Wednesday, January 31, 2018

To Speak or Not to Speak

About a month ago, I started off an entry saying I was going to ignore all that advice about not talking about what I was working on and tell everyone about a plot-in-progress.  I now regret this, and I think it's time I changed how I approach this part of the process.

To put it very kindly, I've been having trouble with my plots.  To put it bluntly, I have not been able to take a single thing from concept to complete plot in a long, long time.  I haven't finished a plot and gotten it ready to write since STARWIND, and that plot was two years in the making.  And I wrote that book in 2016.

It's been nearly two years since I was able to make anything work.

The creative process is a long one, I know this.  And a lot changes along the way.  I've had plenty of ideas grow and twist as I worked on them, to the point that their origins were lost somewhere in their depths or excised completely as I discovered something new within the tale that worked better.  It would be kind of depressing to go through this blog and look at all the plots I've talked about and see what did or didn't happen with them.

But it wasn't until I realized that I was losing the Snow White story that I started to wonder if I should talk about my works-in-progress here.  Oddly enough, it's because people actually said they wanted to read the thing that led to this.  Shortly after I talked about the plot, I lost all enthusiasm for it; I've since realized why, but that's another entry.  And I felt like I was letting people down.

On one hand, I have a story that people want to read just from the basic concept.  But on the other hand, I don't want to write that story, not the way I've plotted it.  I could write it, but with what I have now, it would be crap.  And I will not deliberately write crap.

Considering how much changes over the course of plotting, I've come to realize that I shouldn't talk about what I'm working on when it's still in the early stages.  (Except for the occasional tweet, but I keep those deliberately oblique.)  I think I need to wait until things have developed a great deal more, until I'm at the point where it actually could be a viable plot, when things might not be set in stone but are at least....

I don't have a good way to complete that metaphor, but I'd like to wait to talk about things until I've got the story to the point where I know what it's going to be.  I don't think this will change much about the blog - probably more whining about things not working instead of talking about things that might work, but that's about it.  So if things keep going the way they have, it's not like there will be much of a change.

Anyway.  That's all I've got for this week.  Thanks as usual for listening to me ramble.  I've actually had some reasonable success with recent ideas, which feels good.  Wish me luck on making any of them work.

Next week: IWSG - No More Shiny New Idea.


  1. I usually don't talk about what I'm working on until it's mostly done and will definitely have an ending. For some people, telling others holds them accountable, but for some of us, we're even more demotivated when it doesn't happen.

    1. Yeah, I hear you there. Things have been so... unproductive (to put it politely) for me lately, that telling anyone about what I'm working on and then not having it work out feels like I'm letting people down.

  2. My sis-in-law is similar in that once she tells someone about the story idea, it's already out there, therefore she has no motivation to continue developing the story because she's given it life just through speaking about it. The story just dies after that.

    I, on the other hand, can talk about my ideas to pretty much anyone, though I'm well aware that my prattling is hard to follow and I overwhelm people more often than not. So I will avoid talking about my story for the other person's sake, rather than my own.

    If you find that keeping your stories to yourself helps, then I'm happy to cheer you on. Just keep us apprised of how you're doing!

    1. I'm glad you don't have this problem - hell, I wish nobody had this problem, myself included. :P And I will still talk about progress and stuff here, when there is progress to talk about. I just won't say what it is until I know it's going to work.