The State of My Writing Folder: October 2019


I’m suffering a crisis many writers will be familiar with, and if you haven’t experienced it yet, it’s probably somewhere in your future: what project do I work on?

I’ve covered this before, in terms of plot bunnies and NaNoWriMo prep, and surprise, surprise, it’s October and I’m feeling that pre-NaNo pinch again. What better time for a self-assessment of my project opportunities?

  1. #spookyromancenovel 3.0: Major undertaking, and what I feel like I should be working on. It’s definitely the closest thing I have to publishable. My beta readers worked so hard on their feedback. It’s not in terrible shape, it just needs some trimming down and shoring up! But after churning out the first draft during Fictober/NaNo last year, I’ve spent most of 2019 on this project, and I think it’s time for a break.
  2. #rockstarnovel 2.0: Also a major undertaking. Remember this project, guys? Wouldn’t be surprised if you didn’t, it’s my NaNo 2016 novel. I toyed with the idea of revising it through 2017, but it needed so much work, and according to my document history, the last time I took a half-hearted stab at it was early 2018, but I didn’t get very far. I still love this story. I still think about this story from time to time, usually when I hear a new song that fits one of its characters. Its bones are still solid, but I guess I feel weird writing contemporary romance? No sci-fi, no supernatural elements, the stuff that marks almost all of my other writing. With only one series under my belt, I hardly have an entire brand to betray, but this still feels like a huge departure for me.
  3. Finishing NaNo 2017, Wolf Shifters in Love: I did so much prep work for this, I wrote almost 61K for NaNo, and then never finished it. I actually wrote a new scene for this last week, trying it back on, and it went okay, but it’s a weird genre mashup of paranormal and small-town romance, and I almost think with some effort I could restart it and make it fall in line with the universe I’ve built for #spookyromancenovel, which would give me more series potential.
  4. Unfinished Camp NaNo 2018 project, “Some Sort of Witchy Romance”: This will probably never get finished, because I co-opted a lot of the base ideas for #spookyromancenovel, and it can’t stand on its own anymore. But it’s there to mine for further ideas in the potential #spooky series, because this is an F/F pairing and I still haven’t done that and I still want to do that.
  5. Fictober 2019 Unnamed Project: totally half-assed, only a few days of work put in so far. Sometime in 2018 I wrote a bit of contemporary flash fic, never posted anywhere, a scene in a bar that I found interesting for various reasons. On October 1st, wanting to participate in the event but not knowing what to write, I set out to begin the story that would lead to that scene, but it’s a vague goal post and I did no prep work and it’s just not very good so far (which lead to me not working on it the first weekend of the month AT ALL.)
  6. #spookyromancesequel 1.0: If I want to start an entirely new project, at least I’ve already done some of the prep work for this. A minor character from #srn gets her own romance, possibly borrowing from that Camp NaNo 2018 draft I never finished. I do have ideas for other entries in the potential #spooky series–I created a lot of fun minor characters–but this one, chronologically, makes the most sense, so it’s where I should start. But it’s a bit intimidating, because the first book was an experiment in first-person narration for me (my other three works are third-person, dual POV) and this romance has me shackled to a haughty, difficult narrator, if I go forward with it. I should look at it as a challenge, not a problem, but not knowing if I can get #srn itself publishable, should I invest more effort in a series that might never see the light of day?

Top off that doozy of a list with the open-ended idea “start something totally unrelated to anything else and see what happens,” and you’ve got my dilemma. I don’t have an answer yet, but it’s definitely helped to write down all my possibilities and give them a good, hard shake to see how I feel about them. Mostly overwhelmed, at this point, but I’ve still got three weeks before NaNo to sort myself out. There’s no way I’m not going for my fifth year straight winning NaNo!

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