Monday, May 7, 2012
Tantrum versus Perfection
Novelists live their lives with characters and plot lines running through their heads. That can be great fun. It can also make you a bit nuts.
I’m often asked what I do when I get a great idea for a new book while writing my current WIP (work-in-progress). Other than jotting down a few notes, I try to ignore them. Why? Because the next book is always so tempting over the one I’m currently struggling with … er … I mean, currently writing.
Picture it this way.
The WIP is like a toddler who has thrown herself down on the floor at the local grocery store and is screaming and wailing and slapping hands and feet on the black-and-white tiles of Aisle 7. You (the author) would like nothing better than to run away from the scene. It is so embarrassing. How could you possibly be the parent of this unruly child? (Doesn't mean you don't love the little tyrant. Just means you wish she would behave.)
The new idea, however, is like that baby in the womb. Precious. Perfect. Desperately wanted. You just know she will excel all the way through life, never causing you a moment of embarrassment or doubt or grief or headaches. There is nothing but potential in her future. She will be admired and praised and beautiful and intelligent. She could even grow up to be President!!!
You forget that, after the perfect new idea is birthed, it will soon become a toddler.
I'm a little better than one-third of the way into my WIP. She hasn't been terribly unruly yet, but I'm beginning to catch a glimpse every now and then of toddler-rebellion in her eyes.
Did I mention my ideas for my next series? Brilliant. Precious. Perfect.