I, like many, have participated in NaNoWriMo for a number of years. It sounds like a big demand–write 50,000 words in a month. But really, it’s the fun part and not that tough. Some years I don’t hit 50k. But each effort results in a rough first draft. Since I started keeping track, the following, displayed by working covers with some working titles, have been my NaNoWriMo rough first drafts:
I’m shopping the first, after a major revision and several redrafts, around to publishers. It’s a young teen science-fiction adventure that both male and female middle-grade beta reader’s have just loved.
The second, after two major revisions and several redrafts and name changes, ultimately became Hearts in Ruin, and was published by Liquid Silver Books earlier this year and has received terrific reviews. It’s a contemporary archaeological mystery novel with strong romantic elements and an intriguing speculative back story.
The third (working title “Probe One”) has undergone at least two epic revisions and is nearly ready for its fourth rewrite, after which I think it will be ready for submission at around 120,000 words. It’s a fairly hard, suspenseful science fiction that, in my view, effectively questions our predictions of future and presumptions of purpose.
The fourth (working title “Flight of the Minuend”) has been redrafted once or twice since it was created and is in need of its first real major overhaul. I will get to that when I have time. It is a science-fiction romance in the extremely distant future. I like the pace and the characters. But there are many parts now swimming in my head that have not found their way to paper yet.
And the last is just a rough draft. It’s a science fiction fantasy adventure with some fun scenes and good characters, but a serious revision is in its future, and the options for those revisions are still percolating.
So the question is, with all those revisions and rewrites pending, including several novels in revision that were not born during NaNoWriMo, and with the short stories I’m working on, is 2014 a good year for another 50,000-words-in-a-month challenge? And if so, what should I write? Options include:
(a) The sequel to my published novel (already in the works, but needing at least 50k of additional writing and/or rewriting).
(b) A lawyer-based romantic suspense with a style somewhat like my published novel. I have three of these to choose from, but I’m pretty sure which one will be first.
(c) A gritty young adult novel involving trauma, mental illness and a love story. This has a great 10,000-word start, and I would simply take off from there.
(d) Another hard-core science fiction novel. I have a handful dying to be written.
(e) A surprise, like two of my earlier NaNoWriMos in which I simply started something on November 1 and kept typing.
I wonder, after all these years of a terrific and inspired NaNoWriMo program, how many writers are in similar boats. It’s not a bad quandary to suffer. I’m not complaining. But I thought at least I would share. Maybe I should consider one of those rewrites as a NaNoWriMo challenge.