Take A Number At The Counter Please

That’s really what I’d like to tell my story ideas.  Why can’t they at least run around my head in an orderly fashion?  This jumbling about and yelling is very distracting, especially since the choice has been made already.  Yes, I am ready to move on to the next project, have been on it for a couple of days in fact, but hadn’t felt that moved to post about it yet.  I’m reasonably moved now, as evidenced by the fingers on the keyboard.

It’s Possession, by a long shot, and I think anyone (including me) could have called that.  Let’s start with the fact that I’d already begun the outline.  We can move on from there to the fact that I’m already into those characters and that overall story.  And Tavis refuses to let go of my brain anyway.  With what I’m about to do to him, well, that might change.  I’m not sure he’ll forgive me, and even after that, it’s going to get worse.  I’m sorry, Tavis, really, but I have to.  One of the more interesting things I’m finding as I work my way through outlining Possession and making notes for The Nine as things come up that affect that story is that Dark Mirror (not willing to spring the tentative new title here yet, but there is one) is almost more of a character-oriented story.  It’s more intimate (get your minds out of the gutter), less about big events.  That comes later, in the second and third books.  I’m not sure yet if it’s a good thing or a bad thing, or just different.  DM sets up several of the things that go on later, so I think it’s necessary to tell the whole story, but I’m not sure how I feel about the difference between the one I’ve written and the one I’m working on.  Mulling shall be done about this, though not too much as I’m trying to gain a bit of distance before I  judge DM’s readiness to go to test readers.  And god knows, I’m hands down my harshest critic, so there’s at least a chance that it’s more eventful than I realize, or at least more involving than I think.  I’ll have to wait and see.

The other ideas are still around, still in my iPad and being noted, worked on, all that good stuff, but they aren’t front of mind anymore.  I need to focus more than that when I’m outlining, or I risk mixing up what I’m working on.  I did just have fun dropping a bombshell into my outline, and now I’m playing with the aftermath (insert evil author laugh here).  I’m looking forward to working on it some more this weekend.  I’m not going to push myself on having it ready by a certain date, but it may be there in another week and a half to two.  Then the outline goes in a drawer for a few days before I reread it and see what needs tweaking before I start in on Page 1.

I kind of have a game plan developing in my head, very loosely, for my next several novels.  It’s mostly which one I’ll work on in what order, and it’s subject to being tossed like any other draft should circumstances go against it.  The reason it’s there is to keep me going and maybe get me building toward and practicing the skills I’ll need for a few of my more ambitious projects that I’ve mentioned.  We’ll see where that actually gets me, but it’s nice to have some kind of idea where I’m trying to go.  No, I’m not planning on sharing it here, for a variety of reasons, including the changeable nature of the plan.

Also being mulled is the whole traditional publishing vs self-published ebook.  Really not sure.  Most of me is looking at the second option though, for a lot of good reasons, including a very healthy (maybe excessive) dose of cynicism about the traditional publishing industry.  I’m still working through it though and talking with people about it, then mulling their thoughts.  It’s still early for that, though, as I have no idea how DM turned out or how long it will be before I’m ready to take that step.  And make no mistake, I won’t be half-assing that.  If it isn’t ready, it doesn’t go out the door.  That’s always going to be my theory on publishing, and the control that takes is very much part of what is driving me toward that self-publish option.  We’ll see.

And today’s picture, before I go, is here.  I seem to have a large number of pictures of insects on flowers, and I don’t know why, as I’m not overly fond of bugs.  But they can be fun to shoot, if they sit still long enough.

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About Julie

I'm a writer and photographer. I always have something with me to take notes for ideas or writing projects I'm thinking about or have on the go. I also like to go around with my camera and take pictures of anything that strikes me as beautiful or evocative. I'm perpetually working on one story or another, while waiting for enough distance to judge the last one (or more). I'm always working on several projects at once, developing the next book, even as I'm editing the last. Beyond that, there's always plenty of scraps and twists of ideas rolling around in my head, eventually turning themselves into full blown stories.
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25 Responses to Take A Number At The Counter Please

  1. It always amazes me when writers have SO many ideas. I mean, I have a few, but not tons. Makes me wonder if I’ll run out of ideas (scary) even though the other stories are always rolling around in my head. Good luck with Possession!

    • Julie says:

      Sometimes the ideas roll around in the lint in my mind for a while before they grow big enough to become anything. I also have the advantage of writing genre fiction (fantasy mostly) where ideas can come from as simple a place as taking something normal and turning it upside-down, just to see what it becomes. 🙂

  2. Love the autumn leaves giving way to the spring flowers!

    The comment above is totally what I’d have said too .. I never have any ideas, so it amazes me how you writers can a) have them and b) turn them into something other than that jumble in your head!

    • Julie says:

      Thanks, I’ve always liked that picture. It’s one of the prints waiting for a frame. Gotta get out of writing long enough to make it to ikea for that though.

      As for the ideas, as I said, writing fantasy helps. I write about magic a lot, I think partly because I seem to use some to turn words into stories. At least, some days it feels that way 😀

      • is it weird that I don’t get fantasy .. feel free to send me some so I can change my views but .. I’m one of those horrible people .. (who doesn’t like your genre lol)

      • Julie says:

        Not all genres are for all people. That’s why we have so many of them. And if I was sending you fantasy to change your mind, it wouldn’t be mine (I’m too rookie). I’d send you published people I’d kill to write as well as. I’d also need to know more about the books you’ve read and liked in the past (can you tell I used to do stuff like this for a living once?)

      • Oooh ok I will send you a list .. it’s horribly “mainstream” . sigh .. I was once compared to Nanny Og, is this a good or bad thing? I have no idea but he seemed to say it in a good way lol

  3. Ben Shotter says:

    Again, love the photo. Your story’s sound really interesting, I love fantasy. I think it’s great to walk over to a book that your reading and completely immerse yourself into a complete other world, taking away any worries and difficultys that life brings along.

    • Julie says:

      Thanks. And I agree about fantasy. I have always loved that aspect of the genre, which is why it makes up the majority of my reading. I appreciate the compliment to my story. My very vague and not-remotely-set-in-stone plans have been to offer a short sample here (maybe) when I’m ready to publish DM, but we’ll see whether I do go with that. It’s barely on the radar at the moment, as I’m staying concentrated on getting it to that standard in the first place. As for the rest of my story ideas, we’ll see what they develop into.

  4. A writing site I frequent once had a guest post from a published author who suggested that one should never hold back ideas for future use, make stories as strong as they can be at the given moment.

    This was a could of years ago when I was very early into the outlines of TWO stories with distinctly different subjects that had been addressed before, but then I rolled them into the same story and came up with something I haven’t seen in the marketplace before (hopefully I’ll be the first!)

    Have you ever considered COMBINING some of your ideas?

    • Julie says:

      Believe me, Sean, every idea or even fragment of an idea I have gets jotted down somewhere. Sometimes they’re just an image even, or a phrase. Those kinds of things often do get combined into something that comprises a whole story. What I’m working on now, and anything at the outline/concentrated notes stages (4 or 5 of those atm) are possibly too advanced for that. In fact, I don’t think I could do that with the trilogy, because there’s a lot going on already in the later parts. I am still toying a bit though with ideas for DM, but I think I’ll hold off on that until I send it to my test readers, because I really do suspect that it may not be as bad as I think it is. I’m notoriously unfair to myself.

      That said, I’ve been watching a friend do exactly what you suggest and it’s working out well for her. It’s going in the mental file of things to try down the road, when I run into road blocks. I also have a tendency with things that seem too boring or done to take one part of it and turn it on it’s head, just to see what happens. That’s why I had to totally rewrite DM, come to think of it. That one fundamental thing that I made the opposite of what I originally envisioned changed everything else about the story, very much for the better.

  5. quix689 says:

    I’m not sure if you’ve read this site (http://kriswrites.com/), but I’ve been keeping up with it for the last few weeks, and it’s definitely started to change my opinion about self-publishing. I’m still not sure which way I’ll go once I actually get to that stage, but I’m definitely considering self-publishign a lot more now than I was before I read her site. It’s worth checking out if you haven’t already. Also, I’m glad things seem to be working out with your novel. I have a trilogy of my own that I would like to be working on, but there are so many plot holes I might not get to it in a while.

    • Julie says:

      Thanks for the link, Quix. I have read a couple of her posts, and even more by her husband, Dean Wesley Smith. That’s part of what has me seriously taking a look at self-publishing and thinking about how I would go about getting a cover (my chief art is photography. can’t draw to save my life), business things like that. As I get closer to actually having DM ready to publish, you’ll see the thought process pop up here more and more, I think. I’m partly working through it, partly trying to offer people who might also be having this conversation with themselves the benefit of the things I find, along with my thoughts and feelings on it.

      I know what you mean about work that you’re not ready to get to for a while. I’ve a bunch of those on the back burner while I work on this set and try to learn from the experience.

  6. It’s better to have a lot of ideas jostling around in your head than none at all! As for publishing vs. self-publishing . . . a friend of mine self-publishes through his own digital press, Oktopod (oktopods.wordpress.com), and seems to be happy with the results! I’m considering self-publishing some books of mine that are out of print.

    • Julie says:

      I definitely agree about too many ideas being better. And I’m learning how to make notes on them then put them aside while I work on my current project, which is good.

      It’s funny, the whole out of print thing is one of the myriad reasons I’m looking at self-publishing. I understand the economic reasons why traditional publishers take books out of print after a while, but as a writer I’m not a fan of the situation. Hell, finding older books by one of my favourite authors in stores is incredibly difficult. I wonder how often an author gets missed because of this situation. Now, admittedly, if I self-publish electronically, I won’t be in book stores at all, but at least then I can ensure the book stays available, something I don’t have the option of with trad-pubing. As I’ve said before, I go back and forth on it a lot, because there are pros and cons to both sides, but I’m swinging slowly toward self-publishinig, once the manuscript is ready at least. We’ll see if that holds up when it comes time though. Right now, it’s just interesting to watch the situation and conversation develop.

      I’d definitely encourage you to at least look seriously at self-publishing the out of print ones, though, and make your own decision based on what’s right for you. I’ve never been an advocate of the one-size-fits-all approach to anything.

  7. Em says:

    I’m big on shooting bugs too! Oh wait, maybe that’s not what you meant…

    I’m also on the fence about trad pub versus epub, but I guess I’ll see how it all starts rolling out once the actual manuscript is finished. And I also worry that maybe I won’t have another idea after this one. I’d love to have the issue of having too many ideas!

    • Julie says:

      Just remember what I said that day in the car, Em. I love nature, really, just not when it crawls on me 🙂

      That’s essentially my plan, finding out what’s going on now so I can be prepared to make a decision when I’m ready with this thing.

      And I know you, you’ll have more ideas. If not, I’ll phone you and we’ll “what if” until you do. I find that’s where some of my favourite ideas come from, turning things over and asking what if they were like that instead. When you’ve read DM, I’ll tell you how I came up with the idea for it, it’s a perfect example of that principle in action.

      • Em says:

        I think the problem is that every time I THINK I have an idea, I’m pretty sure it’s been done. And even though I’m well aware that pretty much everything HAS been done and you just have to find a new way of doing it, that irritates me.

        Is that just making excuses? Absolutely. But it still irritates me.

      • Julie says:

        Like I’ve said in many places, take a fundamental part of that idea and flip it around completely, then see what the consequences are. Just about guaranteed to make any idea fresh, or at least fresher. Btw, you should never have admitted you knew it was an excuse, because you know I can NEVER let you get away with that now, right? Or was that the Evil Em Plan? 😉

  8. Hi. I have nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award. I was recently nominated (http://thebeachwriter.com/2012/01/23/a-word-about-an-award/) and have chosen you as one of my 15. Congratulations!

    The rules of this nomination are as follows.

    1. Thank the award-giver and link back to them in your post.
    2. Share 7 things about yourself.
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