Thursday, March 26, 2009

Where Are We Going Again?

As a tie-in to yesterday's Wednesday Wondering, lets talk about figuring out where a plotline may be going.

So when I was younger I wrote a lot, but when I reached college, I was working full-time, had an over full-load of classes and little to no sleep. Unfortunately, the writing fell by the wayside. Now that I've picked it up again, I rediscovered my love for it about a year and a half ago, I find I have a hard time ever completely walking away.

My husband tells me I need to take a break once in a while, but I can't. I feel like I have nearly 10 years of stories in me and they all need to be told. Every single one of these characters have sort of become integrated into my day-to-day life. This is where my more recent issue has arisen.

I'm the sort to have multiple projects going on at all times. It's the Gemini in me, I can't help it. So besides my 3 completed ms, I have several WIPs right now at varying stages of completion. Some have a hundred pages, some have just a couple of sentences. Now for many of you out there, you understand what I mean when I say "inspiration can strike anywhere" and as cliche as that line may be, it's the truth.

As I said previously, general plotlines come to me out of order and then I have to figure out where they go amongst my many WIPs. After I have a completed or mostly completed ms is when I usually go back to do an outline. Then I tweak as necessary.

So if you're amongst the legions of writers (or is it just me?) who write completely out of order and with several WIPs going (does anyone else sense my A.D.D.?) how do you determine which WIP a new inspiration goes into? Or is it one of those things that you "just know" and can't explain?

Let me know your thoughts! Have a great day!


Being Beth said...

I don't write like you, but I am one who always has several WIP's going at the same time. I like to wake up and decide which set of characters I want to have in my life that day, whose story "feels right" for my mood.

I currently have five novels in some stage of completion or revision. I attended a writing conference and over lunch an editor asked about my writing. When I told him I had five novels going, he asked, "Why don't you pick one and finish it?" I didn't have an answer, so I gave it a try. I got bogged down and almost disengaged from the WIP. Not good.

I went back to working on whatever story I want on any given day. I'm happy with that system, and one of these days I'll have five novels ready to send out.

Windy said...

That's a good question to think about, Beth. Here's my answer to the "Why don't you pick one and finish it?"

I can't. Well, better for me to go with an "I choose not to," I suppose. Having several WIPs for me gives me somewhere else to direct my attention when I'm trying to work out the how's within a story.

Anonymous said...

Wow, you sound like you have a lot of writing going at once!

I probably don't have as many as you, but I definitely have what feels like a lot. (Some are short stories, some are novellas.)I know what you mean about having so many stories you want to tell.

I tend to work on only two or three at any given time, though. Sometimes I'm in more of an "edit" mood, sometimes I'm in more of a "start from scratch" mood, and sometimes I'm in more of a "let's move this thing along" mood, so I let my writing mood pretty much dictate what I work on. Then, as long as those characters keep me intrigued, I stay with them for awhile.

Fun to hear that others do this also, though! Thanks!