Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Too much? Not Enough? How many hours in a day?

Lately I seem to find myself wanting to get a bunch of projects going at once. Even more than usual. I'm deep into a crime novel. And also deep into a very pulpy sci-fi novel. There is a fantasy novel I want to get back to. Now I'm starting to think about sequels to books I've written. I almost never think about sequels. But I have a couple of good ideas, and when my brain won't let an idea slip away, when it sticks in there and keeps picking at me like a big scab, that's when I know an idea is a good one.

Oh, and screenplays. And a non-fiction proposal. And funny books for Marvel.

I think if you're going to write for a living, it's good to have a lot of things going. A LOT. On the other hand, I find myself starting lots of projects and not finishing anything. The exception is my work for Marvel. Missing deadlines would be BAD and since that's one of the primary ways I pay my mortgage, I'm not going to lose focus on those.

We'll see what happens. Who knows? Six months from now I might look up and find multiple completed manuscripts on my desk. All I need is enough coffee.


Jeff Shelby said...

I'd give up the treadmill as a sacrifice.

Victor Gischler said...

I wish, Jeff.

J. R. McLemore said...

Isn't that the bane of a writer's existence? Too many projects at once, and out of those, too many that never reach completion.

I'm looking forward to more of your crime novels, Victor.

Mark Boss said...

I'm late to this post, but it's funny that I found it today since I was complaining to myself about not enough time and too many projects.

Then I realized how fortunate we are as writers. Imagine waking up and not feeling excited about any of your ideas or projects. That would suck.

We may be tired, but we have good reasons to be enthused about our work. And that's pretty sweet.

Victor Gischler said...

I agree, Mark.

Today I'm pushing everything aside to work on my pulpy sci-fi novel. Why? Because that's the mood I'm in today.

Gryphon King said...

There was a scene on CASTLE that made me laugh. Rick Castle brought a newbie writer to the poker game (normally only attended by veteran mystery & TV writers, playing themselves on the show).
One of the veterans asks the n00b how many novels he's written, and the guy admits, one. The veteran says, "You know what I did after my first novel? I shut up and wrote 23 more."
Misty and I laaaaauuuughed.......

PS: My CAPCHA word for this post is "fallyk." Am I being a dick about this or something? :)

PPS: OK, I am so naming an elf or some exotic guy "Fallyk" in an upcoming story if you don't, erhh, beat me to it. Come, erh, to think about it, that'd be awesome to, erh, slip into a Marvel story, Victor. A bad guy with a ridged helmet named Fallyk. God if I ever got Man-Wolf I'd do it, I swear I would. (Misty & I want Man-Wolf. Or Longshot. Or both. DC dropped the ball on us doing Wonder Woman after Gail.)

Gryphon King said...

All right, this time the word is "nuderun."

I am not making this up.

Anyway, I do notecards, a ton of whiteboarding, and keep Notes Files (literally just text files where I drop good bits of dialogue, story elements and so forth), because I have brain damage that affects my memory. So imagine how awesome the feeling is, sometimes, when I come across an idea note and think, "WHOAH! I wish I'd come up with that!" and.... I did.
I think all of us who work creatively need to keep things stirred up, and yet not feel overwhelmed but rather, feel amazed by it all.
And, as a wise person once said, "do something every day that scares you."
Risk a viewpoint you might not have tried otherwise. Start thirty novels. Pull off a switch that even you didn't see coming then write your way into believing it. Fail a lot. But try it.
I've put 30 years into it and I'm about to guest at my 250th scifi convention and I STILL don't tire of it all. Love the fans, love the work, and love your life for giving you the fans and the work. :)

Victor Gischler said...


There is something pretty cool about keeping a bunch of plates spinning on sticks at once and running back and forth in between them to keep them going.

But once in a while I feel liek I need to FOCUS and get one of those plates to safety before returning to the helter skelter.