Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I've Just Gotta Ask

When is the right time to put down a WIP for a new idea?

I finished my first ms last year.  It took me over two years to write because I got in my own way, comparing myself to other writers, not thinking I was good enough.  Then there was the guilt of doing something so time consuming without pay, the editing pains, pure laziness...and the list goes on.

Once I FINALLY finished, edited it three times, got it critiqued, and read by a beta, I realized it was crap.  It wasn't that is couldn't be decent...it just wasn't.

I ended up changing so much I decided to just start from scratch.  I am half-way through and am now at a stand still.  My characters don't want to talk to me, and maybe it is because their mad I've been cheating on them.

Here's the thing...for the last two years, I have had an idea simmering in my brain and this past weekend it wouldn't shut its pie hole so I plotted the story out all the way to the crisis point.  I am loving it and thinking about putting the other ms on the back-burner. 

So let me ask you, is it right to put an ms away that you have poured three years of your life into, for another?

13 comments:

Ashley Nixon said...

I do! When my characters don't want to talk, I have to go to something else. We all know you can force them to talk, so why not move to something that is speaking to you? :)

Jo Ramsey said...

In my opinion, it's right to do whatever works for you. I try to finish everything I start, but when something just flat isn't speaking to me, I put it aside. If your new story is shouting in your brain for you to work on it, by all means go for it! And good luck with it :)

KAWyle said...

If you'd just come up with the new idea during a tough time with your WIP, I might suggest hanging in there a while longer before switching. But this is an idea that's been trying to get your attention for years, and now it has. FWIW, I'd say dive in and start writing it!

terri.forehand said...

Put it down and move on, it will call you back when the time is right. Blessings for success.

Jeanne said...

If your muse is telling you a story, you must be its scribe or suffer the consequences of unfocused work. It's interesting to see other writers telling you the same thing :)

Margot Finke said...

Deana, lock the file and leave it locked for at least a year - or until you have written and finished something else.

Then go back to it with a fresh focus and decide one of 3 things:

#1 - Is it crap? If so, delete it without a qualm.
#2 - is it salvageable? If so work on it until you feel good about it.
#3 - Does it have any worthwhile ideas, yet not enough to make rewriting an option? If so, keep what might work elsewhere and scrap the rest.

Think of this as a poractic run at writing. Remember what you learned during the process. Vow to craft your next story using everything you;ve learned while writing that first one.

Good luck.


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Kids Books With a WOW Factor!
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Chris said...

LOL - Deana, I love your sense of humor, lol - I think you are doing the right thing by starting something new, something creative that has your juices flowing. Don't throw away the old project, just give it a rest and tackle what makes your fingers itch to get to the keyboard :) Good luck!!

Sihirli Yaz─▒lar said...

Deana, I think "ms" means "master of science".. Anyway, doesn't matter very much what it is:), I just want to say that sometimes we need to throw away the thing we've written and begin to write from the rough. I mean such things may sometimes happen. I didn't need to do this for my thesis but when I was working as a journalist, I was sometimes giving up my writing (although I had worked hard for it) and beginning to prepare a new work. So do whatever your foresight whispers to you.

Andrea Mack said...

I think if one is tugging at you so strongly, it would be hard to focus on the other. Last year, I had to decide between two ideas--I tried to work on them both for a while, but finally one captured more of my attention. One day, you might come back to your first ms with fresh eyes, and surprise yourself.

Time4Mommy said...

No I don't. Sometimes another story just screams to get out.

I do love your story and hope you go back to it. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

If you're not excited about why, why pour even more time into it? Let it sit for a while and tackle the new idea!

Ezmirelda said...

I say go for it! Sometimes it takes a brand new exctiting idea for us to really flex our writing muscles. In the end your old ms wasn't for nothing--it's taught you about what worked and what didn't work so that you can do it better the next time. Think about like that. :)

Karen Cioffi said...

It's always best to put a manuscript on the back burner when you're stuck or even when you've finished it and need do a final edit before submissions.

I've read that you might put it in a draw for months and then revisit it.

Starting something new in the mean time is a must.