Friday, May 08, 2009

What's On My Desk
By Persia Walker

So, after having debated say, oh, fifty seconds about what to write about today, I decided to follow Gammy's lead and try a bit of sharing. She's picked a large subject. I'm going to stick with a smaller one: What's on my desk today?

Actually that's not accurate. What I really intend to write about is what's on my hard drive, writing-wise, that is.

At last count, I had at least five incomplete crime novels in various stages of gestation (ahem, progressive perfection). When I say novels, I do mean novels, not slightly lengthy short stories. We're talking manuscripts ranging from as "little" as 50,000 to 75,000 that are still not done yet.

Then there are indeed the short stories, some as short at one line -- heck, some consisting of no more than a mere title -- others, fairly well-developed, but far, far, exasperatingly far from being polished.

Last, but not least, are all my ideas. Oh, yes! Let's not forget them! At a party recently, an agent asked me, "So do you have any ideas for a new book?"

Duh. Yeah. Way too many of them. To write them all out, I'd have to sit at my desk twelve hours a day, seven days a week, week after week, month after month, year after year -- which by the way, some writers do. (They're the ones we call prolific.) Obviously, I'm not one of them.

Me, I'd be content to finish one book a year. So ... according to that schedule, I have about five years worth of work on my hard drive already. Do I think I'll ever write all those stories? Who knows? Have I stopped thinking of new ones? Uh, no. Do I feel guilty about sitting down to work on the "new" stories instead of finishing up/polishing up the "older" ones? Yeah. But am I going to change? No.

And do I think I'm that different from most writers? Nope. Am I worried about it? Nope.

So what about you? Do you have a stack of stories, both big and small, that you've yet to finish? Are they like friends who keep winking at you out of the corner of one eye? Do you work on more than one story at a time? Or do you stick with one story and battle it through, until it's done and you can lay it aside?

2 comments:

Patricia Sargeant said...

Persia, what a great topic! And very timely for me. :)

I have the first installment of an epic fantasy trilogy drafted. I finished it about eight years ago. :(

Last week, the trilogy has started calling to me again. Very inconvenient since I'm on a tight deadline with the second contract contemporary. :(( I've decided that, once I gestate - um, complete - the contemporary that's due in a couple of weeks, I'm going to work a little at a time on the epic fantasy trilogy. My romantic suspense and the contemporaries have to take priority. But I would like to get back to the epic fantasy. Just a couple of pages a week.

Great topic!

Best!

Patricia

Rhonda McKnight said...

Very good topic. I have ideas coming out my ears. Whenever I hear writers say they're out of story ideas I'm amazed. I can't imagine. I have a 3 book suspense series that's dying to be written. I have outlines and the first 2 or 3 chapters for five or six women's fiction projects. I outline for about 2 months, write the first draft in about 4-6 weeks and edit and rewrite for 2 to 3 motnhs. So realistically I could write 2 books a year even with my fulltime job. I'm writing two this year just to get my 2011 release done. I only want to release one book a year. I'm such a newbie that I'd be competing against myself. But the answer to the question is yes - lots of stories waiting to be told.

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