Thurs. Oct. 22, 2015: The Nano Dilemma

Thursday, October 22, 2015
Waxing Moon
Sunny and warm

Busy day yesterday! Lots going on, which is just fine. Masterpiece Book and Film Club was lots of fun – we laughed a lot.

After closing, I headed over to the Nano Meet-n-Greet in Centerville. Small group, fun, one of my writer friends is doing it, too. So that was good. It has the potential to be a fun, tightly-knit group.

Home, dinner, some research.

I’m reading a book in which writers write about their favorite book stores. Not only is my favorite, Strand, in there (the essay is by Pete Hamill), but I know about 60% of the stores! Funny.

I’m having a Nano Dilemma. I know, talk about First World Problems.

The sensible side of me says I should just keep working on TIE-CUTTER, which has found a nice, smooth rhythm, and I’m having fun seeing where it leads, while holding to a loose outline that has more to do with the novel’s episodic structure and how each supports the theme of the piece, rather than an outline that makes the characters do specific things. The way my protagonist changes her environment as she’s going through some major life transitions has a lot to do with both the plot and the story.

However, there’s the ego part of me that wants to do what’s now called “Classic Nano”: start a new novel on November 1 and write 50K in 30 Days. I’ve been fighting it, but, unfortunately, the idea for the novel, a contemporary mystery that doesn’t quite fit the rigid formula that several of the cozy lines are falling into , has been forming. Bits and pieces pop into my head at odd moments. I have a really strong opening. I have characters I love. It’s in my wheelhouse, so writing fast is not an issue.

Can I do both? I don’t know. I look at my schedule for November, where there are things I actually have to do that aren’t writing-related. Also, I have to finish the historical play and get it to the company in New York. It’s not logical.

And yet, the siren song keeps calling . . .

Published in: on October 22, 2015 at 11:12 am  Comments (4)  


  1. I feel your pain. I’m participating in NaNo but instead of writing a new novel, I’m calling this the revision project. I’d really like to finish this book before I die. There’s a forum I’m part of on NaNo under #platchal. Writer’s Digest is hosting an October Platform Challenge and a bunch of us who are doing it are going to chat it up in that forum. You’re welcome to join us!

    • Thank you for the invite — I’ll check it out. I want to make sure my ego at wanting to prove (to myself) that I complete Nano again doesn’t get in the way of my actual, contracted work and this new novel that’s generating interest and sending me in a new direction. I want Nano to be a way to re-connect to both the joy and the commitment of the writing.

      • This forum is informal. Some of us are writing new models and some of us are revising. There’s no pressure!

  2. I hear you. I wasn’t going to sign up for NaNo this year, but I did. It was all those NaNo posts I kept reading that pushed me into registering again.

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