Monday, December 14, 2009

Am I Actually Considering This?

I've been in a funk about Sasha. I'm not thrilled about the story. I'm not passionate about it, and I'm 200 pages into it. If I'm not thrilled about it here, not excited by the plot and the characters, that doesn't bode well for three months from now when I'm in the thick of heavy edits or a year from now when I'm shopping the novel. If I'm not excited about the idea of selling the novel and being asked to write a sequel or another novel within this world, that's a very bad thing at this stage.

I'm toying with stopping. With calling the project a good lesson in writing and storyboarding, and setting it aside. Only I really like Eva, my main character. She's grown on me a lot. So has Justin. So have some of the elements of the plot.

It's just the world sucks. It's too real. It's New York, May 2010. Nothing special. No magic but that which Eva possesses. (And Eva possessing magic is part of the problem, because it's not critical to the story...)

So I've just spent the last ten minutes brainstorming an idea that I'm much more excited about. It's drastically different, brought back to my home turf in northern California, mixed in with some ideas that truly terrify me (making the story have more of an impact for me) and there's a lot more magic involved, plus an alternate history feel to it.

But I still haven't decided. Do I really want to toss 200 pages of hard work and start all over, with nothing? Do I really want to change this story completely? Am I quiting, or am I changing tactics?

Part of me thinks that I should just finish writing the novel and try to sell it since I've come this far. I also realize that writing 200 pages and 40 or so days of work isn't the bulk of a writing project. That's only the beginning. So stopping now could potentially save me a year of frustration while I try to wrangle this story into something I want to read and write.

I've decided to give my text a read through. See how it holds up. See if it makes me want to continue. I'm also going to pitch my new idea to Cody and see how it goes over. But tonight, I'm going to finish my margarita and not think about it anymore.

1 comment:

TikiBird said...

I don't have much in the way to offer you of professional advice, BUT that won't stop me, of course. :)

It seems like you've got a lot on your creative plate at the moment, and trying to stuff everything in at once can only result in severe mental indigestion.

OK, I'm done with that metaphor. What I mean is, you could start by jotting down your ideas about how you might want to redo Sasha at some point, while they're still fresh in your mind.

Then perhaps make a priority list. For example, get Madision to a point you'll feel good sending it to an agent, and start the querying process. While you're sending queries and waiting for replies and all that, you can write or edit for your other loves: Areia or Sasha. Or both, on different days or weeks or whatever you decide.

Whatever you feel most passionate about at the moment, I say go for that one. If there is one thing I know (and really, I might ONLY know one thing) about this trying-to-get-your-book-published feat, it's that if I didn't really, REALLY dig my book, there is no WAY I would still be trying to find a home for it. I wouldn't have the endurance for it.

Maybe it's better if you DON'T decide about Sasha anytime soon. You wrote the whole thing in just over a month, as it is; it seems to me like the idea just needs more time to percolate for finding a direction. Besides, you have plenty of other writing-related projects to keep your creative brain sharp. Working on something else might give you the jolt you need to go back to Sasha.

If you put it away for at least a month or two and then look at it again and see if your ideas for renovating it are still appealing--or if you like your original story, or if you don't like either option as well as Areia anymore--then at least you can go for your next project wholeheartedly, and feel good about the time you will put into it because it's something you really care about.