I have to admit that #2 has become #1. And does that matter?
OK, when I do Nano, I have my main story, the one I focus on during the preceding months, the one I tell people I’m writing when they ask, the one I do research for or whatever, and when it comes to November, the one that gets most of the writing time. But there is a second story, that I am writing at the same time because it is easier, in terms of creating word counts, to work on two stories at once. Get bored with or run out of ideas for one, swap to the other. Much easier to write two at once then consecutively. But usually #1 dominates my attention and, if I decided to edit one, it’ll usually be #1. Usually. One year it was #4 (that was a 200K year 🙂
So, does it really matter that this year’s #1 and #2 have changed places? Well, it does mean that Evin (this is not a real name!) and his obstinate friends don’t necessarily need to have their complete story finished. I can write, say, a few chapters and leave them for another year. So that’s good. Not so good… #2 is SF, with spaceships and all, and my last attempt at deliberately writing a spacey SF didn’t go well.
There were interesting characters & conflicts, some cool scene ideas, a good through (plot) line and…. It stalled out at 13K, so I made another attempt a few days with different characters, slightly different setting and didn’t even get to half of that. Probably not surprising. It has characters arriving in a new place (sigh) and then dealing with moving into new premises (bah). Things Happened while they were arriving but… That I was always building their world as I wrote didn’t help. (You might understand if I say that it was the following year that I said I wasn’t doing Nano again.)
Two years later, I made a third attempt and this time, took the opening from an older piece I’d written. A story that, for various reasons, will be edited, but I liked the opening lines. So, I took that and wrote the idea again, and the characters woke up and 70,000 words it was done! (And the following year, I wrote a sequel to it, which I like better. Maybe one day I’ll revise them.) There was a big lesson in there: SKIP THE BORING BITS.
But I remember that feeling of struggling to write something that I’d been excited about and it does scare me. There’s a reason why I write F rather than SF.
And then there is the other thing about writing. The story on the page is not the same as the story in my head. Once I start writing, it changes. The characters develop in different ways, things I thought important plotwise become insignificant and the whole things feels different. IT IS DIFFERENT. Not necessarily worse, or better, just different. Which I expect, but this story as it is in my head, it is a pretty thing and I don’t want it changing into something different. Which seems silly but the thought of changing makes me sad *sigh*
So, not sure if #2 becoming #1 is a good thing 😐
(Also, my desktop background images are all wrong now.)