Avoid Shiny Things

Hi, P. J. Hoover here, and today I’m talking about obstacles, unseen dangers, and challenges. There are so many directions I could take this (from the publishing nitty gritty to revisions), but I’m going to keep it simple and go with shiny thing.

Right, shiny things.

Why, you might ask? Well, because, when writing, shiny things should be avoided at all costs.

Here’s what happens to me EVERY SINGLE TIME I am writing a book. I an head over heels in love with my book. It’s going to be the best, most amazing book in the entire world. It’s going to win tons of award and get all the praise, and I can’t wait to hit the words and write it. And so I start writing it and I’m excited and things are going great…until they aren’t.

Because something normally happens around page fifty. Maybe page one hundred. The writing gets hard. The story feels stale. I’m sure it’s all futile.

Enter the shiny new idea, because I’m sure to get one. And my shiny new idea is going to be the most amazing book in the world and is going to get all the fame and glory and I’m sure I should stop what I’m working on and work on my shiny new story idea.

Have you been there, too? Well, here’s my advice. Run away from the shiny. Stick with the story that’s gotten a little hard to write. Because if you don’t, you know what you’ll end up with? A bunch of fifty page stories on your computer and no finished novel. Jot down a couple quick notes and then get back to the word. You’ll find that love you once had for your original story. Push through that horrible middle, and when you come out on the other end, the sun will once again be shining.

*****

P. J. Hoover is the author of the upcoming dystopia/mythology YA book, SOLSTICE (Tor Teen, June 2013), the upcoming Egyptian mythology MG book, TUT (Tor Children’s, Winter 2014), and the middle-grade SFF series, THE FORGOTTEN WORLDS BOOKS (CBAY, 2008-2010). You can read more about her and her books on P. J.’s website or blog.

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About P. J. Hoover

P. J. Hoover is the author of the upcoming dystopia/mythology YA book, SOLSTICE (Tor Teen, June 18, 2013), the upcoming Egyptian mythology MG book, TUT (Tor Children's, 2014), and the middle-grade SFF series, THE FORGOTTEN WORLDS BOOKS (CBAY, 2008-2010). You can read more about her and her books on P. J.'s website or blog.

11 thoughts on “Avoid Shiny Things

  1. This always happens to me! I have been known to stop and move on to the shiny though. I usually go with my gut on which project wants my attention more. Most of the time, I stick with what I’m already working on and jot down ideas for the new one.

  2. I suppose if I had more writing time, I could work on a second project once I meet my daily word quota for the first one. Some days, it’s pushing it just to make quota on one project.

    BTW, my son is currently obsessed with Egypt and would love the Tut book, though he’s nowhere near grade level yet.

    • AH, the quota! It is so awesome that you stick to it!
      And yay for your son being excited about the TUT book. It’s not coming out until fall 2014, so there is time for him to get older 🙂

  3. Sometimes I’m like a kitten chasing the torchlight. Funny thing it, sometimes those shiny new ideas lack luster when I look at them again in the cold light of day. But one, maybe one, might trigger the avalanche. So write them down and file as ‘to be revisited on a very slow afternoon.’

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