The first Wednesday of the month is time for Insecure Writers Support Group, hosted by Alex Cavanaugh and his excellent team. Click here for a list of all the participants and to join in.
I'm suffering from "in-between insecurities" right now. I've finished one book, I really have, but I can't settle on my next project, and I'm so insecure of letting go of the finished one (surely it could use one more good polish! one more twist at the end!).
I'm really torn about whether to commit to a new story, a fairy tale retelling that I've been collecting some ideas on this summer, or go back to one my three earlier manuscripts and work on fixing one of them up. I love all three of them, but I know they need major surgery: in other words, pretty much complete re-writes. If I commit a lot of time to one of those, will I lose some of the inspiration I've been enjoying with the new story?
When I participated in the "Top Ten concepts that would immediately make me pick up or buy a book" last spring (hosted by the Broke and the Bookish blog), I kept seeing two things show up on almost every list: fairytale retellings. And time twists (they showed up on my list, too).
So I'm really tempted to go with my retelling idea. But it's a very obscure fairy tale: Giselle. Actually, it's a ballet based on an old German poem. Classical ballet lovers will recognize it right away, and as soon as I heard that the Denver Ballet was putting on a production of it this fall, that's when the inspiration started stirring... what about a modern, young adult retelling of Giselle? I'm going to see the ballet in October and it seems like perfect timing to start working on the story for NaNoWriMo in November.
But will anyone other than ballet lovers have any interest in this tale? This isn't one that kids grow up hearing bedside stories of or Disney movies of. It's dark and tragic, involving suicide and vengeful female ghosts.
I'm a little insecure writing about such a dark and scary premise, too. Like all proper writers, I put my characters through some very dark times. Light shines the brightest when it shines out of darkness. But suicide is a whole new area of darkness...
And my other three books are sitting there begging me to work on them again. I have a time twisty story, a historical fantasy, full of mythical creatures clashing from different mythologies, and a MG fantasy that I think is the greatest idea in the world (hey, I'm allowed to fantasize). I know, with some work, I could make these into good stories. Giselle, I'm not so sure of, it's such new and scary territory.
I suppose in the end, I'll go with my gut feeling. But I'm always interested to hear: how do other artists choose their projects from the pile?