Committing to a NaNo Novel

Okay, so the decision to NaNo or not to NaNo is made. I’m going to do it. What the hell. I had planned on what to write, a novel I have barely started so it would be no problem to start it afresh (rules say you have to start a new novel). The characters are alive and well and chatting in my head. BUT then yesterday I stupidly decided to go looking through some docs on my computer and there it was: three pages of another novel, an easier novel to write for me and a more light-hearted one. Much more easy to write in one month. And I was tempted. More than tempted. I started writing notes about it and the words, well the words they flowed out like endless rain into a paper cup (sorry been listening to Fiona Apple ) and it felt right. I know it’s probably just creative procrastination but I’ve never tried this NaNo thing before and if I have to commit to a novel I don’t know yet, to spend 50,000 words with it, I better be interested. And then I remembered other manuscripts partially written (at least four) and thought maybe I should resurrect one of them. But I also remembered the two completed novels in my drawer: one a psychological thriller and one a sci-fi novel, neither or which may ever see the light of day. Do I want to invest 50,000 words in a novel I won’t follow up with and will leave in the drawer?

So, I have eight days to figure that out. Right now, the one I wrote notes on yesterday afternoon is the most likely candidate but tomorrow is another day and maybe I’ll feel different then. This, as I’ve told you before, is why I usually write at least three books at once, because I can go back and forth to them, depending on mood–another thing that NaNo will prevent me from doing. I was thinking that NaNo is kind of like a wedding–You have to agree to commit to this one thing and the idea freaks you out. But, on second thought, I think it’s more like agreeing to go on a tropical vacation with a guy you’ve only recently met. What if you get there and you suddenly realize that he has a large bottle-cap collection at home and shows you pictures of them all the time while talking incessantly about bottle-cap history, asking random strangers if he could have the cap from their lemon-lime Jamaican pop? Or maybe he wears a too tight speedo and thinks that rating the breasts of other women on the beach from one to ten out loud to you, is a great pasttime. And there you are, stuck with him in that resort until you’d rather smother him with a pillow than to have to spend one more second with him. What if the novel I pick is like that and I’m stuck with it? Or maybe the guy, er, novel,is the perfect one and the time will fly while you spend time writing it. Yeah, that could happen. And if it doesn’t, well, at least I can give it up without murder being an option (although, in my tropical vacation scenario at least I’d have the sun and the beach and with the weather around here lately, that’s a huge plus–breast-rating man or not).

3 thoughts on “Committing to a NaNo Novel

  1. Oh Denise, that’s great. See, that’s why I couldn’t handle it. I’m definitely an Ernie kind of girl. (Maybe the suppressed memory of this Sesame Street segment was the reason the bottle-cap guy came into my head when I was thinking of a bad kind of guy to be on vacation with.)

  2. Knowing me, I’d actually think Bottle Cap Guy was cool and join him in his quest for bottle caps. I’m just glad you’re doing NaNo … and I, too, am not sure what project I want to work on.

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