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50,000

The rest of the Halloween pictures will have to wait until tomorrow.

I just realized that, this being October 31st, tomorrow is November 1st.

As in, the day I have to start writing my novel; 50,000 words in 30 days.

I am in a complete state of panic. I thought I had the story all worked out and now, at the last possible minute, I'm coming up with all kinds of doubts about the storyline.

I need to go clear my brain for the rest of the evening.

Quickie poll, though. I've said before that I'm going to post the story as I go along (over here) and - at great risk to my self-esteem - leave the comments open as I do. Now I'm not sure.

So, to post or not to post, that is the question. Whether its better to let the readers have at it at a chapter at a time, or to wait until the whole damn thing is (hopefully) complete.

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Comments

I've gone all day without realizing it, until I came here. Nanowrimo can't possibly be starting already. Can you say not prepared? Oh my...

Well, the comments were the only thing that kept me going - seeing that people actually liked the story was quite a kick in the pants. Now all I have to do is write the ending ;)

Post a chapter at a time. Leave comments open. Ignore comments.

Good luck. I'm doing it too, although I haven't made it "official" and registered at nanowrimo.org yet.

I'm actually having the dilemma. Do I post it all? Do I post excerpts? Do I post nothing?

Selfishly, I'm gonna ask ya to post it, if nothing else, because I enjoy reading what you write.

My two cents.

So far as your story goes, Nick already said everything I would have said for my own selfish reasons (*mine*, on the other hand, is still being internally debated...)

Dear Michelle

Please do NOT write a novel. I could do without more competition.

That said, here is advice from someone whose book sales are now well into the dozens.

1. Story flows from character, not the reverse.
2. Explain nothing, dramatize everything. A truth discovered by the reader is much more powerful than an than any exposition.
3. This is axiomatic: writing = ass in chair.
4. Writing is miserable. Having written is nice, though.
5. Chicks will go out with you when they find out you've written a book. (Was that out loud?)

But I repeat -- Please do NOT write a novel.

Nope. I wouldn't post it. I run my writing past people whose opinions I respect. No offense to your readers, it's just that you need to be careful whom you allow to critique your novel.

You know the saying "Everyone's a critic"? That goes double with people criticizing writing. Even though most people can't write, they sure as hell want to tell YOU how to do it.

Find a writer's group, Michele. Don't open your writing up to anyone with a modem.

Good luck! And whether you post it or not, I'm sure you'll do just fine - from what I've seen here, you've got a gift with the pen! (or keyboard, as the case may be)

I agree with Meryl - mine won't be seeing the light of day unless I'm happy with the finished product after a rewrite or seventeen. I might share bits and pieces with a few before it's complete, but I am leaning toward writing the whole thing, revising once on my own, and then looking for input.

We all have our differing tastes in books, and by posting it, you're inviting people you may or may not care about catering to to comment on your work. I thought "The Bridges of Madison County" has one worthwhile line - tens of thousands of other people disagreed. See, something like that.

Of course, selfishly, I too would say post it; but advice-wise, I say no. Another consideration is that if it is good, do you jeopardize publication by taking away the ability of a publishing house to have first publication rights if you web publish?

Ordinarily I would argue against posting as you go, but in this case since speed is of the essence, having several intermediate deadlines might be helpful. I would suggest posting a disclaimer that these are drafts of a work in progress, and any or all excerpts could be changed before the final deadline arrives.

I would definitely keep the comments closed.

If you intend to publish it or otherwise make it a "serious" writing project, then don't make it public and don't make it open to comments until it's done.

But on the other tick, the general spirit of NaNo as I see it isn't so much to produce a publishable work as to make a statement to yourself about what you can accomplish. If you're doing this as a writing exercise, you probably don't need to approach it like this. If you're doing it to prove to yourself that you can, if you don't publish it as it's being written, then you may very well lose your nerve instead of posting it or otherwise making it public.

People don't expect NaNo books to be good; that's the icing, if it turns out that way. Doing it, period, is the point. As for the comments, only leave them open if you're prepared to ignore everything but genuinely constructive criticism.

Go the "whole damn thing" route, too much tension otherwise.

i'll throw in my two bottlecaps and advise you to post each chapter as milestone deadlines but leave comments off or you'll be re-writing the first chapter for the seventeenth time when the month is over. you can polish and re-publish the novel in its entirety and open comments on the work as a whole.

who's gonna drink these two bottles now that i've gone and cracked them open...?

Well, you're still better off than I am. It's November 1, it's 6:17 p.m., and I still don't have the first clue what I'm going to write about. And my laptop just broke.

I have a feeling I'm not going to "win" this year.