I hope that the project that currently holds the dubious honour of being my WiP (or more accurately, Work Not Exactly in Progress but At Least Not Abandoned Altogether [WNEiPbALNAA]), isn’t going to define my writing career. This story is an idea that started out as satire or societal criticism, it took a strange turn towards chic lit during last year’s NaNoWriMo, and when I picked it up again this spring it had morphed beyond recognition into a “find yourself and the meaning of life”-esque, Oprah book club-ish, cliché-cluttered cacophony of merged ideas and non-likable characters. If I am lucky, the character development will camouflage the thin story, a rewrite from tell to show will make at least some of the characters believable (though I only think one of them has the potential to be likeable), and the humoristic elements might save the entire thing from drowning in sappy lurv-scenes and descriptions of sunsets.
If I am very lucky (and even cleverer) it might be a societal criticism satire chic lit with Oprah book club potential.
But that is also all it can be. I am not bashing the societal criticism satire chic lit Oprah book club potential authors out there, but I can’t really see myself fit into this category with anything else I write. My other WiPs (or more accurately Works Not Exactly in Progress and Frankly Quite Lost and Forgotten [WNEiPaFQLaF]) are all very different from the WNEiPbALNAA. While I do not like to describe non-written works (not just because of the risk of someone else writing them, but also because I fear there are WNEiPbALNAA- and WNEiPaFQLaF-eating basilisks out there who might be hungry), let me give you an idea how my mind works.
The most prominent WNEiPaFQLaF is one that is insisting on not being forgotten (in fact, it is more of a Work Not Exactly in Progress but Impossible To Block Out Entirely [WNEiPbITBOE]). The idea for this one goes a couple of years back, though it also started radically different than what it currently seems to have evolved into. It’s got to do with history, and some trolls, and maybe a quest of sorts. I should think it will end up as a YA fantasy-ish thingie. Actually, I’ve got it pinned down more specifically than that, but shhh! I think I hear the basilisk lurking nearby...
However, due to the history part (which isn’t even close to the part of history I dabble with at the university) and the mythical creatures part, there is some heavy research required for this one. I want to do it justice, so I don’t want to do it right now. I just can’t see myself battle with more than one major research project at the time (and my thesis has a deadline – the WNEiPbITBOE doesn’t).
No matter if I decided to keep this one in the drawer until I am ready to tackle it, though, it won’t listen. It keeps bugging me with all sorts of details that simply *must* fit in. Also, whenever I see a mountain or go into the forest, inspiration bubbles and I can barely keep from getting back to it (I keep a notebook nearby at all times, though, since I am terrified of missing out on any of these details).
The third WNEiPaFQLaF (or more accurately – no, wait, this one really is a WNEiPaFQLaF) is a story (I am thinking novella, eventually) about a cloud. This might not seem all that interesting, but it is a very persistent cloud... This is actually the current story of mine that style-wise will remind readers the most of the writing on this blog. Nothing I ever write will be entirely without humour (it is a law of nature, I think), but this story has the potential to use the dry, not-laugh-out-loud-but-chortle-lightly sort of humour I often end up with here. Plus, I might add a zen-group (if that didn’t make any sense, I think my point has been made).
On top of this, there are maybe five or six ideas that haven’t really formed into story mode (the one that was supposed to be a prequel to my WNEiPbALNAA, but that really isn’t anymore; the one with the wooden pig; the one with the anthropologist; and not to forget the one with the married couple whose upcoming divorce I for some reason feel competent to explain). Finally, there are about sixty thousand (or so it feels) ideas that don’t really have anything tied to them yet, I just know I want to do something with them some day. These might not be more than a sentence, a character trait, or a setting (someday I will write a World War Two novel, I WILL!).
Having ideas is not the tricky part for me. Having viable ideas, though, is a whole different matter. Having viable ideas that can be turned into actual stories, stories I can convince myself to give up procrastination for so that they will actually be written, is the most difficult of all.
Anyone else ever get overwhelmed by the amount of stories wanting you to write them?