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:~: Monday, March 20, 2006 :~:

Those #@%! Voices

There are days when I feel like I have multiple personalities. When The Voices in my head want me to neglect everything around me and sit and write. If I were getting paid for this gig at this point, I might listen closer to The Voices, but as it is, that is not the case. I can bemoan the fact all I want, but it's a fact nonetheless.

However, The Voices are strong lately. They call to me in the middle of the day, in the middle of the night, in the middle of just about everything. I'll admit it, it's irritating. There are moments when I wish they'd all just stop jabbering away in there. Since I'm a writer, I suppose hearing The Voices is a good thing. It means my brain is working, that stories are percolating, that characters are coming to life. It's when I stop hearing The Voices that I should be concerned.

Here's my problem though. I'm roughly 90% done with the WIP. I have about four plot points left on my plot list. Climax - action - resolution. Wham - bam - thank you, ma'am. That's where I'm at. And I'm so close to being done, I can taste it. I can't wait to finish, wrap it up and get this puppy out there.

But . . . (and there's always a big ol' butt stuck in the way . . .)

The Voices are interrupting my flow. For the last week (well, ever since we had our vacation in the mountains), I've had this story bouncing around in my brain. One that just came out of nowhere. The characters have come to life. They're jabbering at me when I should be finishing the WIP, when I should be doing things besides writing. And they're LOUD. So in my head, I'd resolved that as soon as I finish this book, I'm going to skip the project I'd planned to start next and work on this wonderfully terrific, exceptionally perfect new idea. It sounded like a plan. Until . . .

Today. When The Voices started talking again. But, oh, these weren't the same ones that had been chattering away. Oh, no. These were old voices. Old voices with a new twist. Ones I thought had died down and accepted their fate. But guess what? They haven't. And now, suddenly, I have a fresh idea for characters that had been floating around in there, waiting for me to come up with a new and exciting plot for them. In fact, these particular voices were so loud, I had to sit down and write the prologue for them today.

And it's good. And I like it. Even though there's a hint of unease in my stomach at what's brewing in my head.

Somehow, I need to quiet The Voices enough to finish the WIP. I will. I'm tough. I'll get it done. But then I'm faced with a dilemma. Who do I listen to next? Whose voice is stronger? And which story's going to be told next?

So I turn to you. How do you decide who goes next? And how do you keep The Voices at bay?


Blogger Paty Jager said...

Ah... I'm having the same problems!LOL. I just finished the first draft of a contemporary and am letting it ferment, while I polish the paranormal (which is the first of a trilogy) so the other two need written- and then the other night new characters for another contemporary would not let me sleep until I wrote down their conflict, and backstory. Now- when I finish contemporary #1 do I get the other two paranormals written to go with the first? Or do I write the contemporary with the characters that are making me lose sleep?

As you say, the good thing - I'm never at a loss for a story to write, the bad- I can't write them fast enough!

I guess you go with the one whose characters are the most vocal. I would think the story would flow faster and smoother if they are hounding to tell their story.


10:06 AM  
Blogger Elisabeth Naughton said...

Ah, at least I'm not alone. ;)

I'm going to try to keep them both at bay until I finish the WIP. We'll see how it goes.

1:41 PM  
Blogger Joan Swan said...

When that happens to me, I indulge the voices, grab a pen and paper and jot down what's going through my mind.

Inevitably, they get talked out, and satisfied that they've had their say, they quiet down. When they pipe up again, I pull out my pad, like a therapist, jot notes and when their hour is up, I go back to my other work.

Then the ideas and thoughts the voices spewed are caught in black and white and I know I won't lose them. That way I can relax and finish what I've got going so the voices can have my undivided attention once I'm finished.

5:05 PM  

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