Sudden Bursts of Inspiration

Yesterday I was taking a shower, and suddenly I had a whole scene just pop into my head.  A scene from a book I wasn’t writing.  It included dialogue, character descriptions, narration, everything! Aside from the bizzaro factor, it was awesome!! I hurried out, pulled out my trusty ole laptop, and typed it down as fast as I could.

Anyways, I was wondering if this kind of thing happens often to anyone else? It’s a very rare occasion for me, although I know other authors have said they’ve had whole books practically fall into their heads.  J.K. Rowling, for example, claims that the idea of Harry Potter just came to her, fully formed.  Lucky…Also, I wrote about Robert Louis Stevenson and his whole little people thing in this post here, so apparently it does happen.  Just usually not to me.

Now I’m left in a quandary.  Previously I mentioned how I was having trouble writing.  I started about three different stories and then just stopped, then started something new.  It’s been an ongoing issue ever since I finished the first draft to my sequel and decided I needed to write about different characters now.  Anyhow, I finally managed to get into a story, and I’m now about 17,000 words in, so it’s coming along, but now thanks to this flash of inspiration I have this new story I’ve started, which is exciting and interesting and unlike anything I’ve ever written before (kind of sci-fi punk/dystopian future).  So.  Which should I work on?

I know how I am.  As soon as I actively stop working on a story for more than a couple of days, that story is dead.  I might look at it later and think, hmm, that’s a pretty interesting story.  I wonder where I was going with that? But I won’t go back in and finish it.  I’m not sure why, but there are probably a good fifty unfinished bits of stories on my computer, some of them really long, and there they’ll sit.  Unfinished forever.  It’s like the great story graveyard, or something.  So now, do I resign my 17,000 words to this little bit of literary limbo, or do I put aside the 5,000 words I typed in my rush to this new story?

Conundrum.

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Harry Potter and the loss of my ambition

Sorry for the long delay in posts–I was spending some time hiking in Arizona, and then being lazy when I got back.

Hiking in Sedona

Anyways, today was my first official “writing as career” day, which was awesome! Too bad Harry Potter almost ruined everything.  How, you ask? Well, about a week ago I decided to re-read the first HP book, just to get in the flow, and wham! Suddenly I found myself reading all the time–I’m now halfway through the fifth book and my desire to do anything other than read Harry Potter has faded away.  My husband is especially annoyed by this.  Direct quote: “whenever you start reading Harry Potter everything else goes downhill; you stop writing, the house gets messy, you ignore your husband, etc., etc.”  I realized he was right, and last night I reluctantly put the book away.

This morning, I got up at 6:30 am, prepared to put in my first long day of writing in a long time, when I just happened to glance at my bedside table to see book five staring over at me.  I tried to ignore it as I packed up my computer.  Hem, hem, went the book.  I turned my back on it and started making my lunch.  Hem, hem.  Well, I decided, one little page won’t hurt.  Maybe I’ll read for five minutes and then go…and before I knew it, it was almost 8:00, and suddenly I was battling the parking lot that the highway is at that time to get to a coffee shop.  Why couldn’t I just work at home? Well, see above about the problem with reading Harry Potter, and imagine what your house would look like if you stopped putting away laundry, or doing dishes, or anything, for a week and a half.  It’s not a pretty picture, trust me.

Anyhow, that’s one of my big problems–when I get into a book or series, I get really into it, and I find it hard to do my own writing.  I know that reading is an important part of being writer, so I’ll just have to learn some self-control.  However, I did manage to put in three hours of work today on the sequel to my first book.  I now have the first chapter and a half done (3,267 words).  So, all in all, not a bad start.

Hem, hem

 

Published in: on April 19, 2010 at 7:24 pm  Comments (1)  
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