Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The One, novel that is

How does a person figure out when a novel idea is "the one"? When is that feeling not Shiny-New-Idea Syndrome? Good questions that I don't really have an answer to but I'm gonna talk about them anyways.

(Image source: kaykays-corner)

First, a confession. I know have an idea that I know for sure is "the one." How do I know? Well, that's the thing: I'm having a hard time figuring out. Not too mention the temptation of the new idea can often make it feel like it's the one cause it's all shiny and fun.

What is "the one"? 
In this case, I mean the idea that is most likely to become the first book to get the writer an agent and/or published. While it is not always known before the query stage and when the call happens (or the email), there are some people who get an idea and they get that feeling. They know... It is a gut feeling that the characters, the story are that one amazing combination that is just waiting for them to put the words down on a page and to one day prepare in a way that is ready for the world to see.

And SNI Syndrome is what?
This is "shiny new idea syndrome" and it pretty much means getting distracted from a current work in progress by a shiny new idea that comes up because it is so pretty, and new and fabulous sounding while the other story is so much work. But the SNI becomes the WIP at some point and requires work and if every SNI is followed then it can be hard to finish anything. But it's an exciting feeling when a new idea hits that sounds super amazing. I get this problem often because I have so many new ideas and some of them are very tempting but so far I do okay at avoiding the temptations.

But how does one know it's "the one?"
I don't know. It's actually really cool to see when someone else has that moment. For me, it's easier to see as the outsider, being told someone else's idea, whether it sounds like it could be the one for them. I had this recently and she is the inspiration for this blog post. *waves hi to Ashy* Sometimes, when reading someone else's story description it just has that "this has to be a published book" feel to it. That internal light bulb goes off and I must immediately tell them how awesome they are along with the amazing awesomesauceness of the idea. But that doesn't help when looking at my own writing.

My main reason for posting this is to just get my thoughts into words when it comes to my own novels but I'd like your opinions in the comments for anyone who wants to comment on the topic.

Logically (not that amazing emotional light bulb that just appears) I feel like the mutant series have potential for being that first book. However, the YA books are first when it comes to the chronological story but I'm not sure if it's developed enough. I'm almost done with the rewrite but there is a slight uncertainty that bugs me a bit. The adult book doesn't require the YA as they both work as stand alone novels, technically, but book 3 has the YA MCs as secondary characters. My concern in general is the series are a bit convoluted and might cause problems assuming anyone asked for full and I'm not sure if that's the best foot to go forward. But other than that, I have a bunch of random novels either started or almost started but the only other finished draft is a romance/erotica novel that I don't feel is my desired genre and it's definitely not "the one." Of the other ideas, I don't know which one has "the one" potential. And it's a tad frustrating.

What about you?
Believe people can have a "the one" idea?
Do you have "the one" or are you still searching for it?


Ariana Richards said...

Until I saw this...and the mentioned post by Ashy, I didn't realize so many authors had a story that was 'the one'. I definitely have mine. My problem is, half of my SNI's (love the term, btw :-) are rewrites of it. The current incarnation doesn't even resemble the original, but the main characters are still the same, and in the back of my head, I suspect that it will be the first book I have that will get accepted if I ever reach that point.

It's also, for the invisible no one cares record, the only novel I have that's contemporary fiction instead of paranormal/urban fantasy.

Jolene Perry said...

Unfortunately, when I get shiny new idea syndrome I roll with it whether it's a great one or not. Oh well, it's all writing practice, right?

Dawn Embers said...

Ariana - Interesting. I remember reading about the story on your blog. With all my ideas, I haven't really tried to rewrite many of them yet, and the one rewrite I have going may be changing to third person but the general story is still the same.

Jolene - Hey, if it works for you then keep going. Writing is writing afterall. I sometimes fall for the shiny idea, I should admit. I'm world building a fantasy/steampunk novel and considering a dystopian ya. So yeah, love the shiny ideas.

J. D. Brown said...

This is the first time I've seen anyone blog about this topic and you're awesome for taking it on :D

As you know from following my Twitter, I was recently trying to decide between 2 SNI's ... which one would be the lucky one I'd write after NaNo?? As much as really wanted to try the YA idea (because YA always seems more fun) I went with the adult urban fantasy/paranormal romance idea for 2 reasons.

First, because I want to be known as and UF/PR author, not as a YA author (though I vow to try YA at some point). Second, because I got so excited about the UF/PR idea that I actually went ahead and did some research for it which then gave me a more solid idea for the plot. See, usually when I get a SNI, it's the form of a cool new character or an awesome knew setting to explore. I rarely every get the plot down first. The fact that plot came to me so quickly this time is was sealed the deal.

Now, does this mean I think the UF/PR is "The One"? Not really. I have no clue which novel I write will end up being my debut novel. Plus I still have faith in the series I'm currently working on.

Dawn Embers said...

JD - :-) Thanks. I know how you feel. I may have a first draft done of erotic/romance but I want to be known for writing fantasy.