Sunday, January 9, 2011

A Rainy Day in Texas

It's been raining for at least five hours. The nutter I am, my mood is actually improved by a cloudy, drizzly day. It's a soothing sound; steady drops on the roof, the crinkle of the dried leaves in the yard as their pelted, the dull sky and empty streets give a sense of solitary, as if there's been an Apocolypse I slept through. Time, which usually dashes by as it gives me the finger, slows to pass me at a meander and give a dismissive shrug instead.

I'm at a crossroads the last several days. I'm the suck at decisions, and I've needed to make one. I put it off in the usual ways: avoidance, denial, occupying myself with other things, etc. But the fact remains; a decision looms.

Which MS do I work on?

I stopped working on MS3 several weeks ago. Real life threw me a lot and writing wasn't in the cards during the holidays. Now that the new year has arrived, I know I should be working on something, and logic states I should return to the WIP. But something happened about a week ago, and every time I sit down at the computer to add to chapter 9 of MS3, my mind wanders back to what happened a week ago: I wrote a new beginning to MS1 which popped into my head. The beginning led to a realization of how I could make the book 300% better.

My muse begs me to go back to MS1, a.k.a. kick a dead horse. It had no agent interest nor feedback as to why it had no agent interest. It could have been the length, but it could have been anything. MS2 had several agents ask for partials and fulls, and people who've read what I've done so far on MS3 like it as much if not more than MS2, so logic dictates it might have more agent interest when I query than MS2 did. But my muse longs for Dead Horse MS1. The artist in me wants to follow my muse, but the part of me that wants to be published someday says I should only look forwards and not backwards.

I'm sure even the greats wish they could revisit something they wrote and make it better. Logic tells me it's a bad idea. Anyone else have this problem at times? How do you get past it?

12 comments:

The Words Crafter said...

Wow! I'd say go with your gut (thanks, Gibbs!), but I'm certainly no expert. Good luck!

Kirthi said...

Oh yeahh, I heard about the storm the rain going through Texas. It's going to turn to snow in Georgia. I want rain more...

And hey, sometimes you need a good healthy break. So don't feel bad!

Mia Hayson said...

You could try seeing what happens if you go with MS1 and then if it goes wrong come back to MS3?

Go with the instincts.

I love rainstorms, proper ones that are loud and sudden.

:D

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Rain here in Louisiana, too. LOL. Like it rains more than not here.

Rain means something different to me : I am on call much of the time so the thought of having to drive at night in blinding rain is not a calming one. Nor can I snuggle in when it is not my call, for I know one of co-workers will have to take a chance on their lives to deliver rare blood to the ill in the blinding rain. Sigh. My job even robs me of happy rain snuggling.

Which manuscript are you closest to finishing? Go to that one and pick the neatest scene you have in mind for that WIP and write it. You may find that writing it fires your inspiration to continue on with it. Then, connect the written scene to the rest of the manuscript.

That little devil called procrastination is cunning. Sometimes he convinces us to go back when we should go forward. Just a thought, Roland

Delia said...

Hmm, were it me (and it's not), I'd take another stab at MS1. Because, who says it's a dead horse? Maybe it was a good idea that fell by the wayside due to your as-yet-undeveloped writing skills, and now that you have more, your mind/muse wants to make it the fully-realized story it should have been in the first place.

So, I guess, it depends on how much you believed in the idea in the first place. If you still think it's a winner and was simply done wrong, I don't see the harm in correcting it and making it what it should have been. OTOH, if you take an honest, unemotional look at it and find it lackluster, then 3 might be the way to go.

My $.02.

Good luck!

Terry Towery said...

Good lord, woman, where have you BEEN? I've missed you.

As to your dilemma: I'd go with your muse. I always do, and look how far it's gotten me. ;)

Alleged Author said...

Of course we love to revisit the oldies. I think you should do it. Your muse may not rest until you do.

But I'm not giving up. 2011--MARK MY WORDS--will be the year of the contemporary. Write one!! Please! If your voice when writing your blog is any indication it will be amazing. I will keep badgering you until you write a contemporary YA or MG. My kids need it!

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

well my muse is a drunk, so i don't usually listen to her too much regarding what i should be working on RIGHT NOW, otherwise i'd never get anything done

aspiring_x said...

yikes! what a decision! perhaps you don't have to choose? perhaps you could feed the muse and the sensibility? spend mwf on one and tths on the other?

Yaya' s Home said...

I love the rain. The sound of it is like a baby's heartbeat. When the rain falls, I can write for hours. Trouble is, the perfectionist in me wants to re-do it to death. I think the hardest part of writing is letting go. 'Course, sometimes it's best not to let go 'til it has been beaten to perfection. Ah; decisions, decisions.

~ Yaya

Nick said...

I am definitely late to the party so just rock with everything everyone above me said.

Justine Dell said...

MS1, MS2, and MS3 sound like video games systems. LoL.

I've been there. With my first MS, I stopped working on something when I had "the idea of the century" to make it better. Kind of. So I stopped working on my MS3 and went back to MS1.

I stressed over the changes, poured more sweat and blood into the ms ... only to realize the book had been dead for a long while. Now amount of doctoring up would make it better. Of course, I learned this after I finsihed the grueling edits and changes. Now with my queries/agents pretty much finsihed, I realized it was all ... not really worth it.

It was a good way to practice my skills and learn some stuff, but in the end, I didn't change the book enough to make it sellable. It was already DOA when I started the new revisions. I should have left it to die in peace. LoL.

I'm not saying that's what right for you, but I think your MS3 is gonna be pretty kick-ass ... so you should get to finishing it, my dear. ;-)

~JD