Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Timing is Everything

Some of you might have noticed me talking about a new idea I'm planning. Some might even wonder why it's taking me so long to plan the idea. I know I am. ;) Well, actually, I'm not wondering anymore. I figured out what the problem was. It's not the right time for that manuscript. 


How do I know? The other day, I had an idea slam into me like a truck speeding down the highway. It knocked me over while I was playing Hello Kitty Bingo with my daughter. So, while she went to get another game for us to play, I jumped on my computer and wrote a blurb, just like you would in a query. It flowed out of me. My brain was working so quickly, my fingers could barely keep up. And when I pitched the idea to my agent, she loved it. Well, that just motivated me more. That night I sat down and wrote the full synopsis. From start to finish, the novel just came to me. And I'm so excited to write it.


That's how it should be. It shouldn't be pulling teeth to get your characters to tell you your story. Or at least it should continue to be a struggle after two weeks of begging my MC to talk to me. This new idea came and I knew that the old idea just isn't what I'm supposed to be working on right now. I fully intend to get to it... when the time is right.


How about you? Do you ever struggle with a manuscript only to realize it's not what you're supposed to be working on right now? Or have you ever had an idea that just hit you so hard, you knew it was what you had to jump right into?

44 comments:

  1. Kelly, that is EXACTLY what happened to me in the past 6 months. I started a new project in November. It sounded good in theory. But it was like pulling teeth, as you said. The plot wheels were spinning, and one of my crit partners kept gently pointing out that *nothing was happening* and there was *no chemistry* between the characters. Then I got my editorial letter for CG and quit the project to get that done. I never missed it, and I knew the darn thing was dead in the water, even after 55k. (55 awful k)

    The most recent idea came in a flood. The plot is unfolding like wildfire. Problems are working themselves out before my eyes. I got 15k in, and CG was returned to me for more line edits. AND I KEPT WORKING ON THE WIP WHILE I DID THEM. Yup, that's when I knew it was going to be different. I couldn't stop writing, even while working under contract in another book.

    Good luck on yours!

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    1. Diane, that's awesome! When nothing can tear you away from an MS, you know you have a winner. Best of luck with it!

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  2. I can completely relate to that. And I do think that timing is everything. There is a lot of pressure to sit down and write and work through the procrastination and the feeling that things just don't feel right.

    Timing is everything. Good luck with the writing!!

    http://unpublishedworksofme.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. Thanks! I've come to learn that when the words aren't coming, there's a reason. I was definitely trying to write the wrong story at the wrong time. I'm so glad to be back on track now.

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  3. KatieC has left a new comment on your post "Timing is Everything":

    Kelly I love this. It is exactly what happened with the novel I'm working on now. J got the original idea more than two years ago, but it was never the right time. Pieces would only come to me bit by bit. One day it me head on, and I wrote the whole thing in a month. I'm revising now :)

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    1. Katie, you and I were commenting at the same time and yours got kicked to my email. It's so weird that this happens.

      Anyway, that's great that the story revealed itself to you like that. Proof that timing is key!

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  4. Yep, this is why I keep a little file with random thoughts and ideas for future books. Sometimes an idea sounds great, but I just can't make it excite me. So I tuck it away in the folder. Every once in a while I pull it out just to see if anything leaps at me.

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  5. So glad you've found that next perfect project! My problem is that I have lots of starts of stories but nothing that comes to me so completely like that. I'm both happy for you and jealous at the same time. :)

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    1. LOL. Yeah, the other idea isn't complete, so I know how you feel.

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  6. You are spot on, Kelly! Timing is everything. I've had ideas hibernate in the back of my mind for months, with occasional jots down on paper to capture a moment or scene, but if I try to write up that idea too soon, it comes out flat. Other times, however, ideas come pouring out of me and there's no stopping them. I guess that's they way a writer's mind works. Thanks for capturing the process so nicely.

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    1. No need to thank me. LOL. I completely agree with what you're saying. Forcing ideas makes the writing flat.

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  7. "Stories that write themselves." Best writerly experience. I agree. The first draft, for me, is always like this. The rest is a lot more like pulling teeth.
    Some literary writers *do struggle* with most parts, and write the go-and-stop way.

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    1. I love when stories write themselves. It's heavenly!

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  8. Kelly, what an encouraging post. Although I'm not a fiction writer, I relate with your description of some projects feeling "like pulling teeth." Actually, that is how I feel about marketing my book. The initial round of marketing went well, but now I'm in a slump. Any suggestions for pushing through a marketing block?

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    1. Eek, marketing. Think outside the box. Set up signings in odd places where you don't have to compete with other books. Good luck!

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  9. Yes. If I get an idea for something, but I canNOT write it, I don't. I let that one stew until it's ready to be written.

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  10. That doesn't apply to me since I'm not a writer, but on a much smaller level, and when it comes to the Blog, i write just when i feel like it, when I have something to say. I wouldn't just sit and decide to produce an entry for my Blog

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  11. Sometimes an idea will literally wake me up in the middle of the night. That's when I know it's really good.

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  12. Way to go, Kelly! Am happy inspirational hit you when it did--wishing you much literary success.

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  13. Hi Kelly,

    Definitely. I remember writing screenplays over 10 years ago, and had the first versions sold, it would have ended in disaster. I have had this happen with short fiction too, where it sits on the backburner until the right information comes to me.

    I wish you the best with your new novel.

    Sigh, I wish I had an agent to pitch too, other than all the ones that reject me.

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    1. Keep querying. Finding an agent is tough, but it's so worth it in the end. I love mine and owe her so much.

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  14. I love it when that happens, when a little voice speaks to you that you have to tell his story, or you see something that triggers an idea. The other one can wait, you have to do the one nagging at you. :)

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    1. I agree. Now if I could just finish these client edits and get to writing it. LOL

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    2. I agree! I do love it when I hear that voice and I must write it down.

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  15. OMG YES! You so have it right :) I had a contemporary romance in my head but it never quite worked--I needed to work on my latest, which has been flowing! Lol.

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    1. Oh, yay! I hope the words keep flowing for you.

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  16. I agree! Sometimes when I write the ideas come fast and easily. When this happens I am thrilled if I am near a computer and can get my ideas down. When this occurs I know the idea is right. If I am struggling- then I think the story may still be good- but it isn't ready to be written yet. Glad you had such an inspiration!
    ~Jess

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    1. Exactly! The idea can be solid but it's just not ready yet. Go back to it later and write what is demanding to be written now instead.

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  17. Kelly - Thank you. I've been struggling with different ways to get a novel going, but it never occurred to me to start from the query (very broad summary) to Cover-synopsis down to the whole thing. Thanks! Starting one in the morning. -Papa Moon

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    1. Happy to help, Dennis. I hope it works for you. :)

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  18. Yeah, I've had this happen to me several times, but I wonder if it's really not the right time, or if this 'not-the-right-time' is due to my fear of that massive project.

    (Kelly, my youngest sister is nuts about Hello Kitty, even though she's all grown up. I've got to tell her about Hello Kitty Bingo!)

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    1. Hmm, well that can happen too (fear getting in the way). For me, it's definitely just not the right time. I have to write the other idea first--the one that really wants to be written now.

      Hello Kitty Bingo is so much fun. There are even two different levels of play. :)

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  19. Always trust your heart, even if your head thinks it knows more, trust your heart.

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  20. Oh Kelly, I have had both of things happen to me over and over but never really thought of it as timing but you are so right. I get so frustrated when I'm trying to write on a certain manuscript and nothing comes. I always thought of it as writers block. Thanks for helping me look at it differently. It's just not the right time! I sure like the feeling better when a story hits me smack in the head and forces me to write, write, write! No better feeling than that!

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    1. No, there's not a better feeling than that. I really don't believe in writers block. I think you just have to listen to what story wants to be written at the time. If you try to force something, it's like pulling teeth.

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  21. I learned never to struggle with any of my stories. The results are terrible. Now, when I feel that muse, I go for it until the tank is empty.

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