A NaNoWriMo Dilemma

I am a bit torn as to what my next writing move will be. On my NaNoWriMo project, I have 13,716 words written, almost unthinkable monthly output for me, but well off the 50,000 goal and now slightly off my personal goal of 25,000 words. On the plus side, I have finally figured out the central conflict of the story and “what the story is about”. This may sound funny since I am 13,000 words in and just now figuring out what the story is about. Though I did little pre-planning I think the new direction of the story will work and the parts that don’t work can be fixed in the second draft.

There are only 11 writing days remaining in NaNoWriMo (including today) and that includes Thanksgiving and all the travel associated with the holiday. The question that I have is, should I continue on this project and just be happy with whatever I come up with, or do I scrap this project and work on a couple short stories that I have in my mind? Last night I had a pretty funny dream, which I think would make an excellent short story. This is pretty rare for me because I usually forget my dreams the moment I wake up. I won’t go into details about the dream here, because I will probably post the short story here, but it has potential. I would really like to write this one while the idea is still fresh in my mind. My other short story idea is a Christmas short story, which I think also has potential.

I’m not sure what I am going to do. For now, I will stick with the NaNoWriMo project because, well, I ain’t no quitter. Whether this lasts, I don’t know. Maybe I ‘ll just eat a ton of food and watch football.

11 thoughts on “A NaNoWriMo Dilemma

  1. Stick with the NaNo.

    Jot down the ideas of the funny dream so that you won’t forget it. The story will be better if you get a little distance from the dream anyway.

    It is too late to send a Christmas story to any print publication, so write that one early next year and send it out to people at the appropriate time.

    So, stick with NaNo and turkey the rest of the month.

  2. I agree with Mike. Stick with it. 13,000 words is a lot of words to give up on. The story will scream and yell at you to finish it. Come on, now. It’s only 11 more days. See if you can break the 20,000 + !

  3. I always try and write what whatever interests me the most when I sit down to write, I tend to be more productive that way. If you’re not feeling the nano put it aside and work on something else, it will always be there ready for you to come back to it.

  4. It is a good idea to follow your heart. I must say though, I am on the 9th draft of this current ms, and I am still figuring out exactly what it is about! This is not to say I didn’t plan before I started. I filled notebooks with plot outlines and themes and details of the backstory (none of this work was wasted, either). I think writing is sometimes like excavation. You keep working on an idea and refining, until you reach gold. Whatever project you follow, it will be the right one.

  5. Thanks everyone for the encouragement. Only 10 more days to go!

    Mike – I will still write the Christmas story and post it here, as I don’t plan on print publication anyhow. I will wait until Dec. 1 to write it, though.

    Paperback Writer – I guess 13,000 is a lot, but it seems so small compared to everyone else’s output.

    Lee – I am very tempted to write something I am interested in, but what happens if I lose interest in those other projects before they are completed?

    Helen – I wish I had your work ethic in planning and revising.

  6. Since I am also struggling with the Nano, and I need encouragement too, I’d stay stick with the Nano! I am up to 18,000 words, which is also far short of the 30K we’re supposed to be at at this point. But i’m definitely not giving up. I’m just kicking myself now for NOT writing on days that I thought I couldn’t write 1667. That was just plain silly, and it put me even more behind. It would have been so worth it to keep up the momentum and write the 300 or 700 words on those days. Ah well. Llive and learn. Ten more days!!!

  7. Well, I (think) I know what I’d do, but whether or not it’s the best course for you…the only person who knows the answer is you. 🙂 Besides, you’ve probably already decided! Hope you enjoy the holiday.

  8. >>Lee – I am very tempted to write something I am interested in, but what happens if I lose interest in those other projects before they are completed?

    I know it’s been a while since you asked, but what tends to happen to me is, I’ll stop working on one project in favour of another, and then I’ll get to a tricky part or lose interest and return to the original project. Of course that doesn’t always happen but most of the time it does, so I can generally swing back and forth between two or three stories.

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