Saturday, October 31, 2009

Falling in idea-love

I'm in the lucky position at the moment of being on the cusp of wrapping up my next book: I got the final MSS of Daywards back from the copy-editor the other day, and apart from a few tweaks to fill in some small gaps - probably less than half a day's work - it's pretty much done and dusted. This is one of my favourite times in the whole writing process, not because it's near the end of a job well done, but rather because the job in question finally gets the hell out of my head, making space for me to even contemplate new projects.

And oh, the projects I've got in mind!

I don't know how it is for other writers, but with me, by the time I finish a book like Daywards, which is the better part of 100,000 words long, 350+ pages of TNR 12 point font, and has taken most of the last 2 years to get done, I'm usually not in a particularly positive headspace about the whole writing thing. Cynical, I guess you'd call it. "This is the last one." I usually tell myself at least a couple of times.

But then, at about this point, the magic happens - with the book about to be put to bed, new projects and ideas start presenting themselves: the horizons which, just a month or two ago seemed impossibly clouded with obligations to the current book are suddenly clear for miles. And then an idea - possibly two - make that little writer chip in my brain go 'click' and I start to get excited!  I mean, really, utterly excited! Not just about the idea, but about what I can *do* with it. Excited about the actual writing of it.

And this is one of my favourite parts of the whole process. Just contemplating the possibilities.  The endless ocean of possible stories out there for me to dig into.

At the moment, three ideas are vying for supremacy. They're all very, very different from one another, and I'm equally excited about all three. I won't go into too much detail, but suffice to say that one is a really fun sort of action thriller for younger readers, the second a kinda cool YA idea, and the final one would probably be adult or crossover fiction. At this point, I've got journals for all three, and I'm sketching down ideas every chance I get. I'll probably write the action one over christmas, because it's the most fully realised of the three already.

Right after I finish all my marking.

In December.

Which is a pain, but at least it means I've got something to look forward to.  

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