Please help me choose which novel to write! Vote by midnight Saturday 10/27

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70000 words so far Winner!

I had an idea for my novel, and it was pretty well fleshed out in terms of structure (though much character work still needs to be done) but then Roger said at the workshop last weekend (10/21) not to go with your first idea. So I'm wondering if it's a dog. (No offense to dogs. I actually like most dogs.)

I'm also working on my story-pitching skills, so I thought I'd try writing a few pitches and seeing what people like. All character names are subject to change.

I'm listing five pitches with a couple of notes (for each) on story world and genre, and asking you: which would you read? If you have any comments regarding why you find something interesting (or boring), I'd love to read them too.

Five Story Pitches:

ONE: An immigrant escapes poverty and abuse to illegally enter another country. In order to make a secure life for herself there, she must develop her gifts, overcome the prejudices of others and her own self-doubt and claim her own place in the world.
Story Needs: Will require major world building, including magic system
Genre: Fantasy, possibly YA

TWO: Legends of a Monster Queen who has gained control the monstrous ant-men who ravage her homeland lead humble villager Mary Lou to infiltrate the Monster Queens lair so she can end the Monster menace once and for all. But she discovers the Monster Queen is more dangerous and harder to defeat than she ever expected.
Story Needs: Will require major world building, including magic system
Genre YA Post-apocalyptic Fantasy

THREE: Gambler Slim Holloway has made a mostly comfortable life on the frontier by using his minor gift of knowing the cards in his opponents hands, but when members of a traveling medicine show rescue him from a deadly misadventure and recognize his powers, he can only repay them by becoming a better person.
Story Needs: Have thought about this world somewhat, but will still require world building, especially magic system
Genre Fantasy/alternate history

FOUR: Time Traveler Terry has discovered a historical person (TBD) who knows how to perform real magic. Terry must bring this lost art forward to his time in order to prevent the end of life on Earth, but an unsuspected traitor in his crew may strand them all in the past for the rest of their lives.
Story Needs: Will require major world building, including magic and technological systems
Genre Fantasy/Science fiction blend

FIVE: Tracys life with her father was almost perfect once he overcame his drug addiction. When he reunited with his ex-wife, the mother who abandoned Tracy years ago, Tracy knew they might not find it quick or easy to become a happy family, but she never expected that her own mother would turn on her when her father dies unexpectedly, dashing all her hopes of getting a good education and a happy future.
Story Needs: Contemporary. Research may include visiting food pantries and/or homeless shelters
Genre Mainstream YA

Would you read any of these? Which do you like best? Least?


52032 words so far Winner!

Wow. I think you did a very good job with your story pitches. I'm impressed. As usual. :-)

#1 - I think this is my favorite one. It sounds very character driven and I've always had a soft spot for people fighting against the odds.

My other favorites are, in order, 3, 5, 4, and then 2 would be last on my list. Very well done.

52005 words so far Winner!

#4 gets my vote. It sounds the most compelling.

Figment: Twist, the dive-bombing leopard gecko

50564 words so far Winner!

I like 1, 4 and 3 in that order.
1 sounds like one of those novels where you get to really care about the characters and which has the potential to change the reader.
4 is a time travel story with magic--I can't resist those (have you read Niven's Flight of the Horse?)
3 sounds lighter-weight but probably fun to read.

25429 words so far

They all sound interesting to me.

That being said, #2 seems the most interesting to me, at this time.

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53266 words so far Winner!

IMHO, #3. It sounds like it will eventually have something of a "western" historical feel to it and this setting is almost right there as you wrote it.

The Peddler of Dreams
125713 words so far Winner!

Oh my gosh, #4 is calling out to me. I want to know more!

I love writing. I love the swirl and swing of words as they tangle with human emotions. ~James Michener

Corrupted Flame
52565 words so far Winner!

I like the first one. And if I had to number them in order... well, I would actually number them in the order you posted. =)

7794 words so far

4 or 5 I can't decide......

12248 words so far

Three or Four for, this isn't very helpful, judging by the disparate responses. Which is a real testimony to your story concepts. :)

56007 words so far Winner!

I like 1, 3 and 5 in that order. I am drawn to the human element and the struggle that leads them to a higher plane of moral enlightenment. I'm curious to see which one you will choose!

52161 words so far Winner!

At the moment, I like five the most, maybe because I've been playing some with the "Look, here's a parent who hasn't been around for ages!" concept myself lately. Tracy's initial optimism makes me want to root for her, and I'm curious about this gone-and-back-again mother.

Four also looks like a LOT of fun, both to read and to write, although I would personally drive myself half-crazy with the world-building and research to make the technological aspect sound vaguely plausible. (Granted, I ENJOY doing crazy world-building and research...)

And three looks like a lot of good fun with character development and such. The traveling medicine show especially sounds like it could be full of fun quirky characters who just might take the plot into their own hands, add some complexities and detours and twists to the story, and otherwise be generally helpful to plumping up your word count.

91896 words so far Winner!

I vote for number 5. To me it seems the most original.

52359 words so far Winner!

I like #3 and #4 the best, they seem like the most engaging (to me) and sound fun to write.

201228 words so far Winner!

5 and then 3
And why not do them both :)


I like 3 best, and 4 almost as much. This is partly because I like the genres--fantasy and time travel are big favorites of mine. However, I can see #2 being really entertaining, and also really entertaining to write during Nano. Because if you couldn't figure out what to write you could just pull out a scifi/horror film trope and run with it.

Anyway, I like 3 best, but it will only work if you have a strong lead character who we sympathize with and who gets into all sorts of shenanigans.

So if you don't feel confident about doing that, pick another.

#5 sounds the most potentially depressing to me. Which I avoid for nano writing.

There's my 2 cents!

70000 words so far Winner!

Thanks to everyone for your input. The novel which seemed to generate the most interest was #3, which had the additional advantage of being one I'd already done some work on. So, for this year, looks like I'll be writing the adventures of Slim Holloway, rambler, gambler and raconteur. And I possibly have some ideas for the future. I may even finish this one and need to start on a second novel this November...but that's far from a promise.

Good luck to everyone in your own literary endeavors.

91896 words so far Winner!

Great! Have fun tomorrow and for the following 29 days!

70000 words so far Winner!

Here's a more detailed accounting of how the voting went:
#3 got 11 first place votes, 4 second place votes, 4 third place votes, and 1 fourth place vote.
#1 got 9 first place votes, and 1 third place vote.
#4 got 6 first place votes, 4 second place votes, and 2 fourth place votes.
#5 got 4 first place votes, 2 third place votes and 1 fourth place vote.
#2 got 1 first place vote, 1 second place vote, and 1 third place vote.

I didn't count fifth place votes, because in many cases, that was how people said something was their least favorite idea.

It still needs work, but here's how I tweaked the {winning) pitch:
Gambler Slim Holloway may use his gift of seeing what other people are holding as a foolproof way to win at cards, but he doesn't mean any harm by it. Unfortunately, other folks don't always see it that way, and when he runs afoul of a big man in a small town, his saviors turn out to be the denizens of a magical medicine show. He can only repay them by examining his behavior and becoming a better person.

70000 words so far Winner!

NaNoWriMo novel is humming right along, but there's just one thing: when I get to stuff I don't know (like what Kansas City was like in the 1870s), I kind of skip over it. So it won't really count as a novel until I fill that stuff in.

I'm reminded of William Goldman's Princess Bride:

I got married. I didn't want to.
It all happened so fast.

It never happened.

But it did. I was there. This old
man said, "Man and wife."

Did you say, "I do"?

Well, no, we sort of skipped that

Then you're not married -- if you
didn't say it, you didn't do it.

So, I'm just saying, I hope I do better than Prince Humperdinck at getting the loose ends tied up later.

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