let you keep me around.
Esmari: Holy shit, this is it! THIS IS MY STORY! Scifi portal fantasy BDSM erotica for the win!!