Monday, June 28, 2010

Maybe there's a Reason I haven't been Productive

I don't like excuses. [I amend that, I think people do like excuses, generally, when they need to use one, but no one is much of a fan when given them by others.] I try not to use excuses to explain away my behavior or lack thereof.

That said, I wrote a post last night for my personal blog and it got me thinking this morning. see, I had another idea for a new story. Specifically a new story that could be combined with the idea from an old story to create something that I find really interesting. It plays with the idea of who is the villain when it comes to vampires versus vampire hunters. Many of the UFs that contain vamps have at least one who good and sexy if not always nice (or nice and sexy, if not always good...Aaaand now I'm having an "Into the Woods" moment--"You're not good, you're not bad, you're just nice. I'm not good, I'm not nice, I'm just right." Much love for Bernadette Peters.)

Many vamp-UFs have vampires that align themselves with the protagonist, with a lot of sexiness thrown in. At the same time, there are a good number of UFs out there with hunters as their protagonists (LKH's Anita Blake; Buffy to take it into other mediums), so there is a lot of space to play with who is the villain, who thinks who's the villain, and switch between my fairly young, but mature vampire and a seasoned hunter stuck with a new apprentice. But end up having to examine their own behaviors, and existence, and may end up working together (haven't decided the last bit yet).

Anyway, it's one more novel that has tightened its hold on my brain, which makes it about the fourth right now. But none of the other three has kept my attention long enough for me to reach the end of a complete first draft.

Excuses time: Is it just that I've been lazy in my self-control and scheduling, or was there some unconscious part that was waiting for the right story--not that the others are bad, but there's one just ready to be written and I just need to find it?

Honestly, put that way, it's probably just me not making better use of my time. Because in every story I reach a point where I get stuck (halfway to three-quarters in), and I don't use this sort of excuse for those times. Here, it's probably a matter of not knowing where some/most of these are going, so instead of plowing through and forcing a plot to take form, my mind skips on to the next shiny object

Of course, I am going to give this new story some of my attention. But I think making this realization--that I was trying to make excuses for myself and really just need to figure out the full arcs of the stories--has helped me, refocusing my attention. I need to make a trip into town today, which is an hour's bus ride each way. I think I'll take my notebook and use that time to jot down notes are all the major events of at least two of these novels.

Maybe in a few days I can return to tell you all that I've settled on one story to write to its end.


jjdebenedictis said...

Good luck! I also tend to procrastinate the worst when I don't quite know what comes next and I'm dreading the work of figuring it out. Bus rides do help!

Sabrina said...

Thank you.

For various reasons, I've been thinking a lot lately about where my ideas come from and what develops first. I think this procrastination happens so much to me because the first bit of a story to develop is usually a character and not an event or a plot.

Jennifer Ambrose said...

Good luck! Acknowledging the procrastination is the only way to beat it. And I agree, bus and train rides do help. Sometimes you just have to give yourself some space to think and breath and imagine.

Sabrina said...

Jennifer--(Sorry, I didn't respond sooner. I kept getting a weird word ver. with no word, so couldn't post.) I got a job teaching in town. That's an hour's bus ride (at least) each way, for four days out of the week. I'm really looking forward to that time, for note-taking, scene-writing, and letting the percolating thoughts drift forward for conscious development.