Monday, November 16, 2009

Shiny new idea syndrome

Why is it that the second I commit to finishing one novel, I get eight different ideas for stories? And not just stories, but characters, plot, the whole nine yards!

What about the current novel I'm trying to finish this month, you may ask? Yeah, not the same kind of inspiration going on there. The night before last, I had a dream about my current WIP. Actually, it was more like four separate dreams rolled up in one, and the result was the same - it was going nowhere! I'm trying to figure out if the universe is trying to tell me something, or if I'm just doing it to myself. The jury's still out on that one.

In any case, I was not happy to wake up feeling like everything I had done would amount to nothing*. After all that time and effort, I want something great to show for it (well, I'll take mediocre with potential for greatness - it's just a first draft, after all).

That's not to say I'm giving up - it's an awesome idea and I know the story holds tremendous potential, but you can bet I'm re-evaluating my ability to tell it the way it needs to be told. I knew going into it that it was a tricky story, and while it pains me to admit it, perhaps I'm not quite there yet and need more time to become the writer that can do the story justice.

That said, part of me really wants to push ahead. I enjoy a challenge, and hate to let a story get the best of me. It's just words, darn it, and how hard can it be to string a couple of sentences together? On the other hand, I want to do a good job, and I feel like it's easier to start from a good first draft, rather than something that's only "meh" and have to go in and try and fix a bunch of major plot points, etc.

Have any of you writers out there encountered this? I know everyone has their own sort of process, but I'm curious to know - what did you do?

*And I may or may not have been really crabby that whole day.

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