Monday, October 11, 2010

It's Almost Time

Three weeks from today it will be November.  You know what that means.  NaNo time.

I haven't really done NaNo since 2006.  That was an excellent NaNo for me.  I made serious progress on a book that I really loved, and only got a little lost at the end.  As opposed to other years where I started out strong in the first week/week and a half and then scrambled to throw any old words onto the page to finish out the month with my 50,000.

I'm not sure what I want to do this time around.  I've kicked around three ideas.  First, there's the story that I've been working on in Discovery.  It's a good concept, definitely one worth working on.  But it's... big.  Slippery in my mind.  And I keep finding the most creative excuses not to do the homework for class.  (Embarrassingly, I fell asleep in class yesterday and missed about half of it.  Lucy, if you're reading this, it was all me, not you.  I woke up long enough to type I'M A GREAT WRITER!!!! and then fell asleep for another two hours.)  I strongly suspect that this is just too much story for me at this time.  I haven't done any writing worth mentioning in almost 4 years.  Maybe I need to start with something smaller, with less at stake.  I really want to try something with this story, and to do that I need more confidence, more practice under my belt.

My second idea is to write anywhere from 3 to 10 short pieces aimed at the Harlequin Spice Briefs line.  I don't mean to say that these are easy to write.  It takes skill to take a small concept and turn it into a full story without any extraneous bits or feeling like there's stuff that's been left out.  Not to mention these are hot stories, and if you can't write a heck of a sex scene, you're sunk.  But I think this is something I might be able to do this year.  Take a moment, a look, a touch, and spin it into a story.  Too short for saggy middles.  No wallowing around, trying to figure out what to do next.  It starts, they do it, you tie it all up.  At NaNo pace each one should take me anywhere from a few days up to a week.  (The length requirements are 5,000-15,000 words.)  But can I come up with 3 to 10 little fantasies to write about?

My third idea, which has merit just for it's ridiculousness, is to just wing something, some silly, fun story, and blog it.  Let any commenters throw out ideas when I get stuck.  Something that will be just pure fun.  Strictly writing for the hell of it.  That winging it, writing on the fly type attitude strikes me as particularly NaNo-ish.  And provided I can keep going and actually find a way to wrap up whatever mess I've created by Nov 30, I think it could be a pretty satisfying way to jump back into the writing pool.  The only problem is, I have not the tiniest idea what this story would be about. 

So, what do you think?  Set my self up for failure with the big scary book, go nympho for the month and write a series of sexy shorts with an eye toward submitting one or more of them by the end of the year, or should I go foo foo crazy and blog the results for all the world to see?

8 comments:

  1. Well, the sexy stories sound like fun, and the Betties will probably be happy to give you more than enough raunchy ideas for inspiration. Or, at least, I will. :)

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  2. On Bona Fide's recommendation I just read Stephen King's book about writing (it was as good as you said it would be Kelly, thanks). He says that the best way to learn is to do it. Applying his theory, writing all those shorts would do the trick. Ha ha, trick, there ya go, one idea, incorporate some kind of fun trick into one of them.
    Julie

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  3. I'd combine the second and third (pure self-interest here)-- write the sexy shorts and blog them so we can read along!

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  4. Hmmm. I'm not sure if three late-night posts is a consensus, but so far the sexy stories are in the lead!

    I'll have to think about posting them. That may count as publishing, which could kill my chances of placing them with a publisher. I'll do a little research.

    As the month goes on I'll definitely post updates with how things are going. Number of stories written, total word count, titles if I have them, that sort of thing.

    I'm going to start a file with ideas so I'm not starting from scratch every couple of days. I have two ideas already, and I'd like to have 15 or 20, just for a safety net.

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  5. I was going to vote for sharing - but you're right, you should check into whether blogging counts against your being able to publish. Sexy stories are always le yummy! :)

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  6. Dissenting Opinion Alert. I think you should go with your Discovery idea. And I think the key to doing this is to deep six the notion that if you don't have it "wrapped up" by November 30th, you've failed. Not so, ma chere. To win NaNo, you need 50,000 words by November 30th. You DO NOT need to have typed "The End." I have no intention of finishing my NaNo novel by 11/30, but I plan on having a good, 50,000 word jump on it. Do the work that calls to you. You don't have to finish it in 30 days.

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  7. If the one in discovery is too big and scary, do something fun. I would love to see 2&3 combined b/c then I'd get to read it! :)

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  8. Oh, no worries! I've done NaNo lots of times (although the last few years have been problematic) and hit 50,000 without reaching The End. My Discovery story feels really big and intimidating in my mind, and I'm just worried that I'll get 10 pages in and then wimp out and quit.

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