Monday, February 21, 2011

The Joy,or Pain, of a New Idea

I was puttering in the kitchen when I had an image come into my head; a teenage girl on the beach staring out at the ocean.  I knew who she was and what she wanted and how she was going to get it. There it was, a bright new shinny idea.  Was I excited?  Not exactly.  I made a sound of exasperation and The Engineer asked what was wrong.

“Apparently my book is a trilogy.” 

“Shouldn’t you finish the first book before you start working on others?”

There indeed is the problem.  I’m in rewrites of the first book, the sequel is half done (thanks to Nano and its beautiful fifty thousand words last November).   I do like this new idea, love it even.  It feels right and it feels like a good ending to the story I’m telling.  But.  It’s going to be awhile before I get around to this lovely new book.  Part of me desperately wants to start exploring this girl and her dreams, but realistically I can’t.  I NEED to get the first book done.  I don’t want to be the person that is so consumed by new ideas that I never finish anything.  And really, I still love Far From the Sea.  I mean, sure, we have our differences and rewrites aren’t always easy, but I like molding and shaping, improving ,and trying to turn it into something I can send out to agents.  I want to be ready to query when agents open up after the holiday break in a year, and to do that I can’t allow myself to be distracted.

Still I’ll hold this new idea close, cuddle up with it when I sleep at night.  After all, I had the ideas for the second book for almost a year before I did Nano and wrote (half of) the thing.  These ideas are good ideas.  They’ll keep until I’m ready for them. 

How about you?  Do you easily get distracted by the bright shinny idea?  Do you forget the new idea if you don’t work on it? 


  1. I wrote the second book of what has turned out to be a five-ology (at least!) first, and during the rewrite process I realised there was at least two books that needed to be written before it...

    ... I wouldn't call it 'distracted' 'cos I write an outline or a scene, or whatever has attracted me to the shiny idea, then put it in a file for future viewing, but they do splat into our brainpans at the most inconvenient times.

  2. They do, though I would never wish for them to stop showing up.

    So did you go back and write the other two, finish the one you were on or can you work on multiple projects at once?

  3. This is happening to me right now, too. I've got (what I think is) a great idea. The short-short version of it played out in my head over morning coffee today. I jotted down a pageful of notes to satisfy my imagination. I really_should_be working on the other book. But this idea won't leave me alone. What to do....

  4. Tough choice. Since my new idea happens after my current ms I wanted to finish that first. I need the foundation before I can build the walls. If the two weren't connected that way I would have spent more time on my new idea.

    I know you've been in a writing slump lately, if the new idea gets you writing again go for it! We'll miss Iain and Izzy but I know you'll come back to them.

  5. I wish this happened to me! Instead I angst about coming up with something new. You're lucky to get struck with writing epiphanies! :)

  6. Seems like it's always feast or famine. I've had times with no viable ideas and now three interconnected novels. I'm sure something will come to you. Good luck!