Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Yo-yo writing

You've heard of yo-yo dieting, but I've discovered the joy-pain-joy cycle of yo-yo writing.

I have WIP1, which is resting - I love the story, but I'm not sure it should be the next book, I think it would work better as the one-after-next.

So, I brought WIP2 out from under the bed and started to read it, loved it, hated it, tried to re-write it, decided it was perfect as it was, hated it...

... and searched out WIP3... Meh. Yeah, all right, I guess. Needs so much work... hmmm, but if I just take this sub-plot out, tweak this character, change this woman to a man... Oooh, I love this novel... Wait, no I hate it!

Where's WIP2? Great story... No it's not, it's too depressing and doesn't make sense

Am I making too much work for myself, should I just get WIP1 ready to submit?

BUT it's not the right story...

Oooh, that's a great line I've just woken up with in my head. Now, does it fit it WIP 2 or WIP3?

If you're in the middle of working on your most favourite story ever, I salute you - and feel a little jealous. I know I'm pretty lucky to have three great projects available for me to work on (which doesn't even consider the fact I've got another one gathering dust that Hubby thinks I should finish!) but there's something stopping me. I've got this horrible feeling that the stories are too big for me, that I won't be able to do justice to the characters and their plights.


38 comments:

  1. First of all, NOTHING is too big for you. Okay, it might take you a while to figure out how best to get the story out, but you WILL! I don't know which WIP is which here, but I muchly love creepy Abe, and if you don't get that out soon, I might cry! :p

    And yo-yo writing, I'm pretty sure, is fairly common!

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    1. Thank you - for your info WIP1 is Abe, WIP2 is depressing and WIP3 is the hotel (yep, that's still getting an occasional airing, just because I love that countdown opening so darn much!) Please don't cry though :-)

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  2. I understand your mixed feelings Annalisa. I've started the second book in my crime series. I've also started a standalone novel that is a different genre and just something I'd love to do and for some bizarre reason another crime series character has popped into my head so I have wrote some notes for it.

    How do we look at that problem now? In a practical way I'd suggest. If our writing is a long term career, which book Should we work on first and with full concentration. Giving it our all, it won't take as long to move into the next one as dilly-dallying with decisions as we both are doing.

    For me - it's now down to two. The good thing with your decision is that your first draft is done.

    Good luck!

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    1. Yes, all my stories exist in some form or another, and to be honest, it's good to have options rather than nothing at all. I agree, I need to choose and put all my energy into it. I hope you make your decision soon too Rebecca :-)

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  3. I know other people who experience "yo yo writing" (love that term by the way). I have experienced it a lot with my blog LOL

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    1. Sometimes it just seems like there are too many ideas in my head that it's easier not to write anything! Which is counter-productive to say the least!

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  4. Just last night I was looking at a pair of WIPs that haven't seen the light of day in a while. One I love but just don't have time for right now, and the other I am intrigued by but wouldn't know what to do with it if I did have time for it. Someday...

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    1. The both sound great though. Just keep them close by and inspiration will strike!

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  5. I have a few mss where I love the story idea but that I don't know what to do with them, how to write them, as if I don't yet have the skills, the knowledge, to do them justice.

    And my husband has learned to nod and smile or shake his head and frown along with the ups and downs of having a wife who's an expert at yo-yo writing. :)

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    1. Someone who just nods is perfect. I have a friend who tries to help with my plot problems and I just want to run away screaming 'no no no no!' We'll always get there in the end.

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  6. It is a nice problem to have, and hopefully all these stories will see fruition at some point! You could set aside a few weeks for each one where you focus on it exclusively, and then see how things stand. I'm the opposite. I have tunnel vision with whatever I'm writing currently, and if I go off it, then it gets shelved. That means I've got a few WIPs behind me which I'd like to work on, but they feel too distant. So, I'm hoping my current project will be the one!

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    1. It's probably easier to have one idea at a time. Fingers crossed this is the one :-)

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  7. Even if they feel too big, I think you should start whittling away at them. Think how amazing they could be and I bet you'll surprise yourself!

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    1. I actually started this morning on one of them - the file that was physically closest - and I've written 500 words!

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  8. If they feel too big then that is just the challenge you need!

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  9. I think we all go through a love hate relationship with our stories. I do understand the thought that some stories are are too big for my current level of ability, but that passes as you delve into them.

    Sia McKye Over Coffee

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    1. I mostly struggle with sub-plots and too many characters. If I had my way, I write novellas with just two characters... but I have a feeling they wouldn't sell very well.

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  10. You've summed up exactly how I feel - my novels are too big for me! I feel as though I'm going to get lost in them, lose my way, lose the plot! Thinking of each chapter as a short story doesn't help, either! Just choose one and write it, without worrying about whether it's the next book. It will be one of them, anyway!

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    1. Great advice. I picked one this morning, and I'm going to see how far I get.

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  11. I completely sympathize. I do the same thing. I love it, hate it, put it down, pick it up, it's fantastic, hate it. It's ridiculous, but it's the fragile ego of a writer at work! Perhaps ask your CPs and betas what they like best.

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    1. I've had some great feedback on all three, so that's helped a little bit.

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  12. Although I don't have anything as big as a novel or book in the progress, I have several writing commitments to keep up with. Trying to come up with ideas, get them from thought to paper is overwhelming sometimes. I have to break them down, keep index cards with ideas for each project and then just pick one and work on it a bit. Not easy though-- can't imagine with big projects like the ones you're juggling!

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    1. Luckily, each of them are complete novels... they're just not very good at the moment!

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  13. I totally used to do that--back when I just wrote for fun. Some days I wish I could go back to that. Most days, actually. *sigh* Hey, life is good wherever you're at.

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    1. Luckily I've got two projects just waiting for the go-ahead. If I was trying to work on my next ms to be published, I'd be panicking a little bit right now!

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  14. I miss the writing for fun days. I hate the constant worry and if I let it, it shuts me down. My mom told me people were asking her how many copies I've sold, and it gave me the worst insecurity. I'm tired of being judged, I just want to write stories! (At least this is what causes my pendulum of love and hate to swing back and forth...the worry over success!)

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    1. People I work with are starting to take an interest - mostly because I'm bombarding their Facebook feeds - but I wish I could ban the 'how many have you sold?' question.

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  15. I think it's okay to yo-yo write on different projects. Different moods on different days will yield interesting results. Anxiety on one, move to another. No matter what you'll make progress.

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    1. Unfortunately my characters demand my full attention - once I decide, I'm in it for the long haul... But on the plus side, I have decided!!

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  16. You can start by going at it little by little.

    www.modernworld4.blogspot.com

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  17. I've found I kind of like jumping from story to story. It keeps things interesting. ;)

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    1. I get so emotionally invested in my characters - because I give them SUCH a hard time - that I find it more difficult. It's cool you can work like that though, it must take the pressure off too :-)

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  18. Hi Annalisa .. I think Yo-Yoing is easy to do with many things - unfortunately! I certainly oscillate around my blogging subjects - but then I'm not trying to keep characters, scenes and chapters in some cohesive force through thousands of words .. I so admire writers the more I hear!

    Good luck - it'll sift through the quagmire and hit the light - you're still writing and that's the main thing .. Hilary

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    1. Oh, these scenes and chapters need to be COHESIVE... That might be part of my problem :-)

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  19. Totally empathise - I'm on Chapter 4 of a new children's book (No.3 of a trilogy), rewriting an existing previously pubbed title and halfway through editing another. I'm enjoying the variety but every now and then I get burnt out and have to step away. Yo-yo writing is a great phrase and describes the process perfectly!

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    1. Good luck with all those projects. Having a couple of days off always makes me feel more focused.

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Please comment - I love a good chat!