Tuesday, May 17, 2016

How to Pick Your Next Project

Get ready. You're about to fall in love all over again. You're sailing into uncharted seas. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll change your life forever.

If only you could decide what to write about next.

Choice is exciting! Choice is overwhelming! I want this next book to be my best one yet. (No pressure, no pressure.) So how will I ever decide?

Sometimes a voice enters your head. (Presto! There's your next character!)

But usually it doesn't.

I sat at my desk and stared at the blank page. (Hello, Muse? Are you there? It's me, Jane.)

While I waited, I came up with these guidelines.

  • Choose/create a complex, rare, rich world. 
  • Pick a time of transition and crisis.
  • Surround your character with relationships. Subplots make all the difference.
  • Include your passion.
  • Trust your talent.
  • Try to imitate what's selling.
  • Write only what you know and stay in your comfort zone.
  • Be cruel.
  • Take short cuts. It's a long process. Enjoy the journey.
  • Give up.

That last bit of advice is the most important of all. 

I kept thinking. And rethinking. And when I finally did get my next great idea, I tested it against my metric. 

So far so good. 

Happy writing!