I've heard of some writers being asked if they worry about running out of ideas. I hope no one ever asks me that question, because I'll start laughing and may never stop, which would probably make the person asking it kind of upset.
However, this comes with its own set of issues, which I shall now attempt to sort through.
After spending most of September putting The Book of Lost Runes through massive revisions, I'm more than ready to set it aside for a bit. The book's in the hands of three beta readers - okay, two beta readers and one beta listener, which was new to me. While I do need to work on the query letter, I'm not going to sit around and make tiny edits to a story I've already gone through five times while I wait for people to get back to me.
So clearly, I need something else to work on. And the problem with asking "What's next?" is that I don't exactly have a clear to-do list. Writing is not a science (at least, not the way I do it), so it's not always easy to know what to do.
The first option is the interplanar race book. The plot's mostly together, one of the three I prepared for this year back when my goal was to plot three books and write two. I didn't write this one because I was never quite 100% on it. I think I've got it, though, now that I realized a character I was never sure about does in fact need to be in the book.
However, I don't want to write another book right now. That's a massive commitment of time, and I don't think I could get it done before my beta readers get back to me and it's time to work on BoLR again. I write books by working on only that book every day without taking a break, so I don't want to get started on one when I know I'll be interrupted.
Next, I have option two: start editing the crazy dream book. Yes, it has a real title; no, I'm not saying what it is because I have to do a ton of editing on the thing for the title to actually make sense. I finished that back in June, so it's had a good long time to sit and sort of congeal in my head. I well and truly hope that, when I get back to it, I can make it into the sort of story it's meant to be. Because I have this strange feeling that it's not quite weird enough.
But I don't know if I want to get started on that now. Editing one book while waiting for people to read a different one so I can edit that... this is a completely new situation for me. And considering the story's inspirations, there's something else coming in November that might give me new ideas.
Then again, it's not like the crazy dream book will somehow be etched in stone if I spend most of October editing it.
My third option is the metal fantasy dragon book, which is currently in its... sixth incarnation of plotting? Maybe seventh? I've had so many troubles with this one, most of which leave me emotionally drained, I'm not even sure if I shouldn't just bury it for a year or so. But I had some ideas today that might finally solve that problem. I'd like to develop that plot more and see what comes of it.
So now that I've hashed all this out, my intent with doing this journal entry was to figure out what I would do next. I think I've arrived at the best idea: all of them. I'll polish the interplanar plot, I'll edit the crazy dream book, and I'll do all I can to finally get the dragon book into a workable story. Because right now, there's really no point in limiting myself. Any of these things could turn out to be what eventually gets published. Or, in a perfect world, all of them.
Time to get back to work. Not that I ever really stopped...