This is usually what happens.
I am working on a book, writing and writing like crazy, and then usually in the middle it will become a little less easy to write, but then I press through and finish it off and then feel super good about myself.
Only, sometimes, and all the more recently because I’ve been working on a vast array of completely different story-worlds, I get this impatient little knock in the back of my mind.
I am busy, tapping away, brain storming, caught up in the momentum of the current book I am writing, and then I hear it.
Knock, knock, knock.
Usually they let themselves in. My characters I mean. I know it sounds crazy, but there, up in my head, they find the spare key – because they know where I keep it – unlock the door and let themselves in and take a seat in the back of my head.
Okay – I say to myself – so they’re there. They’re sitting in the back of my mind, which is fine, I’ll just finish what I’m working on.
But then, they’ll tap their foot, almost willing me on, without words saying ‘hurry up… come on Jess, you’re taking a million years.’
Every so often I’ll take a look over my shoulder at them, noting that yeah, they’re still there, just as I left them when I last scripted THEIR stories, and yes they want me to pick up their narrative and write it again but I am in the middle of something.
They’ll have to wait.
‘But you don’t understand how interesting I am.’ the character will whisper, ‘My storyline is SO different than what you’re writing now, my story is really awesome you’ll love it way more than what you’re working on now.’
‘No!’ I reply, ‘wait your turn. If I stop in the middle of this book I’ll lose momentum and it will be super hard to catch up again.’
The character rolls their eyes, ‘sure. Whatever.’
So I take up tapping again, writing and writing.
‘What about a brain storm? Just think about me? About what my story could be? Make some notes in your notebook, that’s not that big a deal right?’
But I know myself and I know I’ll get distracted, and if anything I need to keep my head clear for this idea I’m writing now. It’s a big one, I need to keep everything straight, not getting distracted.
So I tell them to wait. To sit quietly, in the back of my head and just chill the heck out til I’m done!
I’m not sure if you ever wrestle with your ideas like I do.
I am working on a pretty heavy book right now, and it is requiring all of my attention. But right now, I have one character, Dare – otherwise known as Romulus – sitting in the back of my head saying, ‘HURRY UP!’ as well as a little whisper from a series I write called EQUITAS, and they’re all nagging on me to just write them for a little bit, but I know better.
It isn’t a good idea to try and write more than one book at once. You have to stay focused to what you’re currently working on.
With story writing, a story isn’t one task, it’s made up of a ZILLION! Keeping characters in line, their conflicts, growth, the setting changes, everything! The worst thing you can do is write bits and pieces of different books.
So do what I do and tell them to wait their turn!
PS: if you’re not a writer, you will think I am 100% crazy here!