If you ask a lot of authors why they wrote a series rather than a stand alone, you will likely hear some consistent answers. Many of which have to do with side characters who insist on having their story told. These secondary characters in the book are often just as appealing to your readers to. Sometimes if you are lucky they will beg to learn more about them. However as a author they can be some of the most annoying thoughts you have.
For me these people usually speak up while I’m in the middle of writing a novel, editing another, keeping up with a blog and oh ya, life. Not only do they speak up but they keep talking until I do something about it. One of my favorite authors and friend, Sarah Bailey used to explain her character line up as a waiting room. They are all their waiting for their stories to be written, however there is a order they need to follow, yet they never do.
I feel as if this happens with most creatives because as far as I can tell whenever I have my hands in one thing, there is something else knocking on the door. (Stay tuned for my next crazy adventure that’s launching soon.) Once those creative juices get flowing it’s hard for many of us to turn them off finish the task at hand. For me it may be creativity, it may be ADD, the jury is still out on that one. Setting small goals can help. Let me explain…
When to give in…
I recently have had some characters from a future series that would not shut it! I mean constantly chattering away. I was even having dreams of scenes for their books, it was driving me nuts. It became so overwhelming I didn’t want to push forward on the book I was editing. It was like all of a sudden that story wasn’t good enough. However I had a deadline and needed to finish. I did what I swore I would never do and I gave into the voices in my head.
If you have been around for a while then you know I am not a plotter by any means. I think if I was then it may have been easier to give in, do some outlining and feel satisfied. Even in my state of desperation the idea of plotting gave me hives. Instead I opened a new document in Scrivener and just started typing up a few random scenes. I told myself I would stop within a hour and I did. I typed them, read them through once, closed them, and haven’t looked back. The characters I’m talking about aren’t even for my next series. They belong in the one after that! But if I didn’t get out at least a bit of it out, I wouldn’t have been able to move on.
How do you all handle inspiration that can be a distraction? Anyone else struggle when you have something on your mind and you can’t move past it?