Yesterday my writing exercise consisted of writing an overview of a new idea I had whilst driving home from the supermarket in the car. There is a lot of advice given by writers as to how to capture those sparks of creativity when you have them, not least by having a pen and paper close by to jot down any snippets that might lead somewhere. But, when you’re in the driver’s seat, alone in the car, it’s difficult (and illegal) to just whip out a pen and record that brilliance. What I ended up doing is repeating the idea out loud over and over again until I got home and I could write it all down from start to finish. What I ended up with was almost 1,000 words outlining a potential novel that I’m very, very intrigued by.
I’ve mentioned previously in this blog a project for a novel that I have been attempting to work on for some time. It has been a long, labourous process and all I currently have are bits and pieces of narrative from various parts of the story and a comprehensive chapter outline that I created in order to try and structure my approach. Since writing that chapter outline I don’t think I’ve written a word on the novel itself, which is interesting. But, I have also said that this novel, while a good idea and potentially quite dramatic, is not really the type of fiction I imagined myself writing. This new idea ignites my passion, and it’s exactly the type of fiction I would like to be able to excel at.
My problem is I now effectively have two possible projects to focus on. One is much more developed and probably ready to be written in the sense that I can’t really do any more except write, while the other is in its infancy and needs nurturing before I can really commit to writing it. Yet it’s this second one which I am drawn to actually writing. Perhaps it’s becuase of the excitement it creates; because it is more of my ‘ideal’ and forms the pinnacle of my dreams. Yet, I’m hesitant to follow this because I realise I am a very new author in the grand scheme of writing a novel and part of me wants to be cautious and continue with the current project so that I can learn from it and make the mistakes there. Then, when it comes to writing the newer project I know where my pitfalls may be and can account for them hopefully creating something worthy of my idea.
All in all, however, I understand how lucky I suddenly feel. A year ago I had no clue what I wanted to write about, or how I might capture an idea for a novel, and now, here I am, with two potential projects to work on! The interesting thing is that they are not really all that similar. I invisage them fitting different genres in the fiction market and they will both have to be written with that in mind. I’m realistic to know that I am probably a few (if not more) years away from the possibility of publication, if at all. Yet, there is hope, there is direction, there is the spark of potential…and I suspect this is how being a writer may feel: like following Alice down the rabbit hole, aware there is an amazing adventure to be had but not quite knowing where it might lead.