Friday, July 2, 2010

That Next Project.


In the writing world, we all have them. Those half-formed ideas swirling about in our heads all the time, never coming to full fruition but begging to interrupt our days at every junction. We get excited about them in all their unwritten glory, each shimmering brightly with hope that it may just be the one.

The One that will cross editor's desks and make their jaws drop. The One that agents will call us about after hearing about it from a collegue. The One that will propel an otherwise 'average' writer into the annals of history as being a Great American (Canadian? Whichever you please) Novelist.

The problem? They always come while we're busy on our last 'One.'

Currently, I'm facing the same problem every author will encounter at some point in their careers, the 'which to do' crossroads. Some writers can happily plug away at multiple works at a time, picking up right where they left off in their varied worlds, rejoining the characters they'd temporarily abandoned as if they'd never missed a beat.

I'm not one of those writers. If I put down a manuscript for more than a few days, I have to franitically check my outlines and reread past chapters to recapture the mood I was portraying, the subtle clues I was leaving, and what 'feel' I was trying to get out of the scene.

As it stands, I'm still working on the sequel to GREY DOGS & THE WILLOW, working title - WAITING JACKALS. A few nights ago after my creative flow had ebbed it's last after a 3,000 word session, I conceded defeat to peruse the forums on AbsoluteWrite. A few glasses of wine later, I found myself absorbed in the Screenplay section.

I've always been mesmorised with screenwriters when I watch films. As a novelist, I find it amazing the way they can make us feel for characters in the first ten minutes enough to continue watching, even if we didn't really dig the plot all that much. If an author failed to hook a reader with a stellar storyline from the get-go, the novel would be cast aside to the selection used in-house to prop up wobbly tables and even out shelves. It always boggled my mind how they could get so much history and backstory into their works without the dreaded infodump, often strictly through dialogue.

At once, I felt that feeling. The one that said, Why not?

It was one of those ideas that could be the one.

Christ, I'll keep you posted with this one. At present, it's all I can do to find time to write with this insane summer schedule, let alone hammer away on two projects simultaneously.

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