Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Just Keep Swimming

No news to report on the queries and manuscripts out there in the agent ether, but lately I've been thinking about the oft-shared advice to start something new while querying.

The new project is supposed to help me keep focused or less crazy or something. I have tried to do this. Really, I have. But there are a few problems with the "just keep swimming" approach:

1. There are three different books I've considered starting. Which do I start on? I know from experience that, like dating, it's hard to predict which is THE one from a few brief hours over coffee. So I've been bouncing around between the three totally radically absolutely different potential novels but haven't fallen head over heels for any of them yet.

2. I am totally preoccupied with the query process. At any given time, it's taking up about 35% of my attention. (That is when it's not taking up 100% of it)

3. I am sort of driven to return to the safety-net of revision, any revision. I have even considered returning for the umpteenth time to my first novel and reworking the plot (again!)

So, my question, fellow writers, is how do you keep sane during the query process?

If starting on something new is the answer-- how do you move past the old-shoe comfort of the novel you've finished?


Ariel Swan said...

It has been really hard. I too have gone back to revision - that is still on going of course with writing group and gives me the excuse of believing I am only at the precipice still. Otherwise - I started something new - but it was related to Distillation and without progress on that novel in terms of an agent for it - I have little gumption to work on on the second part. So...I have been tossing around ideas for something completely different. We'll see what happens over my next break from school - I might just write something else for fun and if it becomes something - great - if not - okay.

Misha said...

Can't really say, since I'm really only starting my revisions in around two hours.

But as for your first dilemma, may I suggest that you rather do something else (i.e. the revisions that are calling you)? If you aren't in love with the ideas you have already, will you be able to stick with them for however long it takes for you to finish them?

If you do something else, it gives your muse time to think up a really good plot that you will love. But don't go looking for it.

Best of luck!

Alicia Gregoire said...

Whenever I send queries out, if I don't have a project ready for edits/revision, I start a new project or catch up on my reading.

Travener said...

I was really absorbed by it the first couple of months. Then it became clear that it was going to go on and on. I hardly think about it now. I'd be writing if I had the time -- and a plot line to go with my idea...

N. Blank said...

i've queried books, gotten rejected, and then a year goes by and I'll look at what I queried and think "oh, why geez, no wonder no body liked it..." Every year we get better at our craft so long as we keep on writing swimming writing...oh i love that movie! :-)

Perri said...

Thanks for all the support, you guys. I'm still stumbling forward, trying to send out a new query for each rejection and working on a new something-or-other. (Not yet as in love with anything as I need to be)

Travener, I remember the sense of immediacy does fade after a while. (FGS is my second novel). Thanks for the reminder.

I love Nemo too-- didn't want to but just couldn't help it. :)