Saturday, May 13, 2023

Writer Talk: What Do You Do When You Get Another Idea?

Most writers get story ideas all the time.  Sometimes one is so powerful that it's hard to stay focused on the current project and not get distracted by the urge to start another.

So what do you do when that happens?

I usually find that trying to ignore it 1) makes the urge to write something else worse, and 2) means a potentially lost story idea, so I usually try to at least write down my idea.  Sometimes that means a few quick notes, sometimes that's a basic outline, and sometimes it's writing the intro or a scene.

In fact, Ruby started out as a middle-of-the-night idea that I hurriedly wrote down one night.  One of my best-ever short stories was also a late night idea, that I sat up writing until about 2am.

A couple of days ago, I got a story idea that just wouldn't quit.  I opened up Plottr and started sketching out an outline, and before I knew it, I had a pretty fully fledged basic outline and character sheets for the main characters.

I'm not done outlining it or writing up the character sheets yet, but the question is, what do I do now?  Do I start working on the novel?  I think it would be a fairly simple one, so possibly a quick write.  Or do I finish my draft of Ruby, and then write this?

I'm aware of the value of getting caught up in the excitement of a new project.  It's good motivation and can be good to follow it.  At the same time, there's also something to be said by sticking with something and not running off after every story idea that comes to mind.

I haven't decided yet what I'll do, but I'm aware that it might not be a bad idea to have other books available than just my Vampire Noir series, especially if I'm self-publishing.  The bigger your network of books, the more opportunity you have for sales, especially repeat sales from existing readers.  Having a few standalone books available when I publish Ruby might be helpful for anyone who wants to read more of my books while they're waiting for the next installment in the Vampire Noir series.

Plus there's the nonfiction ebook I'm working on currently, a specialized piece that's more related to my doll business than my fiction writing.

I definitely have a lot of irons in the fire right now.  I'm not freelancing right now (more on that later), but maybe it's good timing, since I have a lot else I want to accomplish!

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