Saturday, January 06, 2007

Oh, Those Pesky Ideas!

A few weeks ago, I started a new book. I'm excited about it and working on it every day. I'm getting to know the characters, and the plot is even cooperating. It's not exactly turning out the way I thought it would, but, heck, that's part of why we write. Right?

But a couple of days ago, something happened. Another idea for a book started elbowing its way through my crowded brain, waving its hand, and saying "Hey, look at me! Me! I'm so much better than the one you've got!"

I keep trying to ignore it, but it's getting more persistent--and it's also a wily little devil. Now it's whispering, "Hey, you know the reason that manuscript isn't going the way you thought it would? Because it stinks! Now listen to me. Here's what I'm gonna' do for you..."

And I must admit: This new idea is pretty darn attractive--all shiny and new, good looking, and smart.

My friends all say, "JoAnn, you fool! Look at what you've got! A dependable, solid idea with a big heart that's been with you for years; who's been with you through the good and the bad. You're going to throw all that away for some Johnny-come-lately who'll leave you the instant a New York Times bestseller says 'Hey, baby, come up to my place?' Don't do it!"

Should I let the new idea buy me a drink or slam the door in its face? Tell me how you handle meddling ideas that try to steer you off course.


Karen Beeching said...

This is such a great problem to have. Honestly, it happens to me all the time. Most often I will focus on the project at hand and write the details of the new one down so I don't forget it. In the end, I usually end up with an entire story outline waiting to be written by the time I finish my current project.

I've also stopped a project and started the new one when it wouldn't leave me alone.

Deborah Matthews said...

Usually I'll type up the thoughts on the new story so I don't lose them, but try to continue with the one I'm working on. However, if I hear news that I think the newer idea might "fit" with a publisher I'd go to it.

JoAnn said...

Thanks, Karen and Debbie. I am thinking I will have a short fling with this new idea, just to clear my thoughts. It's not like someone's going to run off with WIP in the meantime! :-)

MoonCat said...

Definitely have the fling Joann, you never know where it might lead. LOL

I haven't had that problem too often lately. But I had a dream the other night and the character in it wouldn't leave me alone the next day. I finally started writing it. It's popping out all over. Scenes here, there and everywhere. Now my problem is dealing with it at work. I'm sitting here being a good little employee when a new character for the story pops up telling me about him.

And it's all in first person, which I haven't tried writing in before, so that's new and interesting.

Good luck with your fling!