Wednesday, June 9, 2010

RTW: Is it working?

This Week's Topic: When do you know when a project is going to work and when it's not?

The answer for this one is all over the board for me. I have at least fifteen projects in my "started and quit" file. Some of them are doomed to stay there forever. Some will be pulled out in a few weeks, months, or even years for another look.

The answer to the question isn't an easy one. Because the answer is: I don't know until I know. I've quit projects less than 1k in. I've quit projects that are halfway done. At some point I just kind of laze off. I make excuses not to work on it. I make promises to try again that are never kept.

For me, it's clear the a project is not going to work when it's no longer fun. When it loses it's intrigue, then it's time to put it away. That's how I know that a project just isn't working and it's time for me to give it a rest. Most of these projects are put away because the worldbuilding just isn't something I'm capable of doing. Some of them I just realize aren't good ideas and I shuffle them off onto the sidelines until I think of something better to turn them into.

The point is, when a project isn't going to work, it'll tell you. You just have to listen. It might not work forever, but if it's clear that it's not working now and you're not enjoying the process of working on it, then it's time to put it aside and finding something that does fit that bill.


Nomes said...

I know what you mean.

I have scrapped a few ideas b/c of world building (some abitious post-apocalyptic stuff LOL). But then I steal scenes/characters from scrapped works and transplant them into something new.

Thanks fro sharing :)

Remilda Graystone said...

"...when a project isn't going to work, it'll tell you."

Absolutely true. I've gone through the same thing with the world building and the fifteen projects I've started and quit on and the quitting halfway through. I'd nearly done it all.

Thanks for sharing your process with us!

Kate Hart said...

This is so off topic, but my son saw your blog and when I clicked a different tab, he started demanding that I "go back to the one with the donkeys!"


Michelle Schusterman said...

You know, that's a great way to judge - not having fun, particularly for long periods of time, when you know it's not a phase. Great post!

Leila Austin said...

True! Writing should be fun. Well. Predominantly fun, anyway.

And things you shelve now can always resurrect themselves later. I have a shelved project from four years ago that's started nagging at me sometimes. The fun can definitely come back :-)