Saturday, January 3, 2015

Last Week #16 - Old Novel vs. Blank Book

That's my pen not doing anything
because I don't know what to do!
Before I began work on my non-fiction project, I was working on a novel. Though circumstances inspired me to focus all my writing energy on my non-fiction, I still thought of the novel.  I'd occasionally write bits and pieces, putting them aside for the time when my non-fiction was completed.  

Then something happened.  I was given a blank book.  I thought, wouldn't it be cool to write a page every day and see what happens in a year?  So, I started.  For about three months, I wrote a page about some characters I created and their story.  It's a bit crazy, I want to go back and kill some people off, but the point was not to edit it until the book was full.  I realized, however, that the non-fiction needed even more of my time, so I stopped working on that fictional project too.  

I have time now, finally, so I started working on the blank book again.  It was the story I was working on most recently, so I thought I could more easily find that momentum again.  This week though, my mind hasn't been on the blank book, but on the old novel.  I've thought of a way to revamp the old novel, to make it possibly more interesting, to make the main character more interesting.  There also aren't as many characters in the old novel as in the blank book.  I'm wondering if that's part of my problem.  There are too many characters.  Yes, there are main ones, but they are part of a larger group making a journey.  Am I doing a disservice by not describing them all completely?  I was letting the blank book grow organically, letting myself be inspired by what I was reading and watching and other random things in my environment.  In my analyzing, I think I've lost some of that. 

Do I keep working on the blank book, or do I take a break from it and work on the old novel for a while?  Do I push through the blank book until it's full, making notations for adjustments I want to make?  I want to finish both; can I work on two novels at the same time?  I'm not sure what I want to do.

So, after all the holiday events, when I finally get a few hours to work on some writing, I find myself stuck, not knowing what to focus my energy on and wondering about the mistakes I've already made in both stories.  I can be my own worst enemy.

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