Monday, November 17, 2014

On Shiny New Ideas and #WIPMadness Check-In!

Well, it happened to me as usual, right on schedule. Just as I reached the halfway mark of #NaNoWriMo and was filled with self-doubt over the project I was writing, a Shiny New Story Idea popped its cute little head up at me in the middle of the night.
Bubbles, Bubble, Water, Macro, Drop, Circle, Liquid
This happens to me every year. Sometimes several times within the month of November. I have all these awesome ideas swarming around my brain, but sadly, I have to keep writing this other book, this book that is fraught with problem areas and plot twists and characters that aren't working.

SIGH.

If you have ever been in a similar situation, even if you're not NaNo-ing, I have found an outlook and a game plan for these times.

1. Know that your Shiny New Ideas are not as awesome as they seem at first glance. All stories are fraught with major problem areas once you get into the depth of actually writing them.

2. Take half an hour and write down everything you can think of concerning the Shiny New Idea. Then you're not missing out on ANYTHING by taking the time to finish your current work in progress. You can always come back to this Shiny New Idea once you have finished the book you have made a commitment to.

3. Imagine yourself dropping your current project, starting on your Shiny New Idea, and then getting caught up on some impossible  barrier after about a week. How horrible would you feel if you had to give up on BOTH projects.

4. Stop trying to compare the two stories in your head. As you know, or have known before the Shiny Idea hit, all stories are like apples and oranges.

Directory, Signposts, Wood, Grain, Board, Shield5. Call the Shiny New Idea exactly what it is: Distraction. It's the part of you that's scared to move forward on your current project trying to self-sabotage. DON'T LET THAT HAPPEN! Your Shiny New Idea could indeed be awesome, but do yourself a favor and finish up your current project before making that decision.

I'm not sure if that helps anyone else, but it's been cathartic for me to get it down and read it over for my own good.

Are you facing any kind of distractions from your current writing project this week? What's getting in your way and how are you dealing with it?

8 comments:

  1. I start plotting the next idea while drafting the current one. This keeps me constantly writing and allows me to slip in some nuggets into the previous books in the series.

    Hit 40k yesterday!

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    1. I wish I could do that. I've gotten to the point that I can read more than one book at once, but working on more than one...I don't think my tiny brain could handle it!

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  2. A huge YES to #2 -- dump it out of my brain and onto paper (or computer file) so I can get back to focusing on the task at hand. (And it's true that when I finally do get a chance to explore the SNI more fully, I'll find it's got loads of problems of its own and isn't nearly as shiny as I'd thought. That is always a great sadness, lol.)

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    1. Yes, sadness. Even now, reading your words makes me NOT want to think about the SNI, in fear that I'll see some of its flaws and have to face that sadness.

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  3. I'm SO am tempted to race after a SNI right now, but I'm resisting. I've slowed to a crawl on my NaNoWriMo WIP. I know it's just the mid-project blahs so am determined to keep slogging along. This is certainly not a fast first draft. ::sigh::

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    1. LOL, I hear you, Carol! Finally the SNI has started leaving me alone, but I am finding each day a slogging process at the moment. I keep pushing through each thousand words, telling myself the next thousand will surely come easier. Denial is a great way to complete NaNo. Hahaha.

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    2. Jeannine Garsee calls these Plot Weasels. Those ideas that pop up right when you're in the middle of a story.

      So far I'm doing okay. I'm at 42K on this sequel to CROSSED OUT. It really helped to take that plotting workshop with Joyce Sweeney last week as I was able to take out distractions in the plot and unneeded backstory, reveals.

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    3. Awesome progress, Kim! My draft has been coming along, but I already know there will be lots of problems to solve in the next revision. Keep pushing along...

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