Monday, August 03, 2009

How Much Do You Share?

I'm getting ready to start the actual writing process of my next novel. There's still some stuff to research, but I'll do that as I go along.

Besides the fact that it's set in World War II, however, I haven't really shared any of the story's details with anyone. That is a deliberate move on my part. This time 'round, I'm determined to keep my story "close to the vest" as the saying goes. Why? Because sometimes I feel that I ruin the bond I have with my characters and the story itself by discussing it with others.

Or maybe I'm just weird. (This is entirely possible).

Do you keep your story "close to the vest" or do you spill the details with anyone who will listen?

23 comments:

  1. I kept my last one to myself until it was done and then of course I had to send it around to my critique partners. I was writing so quickly, I wanted to just stay in the story.
    Have you been querying your other one out yet?
    I sent one out and got a fast rejection lol. Is this the start of how it will be?

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  2. I have no problem writing or blogging about it, probably because it doesn't feel any different than writing the book itself.
    But talking about it aloud, in person, is completely different. I just can't do it.

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  3. I'm totally with you on that, Melissa. I can't share the details with anyone. My husband knows my general topic, but otherwise I pretty much just write it and let the momentum of all of it inside me carry me along!

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  4. I've turned around 180 degrees on this. A couple of years ago, I was posting chapters on line and taking eight week long work shops and sharing like crazy. I have now become almost neurotically superstitious and secretive about what I'm working on and I have no idea why.

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  5. Elizabeth Parker12:02 PM

    I don't share either. I think when you talk about a book you're writing, it takes away some of the energy. I've also had the experience of talking about the rough details of a plot, and a skeptical or nasty look from someone has spoiled my confidence in the story. Who needs that?

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  6. Terri - Yep, I've been querying the other one! And I got some very fast rejections, too. :-) All part of the biz, I suppose.

    Hi Megan! Thanks for stopping by! I used to blog more about my novels, too, but lately, I've not wanted to. Weird.

    Jody - You DO keep your details under wraps! I've always wanted to know what particular time period you write in, but you never say!
    *grin*

    Lisa - Yay! Glad to see you back in the blogging world!

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  7. Betty - Oh boy, do I know how you feel. I've done that, too. Another person's lackluster response to my story ideas have affected me before, too.

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  8. I think you are the only person I talk to about my stories. I never blog about the specifics. Not sure why, just uncomfortable doing so.

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  9. Rene - Ditto. I think you're the only one that knows any specifics about my WIPs.

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  10. I'm normally not a woman of mystery (love the photo that accompanies this post!) but I don't share about WIPs unless I'm seriously stuck, and then I'll share with a crit partner. No blabbing to "civilians"!

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  11. Hi CK! Thanks for stopping by! I liked that photo, too. Seemed to fit rather well. And I hear you on sharing when you're stuck - my friends and family have been asked some pretty funny questions through the years!

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  12. Close to the chest is best. Once that first draft is done, and you're really confident, you can start sharing a bit. Basically, I think it's not ready for general viewing until you are pretty well totally happy with it.

    Agree, we don't want to share our litte darlings too much. Generic comments are fine a bit later. I look forward to seeing just such a comment when the time is right, to share your excitement.

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  13. Close to the vest! In fact, so close I'd say my story ideas are tucked behind my heart.

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  14. Nope, you're not alone. I've done it both ways, but have decided I do best all around if I hoard my details. My current WIP has only been shared with one colleague (who gave me initial feedback) and my best friend. That's it. And I plan to keep it that way.

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  15. Ironically enough, I just posted a snippet from my current piece on my blog just before reading this! LOL.

    I waited a long time before telling anyone, even my husband, what the current idea was. It somehow made it more real, and therefore, possible to fail I guess. Also, it taints it somehow when you pull the idea out of your head, the magic dulls a bit, because no one else is going to see it quite the same way.

    But once I did, it was okay. I still have only told my husband and my online writer friends, ...oh and that posts to Facebook, so I guess in essence I'm telling the whole universe what I'm doing... LOL. But I won't tell all. Just teasers.

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  16. I keep it close to vest, generally. There are some details I have to let go when getting critqiues from my critique group so that they can make sure the plot is going the right way. I'm very excited for you to start your new project!!

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  17. Fran - Yet something else that we completely agree upon. :-)

    Rebecca - I think that is perfectly ok. In fact, I think you have a closer relationship with your story when you keep it that close.

    Janna - I do the same - only perhaps one or two people really know anything about my stories.

    Sharla - That is it exactly. Some of the magic leaves and you start to wonder, "Is this really a good idea at all?"

    L.T. - I'm really excited, too! And nervous. VERY nervous. But then, I keep finding things I need to research. I think I'm procrastinating a bit... ;-)

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  18. Soon as I have words on the page I'll share it with anyone that wants to listen, like a brainstorm. Sometimes, talking about it out loud, which will use a different part of the brain, will flag up something new or something that's been bothering me. So as soon as I have something written down - but not before - yep, I'll talk about it.

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  19. I belong to a writers' group and they see everything, warts and all. But as far as talking to non-writers...when they ask, "What's the next book about?" I'll describe the barest bones of the premise but that's it.

    Once, years ago, I blabbed far and wide about a novel I was attempting, and I discovered that talking about it took away the impulse to write. I'm not sure why, but I've never made that mistake again.

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  20. Diane - It's interesting that the words have to be down on the page before you'll talk about it. Do you feel like if you don't have the words down and talk about it, it will somehow affect the process?

    Christine - I've done the same thing - made the mistake of talking about it too much and then it wasn't nearly as much fun to write. Guess it has something to do with that special joy only we can get when we write the story. Sharing our characters/plots/etc. before we're ready, I suppose...

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  21. If the words aren't already down, and I start sprouting off, the brain will think the story is "told" and immediately forget everything. Whether it's "told" on paper, or by word of mouth, once out verbally, it's gone forever. That's why I write it down first and rarely talk about anything unless I already have something - anything - in writing.

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  22. I sometimes publicly brainstorm on the blog, but I don't spill too many details in the writing process, or it hurts the overall book.

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  23. Diane - Makes perfect sense. :-)

    Devon - Yes, I think sharing too many details ruins the book, too.

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