Crisis or epiphany?

One of my plans for this year was to get a writing blog going.  And leave it to Jan 1 to give me something to write about.

Lying in bed tonight, I was thinking about the book I’ve been working on – let’s call it MS1.  This is an MS that I started about 10 years ago and I’ve been doing a rewrite on it.  And when I say rewrite, I mean REWRITE.  As in, I took the proposal to a conference, was told to change the genre, wound up getting a whole new take on the entire thing and I have been stoically working on it ever since.  The original is in a massive binder under my desk and I have been taking it chunk by chunk.  Character names have changed, as have appearances.  Before the conference, I had already started a rewrite and with rewrite + original that was left, this thing was sitting at about 150K.  The post-conference rewrite is currently at about 50K.  Admittedly, I haven’t been 100% happy with it, but I’ve been attributing that to the fact that I’ve just been trying to get down as much as I can as quickly as possible.

Until tonight.  When my brain decided to do something entirely unfair…and potentially entirely brilliant?  I’m still not sure.

See, the thing is, there’s another unfinished MS – let’s call it MS2.  I don’t even know offhand how long it is, but it never got to “The End”.  I was much happier with it than MS1 – my writing style had matured a lot, and I liked the story better.  However, I stopped writing it because I had no idea where it was going.  Sometimes I’d start trying to rewrite it as urban rather than epic, try to find its direction, but eventually I decided that it wasn’t going anywhere and abandoned it.  And then, tonight, my brain announced that maybe, just maybe, I should be rewriting MS2 instead.  After all, I can already see that MS2 would fall into this new genre much more easily.

Okay, fine, perfect, start over, no problem.  Writers do it all the time, right?

But there are a few problems.  First, the plot wouldn’t necessarily follow the proposal I put forth at the conference.  And that is the plot that got interest.  The genre would be right and I could probably tweak the plot,  but it wouldn’t be an exact match.

And second…as I said above, the current rewriting project is about 51K.  That’s fine, I’ve redone that much before.  However, baby 2 is due in 12 weeks.  The reason this rewrite was being done as fast as I could was to get Draft 1 – necessarily requiring massive editing – at least down on paper.  Done.  Then, once I’ve adjusted to the sleep dep, the edits could start.  If I have to restart now, that gives me 12 weeks to get the first draft down, not 6 months.  And in a few weeks, kid 1 is going to be home with me on his non-school days, so it’s not as though I’ll be able to write for 8 hours a day until I go into labour.  My pre-xmas quota was about 1500 words a day.  If I take on MS2 instead, that would probably have to at least double, whether kid 1 is home with me or not.

So, the question now is…do I continue to rewrite MS1 because it really does set a lot of the stage and follows the plot I originally turned in?  I could rewrite MS2 later, maybe in that same genre.  Or, do I start reworking MS2 and hope that some changes to the originally proposed plot won’t go amiss?

Geez, 2012, you sure don’t come in quietly, do you?

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5 thoughts on “Crisis or epiphany?

  1. Geez, it’s never easy for you, is it, Em?
    Maybe it would be a good idea to work on MS2 for a couple of days and see if your need to work on it immediately burns itself out? Sometimes just jotting down the ideas that come to you about an old work is enough to let you relax about it and get back to your original target.
    Could the 2 MS ever be linked (either feathered together into one story, or a sequel or prequel to MS1)?
    I’m interested to know what MS2 is about!!
    Good luck!

  2. You have changed character names and appearances and genres, you feel your style was not as good as now, and you are not really happy with it.

    Maybe your insomnia is related to your subconscious telling you to move to MS2?

  3. Thanks…I think you’re both right, that I definitely need to give these thoughts some consideration. I had a pretty good brainstorming session with R. last night and I’m going to spend today doing some planning and see if that winds up bearing any fruit. If so, I’ll have to decide what to do with it from there.

  4. I’m excited I found your blog. It’s somewhat familiar. Is that because I’ve been working on a novel for almost ten years?
    Reading about you writing almost makes me want to stop reading and get back to writing. Except I’m in the middle of a good book 🙂
    Keep it up (both the novel and the blog)!

    • Thanks and welcome…I took a look at your blog as well, looks like we have a few things in common. 🙂

      Trying to balance the reading and writing is always a neat trick. Since I’m in the midst of my favourite author’s latest at the moment, I’m using that as a reward/distraction…if I get enough done on the writing during the day, I’ll let myself do some reading. Or, if the writing is going no where and I need to do something else for a bit, I can do some reading then too.

      What genres do you write/read?

      Looking forward to seeing more on your blog too! Cheers!
      Em

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