Having a manuscript out on sub is a bit of an odd experience when it comes to continuing to work as a writer. It was true when I was querying agents, and it’s true now that we’re out to editors. I need something to do — writers write, after all. Not having something to work on feels like laziness. While it was nice to take a little bit of a brain break after the last round of revisions, I’ve been getting twitchy lately. But I quite specifically don’t want to work on the project that’s currently out. If I work on the manuscript as it is, I’ll just make myself crazy with second-guessing — worrying if we subbed too soon, if there’s something else I could’ve, should’ve done first, will they like this, will they like that, and so forth. And I can’t really work on the next book in the series more than I already have, because further revisions to Book 1 might negate anything I did there. I do have another WIP, the steampunk project, but I sort of lost the flow there, and I think right now I’d have trouble leaping back into it in a thoroughly productive way.
So, for the past few weeks, I’ve been letting a new idea percolate. And I’m tentatively excited about it. It’ll be a second-world fantasy, but with some different cultural influences than I’ve worked with before. I’ve been delving into some new areas of research, playing with some social constructs and diversity aspects that I like but couldn’t work into Aven, and thinking out a little bit more of a quest structure to mix in with a dynastic dispute. (At the moment it’s feeling a little bit “Wars of the Roses” meets Stardust, minus pretty much all of the English-ness from both). I’ve got a few characters sketched out, a few potential relationships to work on, and almost no plot points determined. I’m okay with the blurriness, though. I like to start projects open-ended so I can feel my way through it all. It may mean a lot of editing and a lot of scrapped material down the line, but that’s all part of the process for me.
In that spirit, I’ve decided to work on this new project for Camp Nanowrimo. It’s partially because I’m just getting stir-crazy writing-wise, and partially because I’m superstitious enough to think it’d be bad luck not to. But, should news from an editor necessitate more revisions on Aven, it’ll be something I can easily put back down. This will be something to occupy me, to keep me from fretting, and to keep the creative muscles active. So… onward!