Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Ooooh, Shiny!


Oh, boy.

No sooner do I pass the 12K mark of my WiP, Cass's story (as yet untitled), when I'm attacked by Shiny New Idea Syndrome. I've got it bad. It's too early to talk about yet, but it's an alternate history set in the same time period as my Belle Epoch novel, Strings, with a similar "theatrical" flavor, but it's more of a boy-meets-girl story. I just read the latest of Naomi Novik's alternate history of the Napoleonic wars—with DRAGONS (I heart Temeraire!), and I loved Westerfeld's Leviathan. I think I've got enough historical background of the time period to do something really fun, and introduce a huge supernatural element that will make it awesome!! Now just to finish the WiP...

I've still got another 75K or so to go with Cass's story, a story I don't have an ending to yet. So it may be some time before I am able to work on my SNI. I'm thinking if I get any ideas I'll just jot them down in a notebook, but I'm not going to brainstorm for that idea on purpose yet because I want to focus my attention on my WiP.

How do y'all handle a Shiny New Idea when you're in the middle (or the beginning) or another WiP?

12 comments:

Abby Annis said...

Your new idea sounds very cool! I'm sending you fast finger vibes so you can get to it sooner. :)

When I get a Shiny New Idea, I just write it in my notebook and hope I'll be as excited about it when I get around to it as I was when I first imagined it.

I'd love to be one of those people who can have multiple things going at once, but I get too obsessed with whatever I'm working on to allow anything else to have my attention. Plus, I'm afraid if I divide my attention, then I'll end up with several mediocre projects instead of one really great one.

Great post! :)

KLM said...

Oh, you've got to fight it off. Fight that SNI off!! Those SNIs are like sirens pulling your WIP onto the rocks. I have developed this approach: if it's truly a great idea, it will stick with me. In fact, I'll only get more excited about it as time goes on. Sometimes those SNIs stick and sometimes they fall by the wayside.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

I don't have a game plan for this, but if you love Cass's story don't forsake it for the SNI. I think keeping notes and writing the occasional scene that comes full-blown into your head will keep the new idea alive while not letting it destroy the other. It sounds like a fascinating premise and worth doing since you're already steeped in the time period. I love Leviathan, too.
In the end, only you know where the muse wants you to go. And maybe you can juggle two at once. Some people do.

Krispy said...

Ahh, your Shiny New Idea is so mysterious and intriguing, and I want to know! Haha. Yes, I'm curious.

I don't purposely think about Shiny New Idea when I have one while working on something else. I let it stew for a bit, but it's hard sometimes not to be totally taken. I'm struggling with that right now because I also got hit with a Shiny New Idea, but I'm supposed to be working on something else!

Jade said...

I try to not think about it so I'm not lead astray. I am weak. Lure of the SNI is too strong.

Corey Schwartz said...

Oh, just read about this in another post. (I think it was Robin Mellom's blog?)

I think if the pull is that strong, you should put current WIP on hold and get it started!

Karen Denise said...

Back during NaNo I was working on my novel Platinum Diaries when a SNI totally jacked my brain. It wouldn't let go so I just had to write until I could shake it lose. That happened to be around 80 pages. Then I went back to Platinum Diaries and finished it. If the SNI won't leave you alone, it might be worth it to write some of it, just until you can get that nagging scene out of your head.

Icy Roses said...

Let the SNI be for now. If it is great and meant to be, it will still be there when you finish your current project. That's the only way to get anything done. At the very most, you should jot the new idea down so you can "get it out of your system" in a sense. Tuck it away on a bookshelf somewhere and don't let it distract you.

Mohamed Mughal said...

Capture the idea in a new file, title the file and set it aside while you focus on the WIP. If you get additional ideas to refine/expand the SNI, insert those into the new file.

I've found that if you don't capture those SNIs, as you go through the inevitable rush of life's events, you run the risk of losing them.

KM said...

I have the philsophy that if a SNI is meant to be, it'll still be there when I'm done with my current project. BUT sometimes, on rare occassions, it's "the one" and you need to stop what you're doing and pursue the new idea. I had to do that with my current WIP. It started as an alternate for NaNoWriMo and asserted itself to being my one and only at the moment.

Tere Kirkland said...

Interesting results!

I think that for now I need to let the SNI stew a bit longer, and work on the WiP, whose characters are being very cooperative with their voice and if I could just figure out the plot a little better I'd be golden.

But until I finish that draft, any ideas I have about the SNI will go straight into my notebook or a FreeMind file.

Thanks, y'all!

Eric W. Trant said...

Awesome post. I was thinking the same thing these past few weeks, only I call it the "Good Idea Fairy."

Tough to ignore that one. At some point, you must press onward onward onward! You can't keep changing things just to change them, you know.

- Eric