I have the tendency to work on many things at once. This, I’ve come to learn, is both good and bad. It was great when I had to balance school, work, and wedding planning. It’s not so good when it’s three different story ideas. I have one idea, go with it, and then pause because the other idea is all of a sudden so much better. And so on. Until nothing is done.
Here’s the thing – before I finished TNWSY, I had been thinking about it/working on it for years.I wrote a few chapters, hated it, gave up, moved on to something new. The thing is, every time I kept moving on, it was always in the back of my mind. Which is why I finally decided to force myself to write it during NaNoWriMo. And it was the best thing I could have done. Because finally, finally, the story I wanted to tell came out. It changed a ton since my first ideas blossomed, but I know it’s right now.
So now with TNWSY done and in querying stage, I’m working on Book 2. And Book 2 has become…a bit of a pain. Remember all of those other ideas I said I had? I decided “meh, forget those!” and started something new, something fresh. I had two characters I loved and…um…that was it. No concrete story around them. Nothing too inspiring.
And I felt terrible. I mean, really terrible. What if I was just one of those one-off writers?
And then an older story started flickering in my mind, and wouldn’t leave. It kept pestering me over and over until I addressed it. Said hello. Gave in to its poking.
And finally finally my writing felt right. So, I’m starting Book 2 over again. For a while it felt like giving up (like I’d done in the past), and I hated myself for that. But I think it’s more like giving in. To a new (old) idea. To something I know is better. And maybe I’ll re-visit those other characters again someday. Who knows, they may be pestering me once I’m doing with this book.
Have you ever gone back and re-started a book? Did it turn out to be what you meant to write in the first place?