Monday, April 11, 2011

The Quandary

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)?

Do tell.

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.”


Cheyanne said...

Good luck with your queries! My manuscript is swimming in query land as we speak.

I have a lot of trouble picking which story to focus on and write, but in the end, I have to go with my gut feeling. Last month I was torn between two half-written manuscripts and couldn't choose which one to focus on, so I just started writing an entirely new book. And I love it so far.

Debra Lynn Lazar said...

"Story Gladiator Wars" - love it! I wrote the first 50 pages of my new project, and have slowed down a bit since then. I don't put a lot of thought into "what's hot," but rather "what I'm interested in." For me, it's always about writing the book I want to read.

I'm sprinkling virtual AC fairy dust on your queries, btw. ;-)

Elena Solodow said...

I usually just wait until one wins out. The same things happen to me when I read. I can't decide on one book, so I start several. The further in I get, the more interested I become in one of them and that's what I stick with.

Elena Solodow said...

And I forgot to say - good luck with your queries!!

Laura Marcella said...

I don't think about the market because it's always changing. I guess I pick the next idea that sounds the most interesting to me at the time, the one I want to write because I can't wait to read it.

Good luck and sending lots of positive thoughts that your story finds a home!!!

Jemi Fraser said...

Wishing you the best of luck with the babies who've left the nest!

I've got a ton of ideas and a few first drafts always clamouring for attention! I tend to go with the character who's screaming the loudest to get out! :)

ben said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brian Nelson said...

I am sure that you know my vote. Post-apocalyptic puppet mayhem. If that doesn't work, I am sure you want to review my screen plays more.

Shallee said...

I'm having this exact dilemma right now. My current wip is about to leave the nest too, and I have two stories I want to write for different reasons. I've worked some on both of them, and I still haven't decided which will be next. One thing I'm finding is that it's the characters that tend to sway me on what project I'll write next. If there's one I really love, I'm more keen to write that story.

I don't know if that helps at all. Good luck-- and good luck with your querying!