NaNoWriMo Strategies: Picking the Right Project

I’ve been really lucky the last two NaNoWriMo’s to have really exciting stories that were bursting out of me. As loyal readers know I wrote Catalyst: Book 1 of the Ronos Trilogy for NaNoWriMo 2010 and in 2011 I wrote book 3 (book two was written during the year in between if you’re wondering).

This year I still have to make up my mind about what story I’m going to write about. There are three options that I’m wrestling with. I’ve kind of made up my mind but that could change in the next month. I’ll start with the least likely option.

Ronos Short Stories
This is the one that I absolutely should write but it’s the one that I know I won’t do. It would also be the most easy. The stories are already mostly fully formed in my brain and they are based on characters that I know very well so writing would be relatively painless.

The reason that I’m not going to write these short stories is because I can’t afford to right now. Wow, seeing that typed out looks like such a lame excuse.

The reason to write a bunch of Ronos short stories would be to use them as marketing tools. That means they have to be up to the same standard as Catalyst – the standard being pay someone to edit them. It would be so much fun to write these stories and I think you would like reading them but I don’t know when that would be and I don’t want to write them for nothing.

But even as I write this I’m kicking myself because they are sweet stories and need to be read so why not just write them and get it over with? Decisions, decisions.

Do you want to know what the short stories are about? I started one about Tek and what really happened to him for him to end up in a mental institution. There’s a story about Sneed and his life as a disconnected in the Imp world. The last one I would write is by request. My wife wants to know more about Lynn and Scott and how they met and fell in love. My wife has read book two so she knows how important that story is.

Do you guys want to read any of those stories? At the beginning of the post I said this was the least likely but I don’t know if that’s true anymore.

Mulligan
This is my entry for The Three Day Novel Contest 2011. It didn’t win but I’ve been told it’s one of my best works so it needs to be a book. Right now it’s only 29k. The grand scope of the story could make the final story close to 100k so it needs a lot added to it. Adding 50k this November would be a good start.

What’s this story about? It’s about a 12 year old boy who is trying to find his family after the end of the world. By the way, the end of the world is a virus that wipes everyone’s memory except for this little boy so he is looking for his family who don’t know who they are, who he is, or that they are even lost. In other words, there is plenty of antagonism. Antagonism equals awesomeness.

This story will be written sooner or later. If not this November then next. I love it too much and I’m thinking about it being the follow up to the Ronos Trillogy.

Untitled Unicorn Story
Just kidding. It doesn’t have an actually unicorn in it. I’m just stealing a line from Gone in Sixty Seconds. In that movie the unicorn is a car that Nic Cage can never manage to steal. For me this the story that I can never seem to finish.

But maybe this is the time that I do it.

Honestly, I have never started, stopped, and restarted a story so often in my life. The most frustrating thing is that it’s not because it’s not a good story. If it wasn’t a good story I wouldn’t bother at all. It’s an awesome story and I’m excited for everyone to start reading it…someday.

The great thing about stopping and restarting is that every time I do the story gets a little more refined and way more readable. So every delay so far hasn’t been a bad thing because each time it just gets better. The only bad thing is that I just want to be done it so a new story can start to hang out in my brain.

So what is it about?

That changes a lot so I won’t get too specific. The genesis of the story comes from an analysis that me and my friend Matt Kastendieck conducted while we were bored at work about what makes certain YA novels so freaking popular.

After we talked about it we created a new supernatural society based in modern time to tell our story through. There aren’t vampires, wearworlves, wizards, swamp monsters, aliens, or hobbits in this book. We created an all new original supernatural element that has not been used the way that we are using it.

That’s the most exciting part. I know it sounds weird and vague right now but it’s what makes me excited for you to read it.

All I have to do is finish it. This is the project I was supposed to finish this summer but I got stuck at around 30k words. Some of that will be salvageable for November and I’ve solved the issue of what to write next. I think that with a little determination and no surrender I can finally finish this story by the end of November.

This is the story I really need to write. I don’t want this tale to haunt me for the rest of my life and the only way to get rd of it is to give to you guys. Ha ha.

So those are my three choices. I think I’ve made up my mind but if you would like to persuade me to the story you want to read the most then leave me your vote in the comments or on my Facebook page.

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