What do you do when you have a thousand different stories swirling around in your head?
I’m asking, because its a problem I struggle with all the time – I have a lovely novel all lined up in my head, and I’ll be writing along merrily, then another idea will swamp me. Then another. Then another. I sometimes can’t sleep until I’ve told my partner about the story in my head. He loves that. Especially in the middle of the night.
I’m also asking because the stories in my head transcend genre – they are romance, history, mystical, fantasy, adventure… my imagination doesn’t seem to run to sci-fi or thriller stories. Or murders. Maybe that’s a good thing?
Readers – do you transcend genre with one writer? If, for example, you read their historical romance novel and love it to pieces, would you then go on to read their back catalogue of adventure stories, or mysteries? Georgette Heyer is one that I can think of that transcended genre – of course, she wrote historical and Regency romance, but she also wrote mysteries. But I think they had different audiences. Are there other writers who cut across genres?
Motivation and Focus.
I suppose the starting point to answer the question needs to be: “What is your motivation for writing?” Commercial? Literary? Personal? Public? If a writer’s motivation is to write literary masterpieces for their own personal pleasure, I suppose it makes no difference whether they are writing one story or fifty.
But for a commercial author, someone trying to derive a living from writing – I suspect it would be a whole lot easier to stick to one. Or two, maybe.
For a commercial writer, the answer has to be Focus – or, alternatively, Deadlines. Either of those will get your novel written. Deadlines are probably a stronger motivation than Focus. But if a deadline isn’t looming, it has to be a matter of Focus.
I’ve also heard it said that writing down a quickie outline sometimes saves a mind from a story swamping, but in my experience, all that does is enthuse me to write the new story, to the detriment of the one I’m Actually Trying to Finish.
Now, to work out how to actually Focus…
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Sax in the Park
It hasn’t been a great day for Amanda. Going out with the girls to see a band should have been a nice, simple arrangement. But Amanda has managed to insult the saxophone player, and somehow agreed to a duel against him to see who is the better player.
Only problem is, Amanda hasn’t picked up her sax in years.
Quite apart from that, Aidan gets sexier and sexier every time she sees him.
Can Amanda win the duel – and also Aidan’s heart?
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