Moving on from THE ONE

It's a funny thing, a Shiny New Idea, especially if the book you've just finished was The One.

Colony was a love affair from start to finish.  No matter what happens, I'm always going to love that story.  I think some writers call it the book of the heart, but I'm entirely too British so I'll just call it the book I wrote that I rather like.  There's something really special about it.

Moving on won't be easy.  The move from Resistance to Colony took a while.  I'd spent so many years with the characters from Resistance that I didn't know how to leave them behind at first.  There were a few misfires, but the day inspiration struck for Colony, I never looked back.  This time, I've jumped from one idea to another already, and although I'm really enjoying this new idea, a part of me keeps whispering but it's not as much fun as Colony!

Every idea is different. I've got to adjust my expectations.  Just because this new idea isn't as forceful, doesn't mean it won't be as good.  And just like I can't keep comparing myself to other writers, I can't compare my own books to each other.  I'll never get anywhere doing that.

The Shiny New Idea has a lot of positives.  I'm having so much fun researching for this project. Get to watch loads of ice skating while listening to beautiful music.

So graceful! Or, WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

What do you do when you're struggling to move on when the last project is querying? One thing I learned in the change from Resistance to Colony was don't force it. Like I said, I'd been with the characters from Resistance for a while.  Trying to write another story while my head was so full of ideas for Resistance led to a pretty miserable case of writer's block. If you're querying a first book in a series, I know the advice is write something totally unrelated, but the Miss Cole Never Listens To Anybody But Herself Advice is this: write whatever you want to write most.  If those characters and their story are what you want to keep telling, keep writing! That's the joy of not having an agent or a publisher or a contract or whatever.  You're free! HOOOOOOOOOOOORAAAAAAAAAAAY FOR UNREPRESENTED FREEDOM YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH! I WRITE WHAT I WAAAAAAAANT!!!!!

There's only one motto you need: JUST KEEP WRITING.  Try something.  Try everything. One of those ideas you start writing will be the one that becomes your next major project.  It might not be THE ONE, but it'll still be amazing.

Comments

  1. Ah, I want to hug this post. I'm struggling through my BROKEN THINGS edit just now because my thoughts keep saying "this isn't as fun as DIVIDE... this isn't as good as DIVIDE... you should go back, go baaaackkkk~"

    But that's not giving poor BROKEN THINGS a chance. DIVIDE has been written and rewritten so many times that the voice is solid, while BROKEN THINGS hasn't even found its voice yet. Poor book. I wish the first draft obsession carried over into edits a bit more.

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    1. It's hard, isn't it? And you're right - you've got to give that other book a chance. Sometimes I still want to go back to Resistance, but nope. I won't. I may switch ideas a few times, but I've got to keep moving forwards :)

      Yeah, my new story hasn't quite found its voice yet, but it'll come.

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  2. Just keep writing - couldn't agree more! I try to make each project completely different from the last, so I don't keep comparing, but it's hard to resist the temptation sometimes!

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  3. Honestly...I daydream about my new piece. It always takes me a few months to fully let go of the previous story and settle into excitement for the new one, so instead of forcing myself to stick with a certain word count each day, I daydream about the scenes that make me most excited for the new book. It helps me solidify the plot and the characters' voices, and it gets me pumped to start the hardcore writing.

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  4. "Write the novel you most want to write," is advice that applies no matter what stage of publishing you're in. I'm sure I read somewhere that agents will even advise their clients that the next book they write should be the one they lose sleep over--the one that won't let go. Why waste time dragging yourself half-heartedly through a first draft of a novel you think you *ought* to write, while being constantly distracted by the thought of the novel you want to write? Even if you're called back to beloved characters, if that's what you need to be writing now, then go ahead. It may or may not see publication, but you'll feel better for having got it out of your system. :)

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    1. "Getting it out of my system" is one of my life's mottos ;)

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  5. Great post. Letting go of the story of your heart can be difficult, I know because I had to do it as well. But I love that you said we should write what we want, because isn't that the truth? When you're heart's not in it, it shows.

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    1. I think it's really easy to start writing what you *think* you should write rather than what you *want* to write when you're querying. Always go with what inspires you the most :)

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  6. I actually got like that with my amateur ghost hunters WiPs. Still do really. I'm starting to think the characters were wrong and considering doing swaps with another SNI.

    Keep writing is great advice. You wrote Colony at the right time where you were totally passionate about the idea and now the time has come to focus your attention on another idea that has got you all excited. And it'll pay off again when you send it to betas and they'll see and respond positively to another story you wrote that you were passionate about.

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    1. I've moved characters between WiPs before. Sometimes it works really well!

      Thanks ^_^ All the beta love Colony received really bolstered my confidence :D

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  7. Yep, moving from one project to another can often take some time, but it gets there in the end.

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    1. It certainly does. There's always another idea.

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