Monday, January 16, 2012

Shiny New Ideas

First things first.  I must give props and respect to both L. S. Taylor and J. Larkin for getting some queries out and officially starting out Epic Year of Querying.  Much as I hate the fact that I'm losing (I may be just a little competitive...) I love that we have some numbers up there!  Can't wait to see how well we do with these queries this year.  (Especially once the rest of use get our acts together and get them out there.)

Moving on.  This week I have managed to not get any editing done.  You may recall in my last post I talked about how I had to rewrite about 13 chapters in the last half of my novel.  I wasn't exactly looking forward to all of the extra work, of course, but I also wasn't planning on never getting around to it.

In the last week I have caught up on three or four shows I've been putting off since November.  I've started reading a book that I just got in and is the sequel to a book I really liked. I've cleaned my room and organized all of my writing stuff.  I've set up the new printer my boyfriend bought me.  I even just barely managed to get the two critiques I need for tomorrow done.  (The feedback I give to the other three that I don't need to critique are barely started, however)

After that, why don't we all take a wild shot in the dark about how much editing I've gotten done.

None.  Zilch.  Nada.  Zero.  I haven't even brought my manuscript with me in an effort to make it look like I might be getting some editing done.  Oh no.  Instead it's sitting on my desk awaiting the arrival of my motivation (which I'm seriously starting to think is on an extended vacation.)  Two months after nano, and I still can't get my motivation together enough to carve my novel into something that people actually want to read.  The fact that the first half of it is out with beta readers doesn't even begin to touch the motivation I need to gather up in order to get those chapters done.

So why is it that I don't have this motivation?  Well, I think I've got a pretty good idea.

Back in November, I ordered a journal from nano.  I love it.  It features a sturdy cover, plenty of lined paper, an elastic to keep it closed and a place to store a pen.  The outside reads 'There's a book in you that only you can write.' A quote by the one and only Chris Baty.  I took one look at this journal, and I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it.  This book was going to be the place where I wrote down all of those shiny new ideas that I can't get to while I'm working on other things.  They don't have to be good ideas, just anything that's occurred to me.  Then, when I have time to write another novel, I can just flip through it and see which ideas stand out.

This has been working pretty well, but there's one tiny problem.  One of the ideas that I recorded in this book is not letting me shut it away.  The main character is more vocal than the characters from a series that I've written two books in!  She doesn't go away.  She just keeps talking and talking.  Telling me details about her life, which I don't want to know yet.

It's distracting.  All I want to do is sit down and write it all out.  I want to work out what's going on with her, and who the antagonist is.  I want to know more about her love interest (who isn't yet named.)  I want to see where the book goes, and what kind of plans I can come up with for future books.  I want to write her story.

Unfortunately, I also know that I have to finish this editing, because I need to start querying this year.  No ifs, ands or buts about it.  This is the year that I am going to get my stuff out there.  Whether it's liked or not, people are going to see it.

So the guilt doesn't let me work on the new project, but with my mind so distracted by it, I can't work on the old project.  The combination of the two are leaving me with no motivation to do anything but catch up on shows that I have been wanting to catch up on for months.

Next week, though, I can't let myself fall back into this pattern.  I want this book out by the end of april.  That means I need to get it to my beta readers by the beginning of February at the latest.  Sorry Jayne, but I can't listen to you right now, much as I might want to.  I have to get back to what I was doing.

I'm going to throw all of my shiny new ideas back into my book and leave them there.  Ignore those voices and hope they're willing to talk again when I'm done.  Much as I love telling new stories, I don't want to do it at the cost of my old stories.  I can't give up because there's too much work involved.  I need to keep going no matter what, and I'm going to do that starting tomorrow!

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