Tuesday, April 14, 2009

False Starts and New Beginnings

Over the weekend, I started a new book. As in, writing a new book. Yeah, remember a week ago, I was wondering about what project to start next, or whether to even start at all?

Well yay me for starting!!


I got to about 2,000 words and thought, blah. Blah, blah, BLAH.

It just wasn't doing it for me. I mean, I know writing a book isn't easy. But there has to be a love there for something about the story. And I didn't have love for any of it. Not the characters, not the weird story that sounded good at one point but suddenly sounded pretty terrible, etc. Some of this may have had to do with the fact that in doing a bit of googling, I found a book that's been a world-wide bestseller with a similar premise (although hasn't really taken off here in the US, which is probably why I hadn't heard of it). I started off a bit discouraged, and it only went downhill from there.

So, I decided to scrap it. Boo hoo. A false start. And for a minute, maybe even a day, I felt a little bit like a failure. But, are false starts a failure? No. Because I tried. And I do believe any time we try something, there's no way you can call that a failure.

After I got that emotional stuff out of the way, I needed a new idea. Something more fun. Something exciting. Something with a heart fluttering element in it. I had a few things written down in my idea notebook, so I went to the library, sat in the teen section, which was pretty quiet at noon on a Monday, and looked at those words I'd written down. Words I liked. Story elements I thought would be fun to write about. I scribbled some more. Doodled. Thought. And something popped up. What if I combined a couple of these elements somehow?

And then the proverbial light bulb went off. I had an idea. My heart started racing. Could it work? Was it wonderful or weird?

I decided I needed to run it by someone and see, so yesterday I shared it with the idea queen, Suzanne Young. She has great ideas and takes those ideas and makes them into books REALLY quickly! She's amazing.

The verdict? She said she loved the idea! And then she helped to shape it and form it even more.

I have some research to do, and I need to start doing some character sketches. But I'm excited. And the thing is, if I hadn't admitted the other one wasn't working, which was hard at the time, I wouldn't have gotten to this place where I have something new and better.

Who knows what will happen, but I'm excited!


  1. I'm excited too! Can't wait to hear more about it :)

  2. Love those moments of epiphany. Keep it rolling!


  3. Oh, great post! I don't think false starts are failures at all. ANY writing is a good exercise. Sometimes when I can't think of a new idea, I just take an old story and write it in a new way. Take rhyme and turn it into prose. Or change the point of view. It all serves to make us better writers!

    Congrats on getting an idea you are excited about!

  4. I'm glad it worked out for you. I know I have to stop and think at times like that. If I'm not convinced then one else will be either.

  5. I love new story ideas, sometimes I have way to many running in my head and cant even fully get the first one out, YET! But hey false starts can be a go thing,it keeps us on our toes! Good luck on the new beginnings, thanks for sharing!

  6. GO Lisa! I have several false starts in my folder. I use them for spare parts in other stories.