Eager to Start Something New

These cupcakes won't fill you up; my pin-cushion cupcakes I made as gifts. :)
These cupcakes won’t fill you up; my pin-cushion cupcakes I made as gifts. 🙂

You know when you’ve been working away at rewrites, and the whole time, like creamy, calorie-filled desserts when you’re dieting, a new story keeps teasing and tempting you to stray? Then suddenly you’re done, and holy honk, you have

no idea what the heck to start with?

That’s almost where I am right now.

The rewrites are FINALLY entering their final phase. [ Cue the: “ding dong the witch is dead” music here; seems suitable somehow. ] I’m into the final stretch, going over it one more time. And yes, I’m still finding a few annoying scenes / chapters that aren’t what they’re supposed to be, but mostly it’s clipping down excess words, smoothing out the odd sentence, etc.

And soon, I’ll finally be able to start something new. The idea has me salivating, and confused.

You see, I’ve had characters bouncing around in my head all year. “Pick me! Pick me! Pick me!” they say. But they’re from all over the place. Take the group of brothers that showed up who don’t fit anywhere into a series properly, and who really seem to want to be written first person (not how I generally write). And of course, there’s the novel that’s partially plotted, which is in part a rewrite of yet another beloved story, taking only the barest of the original concept and going from there. Then there are other neglected manuscripts, one that is complete in first draft but a terrific mess.

Famine over, I stand at the dessert table, and I have no idea what to pick. I can have and do anything I want, and suddenly, I’m not sure I want anything. The decision seems so difficult.

Perhaps part of it is getting back into the drafting phase when I’ve been stuck in rewrite-mode for so long now. Perhaps too it’s that throughout this rewrite, I’ve changed as a writer, grown. And I am also firmly resolved to never make as much of a mess as I did with this last book, especially taking on rewrites without a proper plan. (Foolish? Incredibly. More so? I did it more than once. Sigh.)

So, when offered the freedom to finally do whatever you want, how do you decide? Have you been in this position? How did you handle it?

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