Sunday, January 22, 2017

Getting Swept Away by New Beginnings

Hi fabulous readers of YAtopia! I’m Rosanne, a YA author and scriptwriter who loves writing about new worlds or unfathomable situations. I’m really excited to be contributing to YAtopia, and you can expect posts about querying, editing and staying in love with your writing from me for the next year.

Since Jan 1st, I’ve been excited about all the new beginnings I promised for myself back in 2016: New gym routine; revised writing routine; creating time for ‘me’; hitting my day-job goals, etc., which is ace. But with all this concentration on new beginnings, I started losing love for the writing projects I had already started.

Getting swept away with new writing ideas isn’t a bad thing, but it can be damaging if, like me, you do it all the time. Stored away in my mental WIP folder I currently have 60k words of a YA historical, 20k words of a YA sci-fi, and 0 words for a sparkly new idea… guess which one I want to write about?

The new one.

Yet that only makes me happy for so long, because in the back of my mind I have those other MSs staring at me, sulking that they haven’t been chosen to come out and play. So, in the face of all these beginnings, here’s some tips on how to fall back in love with your (older) beginnings…

  •  Re-read the opening, concentrating on the way you felt when you first started writing the MS.
  •  Look over your notes and think about how far you’ve come since you started with just a grain of an idea.
  •  List all the reasons you wanted to write that story in the first place. Cross off any ones that no longer apply, add new ones, and see if what you have left is enough to carry you through to the end.
  •  Make an aesthetics board to reflect the mood/characters/theme of your novel - there are lots of collage apps that let you do this, just make sure your images are copyright free if you want to share them on social media.
  •  Ask yourself: will your characters ever leave you alone if you don’t finish their story? WILL YOU HEAR THEIR VOICES BEFORE YOU GO TO SLEEP?! (Really hoping this last one isn’t just me…)
  •  Research agents or publishers who you think would be a good fit for you and your story – this always gets me excited about finishing and submitting something.
  •  In a similar vein to above: research any competitions you’d like to compete in once you’ve finished – I’d recommend Brenda Drake’s website for this.
  •  Set yourself writing rewards: do another 10k words on your old WIP, then allow yourself to start your new idea! After this, even if you haven’t fallen back in love with your old WIP, at least you know you gave it a go.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with using a WIP as a stepping stone to the story you are REALLY meant to write, so if it’s not working, break up with it and move on to your true heart’s desire (until something shinier takes its place!)

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