Monday, June 09, 2008

In a Weird Place

I'm currently in a strange place in my writing. It's a place I've been before, but with some differences. Let me explain...

As I posted about before, I've just delivered DEAD IF I DO. Now, I'm patiently waiting for my editorial revision letter to arrive via email. It usually takes my editor anywhere from a couple of weeks to months to find the time to read and comment on the book. In the past, her comments have significantly changed the novel. I've re-written large sections, changed key things about characters, and even completely revamped ending under editorial guidance.

I have another book in the Garnetverse under contract that I could start, but, you see, I'm not entirely sure how the last book ends officially.

I've been here before, of course. In the past, I tended to go a little stir crazy while I waited. I'd start short stories (often never ending them, but that's mostly because I suck at the shorter form), and wander around the house talking to myself. Granted, I tend to talk to myself a lot even under normal circumstances, but this is different... more akin to what Kelly calls, "leaking weirdness."

Normally I'm loath to start anything big because my brain actually tends to be monogomous. I work best by sticking to one project at a time. (I also have to write chronologically. I'm not one of those writers who can easily skip ahead and go back and write transitions. Sometimes I wish I were. I think I'd write faster.) Anyway, this time I've decided to be poly-novel. I've started the science fiction novel my alternate personality is contracted for with a small press.

In one way, it's good. I'm talking to myself less. I'm focused. I have something to do, where I'd normally be twiddling my thumbs and causing trouble for my family by playing too many video games, reading comics, and otherwise being a bad influence. I've also been having fun doing some research for the book, which I haven't really gotten to do in this way since the last science fiction project nearly four years ago.

In another way, I'm nervous. The editorial letter could arrive any day now. What's it going to be like to have to switch gears and go back to the Garnetverse after having been AngeLINKed for days? Keep in mind that I've never tried to divide my attention between two novels before, so I'm nervous... I feel like I'm having an illicit affair with the other project. What if I ruin my ability to go back to the other? What if Garnet can't satify me like Mouse can?

I guess I'll have to find out....

7 comments:

Nicole Lorenz said...

As a monogamous writer also attempting polynovelism for the first time, I feel your pain. I'm "cheating" on the fantasy series I've been working on since high school to start a much fluffier book that's only been in my head for six months. There's this nagging sense of guilt, like "How could I betray my serious long-term project by taking up with this hot young thing?"

Douglas Hulick said...

I went through the same thing when I put HQ on hiatus to do my final revisions on D&S. I've never quite got back the initial enthusism I had for HQ at the beginning, but I figure that is inevitable with most projects at some point. One thing that did help me get through the revisions was knowing I had the other book waiting for me. So even if Mouse or Garnet grabs you more then the other, you can always look forward to getting back to it, or even "cheating" now and then.

I've jokingly referred to D&S as my "ex" and HQ as the "new girl friend", since I want to spend all my time with the latter but every once in a while have to go back and deal with the former (edits, proposals, etc.). Not the most elegant analogy, I admit, but there are times when it definiely feels that way. :)

Bill Henry said...

Yeah, how I can relate.

Long-term project: The Floating World.

Hot young thang: Seven Acts of Mercy.

Conflicted . . .

Kelly McCullough said...

It's a skill, if you make the shift back and forth regularly enough it gets to be almost second nature.

Jo Anne said...

I bet you don't have a problem with it. You already know what you want to write for you sci-fi. Your book is finished-up to a point and when it comes back for revisions and whatnot (I haven't been there yet)You'll be able to switch. Think of it like taking care of twins. they look alike but there not. So you treat one this way and the other that way. Does that make sense? I hope so.

Sean M. Murphy said...

Strangely, Kelly, your comment comes off like an apologism for adultery: "Nah, once your conscience gets numb, it stops bothering you. Just do it more often!"

Kelly McCullough said...

Huh. Would never have read it that way myself, but then I'm polynovelous by nature.