Thursday, January 16, 2014
Talk about your feast or famine. I can go for weeks with no idea what I want to write. Other times I’m inundated with inspiration and have to flip a coin to decide which WIP to work on. This is one of those latter situations.
I started the new year working on a ménage. Then, for whatever reason, I hauled an abandoned M/F out of the trunk and went back to work on that. I think that happened because of our New Year’s blog hop on Shapeshifter Seductions (www.shapeshifterseductions.blogspot.com). We do near-daily shapeshifter flash scenes over there, and sometimes continued stories. People stop by our blog hops, read the flash scenes, and want to buy the books, which don’t exist. The book I rescued from the closet is a Talbot’s Peak story. The ménage isn’t, although the flash scene that sparked it appeared on the blog. Yes, this gets confusing.
Normally I can only work on one WIP at a time. I’ve tried to work on two, with mixed results. I usually end up abandoning one story for another. When it comes to writing, I can’t multitask. That’s just how my brain is wired.
For some reason I thought maybe this time would be different, and I could write both the ménage and the Talbot’s Peak story simultaneously. Sounds doable, in theory. Write one story until I hit a wall, then switch over to the other. It’s all progress, right?
Here’s where the fun begins. My Monday blog on SSS may have sparked a story. As I was drafting it on Sunday I started getting ideas. A plot began to form. A character from a one-off flash from two years back resurfaced as a bad guy. A sidekick character from another abandoned book (which grew out of a series of SSS flash scenes) took center stage as the hero. Witty banter is exchanged. That always sucks me in.
What do I do now? I’m already writing two different stories. Do I let those sit and chase this new one? Dare I try to pile on a third? Like that isn’t bad enough, I pulled out the abandoned chapters my latest hero originally appeared in. There’s still something there. It could be salvaged. That’s four. Then there’s the M/M I was working on before the ménage hit, but that one’s currently comatose so I don’t have to worry about it.
I don’t even have to ask myself why I never get anything done. Adult ADD much?
So that’s where I currently stand. I’ve got a steamy ménage in the works, a Talbot’s Peak story to capitalize on our blog’s readership, a semi-story that might develop into something, and a moldy oldie that’s raised its head again. Which is better: jump around, or pick one and focus on it?
This would all be so much easier if my brain would cooperate. When I’m totally into a story it’s all I can think about. Writing one book at a time is no problem then. The story I’ve fixated on is the only one I can write. That’s not the case here. All three (maybe four) are nipping at me, but none has really sunk its teeth in yet.
My marketing side says concentrate on at least one of the Talbot’s Peak books. We have readers. There’s a demand. I just have to supply something. Like I said, if I hit a wall on one story I can switch to another. It’s like when I go on those aimless Sunday drives. Pick a road at random and follow it. Sooner or later I have to end up somewhere.
That’s the biggest advantage of scattershot writing to us lazy, procrastinating types. I get to avoid completing a book (or four, in this case) while still appearing to be busy as heck.
Stephen King never has this problem. He once announced his retirement, then promptly wrote two books at once (Dolores Claiborne and Gerald’s Game). How the hell does he do that? I hope the booze-and-pill addiction wasn’t involved. There’s only so much caffeine I can drink.
I suppose I could put it up to a vote, but I don't think that will help. The second I pick a target, I just know something totally new will hit and I’ll go chasing after it. Or one of my closet cases will resurrect itself. Or I’ll decide to switch genres again, just for the change of pace. I could always give up writing and get a job, but I’d be bored in a week. One thing about writing as a profession, it’s always full of surprises.
Okay, the blog’s done. I’m going to go home now and write something. Just don’t ask me what.