First things first. My new project has left the nest, with story birds flying through cyber space on their way to the inboxes of Agent World. They bravely risk SPAM filters, challenging stares, and perhaps even “the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.” It is an exciting time for any story parent, I’ll say that, but my current quandary isn’t about that project, it’s about the next.
I have several first drafts ready to enter the next phase (I binged a bit on first drafts in the past year or so... because I love them and can’t ever get enough), and I have many new ideas clamoring to get free. And I’m really not sure which story to favor. In helping me with this decision, you must know that my process is to write a first draft, learn all the ins and outs, and then start on page one and write it over again, attending to all I’ve learned. So, whether I pick to write a second draft or a new first draft, the process will be the same. But my question isn’t so much about the process as much as the ideas. In the past, I’ve striven to take a completely different journey with each book I ready for market. My previous effort was YA fantasy; this one is apocalyptic YA. The next one could be post-apocalyptic or urban fantasy, or another I’m not sure how to categorize yet.
Please help. How do you pick the next story? Do you think about what’s going on in the market (which is my guess as to why I’m floundering in this decision making... too much thinking about business)? Do you go on the journey that is the pushiest? Do you start two (or three or four) and see which one wins the Story Gladiator Wars (I’ve done this before and it made my brain a little murky)?
And please cross fingers, toes, tentacles (hey, I’m not judging) that this story finds a receptive and eager agent. It would be lovely to get to the next step. :)
Quote for the Day from Betsy Cañas Garmon
“To decide is to walk facing forward with nary a crick in your neck from looking back at the crossroads.”