The Annual NaNoWriMo Quandary

As November swiftly approaches, I’ve been forced to face an all-important question: Am I doing NaNoWriMo this year?

To be honest, it’s been hard to answer. That fantasy/sci-fi steampunk novel idea from two years ago seems to have some potential, and two years of letting it brew in the back of my mind has left be itching to try it out again. It’s quirky and has pushed me into trying things that I haven’t done before, and I’m excited to see what another very rough draft will reveal about the world and the strange situation it’s in. Also, since I haven’t dedicated half of my life to it, it’s a novel that I’d be willing to try self-publishing without feeling like I’m selling it and myself short. It’s a terrifying and exciting thought.

On the other hand, Novel #1 and I have been getting along well and making some great progress in this latest review. The story is the same, but changing some things about one of my techniques has opened up some new, very candid moments between characters. I’m only partway through the draft, and I’d hate to interrupt this time.

And so, with November starting next weekend, I wonder what to do. To follow those impulsive urges to furiously write a story that’s just starting to take shape or to gently guide an old friend through a new level of growth?

I suppose the decision doesn’t have to be made until next Saturday arrives. Until then, I’ll let the debate continue in the back of my mind while Novel #1 and I keep plugging along.

Are you doing NaNoWriMo this year?


8 responses to “The Annual NaNoWriMo Quandary

  • Rebekah Loper

    I am doing NaNo this year! Partly because I sell my soul to NaNo every summer and re-sign up to be an ML.

    I’m only now starting to figure out the details of what I’m writing, though. Which is slightly scary, because NaNo starts in *gulp* 8 days, and I am a hardcore plotter with very little free time right now.

    Somehow, I’ll get it all jotted down…

  • Anthony Lee Collins

    I will maintain my unbroken streak of never doing NaNo (as usual I’m in the middle of a project anyway, and as usual I don’t have enough time).

    I do think this quirky, fantasy/sci-fi steampunk novel sounds interesting. These days I’m drawn to stories which don’t fit into any one box.

    • S.B. Roberts

      :) I definitely understand that.

      I think its out-of-the-box potential is what makes working on that novel idea so hard to resist. But it’s not like I can’t do a speed run through a novel any time of year. (After all, throwing everything out there in 30-ish days seems just the right formula for a first rough draft.)

  • C.B. Wentworth

    One year I participated in NaNoWriMo in a different way – I used it to edit my novel. My word count was edited word count rather than written first draft word count. It worked incredibly well! Maybe you could do that with your novel. :-)

  • hannahgivens

    I’ve never had a good experience with Nano, I just don’t write well that way… I can’t imagine waiting until November 1 to decide either, though! ;)

    • S.B. Roberts

      I can definitely understand that. I think, to a large part, it comes down to how you write and think. I’m an unabashed “pantser,” so I’ve always thrown all the words out there for a rough draft and left all the messes and lose ends for the first round of editing/rewriting. It lends itself better to the uncooperative characters that live in my imagination. :)

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