A Considerable Dilemma

School has eaten my soul. Which is rather unfortunate, because last time I checked it was safe in NaNoWriMo’s arms. Anyway. My point is, I scarcely have time to write. No, no, no…that’s a lie. I have time. But all I want to do after spending 10 hours doing school work on my laptop is to get away from my laptop. And read something that I don’t have to think too hard about. So my update is bad, because I have not in fact written all that much.

The other problem is that I keep getting ideas for new stories. Is there something wrong with my brain? I need ideas for my WIPs, not for new stories. Yes, I realize the irony of a writer complaining about too many ideas. But my freaking goodness!! I’m only one person!!

Question (not rhetorical, as in please please answer me): at what point do you drop a story? I shudder to think of doing this, but…I don’t know. Maybe I should force myself into NaNos and get them done that way. *tears hair out* But yes, I think that might be the only way.*sigh*

On the bright side, I think I have an idea for a 2010 NaNoWriMo!!! Huzzah!! Here’s my cover (I lurve it). Of course, it’s only March, so it might change before November, but oh well πŸ™‚

2 thoughts on “A Considerable Dilemma”

  1. I have tons of stories I’ve dropped, and picked back up, over the years. Work on the new ideas without worrying about your WiPs and you’ll probably be recharged to work on your WiP once the shine wears of the new idea. (This takes anywhere between one day and a month in my experience.)

    If you really want to get your motivation to work on your NaNos back, think about the story and make notes on it casually without referring back to your manuscript. Eventually, you’ll get an idea that tempts you into working on it again.

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  2. I “completed” my first NaNoWriMo last November. I know what you are going through. It is extremely tough to write for 2 hours a day and get out 1700-1800 words consistently each day after putting in 10 hours of mental effort on something else. I ended up doing mammoth weekend writing sessions and fewer week night sessions because I was mentally tired from a very challenging day job. I used the week day evenings to think about plot and character and that helped make the weekend marathons be productive. When I did my planning for my daily word count targets I thought that would have given me 50,000 by months end.

    None the less, when I got a week from the end I was only at 35,000 words and tired and I found I just ran out of words and ideas. I was muddled in the plot and had some major ideas about the novel I wanted to act on, but knew that this would involve re-write. Of course in a 30 day writing blitz judged by finished word count rewriting is your enemy, in fact your inner editor is your enemy. Obviously, I did not have the time to do any rewriting.

    In my case, I decided it was more important to me to finish even if what I continued to write was the most awful drivel I had ever written. I fired my inner editor and just wrote whatever I could, I even used the NanNoWriMo plot generator to come up with some new plot twists – in essence I generated words in the word count using my characters and scenes and basically used little writing exercises to increase the word count even if it really did not further my intended plot or even in some cases make sense.

    My rationale is that I was at least still writing and rather than giving up I was doing something worthwhile if I continued and used the time to exercise the discipline of writing that the NaNoWriMo is meant to draw upon and reinforce and practice the craft, then it was worthwhile even if the output was destined for the garbage bin when I did the 2nd draft of the novel.

    I think you have to keep NaNoWriMo in context and decide what is important. Are you doing NaNoWriMo because you want to finish it – complete a challenge or are you following your own path and desire to put this story down and persue another for a while.

    In either event, a novel is not written in a month – but a first draft might be. Most authors take more than a year and many drafts to produce a manuscript for their publisher. John Irving took 10 years for his latest novel and usually takes 4-6 years! If you listen to talks by some authors about some pretty fantastic books, it isn’t uncommon that whole drafts are thrown out and rewritten entirely – even after the author is sufficiently happy with the book to send it to an editor. Undoubtably, there are other stories on the drawing board during this period.

    Now my 1st draft sits waiting for me to get courage to go at it again. I know I am going to pull it apart and entirely reorganize and rewrite major sections. I think continuing was the thing I needed to do because I don’t feel like a failure and I am focusing on the process of writing and I learned a lot from my NaNoWriMo experience. I learned about and practised writing and I now understand how tough it is when you also have a demanding day job.

    You have to decide what is right for you. Good luck if you decide to continue.

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