In the last NaNoWriMo I participated in, I encountered that issue.
Huh? Don't you know what story you're writing?
Yeah, but that's not the point.
Not the point? What on earth do you mean?
Stick with me. For us pantsers, this is a common issue. Remember, pantsers sit and write. There is little to no planning to the story. We just sit and read whatever our fingers typel. When I began to write Reunion, I knew what I wanted to write and went after it with gusto. Two weeks in, things changed. The process became a battle between the story I wanted to write and the story that wanted to be told. Under normal circumstances, I defer to the story that wants to be written. In this case, I tried to write the story I planned to.
So how did that end up?
Not well. Though I made the 50,000 word limit, I never finished the draft. The story I tried to tell wasn't as good as the story that wanted to be told. At least that's what I thought at the time. No worries. I can use what I wrote for either side stories or other independent stories. When time allows, I can return and write the story that wants to be told.
How is that a happy ending?
As long as I stick to the Stephen King philosophy of story writing, where you throw characters into a room or situation and see what they do, it's all good. Do you think this is the only story where this happened? Return to Origin is over the 70,000 word mark and it happened there, too. In that case, it needs revisions with characters and storyline. The same thing happened with the sequel to The Curse. In that story, I actually started with characters from my short story, The Immortals, and introduce new characters before the reader encounters any characters from The Curse. In that story, I got stuck and all that it needed, well, all that it needs, is some editing and revisions. One day, hopefully soon, I'll have the time to do them.
Time? You're an author. How are you stuck on time?
Most indie authors, including me, have day jobs that have demanding hours. I'm making time to write this post and it feels good to do author work. I've missed it.
Let's get back to the point. Which story do you write?
What else? If you're a pantser, you write the story that wants to be told.