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Thread: So many ideas, such little time.

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  1. #1
    The One Who Tells The Story relletyrots's Avatar
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    Aug 2017
    Where stories are born, and dreams are put to bed.

    So many ideas, such little time.

    I am student (nothing writing-related), so during semesters I hardly find any time to write. Squeezing a sentence here and there is highly torturous for me, so I opted for ceasing writing entirely during that time, reserving all vacation-time for my projects. (That is an issue by itself, but not the one at hand.)

    Last summer, I attempted to write a novel I had long wanted to write. (I've only written short stories before.) I finally managed to write about 60,000 words in three months. According to my estimation, the novel will probably top out at around 90,000 words.

    In the following months, (including a minor vacation between semesters,) something happened that I can't fully explain. I decided the novel was not good enough for me to pursue, and I found a new idea for a novel I thought I liked better. This is the way I rationized it:
    (1) Writing 60K words made huge improvements to my style. I've learnt so much. How could this old draft ever compete with a new piece I'd write?
    (2) Oh, that plot-twist--the one I've strived for--is never going to work. It was foolish of me to think it would. Better just give it all up.
    (3) The new idea is AWESOME. It's so great, so much better than the first one. I must write it NOW.

    And so, I wrote about 6,000 words of the new idea. (As I mentioned, not much time during the academic year.)

    Now, summer comes again, and choices have to be made. Which one to write? It seemed obvious: idea no. 2. I already killed no. 1, didn't I? At least until I finish AWESOME idea no. 2. Then, I looked critically at my way of thinking, and . . . I wasn't pleased. Remember the rationalization from before? It's so dumb in hindsight. Let's go through the points:
    (1) Ever heard of editing? Sure, you got better. You always get better the more you write. Editing the existing work would be MUCH easier than writing a new one from scratch.
    (2) How the hell do you know it won't work? You haven't written the damn thing! That plot-twist was what made you fall in love with that story.
    (3) Yeah, remember a year ago? Then, you thought the first idea was AWESOME. So AWESOME, in fact, that you wrote 60K words about it. You're just excited about this, becuase it's fresh, and unwritten, and full of potential. If you go down this path, you'll never get anything done.

    And rereading some of what I wrote last summer . . . it isn't as bad as I remembered it to be. The story can easily work. And while editing is required (as always), it definitely won't be as extensive as I imagined.

    Now, reading all of that (wow, I didn't mean to get so wordy), you might think, Well, you didn't need us at all. You got to the right conclusion yourself. Finish the first novel already.

    But I do want to hear your opinion and past experience, because this dilemma has eluded my sense of judgement for far too long. A few days ago, I was certain that writing the new idea is the way to go. Now, the old one seems to be the right choice. I don't remember a time I've been so indecisive. I don't have much time to write, so I want to put it to good use.

    I could literally write a novel about this issue (oh, man, not another one), because I have thought about this for a long time. But this is getting too long, so I'll leave it at that.

    Basically, my questions are these: What do you think I should do? Have you ever been in a similar situation?
    Last edited by relletyrots; 07-09-2018 at 03:43 PM.

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