Friday, March 5, 2010

On 'New Project' Temptations

How sweet it is. A deliciously exciting new idea for a book. You're out for a jog. The dog poops directly on the sidewalk. You are grateful that you brought two baggies instead of one, for he pooped on the sidewalk once already. You pick up said poop, walk to trashcan, and then BAM! It drops out of the sky like bird poop on a windshield. (Lots of poo imagery, I know, I'm stopping, but this is how it happens sometimes.)

Characters, fully formed. A more-than-skeletal plot. Tension. Conflict. The whole enchilada. You run home, fire up lap top and begin writing outline. Then you have flashes of dialogue. Write that down. A scene. Write that down. You are flying high, a bounce in your step. Then the bounce is gone when you remember, "Oh yeah, I'm spoken for."

That other manuscript. The one you've been working on for so long and it's al-most-finished. It was love at first sight with that idea too. What's to be done?

Does this happen to you? Fellow aspiring writers? Even former aspiring writers (aka published)? I'm struggling with this at the moment. One, I feel I'm cheating on my other idea. Two, it makes me wonder if my old idea isn't as great as I think it is and that's why I'm being tempted away. How does one battle the allure??

Here's my plan: 1st draft for manuscript one is almost finished. (Literally. But a few straggling scenes left to go.) Exercise discipline (?) to finish 1st draft. Then, while manuscript one cooks, begin working on idea two. Sound good?

I know I'm not the only story-oriented person this has happened to. How do you rationalize it? How do you to go forth and FINISH SOMETHING when such slithery temptations are on the horizon?

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