Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Captured by an Idea


It's kind of funny how contrary our brains can be. I've read others write about it over and over. They're in the middle of a manuscript. Maybe they have a deadline. Maybe they just really want to plow through that first draft. They're well on their way when all of a sudden an idea gets a hold of them and won't let go. Instead of finishing the manuscript that it would make the most sense to finish first, they just cannot get this idea out of their heads. It nags at them and pokes at them and will not let them be.

Well, it's finally happened to me. Before I went back to do another massive overhaul on Dragon Bait, I was about 35k into a Contemporary YA manuscript. I liked the characters. I liked the idea. I was well on my way. I even started making revision notes and re-familiarizing myself with the story so that I could start writing again.

But then I read Holly Black's The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, and I didn't want to write a boring old Contemporary any more. (To be fair to Contemporaries, I don't really think they're boring. But imagining a whole new world is really fun.) I wanted to write about a world all my own. I wanted to go back and work on my NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) novel.

I managed to "win" NaNo (aka write 50k words) during the month of Novemember with a YA sci fi. It was a fun(ish) experience. A lot of writing and not too much of doing else (other than go to work). I was quite proud of myself. But after I'd finished writing my 50k, I started to feel like the whole idea kinda needed an overhaul. The antagonist just wasn't enough of a problem for the heros. The cool world I'd envisioned wasn't used to its full potential. And while I still liked a lot about it, I felt like I'd pretty much need to scrap those 50k words and start all over again. Very daunting.

As you can imagine, I wasn't too keen to get to work on this novel when I had a perfectly good novel half finished. But my brain got the better of me. It was quite insistent. Robotic animals and teenaged leaders in a grim futuristic world called to me. So off I go.

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