Wednesday, January 13, 2010

So Many Story Choices

I have a nice, catchy premise for my story. And the first fifty pages are written. It's almost entirely set between the hero and heroine and only a peep from a secondary character. However, there are a lot of different directions I could take the story and I'm dithering over which thread to follow.

I have too many ideas

Gasp.
 
This is a also a symptom of those perfectionist tendencies that tie me up in knots. Which is the best choice for the story? What if I pick the wrong one? What if I ruin the story? Okay, none of those things are disasters. I'll just delete and rewrite if I take the wrong path. Whew. Off the ledge.

Lots of exciting sales activities going on in our RWA chapter. Jennie Marsland has just received her first print book, check it out jenniemarsland.com and Lilly Cain's Dark Harmony debuts from esage this month www.lillycain.com.

And Donna Alward's newest, One Dance with a Cowboy from Harlequin Romance is now available. Check out her website and blog www.donnaalward.com

12 comments:

Janet said...

I have those same issues, Anne. I envision a great plot, follow it along in my head, and then stop cold when I realize it won't work. I start again, following along until I come across another plot hole, back it up. I'm always reminded of those maze games in Word Puzzle Magazines I used to get as a kid - you put your pencil at the beginning and then go until you hit a wall - erase, start again. I used to do them all mentally so I wouldn't have to erase - hmmm, guess I still do.

Great news for the Chapter members - it's a very prolific group, I'm pleased to be a part of it.

Michelle Helliwell said...

Is there any of those threads that resonate strongest with you? You could plop them all down in a notebook and see what one generates the most interest when you have them down in black and white.

Good luck with it. And you know what? I don't think you can ruin the story. It would just be a different story.

Great entry, great group! I'm proud to be a part of it.

Donna Alward said...

Well, you could be like me and have a GREAT idea for an opening only to write it, have your CP hate it and have to start over twice more because the fab idea in your head didn't translate on to the page AT ALL.

So I'm with ya. In fact, our word counts are similar (you're a bit ahead). Hang in there. The right answer will come and away you'll go. Or you'll screw it up and fix it. :-)

Anne MacFarlane said...

Janet, sometimes I let the accountant come out and I do a little flow chart. LOL. Doesn't really help but it's fun to do.

Michelle, I think none of the ideas were resonating strongly that's what the problem was. But I let them sit with me for awhile and that clarified things.

Donna, I ran my idea past my CP's this evening and they liked the direction I picked. So, I'm off to the races. Well, not really, just off to the next chapter.

Thanks for stopping by.

Lilly Cain said...

Hi Anne,

Thanks for the mention of my book! I think we all have those perfectionist problems. I am not much further ahead than you on the sequel and I stalled out 2 weeks ago. :( For all my goal setting, I have hit a snag that I am not sure what to do about. Sooo, I went and worked on something else. And guess what? The problem in the sequel cleared up when I left it alone! :) I am once again moving forward.

Good luck with your new direction,
Lilly

Kelly Boyce said...

Breathe grasshopper, breathe...

Cat Schield said...

And the alternatives you didn't choose can be filed away for other books. Of course, by that time you'll have a hundred other ideas.

Glad to hear you're off and running again. Did you decide to target Desire or Presents for this one?

Anne MacFarlane said...

Lilly, glad you were able to figure out your block and move on. Now that you have deadlines to worry about your going to have to channel Nora. "The muse can be a fickle bitch."

Anne MacFarlane said...

Cat, this one is for Desire, because my hero is not uber alpha.

I'm reading a lot of Presents and studying the winning entries over at iheartpresents to get a new idea for my next Presents.

Cat Schield said...

Good luck with both your writing endeavors. May the muse be with you. And all of us, for that matter.

Maisey said...

Anne, here's my insider information (hahaha). Reading Presents for ideas is the BEST way to get prepared. I've read SOOO many. And I love them. But remember that the editors like their 'twists' on popular themes. When my editor Called she told me they're looking for their new writers to push the line forward. So, don't be afraid to take some chances, while keeping within the guidelines of course. (see, this is why, no matter what people might say, writing category is NOT easy.)

Anne MacFarlane said...

Maisey, thanks for the tips.

I love reading Presents so I can't think of a better way to do my "homework."