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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Between Books

For the last few weeks, I've been in this strange spot - nothing to do on TELL ME A SECRET at this point (but wait until June 22, 2010!!!), and nothing to do on CREED (yet).

So in this in-between time, I've been thinking about two different YA novels...and wondering which one to write next. Both ideas are relatively fleshed out with characters, plot, and even theme, though there's still plenty of room for creative surprises. Both will be demanding and exciting and draining and filling in all the ways first drafts are, though in different ways.

Can you ever have too many ideas? How do you decide which one deserves the next year (or more) of your life? Any advice from the trenches?

(Comic by Natalie Dee)


  1. That's a great question and one I answered for myself this summer. I wasn't sure what I wanted to write for my third novel, although I had a bunch of characters and ideas floating around in my head. The way I write is similar to the way I read, watching the story unfold as I go along. So, for me at least, it was summer and I chose to write something that I wanted to read at the time, with people that I wanted to hang out with and places I'd like to visit. With fall coming up, I would probably turn to something a little darker, or maybe cozier. That's how I choose.

  2. I go ahead and start both and one will usually take over....then when it's time to start the next, it's not so scary because there's already a first page!


  3. I definitely struggle with the too-many-ideas thing. And it sounds cheesy, but you have to go with the thing you care about most. If you can't choose, then you need to think more deeply about the stories that are tempting you. We say they're like our children, but in this way, they aren't. We can play favorites, and if we can't pick one, it's because we're still skating around on the surface.

  4. Flip a coin. By the time it's in the air, you'll know what story you're rooting for.

  5. I'm just trying to come up with enough for the first one. I read on someone's blog that an author said (man, who was it?) "Put everything you come up with in your book, don't leave it out." I'm thinking she meant first draft and you could weed out what doesn't work. What I get stuck on is - is this idea book worthy or just a little tendril of a subplot?

    BTW my captcha is PHOOST. I think my brain just made that sound!

  6. I say follow the character who's yelling the loudest. He/she's the one who wants to be heard first.

  7. Did you draw this Holly? Love the story-pusher guy. Awesome!