Thursday, July 15, 2010

What to write first?

I am in a bit of a quandary. As a new writer I am still trying to find my voice. I am trying to perfect my craft. So my question is should I hone my craft on the story that I care most about, or should I write something else first and then take my more practiced skills and apply them to the story that I want to be my magnum opus.

The adult epic fantasy that I am writing is my favorite project. I have been working on the world and refining it for over a decade. I had it planned for a trilogy but I believe it will be 5 books now. It is what I have been working on since I started this blog. It is my dream.

But I feel like I owe the story and the characters better writing. I feel like I need to improve before I tell this story.

Now it is possible that by the end of the three to five books I will be the writer who I think I need to be to tell the story, but is it better to write something else first?

I have something else that i would like to work on. It is a YA fantasy series set in the same world as my epic fantasy and so I would not only be refining my writing but I will still be refining my world.

So should a switch gears? What to you think?


  1. When I talked to you earlier about it, I said it might be good to switch gears for a while. But when you talked about your adult series in this blog, my first thought was- stick with the one you love. It's your favorite- your baby. But, if you feel you need a break, and need to try something fresh, then work on the YA. Or, write a short story about one of your minor characters in your world. Then when you are done with that, you might be ready to pick up your adult series.

    I get so many ideas for books in my head as I am writing my current WIP. But we can't let those ideas overtake us, because then we'd get nothing done. We'd always have started novels, and get nowhere with them because we think of something else that sounds really cool. What I do is open a new word document for each idea, title is "So and So Book Idea" and then write down the plot thats in my head, or the character names, or whatever I'm thinking of. Then I can continue with my current WIP, knowing that I can come back to one of my ideas when I'm done.

    It's hard to keep up with a whole book. In your case, 150,000 words is A LOT. I'm almost to 70k and its hard. Its hard to keep going when I have all these awesome ideas in my head for something else, and my current WIP feels a bit old...maybe because I've been writing it for a year and a half, but I just keep pushing because I love my characters, and I love my story.

    When I finish this one, I'll edit as much as possible, and start sending out queries. As I am sending out queries, thats when I'll start on my new book. I'm chomping at the bit to write the sequel, but this first story has to be told. It has to be finished. If this series doesn't do well, I'll write another and try it. Like Holly Schindler said, she wrote a book, queried that, and then wrote another and on and on until she got something.

    I think this is how a lot of writers don't end up publishing anything, because they don't get all the way through their book. I am confident you will get through yours. It's your dream, and if you want it badly enough, even though the road is rocky, and you might want to switch gears, you will suceed.

    You know as your Critique partner, I will support you in any of your decisions, and read what you put out and tell you what I think. If you feel the YA book is the way to go, to take a break from your Adult one, than by all means do it. If it will get you writing again, then do it :) Whatever it takes to get those juices flowing, do it :)

  2. Hey there! I found your blog via C.E.'s page and wanted to stop by to say hello. I also write adult epic fantasy, and haven't found a whole lot of other epic bloggers on web.

    I know this post is a couple months old, and you may have already made a decision, but I think switching to the YA sounds like a good plan. It would help you refine your world, and you would get a chance to explore corners of it that might have remained untouched in the adult story. When you do head back to the adult, I bet you'll have a fresh perspective that will help you move forward.