The main decision I need to make is whether to do a re-write of last year's Aces Wild or to start a completely new project. I've been over the pros and cons of each track (having a solid base to work with v. starting completely from scratch; being stuck in the same universe as last year v. having the freedom of starting a new project, which also means having three major projects going simultaneously). Last year, I loved the feeling of getting a fresh start after working on the same project for two years (not only for NaNo, but throughout the rest of the year). But again, I don't know if I can handle starting something new.
My only consolation is that it would be an open-and-close case, so to speak. If I'm doing it for NaNo, I'm going to finish it, whether I like it or not. While I've been stressing about SS and AW throughout the rest of the year, I can take this one month to focus on a single, isolated project. I can take the time I need to craft something that I will love and cherish. I can make it as long or as short as I want, just as long as I get it done.
Now, that brings me to the question of goals. I've never written less than 100,000 words for NaNo, but I'm starting to think I need to scale back. I'm sure I'd be able to find the time (especially since I won't have extracurricular activities at night or friends to bother me on the weekends), but it's more than just having the time. All of my NaNo works end up being rushed. I get them done, which is half the battle (or even more than half, given my propensity for procrastination), and they're not horrible, but I often end up completely re-writing the story because it's not what I had envisioned. So, I will most likely lower the bar to 75,000 or even all the way down to 50,000. This year, it will be about quality, not quantity.
Then again, that will depend on what project I want to do. If I decide to re-write the Aces book, I will most likely go for 75k. If I start a new project, I'll probably set the bar at 50k but it will simply serve as a bare minimum.
Clearly I have a lot of decisions to make and a lot of thinking to do. Once the forums are up and running, maybe I'll be able to find some inspiration (if I can overcome the frustration and intimidation of dealing with the October 1 forum frenzy). For now, my tentative goal will be to explore new ideas for a story, and if I find something that I want to write about, I'll use that as my NaNo project. If I don't come up with something that truly, deeply excites me, I'll re-work Aces.
Now I need to go panic and possibly do some schoolwork. D: