Monday, March 31, 2008

When is an idea too weird?

I've been working on a new novel when out of the blue, two other ideas sprang up. One is really grabbing me, and I'm too superstitious to talk about it here, but it's very, very odd. Think odd in the sense of Time Traveler's Wife (except I may be the only person on the planet who didn't love that novel.) I don't know if I can pull it off. I don't know if my agent will like it--or any editor. I've written novels before that bridge the gap between reality and a curiosity about what is and isn't real (Lifelines was about the struggle of a daughter to come to terms with her mother's being a medium--hey, it got starred PW and Kirkus because it was really about one of my favorite themes--identity. Are we who we think we are? I bridged that sense of strangeness in writing Lifelines by making it never quite clear whether or not the mother had a real gift or not--though she certainly felt she did and lived her life that way.)

I think I'm going out of my comfort zone and I'm a little unnerved and scared, which is probably the right way to feel. But what if that unease means this is not a path I should be taking?


Jeff Lyons said...

Hi C,

What's a few butterflies? It's only when they turn from butterflies into ulcers that you realize you are going down the wrong path. :)

Courage (part of it anyway) is the willingness to be wrong in the pursuit of what is right. You have good instincts about story and what works, etc. Be willing to be wrong. These stories always morph into something different anyway. Who wants to be comfortable when you can be carried up by the butterflies?

J :)

Clea Simon said...

No! That sense of uneasiness means you're pushing yourself -- this is GOOD GOOD GOOD! Go for it! Worst case scenario, you'll write a hundred pages or so and go "nah." But at least you'll know you tried -- and I bet that won't happen. Challenge is good and you will learn how to write this new book by wrting it. GOOD FOR YOU! GO GO GO!

And, yeah, what Jeff said.

Rachel said...

I say go for it! The idea is intriguing and at the least would be a good excuse to try something new(ish).

And I actively disliked the Time Traveler's Wife.

Caroline said...

Oh thank God for these responses! Now I feel fired up! And Rachel, come sit by me, because I hated that book--it was so episodic and boring and I didn't feel for the characters or their love story. OK, back to work for me!

Susan said...

Caroline, I think you should GO for it! It sounds very exciting and unique and great.

And I also hated the Time Traveller's Wife, and felt very alone in that until this moment. :-)