To NaNoWriMo or Not To NaNoWriMo, That Is The Question

Okay, so right now a lot of you are looking at that title and scratching your heads. I shall explain. Every November, there is a self-imposed challenge that a lot of people in the writing community take a stab at: Write a 50,000 word novel, from scratch, between Nov. 1st and Nov. 30th. It is a monumental task, but I’ve often toyed with the idea of giving it a try. As I do whenever I make a big decision with the books, I figured I’d float the idea by you folks. Here’s how it breaks down:

The Pros:

– I’ll potentially have a whole extra (short) novel that I hadn’t intended to write for a long time.

– If I do this, I’ll probably write it more or less in the open. I’d set up a page on the site and do updates every few days showing off my progress, or lack thereof.

– If the book reaches completion, I’ll probably price it at the minimum (99 cents), if not outright free. Unless I decide to bulk it up to “Typical Jo Novel Length”.

The Cons:

– This will take all of my writing time for an entire month, putting the breaks on Lain Origin and any of the side stuff I’ve been working on.

– There is no guarantee that I’ll succeed, which would result in a wasted month and an incomplete story.

– The resulting story might well be the worst thing I’ve ever written.

A few answers to anticipated questions:

If you were to try it, what would the story be about?

Well, the rules say it needs to be written from scratch, so anything you’ve heard me say I was working on (Lain Origin, Entwell Sidequest, Second Trilogy) would not be it. It could be something entirely new. (I’ve already got people suggesting “that wacky superhero thing you were talking about”.) Stuff I’d mentioned as potential future projects but never actually started would be fair game. Maybe I’d even do a poll.

If you plan on doing it out in the open, why would you ever consider selling it?

Because the version I’d put on sale would be more carefully edited, and I’d probably try to get Nick to make an awesome cover for it. One of those takes extra time, the other takes extra money. Who knows, though, I’m just making this up as I go along.

If you are so incredibly busy, why even suggest doing this?

Because sometimes I hear about something neat and I get excited about it without thinking it through.

I’ll do the usual disclaimer here. My brain is fickle when it comes to stuff like this. I could be gung-ho about it for a week and then completely abandon the idea the day after. It is almost certain that I’ll ditch the idea before the month starts, and I’m frankly amazed I’ve remained enthusiastic about it long enough to write this post. But whether I do or I don’t I’d love to hear your thoughts. You can comment here, hop over into the forum to discuss it, or even visit the facebook fan page, where a matching announcement will shortly be made. You might want to check out the official website of NaNoWriMo, just to see that I’m not making the whole concept up.

Thanks for indulging my impulsive pondering, and thanks for reading.