Wednesday, October 27, 2010

What Not to Write for Nano

As I sit here enjoying a healthy lunch (the bad lunches come when I'm writing), I thought about the horror stories from the publishing community based on the work that comes out from Nano. They dread Nanowrimo and what hot mess may come from the bowls of an author's head. I'll be honest, what I write when I sprint is not in the prettiest shape, but I know that I plan to edit the heck out of it when I'm done. I also plan ahead so that what I write is what I should be writing. A full month of writing madness should be done productively--well as much as possible anyway! :)

Once in a blue moon I do get a shiny idea that pops up out of nowhere. (Oh, shiny!) I gaze at it lovingly and wonder what I could do with it, what direction I could go and what awesome things could come from it. But then reality hits and I realize that my idea belongs in one of the following bins:
  • Alien Invasion Hard Sell Bin
  • College-Age Student Finding Themselves Hard Sell Bin
  • Sparkly Vampires and Three-Way Triangle Relationship Bin
  • High Fantasy With 20 Races Searching for the One Ring Hard Sell Bin
  • Boring Regency Where She Must Find Inheritance/Love Bin
  • Never-ending Space Opera With Sub Plots so Deep You Can't Figure it Out Bin
  • Medical Thriller Where I Need an MD Bin
  • Wizard School/Academy/Institution Where Must Learn Magic Hard Sell Bin
  • Werecats, Werebats, Wererats: Thundercats Ho! Bin
Do these bins apply to everyone? Nope. There are no hard rules in writing. But if I ever did plan to jump into one of those bins, my premise would have to be very strong. I can't be cookie cutter or my idea won't stand out. I'd also have to write a very clean manuscript to make sure I get great visibility with a potential agent/editor.

What I'm saying here is that before I invest hours and hours into Nano I plan to be ready with an idea that has potential in this market. I've pulled apart my idea using my GMC Wizard to make sure my heroine/hero isn't heading off to Neverland without a reason. (Even if they have enough Frequent Flyer Miles.) I've check Amazon to see if here is a similar title. I've run my idea over with my crit partners to get their feedback if this is a totally new idea. (Usually isn't...) So much time goes into a labor of love like a book. I just want my time where I could be doing something else to be worth it. :)

Only a few more days and counting! This Nano will rock!

1 comment:

Sarah Bromley said...

Ah, the dreaded Nano novel. And the queries that begin on December 1st. I don't envy that part of my agent's job. That said, Nano is also a good opportunity to give a stalled project a much-needed kick in the pants. But what you said about planning it out first makes sense--keeps your MS on track and MAYBE it won't be quite such a hot mess come 11:59 pm on November 30th