Today, I have something special -- a guest post from my pal Rachel Horwitz from You Are What You Write. Rachel's a fellow fantasy writer and query-contest-survivor, and she's here to talk about the creative process. You're in for a treat :)
Take it away, Rachel!
Recently, I finished writing my latest novel with a great feeling of relief. Not because I didn’t enjoy the story, but because I was so happy it was finally able to be read.
Personally, having an untold story inside me is serious agony. I feel anxious and excited as I plot, plan and outline preparing for the writing phase. And once it’s time to write, I have trouble stopping once I’ve started. It can feel like I’m abandoning my characters when I take a break, eat a meal or go to sleep. And then once I’m finished drafting the story, without fail, my writerly brain cannot take a breather. Almost immediately, I start to get flooded with new ideas for plot bunnies I’ve been holding onto or brand new shiny ideas.
I thought it might be helpful to share what happens to me between projects and then hear from you all about how you handle the in-between times:
Idea Overload- At first, the thoughts come rushing in about characters, setting, plot and other bits and pieces that seem to string together an idea new or old.
Overexcitement- After thinking over the shiny ideas, a thrill takes hold of me and I can’t seem to stop smiling, dreaming or talking about all the wonderful new stories I could write.
The Crash- But then, I second guess some or all of the ideas I once thought were brilliant and wonder if any of the inspiration is worth writing.
Reignited Hope- Something changes at some point, whether it’s because of a friend’s encouragement, a tweet, blog post or news article, the wind returns to my sails and I am able to move forward with confidence.
Flood Gates- At this point, the overload of ideas returns, but now it is strictly focuses on whichever story I am feeling most drawn to, or compelled to write. And depending on the ideas, I can be hard to choose.
Urge to Write- Even though I plan and outline, sometimes I can’t stop myself from writing. That’s usually when I know, by the intense urge to write, that it’s time for an idea to become a story. And that is the best feeling of all!
More or less, that’s the process I go through between ideas. Sometimes things are overwhelming and give me an adrenaline rush, but other times I over think my inspiration and make it harder on myself to develop something great. In the end, however, I always return to feeling the demand of an idea just waiting to burst out. What happens to you between novels?