The Hard Part

Writer Fuel

It’s not the waiting.  It’s figuring out what to do to pass the time.  I’ve finished-finished a book, and like a well-groomed orangutan, it’s lumbering off into the distance to make a life for itself.  So, it’s time to start the dog-and-monkey show all over again, isn’t it?

I have another manuscript partially-edited that I’m dying to sharpen and spit shine until it and Mr Clean’s head are virtually indistinguishable, but I just finished that process.  As much as I love to edit, it’s too much like being a slave-rower on a Norse warship to want to get back onto the boat right now.

So I’m torn between starting another novel project and starting a short fiction piece.  Now, I’m awful with short fiction; at WorldCon this year, I heard (again) the oft-touted advice that short fiction is a great way to hone the skills needed to write novels.  Yet, someone (I think it was Patrick Nielsen-Hayden?) also added the caveat that some people simply aren’t great at short fiction, and this should not be a discouragement.  Still, the practice can’t hurt.

Or should I try to hit my stride and see how far I can break into a new world of characters before Nanowrimo swallows me up?  I’ve got two great ideas for novels to write this year, and whichever one I don’t write in November, I might write before and after November.

Ideas are cheap: time is expensive.  Which reminds me I need to get cracking if I want to finish that Wheel of Time reread by January.