As I start planning for NaNoWriMo, I face the crucial question of what to write.
This might sound like an easy decision – I should write what I’m interested in, right?
Well yes, except that loads of things interest me. Steampunk adventures, speculation about bleak or hopeful futures, fantasy worlds of wild magic and stranger creatures, history and alternate history…
When I was focused on short fiction that was fine. I could write a new story every week, pander to all those different interests. But while short fiction’s a great calling card it’s not a great way to make money off fiction, and it’s obviously no good for a 50,000+ word novel. So I need to pick something to focus on.
I have two options I’m seriously considering, and that I need to pick between so that I can start planning.
On the one hand I’m taken with the idea of writing a historical novel around the Battle of Agincourt. It’s a period I know well, so the research I don’t have completed already would be fairly straightforward. I’m really interested in the Middle Ages. I think it could make an interesting story on what it means to become an adult and on the darkness of war. And next year is the 600th anniversary of the battle, which should make such a novel quite marketable in about six months time.
On the other hand there’s a steampunk detective story I’ve been contemplating writing for about a year. I’ve got a notebook half filled with the background of the world. It explores ideas of class, religion and what it means to be human, all of which interest me just as much as strange machines, curious inventors and sprawling industrial cities. And as I have some other steampunk stuff at the editing stage for release early next year, this is more in keeping with the brand I’ve been building.
As you can see, there are both artistic and writing-as-business reasons to go each way. I can write both books eventually, unless something more exciting drags my attention away, but the question is what should I write now? And with so many factors to consider, and so much enthusiasm for both projects, I’m struggling to decide.
So as the core of my small current readership is centred around this blog I thought I’d ask – which do you think I should write? Which book would you be more excited to read?
And how do you decide what to write? Maybe that’ll help me too.
Oh, and for any of you doing NaNoWriMo, I’ve now signed up to their website as gibbondemon – come find me as a writing buddy!