My brain and focus

I sat down at my desk this morning to get on with my YA Supernatural novel. My surprise writing session of yesterday afternoon had kicked things on nicely and I wanted to keep the momentum going.

I do my usual prewriting routine; select the first music of the day (Pete Townshend's White City) and read the news headline son the BBC News website. The problem is one of the stories got me thinking. The result of that thinking saw me do a little research and then spend nearly an hour scribbling down notes for another novel idea. And it's an idea that excites me.

So I have two problems. I now have to try to get my focus back to the current novel and then I will have to work out in future whether I should write this new idea next. Heck, managing to get to the end of the current novel without heading sideways into this new idea is going to be tricky enough. Being sensible enough to pick the idea that gives me the best chance to see a book published is going to be next to impossible.

You see I am trying to go by the advice I received from the agent I mentioned in a previous blog entry about what might sell. And from what she said, much as this new idea is one that if I'd seen it as the blurb on the back of a book in Waterstones I would have had no choice but to buy it, there might not be a big market for it.

It's a fairly out there science fiction idea. In my many long years of reading science fiction, watching science fiction and reading about science fiction I've not come across anything too close to it. (Yes I'm sure if I detailed the plot someone would reply with 'Have you forgotten about X?)

But originality is no guarantee of it selling. And I am in this to try to sell a book after all, so writing in a genre that gives me less of a chance of achieving it is not a good idea really. So I pick what is best to write and go for it.

Now don't think for a minute I am going to head off to a totally different genre to my personal reading taste. I don't think that would be possible. I couldn't write a romance novel for instance. I just don't have it in me. I don't have a problem with anyone who write them. I don't have a problem with anyone who reads them. They are writing/reading after all. I'm just not one of them. Give me a space ship, a wizard on some fantastical quest or a demon trying to rip out everyone's guts any day.

But within the genres I know I am starting to get an idea of what might give me the best chance of selling a story. So I am picking and choosing from the ideas I get on the basis of completeness of idea (I like at least knowing the ending myself when I type the first line), personal interest (I've got to like the story as it will take me longer to write it than for you to read it) and whether I might be able to get a deal with it. The first two are marginally more important but these days I feel I need a tick in all three before going for it. Hence the current WiP.

Logic like that doesn't help though, when the idea I have threatens to take over my every waking thought. Hopefully writing it all down in another notebook - yeah I gave it its own book right form the off - will allow me to get back to reality.

Let's see


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