I am halfway through editing my upcoming novel, Stolen, and inevitably around this point I get sick of editing and start thinking of what comes next. I always have a pile of things in my head that I want to write and now is no different. I’ve been compiling a list…
- Finish What Alice Sees. I started this novel in 2006. The first 30k placed in a few competitions, so I think it’s likely to be a really good book… once it’s finished. I’m up to about 45k and I reckon I’m about halfway through. I have the rest mapped out in detail, so I’m not stuck with the plot. Seems at the beginning of every year, I place this on my ‘important to-do list’ and I might do a little, have a fiddle with the words, then it gets set aside. Again. Poor Alice really wants her story told. Is 2015 the year for her?
- Write Plague 2. Undeniably, Plague has been my bestselling, most popular book. It’s been number one on Amazon in horror for weeks on end, sold 10s of thousands of copies and I’ve had so many emails from fans asking for number two that I’ve lost count. And yet I stall. I was going to write it in the autumn of 2012. Like Alice, I have this plotted out in detail, along with a third instalment. Then in the summer of 2012 I was diagnosed with cancer, and writing got swept to the side. Part of me is afraid I won’t write the second part to the standard of the first, and I’ll disappoint my readers. No, not part of me, pretty much all of me.
- Write the second part of Sacrifice. This was always planned as a series and I was in the middle of editing the first one in 2012 when I got sick. It was pushed to a back burner and only finished and released this year. I have yet to write the next part, even though (you guessed it) it is plotted out in detail. I sense a pattern emerging here!
- And then for something new. I’ve got a paranormal series I’ve started. The first book needs to edited, but I haven’t written any more of the series and I’m loathe to release another beginning of a series just to abandon it again!
- Rewrites. I have a horror book called The Crocodile that I wrote before or just after Coombe’s Wood, maybe in 2008? It needs to be completely rewritten, but would be worth it because I think it’s a brilliant story. Imagine your stuffed toys coming to life and stalking you…
- And then the new ideas. I always have them. New ideas, old ideas, plots that want to be written. There are maybe four bouncing around my head right now, all clamouring for attention. Which comes first? So hard to decide. And that’s not including the partials, books I’ve written maybe 10k and plotted out and want to get back to. Sheesh, there just aren’t enough days/hours/weeks to do everything.
How do other writers do it? Do they have the same internal battles trying to work out what comes next? I'm beginning to think maybe my problem is that I just need to learn how to type faster.