Tuesday, September 11, 2012

I! Am! Sparta! (well, my brain is)

As I'm typing this, my brain is fighting me on every word (literally...I've written and deleted this first sentence three times.). It keeps grabbing hold of the letters and refusing to let them out. It has unleashed a full-on assault, complete with spears and swords and 300 Spartans ready to give their last breath to win.

And why, you ask, has my brain turned on me over the mere attempt to write a blog post? 

Because it wants me to focus on the two WIPS currently fighting their own war in my head. Which brings me to today's post (funny how ironic that is, huh?)

About a month or so ago, I wrapped up final edits on Blood Awakening, the second book in my Blood Prophecy trilogy. (No clue what I'm talking about? Check out book one here). It was a great feeling knowing I was finished, because my publisher had tasked me with some huge changes (like...cutting out entire chapters. Chapters, people!). At first glance, it seemed insurmountable. But, like all us writers, I buckled down and did the work--and the book, in my opinion, is much better for it. After I was done, I rewarded myself by taking a week off from writing  and doing nothing but reading (I can almost hear writers past gasping from beyond). I devoured several books that had been perched on my TBR shelves during those 7 days, letting my mind cleanse itself from the stress of revisions it had been under. It was, in a word, awesome.

That mini-vacay helped me return to the trenches ready to fight. I had to dig into the first book of my second contracted series, which is due in December, so I had no more time to waste. I was stoked to create this dystopian world that had seized my thought process about six months ago, to flesh out the characters that I so vividly saw in my head. I eagerly sat at my computer and opened up my .doc, my fingers aching to begin.

And, as luck would have it, those characters? That world that wouldn't let me leave only a few months ago? Yeah, they were MIA. Nowhere to be found. Gone. And in their place were some new characters, a new world, a new idea. And this idea forced me to write it. It, like my brain at the beginning of this blog post, had its own set of eager Spartans ready for battle. And these soldiers even had shields to block those dystopian words from getting through. And spears. And swords. 

And an even bigger need to win.

Thus began the battle still raging in my head. It isn't a battle of good vs evil, of light vs dark, of Spartans vs Persians. No, it is a much worse battle.

A battle of me vs me. A battle that no matter the outcome, I know, deep down, I will still come out a winner.

That doesn't make the overall war any easier, though.

What about you? How does your mind cope with dueling ideas? How do you handle that internal writerly conflict?

1 comment:

Jordan Dane said...

Oh man, I am going through this now. I have a deadline looming, but another book has hijacked my brain. I'm afraid of losing momentum, but I have to. Signed contracts wait for no man, or woman. My only coping mechanism is that I just wrote a detailed synopsis on all three books in the series (yep, not just an overview), defined the world rules in detail, & even came up with tag lines & fun promo. If I have to put the project down, I can pick it up again, especially with the strong voice of my girl in my head.

So I can totally see what you're going through, Jamie, but isn't it great to have so many ideas clammering to get out. Argh, so little time.