Friday, October 23, 2009

More lists, of the pro/con variety

I know I promised the book tag list for today, but first I need help.

I'm doing NaNoWriMo again this year. It'll be my fourth time, though I've never won. This year I have a conundrum.

Should I spend my NaNoWriMo month writing:

a.) the Southern gothic literary mystery I've been plotting and planning? I've got all of my characters, the plot outline, the setting, and have only written about a page so it's not really cheating. This is a book that I hope to eventually query to agents. I'm excited about this book and in love with the characters. Also I'm extremely scared of screwing it up.

b.) a fun just-for-me mystery. I've been wanting to write a funny book along the lines of What's Up Doc or Foul Play for a while now - something slapstick and ridiculous and entertaining. It's not something I'd ever try to publish; just a fun writing excercise and a way for me to work out my writing demons.

Now for the Pro/Con lists.

Pros of writing option A:
-It'll jumpstart writing a book with which I actually want to query agents
-I've already done most of the planning for it
-NaNo could force me to just get something on paper instead of nervously circling the manuscript, scared to write it

Cons of writing option A:
-I may not be ready to write it; i.e. I'd rather not use this story as another "learning" manuscript
-The whirlwind style of NaNoWriMo may not be the best venue for writing this book
-More stress during the holidays b/c I'm emotionally attached to the story and I want it to be good.

Pros of writing option B:
-Less stress
-Writing a book I'm not hoping to publish could help me learn about and refine my writing style and habits, improving them for when I start on the "real" book
-I'd only be losing a month of writing the "real" book
-There's always the possibility that it could actually inspire a real book, whether the characters, or basic plot or whatever
-It would be FUN and I could write it in true NaNo spirit: with "literary abandon"

Cons of writing option B:
-It takes a month away from when I could have been working on my "real" manuscript
-I don't have a plot, characters or setting and NaNoWriMo starts in just over a week
-I could just be reinforcing bad writing habits by not treating it as seriously as I would a real manuscript

Please help. I would love your opinion.


Suzyhayze said...

A!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I want to read it.

jmberrygirl said...

Go for the funny one. I'm doing serious and can already feel myself getting all stressed out. I'm so glad you're doing NaNo, too. I scrapped my funny story, about 3 women with totally different lives who become connected at a coffee shop and can't seem to untangle the 6 degress of separation that should have never gotten so intertwined. I'm writing instead about a mystery/romance between a detective and a victim in one of his cases. And. I. Cheated. Read about it here:


First choice is always the best choice!

...and this will give you both a little extra put-up-practice and some popularity-points I'm guessing as well.

This is the year of the Ox. Which means to just keep working, plow through with the job you have. The only changes to be made are the ones that no longer are working for us. ...AKA: If it ain't broke...

Be well. Live swell.
...and enjoy the ride.

Irene Latham said...

AC, whichever one you pick will be the right one! No writing is ever a waste.... which one do you think about when you are going to sleep at night? Or while you are driving? Or dreaming? Pick THAT one. xxoo

Carol Benedict said...

I vote for B. It might turn into something you can use as a rough draft for a funny mystery to work on seriously later. If you don't write it now, maybe you'll never take time to do it.

The 2 years I tried NaNo, the garbage that I wrote couldn't qualify as serious writing. If you want Book A to be a serious effort, I'd suggest that you skip the pressure of forcing out 50,000 words in November and just work at a steady pace. Of course, that's not nearly as much fun as writing whatever you feel like writing as fast as you can and sharing your stress with thousands of other people, so I still think Book B is a better choice for November.

jmberrygirl said...

I've chosen you to receive the Honest Scrap Award. Please see my blog for details! =)