Friday, October 30, 2009

Writing Routine Upheaval & New Ideas

My writing routine has been terribly disrupted by a cold this week. Not that I really know how to manage my writing at all right now because I've come up with a new book idea (a series actually) that needs to be tackled in a completely different way than I usually approach things.

You see this is an Urban Fantasyish idea (that's the best label I can put on it at least. It brings some elements from Greek Mythology into present day. And it's all I'm going to say about it. This one is staying under tight wraps for a while at least.) and though I've read a lot of fantasy/sci-fi/genre fiction over the years I've never tried writing it. It means I have to build a whole new world and create a mythology for my characters which maybe isn't that different than figuring out my characters' backstory, but it seems a lot more involved and the whole story sort of hinges on the rules I draw up for myself.

So I've decided that instead of diving straight into scene, I'd need to outline and brainstorm and plot out the world. I meant to do that this week, but I got sick.

However the nice thing about being sick is that I got to do a lot more reading and TV watching than usual. There are three hour marathons of Degrassi in the afternoon! I think I discovered this last time I was sick, but promptly convinced myself to forget about it because it would distract from writing. So I'll have to forget about it again come Monday. But honestly this week I think it's okay to watch it and to read a lot because it recharges me. Between my wedding and getting my book proposal in I've worked my butt off this month, though it doesn't feel like it because I don't have hundreds of pages to show for it.

The pressure I put on myself is immense. I have no doubt that stress is what caused me to get sick. I want to be one of those people that can pound out a first draft in a month, who can write two or more books a year, but I'm just not sure that's me. It takes so long for ideas to crystallize in my mind. The idea behind Ballads percolated for something like 7 years. IWBYJR took 4 years to write because I was percolating as I wrote. The Zoe story has been percolating since 2007. But I can't tell you how much I want this new idea to just click. Right now!

I can feel it coming together slowly though and I can feel what a release it's going to be. I'm going to go dark places again. Ballads dark. And maybe it's sick, but I want to do that. I can't wait for it. I want to purge more pain and grief through these characters. It feels good like loud music and smoky clubs and slamming in a crowd the way I used to. Anyway, even though this is fantasy, it will be very very real the way I always try to write.

But I still need a day or two more of rest. Well a day. Tomorrow is Halloween and the big Beacon Zombie party. (Break through on the costume front happened at the halloween store yesterday when I discovered a grunge wig and looked at my blue eyed, stubbly-faced husband and shoved it into his hands, exclaiming, "You will be zombie Kurt Cobain and I will be zombie Courtney Love!" Surprisingly in all these years I have never been Courtney Love for Halloween.) Then I will try to get back to my regularly scheduled writing routine... Well, I guess I will have to do this outline first before I can get to it. But if you curious about my regular writing routine and what my workspace looks like I blogged about it over at MTV Books today. I think there will be a monthly addition to my routine though. I never really take a break, I'm always busy writing or working at the bar every day (though I have started spending Saturday afternoons with my "niece" aka my friend's 12 year old daughter and that's been a blast), so I think I'm going to add two mental health days a month where I just veg out and watch TV and read. This way maybe I can avoid stressing myself out to the point of sickness.

Anyway, one last link to share before I go and chill on the couch some more. The ladies at We Love YA have done a week of poignant posts about the issues that YA fiction tackles. Yesterday my lovely CP Vanessa posted about self injury and mentioned Ballads. Please check out what she had to say and join the discussion at We Love YA.

Have a happy Halloween! I'll have pictures for you next week!

1 comment:

Michael said...

good idea on the zombie courtney love! I ended up being Henry Rollins (we drew every one of his tattoos on me in sharpie), my girlfriend was Joan Jett, and my brother and his girlfriend were Sid and Nancy. It was fun. How was your halloween?