After I finish a manuscript I like to take a few weeks to a month and read what I’ve missed. Unlike some writers, I haven’t quite mastered the art of reading fiction while I’m writing it. I find that too often my prose begins to sound like the author I’m reading. (Not exactly a good thing when it’s you voice that sets you apart from the crowd.)
Normally, spending the time reading doesn’t present a problem. I have a large to-be-read pile that never seems to diminish. And there is the matter of what to write.
Should I begin the next book in the series I’m currently querying agents about? But what if I need to make substantial changes in order to sell? What if I write something else and zoom-zoom I sell the book and they immdiately want the second book in the series. It would be a good and a bad place to be in. Good to sell, bad to have to abandon a story half-way through. (I have yet to train my brain to work on multiple stories at one time.)
But this time, I got a great idea for a story. A wonderfully twisted story and my brain is bobbing in whatever cerebral fluid remains inside my skull trying to get me to tell it. Normally, I write it down in one of my many notebooks of story ideas (For me coming up with the idea is easy–finding the characters to people them is hard). This usually appeases the story fairy and I can go back to reading.
But this time was different. This time ways to tell the story kept cropping up in the back of my mind before popping up completely at random. So now while I struggle to read a book I picked up, I’m fending off this story idea. I keep telling myself that if it’s still there come February 1st I just might write the dang thing.