Wannabe Writers #11

by Madeleine Rex

Wannabe Writers is an informative and intriguing meme hosted by Sarah at Confessions of the Un-Published.

Where I am in the Writing Process: OK, I’ll admit: I’m still in the sitting around stage. I’m doing research on the topic of freelance writing, etc. (and am very grateful for the latest Writer’s Digest issue) and trying to decide how I might be able to incorporate a few features into my life. I really want to be published somewhere, so I’m working on that. My mom’s also going to take me out to take pictures of that wonderful building I mentioned in my last Wannabe Writers post.

My Current Problems: None. – Boy, that sounds good.

The Question this Week: When do you drop a storyline, give up and move on to something new?

That’s a wonderful question (and I’m going to twist it a little). I think its answer, though, depends on our personal tendencies. If you can multitask well, I don’t see why you shouldn’t work on multiple (however, it’s probably smart to stick to two) writing projects at once. I think that I, personally, wouldn’t be able to work with the same degree of focus or write as well if I were attempting to write a million things at once. I’d get confused, and this is coming from a girl who’s fairly good at multitasking.

My plan is to work on small projects in my free time for a bit while working on editing my MS. During the summer, when I have more time, I intend to edit for a strict amount of time each day and allow myself to work on broadly planning my next project. My upcoming writing endeavor should require an enormous amount of planning and thinking-over, and I don’t want to lose precious summer time. Yet, I don’t believe I could be writing, or even plotting, two books at once. Editing while plotting on the side sounds a bit more manageable.

Now, if you’re thinking about dropping a storyline or project that you haven’t finished with no intention of picking it up again later, that’s an entirely different ordeal. It’s like severing a relationship. It would be totally ridiculous to take this lightly. You need to weigh all the pros and cons three times over.

That’s not to say that I haven’t dropped hardly written MS’s without a moment’s thought – when I was ten. I sorta-kinda gave up on Forbidden awhile back, but I knew that I would later try again. Forbidden is to be my next project. When I dropped it originally, it was because I had been going about it all wrong. It needed so much nurturing and plotting that I wasn’t prepared to give or do. I knew that I needed to nail-down a process and learn to write and plot seriously. Winging it simply would not work when I was dealing with a new universe, wacky and terrifying creatures, etc. So, I wrote my current WIP and learned to really write. Now, I’m prepared. I know what I’m signing up for.

Whether you’re moving on to something new completely or working on two projects simultaneously, it’s quite clear that the decision must be heavily pondered.

3 Commentsto “Wannabe Writers #11”

  1. Great advice. I really believe this is going to be my busiest summer ever.

  2. I hadn't thought about it, but dropping a storyline *is* a serious endeavor. With all the ones I've dropped, I've done so rather flippantly (they all deserved it), but when/if it happens in the future, I'll have to weigh the decision more seriously.

    Keep us updated on how the freelance writing goes and good luck! 🙂

  3. The recent Writer's Digest issue was really good. Freelance writing isn't easy, but if you're committed and have the time and discipline to do it, the spoils can be promising. When I made the decision to pursue that route, it ushered in a maelstrom of change. I kept paring things down until I found a system (in progress) that's workable and to my liking.

    In terms of relinquishing a story line, I don't. I'm not satisfied simply shoving it aside and saying adios. If it isn't working I need to know why, even if the answers don't come immediately. Without some investigation I'm bound to replicate the problem. Probing typically leads to insight and alternative solutions that usually provide a better outcome.

    Good luck!

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