So on Tuesday I talked about my plan for my short stories: when to push forward, and when to let them go. The old ones are getting let go. This was partially inspired by common sense and partially inspired by Carrie Vaughn’s post “On Being Prolific”. I promised that my novels were another post for another day, and it’s another day, so let’s do this post before I completely forget about it.
So, the plan for my novels? I’m not trunking anything. Every time I think I’ve moved beyond my thesis novel, the SF novel code named Telepathic Soulmates, I realize I’m still deeply invested in that world. Last year, I wrote a prequel, code name LB Prequel (fun fact, I still haven’t found a title for that sucker, yet), and it taught me so much about my world-building and things I want to fix and tweak in Telepathic Soulmates. This isn’t a novel I need trunk, at least not yet.
I still believe in the wisdom that Vaughn has to share. But when I read the Telepathic Soulmates draft, I don’t feel I’m beyond it. The world is so rich, and has so much potential, that it’s easy to get sucked right back into it all over again.
So I’m not trunking it. And I believe that with novels, unlike short stories, you need more distance from them in order to be effective in revising them. Since I’m not considered professional by any sense of the word, I may change my tune when my writing becomes a paying career, rather than an intense hobby. What I really need to learn is how to move on to a new project rather than taking a months-long writing vacation. I’ll still let the recently finished project sit, because my novels need that. It’s just that now, I intend to be working on something else, preferably something completely different.
Some breaks happen because they’re necessary, because real life gets in the way and trying to focus on anything creative is an exercise in futility. Other times, you just need a break from what you were writing, but that doesn’t mean you should stop writing. You should just write something different.