But of course, the end always comes for a project. And with the end comes thoughts of the next.My next novel, for instance, will be my fifth. I’ve not started on it yet. In fact, I’ve not even decided what it will be yet, and that’s just a little frustrating.
I’m not used to it, you see. This is the first time I’ve not at least known what my next novel will be about once the current one is published.
Once, I did have to ice one completely, be because it wasn’t working. That was a difficult decision. Yet even then, I knew which story I was starting when it came time to start writing it. That story failed eventually, but it was on deck as I sent Flowers of Dionysus out into the world.
Even when I made the difficult decision to abandon the original “Novel 2,” I knew what I would be replacing it with first.
Like I said, not this time. I’m not a fan of not knowing what the next big project is.
As an indie author, I of course answer only to myself. One could say there is no deadline other than the one I set for myself, and that would be true. But I would rather know what was next and take some time off before beginning, than allow X amount of time to pass without being sure what to begin next.
Writer’s block isn’t the issue though. Not the conventional type, anyway.
I tend to have a cue of potential novel ideas sort of “lined up” in my head from which to choose. It’s no small thing once I appoint which one of these comes next. All things being equal, whichever of these takes root in my mind the most while working on a previous novel becomes the next project. I have such a collection of broad ideas now.
The problem is mood. Most of the shadows that are on deck would tell rather somber stories. There Is Pain Here is not only on the somber side itself, but my life was in many ways somber while writing it, much of the time. Even when my life ceased to be somber, I was drained a bit, and actually couldn’t work on the novel for a few months.
It’s time for a more upbeat novel. One in a lighter mood, with a lighter tone while still telling a good story.
By my own standards, I don’t have such a story in my cue into which I can jump right off. Hence my current frustrations. I can either wait who knows how long until I can come up with such a potential story, (or until the muses bless me with same,) or I can proceed with one the somber story ideas already in my cue. My mind wants something that is ready to go, regardless of mood. My spirit says that if I am going to spend the next year or more in a setting, with certain characters, it needs to be a fun journey this time around.
In general, I’m not a total “pantser.” I’m not wild about the idea of just writing and seeing what story comes about. (Besides, I wouldn’t want it to be another somber one.) I’m not a total plotter either, but I almost always have scaffolding before I begin. I’ve got no scaffolding for an upbeat story right now.
As I’ve mentioned, there are solutions to this problem of a sort. Plus others I didn’t mention. But mood matters, and I don’t want to be neck deep in the wrong mood, a darker mood for the next year. I need some light. But I don’t want to just throw together a lighthearted story willy-nilly.
As with most creative endeavors, time will almost certainly provide an answer. But I’, not used to waiting, and this time, my mood matters.