I’ve decided to go ahead with it. That is to say I will begin my next “official” novel (NN2) by way of Nanowrimo.
I’ve mentioned before a few of the hesitations I had about doing this. Those hesitations still exist, but in the end I decided to go through with it for a few reasons.
To begin with, the timing. I finished two revisions of FLOWERS FOR DIONYSUS in less than a year this year. I fully intended to let a few test-readers check out the latest draft, and let it sit until the New Year. During that hiatus I had always thought it was likely I’d begin work on NN2. If Nano didn’t exist there’d be a decent chance, in other words, that I would have started writing NN2 in and around November anyway. So while I’m at it, why not join the Nano community again, maybe meet some new people online, and make a thing out of it?
Another reason? It does light a bit of a fire when one does Nano. NN2 is going to happen at some point no matter what, but with Nano I decided it would help me get on with it. Nothing wrong with an extra push. I can dither at times when it comes to starting or completing certain writing projects. I over-think when I am ready, when the piece is ready, when the planets are properly aligned and so on. This way I will have to just go.
The biggest fear I had was that NN2 wouldn’t get the attention it deserved. That it would become more gimmick and less legitimate if I started it via Nano. Not that Nano novels are not legitimate to the world at large, but my previous two attempts at Nano, though successful, were not pursued beyond that first draft. I wrote them to see if I could do it. I didn’t want NN2 to be like that. I quieted these concerns by telling myself two things:
1) I’ve put a great deal of thought already into the outline of NN2, that I didn’t put into my first Nano projects. (You’re allowed to have an outline headed into Nano, as far as I understand.) The investment has already been made in it, Nano being more of a vehicle.
2) I can pull out of Nano whenever I want to. It’s not a job. There’s no contract. There is no reward other than a certificate and my own knowledge I’ve done it. If at any time I feel NN2 is being slighted by it’s inclusion in Nano, I simply bow out of Nano. Not a big deal, right? In my mind, such things often seem like a big deal at first, only registering as the common sense that they are at a later time. The other day it reached that level. I can stop at any time. Especially since I have already proven not once, but twice, than I can write 50,000 words in 30 days.
Which leads me to another point. I know that I won’t finish NN2 during Nano. I should be able to get at least 50,000 words of a rough draft done in that time period, but by no means the entire narrative. I didn’t finish the whole narrative in my previous Nano experiences either. But in those cases, I was pantsing, and on November 1 at least the possibility of writing a whole narrative was there. This year I know going in that I won’t finish the narrative. That bugged me a bit, too. Felt like it could be cheating. I resolved this issue by saying, “to hell with that thinking.” (Sometimes it’s that easy, even for me.)
So come the first of next month, I will at least begin work on NN2. Look for updates on this adventure throughout November.