Why are you putting nearly completed projects on the back burner?

If you’ve been following for a while, you know that in 2014, before getting a contract for FIRE IN THE WOODS, I completed:

    1.     A first draft of a middle grade contemporary
    2.     A first draft of an adult paranormal murder mystery romance (with aliens)
    3.     A nearly final draft of a YA dystopian

So why are none of these on my radar for 2015? Why am I setting goals to start one or two new series with these projects waiting in the wings?

It was a very hard decision.

A very very hard decision.

Right now I have something every author dreams of, but never really expects to have: a fan base.  Granted, it’s not huge… but it’s there. And they are vocal, and I love them to pieces. Every single one of them.

  •          Will the middle grade contemporary go over well for someone expecting an alien story? Probably not.
  •          Will the adult alien paranormal be good for this age group? Well, yes, for some, but I will have to publish under another name due to some adult themes… so no… not a good match.
  •          Will the YA dystopian thrill the paranormal-lovers? Maybe, but this is more of a journey tale… a slow burn before the climax. It will probably do well… someday. But I don’t think the timing is right at the moment.

I believe right now is a very precarious time for me. FIRE IN THE WOODS is an action adventure/romance series. I need to build on “this type” of book to keep the momentum moving. I don’t want to take chances with a risky theme, or something I have not tested the waters with.

There will always be time to dust those beauties off.  Hey, sometimes I am just in the mood for editing. Those will be the days I pull those suckers out.

For now, though, I have several really fun thrill ride-type stories plotted out.

  1.        Heavy on the action
  2.        Heroines that are not afraid to stick up for themselves
  3.        And “out of this world” guys that are really easy on the eyes.

Yes, it’s a bit formulaic… but I write the same way I read… for fun.

And to be honest… if I could run through the woods all day with a hot guy and watch stuff explode, I’d be a totally happy camper.

So… Why am I doing this?

Because I want to. Luckily for me, my fan base and I are in agreement.

Have you ever placed a few years’ worth of writing on a back burner?



10 responses to “Why are you putting nearly completed projects on the back burner?

  1. I think I have one of the most crowded back-burners in the business. There isn’t even space for a small saucepan of peas. My HD is full of files, some of which are too old to be read by the current form of Windows! At the moment I am stalled over a book which has taken two years already, and I have just begun to completely re-write it! Thank god I don’t do this for a living!

    • Ha! I actually have a stack of three inch disks on my desk with old novels on them. I was able to extract the text in notepad, but they need to be completely reformatted. They are in “LEWP” Leading Edge Word Processor format. Yeeesssss. Very old.

  2. I think you shouldn’t be too quick to categorize yourself as a YA/action/specific/romance writer. That can become a box it’s hard to get out of. So if your other projects are that close to completion, I’d say to finish them and put them out there. As long as the quality isequal, of course. A broader base of fans may be waiting for you.

    • Hmmmmm. I think I’d rather get stuck in this box than any other genre. The other projects were stretching my wings to get a feel for it. YA spec is where I’m really the most comfortable.

  3. I have an entire series that I wrote in 2013 (about a month to 6 weeks per book) that is on the back burner. I have reworked the opening of the first book numerous times since putting it through my revision and editing process. But after an agent turned it down, I realized I wasn’t happy with the story or the character. I still love the overall premise and themes and I’m sure I will go back to it – someday.
    To me, the fact that I have first drafts waiting in the wings to be developed is a sign that I can write at a professional pace. Isn’t the main piece of advice: keep writing new stuff while waiting to hear if a project is accepted?
    I have two projects (very different – one YA fantasy and one Biblical fictionalization written as a first-person journal) with beta readers. I have different paths planned for each of these books – once they make it through two more rounds of revisions, some scathing self-editing and a spit polish.
    Meanwhile, I’m working on a YA adventure short story for an open call anthology and brainstorming a romance for an independent short story anthology created by a bunch of indie writers I met on WANA and Facebook. My debut story comes out on Feb. 13 and it’s a romance, so I have to consider that may be a place where I should focus attention – if I get a base of fans who want more of the same.
    I respect your decision to pursue projects that will appeal to your fans – as long as you don’t lose your passion for the process. I decided long ago that the writing was never going to be about the money for me (regardless of my husband’s comments about multi-million dollar contracts). It’s going to be about the stories I need to tell. (Easy for me to say when I don’t have a publisher holding a contract over my head.)
    And yet, the short story coming out next month was a whim I followed when I saw the call for submissions – same as the YA adventure short. They are a way for me to build a resume to attract an agent or publisher.
    For the record, whatever you write – I will read it. I enjoy your style.

    • Aww. You are sweet. Actually following what the fans want IS what I want to do anyway. I was a little afraid I that my MG contemporary would be my debut novel. That would have been painful to keep writing in that genre. But spec fic?? Love it! Sounds like you have a lot on your plate too. Good luck!