Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Genre Hopping: How Do You Cope?

So. I'm working on a manuscript that belongs to a genre (you know... as most manuscripts do...).

I have another WIP on standby. And it's in another genre.

I keep going back and forth between the two, brainstorming ideas for both plots.

All. The. Time.

Folks, I am going insane. 

To the point where I was actually humming a Justin Bieber song yesterday *facepalm*

That's why I wanted to ask ya'll a little question. You know, for the sake of my sanity. If you're a genre hopper like me, how do you cope with getting ideas for both at the same time? How do you choose which manuscript to set aside in order to work on the other? Or do you schedule time to work on both?

And more importantly: Is there a procedure, like some type of brain surgery, where doctors can remove the cells that cause humming Justin Bieber songs???

Any and all help will be VERY much appreciated. :)

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  1. I wish I knew the answer lol. I'm struggling myself between two plot ideas, one for a dystopian fantasy and the other for a scifi cyberpunk. TORN. Which to work on first?! I'm going to watch your comments for people who are actually helpful lol.

  2. Ooh. Good question. I'm not sure if the way I cope is particularly productive. I usually get a Shiny New Idea in a totally different genre toward the beginning stages of a new manuscript. It's a special kind of torture, because it would be pretty easy for me to abandon the current manuscript and work on Shiny New Idea.

    I don't stop myself from working on Shiny New Idea. I just try to keep my priorities straight, meaning work on Shiny New Idea comes after getting my word count in for the day. Usually when I get to the second act of whatever manuscript I'm drafting, Shiny New Idea goes into the To-Do pile and doesn't come back to my attention until later.

  3. I was actually singing along to a Justin Bieber song at children's place yesterday...highly embarassing.

    I actually jump frequently from Sci-Fi to contemporary. It's actually easier if you have both of the genres set in the real world, but then when you do something like historical to contemporary is when it gets tricky...

    So what do I do? If I'm working on my Sci-fi that is what I focus on. I'll watch an episode of FIREFLY or read a Sci-Fi book, but if I'm doing contemporary then I'll watch a contemporary television show or read a book.

    Hope that helps and good luck!

  4. I actually like having two different ideas in two different genres and will hop between them. I'll pick one to be my main focus (whichever one appeals the most or I'll just flip a coin) and then write till I hit a brick wall or a plot point drives me nuts or I've revised to the point of "I now hate this book". :)

    THEN, when that happens I'll hop over to the other book and it's like a HUGE stress relief, almost like a vacation. It has nothing to do with the main book - different characters, different plot, different genre, and I'll just relax and write on that till I get past the writer's block or "do I suck at writing" anxiety or till a great idea pops in my head and I get ready to go back to the main one.

    Once the main one is done I'll then have at least a basic, fuzzy plot already worked out on the second and I can promote it to "main book" and set up a new stress relief different genre book to work on.

  5. One of the great things about being unpublished is that you can genre hop all you want because you aren't boxed into a brand. I say prioritise whichever one appeals to you most and see the other idea on the side like Feliza.
    - Sophia.

  6. I'm a reformed genre hopper. J/k I have adult novels on standby, and I was trying to write an MG with it. Couldn't do it. The language gets all confused. MG don't want that LOL. I had to pick and stick with one for a while.

  7. I'm in a similar situation. I'm trying to complete the 1st draft of a contemporary YA WIP, but the supernatural YA I wrote for NaNo keeps calling me back to revise. I made myself a pact that I wouldn't even open up the supernatural Word document until I finish my draft. Difficult, but it's working so far. :)

  8. Hopping back and forth between any two projects slows me down. I've had to do it recently because some revisions were needed while I was in the middle of a first draft for a different project, and I haven't quite recovered. I sympathize. And you poor thing--first Bieberfolliculophobia and now this. I'm concerned for your mental well-being ;)

  9. LOL! *sigh* I have no idea about the brain surgery thing, but please don't try it! It might damage your idea center and the world would be deprived of your seriously awesome ideas!

    Genre-hopping: I'm not as big a traveler as you are in this regard, but I can imagine it must be like sitting on a hyperactive teeter-totter. Some people say you should just write what you feel inspired to write, even if you're working on two projects at once. I think that's good to a point, but personally I like to pick one project and focus on it (only occasionally cheating on my WIP with the 'other man'). Gotta pick what works for you.

    Just not brain surgery!

  10. I focus on one ms and write scene cards/notebook for the other when I am inspired. I don't usually start the second on the computer until I'm done with the first draft of the first.

  11. Sorry, I'm still recovering from the shock that you were humming a Justin Bieber song!!!!! OMFG. lol.

    As for genre hoppin, I say go with the one that calls to you the most. That tends to be how I choose which idea to write next. The louder it screams at me the less I can ignore it. :)

  12. Humming Justin Bieber is nothing to be ashamed of. I wake up and sing Justin Bieber in the show sometimes.

  13. Yeah, that's a challenging thing! Genre hopping gets me in the voice department. Can't have a character with the voice of a 16 year old when you're writing adult or middle grade stuff.

    Good luck!

  14. I don't genre-hop much -- but I do hop between projects, and sometimes, if I force myself to brainstorm or think about one project, I'll usually get back into the flow pretty quickly. :)

  15. You guys are AMAZING!! I was seriously wondering whether I had to undergo that surgery after all, but seeing others struggle to stick with one project is refreshing. *fist pump* I think I'll keep working on my current project and ignore the Shiny New/Old Idea until I'm done. My mental health will be SO thankful.

    Magan, Sarah, Lindsay--Justin Bieber is FOLLOWING ME. For reals. Glad to know I have your support system. I need it.

    Jaimie--Singing Bieber in the shower is pretty much the only time I'm not ashamed of myself. You know, because no one else can hear me. Have nothing against the guy, but MAN his songs are so catchy, it's evil...

    THANK YOU for your help!! Now off to torture myself with le WIP...