Backup Plans

It’s been two weeks since I finished XIII. The blank feeling upon realizing I was done is beginning to clear up, and I am starting to feel relieved (and happy) that it’s over. But I am far from forgetting about it. 

When it comes to writing, it’s not a good idea to put all your eggs in one basket, so to speak. A lot of writing teachers and writing advice books say that once you finish one project, don’t let that be your only project. Don’t spend all your effort and all your energy on polishing it up and making it pretty because you may come to find that you put all your hard work into what is essentially a dud. It’s good to have at least one other story in the works that you can use as a fallback option.

XIII was basically the first story I wrote with a serious intent to get published. But it is a bit of an oddity in that it is largely based off another person’s ideas and characters. Its genre isn’t even my preferred or favorite genre. The writing itself is entirely mine, so I guess you could almost call it fanfiction, but with fanfiction, the world is pre-created. In XIII, I was essentially building the entire world. Because XIII is not 100% mine, I am unsure of whether to publish it, which makes me glad I did not focus all my writing energy on it.

I have a host of other novels that I have been working on between drafts of XIII, and I am glad I have them. I have been waiting to turn my attention to them for some time, and I feel like they are much more publishable because they are entirely my own work.

tl;dr — Don’t pin all your hopes and dreams on one project.

3 thoughts on “Backup Plans”

  1. I had a similar problem with two of my books, “Blurring the Lines” and “City of Illusion”. They were both collaborations, and when I stopped working with the other author, I was unsure where to go with the story so that I could still call it my own.

    In the end I changed BtL, cutting out the parts that my co-author wrote and filling in with a new direction for the story. In so doing, I began realizing a whole new story for CoI.

    Those are my babies, the stories (and characters) I’ve held onto the longest. But they’re not the only stories that I work on. Far from it — I have four other original books in the works.

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