The Joy of a New Project

With my completed WIP currently with my beta readers for feedback, I’ve started on my second book – tentatively titled ROGUE. I’ve spent my writing time in the last week or so working on the outline, and now have chapter summaries for the whole book, which is very satisfying.

It’s one of the most exciting parts of writing, starting a new project. And I find it takes quite a lot of willpower to not start working on that dazzling new idea as soon as it occurs to you, and instead just write down enough notes that you can pick it up later! But happily I’ve been allowed to do indulge in that new-book excitement this week, and fleshed out those notes and that idea into a skeleton which I should be able to start putting some flesh on in a few days.

I know not everyone likes to outline before they start writing (pantsers, that’s you!) but I can’t do without it. Literally, could not write a book if I didn’t outline it first. (Trust me, I’ve tried.) And one of the little perks is the wonderful, oh-so-satisfying moment during the outlining process where everything just… clicks.

This time it was when I had the first two acts of the book outlined, and the ending, and was just missing the final confrontation to go in-between. I hadn’t even started thinking about how I wanted that confrontation to go, was just sitting down to dinner, when it came to me. Just appeared in my head, fully formed: I didn’t decide on something, didn’t deliberately plot anything, just realised what the missing part of the story was. As if it already existed and I was just discovering it.

I love it when that happens.

What about you, readers? Do you have the willpower to stick to the WIP and resist the siren song of the new project? Or do you have two, three or four on the go at once?

4 thoughts on “The Joy of a New Project

  1. Oh, I love the click. I always look forward to that moment when writing, whether it’s plotting out the story or physically writing it out, and everything just falls together. ‘Tis wonderful.
    When I have the great desire to work on a new project, but haven’t finished the old one, I typically either just let it sit and think about it a lot, or do a ton of art for it. The art usually helps me get that creative need out of my system and I can turn myself back to my current project. I’ve tried doing more than one (which is actually what’s happened to me right now), but usually I end up focusing on one of them more than the others or never finishing all of them, so I’m trying to focus on one at a time. That doesn’t mean I don’t have one unfinished novel I’m working on and something else I’m working on currently (usually a short story), just that the two files are never open at the same time on my computer. I try not to have more than two things going on at once…okay, three, since I’m usually working on two things and have a third juggling around in my head. Anyway, I can’t work on two novels at the same time, physically writing them. I end up focusing on one, really have the drive to write the other, and end up rushing the one I’m working on in frustration.
    And while I usually don’t write out a physical outline, I have one in my head. I never start a project until I know exactly where I’m starting, what happens in the middle, and where it’s going in the end. I don’t know. Putting it down on paper feels incredibly committing to me, and it feels far more organic in my head and I can shuffle stuff around better that way. I have done outlines before though, and they are very helpful, especially when I’m working on the second draft of anything and there isn’t too much shuffling going on until I’m doing my final editing. Also, if I’ve got something complicated with a lot of moving pieces that need to go here or there in a very exact manner, I usually write notes down like crazy so I don’t forget.
    I love new projects. Have fun with your second book!

    1. Man, I suck at art. I have zero artistic talent – quite jealous of people who can even draw just a little!
      Also impressed you can keep the outline of a novel in your head – I wouldn’t stand a chance. I couldn’t even tell you everything that happens in the book I’ve just finished without checking 🙂
      I love outlining, and Scrivener is the best for it. You get to drag little index cards around the corkboard on screen and shuffle your scenes back and forth. Satisfying!
      Thanks for commenting 🙂

  2. rilaly

    Like Love, writing and ideas come when you least expect them. I’ve had a lot of those aha! moments that occured to me at work, at the dinner table, or out walking my dog. My favorite aha! moment occurred at work. I turned to the girl next to me, and said: “I just got a book idea!” I spent the next two years writing it. Like you said Dan, I had been writing hodgepodge scenes for this book in the weeks prior to the aha! moment, but it all came together in that one moment. Even though I hated the song “Woot there it is!” I understood it a little better after this moment.

    1. Haha – I’m not familiar with that particular ditty, but it sure sounds like it applies.
      I refuse to write any scenes until whole plot is outlined. Just anal that way. Works for me though!
      Thanks for commenting 🙂

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