Monday, June 7, 2010

Starts, False Starts, and Non-Starts

“Work on something else,” is a common query-wait construction. There’s nothing like a SNI* to make you forget everything, including sluggish response times. But what if you’re not a dive-right-in kind of person?
If you outline, the new story may not be quite the distraction you hope it’d be. I like to let things simmer in the back of my brain for a while and once the real flavors start to come out, that’s when I get really absorbed. After my first MS, it took me a couple months to get something new started. Not because I didn’t have ideas, but because they were too new.
This time, it’s faster. Why?
Between drafts for the project I’m querying, I started a rough draft for my current WIP. Looking at it now, I’m probably going to rewrite just about all of what I had down. But that’s a good thing. My original idea has evolved. I can bring it off of the backburner without the lag between projects.
What about you? Leave us a comment on your starts, false-starts, and non-starts.
- Holen
*SNI = shiny new idea
**click to go to the photosource


Erinn said...

Since I like to leave MONTHS between revision and drafts, I think writing during that time is great.
Right now I'm working on something (which I blog about) and I have a goal to finish in a few weeks. Then I plan on revising my first book over the summer. While I'm waiting for feedback for that draft, I will be revising my second book. I will start the query process for the first book, while I'm doing the first editing and revision pass of my current WIP.

All three books are completely separate and unrelated to the others.

I'm a firm believer in constantly working and writing a shiny new book in every year and a half or so. This way if something gets rejected in a burning ball of ridicule then I have something else I can pin all my hopes and dreams on.

JEM said...

You just gave me an idea: story ideas hit me all the time during the day, but only about every one in five are actually worth pursuing. However, I am an outliner and building that story does take time. However, wouldn't it be fun to write a total fluff story while waiting? You don't have to worry about grammar or plot continuation or any of that "writing" stuff that can drag you down. Just tell a fun story and entertain yourself while you wait! Any writing is good writing, right?

LM Preston said...

Does this ever hit home. When I have an idea, I put it in my 'To Be' folder. As more comes, I just add it to the notes page and that clears me up to finish what I'm working on.

Sarah Enni said...

I am doing this right now! Just finished the first draft of WiP and I'm formatting it, then putting it away for ... as long as I can stand it. In the meantime I'm going to get to work on Alternate WiP, which has been bubbling around in my brain for the last few months.

I wrote bits of AWiP when WiP wasn't inspiring me, so I already have about 10,000 words. I think it will make the waiting for revision (and eventually querying) much, much easier.

Debra Driza said...

EEK--your photo made me think of 5:30 am swim practices! *blocks out memories of diving into freezing swimming pool instead of snoozing in a nice warm bed*

Ahhhh, SNIs! I dove into a few as soon as I finished DG revisions. Yes, I like to let them simmer a bit too, but sometimes I have to write a scene, then simmer, write, simmer, repeat, ad nauseam.


Hmath said...

I miss those swim practices - I saw my old team (from like 10 years ago - man that makes me feel old) practicing this morning when I took my girls to the park.

That's why I picked the picture.

Plus, it just worked so well for False Starts :)