Wednesday, October 29, 2008

NaNoWriMo Dilemma

Last year I invested time and energy into convincing myself that I couldn’t possibly do NaNo. I’m sure that I can look back on my morning pages and give you direct quotes and the rather persuasive arguments that I ran with. But sense prevailed. With it being a last minute decision to participate and without a concrete story, I sat six days out from NaNo contemplating a character. That’s all I had – one character and something of a trajectory for that character. I guess at least I had that … there are other writers in more creatively challenged positions, poised on the brink of NaNo.

This year, I’ve had all year to invest time, energy, effort and vision into my NaNo preparation and participation. I began developing my story back in January (if you’re a regular, loyal reader you’ll remember back to the Adam and Eve short stories) … but I kept coming up against walls in extending the stories into a NaNo project. Walls that remained stubbornly in place, I’ll add, even after I’d done a World Building course and been given vital encouragement from Sonny Whitelaw that not only could I write Sci-Fi, and I write it well. My writing group encouraged me, told me that it was a worthy story, that they wanted to read more. What more would a writer need?

For me it wasn’t enough … the momentum slowed and then finally stalled, to be replaced by Shet’s story (aka my little blue men story) which appeared about six weeks ago. And I was off and running again. You’d think I was sorted. But no!

Since chatting at the Brisbane Kick Off Party on the weekend, my Adam and Eve story has come back stronger and clearer than ever. I don’t need to build a world for this project … the story itself will build the world, how could I possibly know what the world will be if I haven’t had a chance to creatively explore, follow the story and the impact of this technological change on society. That was what was creating the block – rather than creating a block by forcing a character to do something they didn’t want to do, I was trying to force the setting. So I’m unblocked, excited, but perplexed.

Which story do I go for?

And then there is the consideration that regardless of what project I take on for the NaNo rollercoaster ride, half way through it will be the wrong project. What a bloody awful place to be in as a writer. The damn grey ox strikes again!

I could …

… flip a coin, roll a dice, pick a story from the hat - leave it to chance

… run a poll for all my non existent readers (I could just see it – a draw between Annie and Paul’s as they vote for different stories)

… or even worse, just surrender, sit down on the first day of NaNo and write. Let the story decide for itself what it will be. I’ve done this with characters before … after weeks of careful and profound daydreaming/contemplation, alternating between two differing versions of the character, just allowed the character to walk on the page and expose themselves (in the nicest possible way of course!)

I’d be game to try – after all I love the potential of both stories – but I’m not sure that I can trust my judgement or what might walk onto the page Saturday, given I’m having my wisdom teeth removed on Thursday (yes that’s tomorrow!) and I have no idea if I’ll need pain relief and what that might do to my creative processes.

I’ve got some scheduled posts for the next couple of days, to tide me through the worst of the post op haze … so I will keep to my ‘post a day’ promise, even if I won’t technically be writing them one a day. And I guess I’ll be back on Saturday to let you know what I decided … or what the story decided … and if there will be a blog dedicated to it!

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