NaNoWriMo 1

The badge has gone up today on the website despite the fact many of my writing friends have had their NaNo badges up for weeks.

Ben has dedicated his blog posts for October to exploring the creature which had been NaNo in past years and attempts.  And he’s happy for me to ride the wave he’s created … so for me October will also be dedicated to a post mortem of past experiences.  I have got over the line both years I participated but both those half written manuscripts have remained abandoned since December 1 of each year.

This year I have a battle going on between three stories lines.  So I am putting it out there to my limited readership … do I:

1. continue on with last years manuscript Blue Melissae (it was just getting really interested I finished up around the 27th in time to go away!) For anyone wanting to read more – I am happy to put the entire 50,000 words up from last year!

2. go with my Hartog series of short stories in a serious capacity – considering the story has always been bigger than a couple of 2000 word shorts.

3.  explore a dark teenage narrative which has been brewing since February when I had lunch with an old school friend (and crush)

Decision decisions decisions.

The upside of going with Blue Melissae is I would actually get a manuscript finished this year and tick one of my big goals for the year.  The downside it it feels like cheating continuing on from where I left off.

The pros for Hartog are that I already have a bunch of interesting characters I’d love to see dance (ha- Hartog and dance I don’t think belong in the same sentence). The downside being it seems like cheating also and I’m not sure if I could live in Hartog’s skin for 30 days straight.

The lure of the teenage narrative is the concept – of seeing how dark something can get when you believe destiny always reasserts itself and the fact of living out unfulfiled teenage love out on the page.  The thing that screams don’t go here – is does this story has enough legs to run. I was going to source back all my letters from my teenage years. Maybe if I put the shout out to old friends and see what comes my way.

I’ve never been organised for NaNo. The first year I did it I went into it with a single character and a rather basic premise. Last year I was torn between two stories and went with the last likely one and got the most amazing results.

So help me decide – should it be Blue Melissae, Hartog or the unnamed teenage noir?

5 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo 1

  1. Go with the unnamed teenage noir… if you feel like the other two might be cheating, you’re not going to be as efficient or driven at writing it for the goal.

    There’s ALWAYS something to write about teenagers, because everything is just SOOOOO dramatic all the time. (try to imagine that I wrote that using a dramatic, traumatized voice). If the writing gets tough, explore the darkness through diary entries or letters or something like that. Seems to me that this is the best option.

    That’s my opinion, at least. For NaNoWriMo, it is my month to just do something completely new — maybe not different, but completely new. I have the 11 other months of the year to complete and/or revisit. Last year I tried to write a sequel and it was awful. I mean, the story was fine, but the effort to do it was a lot harder than I ever imagined. So, it will be something brand new this year, I’m just not at all sure what.

    Good luck!


  2. Warning: I am a newbie, looking to the likes of you for inspiration and encouragement. I can’t offer any wisdom based on experience – I didn’t even know that continuing a previous year’s story was an option. That said, though, I think I like that idea best of all. It would provide closure, of course, but also it would enable you to start NaNoWriMo with a sense of familiarity, of homecoming, that might be a very good thing.

    Thanks for the heads-up about the badge. I have put it up at The Turtle now, as a daily reminder. Tick, tick, tick.


  3. I don’t think continuing a half written manuscript is cheating. I’d be tempted to do just that if I was in the same position. I vote you complete what you started.

    Following my deleting a huge chunk of my WIP, I have decided to restart the project and try writing it for Nanowrimo. It’s a short YA novel so should be finished in around 50,000 words. Should give me the ooomph to complete it.


  4. Thanks everyone for their comments.

    It looks like Hartog has been edged out and it comes down to popular vote of the other two. I will go and sort out a poll daddy and beg everyone I know to come and vote. While I like the idea of handing over responsiblity of how to sort out this issue, having no control over the decision also freaks the crap out of me. Nothing like damned if you do or damned if you don’t.

    I guess going on with Blue Melissae isn’t anything really to do with cheating – after all NaNo doesn’t specify it has to be a brand new project -just that you write 50,000 words. And it would mean I would tick the box on a rather large goal this year which was to complete a manuscript (I always intended to finish Blue Melissae)

    There is so little in my head about the teenage noir … and I’m having a giggle Ben that you’d love to see me writing something dark. Perhaps your dark and my dark a different hues 🙂 I guess I say noir for it because I can’t stand all the sickly sweet time travel stories/movies like “17” etc. Because there are certain philosophies about time travel which say you can’t go back and alter destiny or the path of history. My take is while my character may return to a certain point in her teenage years with knowledge and try to alter the course, perhaps destiny come back harder and nastier to re-assert it’s path. Also – knowledge is one thing – but what would it be like to be in the body of your 15 self with all those hormones and the brain wiring. How helpful would knowledge actually be?Would you still be racked with self esteem issues etc?


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