Tweet Further to my last post, I've been having a long, hard think about this year's NaNoWriMo competition. I think it's a fabulous idea - most people work better under pressure with some sort of deadline to work towards. Without an end goal in sight, it's all too easy to procrastinise, to get lost in the idea of writing without actually doing any. Alternatively, you can get too caught up in the editing process, so keen to get what you've written right that you continue to edit what you've already written, but fail to produce anything new. NaNoWriMo encourages you to simply get down a minimum of 1667 words a day - the re-writing comes in December. What you might write be rubbish, but at least you'll have produced something.
But how do you choose exactly what to write? Last year, I knew what I was going to do. My lead character walked into my head one glorious summer afternoon while visiting Glamis Castle in Scotland, and refused to leave me alone until I'd written about him. A short vignette followed, but he continued to pester me until I decided to write his story. NaNoWriMo seemed like the perfect opportunity, and 50,000 words later, I'd written a novel.
However, this year, I'm not sure. Do I write a follow up to the book I wrote last year, despite the fact that I still haven't finished redrafting my 2008 effort? Do I write a collection of interlinked short stories that will still take me over the 50,000 word limit? Do I work on an entirely new idea? If I choose the last option, which idea do I pursue?