Wednesday, March 24, 2010

superstition or stupidity?

i know i've mentioned my work in progress often, but without actually revealing anything about the subject or plot. i've done this intentionally. and it all comes down to superstition.

now, i'm not a superstitious person by nature. i don't avoid stepping on cracks, i never toss salt over my shoulder and i've walked under more than one ladder in my lifetime. but even so, i admit to being superstitious when it comes to my novels, but not for the reasons you might think.

i know many writers (especially unpublished authors) try to keep the details of their novels a secret out of fear of someone taking their idea and selling it before they have a chance. although i understand this on an emotional level (i know i'd be gutted if i found "my novel" on a bookshelf, written by a different author), intellectually i know this is highly improbable. honestly, it's easy to find a book that resembles the plot of another. we see it happen on tv, in films - everywhere. in fact, the novel i'm currently reading has many similarities to my wip (which i will discuss in my next book review).
but this isn't the reason i hold back when i talk about my wip.

no, the reason i'm superstitious is because i'm afraid if i talk about my novel, i won't write it.
yup, i am afraid if i discuss my plot, the setting or the characters in detail, i will get bogged down in the discussion and it will take my focus off completing the manuscript.
i've already told you how i have limited writing time, so i can't let myself get off track (as tempting as it is to hear what other people think of my ideas).

there will come a time when i will post my query on this blog and ask for advice. i will request beta readers to give me a critique on my finished novel.
but not yet.
i have still so many more chapters to write.


Random Thinker said...

oh oh oh oh, pick me, pick me, pick me.

ikw said...

random thinker - absolutely! as soon as i'm done editing the first draft, i will let you know!

Christine Fletcher said...

I don't think this is superstitious at all. One explanation I heard was this: Our creative mind seeks an outlet for its energy, and if we talk about our wip's in detail, that energy is expended before we get to the actual writing.

I actually had this happen to me. I talked about a wip so much that I soon had no interest in or energy to write it. Now, other than sharing chapters with my writing group, I keep it under wraps.

Tom said...

Being possessed of unlimited time for my creative efforts, I can completely understand the desire to keep all the energy focused for the few spare moments you have available to do the work of writing itself.

Although, come to think of it, I found myself in an opposite place a few weeks ago where I was describing my book project (roughed during NaNo) to some others and I got interested in it for the first time since November of last year. I actually kind of wanted to work on it again.

I suppose it just depends on where you are in a project at any given time. I wish you luck in making the most of your spare moments. They're more valuable than cash sometimes, it seems.

ikw said...

christine - i think i'm going to follow your method here. i only discuss this wip with two people (and occasionally with mr. write), and i will wait until i've completed the first draft to talk with others about it.

tom - VERY true!
would love you to keep me posted about the novel you started during NaNo, and if you do decide to complete it.