A girl between two novels

I’m like, the silent observer these days.

So, here’s what’s been distracting me as of late:

  • The Toddler got a piece of paper stuck in his ear
  • The Toddler got a plastic wrapper stuck in his nose
  • I started writing the sequel to Random Contemporary
  • I started writing another historical.

And here we are.

The first two items are apparently a trend with this child.  As I was removing the plastic wrapper from his nose with tweezers, I informed him that I evidently missed my calling as a doctor, because he’s prompting me to become some kind of crazed ENT.  He laughed at this observation.

As a high school student, I was interested in medicine but decided I was far too bad at math to actually pursue anything medical.  Many years later, when my dad was sick, I made mention of this to his oncologist who, in turn laughed.  “Oh, I can’t do math.  You’d be surprised how easy brain surgery really is.”

Well, anyway.  I went into the glamorous field of communications instead.  Yeah, buddy.  I can diagram the crap out of a sentence.  Take that, organic chemistry.

So, as if I don’t have enough to do with my limited free time–clean, be in a writing contest, maybe fold laundry and put it away, keep children from putting garbage up their noses–I’m accidentally writing two novels at the same time.

This might not be an accident.

I’m skipping along, happily working on Chapter Three of Random Contemporary II, when this little light goes on in the back of my brain and says, “Hey, I wonder what’s on the USB from the old laptop?”

“Excellent thought!” I concede, which is probably never a good thing to do, especially when you know you should be doing something else.  I have issues with attention span, obviously.  It’s amazing I get anything done.

So, I pulled out the USB (or, as The Preschooler calls it, the BFF).  And, here’s what I discovered on the USB/BFF:

  • The beginning of a steampunk novel
  • The beginning and 60+ pages of a World War II novel
  • The beginning and 20+ pages of an Edwardian novel.

I thought I’d just, you know, take a little peek at the Edwardian novel.  I mean, the whole thing was plotted out, the end was written, and about ten other scenes were written.  I started skimming the first chapter and came to this bizarre little break, where evidentially I’d been writing on my lunch break or something and skipped ahead to a different scene.

“Well, that’s ridiculous.”  I said.  “You can’t just leave it like that.”

So, I wrote a page or so and connected the scenes together.  I kept reading and came to a similar situation–it was like, I just randomly got bored and moved on, figuring I’d fill in the gaps later on.

It’s later on.  So, I filled in some more gaps.

And now, look at this!  Here’s like, two more chapters that are already done and can be cut/pasted into the main document.

After like, forty-five minutes of working, it’s longer than Random Contemporary II.  And I want to keep going.

NO.  No.  Heather, sit down and stop it.  I’m now firmly planted between two novels, both around three chapters long and both plotted out entirely.  This doesn’t happen to me.  I’m usually sitting around, writing as things come to mind.  I don’t use plans!  Plans are for people like The Hubs, who thrive on structure and hate surprises and just want to sit around and be predictable.  Everything else I do in life is structured–breakfast, lunch, dinner, daily schedule, morning routine–but writing is not.  Writing is an adventure.

Except for now, with this properly planned out and plotted love triangle.

So now, the question remains: Can someone with absolutely no free time and a tendency to fall asleep face first on the couch write two novels at once?  Or, do I write Random Contemporary II–opening the floodgates for the planned Random Contemporary III–and then hop back to the Edwardian?  Or vice versa?

Despite not having a clear cut answer and neither option sounded better than the rest, I guess I’ll just work on them both.  Does this sound like a bad idea?  Yes.  Will it drive me insane?  Probably.  As of right now, with neither novel around to seduce me away from the other, it seems like a challenge to write two at once.  I mean.  I can write one at a time.  Who says I can’t write two at a time.

Logical thinking, that’s who.  But, really, who needs that?

3 Comments

  1. I love this post! Right now I have two different MS Word documents open trying to figure out which one to work on next and realize that they all suck! I like the idea of writing out of my comfort zone and trying to write an historical novel, but I’m not sure where to start… I am finding myself drawn to a hotel in france though, sorry random thought. Help!!!

  2. Sounds like your creativity is just flowing! I’m supposed to be writing some short screenplays but spent much of yesterday day-dreaming and sketching out the opening to what could be a novel. Not helpful, but weirdly compelling nonetheless.

    1. So far, it’s working…sort of. I wrote over 55 pages last night on the historical. Just going with the muse, I guess. Now it’s a race to see what wins out: contemporary, historical, or sleep. Sleep is overrated.

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