Losing the Plan

I made big plans last week to do some serious writing over the weekend. Boy, was I in for a disappointment!

I wrote maybe a thousand words the entire weekend. It just seemed like everything had to happen right when I was preparing myself to write. We had a lawnmower crisis (which is nothing new in our household). We’re cursed when it comes to mowers, but that meant since I have the only vehicle that can haul big items, I had to pack the mower up and return it to the store. That was half the morning wasted. By the time I did get to write, I was so out of sorts, I barely managed to add anything to my manuscript.

Then I’m dealing with serious indecision. This drives me crazy since I’m a very decisive person. The problem I’m having is that the story I’m currently working on was originally part of the series that’s in limbo. I decided to take that story, make it part of its own world and continue writing it. This meant a change in character names, world names, society, etc. And now that I’ve set on this course, I’m wondering if I should’ve done that. What if one of the seven publishers who have my manuscript decide they want the series? Then I’d have to go back and change the WIP yet again.

*slumps* I don’t know what to do. Do I push forward with the new series idea, or do I put it on the back burner until I find out what the publishers want? Since it could take anywhere between 3 months to a year before I hear anything, I don’t like that last option. It’s driving me crazy and ruining the wonderful creative bent I had going last week. (By the way, any advice y’all could throw my way would be greatly appreciated.)

On the other hand, I still make plans. During Nationals, I met so many wonderful people with new books coming out, that I’m going to try to start doing author interviews. I’ll have Nikki Duncan soon (sometime this month) and hope to tackle others. If you’re an author interested in doing an interview, contact me via danica.avet@gmail.com and we can work something out.

Hopefully I can find my way again. Feeling lost, especially when I have so many ideas, is a drag. What do you do when your plans don’t work out the way you wanted them to?

12 Comments

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12 responses to “Losing the Plan

  1. I feel your pain – the family seems to have a talent for wanting something from me just as I sit down to do some serious writing. And what is it that is so important I have to choose “Die” on Dr. Wicked’s Write or Die? Usually, “Britni is going to the mall. Can you take me to meet her?” or “Can you iron this shirt, since I am 18 years old and far too helpless to do it myself?” (That last was my interpretation of what she said.)
    Don’t sweat too much about the direction to take your book. If you think it is strong enough to stand on its own, make the changes. If, by the grace of the writing gods, the first one gets a contract, I bet you will be so pleased that you won’t mind reversing the changes.
    It’s not that we mind doing the work, you know. It just feels a lot better to do it when you can see a reason. Writing with no sense of return on investment makes it hard to keep going.

    • That’s my problem, really. I worry too much, jumping twenty steps ahead when I’ve barely taken a half step in the direction I want to go in. I must work on that. Thanks, Ro’mama!

  2. Here is your plan girl- save the one you have as a series- save it under the name of SERIES BOOK 2. THEN open it again and name it STAND ALONE BOOK- then edit it to hell and back- then you have preserved the one for the series AND you have an option with the other one if the series falls through. See, this is why I make the big bucks. Trust me! S

  3. Hang in there. Right on sfcatty, I totally agree!

    I’ve had to do that before. Glad I saved the original, too! Cuz I ended up going back.

    Write on, sista.

  4. I agree – you can’t put your life on hold for the publishers and you have to work on what’s lighting you up. So do it!

  5. Oh, Danica, I so feel you on the changing of the series. I had a three book series with a plot line that over arched all three books. Each book was a stand alone romance and in a way each book resolved the overall mystery, but to fully find out what was going to happen to that “mystery” readers would have had to pick up the subsequent books.

    While I loved the idea, and I still do, I realized I had to scale taht way back. The romance is the same in every book in the series, but now that plot that would have taken three books has been condensed and simplified to fit in the one book.

    My world is the same. The characters are the same. But what I discovered in making this change was a freedom I was missing with the stories. By tying that over-arching plot up in one book I have much more freedom for the other stories.

    I also considered the realities of publishing when trying to make this decision. While it happens that publishers buy three book series from debut authors (which I still am to some degree in the eyes of New York), it’s rare. I also had the mark against me that I was writing romantic suspense when it was, still is, a very hard sell. I stood a better chance of placing that book if I split the series into 3 books. They can be sold in bulk or individually and either way will work.

    It wasn’t an easy decision to make, but I am glad I made it and the series became fun to me again once I did. I am eager to have the time to get back to those characters and their stories.

    And hey, even if you play with changing the series, keep the old files the way they were. Then if a publisher does want them that way, you still have them and don’t have to change them back. And if a publisher says we love it, but… Maybe your changes you’re working on will be closer to that “but.”

    Or, and this is another hard one, set that series aside completely and start an entirely new project and wait for the submissions out their to play out before you make any big changes. That’s another thing I did with the series I mentioned above. And while letting that series rest, I got published with what has turned into my Sensory Ops series.

    Decisions, decisions. None of them are easy.

    • Nikki, you’ve hit every point I’ve been toying with. I have an idea of what I’ll do, I just have to stick to my guns when I make it, lol. Waffling is not good for me!

  6. Well I cut my ties and try not to dwell on it. It becomes a drain suck for me and if I do think of all the things I didn’t do that I planned to do, then I’d just take a nap from thinking too much:)

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