Unfinished Work and Fun Factors

I’ve been steadily working on my second historical novel over the summer, plugging away at it, a few hundred words at a time. It’s slow, but I know where the story is going and for the most part I like my characters. It’s hard to say, as it’s just the first draft, but I care about them right now, and despite that, I’ve sent them through some shit and have more to come.

But, as I was working my summer job (waiting tables at a nearby restaurant) I’ve been bombarded with two new ideas that have come rapidly and nearly fully formed. In the first, parts need fleshing out, but the beginning structure, the voice, the characters are all showing up and taking over, even if I’m not ready to tell their story.

In the second, I had to get home and start writing immediately, too impatient to care much about anything else, and it is this story that has been driving me to the keyboard obsessively over the past few days. I started it last Sunday and I’ve already written nearly 11,000 words, which is a rarity for me. I can write 1,000 easily, and have to stop before I’m truly finished so that the pump is well primed for the next session.

I feel some guilt about putting the first story, the historical, on hold, but it was losing its fun factor, and although I like it and want to finish it, I need to find the fun again. These other stories (only one of which is in the draft process) are fun, and a challenge in ways the other one doesn’t have right now. I try very hard not to set stuff aside, because this is how I end up not finishing things, but I also believe that taking a break and finding the magic again might be good for me when other things are quite stressed in my daily life.

What are your thoughts? Do you do this too?

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3 thoughts on “Unfinished Work and Fun Factors

  1. I think we all do this. Writing is hard work and when we get to the more difficult parts of our story, the news ideas come out of nowhere. It’s a juggling act and we have to make sure we have enough fuel in the tank to manage all of them.

    I’ve never found a good solution, I just write until I can’t write anymore, take a break and go back to it. xo

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    • I agree! I do try to push through the hard stuff, but sometimes those other stories need to come out. And I also don’t want to get bogged down under a Sunken Cost Fallacy. Sometimes the first stories are only fodder or practice and don’t need to go further. Or maybe they can’t go further for a while.

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      • I’m a big believer in letting my work sit. I have a book that has been sitting for a long, long time and it’s starting to bug me. Which means it’s time to revisit after a few lonely years.

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