To NaNo or not to NaNo?

I am in a pickle. 

I’m looking at the calendar. It says Oct. 19. I know that in less than 15 days, the clock will strike midnight on Nov. 1 and I’ll have to decide whether I will join the thousands of thousands of others down the path of insanity called National Novel Writing Month. 

I’ve written a novel. I did it in a year and a half. I thought that was crazy but 50,000 words in one month?  

Crazy? I don’t think so! NaNoWriMo is a tradition for writers. Some use it to jump start a new project while others need to get the writing juices flowing again. For me, it’s a combination of both. There’s nothing like starting a new project, the hope and promise of what it could be, how it could still be what you envisioned.  But there’s also something about getting out from under the cobwebs and doing something different. Both of these appeal to me. 

You know what else does? Kinship. This is the first year that my area gets its own group! In the past, I’ve had to join the statewide municipality. This year, there is a Shreveport/Bossier City group which is 35 people strong so far. Why is this exciting? It’s a chance to be part of a community, to get a built in cheering section for your novel and what not. It’s also a chance to attend local write-ins, which means it’s dedicated time and space to write on this little novel that I’d like to finish. 

All I have to do now is decide to take that step. Do I go for it? Do I not? 

If I do decide to go down this road, then I have other decisions to make quickly–what to write.  I’ve got some options. 
Finally write that novella

I’ve been wanting to write a novella for a couple of months now. Depending on who you ask, 50,000 words is about novella length (a little longer if you go with the conservative count.)  

So this would be a chance to get it done. Finally. I already have an idea in mind for the characters and the plot. Of course I would use Scrivener to write this masterpiece since it’s easier for me to write longer pieces in sections. Scriverner allows me to do that in a way Word or word processing programs don’t. 

Detective fiction

Confession. I’ve tried NaNoWriMo before and I’ve lost each time. Each time I’ve tried to write this masterpiece I’ve done a detective novel. I have this character already, Jennie Manning, who I know forward and backward. At this point, we have two unfinished adventures together. What’s a third one among friends? 

Here’s the thing with this idea–I don’t have a plot for this. None. At all.  

A thought did occur to me that I could rewrite one of the two adventures since I’ll have to rewrite them anyway if I were to finish them. Also, I’m a different writer now than I was when I originally wrote these tales. So everything would be different except the basic plot points. However, it feels more like recycling and not in the spirit of NaNo. 

Noir or noir-ish fiction

I became jealous when, while working with a student on their writing, I suggested they write a sci-fi noir story. SCI-FI NOIR? Where did that come from? Does that really exist? Who cares! It sounds awesome and I instantly wanted to write it. Forget that I have no story line, or characters, and that I’ve never written sci-fi in my life.  It sounded super interesting. 

Go literary or go home

My MFA makes me a literary trained writer. I can write such pretty words. Here’s the thing with that…literary takes forever (depending on who you talk to). There’s lots of thinking and feeling and soul barring in this process. I tear myself apart so I can put myself back together again. 

This does not appeal to me at the moment. It doesn’t appeal to me until at least January. 


As you can see, I’ve got much to think about before Nov. 1. What would you chose? How are you getting ready for NaNoWriMo? 
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