My Trouble at the Starting Line

It is day four of October, and while I have done very well blogging every day, I have not yet chosen which story to write this month.

Choosing what to write has become the bit I dislike the most. It has a certain freedom and excitement to it, true, and I like the sudden openness I have once I can leave the restrictions of the previous novel behind and stretch out into a new universe.

What I do not like is that if I do this bit wrong, I'll be stuck with a bad idea all month. Like last month, that thing just never came together into a good story. My romance stalled out in the face of two characters too stubborn to pursue it, the villain scarcely showed itself, and the story overall? Lets just say this is not one I'll be editing next year. Or ever. We're not going to be friends.

Next month, I will be writing two novels.

So this month needs to go well. I need to end early and without stress, and I need to have the mental stamina left to find not one but two ideas to fly with.

No pressure.

I've narrowed it down to either a story I've been kicking around since January, or something else entirely.

Yeah, you don't need to tell me. That is not narrow. It's not even trim.

My hesitation is powered by many things. One, that the stories I have ended up loving the best were the ones I had no idea what I was doing. I started with a small point, and then just ran with the damn thing, never looking back. Every time I've started with a more fleshy idea, one that seems like the easier choice, it is much more difficult.

Also, this book would be from a series of vampire novels I began with January, and if I write too many novels in sequels, I run the risk of not feeling original enough. But this is just writer egotistic angst talking. I am not sure if I have the energy to deal with writer angst.

And thus, I am still undecided. But I will know by seven tomorrow night, because that is when I will start writing the novel. Even if when I sit down to do it, all I have in my head is a dial tone.

When things go well, I wonder if the the novels choose me, and my job is to just begin and listen to it. Maybe that is why my pre-planned ideas go wrong, it's the spirit of the novel I was supposed to write messing with me like a bad poltergeist.

What? It's late. Judge me in the morning.

Ahem.

This dilemma has me thinking very deeply about the science of starting. I'll have more to say on it later.

You know, after I've started my novel. Whatever it is.*

I hope I like it.

 

*Maybe it'll come and find me overnight if I leave copies of Neil Gaiman's books open to my favorite pages around my room and burn rolled pages of Fifty Shades of Grey as sacrifices.

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2 thoughts on “My Trouble at the Starting Line

  1. I know it doesn’t help, but I’m sure we all go through those phases. Some weeks I’ll lavish attention on my blog and whatever story I’m trying to tell seems to languish. Other weeks, the blog feels like the biggest bother in the world. If there’s a happy medium, I haven’t found it yet. Mostly I just try to satisfy myself that I’m managing to at least write “something” more or less every day.

    1. Thanks for the encouragement. I usually end up just having to peck away at ideas until something sings to me or I hit the “last day to begin” date and just write a default story I have around somewhere.

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