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I recommend

  1. Putting aside WIP for now in favor of new idea

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  2. Saving new idea for later

    3 vote(s)
    75.0%
  3. Just doing both

    1 vote(s)
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  1. Ms. DiAnonyma
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    Ms. DiAnonyma Active Member

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    Leaving a WIP?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Ms. DiAnonyma, May 9, 2016.

    Perhaps it's a good problem to have; I'd certainly be dismayed to find my idea-well run dry.

    But what do you do when you have a WIP, and you get a marvelous idea for a very different novel?

    To qualify, I've yet to complete a whole draft of a novel. (The longest short I've written, start to finish, was less than 20,000 words). And I would like to get a full-length draft finished sooner rather than later.

    Also, I think I understand the pragmatism of the statement that your first book won't be much good, and will never get published. As my WIP is the first of a trilogy, that doesn't sound very encouraging. I enjoy working on my WIP, appreciated the upsides (and downsides) of making a magic-less fantasy. But should I set it aside for this other idea?

    My new idea is an historical fiction work, set in Gaul during the Roman conquest.
    Ivorix is a 15 year-old orphan, the bottom of the pecking order in his tribe, (a part of the Menapii in northwestern Gaul). When the Romans demand the son of their chief as a hostage to secure their peace treaty, Ivorix is chosen to take his place. As a Roman hostage, he is treated according to his "royal" status- but he knows that if either side violates the treaty, his life won't be worth a sesterce. But, in Rome, he learns of a threat to his tribe- can he do anything? Will he?

    It's a much simpler plot and characters than my WIP (and other novel ideas)- at least, so far. Should I be trying to make my first novel a simpler one? There is more research for the setting and such- different from fantasy building, but doable, and not all unfamiliar territory.

    Should I just drop my WIP, to focus on this new idea? Work concurrently on two different novels? Freeze the newcomer for later and keep on with my WIP?
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2016
  2. Tea@3
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    Tea@3 Contributing Member

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    Freeze the newcomer for later and keep working on the WIP.

    Stephen King said he's constantly constantly tempted by new ideas while he's working on a book. He says to pause to make notes to use later, then set that aside and keep working on the current story.

    This exact thing happened to me a few years ago. I had a killer idea, I mean really good concept, right in the middle of my big project which I was still very excited about. So I pulled out some white typing paper and quickly dumped everything I could about the new idea, then put it in an envelope and went on working with the main WIP. About three years later I took out that envelope and the idea was perfectly preserved, ready for my full attention.
     
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  3. Mocheo Timo
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    Mocheo Timo Active Member

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    Keep on with your WIP. I don't say this by personal experience, but drafts of first novels are rarely published. Either way the idea of writing a first novel is not really to have it published. No writing is ever put to waste. The special thing about writing a first novel is just that you are able to finish one in the first place. If you are able to write an entire story, beginning to end, without falling into the temptation of rejecting it or starting on other projects, you'll already have achieved something great.

    That doesn't mean you should never write anything else but your WIP though. I'm a horrible example to follow, since I haven't worked on my WIP for a while, but I'm constantly writing poems and personal thoughts whenever it strikes me to. That doesn't compete with my novel, since those are small things.

    There will always be new ideas and annoying challenges to your WIP; fight them; resist them.
    Keep up with the good work. ;)
     
  4. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    I don't know where you got this idea, but it's certainly not something I've ever heard before. As a bonus I can name at least a dozen first novels that got published, starting with Carrie.
     
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  5. Mocheo Timo
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    Mocheo Timo Active Member

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    That's good to know! I should go back to my WIP as soon as possible... :supercheeky:
     
  6. Ms. DiAnonyma
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    Ms. DiAnonyma Active Member

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    Thanks, I think it was a blog (on bookbaby? Maybe?) about writing your first book... and some personal observations (if I finish my first book at 17 or so, it's not likely to have much depth from the experience-well that I imagine helped other first-timers successful).

    I think my concern is that my WIP may have been too complicated for a first story? And I should start and finish something simpler first?
     
  7. NiallRoach
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    NiallRoach Contributing Member

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    Just finish the damned thing. Maybe it gets published, maybe it doesn't, but if you start abandoning projects at the whiff of something new, you'll never get anything published because you'll never get anything finished.

    I have a pseudo-fantasy novel and a sci-fi one burning to be written, but I've forbidden myself from actually writing them.
    If the idea has legs, it'll still be there when its number comes up.
     
  8. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor

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    I've heard it a lot: that most authors' first published novels aren't the first novels they've written. It does tally with what I see published writers saying on other sites, but I don't know what survey or study it's based on.

    I'm with @Tea@3 here. I had a brainwave for my next novel a few weeks ago, when my current one was 75% done. I'm letting it percolate in the back of my mind while I polish my WIP.
     
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