I started on my next book a month ago. Or maybe it was two weeks ago…or last week. I don’t remember.
Idea #1 started well enough. The plot fell at my feet. Ingenious, twisty and full of life. I cranked out the first chapter, thrilled at the possibilities. Then realization sunk in. This would be in the 200-300k word range if I pursued it. And some of the plot points would take a monumental effort to pull off. And then I would have to revise like a madman. I put it aside. It needed more thought.
Idea #2 struck around midnight. I rushed to capture the opening scene and I caught it well. But where was the plot? I’ll never know. It was in a thousand places and there seemed no way to make it coherent. I put it aside. Maybe I would re-visit, maybe not.
Idea #3 slapped me like a ton of bricks. It came welling up from me like a tide. At that point I came to a realization that should have been evident the moment I started Idea #1. I’ve told you why the first two didn’t work, but the excuses were all wrong. They didn’t work because they had no real voice. Not like the third one.
Idea #3 will be my next book. The voice of my MC is strong and has a story to tell. And two chapters into it, the bond between writer and character has been forged and honed for the journey.
What about the Junker? Sometimes writing is like owning a “junker” car. It takes a few attempts to get it started but once the motor catches, you know it will take you where you want to go.