Tuesday, September 30, 2008

T-Minus 31 days


To NaNo or not to NaNo. That is the question.
National Novel Writing Month (hereafter referred to as NaNoWriMo) begins on November 1. By that point I should have all my "pre-writing" done and have a good idea of what I want to write about.
My problem is this: technically you're supposed to spent the month writing on a new book. So far I don't have a real clear handle on a new story, and even when I think I might be getting closer, an older book seeps into the thought process. The older book, hereafter called MAIL ORDER SPERM (or MOS for short) has been a project way too long in the making. But it won't let me forget it. I only have about 15 pages written on it, so it's not like I'd be taking a 50K book and adding an additional 50k. I'd still be basically writing a whole book.
MOS is about Maddie Prescott, a family law attorney whose husband died a year ago. They were always so busy building their careers that they never had children. Now she wants a baby and is prepared to send away for mail order sperm to achieve her goal.
Her late husband's business partner and best friend Jack Worth, made a deathbed promise to look after the widow. He figured it would mean checking in on her from time to time to make sure she wasn't scammed by some pyramid-scheme huckster or victimized by someone taking advantage of her loneliness.
When Jack learns that Maddie is arranging for a shipment of frozen sperm, he's appalled. How on earth can a woman deliberately bring a child into the world without a father in the picture? That's what his mother had done and Jack had bloodies the noses of more than one kid who called him a bastard child.
Maddie, on the other hand, had been used as a pawn in her parents' divorce, and she figured a loving one-parent family was superior to a broken two-parent one. She had no man in her life now and she certainly didn't need one in order to get pregnant, thanks to sperm-cicles and a little help from a friend who is a nurse.
In a moment of madness (or was it?), Jack volunteers to be the sperm donor. The arrangment will involve a dirty movie and a plastic specimen cup, but at least Maddie won't be buying sperm from a possible serial killer.
However when her job at the law firm may be jeopardized by her single parenthood, Jack steps in with a proposition to help. They'll enter into a marriage of convenience to provide Maddie the safety net she needs to keep her job. Instead of a turkey baster conception, Jack will make a direct deposit. Then when the time is right, they'll split, Maddie will have her baby and Jack will be a free agent once again.
Of course we all know that romance novel heroes and heroines fall in love, and Jack and Maddie are no exception.
So my dilemna is this: should I adhere strickly to the rules and try to write a story that's at be
st quite hazy? Or should I pick up the MOS story on page 16 and just add 50K words to it?
Here's a video I made for the story. Tell me the pros and cons of one story over the other.


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