Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A picture is worth a thousand words...

I'm about half-way done with Thomas and Claire's story, and part of me is all:

funny pictures of cats with captions

But at the same time, I've reached that dreaded middle section.  You know what I'm talking about--the story isn't flowing as quickly as it was in those heady early days, I'm floundering a bit and feeling a little lost...


funny pictures of cats with captions

And then I heard it: the seductive whisper of a shiny new idea. 

funny pictures of cats with captions

What to do?  It would be so easy to abandon put off working on the current WIP in favor of taking up with the awesome new story--after all, the new characters are talking freely, being all cooperative and stuff, while my current characters are... not.

funny pictures of cats with captions

But I know that if I start working on this new idea, Thomas and Claire's story will likely not get finished.  So, I've told the new idea:

funny pictures of cats with captions

Last time, Thomas and Claire were being very demanding, but I put them off to finish James and Kelly's story.  Now, it's the characters from the third book clamoring for attention.

attentionplz1.jpg

Don't get me wrong--this is a great problem to have.  Multiple plots, characters, and ideas floating around?  I just wish I had the time to work on them all.  

funny pictures of cats with captions

But I will wait.  After all, patience is a virtue, right?

cat

So now I have a question for you, fellow authors.  When you get that shiny new idea, what do you do?  Drop everything and start working on it, or stay the course with your current WIP and come back to the new idea later?  What's your process like?  Does it involve as many kitties as mine? <g>

All images courtesy of http://icanhascheezburger.com/

14 comments:

  1. Urk. Good question. What usually happens is that I let the shiny idea run its course. Within a page or two, I'm out of shiny [g] so I thwack it around a bit more before going back to the WIP.

    Not that I have a whole lot of WIP writing to show this year. [sad panda] But you know. Theoretically.

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    1. You'll get back to it, Jill! Don't feel so bad about not getting to work on it as much as you 'd like--I don't think anyone who isn't a full-time writer gets to spend as much time writing as they want--I know I don't...

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  2. It depends. I might write a synopsis of said shiny idea, hoping to work it out of my system. Sometimes that helps, sometimes it doesn't. If I'm really, really stuck on my main project, then I might start alternating between the two, so I'm always going back to work on the other one and also spending time on the new one. There's a bit of danger in that, especially if you're someone who can't work on two pieces at once, but sometimes it helps me get over the hump.

    It's the same tactic I use for my work. I cycle through all of my tasks, around and around, moving to the next as I get stuck with one. Works for me. Have to find what works for you.

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    1. Yeah, I'm a bit in awe of people who can multi-task WIP's like that. I need to stick with the one I'm writing, even if that means switching to some writing prompts or other exercises to get the juices of that story flowing again.

      Then again, I may set up an experiment and try to work on a few things at once, just to see how it goes...

      You're right though--it's all about figuring out what works best, and sticking to that.

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  3. Love your story telling! Especially am/pm kitty. I usually force the shiny new ideas to wait. But now I've figured something out - with my new schedule, I can devote morning pages to scribbling for the shiny new idea, and then still keep my editing evenings for entering all my edits to Ayten's story on Scrivener. So far so good. We'll see for how long I can keep this up...

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    1. Ooh, that's a good idea! I'm glad it's working well for you! :)

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  4. Cute. Definitely wanna chase the shiny while it's there, though admittedly I'll plot out its basics and then wait because I'm such a linear writer.

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    1. Yeah, I'm letting it marinate right now, getting things in place for when I can really focus on it.

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  5. I'm a multi-tasker. I have Scrivener set up for 4 WIPs at the moment. I just flip between them as the ideas come. The advantage is I don't lose what I've thought of. It's only possible because one is the main one and I jot down the ideas for the others quickly.

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    1. Sounds like you've found a system! :)

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  6. I've reached the hard part as well, Lara, and leaving the hard work for the fun shiny is soooo tempting. But I'm bound and determined to finally finish a manuscript, so I'm still plugging away.

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    1. I tell myself the shiny is a reward for finishing what I'm working on now. Delayed gratification, writing-style. :)

      Good luck with your WIP!

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