Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Caught in the Middle

I finished my WIP last week. I had to format it and now am ready to dive into the rewrite. While this story captured my imagination and was all I thought about for almost three months, this morning another idea came along. Like the picture (that is Lily as a puppy in one of my favorite pictures of her), I felt it grab hold and tug me along. It came out of nowhere. Completely unexpected. And I love love love it. I'm never sure if it's okay to share my ideas on my blog. Do we worry about people stealing them? Oh, but I love this one. So now I am caught in the middle. Rewriting one and starting another at the same time. I'm like the toys inbetween Lily and her friends in the pictures below.

Pit Bulls don't have locking jaws. It's a myth. BUT they are known for their tenacity (the true reason why it's hard to get them to let go of things unless they are well trained, like my girl who drops things at "RELEASE" immediately). My ideas are both being very tenacious at the moment. They are each pulling me. So what is the write/right thing to do? Do I try to give them both equal time? Or do I need to devote all my attention and time to rewriting my first book before I even think about the second one? My gut tells me to do the former. I can jot down ideas in my notebook (maybe even the one I might win from Elana Johnson here) but the majority of my time and devotion should be to my current WIP, which I don't love any less. It's just a lot more inviting to delve into a new world when you are facing a mountainous rewrite in the old one. Well, maybe saying I have to climb a mountain in that one is being a bit dramatic. The layout is there. I just forgot some characters along the way and need to either pick them and carry them through to the end (likely) or cut them altogether. Lola had an excellent blog on Show, Don't Tell (read it here) complete with examples. There are also a few places where I told rather than showing my readers in the interest of time and plowing through to the end. I will need to go back through to address those parts as well. I am only at 57,500+ words which comes in at 281 pages. That will be expanding. For the moment, I feel caught between the jaws of two very well trained, perfect family pets. One of them will need to "RELEASE". I guess I need to turn to the baby and tell her to let go for now.
Happy Writing everyone!


  1. I've got one of those ideas too. Can't wait to finish my wip so I can start the new one. I won't tell anyone though. Just my husband, my editor and my journal!

  2. CONGRATS on completing your first draft! WooHoo! :)

    I suggest writing the siren song idea in any notebook and work hard on the revision of your first WiP. For me, it's been a lesson hard-learned to not succumb to the siren song of the Shiny New Idea.
    Because, the truth is, there are ALWAYS Shiny New Ideas tempting us to move on to the new and exciting. (Trust me, after a few more drafts/passes/rewrites of your current/first WIP, you'll be sick of it, and the new idea really sparkles.) The trick is to write the ideas down and get back to the work at hand. It takes a lot of discipline if we ever want to really finish a novel (polished and ready for submission) and see it to publication. (Some people truly love the revision process. I'm not one of them. I LOVE writing the first draft, like rewriting the second draft and loathe the third pass at the trouble spots/plot holes. I'm usually ready to torch it by then.)

    Now if you are just writing for the creative outlet and have no real desire to be a published author or make a career of it, then by all means, get your magpie on and enjoy writing for the pleasure! :)

    This is what works for me. I hope it is helpful. :)

  3. Lola, incredibly helpful. I've jotted notes here and there, actually wrote the first five pages today. That was on a break from my rewrite notes. I'm sticking with the first one and seeing it through. I love "Shiny New Ideas!" Very appropriate image. I will fight the lure, though.

    Karen - thanks for your input. I was confused because it seems a lot of people are putting some of their work and ideas on their blogs these days. My gut tells me not to and I appreciate hearing it from a published author. I'll be following your lead (sans the editor because I don't have one of those yet).