After whimpering longingly at my fellow writers who are gearing up for NaNoWriMo, I’ve decided to participate — with a big old caveat.
I’ve learned the hard way that stopping the WIP (which for me is always a novel) to work on something else is a risk. We’re not talking about a small distraction, like a short story that bubbles up that you need to get down and out of your head. 50,000 words is a commitment, one large enough that, for me anyways, displaces the WIP-brain entirely. For example, I participated in Script Frenzy two years back. I loved my cheese-fest horror movie (that ended up running to 180 pages!!) but getting into that world completely pushed me out of the world of my gothic werewolf novel. It took two and a half months to finish instead of one, and once I was on the other side it took me another month or two to gear back into the WIP. And this novel has already been two years in the $%#&ing making, and I want it out the door. So, for reals, no new 50,000 word project.
But I do have about 50,000 words of rewrites left to go on the WIP.
So, this is the plan: it’s not going to be 50,000 new words but it’s going to be the kick in the pants to push me through the rest of the rewrite. By the end of November, I want to be able to sit back and go, “Finally. I have the story down. Now it’s time to polish and edit.” Whether the plan survives the battlefield remains to be seen, but that’s the plan.
Once November is over, I’m going to go back to the editing advice from Viable Paradise, hammer on the short stories I have in various stages, get some of them out the door, and then turn back to the novel with a shaper pair of scissors.