Monday, November 12, 2012

Focus!

I promise I'm not here to preach to you about having focus. I'm here to ask for your help! AHHH!

Seriously - I have such a fun idea for a book, which started as a YA contemporary. And as I mull through it in my mind, I wonder how I'm going to write it without any magic because I love writing magic and fantasy. But then... there's a part of me that thinks it'd be fun to turn into an MG book (blame the day job.) So that would nix the romance, but I could keep the fantasy stuff.

I'm at the point I want to pick and PLOT and start WRITING!

Do you ever have this problem? Does the massive amount of options you have as a writer sometimes hold you back? Do you ever have trouble deciding which way to go with your story?

I DO!
Any advice? Please share your thoughts, feelings, advice... or what you had for breakfast! I'm all for it!

30 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

No idea! Maybe write two stories, one with each element?
And I'm lucky to get just one idea at a time...

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I wish I had advice but I often have the same problem, often within the ms itself - which direction do I go? If I choose A, then I can't do B. If I choose B, then do I follow that with C, D, or E, etc.? Sometimes I become frozen with indecision. Sigh.

Cassie Mae said...

Don't let a no fantasy or magic element scare you. I thought the exact same thing before I wrote my contemporary. I was going, "Uh... how can I write about just people and make it interesting?" When in fact people alone ARE interesting. I loved writing fantasy, and I still do, but it wasn't until I wrote something without it I realized I loved writing contemporary even more. :)

Joshua said...

I would compare this to the Star Wars Expanded Universe books or the Left Behind series. In both of these instances, there are the main books, YA and above. However, there are also books set in the same universe, and telling the same stories, except written from the perspective of kids. Like Left Behind, the short books geared for the younger audience are told from the POV of kids rather than the adults from the novels. Same goes for the Star Wars EU books. Instead of Luke, Leia, Han, and the other characters we know and love, most of them are from padawans or other kids through the known universe. Gives a different perspective on the same topics.

All that to say, you could write it twice. Once for MG and once for YA (or NA, if I'm using that designation correctly). Or make it a double book at the same reading/age level. Same situations from different perspectives, told one way by one character and a completely different way by another. Like those Disney picture books that have Cinderella's story to the middle of the book, and then you close it, turn it over, and read from "the end" to the middle of the book again to see the same story from The Stepmother's POV.

Now I feel like I'm just rambling, so away I go.

Emily R. King said...

I go with the characters. Does your MC sound MG or YA? Does your MC need to fall in love? Who is your MC? This helps me a lot. :)

Yay for bright, shiny new ideas!

Small Town Shelly Brown said...

I had Fiber One flakes. I'm not sure what else you asked because I started thinking about food.

prerna pickett said...

I find it hard to focus on just one project at one time, especially when a new idea hits. Thankfully NaNo is MAKING me focus so I don't have time to get distracted.

Sheena-kay Graham said...

An omlette sandwich. My advice is to decide if you want a YA or MG book before you start. And any writer worth their salt has had a set back or worry. Just muscle through it, follow your gut and when you're ready...write.

S.P. Bowers said...

Mmmm, breakfast..... Oh, wait, I'd have to go with Emily. Listen to your characters. Personally I don't plot. I just start writing and they tell me the story. Sometimes I do have to take a step back and figure out which path to take but usually the characters know their own story.

Mark Koopmans said...

Hey :)

I'm a jumble of mess, but I like Alex's idea... start with two themes and see which way YOU want to go :)

L.G.Smith said...

I'm mostly a pantser, so I tend to write and see where I end up. I kind of believe in following an organic trail of character motivation and logic with just a nudge of really crazy stuff to mix it all up. I think if you started writing, you'll see it bend toward one idea more than the other. Good luck!

Lynn(e) Schmidt said...

I think the best thing you can do is just start writing. Don't worry about ages, or romance, or magic. If it comes up, it comes up. Write as you feel. You can always label it later :)

Charlie Holmberg said...

Ah, I've had this problem. I'm a big fantasy buff, but I had an idea for a MG/YA book with NO magic whatsoever. I still like the idea, and I've done research for it, but I've yet to write it. Someday.

Recently I had an idea that I REALLY liked, but for some reason I just couldn't get into the story. I couldn't get a good grasp on the characters, and while I liked the ideas, I just wasn't excited.

After several weeks of mulling I took the basic ideas--the ones I loved the most--and put them into a completely different setting, story, and even age group, and now I love all of it. It was kind of like having every piece of what I had on a square of a rubix cube and just twisting the thing around until I found a side I wanted to write. (You could do that quite literally... it would be an interesting exercise, for sure!)

Much luck!

Michael Offutt, Speculative Fiction Author said...

Dear Leigh, the wonderful thing about the word processor is that it never runs out of pages. I suggest you write one story and if you feel the urge to write another, save the first and go to the second.

You can have more than one story, you know? Best of luck :)

Livia said...

Yes, we writers have so many ideas that we can only concentrate on one\a few at a time.

Sorry, I don't have any advice but to write your heart out.

Good luck! :)

Lisa Regan said...

I have this problem a lot. Unfortunately I haven't figured out how to resolve it yet which is why I have at least 2 potentially decent novels unfinished. Is there any way you can make the romance a little more innocent? Create tension with a more childlike crush?

Anyway, I'm sorry I don't have more to offer but I can sympathize.

I had honey nut cheerios for breakfast. I was hungry again 20 minutes later.

Nicole said...

Honestly, when that happens, I stew on it for a while and see if it comes together. Most times, I can get all the ideas to work together, or I lose interest in one over the other.

Good luck with the shiny new idea!

Susanna Leonard Hill said...

Yes, I have theses same problems (and more) and no I don't have an answer (sorry) but I think you just have to go with your gut on what feels right for the story. I know you can do it! Here's me cheering you on! :)

Cindy Keen Reynders said...

I've often had this problem. Too many ideas to choose from!

Shallee said...

I hate that moment. For me, I usually know the story when it speaks to me emotionally. There's just SOMETHING about it that keeps tugging at my insides, and I know that's the one.

Not very helpful. But there you go.

clarbojahn said...

I only have one idea at a time luckily. I write and write and then rewrite with focus but I get it all out first as a rough draft and see what I have.

I had a proper egg and toast breakfast this morning. Good luck and congrats for getting this far. :)

Carrie Butler said...

Oh my goodness, Leigh. That happens to me all the time! I get so many contemporary ideas, but they all end up with magic or paranormal elements. LOL

Why don't you outline the different paths, and then choose the one that comes easiest? :)

Iain said...

I can only comment on what works for me. Hopefully it will strike a chord with you and you can draw something from it.
I use the Save The Cat template and map out the beats. The story presents itself to me with or without the fantasy elements, and becomes a whole when I've mapped it.
If you are excited about what you're writing, then that will produce a great story.

Peaches Ledwidge said...

When a new idea hits, I often know where the main character is leading me, but yes, I like to resist and try other genres.

Lara Schiffbauer said...

Yes, yes and yes. I am currently overwhelmed with the options for coming up with a new plot for the follow up book to Finding Meara. I finally just figured out something I wanted to write, and wrote it. I think Suzi gave me the impetus to just put something on paper, just so I'd start actually writing. The other thing I've finally given up on having the whole idea figured out before working on is the Plot Whisperer Workbook. Today I just started filling in blanks and am finding it's helping me to get a little more clarification. So...All that to say just do what you need to do. Start writing and see where you go. If nothing else, it'll help you figure it out. I think. :)

Ella said...

A blogging buddy gave me some great advice..He said go with the story that is tugging at you most. Then be sure it is one you won't get sick of.
You will writing about it a lot, revising a lot. It must be something that fascinates you~

I have so many ideas, but lately with this advice I think my focus has narrowed!
Make a list and be honest...which ones would wear you out and which ones still would shine! ATB

Patricia T. said...

Yes, I think we all have that problem. But, I would go with you intuition. Write what resonates most with you. And, it might be fun to write an MG.

J.L. Campbell said...

Boy, do I know how that goes. I'd probably do some work on it to satisfy the need I have to DO something or risk going ga-ga from not doing anything about a hot idea. Then I'll get a notebook where I can write down all the stuff to do with that new idea, while I work on other things. Could be why I take so long to get anything finished nowadays. Don't forget to have fun!

Dr. kold_kadavr_flatliner, MD said...

Greetings, earthling!! Shouldn’t be long, gottawanna run back to Heaven; however, in the meantime, take anything and everything you wanna from our wonderfull, plethora-of-thot to write the next, great masterpeace -if- I can but kiss your gorgeous, adorable feets and/or cuddle withe greatest, ex-mortal-girly-ever to arrive in Seventh Heaven (God made only you, k? the BEST-in-the-WEST? God threw-away-the-rest, miss gorgeous). Think about it. Do it! Get back with me Upstairs, k? God bless you …thewarningsecondcoming.com

Adeeva Afsheen said...


Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)

Teh Alami Untuk Meningkatkan Konsentrasi
Kapsul Herbal Mengatasi Kemandulan
Pengobatan Batu Empedu Secara Alami
Kapsul Penambah Stamina Pria Dewasa
Obat Penyakit Miom Herbal
Cara Menghilangkan Penyakit Keputihan Pada Wanita
Obat Mata Katarak Terbaik
Obat Tradisional Penyakit Kanker Darah
Multi-Vitamin Untuk Kesehatan Anak
Obat Tumor Alami Herbal