Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Deciding on the Next Project

It's coming!!! And, no, I'm not talking about Halloween. Instead I'm talking about NaNoWriMo. As most of you already know, NaNo is a writing "contest". We "compete" to see if we can write 50k words of a new wip during the month of November. Check out the nifty blog badge on the sidebar of my blog to see an example of the fantabulous "prizes". (No more quotation marks, I promise!)

I love NaNo. I had so much fun entering last year. I'm going into it this year, fully knowing my life is so crazy busy, it'll be nothing short of a miracle if I can win again. But I'm going to give it a shot.

My biggest problem is that I don't know what I'm going to write about. And the competition is sneaking up like any good Halloween ghoul.

It's not that I don't have any ideas. Rather, I have too many! I just can't choose.

Choice #1 - Steampunk YA. I've never written steampunk, I've never written YA, but this idea has wiggled its way into my brain and just won't let go. Thanks, Calista :)

Choice #2 - A (sort of) cozy mystery, with a female mc who could most definitely be a focus for a series of books.

Choice #3 - (Sort of) Paranormal mystery with a romantic twist. This idea has been pestering me for several months, but during my research for the idea, I've run into a couple of blocks as the mystery involves histories from several cultures.

There are more, but those are the top 3... at the moment. This is more proof that I'm just not built to colour within the lines all the time. My brain just doesn't work that way. But it's fun!

Do you ever have difficulties choosing your next project? How do you choose which is going to get your undivided attention?


  1. Oh Jemi, you finally picked the one writing thing I can do!

    I have too many ideas. They come all the time. I write them down on the backs of restaurant receipts, on post its, and on the notes on my iphone. Usually, some random thing sparks an absurd premise. I HAVE to write it down, or I never remember.

    Then I type the premise into a word document. I might only have a sentence or two for months, but I add to the "story skeleton" anytime a new thought pops into my head. I have lots and lots of "skeletons" in my (closet) computer!

    Some of those ideas will never come to fruition. But they are there, waiting for me.

    I like your Steampunk idea and your cozy mystery idea best. Which idea do you think about the most when you're about to fall asleep, or when you're driving to school. Pick the one you daydream about the most?

    Thanks for the post!

  2. Great ideas, Jenny! I have to get better at writing down all my ideas. I do write some of them, but others just slip away.

    Hmmm, right now, I'd say the steampunk one is the one taking up most of my daydreams and thoughts. It was the cozy, but for the last week or so, the steampunk has taken over.

    I'm kind of leaning that way now, because the cozy is an idea that just won't go away - it will still be there for sure when Nov is over. Plus, I don't know if I want to attack it NaNo style.

    At least, that's my thought process way too late on a Tuesday evening :)

  3. I've had three projects going since I finished my last manuscript. They are making me crazy! For NaNo I am going to buckle down and choose one!

  4. All of these sound fantastic, Jemi. I understand your hesitation about #3. I have a single historical thread in my proposed project and I'm worried about how to handle it. Can't imagine wrangling multiple histories and multiple cultures. #2 sounds fun, I'm a mystery fan. But I love how you describe #1 - so much energy. I mean it's NaNo, right? What better time to write a genre you've never written before? Unless something else speaks to you between now and Nov 1, I vote for steampunk YA.

  5. Natalie - you've been working on all 3!! I'm impressed - not sure I could do that. One in writing, one in editing is enough for me :)

  6. VR - yes, the research has kind of been grinding #3 to a halt. Most of the cultures I'm very familiar with - our small city is very multi-cultural and as a teacher I'm able to get to them these cultures quite well. But I set the story in the US with a 1st nations culture I don't know so well. I might switch the setting to closer to home, but that changes other things. Arg! :)

    You're so right about the energy and fun of of NaNo! Thanks for the input!

  7. I admire your tenacity with so much going on in your life - and head by the sound of things!

    Go with your gut. It's normally right. Funny that I know. But normally when we reflect, it's always the same. Should have, should have, should have. Damn it, if only I went with ....? get my gist :)

    You go girl. You did it before. You can do it again. Fingers and toes crossed for you honey.

  8. Good luck with NaNo! I'll be lurking over there.

    I have a hard time decided which plotline to use for a particular project...I'll have several ideas for a cozy and have a hard time deciding.

    Write the cozy! You knew I was going to say that. :)

    Mystery Writing is Murder

  9. I left a little bling for you at my blog. ;-))

  10. Jemi,

    They all sound great, and I have no doubt that you will succeed no matter which way you go.

    If you decide on three, you can join me with my 1st People's cultural immersion. My research was out of this world fun.

    best of luck~

  11. I choose the project that is the loudest, "Pick me! Pick me!", it cries, by way of creeping into my thoughts constantly. So, I guess you could say the projects pick me in the end. Good luck. Writing a novel in 30 days is insane!

  12. Quillfeather - thanks for the vote of confidence! Sorely needed right about now. My gut's still screaming steampunk, we'll see what it is by November 1st! :)

  13. Elizabeth S - Yes, I did know you were going to say that :) Thanks for the well wishes!

  14. Debra - Thank you so much! You're a reall sweetie. I'll pass along my luck in the next day or two :)

  15. Cat - thanks :) I'm leaning away from #3, but just for now. I don't think I can do it justice during NaNo. I've still got a pile of research to do before I'm ready to write it. And I really want to do it properly!

  16. Elizabeth B - you're so right - NaNo is truly insane. And I love it :)

    I love your Pick Me analogy. Hmmm, the steampunk is pretty loud right now!

  17. You know, it's really hard for me to come up with an idea that I think will hold water for like 400 pages. I've changed over the years I've been writing. Now I usually get hit with just one idea, an idea that I can't seem to let go of. For me that's the real sign that I'm onto something good: I remember it, day after day, week after week. And man, don't EVEN get me started on short story ideas. I feel it's way easier to come up with ideas for books than it is ideas for short stories!

  18. I'm so jealous of everyone doing nano!!!! I signed up, but am still working on the first draft I'd hoped to be finished with by the end of October... Probably won't finish it before mid-November.

    It's very similar to your idea #3 - and the reason why it's taking me longer is because of all the research I've been doing for the historical background... It has been SUPER fun, but it has been a hinderance on the writing. That may be something to consider in making your choice!!

    Good luck... I look forward to updates - I'll have to live vicariously this year...

  19. Steampunk! Steampunk! : )

    I can't wait to see which one you'll choose. It'll be great no matter what. But with that said, I'll say it one more time... Steampunk! Steampunk! : )

  20. and yes, do nano! Nano really rocks!

  21. rklewis - I'm not surprised your stories won't let you go. Having read some of your stuff, I can attest your ideas are strong and powerful - definitely stuff to grab you by the throat!

    I've never been one for short stories - one of these days I'll have to try them out!

  22. Hi Sara - it's interesting to hear an opinion from someone who tried something similar. That was exactly my worry with #3. I just don't think NaNo is the time for it, although I'm so excited about the idea. I think I'll probably put it on hold until the new year. Thanks for popping by!

  23. Calista - I'm shocked you want me to do a steampunk! LOL :) After we talked last week, the idea, just won't let me go! It's definitely in the lead at the moment :)

  24. If you are pressed for time, I'd lean towards whatever is going to be the most fun and give you the most energy. You know, the kind of story you...just...can't...stop writing.

    Dang, NaNo is sneaking up on me. I have the main idea for a story, but I'm not sure if the way it's got to lay out will come to me in time. I have the general 'idea', but there is still so much I need to know before I write this story. If I don't, I will be in editing h-e-l-l for the next decade. And that's no fun.


  25. Good luck with NaNo, I don't have the courage to even try :)

  26. Jean - I'll probably right there in editing hades with you :) I just have general ideas as well - no outline as usual. We'll just have to see how it goes!

    Carolyn - I think it takes more craziness than courage :) I'm just not sure how far I'll get - it's going to be a wild and crazy month!! Think about giving it a shot next year. It is a lot of fun.

  27. I don't have problems with the "next project." I have four more books all planned out in my head and as soon as Nanowrimo is over (to finish draft for two books) I will wite the other two.

    Stephen Tremp

  28. Stephen - sounds like you're very organized, Stephen! I try to be like that, but I often get a new idea that pushes my nice, neat schedule to the side :) Plus, I'm a pretty global thinker, so that doesn't bother me in the least!