I dusted off a project I pitched a few years ago. It’s an old friend, a story I worked on for months–years. I won a contest with it, workshopped it, and almost signed a contract for it (it was a small publisher I had a few doubts about).
Funny thing about writing (any craft, I suppose): the more you do it, the more you learn, and the more you look at old projects and see all the “issues” you recognize now.
Do I revise the project and try again or set it aside and focus on something fresh? It’s not like I have a shortage of projects to work on. It’s more a matter of which one I can polish in the least amount of time before I go back to Book 2.
Then again, switching genres for a while might be nice. I have a traditional fantasy that I never did finish. There’s that urban fantasy I started. I like the tone of that one, a touch of snark (has nothing to do with the snarky urban fantasies I’ve been reading lately as I’m waiting impatiently for Jim Butcher’s newest Harry Dresden book. Really.).
Thick tropical heat and humidity invade my writing office. I look up from my computer. “Shut that damn door. Leave the mosquitoes outside.”
My Muse pushes the door shut and arches an eyebrow. “Nice to see you too, love.” His short blond hair is bleached on the top, a contrast to his sun-bronzed skin. His weathered red muscle shirt shows a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle–Michaelangelo, I think–on a surfboard, with “Cowabunga!” emblazoned below. Bright green board shorts and flip-flops complete the outfit.
He flashes a wide grin. “The beaches are almost deserted. I had the waves to myself.”
“So glad you were able to take a break.” I can’t help the sarcasm. Well, I could, but hey, he was off somewhere surfing, and I’m at home being a good author. “I could have used your help this week.”
He saunters to my desk. “You did fine this week, love. Finished your class–nice revision of your last assignment, by the way, submitted to your writing sisters for your retreat, and registered for another class.” He ruffles my hair. “You done good.”
He drags a chair around to sit beside me and slings an arm around my shoulders, giving me a whiff of coconut-scented sunscreen and a nice view of his broad chest, surfer turtle and all. “Ready for the second round of revision on Book 2?”
“No. I’m letting that sit for another week. I’m going back to this one.”
He peers at the screen, a crooked grin stretching across his face. “Again? You know I really like this one.”
Only because one of the main characters is an Australian ex-pat. “I know. I’m reading through it again. It’s been awhile.” I didn’t realize how much I’ve learned since I last revised it. “It needs a little work.”
“Maybe.” He shoves back and puts his feet on my desk. Grains of sand sift from his feet like salt. “Your new class hasn’t started, your virtual retreat is a few weeks away, and you’ve been wanting to revise it. So jump in.”
But urban fantasy is calling. I really like the voice in that one, even if it’s only the first few chapters.
My Muse sighs. “No.”
“Hey, you were the one who got me started on that story. I was even going to model one of the characters after you.” Snide comments and all.
“Flattered, but no.” His feet land on the floor and he leans forward. “Focus on one thing at a time, especially since you have an agent who works with mysteries. No fantasy genres until you get the other projects finished and sent off. Got it?”
He’s right. “Got it.” Hasn’t stopped me from reading urban fantasy lately, which is disturbingly addicting. Maybe it’s the snark inherent in so many urban fantasy stories. Laugh out loud snark.
This weekend will be my first “running errands” weekend since mid-March (hubs did the last one). Got my face mask, got my hand sanitizer, I’m ready.
Stay cool! Keep writing!