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:~: Wednesday, November 08, 2006 :~:

Switching Gears

I've given up on Nano. No, I'm not a quitter, but I have more important and pressing things to worry about.

I'm still working on my proposals. Yes (stop laughing), STILL. I'm not slow - exactly - just neurotic in a whole bunch of ways. Let me explain the nightmare that has become my writing world...

I've never started a book and not finished it. Never. Not one. Until August 2006. Since August I've started four. Two I was lukewarm about. I think I'll write them down the line, just not now. Now's not the time, and I'm okay with that. The other two are the two proposals I'm working on now. I will finish these books no matter what because I'm totally in love with the concepts and characters. I just don't know when, exactly.

I started with proposal 1, wrote three chapters, edited and tweaked. And just as I was finished writing those chapters, the idea for the second proposal hit me smack in the forehead. I decided to start in on those chapters right away and skip the synopsis for proposal 1 for the time being so I didn't lose my momentum. It worked. I cranked out the chapters for proposal 2, and I love them. I'm super excited to write this book. Since I was already in the mindset of proposal 2 at that point, I decided to jump right to the synopsis for that book so I could stay deep in my characters. Guess what? That worked too, and I - former I-don't-think-I-can-write-a-five-page-synopsis-before-the-book-is-finished - cranked out a fourteen page synopsis that isn't half bad. (A hurricane forced wind couldn't have knocked me on my ass faster, let me tell you.)

Now here's the problem. Proposal 2 is finished. I should send it to my agent, right? Nope. Can't do it. These are connected books, and I went about this backwards. She has to read proposal 1 first. Not that it makes a huge difference - they are stand alones - but proposal 2 has to be the later book (for a variety of reasons, trust me, it works better as the later one). I don't want her reading that one first. Which means I have to finish proposal 1. Piece of cake, right? Wrooooong.


Something's been bugging me about proposal 1. I like it - love the characters, think the plot fits them well, but there's been something not right about it from the start that I pushed past and ignored. After brainstorming with Lisa the other night, I realized the problem was chapter two - it lacked the immediacy like I have in proposal 2. Result? Chapter two of proposal 1 has to be totally rewritten. Which means chapter three's probably going to need to be rewritten too. Which means....I'm not anywhere close to cranking out the synopsis on proposal 1.

Confused yet? I sure the hell am. Hence, no Nano. I have enough else to do.

I'm going on a writer's retreat this weekend at the beach. I'd hoped to move past chapter three of the first book and start whipping out pages. (40 was my goal). Doesn't look like that's going to happen. I'd be thrilled at this point to get chapters two and three revised and a good chunk of the synopsis finished. Looks like it's going to be a loooong weekend.

So tell me (I need the distraction), how do you handle shifts in your writing plan? Are you an adapter, a go-with-the-flow type writer, or are you constantly revising your writing schedule based on what you did the day before?


Blogger TJBrown said...

I don't know... I sent the first three chapter of Dash to agent. Waiting on her comments to figure out what I should do next. Then sent her blurb for another YA and she loved it. So should I start the YA? Or should I wait till I hear about Dash?

I really want to plot my next book out better. With a board and everything. However, I am not sure what to plot right now. Holding pattern.

7:15 AM  
Blogger wavybrains said...

I hate switching gears. Last year, I thought I could switch between WIP--I was wrong. I had to switch out of NaNo mode too--so I'm feeling your pain. Right now, I'm struggling to get my edits done so that I can start the next WIP this weekend. Wish me a productive day today. If not, I'll just edit. I don't like unfinished things--I need to work on my multitasking abilities. Esp. if I want to make $$ any time soon from my other work. I do think that you are doing the right thing though---you need to get those proposals finished, and that's the best focus for you right now. You need that feedback from the agent as to which WIP to devote your energy to right now--you have to get you "que" finalized. I bet you'll feel SO much better once you get those things crossed off your list too.

10:35 AM  
Blogger Christine Keach said...

Hang in there, Elisabeth! You'll manage, especially with a retreat! Sounds great.

As for me, I've got 2 manuscripts on my mind for after this current WIP. I love all the characters. I'd prefer to stay in my Scottish world, but my suspense is demanding my attention. I don't know how it'll end up.

Good luck!

3:07 PM  
Blogger Edie said...

I switch gears all the time. Sometimes it's nothing to do with writing. I planned on revising a chapter tonight, but my sister called and we talked for an hour--and now I'm yawning.

You'll do it. One thing I've learned is to be adaptable and not bang my head on my desk when things don't go the way I planned. Good thing, otherwise my head would look like Humpty's after the fall off the wall.

9:03 PM  
Blogger Paty Jager said...

I've been pulled back and forth for over a year. First writing a contemporary cowboy when the westerns weren't going anywhere , then switchng to the historical paranormal to be pulled out to cleam up the westerns that were bought, then trying to get back into my historical paranormal which is the second of a trilogy that I'm wondering if it will go anywhere.

I think we all have our moments when we aren't sure which voice to listen to or which way we want to go. Hang in there the fog will clear and you'll be writing like wild woman. Wait - you already are wild woman!

11:31 AM  

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