05 December 2010

*This Is My Secret

* Title credits go to the ever wonderful Kristin Cashore (it's the title of her blog and I thought it was perfect enough to use--cause I'm unimaginative like that XD).

So perhaps a few of you know that I write.  This is because I don't generally talk about my writing.  And that's because this is a book review blog.  Then there was this little voice that said, "But look, Amelia, it says 'Book Reviews AND MORE' at the top!"  And so here I am getting schooled by my own conscious and that simply won't do.  So I'm going to talk a bit about my writing.

I think there's one MAJOR draw back to being a writer--for this writer, at least.  I get an idea and I write it down.  I build up around it, figure out names, figure out places and what I want to happen and all that jazz.  It's going wonderfully--I've got several chapters down already!  And all the other ideas I get when I watch a TV show or a movie I let fly around my head and eventually they'll fly through my ears.

But then something else happens.

Not last night, but the night before that, I had a dream.  And this is not like a dream where you wake up and *snap your fingers* it's gone.  It was the vivid dream, with characters and intrigue already set up!  It was only a few simple scenes but I such a good taste of what the characters were like.  I already had a conflict.  This has never happened to me before.  Make no mistake, I've been DYING for it to happen.  If only I could get something solid like that!

But I've already got a story...

A story I've been working on for months and months and have already gotten almost two hundred pages.  Sure, my plot is sinking like a stone and I'm all grown up and nowhere to go but there's a lot of work there.

Eventually, I'm like, okay...just write down the dream and leave it.  Okay fine.  I do that.  Oh!  There's another great scene!  I'll write that down too.  Oh snap, and there's a perfect plot right there.  Bam!

But I've already got a story...

So here I am.  I've got five pages of great scenes and many more already in my head.  And yet I've got over 150 pages of another story already written.  These other characters are tugging at me.  Many authors describe their characters this way.  They come calling, knocking insistently at the door, tapping on the glass to get your attention.  But in the past I've chased after an idea only to have it disappear on me.  Is this different?  I think so.  Because of the dream that inspired it.  It isn't an urban fantasy like the 150+ pages story I have and it isn't a life threatening adventure either (or yet).  It's a romance.  The death-threatening kind.  Very Romeo and Juliet in a way only medieval.

This is why it can really suck to be a writer.  Once the Otherworld of ideas realizes that you're a potential conduit to get out into the world, you're suddenly bombarded with hundreds of greedy souls.

At least, that's how it feels to me.

I've got two essays due tomorrow and a picky idea prickling at the edge of my mind, THIS CLOSE to breeching my defenses.  I've caved this far--allowing myself to put down a few scenes.  The real question I'm struggling with is, should I pool my energies into this new idea and leave my old story to simmer for a while?

What say you, advisor?


Just for you all, I recently found some great blog posts that speak strongly to me.

Will Ludwigsen - Aid and Comfort: I love his soft and gentle way of talking about the struggles of writing.  He really hit the nail on the head when he talks about approaching one's writing.

Anne Osterlund - Inadequacy:  I love this entire post.  (And the way she personifies her characters always makes me smile.)