December 21st, 2006
Should’ve Done This Sooner

I’ve decided to set the urban fantasy aside for a little while to work on my next Phantom Warrior book. I don’t normally like doing stuff like this, but my mind needs a vacation. I need to work on something that doesn’t plague me day and night. Something that I can play with like finger paints or silly putty. So for the next couple of days, I’m going to explore a different world. One that’s far less taxing. Hopefully by the time I’m done, the vacation will have triggered the creativity needed to push through the roadblocks in my mind that are preventing me from completing the urban fantasy.

What do you do, when the book just isn’t rolling out as fast as you’d like it to?

26 comments to “Should’ve Done This Sooner”

  1. I write poems or short stories. I’ll re-edit whatever I have making the rejection rounds, honing it for when it eventually surfaces in the vanity press. 🙂 By the time I get back with the novel I’m working on, I usually have some fresh ideas.

  2. I cry, scream, and throw things. Then when I’m calm I eat lots of chocolate, and watch a few favorite movies. Which I feel like doing right now…because this book is kicking my ass.

  3. Bernard, Good idea. That’s why I’ve decided to work on this other story. I know how it starts out and I figure playing on its merry-go-round will give me some MUCH needed time away from the project. Hopefully by the time I return, my head will be in a better place. If it gets rejected beforehand, then I’m going to put it aside for a while. Maybe I’m just not skilled enough to write the book yet. :-/

  4. Vivi, (((Hugs))) I know you’re fighting this one. Maybe I should send you mine for a while and you can send me yours. *ggg*

  5. Very smart! Put it on the back burner and let it simmer while you work on something else. I prefer to switch off, but I can’t always due to time constraints. Although I’m not sure I get more done by NOT switching off. My goal for 07 is to have the time to switch off. And YAH, more Phantom Warriors!

  6. Charli, I’ve debated about switching off completely until the New Year. I’m still toying with it. Probably wouldn’t be a bad idea. I figure the next best thing is to work on something ‘easy’. *g*

  7. That’s very funny, Ms. Anna. You covered every stereotypical rage tool in one short, to the point post. Here’s another one for you to try. Take one of your lesser characters, and have he or she throw a comical monkey wrench into your plot. Not a cute, cuddly wrench, but a Snarky type, sarcastic and funny wrench. Sometimes, it will widen the view, and break the block. It helps if it’s a character no one would suspect, and it leads to an underlying cause, which sparks the stalled plot. Just a suggestion from a true hack. 🙂

  8. Curl up on the couch with a bowl of rocky road ice cream and watch a good funny movie. Maybe read a few books. Gardening helps too. When my mind needs a vacation, putting it to work on something else related to writing just doesn’t do it for it. *chuckles*

  9. I do what Vivi does, but I think I might try Bernard’s idea and see what happens before I end up in a full blown panic! LOL

  10. Tempest, You’re probably right. That’s why I’m seriously considering shutting down until the New Year. Maybe give myself a pedi and a mani. Take a lot of baths. *ggg*

  11. Amie, LOL! Let me know how it goes. *g*

  12. I whine. I bug freinds to read what I have, and listen to any suggestions they have. I don’t usually use thier suggestions, but they do help kick start my own creative thoughts.

    Sometimes I go to a movie, or take a nap, or a couple of naps. LOL

  13. I do exactly what you’re doing. Set it aside and work on something else. 🙂

  14. I always have one or two side projects on the go to “freshen” my mind. 😉 Usually short stories, sometimes a proposal. I hope the break does you good!

  15. It’s not happening at the moment for the simple reason that I’m not working on any one project long enough to let it happen. Grrrrr… I usually take the Man With A Gun approach, whereby I throw a wrench in the works a la BernardL.

  16. Oh yeah May, I love the Man With A Gun wrench, and oh boy do I get tempted to throw him in at every opportunity. It wont make your other characters laugh though, or evoke running verbal jokes interspersed throughout your plot; and more importantly, it wont make you laugh when youre editing (one of my most needful things). A sudden killer makes for a real tough bit of writing to weave it without contrivance into the plot. ‘He’ also has a short number of pages shelf life. Some lesser character with a snide wit, a Snark with a heart, can lighten up a manuscript steering into too narrow an avenue. 🙂

  17. Sasha, You crack me up. LOL! I tried the nap, but that didn’t seem to help. Oh well. *g*

  18. Julie, We’re always in sync. 🙂

  19. Saskia, I was doing that for a while, but I wasn’t getting anything done. That’s why I went back to working on one project at a time. I think that works out fine…until you REALLY get stuck. *ggg* I am definitely going to take a detour. Hopefully it’ll help.

  20. May, I hear you. I think this piece of work has enough wrenches in it without me adding more to the mix. *ggg*

  21. If it’s not under deadline, I try to write around it for a few days but if it’s not clicking, I’ll put it aside for a while and work on something else.

    I have to say, I’ve done this a few times and it’s always worked when I came back to it later, fresh. Enforcer was this way, Threat of Darkness was this way. Sometimes you need to let things stew for a while and when you get back to it, your subconsious mind has often worked through the block or whatever made you put it aside to begin with.

    If I’m under deadline, I’ll try to write around it and come back. If not, I put it aside for as long as I can and go back.

  22. Lauren, That’s what I’ve decided to do. Instead, I’ve researched my next Phantom book, which was fun. 🙂 Luckily, this book isn’t under deadline…yet. I was just hoping to get it finished before that happened. *g*

  23. I get crazy movies, mostly bizare foreign or Hong kong cinema stuff, or go read a favorite author in something very opposite from what I’m writing. The Hong Kong cinema, and most Asian flicks have a different kind of story telling: usually less linear, often less defined, many times with few or no heros in a dark vs. darker kind of morality play: it jogs the noggin because it’s not the normal formula or pattern I’m used to. If I’m really blocked I might pull a few tarot cards or meditate to identify what I’m blocked on: usually it’s when I’ve drifted from good intent off on a tangent, but my concious mind isn’t ready to recognize it.

  24. Ursula, I asked my heroine to tell me her story yesterday and she said, “Why do you want to know now? You haven’t bothered to ask before.” LOL! And that was it. She clammed up. At least I’ve identified the problem. Here’s hoping she decides to speak to me soon. *ggg*

  25. *lol* If you can squeeze the name of her favorite cocktail out of her, you might be able to get some of the rest! It’s good, though, sounds like you’ve got the target back in sight. Cheers!

  26. Ursula, I’ll ask, but goodness knows if she’ll answer. *ggg* 😉