Friday, October 28, 2011

Decisions, Decisions

It snuck up on me.  The way Christmas sneaks up on me every year.  Even though I know the date.  Even though I'm surrounded by signs of its coming.  When it gets here, I'm still not ready. 


I want to do it.  I've planned to do it. 

I thought my current book would be at query stage now and I'd be ready to move on.  But I'm still getting feedback from my beta-readers and crit partner so there's work yet to be done.

And the novel-to-be isn't exactly ready to go.  I've got one story with a plot that's coming together nicely but the characters are still pretty sketchy.  I've got another one with most of the characters ready to go but the plot isn't there.  (No, the two wouldn't merge at all.)  And then there's a decades old 85% complete sci fi I found recently with a decent plot and some characters that are probably worth a total re-write.

NaNo would be good for me.   I've been a bit unfocused in my writing lately and I reponse well to challenges.  But with the prep work I still need to do - I'm a total plotter, not a panster - there's not much chance I can get a 50K complete story done in November.

Do I sign up for NaNo and set myself up for failure?  Or maybe take on a modified challenge, i.e. I will get the plot/character design finished and the first 30K written.  Or do I just pass on the whole thing and work on getting the WIP polished and start querying.

What do you think?  Door number one, two, or three?  If you think I should go for it, which story should I tackle: good plot with sketchy characters, definite characters with unformed plot, or old resurrected sci fi?

Looking for your good advice here.  Help me out.

Groaner of the Day: The Lone Ranger and Tonto walked into a bar and sat down to drink a beer. After a few minutes, a big tall cowboy walked in and said "Who owns the big white horse outside?"

The Lone Ranger said, "I do, Why?"

The cowboy said, "I just thought you'd like to know that your horse is about dead out there."

The Lone Ranger and Tonto rushed outside and sure enough, Silver was down from heat exhaustion.

The Lone Ranger got water and soon Silver was starting to feel a little better but the heat was still oppressive.

The Lone Ranger turns to Tonto and says, "I want you to run around Silver and see if you can create enough of a breeze to help cool him down".

Tonto agrees and begins running circles around Silver. Unable to do anything except wait, the Lone Ranger returns to the bar to finish his drink.

A few minutes later, another cowboy struts into the bar and asks, "Who owns that big white horse outside?

The Lone Ranger says, "I do, what's wrong with him this time?"

The cowboy looks him in the eye and says, "Nothing, but you left your Injun running."


L. Diane Wolfe said...

Oh! That's a groaner.
Just set your own goals for NaNo.

Jessica R. Patch said...

Oh the groaner, but I admit, I giggled! :) Go for the NaNo! :)

Larri @ Seams Inspired said...

Is it really a failure if you don't make it to 30K words? Wouldn't it be a success if you signed up and wrote as much as you could?

PS...That was a groaner...that made me laugh. ☺ Happy Friday!

GigglesandGuns said...

Sick, sick groaner :-/

I think Diane's got it -- set your own goal.

LD Masterson said...

Diane - Yeah, that was a pretty bad one but it made me laugh.

Okay, that's one vote for door number two. Thanks.

LD Masterson said...

Jessica - Aw, I laughed out loud.

You think I should go for it. Thanks for the input.

LD Masterson said...

Larri - I know just getting a bunch of writing done should be enough but if I set a goal and don't make it, I do get disappointed in myself.

Yea! You laughed! Happy Friday to you,too.

LD Masterson said...

Mary - Aw, only a little sick.

And another vote for door number two.

Maria Zannini said...

I have a thing about leaving things undone and then turning around and adding something new, so I would vote for #3.

You've come so far on your wip, it seems only fair to see it all the way through and worry about NaNo next year.

Should you do NaNo, that'll push your current wip a month more behind.

Besides, anyone who can handle the humungous organizational tasks of your position at the Red Cross ought to be able to do her own NaNo at any time. You don't have to do it in November.

Ref: groaner
Darn it! You got me with another one.

Maryann Miller said...

Oh, the groaner really got me.

I was tempted to do NaNo this time, but face the same problems you are. Too many projects in various states of disrepair and nothing really to start fresh on. Plus, I've got an editing job for a client. Can't put that off.

Good luck with whatever you decide.

Sarah Pearson said...

I'll do you a deal. I love challenges, it's how I write best. If you decide not to do NaNo, and you want to do it on your own in a different month, I'll do it with you, whatever goal you choose :-)

Liz Fichera said...

NaNo can be great if you're not good about goals and deadlines, but I don't think that's your problem. Regarding which story to choose, I say choose the one you're excited about spending the next 6-8 months with. Good luck!

Sondrae Bennett said...

Nanowrimo totally snuck up on me as well. I'm only about 3k words into my current story, so I suppose I could still participate, but I thought I'd have more time to prepare.

Stacy McKitrick said...

I vote for #3. Get it finished and start querying! You'll be glad you did.

LD Masterson said...

My apologies for the delayed responses here. Our Internet connection was down (SO annoying).

Maria - You hit a nerve. I know I need to stay focused on the WIP. I guess final polishing is more tedious than starting something new, and than makes NaNo very appealing. (Gotcha with two groaners in a row. That's a record.)

Maryann - Yes, it would be a lot easier if I had my next project ready to go. Too many possibilities.

Sarah - I think I've got a plan. Do me a favor and check back on Monday.

Liz - A very good point.

My thanks to everyone who offered their input. You really helped me clarify things. More on this popic on Monday. Please stop by.

LD Masterson said...

Odd, the last two incoming comment were her before my last response but didn't show up until after.

Sondrae - Things sneak up on me all the time. If you're thinking maybe you're not ready for NaNo, stop by on Monday. I've got an idea brewing.

Stacy - Yup, leaning heavily in that direction.

Slamdunk said...

I think the groaner earned its title well.

Yes, I'm with Diane--set your own goals and use a modified NaNo.

LD Masterson said...

Slamdunk - Please visit my Monday post to see what I came up with.