Tuesday, May 16, 2006

What shall I write about?

Darling Geek and I had our normal Monday night conversation over dinner…

Me: “I have to write my blog entry and I don’t know what I’m going to write about.”

DG: “Write about the Luncheon.”

Me: “Possibly…”

DG: “Then write about your trip to the beach.”

Me: “Eh, maybe, but how interesting would that be?”

DG: “Didn’t your CP get a request for a full? Write about that.”

Me: “I could, I guess, but…”

DG: “Then write about the husband you’re driving to drink.”

Me: “Well…”

I think you get the picture. But that little exercise in seeming futility did actually inspire me. Substitute “next book” for “blog entry” and you get an idea of the state I’m in at the moment.

It’s time to start a new book. I’ve got ideas for several, but I don’t know which one to choose. There’s the book about the girlfriends who do a weekend in Vegas. There’s the one with the etiquette expert. Or how about the one where the image consultant makes over a cowboy chef? The characters in two books are more “alive” in my mind right now, but the other book has stronger plot ideas.

I need to pick one and jump in. But which one? How do you decide which idea is the one you need to chase down next? It’s not like one of my famous To Do lists, where the next logical project is easy to see. I don’t want another false start like I had on the book I shelved.

So how do you decide? Eeny-meenie-minie-mo? Numbers in a hat? Put the characters/titles in ABC order?


And, yes, my fabu CP got a request for a full on (what I think) is a really cool book—off a simple query, no less! Congrats and SQUEEE!


Playground Monitor said...

Sounds like the discussion I may be having with myself tomorrow night (DH will be playing volleyball til late).

How do I decide what to work on? Whatever the magazine editor is looking for. Currently it's a beach-themed romance, which I must resume editing so I can mail it tomorrow.

I just wish I had enough ideas to have to pick and choose. *sigh*

Smarty Pants said...

Unfortunately, you can't really know which one you should work on until you find out if you might sell your current project to one specific line or another. If one project is X line and one project is Y line, it makes a difference.

I guess what I would do, in this area of uncertainty, would be to plot the books that seem most alive. Plot, research, but don't start writing. Get it all down for when you need it. If you hear back on the other one and find you're needing to focus on Y line, then get to working on a Y book. No time wasted and you can capture the magic of the characters that are really vivid right now.

Spoken by a person that if she is unable to sell her current paranormal, has NO idea what her next project will be.


Instigator said...

I'm worrying about this right now too PC. I've got several ideas, all of the charcters are screaming for attention. Which do I focus on first? The 2 spin-off books? The stand alone book for the same line? The seed of an idea that doesn't have much yet but I think really has potential? The project I've plotted but that won't fit the line I'm trying for?

Argh! What I should do is take a couple days off. But I can't. Last night I started writing in the shower. You'd think the voices might be as exhausted as I am after the last several weeks. Guess not.

We're here if you need plotting help! I say plot them all and see which one you're really excited about after that (although I must say I'm a bit partial to the Miss Manners type storyline).


Maven Linda Howard said...

That's easy, PC. Write what you love. Write the story you can't stop thinking about. You want to know why? Because that's when your writing will be the strongest, the most passionate -- and in the end, strong writing will be what sells a book, because strong writing has the ability to get an editor's attention. If you're writing to the market, not only are you making it harder on yourself because you don't absolutely love the story, but you're joining the ranks of a thousand other people who have sent basically the same story.