A young writer friend of mine emailed me to bounce ideas. When I wrote back to her I thought to myself "Hey - that would be good for my blog". So here is my laziest blog post ever - borrowed from an email to a friend.
MF - I can't seem to focus long enough on one idea. I know that I have a short attention span (when it comes to writing, anyways), but this is almost getting of hand. What do you get when you are plagued with so many ideas? How did you stick with one and finish it?
ME - That's natural for some people - I am the same way. That was why I predominately wrote short stories before Mishca.
So how I deal with it - I let the stories decide, I write whatever storyline is banging the loudest in my head. So at the moment I have a couple of chapters on Mishca's follow-up story Ryder done, 8 Chapters of Leena Barclay done, two short-stories that I want to submit to anthologies underway and only the first chapter and prologue of Conquest done and a couple of other ideas in my head. At the moment I haven't had a lot of writing time because of my family circumstances, but I am hoping that will change soon.
I found that if I at least captured my ideas for stories, not necessarily write them out, that it helped me get back and work on Mishca. Because I am querying with Mishca I am happy to write whatever comes to mind, but I am trying to focus on the short stories so I can get something published under my belt.
MF - How did you figure out that you wanted to write paranormal? Did the idea for "Mischa" just come to you?
ME - What helped me finish Mishca was:
1) Research - researching her heart transplant recovery information helped drive the early plot and added so much to bits along the way.
2) Sending it to a friend who was passionate about my writing - her nagging me for the next chapter helped me to finish it
3) Time away from the Internet. I have a laptop and I often write at the beach. Over Christmas holidays I had an hour a day or so at the beach and I could write about 1,000 words per hour.
4) Daydreaming time - this is so important, but carry a note book with you! I let Mishca's story consume me, I would think about it before I went to bed at night, I would go for walks and think about it, I would play inspirational music in the car and think about it, I would think about it while I was at the gym... the women in the shower room must have thought I was crazy scribbling in a note pad after a work out.
Before Mishca I had written a bunch of short stories that were more general fiction, though one was speculative, and a couple of plays. I had started on a sci-fi novel and a general fiction novel that I hadn't gotten far with. Mishca isn't actual strict paranormal, it is Speculative Fiction - combining Paranormal, Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy and Horror together - I intentionally threw out the paranormal flavour though for a specific reason.
I found speculative/paranormal easier to write as I have a weird imagination. The concept of Mishca came to me like a "What if" scenario, like "What if you time travelled and met yourself?" (though that is not the scenario that came to me btw). So I had the ending first and worked backwards. A lot of characters weren't even in the original concept. it was also a one-off story until I started thinking about why the scenario would exist - then it became a series.