I have been writing two stories back to back for the last year and I am stuck on whether I want to finish one or the other because my mind is wrapped around both of them so tightly, it’s hard to discern the importance of one over the other.
One is a Sci-Fiction and the other, a children’s story.
Which is likely to be more interesting to your family / friends / blog readers / fan club members / casual purchasers in an airport bookstore? (delete according to your current fame levels)
Which has the most in common with your existing catalogue of work?
Which has the least in common with your existing catalogue of work?
Which could you charge more money for?
Which genre would you rather be known for?
Which are you proudest of?
Which will require the most work in the re-writing stage?
Bottom line? It depends on why you write. Only you can really answer the question(*).
If all else fails, follow the advice of Johnny Depp: If you find yourself loving two women at the same time, go with the second… because if you’d really loved the first you wouldn’t have noticed the other one.
* - Except I’ll do it anyway: Go with the Sci Fi one. Unless the children’s story has dinosaurs in it, in which case do that one first instead.
the brutal truth… probably neither.
you,ve worked on them both for 5 years.
you,ve rewritten one several times
the other goes on and on -and- has had some serious reworking.
it sounds like it,s time to cut yourself some slack, draw a line under what you,ve done as quickly as possible and pat yourself on the back for completing your first two works. then start thinking about your third.
the two biggest psychological barriers which stop talented writers from achieving their potential are…
1 - realising that when they’ve finished their first draft it needs to be edited / rewritten.
2 - realising that you could edit and tinker forever, and should probably move on after 2-3 passes.
congratulations on making it past the first. you are halfway there.
dogs are affection whores i mean that in the nicest possible way, of course
i,m not saying that cotm,s 2 works aren,t great. they may well be. i,m saying that it sounds like she is too close to them to know that they are done… she has taken them as far as she can and should move onto the next thing.
Floss’s main point is valid: (potential) lack of objectivity. If your mind is, as you say, so tightly wrapped around them both how can you have the objectivity to know if either are done or, if not, how best to finish them? Perhaps now is the time to let them sit for a while. At the very least this allows time for some objectivity to creep back in and it may also help you identify which one is more important to you.
Even better, send them both to an editor for feedback. Be aware that this will likely come with a cost (and not just a financial one), but the payoff will be better in the long run.
if this is something you are considering (sometimes helpful if your friends have a habit of telling you what they think you want to hear) and can stand the brutality then you are welcome to message me through this forum
A lot of the reason I have been somewhat of procrastinator of sorts, is for last three years my mother struggled with multiple myeloma.
She passed June 1st 2013.
All she ever wanted me to do is finish it. Finish what I started. To never run from what ever destruction or beauty I created on my own.
“Don’t ever run, don’t ever turn away from what you have created, your family and those you love. No matter the cost.”
Near the end, my mother had a lot of good things to share and some of that I have shared with you, the other half is … still processing. “Failure to accumulate data. Check hard disks.”
I do believe that Time leaves me breathless yet again, as I ascend into the uprising of all that is left of the end.
I find the simple rhythm of things to be… not without justification, and more or less a product of an ever changing world; a confluence of all that is eventual.
i have to say that i agree with your mother. being someone who finishes what they start is where character comes from. it,s at the root of every single one of man,s most awe-inspiring inventions - my personal favourite being the electric can opener - and a defining quality in anyone i,ve ever admired.
remember, though, that not recognising when something is done, and keeping yourself in a never-ending loop of feedback and revision is just as much a barrier to finishing as any form of procrastination. it keeps you from finishing what you are working on. it prevents you from finishing unknown numbers of future works.
my advice: if only because it is shorter, then continue with the children,s story and work to bring it to a conclusion. while you are looking at that, get external input from someone whose opinion you trust on the scifi one. an experienced and importantly independent eye can often help you see the structures, hidden themes or missing piece of magic that brings everything together.