I've been torn between two ideas for a totally new novel—the one I'll write, or at least start, in November. This hasn't ever happened to me before. Usually, I get an idea, and then I get so wrapped up in fleshing out that idea that the one story pretty much takes over. This time, I had the idea, but no fleshing-out ideas were coming. And then a completely different story cropped up. Different in genre, different in tone, different in length. Pretty much different in every possible way.
I wrote it down in my file that I keep on story ideas. I talked about it a bit with Cody. I had just the inkling of what could be a good story. Basically the first thirty pages of a good story. No idea where it would end or go. Which made it perfect to set aside and allow to percolate while I focused on the first idea.
The second idea didn't want to be denied. New storylines and scenes began cropping up for it, until I found a theme that resonated with me in a way that the other story didn't. Only, by now, I'd developed enough of a plot for the first story that it's gaining momentum, starting to push to want to be written.
So I did something I've never tried before: I drew a line down the white board in my office and wrote down everything I had about one story on one side, and everything I had about the other story on the other side.
I didn't help. Now both seemed like the story to write. Both are fun, interesting, and challenging. Cody cast his vote for the one I'd write first. I'm still torn. I'm leaning toward one, but it's the more serious of the two, and there's a lot of seriousness in my life right now. The escape into a humorous book sounds appealing. Of course, the theme of the serious novel is compelling me, calling to me, cropping up everywhere I look. Only two months left to decide...