Monday, December 13, 2010

Writing: Super-Snazzy New Idea

From the results of my oh-so-scientific poll over there on the side, it looks like most of you would be cool with a few writing-related posts here on Ten Cent Notes. So I'm making Mondays my talk-about-writing day, though I might not post on it every week as I really don't want this to turn into a writing blog.

The idea came out of nothing. That's how it happens; I'll be driving (as i was with this one) or eating or talking to someone and then --  boom! Idea. Right there. I keep a list of the ideas in a sticky note on my computer and they range from a thought-out premise to just a few words that shouldn't make any sense at all. Usually I can put the idea up for later. I made it a habit to finish the drafts I start a long time ago, so there's not a lot of leeway to hop around from project to project. Plus, it might sound crazy, but it actually takes a really long time for an idea to sit in my brain long enough to actually be ready to write. Sometimes this is only a week or so and sometimes - usually - it's much longer. Months. Years. 

So I made a little note to myself about this idea and went tralalala over to work on my current WIP (work-in-progress), Apollo.

Except that this idea will not go away. The main character refuses to shut up, the first line is just sitting there and it is so good. I can't stop thinking about it. I've gone looking for visual inspiration on we heart it, I've heard songs playing and thought that completely fits this story! Except, it's not a story. It's only an idea and the logical, rational side of my brain knows this. It is a premise, a first line, an imaginary protagonist that I want to be best friends with. (And yes, I fully realize that all protags are imaginary. But I mean even more imaginary. Like, she doesn't even have a name yet.)

I want to work on Apollo, I really do. But this idea has just swooped in like SUPERMAN TO THE RESCUE!! and will not leave me be. I don't know how to get rid of it. I like it so much I'm starting to hate it for distracting me. And I can't get rid of it which means I don't know what to do. I have to finish this draft of Apollo before I work on anything else. So I'm thinking of making the new idea (which really needs a working title) my new side project. Although making it a side project means that it won't be given the forethought and (most likely) editing that my main projects get. So I have a DECISION TO MAKE.

Anyway. If anyone knows a good way to kill an idea or at better yet, cryogenically freeze it for the future, let me know. Also, fellow writers -- what do you do when hit with a shockingly good idea that just won't leave? Do you abandon your current project? Save it? Write both at the same time? Go insane?


  1. Pretty much go insane.
    No, I'm joking. Just write the idea down, and if it keeps coming, knocking on the side of my head, "Hey, write more about me," then I sit down and write it. Maybe a short story that later turns into a longer thing. But I never stop writing what I was writing and start with this new idea.
    It just has to wait.

  2. That's what happened to me the other day, when I was at work. I would just keep a file open and write down everything you think about the new idea, but keep working on the old one too.

    Apollo? What's that?!

  3. Ella Press
    I already sent you an email about my WRITING WOES with Apollo, but GAHHH I am totally going insane.

    Bri Meets Books
    Apollo: a slowly-dying story that I may or may not finish. It's up in the air right now, and not because of the snazzy new idea.