I don’t know if you know this already or not but I tend to be a WIP jumper. I have an idea journal full of ideas that have come to me in the form of scenes or characters. They’re not connected to anything but I record them because I don’t want to lose them. Sometimes, those ideas stick with me long enough to become a second scene. Sometimes I even start an outline.
For whatever reason, sometimes ideas fizzle.
I’ve learned I have to feel connected to a work in progress to finish it. Sometimes that happens from start to finish without a break. Sometimes I have to put it down and walk away. Sometimes I can find the problem. Sometimes I can’t.
As we head into 2023 I felt like it was important to take an inventory of the ideas I have and the stages they’re in. Then I figured it was something you might find fascinating.
Curious about one? Ask! I love talking about this stuff.
These are the ones that have a single scene or concept. I’ve done little/no thinking about it AT ALL. Since the moment it came to me, it’s sort of gone to sleep.
Current Count: 17
Example: We have a character who is born to immortals. As punishment for something they’ve done, she is not allowed to be immortal. Instead, it is agreed she will live a set number of lives. The title would be something like the 8 lives of _. Obviously, this one comes with an immense amount of challenges regarding world building. I think that’s why, although I like it, it sits in the idea journal.
There are 16 others just like this one, stuck and waiting for a day when I feel like it’s worth it to dig into the work they require.
These are the ideas that have gone past a single thought. They have a little more meat behind them. I may have a character list, an idea of where the story is going, a few sample pages, or poems from the point of view of a character. These are further along than the last category but they still aren’t active works in progress.
Current Count: 9
Example: A girl finds a magic journal that grants the wishes she writes on its pages. This one comes with a MASSIVE challenge of attempting to decide what sorts of wishes the girl will write, how selfish she would be, and what the point of gifting her this journal would really be. Basically, magic has limits. I have no idea what limits this one would have. I have written a few sample chapters though.
All 9 of these ideas have been revisited but they haven’t moved into the next stage.
I am a planner to the core. When I outline it gives me a plot to follow, the characters start to come to life, and I have an idea of the important concepts. It isn’t unusual for me to get an outline started and realize there’s a problem somewhere. Because of that, ideas may get stuck here until I can solve the problems.
Current Count: 1
What Are They?
- The Apocalypse Project. I’ve officially redone this outline 5 times from 3 different ways. I’ve started the draft twice from the first two methods. I still can’t figure out which timeline would work and how to get this one past some of its major problems. I’m not giving up, just backing this one down to the outline stage again.
It is unusual for me to have a draft stuck in this position, but it happens. These are ideas that got off the ground. They have an outline that seems to work. But it’s not happening. Sometimes this is because I have a character that doesn’t feel right or needs more work. For whatever reason, they’ve been shelved.
Current Count: 1
What Are They?
- The short story anthology (not the Fraun one). I have a whole collection of stories I want to put into an anthology. Most of them are drafted (I think). I need direction, a focus, and organization. So they’re sitting until I decide what that will be.
These are the stories that are fully drafted but need editing.
Current Count: 3
What Are They?
- The Romance. I don’t usually write romance. But this one is done. It’s rough (like REALLY rough). It’s a very old WIP that I worked my way through WAY before any of the other things I’ve ever published. Someday I will go back and look at it again. I’m a bit worried about what I will find. I’ve NEVER read it again after finishing it.
- SlasherWIP. This was my NaNoWriMo project this year. It’s done. I’ll let it sit for a bit before I do my reread and make notes about where it needs work. After the read through and notes I’ll make any changes that are required. Then it’ll move into the editing phase. Right now, it sits.
- Fraun Short Stories. There are 6 stories in this collection. I have fully edited 2 of the 6. I have read through another 1 of the 6. The other 3 are basically new drafts that need their initial read. These are on the schedule for publication in 2023 so they’ll take focus early in the year.
These are the stories that have already undergone some rounds of edits and are closest to publication, usually. These are the ones that start to get polished and pop onto the publication schedule.
Current Count: 2
What Are They?
- YAContemporary. This one will take a bit longer, I think. It’s been through a read through, a rewrite, and another round of editing notes from me. Even though it was my second editing pass, I have a huge amount of notes to put in. None of them are major changes, but it still needs to happen. This one isn’t ready for my professional editor yet. I still have work to do. This one should see a 2024 publication, hopefully.
- Hitman Project. My edits are done on this one. In fact, my professional editor has already had their first go with it. My notes are waiting for my attention (which they’ll get in early 2023) and then we’ll be off and running! This one is on the 2023 publishing schedule.
That’s the current idea flow, folks. As you can see, there’s a lot on the burners when you’re trying to keep the publishing needle moving. Again, if you have questions, ASK THEM!