Sunday, October 21, 2012

NaNo or No?

So it has come to this, my annual dilemma:  Should I participate in National Novel Writing Month (a.k.a. NaNoWriMo, which I often shorten further to NaNo) this year or not?

The pros:  As alert readers of this blog know, this would be my fourth NaNo.  My earlier NaNos were in 2008, 2009, and 2011.  Each time, I won -- that is, I reached the goal of 50,000 words in 30 days.  And each time, I got a publishable book out of it (The Maidens' War in '08, SwanSong in '09, and Seized last year.)  I have an idea teed up, too -- book four of "The Pipe Woman Chronicles" -- and I've even got an outline-ish thing written for it already.  I've got to write the book anyway, and November is as good a time as any.  So why not just commit?

Of course, there are also the usual and customary, all-purpose pros: NaNo is a great experience for anyone who has ever said to him- or herself, "I've got this great idea for a book."  It's also perfect for anyone who gets bogged down in revising while writing the first draft, because there just isn't enough time in 30 days for those kinds of shenanigans.  It's a first draft!  It's supposed to stink!  Just keep writing!

If you think writing is too solitary, NaNo volunteers have organized a bunch of events throughout the month, at which you can sit in a room and tap away at your keyboard with a bunch of other people who are tapping away at their keyboards.  (I mean, I don't get the attraction, personally.  But a lot of other people do.)  For instant socializing gratification, there are message boards on the NaNo site and Facebook groups galore.  If you'd rather work alone, that's okay, too -- you never have to see another human, and you really only have to go to the website twice: once to sign up, and once to dump your manuscript into NaNo's official word counting device so you can collect your swag.

The cons:  No rule exists that says I have to do NaNo every year; you will note that I sat out 2010, and the world did not end thereby.  Also, I'm going to lose four days at the very beginning of the month for World Fantasy Convention; I might get to squeeze in a little writing in Toronto, but it certainly won't amount to 6,668 words.  I've begun NaNo with a deficit before and it's not a lot of fun.  Besides, I've already won three times -- what else have I got to prove?  And to be honest, I'm still kind of in recovery mode after powering through the first draft of Tapped in about three weeks in late August and early September.  And if Tapped is going to be published in early December, I'm going to have to spend some time in November getting it ready to go.

The hedge:  But I don't have to win, do I?  I can write as much of the fourth book as possible during November, and if I don't get to 50,000 words by the 30th, oh well, at least I'll be farther along on it than I would have been otherwise.  And I've proven with Tapped that I can write 50,000 words in less than 30 days, so it's entirely possible that I could win NaNo this year, even with all the other distractions.  Plus I don't have to drive anywhere for Thanksgiving this year, so I'll have most of that four-day weekend to catch up.

I don't have to win.  Do I?  Or do I?

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News:  Speaking of NaNo, the BookGoodies podcast interview was postponed to this week, due to the host coming down with strep throat.  I had strep back in my radio days, so I was totally sympathetic.  The new date is this Thursday, October 25th.  I'll post the particulars on my Facebook page.

I thought it was time to do a little housekeeping around here.  I moved all the book trailers to their own tab.  You will also note, if you scroll waaaaaaay down to the bottom of the page, I've added a link to Preditors & Editors -- a great website for checking out whether the agent, editing service, etc., you're about to do business with is legit.

And I've now got my very own Pinterest page.  My boards ain't works of art, but feel free to use the link to the left and check them out.

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