For me, the most difficult part of a project isn’t the end but the beginning.
I’m lazy, by nature. So I see a long clear stretch before me where I can write anything I want now. It’s exhilarating and frightening at the same time. Do I start working on another companion book? I have almost half a story written out already, just there’s the whole question of, “Where is this story going and how does it get there?”, which still hangs over it, but it’s another short one that I can probably knock out in two months like I did with the most recent project.
Or do I start on the next novel which I already have plotted out with scenes on my mind? The problem here is that I can plot all I want, but once I get writing, I’m going to be a mess of disorganized scenes, and multiple notes to myself. I’ll have to break in a new notebook and drive myself nuts with the free writing about each character. I have three new ones to delve into deeply, new and untested ones too, which is different from the characters in Ruin who are all old characters I’ve been working on since forever.
OR do I try working on one of the random stories I have laying around my head, the ones I’ve partially written out or described in detail?
See my dilemma? I am standing at an intersection, and I need to pick a direction. Once I have a direction, things fall into place. None of the directions I have to choose from are bad, and once I pick a direction, I can always continue working on one of the other projects on the side. (That is sort of my plan at the moment.)
But when I start a project, I become completely consumed. I think about it all day, I write about it, I take notes on scraps of paper, my computer, even my phone. I can’t let go of it until I figure it out and unravel the puzzle of it and figure out how the story is meant to go. It’s an exercise in trusting myself and my subconscious, as well as an exercise for my brain. It’s a balancing act for me. I can’t have too much of one or the other, but both in perfect harmony. I guess I’m technically a pantser, but really I’m a -whatever-gets-the-job-done kind of girl.
What do you do at the end of a project and the start of a new one?