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Choosing a New Writing Project

… is pretty much like choosing a new day job. I know I'll spend a lot of time on the next project--even more if you count the hours I'll be thinking about the project without writing. So I want to pick the right one: The one that's most fun to write, and the one that's most likely to sell. (Well, who doesn't want a fun job that pays the bills?) I currently have three such 'job offers' to choose between, all of them starting on November 1st when NaNoWriMo (*) goes live. All three of them could be fun and challenging, and I feel attached to the characters in all of them. But which to pick?

The first is a Danish urban fantasy for school kids--The Shadow Lens--featuring Martin from 6th grade. When someone breaks a lot of windows in the local school, rumors pin the blame on Martin. Martin's already a troubled kid, who gets into fights, but also does what he can to defend his kid brother from their abusive father. But instead of helping him, the headmaster puts up surveillance cameras to track Martin. So when Martin discovers that a much more sinister creature is using the cameras to spy on the kids and turn them against each other, he has no one to turn to for help...

The second novel--untitled--is a humorous fantasy novel, which follows the High Priest Niselius Camarad in his quest attempts to save the city of Theomon from a curse. However, as a servant of Polomarch, the Godess of Hate and Revenge, poor Camarad has a problem with his public image, and only a ragtag band of adventurers followers prove willing to help him face balrogs, dragons, vampires, dastardly evil mage lords, matchmaking sheep farmers, and enough gods to make a man swear off religion for good.  

The third potential day job has the title 'Evermore Archives', a space opera/planetary romance. The information taxation ship 'Evermore Archives' arrives at Ventibia, damaged from a nuclear attack and unable to fly on without repairs. Among the people onboard is Julee Prost, an ex-soldiers who was hired to 'raise hell' in case the locals prove unwilling to cooperate. He's joined by 'The Hellchaser', a missionary atoning his sins by observing the various kinds of hells people go through in real life. When negotiations between ship and planet go awry and the specialists are sent down below, the Hellchaser ends up among a group of Fringers living a hell he'd never imagined possible... And Julee Prost, the Hellraiser who could change things through force, finds himself in love...

I'll pick one of these projects soon, but in honor of procrastination I'd love to hear any feedback you have about choosing 'the next big thing. How do you pick yours? When do you know the idea is good enough to carry a novel? And how do you avoid the bad ones?

(*) About NaNoWriMo: I signed up again this year, but it's more of a social occasion than an actual race to reach 50.000 words. I only have one or two free weekends, so I'll be happy just to reach 30.000 words. Besides, my previous encounter with NaNoWriMo convinced me that a healthy, daily pace is better for me than a mad dash to the finish.


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 24th, 2011 09:14 am (UTC)
I like the sound of the Shadow Lens, but I am an urban fantasy junkie!
Oct. 24th, 2011 10:35 am (UTC)
I think I could wring something good from this idea. It's the least developed idea I have, and I don't have time to research surveillance in schools before NaNoWriMo begins... But I guess that's just the kind of problems I'd encounter with any project :-)
Oct. 24th, 2011 10:03 am (UTC)
Jeez, those all sound wonderful! Here's me, committed to NaNoWriMo again (after a several-year hiatus after four successive failures) with not a single idea for a plot. Just four very sketchy character descriptions...*trembles*
Oct. 24th, 2011 10:37 am (UTC)
Thanks. Ideas are easy for me, it's the characters that are most problematic for me :-) I'm sure you'll have some great ideas once you throw yourself at the project!
Oct. 24th, 2011 11:15 am (UTC)
Wow, they all sound good. If I had to choose - I think it would be The Shadow Lens. Best with your next project -
Oct. 24th, 2011 03:05 pm (UTC)
Thanks for your input :-)
(Deleted comment)
Oct. 24th, 2011 03:09 pm (UTC)
I did that with my first novel. It ended up as a printout with many, many handwritten notes in the margins, which I kept in a plastic bag. Later my baby daughter threw up in that bag... It was about that time I started writing short stories ;-)
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )


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