Monday, December 14, 2009

Decisions


Last month, I wrote about an image I've had of a woman walking through the streets of D.C. during World War II. I wasn't sure what her story was. She's been quiet since then, but yesterday, she spoke up.

I really liked what she had to say. In fact, her story is a fascinating one and it's nearly making me want to abandon my current work-in-progress to find out more. The two stories couldn't be more different and to tell you the truth, the novel I'm writing now is...boring me.

That's not a good sign. If it's making me bored writing it, it will put the reader to sleep. I'm thinking I need to take a good, long look at it and figure out what's wrong.

Or I could scrap it (hard to do when I'm written almost 30K on it and I really do like my characters...) and start on another one.

OR...

I could work on both!

Hmm...decisions, decisions.

22 comments:

  1. This is one of the benefits of having more than one project on the go. When you run out of steam on one, and are itching to go on another, go for it. Hopefully, by the time you've written yourself out on the newbie, maybe the old one will be ready to go again. If it's boring you, it'll be a chore.

    I think I'd put the current to one side and explore the new with a promise to yourself not to abandon the current.

    Absolutely do not scrap it, though. Put it to one side or work on both or alternate between the two.

    Good luck. :o)

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  2. Excellent advice, Diane. I really do like my current story, but something is off, so moving on to something else might help.

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  3. I have to agree with Diane. What she said sounds like a good idea to me.

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  4. Is there any way at all to blend the two together? You say they're very different, but maybe some sort of blend of opposites can be an innovative approach?

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  5. Debs - I think so, too!

    Joanne - Hmm, not really. Radically different. But maybe I can get something jarred loose in my head when I start working on the new WIP.

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  6. I say, if the newbie is demanding attention, give her her own story. =] Especially if the stories are different.
    And right now, I'm working on 3 projects so it's always good when you need a break from one of them. =]

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  7. Working on both sounds like a pliable idea. You may discover that you can weave them.

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  8. I absolutely love this image--and could totally see it. Sometimes this is one of the best things about writing--having strong, haunting images and then playing with a story around it.

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  9. L.T. - I have to ask. How do you keep your three projects separate in your head?

    Tamika - I'm leaning more toward working on both. We'll see what happens!

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  10. Hi Sierra. Thanks for stopping by! I agree - I will sometimes have an image pop into my head and can completely build a story around it. What fun!

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  11. I would put aside the one that is boring you because, yes, if its boring you, it will bore your reader. That's not to say you don't have something of value in the WIP, it merely means you don't have the spark to write it. Work on the new one. Then go back to other one with fresh eyes.

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  12. BTW, love this background!

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  13. Rene - Yep, the spark is gone. Not sure what doused it, but I don't even want to go back to it at this point.

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  14. I agree with the majority here. Even if the original work wasn't boring you, it's always a good idea to put it aside for a while - that way when you go back to it, you'll be able to give it look with "fresh eyes." And if it's boring you, put it away and move on. Life's too short.

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  15. I typically don't write more than one novel at once, but I do know well that siren call of the new work. I've appeased my subconscious by planning and researching the next novel while writing the current one.

    I'll only put out there that perhaps the current novel isn't boring you because it's boring, but because you're a creative artist type (like most of us novelists) and writing a novel can take so stinking long. I've been sick of my WIP for the last year, but I do love it and refuse to abandon it, as much as I want to some days!

    Love the image of the lady in the fedora - can't wait to hear what she has to say!

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  16. Gah! I've been in the same pickle. So far, though, I've been good to stick with the current story. Can't wait for the next!

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  17. Ooh! I love the idea of a brand new book to be written. But if you're anything like me, don't get put off by the middle-blues. chances are your story isn't as boring as you think it is--it's just getting to the long middle part, that's harder for a writer to flesh out. Then the downhill slope to the finish line is just a rush!
    jenni

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  18. Maybe taking a break will let you gain some perspective and determine what the issue is? And then, while you're taking a break, you can work on Miss Washington DC. I have to say when you described her walking through the streets I felt a chill and pictured snow falling. Hm. Now I'M intrigued!!

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  19. Laurie - I agree that if the novel really is bad, letting it go is ideal. I think it can be salvaged, however, and time away from it may do the trick.

    Robin - How right you are! The fact that it does take so long to write a novel is really hard sometimes!

    Janna - Do you have the next novel idea in mind?

    Jenni - YES. Middle-blues is what I'm definitely experiencing!

    Kelly - Oooh, snow falling! I like that image, too. I can't wait to delve into this character!

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  20. I had a similar situation recently and after much, much agonizing, put aside my WIP to start a new book. I can't work on more than one novel at a time, so doing both wasn't viable for me.

    A lot of the agonizing had to do with wondering if I was just succumbing to middle-of-the-novel blues. I finally decided that wasn't the problem, but boy, that kept me up some nights.

    Now that I've made the decision, I know it's right. Go with your gut, and you can't go wrong.

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  21. It probably isn't boring--maybe the last few scenes lacked conflict? Don't throw it out!

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  22. Christine - I'm sorry you had to abandon the other one. Maybe it is not the right time to write it?

    Jill - I think you're right - the lack of conflict isn't helping any. I don't plan on throwing it out, but I don't know if I have the energy to tackle the problems.

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