Well, not quite ‘oh dear’ – more like, Oh my God I’ve just had a fantastic idea for a story and I must try and capture it right away.
Cue three uninterrupted hours of research and sketchy planning and what do I have: the basis for a third novel.
So yes, ‘oh dear’ does come to the forefront of my mind because now I’m so geared up about this idea (which can only be described as Young Adult or Teenage fiction) I’ve lost my place in the endeavour to complete the second novel – the one I have mostly written after NaNoWriMo 2011. And, let’s not mention the first novel idea – the one I’m not as enamoured with because it’s ‘chick lit’ and I don’t see myself writing in that genre all that well, but it’s such an intriguing idea it needs to be written at some point because otherwise I’m always going to wonder ‘what if?’.
Result: my brain hurts.
All in all I’ve decided I needed a plan. An actual schedule or writing plan that would allow me to explore all angles of creativety to keep me interested and on target. I do NOT want to abandon the NaNoWriMo novel – it has substance, and I know it is a good story that I would want to read. Plus, having recently read a book that deals with similar themes, I know I can finish it well. The first novel, the chick lit idea, is safely resting at the back of my mind and in a notebook tucked safely away: I had originally considered attempting to write it for the next NaNo in November….
But, this new one – the YA fiction – it’s got something. I’m excited about it. I want to know more about the characters and how they will develop and interact with one another. I have plans for them, plans they will no doubt disrupt in the writing of them: which I am also looking forward to. It’s a big ask for me though, because I’m not naturally comfortable in this genre either. It involves world building and creation of new lands and rules and laws – aspects which often put me off similar such novels (Sorry, LOTR fans but this is why I found it difficult to read Tolkien and thus never finished the books). Still, it’s burning away a desire within me that makes me want to write it – to write a novel of this kind that I would actually be desperate to read.
However, I need to stay calm. I have another project awaiting completion. I can’t abandon each idea when a new one comes along. If this third idea really is that fabulous then it will wait. It will smoulder in the back of my mind and when I finally open the door to it there will be flames and fire to control.
Thus – a plan has been formed. An approach has been decided upon in my logical brain.
- On one specific day of the week I will write the current novel – the one that is almost a first draft, that needs finishing to judge it’s worth. It won’t be easy, because there is still a gap between where I am now with the chracter’s stories and the ending that I know has to happen in order to make the novel what it is. I need to figure out what this gap needs filling with, and in order to do that I need to write.
- On another day of the week I will allow myself the luxury of planning and exploring the new YA fiction idea. But only planning. My intention now is to plan as much as possible so that on the 1st November 2012 I can challenge myself to compete in, and win, another NaNoWriMo. As such, my current novel needs to be finished in first draft format by this date – because then I can put it away and bring it back out after November 2012 to work on the next draft.
- Then there are the weekends: dedicated to short stories and potential submission edits. Weekends are the time I can let my mind roam and ideas ferment. Then, if I also want to write in order to further my goal of completing the current NaNo novel I can do so, but it won’t be compulsory (at least not until we get closer to November and I realise I haven’t gotten any closer to finishing the current novel!).
This gives me about 20 weeks to finish the first draft – and I believe that is acheiveable: provided I focus. Hopefully by not resticting my creativity and restraining my addled brain by packing up the new idea completely, I can continue exploring the options for it on a weekly basis. The intention of this is to try and encourage the fresh enjoyment of a new project to be funnelled into the first draft of my current work – allowing me chance to be creative, but also practical in accomplishing that cleched goal many others can not – I’m going to finish that half-written novel, usually hidden somewhere in a drawer.