Thursday, May 23, 2013

Avoid Shiny Things

Hi, P. J. Hoover here, and today I’m talking about shiny things.

Right, shiny things.

Why, you might ask? Well, because, when writing, shiny things should be avoided at all costs.

Here’s what happens to me EVERY SINGLE TIME I am writing a book. I an head over heels in love with my book. It’s going to be the best, most amazing book in the entire world. It’s going to win tons of award and get all the praise, and I can’t wait to hit the words and write it. And so I start writing it and I’m excited and things are going great…until they aren’t.

Because something normally happens around page fifty. Maybe page one hundred. The writing gets hard. The story feels stale. I’m sure it’s all futile.

Enter the shiny new idea, because I’m sure to get one. And my shiny new idea is going to be the most amazing book in the world and is going to get all the fame and glory and I’m sure I should stop what I’m working on and work on my shiny new story idea.

Have you been there, too? Well, here’s my advice. Run away from the shiny. Stick with the story that’s gotten a little hard to write. Because if you don’t, you know what you’ll end up with? A bunch of fifty page stories on your computer and no finished novel. Jot down a couple quick notes and then get back to the word. You’ll find that love you once had for your original story. Push through that horrible middle, and when you come out on the other end, the sun will once again be shining.


P. J. Hoover is the author of the upcoming dystopia/mythology YA book, SOLSTICE (Tor Teen, June 2013), the upcoming Egyptian mythology MG book, TUT (Tor Children’s, Winter 2014), and the middle-grade SFF series, THE FORGOTTEN WORLDS BOOKS (CBAY, 2008-2010). You can read more about her and her books on P. J.’s website or blog.


Sechin Tower said...

How many ADHD writers does it take to-- oh, shiny!

Very good advice, just so long as you jot down those ideas so you can come back to them later! It only takes a second to jot them down and that usually helps clear up brainspace for the main task.

Erin Latimer said...

And SNIS strikes again(Shiny New Idea Syndrome). I suffer from it terribly. I still haven't figured out how to fend it off.

PJ Hoover said...

Great point, Sechin! I keep a notebook with me to write them down (at least most of the time)!

LOL, Erin! Those new ideas are so tempting!

Jordan Dane said...


Jordan Dane said...

Great advice. We learn best from our mistakes, like pushing through the uphill challenges and finding a resolution. I've never NOT finished a book that I started. I can say that now. I couldn't have said that a month ago when my crime fiction book BLOOD SCORE had kicked my butt and gotten set aside for my YAs. It's hard to set down a police procedural, so I was relieved to finally work out the plot and finish it.

It's good to have a fertile mind filled with shiny things, but I think it's more useful to finish what you start.

Great post, Trish.