Friday, July 16, 2010

When New Ideas Attack!

My current WIP is at 22,000 words. It's my first ever attempt at writing a book and to say it's been a long process so far is an understatement. What it has been is a learning experience about what helps me write faster, the fact that I'm a little more of a plotter than a pantser, that somehow keeping constant watch on my word count makes me move the story along faster, etc. etc.

What I didn't expect, and therefore wasn't prepared for, were all the great story ideas that would come to me while working on this book. I don't mean just those cute little snippets of ideas, I mean a fully fleshed out trilogy of books in a genre I hadn't expected to write in.

What's even worse? It's a fantastic idea. Even the hubby was like "Yeah. Why aren't you writing that story?" Gee thanks! My poor WIP is feeling a little shabby now.

Somehow, this new story idea is making me feel like I need to jazz A Passion to Protect up a little. I knew it needed something more to it but it's supposed to be a Contemporary Romantic Suspense and I shouldn't be comparing it to the Paranormal Romance idea I have. Both have their specific world-building, setting and characters but the paranormal idea is starting to seem so much more exciting to me. Not good.

I've kept some notes on the new idea so it will be there when I'm done with the WIP, but I'm wondering how do I focus back on my current story? So, I'm wondering how do other writers keep new story ideas at bay? How do you keep the excitement on your current project?


  1. Hi! I saw your post about this at Romance Divas and had to swing by because I'm going through the exact same thing! I have been working on my first "serious" project for about a year and a half (it's a YA paranormal romance series). Like you, I've gotten other ideas along the way. I write those down so I don't forget them, and sometimes I'll even scrawl a bare-bones outline. I never had a strong urge to stop working on my current WIP to write the new ideas. But recently I had an idea for a new project that I can't get out of my head. For the first time, I want to stop working on my WIP and write this entire new book, one that not only isn't paranormal, it's not even a romance (shhh... don't tell the folks at RD!). I feel kind of guilty about wanting to stop writing my current project, like I'm letting my characters down (only other writers wouldn't find that statement to be crazy). I have decided that, if in a few days I'm still enchanted with the new idea, I will try to do both projects at once. I'm in revisions for the current project, and the new project is brand-new, so that will help me keep them separate, plus they are completely different.

    I can't give you advice since I'm a newbie and basically in the same boat as you, but maybe if you go back and read your 22,000 words, you'll become excited about your current WIP again. Good luck to you as you decide which project to work on. I'm subscribing to your blog so hopefully you'll keep me posted!

  2. It happens to me every time I'm "in the zone" and writing like the wind. I take it as a sign that my brain is firing on all cylinders, which has to be a good thing. So I don't resist the creativity. I take a short break from the WIP (for me, it never needs more than a day) and just empty my brain about the new idea into a new file. Once that's done, I close the file and return to my WIP. Works every time for me.

  3. Hi. I like what David said about taking a brief break from your WIP and dumping everything you're thinking about the new story, which is all shiny and new. I would resist the urge to story hop because you run the risk of becoming one of those writers who have a lot started but nothing finished.

    Since this is your first WIP, this strong interest in a new story idea may just be a distraction, you may have hit an area of the manuscript that has you stumped, you maybe in the middle of the ms. and feeling that sluggish middle thing. I think the best thing to do is follow David's advice and then return to your WIP to finish it. Just finish it. It may not be the book you sell, it maybe this new idea that sells. But you need to finish it so you know that you CAN do that. That's an important thing to know about yourself.

    Good luck. BTW, I have two very full folders of idea notes. :)


  4. Well... I tend to have a few projects going at the same time, so my suggestion would be juggle them both. But I know you have limited time to write, so right now, I'd go with David's idea...

    I find, if I work multiple projects, when the brain gets stuck with one, I slide to the other and vice versa...but I'm certifable, sooooo...

    Play it safe at this point, follow David's advice.


  5. I say keep plugging along with the WIP, and keep writing notes on the Shiny New Idea. :) You'll learn a lot by writing on the WIP, and it may be techniques that will help make the new books easier to write. And I wouldn't worry about trying to jazz it up while you're drafting it. That's what REVISIONS are for! LOL

    And think about what made you excited in the first place about the WIP -- draw on that to keep the word count going. :)

  6. I usually get Great! New! Ideas! when I'm at a difficult spot in a WIP, especially during revision. I usually put the notes of the new idea in a file and then go back to the WIP or else I would never finish anything. Sometimes they are great ideas!


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