Best-Laid Plans

Had a nice weekend visiting with my middle son, who is at college in Chicago. Didn’t get any writing done, as is usually the case on these trips, but I put in a lot of think time regarding my writing plans for this fall.

‘Tis the season for NaNoWriMo, the novel-writing extravaganza that launched my first novel, The Muse, and which I intended to devote this year to another book-length project. It’s held annually during November, but that coincides with the release of The Muse, and I’ll be busy then with interviews, blog tours, and other promotional activities.

I discussed this problem with my publisher, Grace, and she suggested bumping the NaNo writing up a month or two, which sounded like a good idea. The main benefit of doing it at the customary time is the mass networking/cheerleading/commiserating with the many other participants, but I didn’t participate in much of that last time, so I don’t think it’s a huge downside, though connecting with more local writers is one of my objectives for this year. I’ll just have to do that another way.

So, Plan B is now to write on the NaNo schedule (around 2000 words/day, every day) from 13 September to 13 October, which coincides with a work trip to Florida. I’m working day shift this time, so evenings will be free, leaving me little else to do but sit in my hotel room (or Starbuck’s, or on the beach) and write–an ideal situation.

The next problem is deciding which project to write, since I now have two–a science-fiction action/adventure story I’ve been outlining on-and-off all summer, and a sequel to The Muse, for which the idea just hit me a few weeks ago. I’m probably more prepared to start writing the sci-fi story, but a follow-up to my first novel, particularly if it gets a good response, needs to follow quickly, while the characters and their “universe” are fresh in the readers’ minds and in my own.

What to do? Both stories will be fun to write, and I have good reasons for writing either one.  I could also try to do both of them. I’ve got another work trip from about 16 October to 7 November, so there’s room for another big push. The only problem with that is I don’t know how much juice I’ll have left in my batteries after putting out a max effort on one novel-length story. There’s also the possibility that whichever story I write first may turn out to be significantly longer than I expect. I may need the extra time to complete it.

Okay, decision time. I’ll plan to work on both stories in the two big blocks of writing time coming up. I’ll start with the sci-fi story, since I’ve laid most of the groundwork already, and that will also give me some more time to get initial feedback on The Muse before starting a sequel that might not happen.

As I did last year, I’ll blog a diary of my experience writing the stories as I go along. I’ll be returning last year’s diary to public access after The Muse debuts in November.

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2 thoughts on “Best-Laid Plans

  1. This is going to be my first year doing NaNoWriMo. It is encouraging to see someone who has benefited from the madness of 2000 words a day!

    Congrats on your book & good luck on the next one!

  2. Thanks, Martha, and good luck with NaNo! It was a big confidence-booster for me. The discipline of just getting those 2000-or-so words on the page each day without critiquing myself as I went along helped me get past feeling overwhelmed and into a place where I could just enjoy the writing.

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