Okay, technically there are a few more hours to vote. If you feel strongly about either of the first two stories and are planning on voting American Idol style...oh, who the hell am I kidding? No one feels that strongly about what I'm writing for NaNo.
Either way, the crowd favorite, hands down, was YA paranormal. This is actually a relief of sorts, since YA generally has smaller word counts. If I manage to "win" NaNo, reaching my 50,000 word count, I'll be closer to a finished first draft than if I wrote either of the other two. Worry not, fair agents (as if they're actually reading this), I know better than to query a NaNo first draft. And so do the others here. Right? Right.
Which leads me to something that's been bugging me this week. There's been a little meme happening on the interwebz wherein some writers are asserting their position that for real writers, every month is novel writing month. They dislike NaNo because it encourages quantity over quality. They claim NaNo is full of nothing but people who were too weak to follow through with their dreams on their own and all that comes out on the other end is pollution and dreck.
I would just like to point out that this is snobbery of the worst sort. NaNo is supposed to be fun. Maybe the majority consists of teenagers writing fanfic, but so what? Those kids may go on to write masterpieces some day. And if they don't, maybe they'll be writing fanfic derived from your novels. Did you ever think of that? Because if they're writers, chances are, they're readers. And readers buy books. And then write fanfic about it. It's true; I've seen it.
Also, as to the quantity over quality thing, this is small thinking. There are plenty of established writers who sit down to their keyboards every day and don't get up again until they have at least 2,000 words (Stephen King, anyone?). That's 60,000 words per month. It's not impossible. It's not even a practice I'd discourage if I were giving out advice to aspiring authors. Writing takes discipline, NaNo can help to teach it. Moreover, NaNo can help a person decide if he or she has what it takes, not only to write a story, but to do so as regularly scheduled work with a deadline.
I like NaNo. It inspires people to read and write and push themselves. Granted the format is not for everyone, but what format is? As long as participants know they'll have to edit -- because we must always edit, boys and girls, and not send out our first drafts to any overworked, stressed out agents -- I see no harm.
Incidentally, just because I'm doing NaNo in November doesn't mean I haven't been working the rest of the year. That's snobbery once more. Knock it off, it's unbecoming.
So what say you, hmm? NaNo good or NaNo bad? Do you submit your NaNo novel to agents in December? (The only correct answer to the last one is "no." Seriously.) And while we're at it, where's the love for the political satire? Just kidding. I understand -- no really, I do. You'll just have to read it once I write the damn thing, because in my head, it's awesome.